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NEWS STORIES

Ginseng Board Strikes $200 Million Deal with Chinese CompanySubmitted: 04/23/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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EDGAR - You see "Made in China" stickers every time you go to the store.

But soon, Chinese people will be seeing more Wisconsin-grown and made products in their stores.

Governor Walker went on a trade mission to China last week to help generate business in Wisconsin.

"Ginseng in our area is a pretty popular thing because of our soil and climate," said ginseng farmer Joe Heil. "Marathon County is the leading producer of ginseng in the US."


Heil is the president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin. He farms corn, soybean and 100 acres of ginseng. Ginseng is highly valued as an herbal medication, especially in Asia.

"It's definitely a bigger challenge. Soybeans, corn, anyone can grow that crop," he said. "Ginseng is a real challenge, there's no books, there's not been a lot of research done as far as how to grow it, because it's such a challenge."

But there's a payoff. Heil's fields are muddy and snow-covered now, but in October, they're worth upwards of $100,000 per acre.

Governor Walker worked out a big ginseng deal with Chinese leaders last week.

He announced growers could export $200 million worth of ginseng over the next ten years. Most of it will come from Marathon County.

"We understand a win-win proposition," Walker said from Beijing. "For us, a strong Chinese economy is just as important to us as a strong American economy in Wisconsin is for the people of China."

Heil hopes Governor Walker's trade mission will help Wisconsin's ginseng industry grow.

"I'm hoping that it's sustainable enough that young people will start getting back into the business or taking over the family farms," he said. "That's one thing we've seen, if we go back about ten years we have 1500 farmers and now we're down to about 140 in the state of Wisconsin just because it's not been profitable."

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DNR to ask for first revisions to invasives listSubmitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources' board is set to consider next month whether to make the first revisions to the state's invasive species list since it was created in 2009.

The DNR has proposed classifying 49 more species as prohibited, which means people can't sell, possess or transport them and must destroy them if they find them on their property.

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Tomahawk Future Business Leaders design t-shirts for eventSubmitted: 11/21/2014

TOMAHAWK - People won't have trouble finding blaze orange in shops across the Northwoods.

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Remember safety when gun deer season kicks off tomorrowSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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ANTIGO - Saturday kicks off the start to the nine day gun deer hunting season here in Wisconsin.

Many people in the Northwoods spent this Orange Friday shopping for their last minute hunting gear.

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Minocqua Winter Park will open weekend after Thanksgiving DaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

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MINOCQUA - Winter enthusiasts will get an extra treat this Thanksgiving weekend in the Northwoods.

Minocqua Winter Park will open up again for a small session during the Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

This comes just after the park opened for a few days last weekend.

The park doesn't normally open earlier than December, but because of the success of last week's session the park wants to open up again.

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Wisconsin faces $2.2 billion budget shortfall Submitted: 11/21/2014

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The estimate released Thursday by the state Department of Administration is required under the law. It takes into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.

The figures will be further refined by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

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Going above and beyond in the classroom; Meet the special ed teacher who's Submitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - Teachers can be influential and important people in children's lives.

For the ones that go above and beyond in the classroomâ€"it's the students who benefit.

A Crescent Elementary School special education teacher is really making a difference in her student's lives.

Amy Scholz works with four students.


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Early snowfall, windy conditions give best condition for early kite skiingSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods man believes our early winter has laid the foundation for early kite skiing. The combination of snow and wind gives Mark Collar the chance to use his skis and his kite.

Collar calls wind a friend, but that sometimes seems like the only friend at first.

"There is certainly a learning curve," Collar said. "When you're beginning you're falling."

But the falling didn't stop Collar from falling in love with the sport.

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