Royal Purple

What does April hail showers bring?

Early planting always a challenge

Chris Hardie, Contributor May 1, 2022

Our topsy-turvy spring weather so far this year has not inspired ambitions of gardening, but the show must go on. At least that’s what my wife Sherry told me recently when she decided it was time...

Despite massive influx, Wisconsin lagged most states in pandemic aid

Despite massive influx, Wisconsin lagged most states in pandemic aid

Wisconsin Policy Forum, Contributor May 1, 2022

While unprecedented levels of federal pandemic relief have swept into Wisconsin since 2020, the combined aid to its state and local governments ranks in the bottom 10 states when measured as a share of...

Student financial aid in Wisconsin is doing less to keep college affordable

Student financial aid in Wisconsin is doing less to keep college affordable

Wisconsin Policy Forum, Contributor April 24, 2022

Total state financial aid to college and university students in Wisconsin has lagged or declined in the last decade, leaving students to shoulder more of the cost of education – and undermining a tool...

Chris Hardie

The disappearing work ethic

Chris Hardie, Contributer April 24, 2022

I was having a conversation recently with a crop farmer who remarked that she was enjoying the calm before the storm. It was early April and in just a few days she and her husband would be busy with...

Chris Hardie drills into a maple tree before setting the spile.

Maple season brings back sweet memory

Chris Hardie, Contributor April 17, 2022

Moving back to the country 16 years ago brought me back to many tasks and chores I experienced as a farm kid, but it also gave us the chance to try some new activities. One of them was raising pigs...

Working from home puts the brakes on weekday traffic

Working from home puts the brakes on weekday traffic

Wisconsin Policy Forum, Contributor April 17, 2022

After the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically decreased traffic on Wisconsin’s roads, weekend traffic now has largely returned to near pre-pandemic levels. But weekday traffic, a much greater part of the...

Roaring state economy presents some worries in labor, housing markets

Roaring state economy presents some worries in labor, housing markets

WisPolitics.com, Contributor April 10, 2022

Two reports from the University of Wisconsin highlight the good and potential bad of the state’s currently roaring economy. The mixed outlook reflects similar worries on the national level. One...

Will summer be the season for student recovery?

Will summer be the season for student recovery?

Wisconsin Policy Forum, Contributor April 10, 2022

At a time when many Wisconsin students need additional support, statewide summer school enrollment plunged in the early months of the pandemic and did not fully recover last summer. The initial decline...

This bear sow and her two yearling cubs came out of hibernation near Black River Falls in good shape. (Photo courtesy of Bill Quakenbush.)

Bears awaking a sign of spring

Chris Hardie, Contributor April 3, 2022

Even when the icy grip of winter keeps holding on, there are signs of spring around us. One sure sign for me was when my animal waterer that froze at the end of January finally thawed. It’s a relief...

In hot housing market, real estate transfer revenues near all-time high

In hot housing market, real estate transfer revenues near all-time high

Wisconsin Policy Forum, Contributor April 3, 2022

Revenues from fees on transfers of real estate in Wisconsin increased 37% in fiscal year 2021, the largest annual increase in nearly four decades. This was driven by robust increases in real estate sales...

Little Creek during the last few hours of winter. The stream is fed by dozens of springs along the valley on Chris Hardie’s farm. (Chris Hardie photo)

A moment of reflection as spring arrives

Chris Hardie, Contributor March 27, 2022

I said goodbye to winter on a bright and crisp morning with the sounds of geese flying overhead. Life seems to be a series of busy moments linked together by the relentless onslaught of time. It’s...

Farmers face challenging season ahead

Farmers face challenging season ahead

Chris Hardie, Contributor March 27, 2022

The coming spring always brings fresh hope and optimism, but with planting season just around the corner, there are plenty of challenges facing farmers. A continued dry stretch still impacts parts of...

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