Pierce County, WI News

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EPA Opens $50M+ FY19 Brownfield Competition for Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grants

Monday, December 03, 2018

Over 100 grants and $50 million in brownfield grant funding is expected to be awarded in the next round of EPA's storied and successful real estate redevelopment program. Submission deadline: January 31, 2019. Today, November 28, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new Request for Proposals & Application Guidelines to officially open the FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant competition. Grants offered by the Brownfields Program may be used to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and petroleum. In last year's brownfield grant competition, EPA awarded $54.3 Million in...
Join Us for Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Pierce County

Monday, December 03, 2018

The holiday season has kicked off in Pierce County and now is an excellent time to join family and friends as we gather to celebrate and create new memories. Our vibrant community events are one of the many reasons community members enjoy living and working here. In December, there are several fun events planned. Here is what you and your family can look forward to – Christmas in the Park – Ellsworth Date: December 2nd Time: 4:30 – 6pm Join us in Ellsworth's East End Park for a free family-friendly holiday celebration on Sunday, December 2, from 4:30pm-6:00pm. Santa Claus will arrive at 5:00pm...
Petition Period Opens for 2020 Ag Enterprise Areas

Monday, December 03, 2018

Petition Period Opens for 2020 Ag Enterprise Areas Media contacts:    Donna Gilson, (608) 224-5130. [email protected]                                 Bill Cosh, Communications Director (608) 224-5020. [email protected] Please note:  Although the petition deadline is not until June 21, 2019, the petitions typically require months to prepare. MADISON – Communities interested in being designated as agricultural enterprise areas in 2020 can submit petitions until June 21, 2019, to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Agricultural enterprise areas, or AEAs, are blocks of land that are used primarily for farming and for businesses...
Support Pierce County Charities on Giving Tuesday

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

We are fortunate to work with local charities making a difference in the lives of Pierce County residents. November 27th is Giving Tuesday, a day where people throughout our community, and the world, donate to the causes they are passionate about. This is a global day of giving and unlike other special days, like Black Friday, this one is all about community togetherness. It encourages us to look beyond the busyness of the holiday season and to consider those in our community who may need our help and support, along with the charities that are standing in the gap to...
Minn.-based company tackling Pierce's internet needs

Monday, November 05, 2018

NorthfieldWiFi, a Northfield, Minn.-based internet provider, is expanding throughout the county — with its eye on a November buildout in the town of Clifton — in hopes to capitalize on and fulfill a glaring need for high-speed internet. And while fiber-based internet is faster, Pierce County's harsh terrain and low resident density create high capital costs with low returns, disincentivizing large companies from expanding to the area and creating an opportunity for Northfield's wireless service. "Nobody is willing to invest millions of dollars to put the cable down," said Sherry Keller, a county resident. Pierce County has faced expensive and slow internet...
Celebrate National Women's Small Business Month in Pierce County

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Pierce County is home to many small businesses owned and operated by women. This year, the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation (PCDC) will be acknowledging the success of women business owners by creating an annual Women in Business Award. October is National Women’s Small Business Month, so in anticipation of “award season” this is an excellent time to celebrate the success of our county’s women entrepreneurs.   Here are just a few of the Pierce County companies owned by women – Cultural Cloth Co-owner Mary Anne Wise is making a difference throughout the world by working with indigenous women who are expert craftsman. From...
Inside Design Ellsworth's Three Day Flurry

Monday, October 22, 2018

Todd Johnson, University of Wisconsin - Extension land use and community development specialist, tries not to use the French term charette to describe the Design Wisconsin program. But it might be the best word to describe the somewhat frenzied three-day community-planning process they run about twice a year. The 19th century French word charette refers to deadline-frantic architecture students who, near the end of the academic term, would have to toss their final semester work on a cart, or charette, for grading. Sometimes, Johnson claims, students would leap into the cart to finish their work. Charette now acts as design jargon for a...
PACE Financing Now Available To Pierce County Businesses

Thursday, October 18, 2018

At their October meeting the Pierce County Board of Supervisors moved to adopt provisions that make Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing available to Pierce County businesses. This program is a financing tool businesses can use to obtain up to 100% financing for energy improvements. PACE Financing is sourced from an open lending market and secured through a voluntary PACE Special Charge, repaid directly to the lender. Like property taxes, PACE Financings may be transferred to the next property owner if the property is sold. Businesses may access this program through one of a number of preapproved lenders or ask...
Swinging Bridge Brewery Promotes Growth in River Falls

Monday, October 15, 2018

Swinging Bridge Brewery is a River Falls gem. They are a local brewery that sources regional ingredients, supports local philanthropic efforts, promotes River Falls wherever they go, and most importantly, has become a gathering place for the community. Their mission is to be a “Community-focused brewery that tries to provide the freshest, high-quality product that we can, while being an asset to our community. Our whole brewery is founded on the community supported brewery concept” said co-founder Dustin Dodge. We had the pleasure of speaking with Dustin about how he and his partner Mike started the brewery, their mission, and...
Family-Owned Nilssen’s Foods Has Expanded After 100 Years in Business

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Nilssen’s Foods is a full supermarket that offers deli, bakery, produce, meat, beer, wine, liquor, etc. Known for their Nilssen’s award-winning smokehouse meats, they have established a reputation across the state of Wisconsin for high-quality food products. Nilssen’s meats have beat over 1,000 competitors to win multiple awards at the State level, including the Grand Champion Award for their bacon and chili cheese brats. Of course, for those lucky enough to live in Pierce County, Nilssen’s is simply their family grocer. The history of Nilssen’s Foods dates back to 1903 when Carl Nilssen first opened a general store in Clear Lake....
Part local football star, part entrepreneurial woodworker

Monday, October 08, 2018

Two days after Ellsworth High School's 20-13 win over Baldwin-Woodville High School, Logan Melstrom was an hour late for work. He was sore from battling an injury all week before being cleared to play in Friday's homecoming game, where he scored two of the team's three touchdowns, and didn't head to his family's garage until closer to 9 a.m. He had a wood patio set to make. "I try to get out here every day," the 18-year-old high school senior said. "I've always been a hands-on guy, it's just the way I am." He planned to work the whole day, with only breaks...
The National Ombudsman’s Mission – Giving Small Business a Voice

Friday, September 21, 2018

Businesses operate in an environment surrounded by regulations.  The regulations or rules a business needs to understand, apply and follow come from all levels of government- federal state and local. We as small business owners may be left with a feeling of helplessness and frustration as they are  applied in a manner we believe to be unfair or excessive in regulatory compliance or enforcement actions (such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, and retaliation by federal agencies).  Where can you turn? Fortunately at both the federal and state level there are processes in place to assure fairness and to reduce regulatory...
Pierce County textile artist, former winner Small Business Of The Year recipient co-authors Rug Money How A Group Of Maya Women Changed Their Lives Through Art and Innovation describing her work with Maya women in Guatemala.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

          Mary Anne Wise of rural Maiden Rock Township and her co-author Cheryl Conway Daly of Cato, New York, offer a poignant memoir of their 8 year long journey working with Maya women in the highlands of Guatemala. Recognizing the dire need for more income-generating opportunities, Wise, an accomplished textile artist volunteered to teach a weekend long rug-hooking class. What follows is a surprising and heartening story about artistry, creative economies, and how access to opportunity truly does change lives.  In Rug Money’s moving narrative, Mary Anne describes how she created a curriculum for teaching art and design based on her Maya...
Extension plan emerges for part-time ag agent

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Plans to restore part-time UW-Extension agriculture agent services were among personnel proposals that moved forward at Monday's Pierce County Finance and Personnel Committee meeting. Committee members approved initial plans Sept. 10 for a shared position that Area Extension Director Kristen Bruder said would bring Pepin County ag agent Mike Travis to Pierce County on a limited basis. She said funding to cover the 0.20 position in Pierce County would come from redistributing horticulture educator funds. The need for those funds will be lessened through a new horticulture outreach educator position, which will service multiple western Wisconsin counties. Finance and Personnel Committee members...
Not Giving Up on Making Vino in the Valley

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

As the sun sets on the valley, lights turn on over diners and at the hands of guests at the bar, a fire heats the cooler night air, horses take off on a wagon ride, live music floats through the air; pizza, pasta, and of course, wine, makes its way to tables on the patio, and guests laugh and chat while gazing out at the vineyard and canopy of trees that surround them. Enjoying the full experience, from the food and drinks to the valley view, is what it's all about at Vino in the Valley. But one thing is missing —...
Wisconsin roundup: Walker proposes tax credit for Wis. college graduates; more state news stories

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing a new tax credit for college graduates as he campaigns for re-election. Walker's so-called “new graduate tax credit” of up to $1,000 per year for up to five years is aimed at keeping college graduates living and working in Wisconsin. This proposal is in addition to Walker's plan to freeze in-state tuition for another four years. The proposed tax credit is featured in a new campaign TV ad. Original story found here. 
Have You Been to Reuvers Nursery Yet? You Don’t Want to Miss this Local Gem.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bryan and Cindy Reuvers opened Reuvers Nursery in rural Pierce County and are now sharing their love of nature and all things beautiful with the greater community. Their garden store and landscaping business is a destination for people throughout the area and the Twin Cities who are looking for native plants, unique varieties, and personalized recommendations. Larger chain nurseries may carry similar plants but they do not offer the level of customer service and personal attention available at Reuvers. Here, customers can receive recommendations, instructions for how to plant and when, plus the setting is truly beautiful.  Their mission is...
Resources for Your Business Startup

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Wanting to start your dream business but struggling on how to go about putting it together.  You’re not alone.  Fortunately there is a wealth of resources, tools and assistance available which itself can be overwhelming. Pierce County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) has a checklist to guide you through the business development process.  It can be found on our website at www.pcedc.com and selecting Business Startup Checklist from the Business Toolbox drop down.  You will also find a link to the St. Paul SCORE Chapter recently released resource guide that simplifies the process of navigating and finding appropriate resources and tools to...
Planning for the Future of Your Business

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A large portion of the businesses I mentor and counsel are startups. Our focus is on how we get the business enterprise up and running.  The question of the exit strategy is lost in the process. That question, however, needs as much consideration as those focused on a successful launch of the business. How will the business operate if a key member passes on or exits the business in some manner? Have you been managing the business to optimize its value? Buyers will want to examine the financials.  They are most interested in the bottom line.  A strategy to minimize taxes...
Wisconsin Cheese Day Overview

Monday, June 25, 2018

On Monday, June 25, as part of National Dairy Month activities, Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, WEDC Secretary Hogan, DATCP Secretary Harsdorf, Tourism Secretary Klett, Revenue Secretary Chandler and more than 50 other dairy industry and government leaders will tour 13 Wisconsin cheese producers in every region of the state to celebrate the second annual Wisconsin Cheese Day. The goals of Wisconsin Cheese Day are: Highlight the importance of the cheese/dairy industry to the Wisconsin economy Celebrate the recent success of individual companies – focusing on those that have expanded their operations, added new product lines, achieved extraordinary success in exporting or otherwise...
A Global Business Makes Its Home in Maiden Rock

Friday, June 22, 2018

There are moments in time that change you forever - the birth of a child, an accomplishment, a traumatic event… these moments, these encounters leave an indelible mark that changes everything. For MaryAnne Wise, that moment came in 2006 when she visited Guatemala for the second time. She traveled to a village that had recently been decimated by a horrific mudslide - a mudslide that claimed the lives of 1,400 people. “Jody Slocum and I walked into something we couldn’t pretend that we hadn’t seen.” It turns out that Mary Anne and Jody are two women who, when moved by...
DEVELOPING LOCAL TALENT: THE 'INSPIRE' PROGRAM

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Connect with your future workforce and keep our talent local! This school year, all Wisconsin public school district middle school and high school students are participating in academic and career planning.  Called Career Cruising, this software allows students to input information to help identify interests and potential careers that tie to those interests. The second part of this software, called Inspire, provides an opportunity for employers to connect with students on potential careers within their organizations and provide information on existing work-based learning and career-readiness programs making it easier for students’ to engage in those opportunities aligned to the careers and career...
Pierce County Revolving Loan Fund - Affordable business financing when the bank loan does not cover the need.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

As a business owner or entrepreneur seeking capital to start, purchase, or grow your business venture, your financing request to your conventional lender falls short of meeting your capital needs. Your lender is willing to provide for a portion of those needs but not the full amount.  You can demonstrate through a well-documented and supported business plan/proposal your needs and the ability to repay the proposed loan. Where do you turn to fill the gap? For Pierce County based ventures the Pierce County Revolving loan fund may be a financing tool to enable you to meet your needs. The Pierce County...
Science and Technology Innovation Center project at UWRF gains UW System board approval

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents voted Thursday to include the new Science and Technology Innovation Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the approved 2019-21 biennial budget request. Regents included the request of $110.9 million in enumerated funding for the new building in the capital budget request that will be considered by state legislature and the governor. The Science and Technology Innovation Center will be designed to support modern science education at UW-River Falls and meet industry demands in STEM fields. In addition to increasing undergraduate research opportunities, the facility will play a vital role in supporting...
Sailer's in Elmwood awarded grand champion status for meat products

Monday, July 16, 2018

MADISON — The governor's Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction is back at the Wisconsin State Fair celebrating its 27th year on Aug. 7 in the Case IH Colisum. Stars of the evening will include the grand champion, first reserve champion and second reserve champion meat products from all categories of the 2018 Meat Products Contest, as well as the 2018 Best in Show product. Best of Show is selected from entries across the state that were judged and is announced at the auction. This year, Sailer's Food Market and Meat Processing in Elmwood was awarded grand champion in two categories — dried...
State representatives celebrate local impact of cheese industry

Monday, July 02, 2018

Gov. Scott Walker and other state representatives traveled throughout Wisconsin to 13 different cheese companies and facilities to celebrate Wisconsin Cheese Day on June 25. In conjunction with National Dairy Month, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Sheila Harsdorf visited the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery to speak at the event and present CEO Paul Bauer with a certificate of appreciation from Walker. Representatives from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Dairy Business Association and Wisconsin Farm Bureau also spoke briefly before a crowd of people outside the front doors of the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. The group was then given the...
Pierce County Dairy Breakfast: A 'dairy' good time

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rain didn't deter crowds from turning out for the annual Pierce County Dairy Breakfast Saturday, June 16 at the Colbenson Family Farm near Spring Valley / Elmwood. Original story here.   
9th annual pierce county dairy breakfast

Sunday, June 17, 2018

EL PASO - Despite stormy weather Saturday morning that damaged a tent and constant rain throughout the day, sizeable crowds still attended the ninth annual Pierce County Dairy Breakfast held at the Ti-Shi Dairy Farm near El Paso on 290th Ave. in eastern Pierce County. The Ti-Shi Dairy is owned by the Colbenson Family and milks 240 cows and grows crops on 350 acres of land. The farm is been in their operation since 1993. The dairy breakfast is one of many held throughout the state of Wisconsin during June Dairy Month. Besides the breakfast of Belgian Waffles, sausage and cheese curds...
Pierce County family looks forward to sharing their farm

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Spending a day out on the farm and learning about farm life while enjoying a great breakfast is exactly what everyone is invited to do at the ninth annual Pierce County Dairy Breakfast at Ti-Shi Dairy, Inc./Colbenson Family Farm on Saturday, June 16. Tim Colbenson said he and his wife Shirley bought the farm in 1993 and moved with their children to Pierce County. Previously, they farmed on a rented place in southeast Minnesota. "It was a farm that was not being milked at that time," Tim said about their current farm. "It was an opportunity. The farm brought us here." While Tim...
Small Business Development Center receives statewide honor

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Submitted by UW-River Falls The UW-River Falls Small Business Development Center (SBDC) received statewide recognition as the Center of the Year at the Wisconsin SBDC Network Conference in Milwaukee May 3. In 2017, the SBDC assisted in 19 local business starts containing $3 million in capital infusion. Presently, the center assists 46 clients on a long-term basis, has provided support to 122 local clients and has graduated 20 local entrepreneurs from its 10-week Entrepreneurial Training Program. "It is an honor to be selected as the SBDC Center of the Year in the state of Wisconsin," said SBDC Director Danielle Campeau. "Our office has...
Fast Fact Image

Beautiful Lake Pepin

The wide area of the lake stretches from Bay City, Wisconsin, in the north, down past Pepin, Wisconsin, and Reeds Landing, Minnesota, in the south, with Pepin being just upstream from where the Chippewa River enters the Mississippi. The villages of Maiden Rock and Stockholm border on the Wisconsin side, while Frontenac State Park takes up a large part of the Minnesota side. The largest city on the waterfront is Lake City, Minnesota.