AgrAbility program helps Wathke keep farming

The Country Today- Jim Massey MADISON — When Larry Wathke of Fall Creek slipped and fell 50 feet in his silo in De­cem­ber of 1993, he didn’t know if he would walk again, let alone be able to con­tinue to op­er­ate his six-gen­er­a­tion dairy farm. But 22 years later, with the help of the AgrA­bil­ity of Wis­con­sin pro­gram, Wathke is car­ry­ing on his fam­ily’s tra­di­tion on his 320-acre Eau Claire County farm. He is milk­ing about 60 cows in a tie-stall barn and the farm has been retro­fit­ted with as­sis­tive mod­i­fi­ca­tions that have made it pos­si­ble for him to con­tinue in his cho­sen pro­fes­sion. “What (the AgrA­bil­ity pro­gram) has done for me has made it a lot eas­ier for me to con­tinue to farm,” Wathke said Nov. 4 at the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ad­vi­sory coun­cil meet­ing in Madi­son. “We’ve been able to keep the fam­ily farm go­ing. They came out to our farm, saw what ...
November 12, 2015

Safety during Harvest

For many Wisconsinites, autumn is a time to enjoy the beautiful leaves, dig sweaters out of the closet, and enjoy pumpkin-flavored treats. To a farmer, autumn means harvest time, one of the busiest times of the year. Unfortunately, more farm accidents happen during the fall months than at any other time of the year. Even small adjustments can go a long way in preventing accidents and injuries. Exhaustion is a large reason for accidents during the harvest season. Farmers often get fatigued, leading to a lower level of alertness. Farmers start working early in the morning and often work past sunset. They have to work around the weather, which might mean working long days before the rain comes. While working these long days, it is even more important to eat healthy and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If working alone, taking breaks and getting out of the tractor to ...
November 6, 2015

WI Farm Center, Easter Seals Wisconsin, and AgrAbility to partner on Beginning Farmer Project

Hannah Barthels Outreach Specialist, AgrAbility of Wisconsin 608-262-9336 gerbitz@wisc.edu         WI Farm Center, Easter Seals Wisconsin, and AgrAbility to partner on Beginning Farmer Project MADISON, WI- The Easter Seals Wisconsin FARM program recently was awarded $496,914 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a three-year project, Securing Beginning Farmers Through Succession Planning. The project addresses the need of Wisconsin farmers who do not have succession plans in place, estimated at 56% of farmers over the age of 55, to ensure the successful transition of farm operations to the next generation of beginning farmers. Succession plans are essential for farms to continue to grow throughout the generations. Devoting time to creating a sustainable succession plan is an essential component of every farm operation. Easter Seals Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Farm Center (part of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection) will be partners on this project. The long term goal is to increase ...
October 13, 2015


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