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Monroe County Matters

Updated 10 days ago

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The drama, comedy and joy of a Wisconsin bellwether county from By the Seat of My Pants Productions

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The drama, comedy and joy of a Wisconsin bellwether county from By the Seat of My Pants Productions

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Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Monroe County Matters

Monroe County Matters

Latest release on Oct 30, 2020

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 10 days ago

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Rank #1: Integrity in Elections-More Tales From the Trenches

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Diane Coenen, the immediate past president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks 
Association and  the current city clerk for Oconomowoc, Wis., talks about pride and integrity among Wisconsin's elections professionals and public servants. There's dramatic difference between her calm professionalism and some of the wild rhetoric that's been flying around!

Oct 30 2020

30mins

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Rank #2: City Clerks-Guardians of Our Democracy?

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I've been hearing a fair amount of ranting about voter fraud, so I decided to talk to an election expert, someone who has been working in the trenches of elections for 25 years. Meet JoAnn Cram city clerk in Tomah, Wisconsin. She does an excellent job of explaining the systems designed to keep our ballots--those we mail in and those that we cast in person--secure. Nothing like talking to someone who actually knows what they're talking about! 

Oct 10 2020

23mins

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Rank #3: From City Girl to Dairy Farmer

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How did Erin Klinkner get from the suburbs of the Twin Cities and dreams of being a veterinarian to dairy farming up on the Ridge? She took a detour or two, among them a stint as a cowgirl in Wyoming. Now, instead of cutting horses, she's managing cows, calves, chickens and four kids! 

Sep 23 2020

19mins

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Rank #4: The Dairy Farmer

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Ben Klinkner grew up on a dairy farm and went off to college swearing to his parents that he would never milk a cow again. His wife, Erin, was a city kid who grew up dreaming of being a vet. Guess what happened. You got it. Now they have 60 head of dairy cows and Erin's in charge of raising new calves--the farm's future. And they're both raising their four kids. But this podcast is about more than farming. It's about making choices about your life. And it's also about a different kind of capitalism.. The Wisconsin model. 
This is another in my ongoing series about cooperatives. 
Today's podcast features Ben. The next features Erin.

Aug 13 2020

25mins

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Rank #5: Sparta schools and the Fall of 2020

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Dr. Amy Van Deuren, superintendent of the Sparta Area School District, talks straight about school in the time of Covid. 

Aug 02 2020

24mins

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Rank #6: Westby Creamery Cooperative - The Wisconsin Model Part 2!

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Did you know that the Westby Creamery is 70% organic? That it sells about $68 million worth a product a year? Not just here in West Central Wisconsin, but across the nation?
And, that it's nearly 120 years old? Hmm, something about this cooperative model seems to work!
Here's what the creamery's general manager had to say about what it does and how it works.

Meanwhile, here's a link to a video about an average day in the life of the Westby creamery. 

Jul 27 2020

24mins

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Rank #7: KwikTrip-What You Never Knew

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KwikTrip is not your average convenience store. The milk you buy came from a cow just down the road from you. It has been using the close-to-the-source model for decades. It works directly with local suppliers and cooperatives to keep prices low and food fresh. And, it shares 40% of its pre tax profits with all of its 28,000 employees. The owners get less than 5%. 

Jul 17 2020

21mins

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Rank #8: The Wisconsin Model: Cooperatives, Part 1

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Wisconsin has more than 700 cooperatives--far more than most other states. What is a coop? It's democratic democracy, a model that is about far more about producing a return for investors and instead produces a return for the community. I talk to two experts, Lynn Pitman and Kelly Maynard of the UW Center for Cooperatives. You have no idea how many cooperatives are in your life. And they include my beloved Green Bay Packers. Which may not fit the technical definition of a cooperative, but it does fit the spirit of it. 

Jul 09 2020

32mins

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Rank #9: Taking Over the Chamber of Commerce in a Pandemic

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Heidi Prestwood, the new executive director of the Sparta Chamber of Commerce, started the job in the middle of the pandemic.
One of her first tasks--helping local businesses get financial aid. And guess who stepped up to the plate first? Local banks. And then the state and the feds.
But, we don't talk just about Covid. There's a post-Covid world out there and some of it you can enjoy right now and the rest you can look forward to! 

Jun 26 2020

18mins

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Rank #10: Covid 19 Update From the Monroe County Health Department

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Kayleigh Day, community health educator calmly explains the factors determine the county's severe risk factors--it's more than the number of cases--and how to bring those numbers down.
She discusses the Covid 19 compass, the partnership with surrounding counties and the detective work of contact tracing! 

Jun 21 2020

25mins

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