Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Ag & Extension

Last Updated 7/4/2007 9:47:14 AM


Sawyer County Ag & Extension Committee

Thursday, January 4, 2007


Committee Members Present:          Jim Bassett                   Shirley Riedmann          Doug Mrotek

                                                            Bob Vitcenda               Fred Zietlow    


County Personnel Present:                Lori Laberee                Trinke McNurlin           Dave Berard

                                                            Gerry Berg-Sutten       


Others Present:                                  Tena Shamro                Linda Zillmer



Chairperson Bassett called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.


Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda by Mrotek, seconded by Zietlow.  Motion carried.

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve minutes from the December 4, 2006 meeting by Bassett, seconded by Vitcenda.  Motion carried.

Sawyer County Ag. Fair Association

Ed Metcalf called Shirley Riedmann this morning to make the committee aware that there would be no one in attendance to report on behalf of the SCAFA Board.


Chuck Aubart is attending the statewide convention to promote Sawyer County Fair’s Centennial this year.  He is taking along a display provided to him by Lori Laberee. 


Applicants for the Fair Operations position will be reviewed at tonight’s monthly board meeting.

Department Head

Lori Laberee was nominated as Department Head of the UW-Extension office in Sawyer County.  Laberee has achieved her Tenure status with the University.  Board members received a copy of a letter from John Preissing, UWEX North District Director, supporting the transition of Department Head position from Dave Berard to Lori Laberee, with Berard mentoring Laberee.  Riedmann made a motion to support Preissing’s letter that Laberee take over as Chair with Berard mentoring.  Motion seconded by Mrotek.  Motion carried.

Agent Reports – Gerry Berg-Sutten, WNEP Coordinator

Berg-Sutten shared with the committee a story from her Home Visit she was attending this morning before the committee meeting.  A couple employed by the same company but laid off before Christmas.  They are receiving Unemployment Compensation but it is not enough to sustain their household of 4 people.  They are able to receive $64 in food stamps a month and go to the local food shelf 2x/week, but it’s not enough.  This is a common story in Sawyer County.  The average wage in Sawyer County is $8.50/hour and a wage of $12.00 for 2 people is needed to support a family of 4.  Berg-Sutten distributed local statistics.  Sawyer County is #1 in the State for people being hungry and #2 stating food insecurity.  Riedmann asks what else can be done.  Have we worked with the transit system to assist these people in getting to the aid they need, or to possible jobs?


There was much discussion by all board members.  Zietlow inquired how the WNEP staff interacts with the people at the food pantries.  Berg-Sutten responded by informing the board that every month at every food shelf, a WNEP personnel is present.  Their job is educating the people about the food that they’ve chosen.  How they can prepare it; how they can make it stretch; how to make healthy choices when choosing their food. 


Riedmann feels we should be receiving more State aid.  Berg-Sutten stated that we have more grant opportunities but no one to apply for and administer the grants.  Bassett asks that if Berg-Sutten could find the grants, couldn’t we have NWRPC manage them?  Berg-Sutten will research this possibility and a few more with people at the State level and report back to the committee next month.  Bassett asks that it be put on the February agenda.

Approval of Vouchers

Motion by Bassett to approve vouchers, seconded by Riedmann.  Motion carried.

Out of County Travel

Motion to approve out of county travel by Riedmann, seconded by Zietlow.  Motion carried.

Any Other Business

Tena Shamro was present to report to the committee on the status of the timber sale on the land owned by Sawyer County 4H Leaders Association, per the registered deed. Shamro reviewed the deed specifications and reported that the monies received from the sale have been split as stated.  There was discussion regarding the select cut and how it was managed. 


Laberee requested that the committee approve a transfer of funds from UW-Extension’s 2006 Repair and Maintenance line item to Maintenance’s 2007 fund to be used for the renovation in the Extension office that never occurred in 2006.  The amount is $615.43.  The committee has no problem with this.


Carol Larson entered the meeting towards the end and asked the committee how they would like to handle the review of the Department Head position now that it has changed.  Laberee will be reviewed in 6 months. 


WACEC – Laberee invited all committee members to join her on Friday, January 12, 2007 in Ladysmith for the WACEC meeting.  No one is available to attend put it will be put in the February agenda to inquire once again who can attend the next meeting.


Linda Zillmer informed the committee of her efforts and efforts around us of getting food into local areas.  Both by local food summits and sustainable agriculture.  She will leave information at the Extension office for those who would be interested in reading about it.


Motion to adjourn by Bassett, seconded by Vitcenda.  Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 9:27 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Rebecca Brunner-Stroede, Recorder