Two The Country Today staff members received awards at the 2019 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Convention and Trade Show held March 7-8 in Madison.

Eastern Wisconsin Regional Editor Benjamin Wideman took first place in the Feature (Non-Profile) category for his story entitled “Craving cranberries,” about the Dempze Cranberry Co. in central Wisconsin (published Oct. 25, 2017). The story spotlighted the business’ roots in football (family member Vince Biegel played for the Green Bay Packers) and fruit.

Wideman also captured second place for Portrait or Artistic Photo for his photograph captioned “Peeking out,” focused on a white horse sticking its head out of an opening in a broken section of barn wall in rural Wisconsin.

He also earned an Honorable Mention award in Best Headlines for “A ferry tale,” about the Washington Island School, accessible only by ferry or other boats (published Nov. 1, 2017); “In it for the long run” about beef cattle farmer Nic Lyons of Denmark who also is a competitive runner (published June 20, 2018) and “Scray sure to smile if you say cheese” about 96-year-old Edgar Scray’s lifelong history with Scray Cheese Co. near Green Bay (published June 13, 2018).{/div}

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{div}Editor Heidi Clausen took third place in the Best Headlines categories. Her entries included “Fools for fungi: Mushroom mavens from around the world scour the Northwoods during annual foray” (published Sept. 13, 2017), “In the Lyme-light: Wisconsin seeing unsettling uptick in Lyme disease cases, with rural areas in the bull’s-eye” (published July 11, 2018) and “The scoop on all that poop: Manure from Minnesota State Fair is composted, spread on Hastings farm fields” (published Aug. 29, 2018).{/div}

Clausen also earned Honorable Mention for a package of three editorials including pieces entitled “Wisconsin leadership program in need of revival” (published Jan. 24, 2018), “New dairy task force must prove skeptics wrong” (published June 20, 2018) and “It’s time to bring rural America up to speed” (published July 18, 2018).

All awards were given in Division D (weekly circulation of 4,000 or more) as part of the 2018 WNA Better Newspaper Contest.

The WNA has worked since 1853 on behalf of Wisconsin newspapers by providing advocacy, resources and education. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the newspaper industry; enhance public understanding of the role of newspapers; and protect basic freedoms of press, speech and the free flow of information.