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Tuesday, 25 July 2017 00:00

Learning the lingo

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JANESVILLE MESSENGER--Part of the fun at the fair is watching all of the animals being judged; each rabbit and chicken held by a hopeful youngster, each bovine, equine, ovine, caprine and porcine maneuvered by their handler in the show ring. You know what a rabbit and chicken are, but do you know a bovine refers to cattle, equine to horses and ponies, ovine to sheep, caprine to goats and porcine to pigs?

Emily Harris, a fourth generation  4-H member, recalls her days in the show ring with her sheep at the Boone County, Illinois, and Rock County, Wisconsin, fairs.

“You can always tell who the city people are,” Harris said. “I remember one lady asking me if my wether was pregnant and how many are in a litter. That’s the first time I realized that I knew stuff adults didn’t know.”

Just for the record, a wether could never be pregnant because that term refers to a castrated male sheep. The term for a newborn sheep is a lamb; typically, a sheep will have one or two young -- more than that is unusual.

Angela Nelson, who has shown cavies (guinea pigs) and rabbits at the Rock County 4-H Fair as a youth and at the Walworth County Fair as an open class competitor, said 4-Hers are prepped to answer questions about their projects.

“Now, I think that is the cool thing about these fairs,” Nelson said. “It’s that opportunity to educate people on your projects and the handling of livestock.”

When Nelson was 8 or 9 years old, however, she just thought the questions were stupid.

Well, we all know there is no such thing as a stupid question, but a little information can go a long way in preparing the uninitiated when they want to understand what’s going on in the show ring. Asking pertinent questions while visiting the animal barns will garner additional information and most kids are glad to share their knowledge of animals.

Chad Howlett, who grew up around beef cattle and has judged cattle and coached teams of younger judges, said observers to the judging process will often hear some common terms.

“I’ll refer to the ‘quality’ of the animal. The term is all-encompassing and includes the balance and overall structural correctness,” Howlett said. “You know it when an animal comes in the ring and it just has that ‘it factor’ -- that’s a quality animal.”

Know your fair animals

Poultry

Hen -- mature female bird

Rooster­ -- male bird

Chick -- baby bird

Comb -- Typically red, the comb is the fleshy crest on top of the head

Spur -- The horny projection on the lower back part of the leg, used for defense

Rabbits

Rabbits have litters of young and live in a warren. Baby rabbits, commonly called bunnies, are kits. A flock of rabbits, in some parts of the world, are called “fluffies.”

Buck -- Male rabbit

Doe -- Female rabbit

Sheep

Sheep is both singular and plural – for example, you can say “I have one  sheep” or you could say “I have five sheep.” A sheep designates an animal over 1 year of age. Younger animals are called lambs. Mutton refers to the processed meat of a sheep; lamb refers both to the meat and the animal, 1  year old or less.

Ewe -- adult female sheep

Ram -- male sheep

Wether -- castrated male sheep

Flock -- a group of sheep

Goats

Goats chew their cud, which means they regurgitate a partially digested wad of food to chew it again in order to digest it. All ruminants do this and have multiple compartments, usually four, in their stomach to use in ingestion. The Boer goat is a popular meat animal, while the dairy breeds include Alpines, Saanens and Nubians. Angora goats are raised for their fiber, which is processed into mohair yarn.

Buck -- adult male

Doe -- adult female

Kid -- baby goat of either sex

Chevron -- the meat of a goat

Wattle -- an appendage of flesh that hangs from the throat/neck area

Cattle

This category is divided into beef and dairy cattle. Beef cattle breeds include Angus, a black-skinned breed developed in the Angus region of Scotland. Another popular breed developed in Herefordshire, England. The Hereford is prized for its high yield of beef and its efficiency of production. The breed names of animals, as in these two cases, often are derivative of the animal’s origins.

Dairy breeds include the Holstein, known as the world’s highest production dairy animal. Their black and white markings are a familiar sight on Wisconsin farms, where they make up 90 percent of the herds. Jersey and Brown Swiss also are dairy cattle.

 Bull -- an intact (not castrated) male of any age

Steer -- castrated male

Heifer -- a young female, under 3 years old, that has not had a calf

Cow -- a female that has had a calf

Calf -- refers to the young between birth and weaning of either sex

Beef -- the processed meat of an adult animal

Veal -- the meat from a calf

Friday, 21 July 2017 11:49

Ready and willing to help

Written by

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY--Samantha Schaefer trusts karma.

“I believe if you do good, it will come back to you,” said Schaefer, 30, who lives on a beef cattle farm in the town of Sharon with her husband and three boys.

“We’re the kind of people who can stop in the middle of making hay or making dinner if someone needs help,” she added, sitting in a breezeway of her house with a bottle of water one warm July afternoon. “It’s a sacrifice, it’s difficult, but you know you’re helping someone.”

That attitude spurred her in 2012 to join the Darien Fire/EMS Department, where she’s a volunteer firefighter.

It’s a duty she makes time for around her full-time job as a service writer with WW Trucking in Darien, work on the family farm and being a mom to Owen, 10, Nathan, 7, and Lucas, 2.

Fire departments relying on volunteers face tough times today. Employers aren’t always willing to let workers leave their jobs unexpectedly in the middle of a workday to respond to calls. And it’s harder to recruit firefighters, because more people, caught up in busy lives, don’t want to put in all the time training requires. Still, Schaefer wonders, if nobody volunteers, who will help those in need?

A 2015 U.S. fire department profile from the National Fire Protection Association reported that 7.3 percent of firefighters in the United States are women.

Schaefer is one of 12 women on the Darien Fire/EMS Department, which has a roster of 37 members. Four of those women are firefighters. She doesn’t feel discriminated.

“I think a younger generation isn’t as conscious of gender roles in jobs,” she said. “I do know a few women from other departments who felt as if they’d joined an old boys’ club, but I’ve never felt that way. I don’t think of myself as a woman trying to do this job. I’m a firefighter.”

Darien chiefs and firefighters on the team respect and support all members, she said.

“If you’re at the scene and you would rather work outside putting out that fire than go into a burning house, you can,” she said. “We’ve had responders at the scene who’ve had a family member involved in an accident and they can step away and someone else will step forward.”

Over her five years with the department, she’s seen the results of some horrific accidents involving fire, vehicle crashes, even farm equipment. It helps to be able to turn to those who’ve experienced and understood the trauma you’ve witnessed, she said. 

“You’re developing a whole new family, a close family,” Schaefer said of her team. “I’ve had times where I can’t sleep and I’ve called someone on the department just to talk. And I’ve had the phone ring here at one or two o’clock in the morning. ‘Are you up?’ ‘I’m up now. What do you need?’

“Seeing those kinds of accidents has made me more cautious, like when I’m pulling out into the intersection near my house (along U.S. Highway 14), I often wait to make that turn. But you have to go on living, you can’t just stop.”

She learned that lesson very personally when in 2015, her two oldest boys were injured in a multivehicle car crash involving a drunken driver on the interstate in Beloit. Owen was in a coma and suffered severe damage to his brain.

“Nathan suffered more emotionally because he wasn’t knocked unconscious in the accident like the others in the vehicles,” she said. “He saw more of what happened.”

She learned to cope slowly day by day when Owen was in the hospital, frequently blogging about his recovery on CaringBridge, a worldwide website that provides updates on conditions of people and lets others offer encouragement and support.

She’s grateful Owen survived.

“He has regained a lot of his previous capabilities but still has progress to make,” she said.

Still, when he went to camp recently, she found it hard to let go.

“I don’t do well with my kids leaving. I knew I wasn’t going to talk to him for that time he was at camp, and I had all these words,” she said. “I sat down and wrote him a letter for every day he was at camp. He came back with them. He saved them in his pack.”

Her husband, Kevin, is a firefighter with Darien Fire/EMS Department, too.

Her boys sometimes ask questions.

“They’re interested. They know what we do,” she said. “Sometimes they say, ‘But you’re out in the middle of the street and you have to go inside a house that’s on fire. What if you don’t come back?’ I tell them, ‘I’m careful. I’ll be back.’”

Schaefer also balances continuing education classes and meetings every other week at the fire department with work on various committees, including Darien’s annual Cornfest, where department members roast thousands of ears of corn. Additionally, she’s the president of the Darien Crossed Irons Firefighters Association, a nonprofit organization founded by the members of the Darien Fire/EMS Department.

Outside the department, she’s involved in 4-H. She was an active member herself growing up, showing horses and “whatever miscellaneous animals came along.”

She paused to pick up a tiny, mewing black barn kitten winding itself around her ankles.

“There’s something therapeutic about animals,” she said. “That’s why I like working with them.

“My grandpa had a farm in Franklin (in Milwaukee County),” she said. “I lived in that area until I was 3. My dad bought this place in 1996 and I grew up here. It’s always been beef cattle, and then some horses.”

For her, there was always something appealing about a farm.

“My parents would say, ‘You’ve got to stay home now.’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m going to grandpa’s.’”

Years later, the attraction is still there.

“Sometimes, I’ll crawl up and hide out in the haymow just to take a minute or two to get away from all of it,” she said.

Lucas ran into the breezeway, hugged his mom, clambered on the sofa where she sat and then scrambled back down to play where mud, dogs and wet fields awaited.

“I want my kids to think about other people, to know they can help,” she said, watching her son. “You can’t guarantee your children will turn out that way, but you can lay a path for them.”

Friday, 21 July 2017 11:40

Little Britches, big rewards

Written by

STATELINE NEWS--Entering a show ring with an animal that weighs two, three or  four times your weight can be intimidating, exciting or both. Youngsters in the Little Britches contest are mostly resolute, showing a level of excitement that can be hard to duplicate in more seasoned competitors.

It’s usually the first experience in a show ring for the animal and the handler. That’s actually the purpose of this fun show, sponsored by the Rock County Dairy Promotion Council -- to provide a positive outcome for the youngsters.

Sandy Larson, of Larson Acres dairy farm in Evansville, is one of the coordinators. She said the show has been going on for 20 years or more.

The goal is to walk in a circle around the judges while displaying the animal’s “dairyness,” based on conformation, balance and the way the calf moves. With 75 contestants, the show is divided into groups by age of the youth contestants.

“Most of these kids are brothers or sisters of 4-H kids who are too young to be in 4-H themselves,” Larson said. “They get a lot of support from the older kids and their parents.”

Kids may join Cloverbuds, a 4-H project designed for children ages 5  through 8. The programs are developmentally appropriate, activity-focused and built on cooperative learning. The focus is on developing a specific skill or concept rather than focusing on a specific subject area. So, while most of Little Britches participants have a strong connection to the dairy industry, others borrow a calf from a friend.

The animals being led into the ring are calves, but even newborns weigh upward of 70 pounds and most of these are weaned, which means they are bigger and stronger. Handlers, both girls and boys, grip the lead rope and coax the calves into position.

Race Howlett, of Evansville 4-H Club, was 8 years old and in Cloverbuds when he showed a borrowed brown Jersey in last year’s Little Britches show.

Kristen and Chad Howlett have four children, all in 4-H, but this was the first time one of them was in the Little Britches contest.

“It’s a great experience for them,” his mother said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about a project and then grow in that area.”

Because the Howletts live in town and can’t have farm animals on their property, they keep the animals their kids show at the fair in a borrowed barn outside of Evansville.

“They are learning what dedication and hard work means,” Kristen said. “We have to make an effort to go there to do chores every day at least twice a day.”

Race and his siblings -- Cain, 13, Asia, 16, and Layne, 13 -- will show swine, sheep, rabbits and show and meat birds.

“They look forward to it, the camaraderie they develop hanging out with their friends,” Kristen said.

Those friendships and a sense of community are carried through to a 4-Her’s later years, according to Otis Johnson, a judge at last year’s show. A member of the Evansville 4-H Club, he earned the honor of being one of two judges by winning in the dairy showmanship class.

“They show their own animals the day before, and the next day they work with the younger ones,” Larson said. “It’s a fun thing for them to do, but we don’t know till the day before who the judges will be.”

Johnson, who’s planning on studying business agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville this fall, has been involved with the Rock County dairy judging team for several years, so he felt comfortable working the ring.

“Some kids are more outgoing than others, but we have them lead their dairy calf around the ring and ask them a few questions -- ‘What’s your calf’s name? Birthdate? Breed?’”

Johnson said fun events like the Little Britches show can get youngsters involved in what might remain an important part of their lives.

Chad Howlett agreed.

“Livestock has been a big part of my life,” he said.

He wants his kids to experience some of the same things, and being involved in 4-H is a way to do that.

“They’re learning life skills and the value of hard work.”

For many youngsters such as Howlett’s son, Race, that learning begins with a showing in the Little Britches contest. Their immediate reward for participating is a coupon redeemable at the Rock County dairy trailer. Each participant also receives a new halter from Extra Mile Dairy Supply in Janesville.

Be sure to show your support for the youngsters in the Little Britches contest, which takes place at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 30, in the stock pavilion.

Working with livestock is a lifelong learning experience. Don’t believe it? Check out the Old-Timer Showmanship class after the Little Britches contest.

“It’s a real show with judges and serious competitors,” said Larson, who will be participating again.

“I haven’t won yet,” she added wistfully.

Rock County 4-H Fair

  • When: July 25 through July 30
  • Where: Rock County Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville
  • Tickets: Children under age 7 are admitted free. Single-day tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 7 to 12. Season passes are $35 for adults and $15 for youth. Thursday, July 27, is Senior Citizens Day — tickets for age 62 and older, $5.
  • Contact: Call 608-755-1470 or go online to RockCounty4hFair.com.

Friday, July 21

   Rainbow Bridge Band, variety band, July 21, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.,  Janesville Moose Lodge 2701 Rockport Road, Janesville

Kevin Kennedy, performs July 21, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on the patio, Evergreen Country Club, N6246 U.S. Highway 12, Elkhorn. 262-723-5722

   Open mic, July 21, from 7 p.m. to midnight, Hilltop International Pub, 121 E. Milwaukee St., Janesville. 608-290-2769.

   Mike Stone Trio, July 21, at 9:30 p.m., Bar 240 West, at the Abbey Resort, Fontana

Music at Harry’s Place with Dave Potter Trio, July 21, at 7 p.m. Harry Moore Pavilion, Riverside Park, Beloit. 608-362-0964, FriendsOfRiverfront.com

  Tom Stanfield, July 21, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Bar West, The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

Mike Williamson, July 21, The Butterfly, 5246 E. County Highway X, Beloit. 608-362-8577

  Floyd and Associates, July 21, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., public event, Main Stage at Voigt Music Center, 34 S. Main St., Janesville.608-756-0081, VoigtMusic.com

Duane Worden, July 21, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Merrill and Houston’s, 500 Pleasant St., Beloit. 608-313-0700, merrillandhoustons.com

A Rose Among Thorns, July 21, from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Cafe Carpe, 18 S. Water St. West, Fort Atkinson. 920-563-9391, CafeCarpe.com

The Holton Band, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. Sunset Park Band Shell, 200 Devendorf St., Elkhorn.

 

Saturday, July 22

   Live jazz band, July 22, from 7 p.m. to midnight, Hilltop International Pub, 121 E. Milwaukee St., Janesville. 608-290-2769

   Cesare Salad & the Spicy Croutons, July 22, 8 p.m. to midnight, Sports Page, 29-1/2 S. Wisconsin St., Elkhorn. 262-723-5939

Tom Stanfield, July 22, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 240 West, and from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in Bar West at The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

   Mike Stone Trio, July 22, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Studio Winery, 401 Sheridan Springs Road, Lake Geneva. 262-348-9100, StudioWinery.com

Karaoke, July 22, 9 p.m. till close, Snug Harbor, W7772 Wisconsin Parkway on Turtle Lake, Delavan. 608-883-6999

Mike Stone Trio, July 22, at 8:30 p.m., Ollies, 7305 McHenry St., Burlington

Triple D, July 22, from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Waterfront, The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

Terry Sweet, July 22, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Frontier Restaurant, Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St, Delavan. 262-728-7950

Salvador Idaho, July 22, at 7 p.m., Phoenix Park Bandshell, 111 E. Wisconsin St., Delavan. PhoenixParkBandShell.com

Eric Lambert, July 22, at 7 p.m., Burlington Coffee House, 492 N. Pine St., Burlington. 262-661-4394, BurlingtonCoffeeHouse.com

Dave Rudolf, July 22, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)  ??Concerts On The Creek, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, 815-877-2576, SpringCreekUCC.org

Tracy Beck, July 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Bottle Shop, 617 W. Main St., Lake Geneva, 847-712-9687, TheBottleShopLakeGeneva.com

Music at the Lake with The Tenors, July 22 at 7:30 p.m., Ferro Pavilion, 350 Constance Blvd,m Williams Bay. George Williams College, Tickets:?262-245-8501

Corky Siegel and Howard Levy, July 22, from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Cafe Carpe, 18 S. Water St. West, Fort Atkinson. 920-563-9391, CafeCarpe.com

 

Sunday, July 23

BluesFest, July 23, with New Image at noon; Pops Fletcher and the Hucksters at 2 p.m. and Deja Blues at 4 p.m., Phoenix Park Bandshell, 111 E. Wisconsin St., Delavan. PhoenixParkBandShell.com

Burnin’Down the Docks with Chris Kohn, July 23, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Waterfront, The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

 

Monday, July 24

Monday Night Open Jam, July 24, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., all ages welcome, Main Stage at Voigt Music Center, 34 S. Main St., Janesville.608-756-0081, VoigtMusic.com

Blue Monday featuring the Dave Potter Trio with an open jam, July 24, at 6:30 p.m., Grand Avenue Pub, 132 Grand Ave., Beloit. DavePotterMusic.net

 

Tuesday, July 25

Adult Conversation/Blues & Jazz, July  25, at 7:30 p.m., featuring Big Mac, Grand Avenue Pub, 132 W. Grand Ave., Beloit. 608-312-2363

 

Wednesday, July 26

   Rock and Roll Institute, July 26, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (music starts at 6 p.m.), Rockton River Market, Settler’s Park, on East Harwick Street, one block off Main Street, downtown Rockton

Open mic night, July 26, at 7 p.m., featuring Russ Doeil and friends — all local talent welcome, Grand Avenue Pub, 132 W. Grand Ave., Beloit. 608-312-2363

Glenn Davis, July 26, 8:45 p.m. to midnight, blues jam, Harry’s Place, 808 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. 262-248-3494

 Dave Potter Trio, July 26, from 7 p.m to 10 p.m., O’Riley and Conway’s, 214 W. Milwaukee St., Janesville. DavePotterMusic.net

The Lowest Pair, bluegrass, July 26, at 7 p.m., Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, 815-335-2915, SeversonDells.com

 Michelle Thomas and Soulmeme, July 26, at 7 p.m., jazz & soul, Menhall Band Pavilion in Central Park, 310 N. Main St. in Edgerton. ArtsCouncilEdgerton.com

 

Thursday, July 27

   East Troy Community Band, Thursday Night on the Square, July 27, at 7:30 p.m., on the square, County Highway ES and Wisconsin Highway 120, East Troy.

Concert in the Park, July 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Flat Iron Park, Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. 262-248-4416, LakeGenevaWI.com

East Troy Community Band, July 27,  at 7:30 p.m., East Troy çoncerts on the Square, highways ES?and 120, downtown East Troy. 

Blues and BBQ?Night with Glenn Davis and Pops Fletcher, July 27, from 7 p.m to 10 p.m.., Grand Avenue Pub, 132 W. Grand Ave., Beloit. 608-312-2363

Open mic night, July 27, with 6 p.m. signup, music from 6:30 p.m. through 9 p.m., Burlington Coffee House, 492 N. Pine St., Burlington. 262-661-4394

Monday Morning Dixie Band, July 27, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fibs, 105 W. Main St., Rockton, Illinois. 815-624-6018, MrFIBS.net

David Harlan, July 27, from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Waterfront, The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

Mr. Meyer Band, July 27, at 6 p.m., Flat Iron Park, 201 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. Bring your own chair or blanket and enjoy the music along the lakefront.

 

Friday, July 28

Gary the Band, July 28, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Merrill and Houston’s, 500 Pleasant St., Beloit. 608-313-0700, merrillandhoustons.com

Lonesome Bill Camplin, July 28, from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Cafe Carpe, 18 S. Water St. West, Fort Atkinson. 920-563-9391, CafeCarpe.com

Kai anderson, July 28, at 7 p.m., Burlington Coffee House, 492 N. Pine St., Burlington. 262-661-4394, BurlingtonCoffeeHouse.com

   Open mic, July 28,  from 7 p.m. to midnight, Hilltop International Pub, 121 E. Milwaukee St., Janesville. 608-290-2769.

  Tom Stanfield, July 28, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Bar West, The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

Mike Williamson, July 28, The Butterfly, 5246 E. County Highway X, Beloit. 608-362-8577

Music at Harry’s Place with Westside Andy with Reverend Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, July 28, at 7 p.m. Harry Moore Pavilion, Riverside Park, Beloit. 608-362-0964, FriendsOfRiverfront.com

   Hickory Road Band, country, July 28, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Janesville Moose Lodge 2701 Rockport Road, Janesville

Glenn Davis and the Blues Commission, July 28, at 9 p.m., Phoenix Park Bandshell, 111 E. Wisconsin St., Delavan. PhoenixParkBandShell.com

Dave Ciccantelli performs July 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on the patio, Evergreen Country Club, N6246 U.S. Highway 12, Elkhorn. 262-723-5722

10 String Symphany, July 28, from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Cafe Carpe, 18 S. Water St. West, Fort Atkinson. 920-563-9391, CafeCarpe.com

 

Friday-Sunday, July 28-30

Shake the Lake Music Festival, July 28-30, Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan. Ttribute bands U2 Zoo! and Trippin Billies, the nation’s premier Dave Matthews tribute act. Saturday it’s all about the 80’s with music, a Prince tribute band and a costume contest. Sunday is ’70s music day with the Big Al Wetzel Band and the Chicago tribute band, Chicago Tribute Anthology. Plus the Walworth County Bags Tournament Championship, carnival games, and food trucks.

 

Saturday, July 29

Tom Stanfield, July 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 240 West, and from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in Bar West at The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

   Live jazz band, July 29, from 7 p.m. to midnight, Hilltop International Pub, 121 E. Milwaukee St., Janesville. 608-290-2769

   Frank & Co. Band, July 29, from 9 a.m. to noon,Beloit Farmers Market, downtown Beloit at State Street and Grand Avenue.

Karaoke, July 29, 9 p.m. till close, Snug Harbor, W7772 Wisconsin Parkway on Turtle Lake, Delavan. 608-883-6999

Terry Sweet, 29, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Frontier Restaurant, Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St, Delavan. 262-728-7950

Patte Lund, July 29, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)  ??Concerts On The Creek, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, 815-877-2576, SpringCreekUCC.org

Mile 134 shoe, July 29, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., public event, Main Stage at Voigt Music Center, 34 S. Main St., Janesville.608-756-0081, VoigtMusic.com

John Statz, July 29, at 7 p.m., Burlington Coffee House, 492 N. Pine St., Burlington. 262-661-4394, BurlingtonCoffeeHouse.com

Classics Night, July 29, with Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra and the Delavan Darien High School Summer Strings at 7 p.m., Phoenix Park Bandshell, 111 E. Wisconsin St., Delavan. PhoenixParkBandShell.com

Paul Zanello Combo, July 29, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Studio Winery, 401 Sheridan Springs Road, Lake Geneva. 262-348-9100, StudioWinery.com

 

Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30

Music on the Patio, July 29-30, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., The Waterfront Restaurant on Brown’s Lake, 31100 Weiler Road, Burlington. 262-763-9989

 

Sunday, July 30

Burnin’ Down the Docks with the Mike Stone Trio, July 30, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Waterfront, The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. 262-275-9084, TheAbbeyResort.com

   Frank & Co. Band, July 30, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Hammy’s Roadside Bar, 2131 Center Ave., Janesville

Music at the Lake with The Berenstain Bears Live! in “Family Matters, The Musical,” July 30 at 4 p.m., Ferro Pavilion, 350 Constance Blvd,m Williams Bay. George Williams College, Tickets:?262-245-8501

Rosie & the Rivets, July 30 and Cruising Car Show at 1 p.m., Phoenix Park Bandshell, 111 E. Wisconsin St., Delavan. PhoenixParkBandShell.com

Mike Stone Trio, July 30, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., The Abbey Resort,  Burning Down the Docks, Fontana

Mike Stone Trio, July 30, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tammy's Pizza & Pasta, 6817 State Park Road, Spring Grove, Ilinois

 

Monday, July 31

Monday Night Open Jam, July 31, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., all ages welcome, Main Stage at Voigt Music Center, 34 S. Main St., Janesville.608-756-0081, VoigtMusic.com

Blue Monday featuring the Dave Potter Trio with Rodney Brown, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., Grand Avenue Pub, 132 Grand Ave., Beloit. DavePotterMusic.net

 

 

Friday, 14 July 2017 12:21

Restaurants that come to you

Written by

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- In the midst of a busy weekend at Babe Mann Park last month during Elkhorn Community Days, Mariann Hunter, executive director of United Way of Walworth County -- whose agency helped coordinate the event -- managed to make time for a hot breakfast that was close, quick and delicious. She found it at one of the food trucks on the grounds.

“The Rodeo Wagon had the best breakfast burritos. You could add bacon or chorizo to your egg, cheese and potato burrito,” Hunter wrote in an email.

Hunter and her family were at the park early for the annual walk and run benefitting the local United Way, and she said other families who worked up an appetite after running or walking also were sampling food truck fare. More food trucks, from El Chile Caliente and Jakarta Café to Rolling Cones and Gourmet Kettle Korn, set up shop as the day progressed, so visitors could find food for lunch and dinner.

“There was something for everyone,” Hunter said. “My kids all had homemade milkshakes and I had the best steak taco with avocado sauce -- yum.”

Jenna Gough, assistant director at the Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce, an organizer of Community Days, said the trucks offered kind of a “custom catering” approach for diners.

“People like the convenience of them coming to you, and it’s a fun way to sample food,” she said. “I went for the classic at Lefty’s Chicago Style Hot Dogs that day, but this gave people an opportunity to try some new things, too.”

Lefty’s already has a summer-season stand along U.S. Highway 12 in Elkhorn, but its location isn’t easily seen from the road, and first-time customers tend to stumble upon it, said Dona Mann, whose daughter, Karlee Mann, owns the business.

Dona Mann said her daughter decided to expand by adding the more visible food truck this year. 

While Karlee Mann is at the stand this summer, Dona Mann will be operating the truck. Besides showing up at events around the county, the truck can be found outside Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays.

Dona Mann said the truck was purchased from a Delavan restaurant and tweaked to prepare the hot dogs, burgers, milkshakes and smothered fries on Lefty’s menu.

Food trucks aren’t cheap, although operating costs are lower than for a standing restaurant. The food truck website Roaming Hunger advertises vehicles for sale ranging from $15,000 for a simple food trailer or cart to $269,000 for a food truck fashioned from a DC-3 airliner fuselage and designed to look like the Space Shuttle.   

But interest is booming. The food truck industry grew at an annual rate of 7.9 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to a May article in The Economist, which notes there are about 4,000 food trucks around the country.

Kay-Tee Olds, owner of Rodeo Wagon, said she’s increased employee shifts at her Madison-based food cart business from six to eight shifts per week to 17 in one year. Rodeo Wagon has traveled to events in Green Bay, Eau Claire and Monroe.

The workload isn’t lightened for food truck operators like Louis and Cari Ortega, whose Milwaukee-based food truck, La Guacamaya, was at Bands, Bites & Beer, an event at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan last month.

“The part that is challenging would be the long hours that are put in every day to shop for supplies, prep the food, set up the kitchen and then taking down and cleaning up everything at the end of the day. There is also quite a bit of paperwork involved with licensing, permits and applications for each event, as well as the bookkeeping/accounting side of running a business,” Cari Ortega wrote in an email.

Some businesses, like Rodeo Wagon, have a base kitchen apart from their carts from which they prepare their food. Most, however, use the tighter quarters of a food truck kitchen, where workers have to make every inch count.

“We have learned how to organize everything better to make the most of the space we have,” Ortega said. “We have a hot station, cold station, refrigerator, freezer, grill burners, deep fryer, a three-compartment sink, a hand sink and shelving. We have our own work areas for the most part and are able to work well around each other. There is a lot of side-stepping.”

Bigger cities, like Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago, have restrictions on where and when food trucks can operate. Because of their mobile nature, many food truck operators use social media to let customers know their locations and hours.     

Facebook posts often serve as word-of-mouth for the mobile businesses, widening the travel range.

Milwaukee-based Marco Pollo Global Cluck Truck also was at Lake Lawn last month, but it has traveled to points as far as Madison, Racine, Sheboygan and Oshkosh for events, company parties and even a wedding.

“Food trucks are great for weddings and parties because guests get good food, personalized service and a fun atmosphere for minimal cost compared to traditional catering,” Stewart Lerner, a co-owner of Marco Pollo, said in an email. “Customers enjoy being able to talk with the people who create and cook the food they are eating, which doesn’t typically happen in a restaurant setting. And since our menu is limited, we can focus on making everything we serve the best quality possible for our customers.”

Marco Pollo’s internationally inspired menu includes gua bao --braised and spiced pork in a soft bun -- as well as egg rolls, crispy chicken and steak nachos.

Vanessa Lenz, executive director of the East Troy Chamber of Commerce, said one of the most popular food trucks featured at several of East Troy’s First Friday events on the square is Meat on the Street, a Milwaukee-based Filipino vendor whose menu includes marinated meat on a stick, rice bowls topped with meat and lumpia or egg rolls.

 “Many of the truck owners specialize in one particular style of food,” said Gerard Prendergast, director of food and beverage at Lake Lawn. “Their fare has the allure of fast food, but still almost fine dining because owners put their own unique twist to it. A hot dog is no longer just a hot dog. They use different types of meat, sauces, bread.”

At Rodeo Wagon, whose menu Olds describes as “Southern dining with a foodie flair,” an optional topping for both burgers and salads is Texas caviar, a homemade blend of tomatoes, black beans, black-eyed peas and onions blended with oil and vinegar.

“Part of the appeal of food trucks and a trend in dining in general is that people are looking for micro-cuisines that feature local foods with a twist,” Olds said. “People want fresh food.”

Olds even has adapted her menu to customer requests.

“People asked if we could put bacon on the triple-cheesy mac,” she said.

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