IT’S BECOME AN ICON FOR the utmost in flavor. It’s the quintessential ingredient to improve any food you can think of. It’s a star in social media memes. Unless you’re a vegetarian, I don’t even have to tell you I’m talking about bacon.
And when you want the best — as bacon fans often do — you’ll think of Nueske’s. Considered among the top brands nationwide, Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats is doing a booming business right here in the New North, in Wittenberg, Shawano County, to be exact. A writer for The New York Times, who once visited the smokehouse, called it “the beluga of bacon, the Rolls-Royce of rashers.” Gourmet restaurants often list it by name.
I remember meeting Bob Nueske at an event in Green Bay. He was a big, burly man whose grandparents immigrated from Germany to Wittenberg with family recipes for curing meat. When Bob died in early 2015, his daughter, Tanya Nueske, who was serving as executive vice president and national sales manager, took on the role of CEO.
When I met Tanya for this month’s cover story by Senior Associate Editor Sean Johnson, she talked about the desire customers have for authenticity in what they eat. The story starts on page 22.
“We still see ourselves as that old smokehouse guy that every small town across the region used to have,” Nueske says. “It’s craft. It’s handmade. It’s a very Midwestern approach.”
Food is an important part of our regional economy, from farming to food processing and packaging to farm-to-fork restaurants. And just when you think you’ve tried everything, something “new” comes along.
In this issue, we Embrace the authenticity of the New North feature a duck farmer, who’s raising ducks for their eggs to sell through his new business in Shiocton. Check out our story on page 32, by Staff Writer Jessica Thiel, about how the Envoy program at Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center is helping military veterans like Roy Landskron launch new businesses.
FVTC’s Envoy program is among the many innovative programs technical colleges, universities and four-year colleges in our region offer to help people become productive contributors to the regional workforce. Last month’s first-ever NEW IT Alliance Connect IT Career Fair (see page 11), as well as Internship Draft Day at Lambeau Field, are great examples of efforts to prepare students for career opportunities in the New North.
An important part of attracting talent to our region is ensuring we are a welcoming place to live and work. Kimberly Barrett serves as vice president of diversity and inclusion and associate dean of faculty at Lawrence University. She will also lead the newly formed Fox Cities Diversity and Inclusion Collaborative. Check out our Face Time article on page 19 for some inspiring words from Barrett.
How to attract and retain great talent here will be a key issue explored at the New North Summit on Dec. 7 at the KI Center in Green Bay. Be sure to catch up on New North initiatives in this year’s New North Annual Report to the Community, mailed with this issue of Insight and distributed at the Summit. As always, I hope to see you there!