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Sparsity Aid for Rural Schools
Rural communities have a different set of challenges than other
communities. As one of the largest senate districts in the State
of Wisconsin, the 17th Senate District is almost entirely rural
and has its own unique challenges. Representing a rural district
means that I often have different priorities than those of my
colleagues. However, the one priority that my colleagues and I
share is a strong public school system. The public schools in
these rural communities have an especially difficult challenge
to provide a quality education and services to a small number of
students spread over a large geographic area. I continually work
to try to find ways to improve our rural educational system.
The 2015-17 state budget has been signed into law. There were a
lot of important items in the budget that increased funding for
public schools. The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) added $300
million to K-12 education funding, restored the $150 per pupil
aid that was originally slated to be cut, and added an
additional $100 per pupil in categorical aid for the second year
of the biennium.
For rural schools, we provided an additional $2.5 million per
year in high cost transportation aids and increased sparsity aid
to our local school districts.
Sparsity aid is additional state funding that is distributed to
schools with enrollment of 725 pupils or less and a density of
less than 10 pupils per square mile. Sparsity aid adds $300 in
additional categorical aid per student. Student enrollment in
schools that qualify for sparsity aid represents around 6.8% of
total public school enrollment.
For this upcoming school year, 137 school districts across the
state of Wisconsin will see an increase in sparsity aid of $4.2
million per year to local schools, totaling $17.674 million
statewide for the 2015-17 school year. Of the $4.2 million
annual increase, over $750,000 will go to schools in the 17th
Senate District. The program will be fully funded for the next
The Department of Public Instruction recently released its
distribution of sparsity aid payments for the 2015-16 school
year. I have provided a table below that shows the school
districts in the 17th Senate District that will receive sparsity
aid for the 2015-16 school year. I am proud of our commitment to
provide additional funding to rural schools, especially those in
*Source: Department of Public Instruction,
For more information and to connect with me, visit my website
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and do not
hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need
assistance with any state-related matters.
In the District
Marklein Family Camping Trip
I was very fortunate to be able to spend a week at Peninsula
State Park in Door County for our annual Marklein Family Camping
Trip. We were blessed with great weather, great sights and
activities, and even better food. Peninsula State Park is one of
our many beautiful state parks, and the campground was full.
Wisconsin State Fair!
This week at the Wisconsin State Fair, a number of livestock and
cheese makers from the district were honored. I want to send out
my sincere congratulations to the following people and business
owners in the district for their accomplishments and being
honored at the Wisconsin State Fair!
In the Meat Publicity category, congratulations to the
Specialty Game Meats
2nd place John D. Hamm, Wisconsin River Meats, Mauston
Specialty Cooked Bratwurst
4th place John D. Hamm, Wisconsin River Meats, Mauston
Out of the 146 fine Wisconsin cheesemakers that were exhibited,
congratulations to the following:
1st place Silvan Blum, Chalet Cheese Co-op, Monroe
2nd place Neal Schwartz, Chalet Cheese Co-op, Monroe
3rd place Team Chalet, Chalet Cheese Co-op, Monroe
2nd place Dave Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Company, Monroe
1st place Jim Demeter, Klondike Cheese Company, Monroe
2nd place Lenny Bass, Lactalis USA, Inc., Belmont
Flavored Pepper Cheese
1st place Heriberto Nickolas, Maple Leaf Coop, Monroe
2nd place Tom Jenny, Car Valley Cheese Co., Inc., Mauston
Smear Ripened Cheese
1st place Andy Hatch, Upland’s Cheese, Dodgeville
Reduced Fat or Lite Cheese
1st place Jim Demeter, Klondike Cheese Company, Monroe
2nd place William Knox, Maple Leaf Coop, Monroe
Open Class for Soft and Spreadable Cheese
3rd place Lenny Bass, Lactalis USA, Inc., Belmont
1st place Bruce Workman, Edelweiss Creamery, Monticello
1st place Ben Workman, Edelweiss Creamery, Monticello
Open Class for Semi-Soft Cheese
1st place Brett Krattiger, Maple Leaf Coop, Monroe
3rd place Brett Krattiger, Maple Leaf Coop, Monroe
Flavored Goat Milk Cheese
1st place Jean Rossard, Montchevre-Betin, Inc., Belmont
2nd place Adam Knapp, Woolwich Dairy, Lancaster
3rd place Adam Knapp, Woolwich Dairy, Lancaster
Natural Goat Milk Cheese
2nd place Martin Chavez, Montchevre-Betin, Inc., Belmont
3rd place Doug Waechter, Montchevre-Betin, Inc., Belmont
Latin American Cheese
2nd place Nick Siedschlag, Chula Vista Cheese Co., Browntown
3rd place Chad Duhai, Zimmerman Cheese, South Wayne
Sheep and Mixed Milk Cheese
3rd place Bob Koenig, Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., Mauston
2nd place Reedsburg First Shi, Foremost Farms, Reedsburg
47th Annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction
This year at the 47th Annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock
Auction at the Wisconsin State Fair, 25 animals were sold for a
total of $419,750, which is a new all-time record for the fair.
Each exhibitor receives 80% of the winning bid, and the
remaining 20% is applied to youth scholarships, grants, and
The 2015 grand champion steer was sold Wednesday night for a
record of $65,000. Lauren May’s 1,300-pound Crossbred steer was
purchased by Roundy’s. The 15-year-old Iowa County exhibitor who
is from Mineral Point was also last year’s top seller after
earning grand champion honors in 2014. Lauren is the sister of
Brock May, who had either sold the champion or the reserve
champion steer at the state fair for 6 consecutive years between
Olivia Leahy, of Lafayette County, whose animal was named
reserve grand champion steer at this year’s fair, sold for
$32,000 to Kenosha Beef International/Birchwood Foods.
Myles Leahy, from Lafayette County, for the second year in a row
had the top hog sale for a record of $35,000 to Potawatomi Hotel
Calvin Reilly, from Lafayette County, for the third straight
year, exhibited the Grand Champion Lamb. His Hampshire went for
a record of $21,000 on the auction block and was purchased by
Congratulations, to all of you!
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection (DATCP) released the following statement on emerald
ash borer (EAB) confirmed in Marquette and Richland Counties for
the first time. See the full release below.
EAB Confirmed in Marquette, Richland Counties for First Time
Contact: Donna Gilson, 608-224-5130, email@example.com
Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020,
MADISON – Marquette County will become the 38th Wisconsin
county to be quarantined for emerald ash borer, following
discovery of the tree-killing beetle in the Town of Montello
there. In addition, EAB has been confirmed for the first time in
Richland County in the town of Dayton.
Marquette County will now be placed under quarantine.
Richland County has been under quarantine for EAB since July
2014, so this new find does not change anything from a
regulatory standpoint there. Four counties – Lafayette, Iowa,
Green and Richland -- were quarantined in 2014 because they were
surrounded by counties where EAB had been found, and it was
likely EAB was present there in low numbers that are difficult
to detect. EAB has now been confirmed in all of those counties
except Iowa. Actually confirming the presence of EAB should
alert residents that it is more important than ever not to move
firewood from the county to non-quarantine areas, officials say.
Both new EAB detections resulted from routine trap monitoring.
In Richland County, staff from the Wisconsin Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection found two adult
beetles July 28 in a trap along Highway 14 in the Town of
Dayton, about five miles west of Richland Center. There are a
few ash trees in the immediate area, and they show symptoms of
U.S. Department of Agriculture staff found one adult beetle July
29 in a Marquette County trap along Cotters Bay Road in the Town
of Montello, about a mile west of the city of Montello. The
level of EAB activity there has not been determined yet.
Quarantines prohibit ash wood products and hardwood firewood
from being moved to areas that are not quarantined. For
businesses handling wood products that could carry EAB, this
means that they must work with DATCP to assure that they are not
transporting the pest to non-quarantine counties. For private
citizens, a quarantine means that residents may not take
firewood from these counties to non-quarantine counties.
“We strongly discourage moving firewood even within quarantine
areas,” said Brian Kuhn, Plant Industry Bureau Director in the
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection. “The vast majority of EAB infestations have resulted
from the movement of firewood, as evidenced by the number of
times our first find in a given county has been in campgrounds.
Most of the quarantined counties are not generally infested, so
moving firewood within them could bring the pest to new areas in
the county that would otherwise remain uninfested for several
Kuhn notes that other forest pests and diseases also move easily
and invisibly from one location to another under the bark of
DATCP recommends that property owners who have ash trees in
Keep a close watch for possible signs of EAB
infestation: Thinning canopy, D-shaped holes in the
bark, cracked bark, branches sprouting low on the trunk,
and woodpeckers pulling at bark.
Consider preventive treatments if your property is
within 15 miles of a known infestation.
Consider planting different species of trees that are
not susceptible to EAB.
Call a professional arborist, and visit
emeraldashborer.wi.gov for detailed information.
ash borer is native to China and probably entered the United
States on packing material, showing up first in Michigan in
2002. It was first found in Wisconsin in 2008 in Ozaukee County.
Other quarantined Wisconsin counties are Adams, Brown, Buffalo,
Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Fond du
Lac, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee,
La Crosse, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oneida,
Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau,
Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago.
EAB adults lay eggs on the bark of ash trees in mid- to late
summer. When the eggs hatch a week or two later, the larvae
burrow under the bark for the winter and feed, forming the
characteristic S-shaped tunnels and destroying the tree's
ability to take up nutrients and water. The following summer,
the adults emerge through D-shaped holes in the bark.
The Wisconsin Emerald Ash Borer Program includes DATCP; DNR;
UW-Madison; UW-Extension; USDA Forest Service and Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service.
*Senator Marklein is pleased to provide this
legislative E-Update to the constituents of the 17th State
Senate District. Please feel free to share this update with
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