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Wisconsin’s booming grape crop at risk from herbicide drift

Grape farmers in Wisconsin are facing a growing threat, and in many cases it is coming from their own neighbors. Herbicides that are used to kill weeds in crops such as corn and soybeans can be deadly to other plants, including grapes. Food or wine grape vines exposed to the chemicals may shrivel up, turn colors and grow strange, elongated new leaves.

Should raw milk sales be legalized?

For farmer Brian Wickert, the raw milk bill is about having the freedom to live without interference from the government. But for health officials in America’s Dairyland, it’s about potentially exposing unsuspecting citizens to disease-causing bacteria. At the crux of this debate is the age-old question: How much should government protect its citizens from possible hazards?

Victoria, an undocumented immigrant, works at a dairy farm east of La Crosse -- and gets there by driving, although she lacks a license.

Undocumented and driving without a license

Drivers beware: There’s a woman driving a stretch of Interstate 90 between Sparta and Tomah — without a license or any training about Wisconsin’s traffic laws.

An immigrant worker milks cows in the parlor at John Rosenow's dairy farm in Buffalo County. Rosenow employs eight Mexican immigrants.

Immigrants now 40 percent of state’s dairy workforce

A growing number of Wisconsin dairy farmers are relying on immigrants to milk their cows and keep their farms running smoothly. But experts say farmers are often caught in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” web of federal employment regulations, with a strong incentive to know as little as possible about the legal status of their workers.

Rural immigration summit focuses on ‘invisible community’

DODGEVILLE — Rapid increases in the Latino population of Wisconsin’s rural areas are reshaping work, school and social life, but also are raising concerns that Spanish-speaking immigrants are often isolated and mistrusted, experts and residents said at an event aimed at fostering better connections between newcomers and long-time residents.

Farmers discuss immigrant workers

Wisconsin Public Television, a partner with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, talks with Wisconsin farmers about the role of Hispanic immigrant workers in the dairy industry, as part of a new investigation launched by the Center.

Doyle on dairy: Immigrant worker role increasing

WATERLOO — Top Wisconsin officials acknowledged Tuesday that Wisconsin dairy farmers increasingly rely upon immigrant workers, including large numbers who may be undocumented — a result of demand for labor and the nation’s porous borders.