Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sun Prairie Farmers Market Starts Saturday May 4th

Follow all the Sun Prairie Farmers Market news on Facebook at:!/SunPrairieFarmersMarket

Blogger's Note: And I guarantee that the weather will be nice.  (I mean we're due aren't we?)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fire Facilities Inc. Featured in "Made in Dane" Article (

While Dane County does not come close to the sheer density of manufacturing in the Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha corridor, the area around Waukesha, or the Green Bay-Fox Valley area, the resiliency of the Dane County manufacturing sector was demonstrated during the 2008-09 recession. 

To help demonstrate this, In Business Madison featured 25 examples of Dane County's manufacturing muscle, including Sun Prairie's own Fire Facilities, Inc.  At #9, it states:
"Training is vital for effective, safe firefighting. From mobile units to high-rise towers, Fire Facilities, a subsidiary of Trachte Building Systems, manufactures pre-engineered steel fire training towers, but they are not just burn and churn. Each tower contains at least one live burn room, lined with the Westec Insulation System, to allow for repeated fires at high temperatures. Though their towers can be spotted all across the U.S., the business is located in Sun Prairie."

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note: Fire Facilities creates a very unique product, and is just one example of some great manufacturing businesses in Sun Prairie.  Congratulations to Fire Facilities Inc. on making In Business Madison's "Made in Dane" list!

Renks support rural Wisconsin through Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation (

According to Richard Renk, his family's farming history dates back to 1846 when his ancestors came over and settled in the Sun Prairie area. “It’s very much a farming community,” he says, adding that his grandfather completed the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course in 1898 and a number of those in the generations that followed graduated from UW-Madison.  The Renk Seed Corporation – or William F. Renk and Sons – was started in 1936 and is the oldest farm family corporation in the United States.
Click here to read more about the Renk family and their work with the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation:
Blogger's Note: Sun Prairie was founded on strong farming families, and agriculture remains a key part of our local economy.  We're thankful to the Renk family for all they do for Sun Prairie, for Wisconsin and for agriculture.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sun Prairie's Julie Wiedmeyer Taking The Vanilla Beanery to the Next Level (Various Sources)

(Photo credit: Jill Marzion & Megan Patterson Photography)

Check out all the great press Sun Prairie's Julie Wiedmeyer and The Vanilla Beanery are getting:

The Vanilla Beanery, a Sun Prairie business, creates a high-end extract (

Vanilla adds flavor to her life (

Community Cooking Feature (Madison Magazine)

A local success story: The Vanilla Beanery (

Video: Julie Wiedmeyer shares recipes from The Vanilla Beanery (

Blogger's Note:  A great entreprenurial story from right here in Sun Prairie.  (Just a reminder Julie...I'm available for taste testing.  Just saying,)

Downtown Sun Prairie Artful Wine Walk Set for May 16th (Sun Prairie Business Improvement District)

Blogger's Note:  I swear it will be warmer weather on May 16th, so plan on stopping Downtown and have some fun.

WPPI Energy Gets American Public Power Association Safety Award (Sun Prairie Star)

WPPI Energy in Sun Prairie earned the American Public Power Association’s Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2012, earning first place in the category for utilities with 1110,000 to 249,999 worker-hours annually.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: Just another reason we like our municipal utility and public power here in Sun Prairie.  Congratulations!

QBE Foundation Awards Grants to 14 Charities (

The QBE Foundation has awarded nearly $60,000 in grants to programs provided by 14 charitable organizations across the country.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: Thanks to the QBE Foundation for their continuing support of our community.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sun Prairie Team Competes in National Culinary Competition (

(Photo by Andy Manis - Wisconsin State Journal)

Sun Prairie High School's culinary team competes in the National ProStart Invitational this weekend.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: One of the best programs of career based learning that I've ever seen.  Here's to Sun Prairie roasting the competition this weekend!

St. Mary's Hospital parent firm plans to acquire Dean Health System (

Dean Clinic's board of directors recommended Monday that Madison-based Dean Health System be acquired by SSM Health Care, the St. Louis-based health system that owns St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison.  Dean’s shareholders will vote on the recommendation next month, Dean spokeswoman Kim Sveum said Tuesday. The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and other regulators also must approve the deal. Dean, which is mostly doctor-owned, and St. Mary's have collaborated for decades. They started talking more than a year ago about a merger or acquisition, in part because of health care reform.  Their agreement to merge could be finalized as soon as this summer, Dean and SSM said in a news release. The terms will not be disclosed, they said.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: This may clear the way for additional improvements in Sun Prairie at St. Mary's Emergency Center campus.  Watch for more news on this in the coming months.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sector67 Monthly Meeting Tuesday April 2nd 7 p.m. (Sector67)

Sector67 is hosting their monthly meeting on Tuesday April 2nd at 7 pm at their facility at 2100 Winnebago St. in Madison, Wisconsin.  The meeting is open to anyone interested in attending. Presentations currently on the docket for the April 2nd meeting:
  • Jack will demo his polar coordinate drawing robot
  • Joe will talk about vinyl cutting with our new giant vinyl cutter and give a quick demo
  • Josh will talk about stone carving and chainsaw wood carving and have a few pieces to show
  • Dave will show off his Aluminatus 3D printer
  • More stuff guaranteed, but you'll have to show up to find out
Sector67 is a non-profit collaborative space in Madison, WI dedicated to providing an environment to learn, teach, work-on, build, and create next generation technology; including software, hardware, electronics, art, sewing, pottery, glass, metalwork, iPhone/Android applications, games, etc.  Zero experience necessary, only enthusiasm to learn required.

For more information Sector67, visit them online at: or call 608-241-4605.

Blogger's Note: This group can be a tremendous resource for existing and startup technology businesses in and around Sun Prairie, and I hope both our companies and our residents take advantage of having these guys right in our backyard.

Gener8tor Business Accelerator Seeks Summer 2013 Applications (

Gener8tor is now accepting applications for the Summer 2013 Milwaukee program, which will be held for 12 weeks in Milwaukee’s famous Historic Third Ward, starting on May 31st, 2013. The early application deadline (encouraged) is April 14th, and the final deadline is May 5th.  The program is focused on technology startups: web, software, Internet, SaaS and hardware companies. Entry into our competitive program includes perks like capital investment, mentorship, office space, a great group of people and support staff. We run two programs per year alternating between our offices in Milwaukee and Madison, WI. 

The Madison program will be hosting their Winter 2013 Launch day on April 4th.  Contact Joe Kirgues at or by phone at 414-512-8880 for more information--including dates for the next Madison session.

Visit Gener8tor on the web for more information:

Blogger's Note:  This would be a great opportunity for a techonolgy startup, and we'd love to have you get your start in Sun Prairie!

Startup Weekend: What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur (Madison Startup Weekend 2013)

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Event Information:

Madison Startup Weekend 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM - Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM (CDT)
Madison College West Campus
302 S Gammon Rd Madison, WI 53717
Cost: $99

To Register, Click here: Startup Weekend Madison

Click here for a full agenda and more information on Madison's Startup Weekend:

Blogger's Note: Anybody from Sun Prairie interested in attending? 

2013 Prairie Heritage Quilt Show set for April 7-9 (Sun Prairie Star)

(Photo by Tierney King, Hometown News Group)

Every year, the Prairie Heritage Quilt Show exhibits more than 250 quilts from all over the country. The quilts depict each sewed-on patch as a story of hard work, precision and technique, and demonstrates one of the American art forms of making a patchwork quilt.  This year, the Prairie Heritage Quilt Show will take place at St. Albert’s Parish Center, 2420 St. Albert’s Drive in Sun Prairie, on Sunday, April 7 from 12 – 5 p.m., Monday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. St. Albert’s will also be providing lunch on Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Click here for the full story in the Sun Prairie Star:

Blogger's Note:  Sun Prairie is always excited to host this display of artistry, and strongly encourage you to check it out if you haven't ever stopped out to see some of the nicest quilts in the Nation.

New senior living facility Lighthouse to welcome 1st residents (Wisconsin State Journal)

(Photo by Dennis Punzel, Wisconsin State Journal) 

The Lighthouse of Sun Prairie facility — the sixth in Wisconsin for New Perspective Senior Living — is the largest yet, with 144 units and 152 beds to accommodate seniors looking for a range of living arrangements from independent living to assisted living to memory care.

Click  here to read the full article in the Wisconsin State Journal:

For more information on the Lighthouse of Sun Prairie, visit them online at:

Blogger's Note: The City is very excited to have New Perspective be open for business.  Special thanks to New Perspective for their investment, as well as their partnership in getting this project to happen.  They are a welcome addition to Downtown Sun Prairie.

Poised for growth: Prairie Lakes developers still dreaming big in Sun Prairie (

“Where else can you go where you can drop off your application and have your approvals in six to seven weeks, and you can be in the ground if you have all your engineering done, etc., within two months?” asked Fedler. “That’s pretty amazing. I mean, Marcus was approved, I think it was seven weeks, and Costco might have taken a little bit longer because there were a few little tweaks to the buildings, but it was eight or nine. That’s a big deal.”  --Developer Chad Fedler

Click here to read the full article in In Business Magazine:

For more information on Prairie Lakes, visit them online at:

Blogger's Note: Watch for more good news about Prairie Lakes in 2013.  Could be a great year for both Prairie Lakes and the City of Sun Prairie!