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Country Today Newspaper Archives Feb 9 1983, Page 1

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Eau Claire Country Today (Newspaper) - February 9, 1983, Eau Claire, Wisconsin The country today r .1/m to. To i at and i i Prtrt it o i 7, no. 4" february 9, 1983 eau Claire wis. 54701 the newspaper that cans about Rural ufos 28 pages plus supplements 25 cent forecasts Cloudy conditions will prevail the balance of this week in West Central Wisconsin but temperatures will warm too. National weather service forecasters in the twin cities Are calling for partly Cloudy skies thursday and Cloudy conditions Friday and 2 weather Pae 4 Section 9 social i outdoor Birds. Pages 1m3 country life Page is on the far Page 20 21 want ads pages 24-29 27 top Young form family country Toutjr photo by loll Roll Wisconsin Jaycees have honoured a Clark county hog producer As their 1983 outstanding Young Farmer. Pictured with Dan Meyer second from left Are from left sons Derrick David Danny and Damon and his wife Diane. After the storm photo by the country today final chapter being written in Martell Case Snow removal kept Rural residents Busy last week following the season s biggest Winter storm. Roy k. Johnson worked Friday digging out his Mailbox at Erin Corners in Central St. Croix county. Hudson the battered carcass of the Martell town Mutual insurance co., kicked around for the last 2vt years by virtually everybody finally will have a burial that seems to satisfy most of the survivors. Circuit judge John Bartholomew of Hudson last Friday approved an out of court settlement to a series of complicated lawsuits that were to Start in an eau Claire court on Valentines Day. The settlement Calls for several reinsurance companies and the state the office of the commissioner of insurance to pay $2 million to former Martell policyholders. Checks should go out to All former Martell members who paid their assessments in four to six weeks. The Money will be for repayment of unused premiums they had paid but for coverage they never received and from 65 to 75 percent reimbursement of the second assessment they paid so Martell could pay off All its claims from the july 1980 storm that eventually doomed the company itself. The assessments a feature of town Mutual insurance policies raised $2.3 million which added to $2.9 million from reinsurance Martell carried created a Pool of $5.2 million used to pay off claims against the company. Judge Bartholomew a decision last Friday officially ended Martellus history at about 106v4 years. Headquartered in the Central St. Croix county Village of Baldwin Martell has come to symbolize the a Murphy s Law a of the Home and farm insurance Industry and it put a chink in the Armor of Wisconsin a unique town Mutual insurance Industry which has More than a Century of service to Small towns and farm ing areas. Yet something was salvaged from this mess that began near dusk on july 15, 1980, when the most severe windstorm in recent Wisconsin history slammed into thousands of parcels of Rural property from Ellsworth to eau Claire. Clark county claims state s top Farmer Loyal from a collection of the states 28 finest Young Farmer couples the Wisconsin Jaycees recently named Clark county hog Farmers Dan and Diane Meyer of Loyal �?o1983 outstanding Young the Meyers were the Only non Dairy contestants this year. But Dairy cows Are almost the Only farm animals missing from the Meyers 240-acre farm. Sim mental crossbred cattle a few Holstein steers five arabian horses three milk goats a flock of chickens and numerous fancy pigeons and rabbits populate the farm. Dan and Diane describe these animals As a experiments and but their 1,500-head hog operation is another matter. That a a business and a sophisticated precision managed one at that. Swi Nehaus inc. Is housed in a new total confinement swedish style Metal barn which was built 416 feet into the ground. The soil insulates the building and prevents inside temperature fluctuations. The barn designed to raise hogs from Farrow to finish is one of very few like it in the state Dan said. In fact the couple had to attend a school in Iowa to learn How to operate their building and spent a few weeks in Nebraska working in a barn like theirs. The Meyer barn is disease lice and Mange free. To keep it that Way Dan and Diane had a Shower and Wash machines installed in the Barnes entryway. Everyone a family friends visitors and inspectors alike a Are required to shed their garments Shower and Don special barn clothes. The barn clothes never leave the building. They Are laundered and dried in the Barnes Washer and dryer. A the precautions Are necessary in order to maintain the herds disease free status. Dan said the barn a is like a Hospital. You can to Ever be too sows Are showered before farrowing and Farrow on wire floors in individual units kept at 85 degrees f. The Only pigs that Ever leave the barn Are those on their Way to Market Dan said. The Meyers produce Breeding Stock for Kleen Leen inc. Of Cedar rapids Iowa a subsidiary of Ralston Purina. Since Kleen Leen guarantees their Stock to be free of diseases such As pseudo rabies and brucellosis the Meyer operation must pass rigid health checks. Every three months blood samples from one fourth of the Herd Are taken and tested and ten Market hogs Are submitted for Slaughter and autopsy. In addition a Kleen Leen representative inspects the Meyer barn every two weeks and a local veterinarian makes monthly health inspections Dan said. The a Black line boars Kleen Leen markets Are Duroc sow and Hampshire boar crosses. Such boars raised by Dan and Diane have been shipped to Canada Georgia North Carolina South Carolina Virginia Iowa South Dakota and Illinois. Most of the boars from the Meyer farm go to Wisconsin and Minnesota he said. Only the upper one third of the boars produced at swi Nehaus inc. Are accepted by Kleen Leen. At 50-pounds, the Best half of the boars Are chosen and the rest Are castrated for use As Butcher hogs. The chosen 50 percent Are weighed and their 100-Day feed consumption is recorded so that the feed efficiency amount of feed consumed per Pound of gain can be calculated. The boars loin Eye size and Bac fat amount Are next determined with a sonar machine. The lower ten percent of boars Are culled Here. Finally each boar is Given a genetic potential rating which determines the animals Sale Price. Price ranges from $570 to $1,050, Dan said. A major part of the units management is scheduling Breeding and farrowing and keeping track of other records on the hogs As Well As keeping the farms financial records. Diane is in charge of those duties. There Are Only 28 farrowing crates and the operation is geared to Farrow 13 litters per crate per year Diane said. That amounts to 365 litters a year a goal they beat with last years total of 384 litters. This year Dan and Diane Hope to get their herds farrowing up to 390. A i feel like pulling my hair out sometimes a Diane admits. A sows Are usually within one Day of the three months three weeks three Days gestation period a but even a Day off can mess up in addition to the sales of boars swi Nehaus inc. Markets about 30 Butcher hogs a week most of them locally. More than for 1983 3,000 hogs Are marketed annually. The operations sows Are evaluated each week and sows chosen to raise replacement sows must meet some stiff standards developed by the Meyers. For example a sows litter must weigh a total of 120 pounds at three weeks. A Gilt must produce at least eight live piglets and a sow must Farrow nine live ones. Dan and Diane and the corporations two partners meet every other month to look Over the operation. The Meyers submit monthly inventory financial and other reports to partners Ray Mullins Colby a former cheese maker and Allan Meyer Danes brother who farms nearby. The reports include the Cost per Pound of meat produced monthly. A to know what a going on month to month is Good business a Dan explained. A you can to wait until the end of the year to find out How you the Meyers rely heavily on consultants and professionals. A we do what we do without some professional advice. That a what they re there please turn to Page 4 judge Bartholomew a approval of a Compromise settlement that was endorsed by All attorneys involved Means former policyholders will get some Money Back. Specifically All former Martell members who paid their assessments As ordered by court appointed liquidator Gary Bakke of new Richmond will get Back from 65 to 75 percent of the second assessment they paid As Well As All unearned portions of the premiums they paid. Some of the company a 3,200 policyholders had paid a full year Premium Only Days before the storm struck and never received coverage for the balance of the Premium. Martell folded when it did not have sufficient reinsurance coverage to pay off an estimated $5.2 million in storm damage claims. The Compromise settlement announced by judge Bartholomew last week not Only Means that thousands of former Martell policyholders will come out with most of their reassessment paid but they could be saved thousands of dollars of additional Legal fees that certainly would have accumulated had the matter come to trial on schedule next monday. Observers had predicted at least a four to six week trial at which All parties involved would have been pointing x please turn to Page 5

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