WisBusiness: Join the Free Tuesday Trends Mailing List
Below is an excerpt from the most recent edition of WisBusiness Tuesday Trends, a WisBusiness product previously available only to paid subscribers.
This weekly look at the state of Wisconsin business is now available for free to anyone who signs up for the Tuesday Trends mailing list.
To get the full version of Tuesday Trends in your inbox every week, sign up now for the free mailing list. (If the preceding link does not work for you, simply send an e-mail to email@example.com with "Subscribe to trends" in the subject line.)
WisBusiness also publishes a summary of state business news sent to paid subscribers every weekday.
Sign up for a free two-week trial of WisBusiness subscriber products.
WisBusiness Tuesday Trends
March 20, 2006
By Brian E. Clark
Randolph-based Jung Seed Co. is celebrating its 100th anniversary and is also growing a fourth generation to eventually run the thriving business. The seed catalog business was started in 1907 by J.W. Jung from a plot on the family farm. The catalogs were printed in his mother’s kitchen.
The company is now run by Richard Zondag, a grandson of J.W. Jung. Today, the business has more than 400 employees, runs five garden centers and ships millions of seed catalogs a year. The company will celebrate its centennial with a Founder's Day event April 12-15, a birthday celebration May 12 and "Jungfest" July 12-14.
Zondag said it was his grandfather's entrepreneurial spirit that gave the company its initial success and got it through the Depression. Each year, the business distributes 8 million catalogs under nine titles annually. So much mail passes through the doors that the company has its own ZIP code.
The U.S. economy is approaching the brink of recession and the stumbling housing market could drag it over the edge, according to UW-Madison emeritus economics professor Don Nichols. But Nichols said he could not predict what will happen with housing during the rest of 2007.
However, because Wisconsin's economy is based more on the export of manufactured goods, the Badger State could have a "relatively good" year and even beat the national growth average if "the housing bust becomes huge," he said.
Nichols noted that former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has said the chances of the U.S. sliding into recession are one in three. Nichols assessment is more sobering: He said he believes the odds may be as great as one in two for the national economy to slide into recession.
It may have seemed like a cold and snowy winter this year, but summer levels of Lake Michigan will continue to fall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The lake is now about 17 inches below its historical average and will drop more. That’s not good news for everyone from shoreline property owners and boaters who can't reach their docks to freighter operators who say they can't deliver maximum payloads of iron ore to the region's steel mills.
Officials from the Lakes Carriers Association say that low water means ore freighters leaving from Lake Superior at the start of this year were carrying only about 60,000 tons, about 15 percent below normal capacity.
Written exclusively for subscribers. Tuesday Trends is Copyright © 2007.