Country Today in Eau-Claire, Wisconsin
27 Jan 1988

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Country Today in Eau-Claire, Wisconsin
27 Jan 1988

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Eau Claire Country Today (Newspaper) - January 27, 1988, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Going a gone auctioneer Paul Conrad far right Calls bids for one of the 14 prizewinning tobacco samples sold at the tobacco expo. At near right George Nettum manager of the Northern Wisconsin tobacco Pool starts a tobacco stripping contest featuring state rep. John Medinger la Crosse state sen. Brian rude Coon Valley and state rep. Duwayne John stud Eastman. Photo by Philip j. Tremblay the country today omitry lifewed., Jan. 27, 1988 Page cd tobacco contest attracts top spitters and stripper growing tobacco is family business and tradition or. Nettum reported the number of growers in Vernon county and the surrounding area was Down by 60 percent this year. This resulted in fewer acres planted and a smaller 1987 crop but the tobacco Price support program allows growers to decide whether it is Worth their time and Effort to add to a surplus that is holding their Price Down. Fields in the valleys and on the ridges he said. Northern Type tobacco was once used to wrap cigars. More recently the crop has gone into chewing tobacco although some still is purchased to fill the Small cigarillos Type cigars. Crowds he said. Or. Newman visits the area several times during the year to update tobacco growers on new seed varieties and pest control practices. This year his slide presentation please turn to Page 7c credited a a lot of air for his Success. Or. Trussoni said he and his family grew about four acres of tobacco this year and he has been working with tobacco since the age of 5. De Lind Viroqua took second place with a shot of tobacco juice that travelled 18 feet. Ellsworth Olsen Viroqua took third place with a shot of 15.3 feet. This year s tobacco Kings Are Loren Cade Viroqua growing in the Valley division and Clayton Berg Westby for the Ridge division. Or. Berg was involved in his songs wedding and could not attend this years awards ceremony. The remaining top tobacco producers in the Valley division Are Lavern Halverson Viroqua Reserve Champion Robert pad Viroqua third place Kenneth Hooverson Viroqua 4th Harvey Nedland Westby 5th Kent Nelson Cashton 6th and Florence herded Viroqua 7th. Leaders in the Ridge division were Gene Anderson Viroqua Reserve Champion Leslie Young Viroqua 3rd place Mike Mikel Viroqua 4th Steven and Patty Kvigne ferry Ville. 5th Tilman Erickson Viroqua 6th and Alvin Christenson Viroqua 7th. The w inning Leaf samples which were judged earlier in the week and then individually mounted and framed for display were later auctioned off. Gene Andersons Reserve Champion Sample brought the sales top Price $300 from the Viroqua Leaf tobacco company. Or. Bergs Sample sold for $290 to the state Bank of Viroqua. Or. Christensen who is co chairman of the annual exposition saw his entry bring $180 on a bid from Nelson Agri Center Viroqua. George Nettum manager of the Northern Wisconsin Coop tobacco Pool Viroqua told the gathering that while local tobacco production was Down by 60 percent this year tobacco surpluses Are starting to move into the Market and a nobody has Tom Down his tobacco shed or. Nettum said the us a is expected to announce this years assessment on 1987 tobacco production this week. He said the assessment which is levied against producers to finance the governments tobacco Price support program should be below the 18 cents please turn to Page 7c Viroqua the last tobacco expo not Likely. Although tobacco prices have fallen in recent years and a 10-million-Pound surplus has triggered per Pound assessments to maintain the producer financed Price support program tobacco growers gathered Here for the 33rd tobacco exposition in mid january. The growers in Many cases represent a Long tradition of families working together to grow tobacco. For most of them tobacco represents the ability to pay taxes and buy farm equipment and Dairy supplies on income from a very few acres. The families toil together from bedding time in Early Spring to stripping and casing time in late Winter on a crop that seems to have nothing to do with surgeon generals warnings and dire predictions of ill health for tobacco users. A growing tobacco does t seem to have any thing to do with How its used a observed Loren Cade Viroqua Champion tobacco grower Viroqua tobacco production May be Down As a result of a surplus of the Northern Type tobacco grown in Vernon county but the 33rd annual tobacco exposition Here Jan. 17 demonstrated that Coulee Region tobacco farming Isnit dead yet. For the 11th year in a Row Mike Kansier Viroqua set the Pace for area tobacco strippers As he peeled the leaves from around 30 tobacco stalks in just Over two minutes. His sister Kristi Volden it. Sterling again led the women a Competition with a time of 2 minutes 39 seconds. Tommy Olson soldiers Grove stripped the tobacco leaves from around 15 stalks in two minutes to Lead the senior citizens Competition. Troy Trussoni Genoa won the stripping contest among youngsters age 14 to 17 and Ray Rossoni Genoa won the Competition for the 13 and under age group. In the tobacco spitting compete state legislators rep. John Medinger foreground la Crosse sen Brian rude Coon Valley and rep. Duwayne Johnsrud Eastman compete in a Cord setting 21 feet. The Buri tobacco stripping contest for politicians at the tobacco expo. In ton Railroad employee later from this year s Valley division. A the growing is what keeps the Farmers and their families the tobacco expo for tobacco growers is similar to a county fair or Harvest dance for producers of com. Small grains and livestock. Although the tobacco crop starts out As Small seeds carefully planted and tended in cloth covered Beds in Early Spring the real Harvest does t occur until late Winter when the tobacco leaves Are stripped from their stalks in hundreds of tobacco Sheds and delivered to the Northern Wisconsin tobacco fool in Viroqua. George Nettum. Manager of the local tobacco Pool and a dedicated soil and water conservationist for the upper Midwest reported to the growers that Industry buyers have agreed to move some of the stored tobacco surplus into the Market. Locally this movement involves tobacco from the 1985, 1986 and All of the 1987 crops. Growers enjoying the music and Friendly Competition at this years expo sold their crop with the help of or. Nettum and tobacco Industry buyers who bid on the Fine leafed Northern Wisconsin Type. Or. Nettum said the Price has Robert Newman. Us Extension dropped before when tobacco tobacco specialist recently of harvests were larger than Industry served a change in the atmosphere demand. He said he in t worried of the tobacco expo. Where the air about the loss of tobacco growing above the crowd was once filled enterprises in the Coulee Region. With thick Blue smoke very few growers Are now puffing on cigars Quot nobody has Tom Down their an j cigarettes. Free samples of Sheds he said. When the Price chewing tobacco still disappear but rises again tobacco will be grow it seems that growers Are now More my in More of the one or four acre sensitive to smoking especially in a growing tobacco does v seem to have anything to do with How its used. The growing is what keeps the Farmers and their families involved. A a Loren Cade Champion tobacco grower

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