Winter has come early this year, spawning thoughts of holiday shopping. Although I think gardeners are easy to shop for, my family disagrees. Perhaps you can leave this column in a conspicuous place as a convenient hint for your loved ones.

At the end of 2019, 2,627 Master Gardener Volunteers reported nearly 169,000 hours of community service from 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, equivalent to $4,291,000 in the independent sector, according to the annual report of the UW-Extension Master Gardener Program. Since 2001, Wisconsin Ma…

Tim Schneider’s love of baseball and a yen to “swing a better bat” led him to get into the wood baseball bat making business. In 2015, he, along with his friend and former college teammate, Mike White and brothers, Dan and Greg, started Three Brothers Bats, a name their sister, Sarah, suggested.

With the passing of Halloween, many of us are ready to get in the holiday spirit! This year, checking friends and family off your list will be a breeze when you shop from local businesses that are part of the Something Special from Wisconsin program. This program, administered by the Wiscons…

I recently harvested my fall crop of daikon radishes. Only a few of them were a decent size while the rest of them ranged from “too small to keep” to just mediocre. What causes this wide variety of sizes with radishes? I remember that my carrots also had this problem.

Bob Williams, former Fairs Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, was one of the great story tellers in the fair industry. He loved to share his stories, but even more, he loved to hear people share their fair stories.

DUBUQUE, Iowa — In his presentation at the 33rd annual Tri-State Agricultural Lenders Seminar, Doug Johnson, director of sales at Moody’s Analytics of Omaha, Nebraska, said three big things are influencing today’s producer and tomorrow’s producer: the agriculture economy, agriculture technol…

In November, there’s still gardening to be done. Depending on where you live, you may have already experienced a hard freeze and perhaps even a few inches of snow. Although temperatures steadily decrease as we progress through the month, there may still be some stellar days for being outdoor…

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has issued an order finalizing approval for the Wisconsin portion of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project, outlining the requirements that must be met in the construction of the 345,000-volt line and substation in Wisconsin.

BARNEVELD — Wally Orzechowski, executive director of Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, has served in his role for 16 years now, and has had the honor of presenting Community Partner Awards at the organization’s gala each year. This year was no exception, with six individuals r…

The second annual “An Evening of Art” auction benefitting the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation raised nearly $15,000 to support Wisconsin 4-H arts and communications programs. The event was hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Ray Cross at the historic Brittingham House in Madison.

BLAIR — While wildlife can benefit from landowners installing native prairies on their property, the landowners face several obstacles in the process, according to Ryan Wenthold, an ecologist with Twin Springs Prairie Seed in Sparta.

ROCK FALLS — In a building vaguely reminiscent of the Old West, Melissa Hester of Hester Saddlery custom crafts, cleans and repairs a variety of leather goods that are bound to stand the test of time.

FALL CREEK — Vic Rouleau was in his element as he participated in the 2019 Falling Leaves Art Tour of the Wisconsin countryside earlier this month, displaying his unique works of art at a pumpkin patch with a backdrop of corn fields.

Now that I’m bringing in some of the potted plants for the winter, I am wondering if any of them were poisonous to my cats and my dog. Is there a list somewhere that I can consult?

The 76th annual Holiday Folk Fair International, a celebration of the cultural heritage of people living in southeastern Wisconsin, has been planned for Nov. 22-24 at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center in West Allis.

Editor’s note: This is Jerry Apps’ final column for The Country Today. To continue to follow along with Apps, visit www.jerryapps.com.

Organizers of one of the largest youth conventions in North America are expecting over 70,000 people to travel to Indianapolis Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 for the 92nd National FFA Convention, with FFA members, advisors, parents, alumni, supporters and FFA enthusiasts from around the country preparing…

HIGHLAND — Sixteen members of the Highland Fire Department received free grain bin rescue training Oct. 8 after entering to win a grain rescue tube from Corteva Agriscience. This strictly volunteer fire department that services the village and town of Highland in Iowa County was just one of …

FENNIMORE — There are 370,000 students in Wisconsin’s Technical College System, which encompasses 16 technical colleges offering more than 300 programs. It’s Wisconsin largest system for higher education — with numbers projected to grow into the future as 54% of jobs within Wisconsin in the …

Much is being written these days about the importance of pollinators to the world as we know it. Indeed our future food supply may depend on these tiny workhorses of the natural world. With the decreasing populations of bees, gardeners are stepping up across the planet to help not just the b…

MADISON — After recommendations for increased collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development emerged as a result of the Dairy Task Force 2.0, the two entities have announced the return of a co…

I know you have addressed this before but could you tell me when and where is the best place to plant raspberry canes? My friend has a bunch that she would like to get rid of. Is fall a good time to move them? And while on the subject, can I get both a summer harvest and a fall harvest from …

• I enjoy the smell of wood smoke trickling from the kitchen stove when I return from a walk on a crisp, October morning. It reminds me when I was growing up. The smell of wood smoke meant not only warmth, but also family, hearty meals, and good stories.

LAFAYETTE — With 4-H enrollment season well underway and National 4-H Week running from Oct. 6-12, benefits of joining what is the largest youth organization in the country were on full display at the Chippewa County 4-H open house on Sept. 30 at Lafayette Town Hall.

UNION — Fresh off receiving recognition as the state’s Land Trust of the Year, Landmark Conservancy capped Wisconsin Land Trust Days by showing off some of their recent conservation efforts Sept. 29 with a guided hike at Eau Claire County’s Town of Union Conservancy.

Similar to its poultry cousin the chicken, pheasants are raised for meat and eggs right here in Wisconsin. Though less popular, this bird is a protein-rich power food. Pheasant is a great example of the diverse, high quality products produced by Wisconsin farmers and processors. Not only are…

The first ever La Crosse County 4-H Expo will be held Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at the La Crosse Interstate Fairgrounds in West Salem in honor of National 4-H Week, which runs from Oct. 6-12.

Dr. Darlene Konkle has been appointed Wisconsin state veterinarian, Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, announced in mid-September.

Once the calendar page turns to October, gardeners know that the end of the growing season is near. Perhaps your area has even experienced a killing frost already. If not, it will be coming soon. It’s time to get busy and double-down on getting the garden ready for winter.

Autumn brings plenty of agricultural-tourism opportunities, including apple orchards, pumpkin patches and haunted corn mazes. It also brings fall colors and the harvest season.

Food justice advocate Miah Ulysse will be the keynote speaker at the 6th national Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference, which is taking place Oct. 17-19 in St. Paul.