MON AM News: Another Wisconsin dairy farm sells cows, but welcomes new farming opportunities; Wisconsin YES! applications due Wednesday

— A month ago, the Reisingers of Spring Green said farewell to 60 dairy cows after more than a century of milking on the homesteaded property in the Driftless Area.  

Jim Reisinger, choking up, reflected on the morning of March 12. He recalled the milkman had tears in his eyes leaving the Reisinger driveway with the last load of milk. He had been to the farm every morning for 25 years picking up the family’s milk. But while the milkman no longer takes the winding Schweppe Road every morning, the family continues to be a part of the dairy supply chain. 

“There is life after milking cows, and you can still farm without milking cows. Now it’s time for transitioning to make our life as good as it can be,” Jean Reisinger told at the farm. 

Jim and Jean are approaching their 70s, and the labor-intensive work of milking cows is getting tough. Jim added that contracting COVID-19 was a sign that it was time to slow down. A northern Wisconsin farm bought the cows, and the Reisinger family was pleased with the sale.

“They’re all together. That’s what I wanted,” Jim said. 

With their adult children Brian and Malia, and soon-to-be four grandchildren, the Sauk County farm continues to operate over 100 years after it was homesteaded by Jim’s grandfather in 1912.

The Reisingers tend to about 280 acres of hay, corn and soybeans. They will continue cash cropping. And while one would expect the farm to be silent without cows, the Reisingers keep about 80-head of cattle on-farm, raising steers and custom heifers as Reisinger Hilltop Heifers.

And last but not least, Jim keeps bees. His apiary produces Jim’s Hilltop Honey.

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— Wednesday at 5 p.m. is the deadline is near for online entries from middle and high school students entering Wisconsin YES!, a statewide youth business plan contest.

In 2018, Alex Hart-Upendo took home the grand prize with his company Build-A-Bow. Build-A-Bow is a custom eco-friendly bow retailer specializing in bow ties, hair bows and bow ties for dogs. Hart-Upendo founded Build-A-Bow when he was just 9 years old.

Hart-Upendo applied because it was recommended to him by his mentor. After overlooking the criteria, the then-fifth grader felt he had a chance at winning.

He told that the competition helped connect him to several other small businesses and entrepreneurs statewide. 

“The partnerships I was able to build, and people I connected with throughout the competition was priceless,” he said. 

The winning incentives helped Build-A-Bow purchase an expensive piece of machinery used to quicken production time and simplify the process.

“I would recommend this competition because the application isn’t too evasive or confusing, and the connections and incentive could really help put any small business in a better position,” Hart-Upendo said. 

Build-A-Bow is a finalist in the Force for Positive Chance competition. Hart-Upendo is also working on expanding outside of Wisconsin into a franchise.

Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. 

The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through Entries that advance to the second phase of the competition will expand their idea into a 1,000-word executive summary. Throughout the process, students get feedback from professionals across Wisconsin who will serve as judges.

— Wisconsin reported 569 new COVID-19 cases coming into today and one new death from the virus, according to the Department of Health Services.

DHS data show the seven-day average for daily confirmed cases is 775, down slightly from a recent high of 778 on Saturday. These figures were last seen in mid-February. 

The seven-day average for deaths remains at five deaths per day. 

The state reports 8,565 active cases and 585,308 cases since the start of the pandemic and 6,677 deaths.

— DHS reports more than 37 percent of Wisconsinites have at least started their vaccine series.

More than 2.1 million people have gotten at least one dose of either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson or the two-dose series of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Wisconsin has put more than 3.5 million shots in people’s arms. 

About 24 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. Herd immunity would require about 80 percent of residents to be fully protected against the virus, according to health officials.

Meanwhile, nearly 70 percent of Wisconsinites age 65 and older have been fully vaccinated and more than 78 percent have received their first dose. 

— PNC Bank has appointed Chris Hermann as the regional president and head of corporate banking for Wisconsin beginning today.

In that role, he will lead PNC’s local focus on developing and deepening relationships with new and existing middle market and large corporate banking clients in the Milwaukee region and throughout the state.

Former regional president Chris Goller will now serve as head of corporate banking in the Midwest region. 

Hermann, who was raised in Madison, is an advocate for the importance of early childhood education. He is active in the Milwaukee community, serving on the board of directors for the Urban Ecology Center and on the endowment board at Christ Church in Whitefish Bay.

— The UW System will focus resources to capture more of the online education market as campuses face intense competition. 

The effort will involve research on program opportunities with the goal of accelerating the development of new online programs. The system will also enhance marketing toward employers and adult learners, such as an estimated 815,000 adults in Wisconsin with some college credit but no degree.

“We have an opportunity to better serve adult learners in Wisconsin, but we have to be more aggressive and focused to serve these potential students and employers,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson. “This proposal adds focus and resources while leveraging what the UW can offer to help solve this challenge.”

The UW System is seeking about $15 million to get started. Eventually, it would be self-sustaining. The improved online education plan would be implemented as early as January 2022, depending upon funding.


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# New Meat Processing Boot Camp responds to increased market demand 

# Interview series aims to support Chippewa Falls businesses



– FarmFirst Concerned with Economic Impact Analysis and Proposed Changes to DNR Non-Point Rules 

– Adopt a Cow program connects kids, cows and classrooms 


– Evers Orders Removal Of Concrete Slabs From UW System Headquarters 

– Students learning virtually more likely to be in Wisconsin’s urban centers, new data show 


– Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Langlade County 


– Milwaukee Aims To Boost Confidence Among Residents In Coronavirus Vaccine 

– Mayo-UW-Eau Claire partnership seeks to aid cancer treatment 


– Johnson Controls to acquire data center equipment maker in $870 million deal 


– Appeals Court Sides With Evers On Press Access 


– Upper Midwest a circus of marijuana laws, proposals 


– Harbor Freight wants to add five or more Wisconsin stores in next 12 months 


– Milky Way Tech Hub to launch summer accelerator program 


– County Clare adding staff for promising summer as Milwaukee hotel occupancy stays over 40% 


– Federal Funding Expected To Help Ease Wisconsin’s Road Repair Needs 

– Federal Covid grants provide years of relief for Milwaukee County bus system funding questions 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

– UW System: Repairs to Van Hise Hall move ahead

– Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association: Day of the Badger a huge success

– Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association: Calls on Milwaukee Public School Board to hold special meeting to discuss reopening preparations

– UW System: Seeks to focus coordination of online education efforts