Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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


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."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A storm spotter class attracted nearly a hundred people to Rhinelander Thursday afternoon.

Attendees of the class learned about cloud formation, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash flooding.

However, Emergency Management Program Assistant Dawn Robinson says the main focus was on how to become a certified storm spotter.

"Storm spotters are a valuable resource to us in the community because we have people out there all the time doing all sorts of activities," said Robinson.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin hopes to cut its worst-in-the-nation student achievement gap in half within six years - a goal that would require a dramatic upsurge in test scores by non-white students.

The Department of Public Instruction set that as a primary goal in a draft accountability plan it released Friday.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Inside Tricia's Treasures in downtown Rhinelander, Jennifer Sturzl takes a lot of pride in a carefully crafted latte. But out the back door, things aren't as pretty.

Across the alley sits the run-down former Kabel Auto building. Its brick walls are heavily aged, and many windows are boarded up. 

"First of all, it's an eyesore," Sturzl said Thursday morning.

But soon, that so-called eyesore across from McDonald's will come down, and it could likely turn into a parking lot on South Stevens Street.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rain, sleet, and snow led to at least three car accidents Thursday morning near Rhinelander.

At around 10 a.m. Thursday, a driver lost control of a family vehicle and rolled off onto the side of Highway 17 on Rhinelander's north side.

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - When a loved one dies, family members remind each other that a piece of that person will always live on. A funeral home in Woodruff takes that saying literally.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - You may have noticed the lakes look higher this spring.

And you'd be right.

+ Read More

MERRILL - Police think they found the person who broke into several churches in Lincoln County.

Officers from both the Merrill and Tomahawk Police Departments searched an apartment at 229 Second Street South in Tomahawk April 21.

Merrill Police told us the search warrant allowed police to look for evidence in the Merrill burglaries.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here