January 19, 2017 E-Update    

Helpful Wisconsin Links


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Blue Books

The 2017-2018 Blue Books are in and signed. This year's feature story is, Women in the Wisconsin Legislature. If you would like to request a Blue Book from my office, please send me an email with your name and address.

Official Facebook Page


Upcoming Events:

26th Lawrence Lake Fisheree
January 20, 2018
Lawrence Lake – Tall Pines Resort
W8096 Tall Pines Ct.
Westfield, WI 53964


35th Annual Montello Lion’s Club Fisheree
January 27, 2018
Good Old Days
W995 W. North Shore Dr.
Montello, WI 53949

Westfield Band Fish Fry
February 2, 2018
Westfield Area High School
N7046 County Rd CH
Westfield, WI 53964
Tickets are $10

Westfield Mid-Winter Bake and Book Sale
February 8-9, 2018
Westfield Library
117 E. 3rd St.
Westfield, WI 53964

48th Annual Markesan Sno-Drifter's Snowmobile Ball
February 4th, 2017
Vandy's Lakeside Pub
N2811 Park Rd.
Markesan, WI 53946

Please email me if you have any upcoming events that you would like featured in this section.


Video Update from the Capitol

With the spring session in full swing, Assembly Republicans released our top four legislative priorities for 2018.

The first priority is to remove barriers to economic growth, attract more workers to the state, and grow rural jobs. This will encourage economic development in all of Wisconsin.

We also want to increase assistance to rural schools, have a thorough a review of our current funding system and pass legislation for low spending school districts to support our schools.

Our third priority is to reform the welfare system. We want to promote independence and help individuals enter the workforce.

The final priority is to promote healthy, happy, and whole families. We will continue to do this through passing bills that help fight the opioid epidemic, improve foster care, combat Alzheimer’s disease, and strengthen families.

Continue to watch my E-Updates every week to watch our progress on these priorities.

Thanks for watching, and have a great Wisconsin week!

Winter in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's winter Free Fishing Weekend is set for this weekend, Jan. 20-21, 2018. Free loaner equipment and ice fishing clinics make it a great time for open water anglers to discover the fun of ice fishing or to introduce family and friends to this hard-water recreation.

Fishing is free for Wisconsin residents and visitors alike on these days. No fishing license or Great Lakes salmon stamp or Inland Trout Stamp is needed to fish all inland waters and Wisconsin's side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River and other boundary waters. All other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish anglers can keep and any seasons when anglers must release certain fish species.

More information on the free fishing clinics, on how and where to borrow ice fishing equipment from DNR offices and parks, and on the weekend itself can be found on DNR's Free Fishing Weekend webpage. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search "Free Fishing Weekend."

Along with free fishing weekend, and with a rollercoaster of seasonal temperatures and snow levels, make sure to continue to check snowmobile trail openings and conditions.

Here are a few other tips to have a safe and fun early season ride:

  • Use of hand signals is voluntary, not mandatory. If you are inexperienced or uncomfortable giving a hand signal...don't! Focus on staying in control and to the right.

  • Snowmobiling on frozen waters demands extreme caution for unique hazards - including open water areas and weak ice. Lack of adequate snow on the ice affects steering, braking and overall control. Carry or wear a life vest, always ride with a companion and refrain from riding at night. Ask local fishing clubs and bait shops about waterways ice covers.

  • All operators at least age 12 and those also born on or after January 1, 1985 are required to possess a valid, snowmobile safety education certificate to legally operate solo. Certificates issued by other states/provinces are honored. Learn more by visiting the dnr.wi.gov and searching keyword snowmobile safety.

  • Stay on marked trails and routes. Snowmobile clubs work hard to secure permission for trails on private property. Cutting corners or going off trail, upsets landowners and closes trails. Don't ruin the experience for others.

For more safety tips, information on safety classes or to view a copy of the snowmobile regulations, visit the DNR website.

New Produce Safety Regulations Affecting Farmers

New food safety regulations take effect Jan. 26 for Wisconsin’s biggest growers of fresh market fruit and vegetables, but regulators will focus on educating farmers during the first year of regulation. Enforcement will not begin in earnest until 2019.

The new regulations, part of the sweeping federal Food Safety Modernization Act, take effect this month for growers with more than $500,000 in annual revenue from food sales. Smaller farms have another year or two years to comply, depending on their size. Growers should focus on meeting training requirements first, so that they understand the new requirements.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement the changes. FDA has emphasized that the 2018 focus is on outreach to farmers. A team from DATCP has been traveling throughout the state since last June to answer growers’ questions at farm shows and conferences. The team will continue these efforts in 2018, and also work with outside organizations to provide mandatory training.

The mandatory training course, developed by the Produce Safety Alliance and Cornell University and approved by the FDA, covers the scope of the regulations and how growers can meet the requirements.

Regulatory inspections for large farms will begin in 2019. Before then, farms can request a “readiness review,” a non-regulatory assessment by a team of state officials, extension agents and FDA produce experts to gauge a farm’s readiness for inspection.

Growers, cooperatives, and other professional groups can get more information about the rule, training and readiness reviews at http://datcp.wi.gov, search for “produce safety”. They can also email datcpproducesafety@wi.gov or call (608) 224-4511.

State Capitol - Room 210 North | Post Office Box 8952 | Madison, Wisconsin 53708
(608) 266-8077 | mailto:Rep.Ballweg@legis.wisconsin.gov