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14
Farmer, Pheasant chapter receive honors
The Upland Chapter of Pheasants Forever has been selected by the Northern Chapter of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association to receive its 2004 Wildlife Habitat Development Award and thus becomes eligible for the statewide award.

Robert Brandt received the organization's 2004 Conservation Farmer Award and also is eligible for the statewide competition.

Both were nominated for the regional award by the Marathon County Conservation, Planning and Zoning Department.

Keith Koskey of Ringle is president and founder of the local Pheasants Forever chapter. Ruth Blado is vice president, and Wes Koval is habitat chairman.

"The strength of the Upland Chapter is that all of its efforts and funds raised are used locally to improve wildlife habitat and to improve land uses to benefit upland nesting birds," the citation noted.

The club promotes the improvement of wildlife habitat on private lands by encouraging burning on suitable idle cropland, planting food plots and working to minimize the impact of haying and cropping. It also provides free seeds to grow crops suitable for a variety of wildlife. In the past two years, seed for 1,853 acres has been distributed. The chapter also provided financial support for the county's intensive grazing project believing it to be beneficial to the environment and wildlife.

Brandt, a fourth-generation farmer, pastures 50 cattle using rotational grazing for seven to eight months of the year.

The farm has a long history of conservation practices, including strip and contour cropping, conservation tillage, windbreaks and fencing of woodlands and wetlands. He recently enrolled 40 acres in the Wetland Reserve Program.


Venison donation
program available
Fifty-three Wisconsin counties have at least one meat processor participating in the 2004 Venison Donation Program. A list of participating processors is on the DNR Web site dnr.wi.gov and is updated regularly as additional processors sign on.
The processors will accept field dressed deer registered with a silver tag, butcher them and package the venison for delivery to food pantries around the state. The silver registration tag means the deer came from outside the CWD Disease Eradication Zone. There is no cost to the hunter for processing and the meat will go to a good cause, said program coordinator Laurie Fike. Fike recommends calling ahead to a processor to check on hours of operation and if they can take the deer right away.

"Hunters donated 305,000 pounds of venison to the program in 2003," said Fike, and over a million pounds since 2000. This incredibly successful program has made a lot of high-quality food available to needy families and provided hunters with an outlet for excess venison."
There is a separate venison donation program in place in 2004 for hunters in the CWD Ð Disease Eradication Zone. Hunters can take deer to processors in the DEZ who will store the meat until CWD test results come back for the deer. Deer testing not positive will be processed for the pantry program. Positive testing deer will be disposed of at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory's tissue digester.

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