Daily Bread for 2.24.20

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of thirty-nine.  Sunrise is 6:37 AM and sunset 5:38 PM, for 11h 00m 38s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 0.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand two hundred third day.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM, and the Whitewater School Board at 6 PM in closed session, with an open session beginning at 7 PM.

  On this day in 1863, the 28th and 29th Wisconsin Infantry regiments and 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery take part in an expedition to Yazoo Pass by Moon Lake in Mississippi.

Recommended for reading in full —

Kelly Meyerhofer reports 18 months into UW merger, small, rural campuses still struggling to find students:

The UW System’s 12 other branch campuses face a similar storm of challenges: rising costs, repeated budget cuts and a tuition freeze for 12 of the past 14 years. Mostly, though, the problem centers on enrollment, which is what [director for student enrollment at UW-Richland Center John] Poole spent his 42-year career on campus worrying about before retiring in 2013.

Seven of the System’s branch campuses this fall, including Richland Center, tallied their lowest enrollment in nearly half a century, according to preliminary data. Total enrollment at the branch campuses, about 7,300 students, marked a 46-year low.

The demographic trend shows little sign of reversing during the next decade. Projections based on the state’s birth rate show the number of students graduating from Wisconsin high schools this spring will be the lowest since 2000, according to a UW-Madison report.

Nationally, the contraction in college enrollment will worsen as an even smaller pool of students born during the Great Recession enters college between 2025 and 2030.

Dominic Rushe reports ‘America’s Dairyland’: Wisconsin’s farmers see bleak future:

Wisconsin still styles itself the dairy state. Car number plates come with the slogan “America’s Dairyland”. Last year it was also the state with the highest number of farming bankruptcies – 57, its highest total in a decade. The number of dairy farms across the state has fallen by 49% over the past 15 years.

The decline is fundamentally changing Wisconsin’s rural landscape as schools and small businesses collapse taking the rural communities that supported them with them. Wisconsin is an avatar of a wider problem in the dairy industry. America’s largest milk producer, Dean Foods, filed for bankruptcy last November. Borden, founded in 1857, filed for bankruptcy in January.

The milk industry’s woes have been a long time in the making and no single factor accounts for them. Collapsing prices, the rise of mega farms in warmer states such as Texas and Arizona, the increasingly international trade in dry milk products like whey protein, Trump’s tariffs, the fluctuations in international trade and shifting consumer habits have all played a part.

The irony is that as the number of farms in bankruptcy rises, milk sales and prices are also on the rise. Per-capita dairy consumption reached 646 pounds per person in 2018, the most popular year for dairy in the US since 1962.

How One Group Is Restoring Thousands Of Oysters To The New York Harbor:

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