We teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities.

Wind Is the New Corn for Struggling Farmers

From Bloomberg Business Week, October 6, 2016 – Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago. As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has become […]

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Food, Land and Water: Can Wisconsin Find Its Way?

From Wisconsin Land and Water, October 2016 – Without food, there is no life. And without land and water, there is no food. Our daily food needs bind us to the earth just as surely as if we were trees. We forget that at our peril. Wisconsin now has nearly 6 million people, and there […]


Doing Laundry Can Be Deadly for Clams, Mollusks and Other Marine Animals

From Smithsonian.com, October 13, 2016 – Everyone loves the feeling of clean clothes—except maybe sea animals. Each load of laundry you do may be pouring hundreds of thousands of tiny pollutants into the water, which are then ingested by clams, mollusks and other sea creatures around the world. Microfibers, or tiny bits of polyester and […]


County officials report energy-saving issues and projected energy use

From the Portage County Gazette, October 14, 2016 – The Portage County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation on the 2016 Energy Report at a board meeting Tuesday, September 20, regarding implemented energy-saving techniques and a statement on future energy use in Portage County. Read full article here: portage-cty-gazette-10142016.


APPLES to (organic) APPLES

From the Wausau City Pages, October 2016 – Lisa Rettinger was living the American dream, or at least some version of it. She had a home she loved in the St. Paul area, an organic garden, and a well-paying job in a field suited to her degree in agronomy from UW-River Falls—all the things society says […]


Are Halloween makeup and face paint products harmful for kids?

From ABC News, October 13, 2016 – SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — If you’re already working on your kids’ Halloween costumes, here’s something to consider — the thick makeup or face paint you might use to complete the look could have more in it than you bargained for. A new study by CalPIRG and the Breast […]


Does American ag feed the world? Not if you focus on the hungry countries

From MINNPOST, October 6, 2016 – We’ve heard it all our lives: American farmers feed the world. Once it was a simple expression of pride. Since the 1970s it has morphed into a justification for resisting changes in industrial-scale agricultural practices that would reduce environmental harm from pesticides, runoff, excessive groundwater pumping … the list goes […]

crop spraying

The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st-Century Agriculture

From The New York Times Magazine, October 2016 – Our industrialized food system nourishes more people, at lower cost, than any comparable system in history. It also exerts a terrifyingly massive influence on our health and our environment. Photographer George Steinmetz spent nearly a year traveling the country to capture that system, in all its scope, […]


Phthalates in Fast Food: A Potential Dietary Source of Exposure

From Environmental Health Perspective, October 2016 – Many research studies have surveyed nutritional habits, but fewer have studied how food processing and packaging might introduce unwanted chemicals into foods. In this issue of EHP, researchers report that fast food consumption appears to be one source of exposure to the chemicals di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and diisononyl phthalate […]

Power plant

Minnesota regulators OK retirement of coal plant

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 4, 2016 –  Minnesota energy regulators have given a green light to a plan by Xcel Energy that will retire two units at its large coal plant north of Minneapolis within the next decade. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission this week unanimously approved a 15-year plan that will more than […]

Power plant

Canadian government says it will implement a nationwide carbon tax by 2018

From the Los Angeles Time, October 3, 2016 – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given the country’s 10 provinces and three northern territories two years to begin implementing a comprehensive tax on carbon emissions as part of his government’s pledge to adopt strong new national policies to combat climate change. Trudeau outlined a plan […]

Red_pepper greenhouse

Farmer kudos

From the City Pages, September 2016 – We would like to thank the City Pages for its coverage of local food in its recent Get With the Program publication. As the “Farm to plate” article stated, there has been an embrace of local food by Wausau area restaurants. As farmers who work with these institutions, we want […]


Pesticide manufacturers’ own tests reveal serious harm to honeybees

From The Guardian, September 22, 2016 – Bayer and Syngenta criticized for secrecy after unpublished research obtained under freedom of information law linked high doses of their products to damage to the health of bee colonies. Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls […]


Investors urge food companies to shift from meat to plants

From Reuters, September 26, 2016 – A group of 40 investors managing $1.25 trillion in assets have launched a campaign to encourage 16 global food companies to change the way they source protein for their products to help to reduce environmental and health risks. The investors, which include the fund arm of insurer Aviva and several […]