PDPW Dairy's Bottom Line -- July 2020

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BOTTOM LINE Thursday, July 16, 2020 SECTION E

Sharing ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.


Safe highway travel imperative



The reason roadway safety is so crucial is because it’s an issue that crosses into the public domain.

arm safety is hardly a new topic. I have old safety-related literature in my files from almost 100 years ago. It’s fun to go into my dad’s old collection of antique-tractor operator’s manuals – it dates back to the 1930s. JOHN Interestingly it’s SHUTSKE common to see that 10 to 15 pages of each manual are dedicated to the topic of safety. Yet agriculture remains our country’s most dangerous industry, with a per-capita death rate seven times greater than the average in the non-agricultural industry. Despite farm safety being a mature subject, there’s one issue

that still doesn’t receive adequate attention – roadway safety. When we think about farm safety we may worry about rolling over a tractor and being crushed underneath. Or we worry about being entangled in moving parts such as belt drives and power take-offs. The reason roadway safety is so crucial is because it’s an issue that crosses into the public domain. In many of the cases that involve death or serious injuries on a public highway, it’s the nonfarmer who’s the victim. Farm equipment is massive relative to passenger vehicles so crashes often have deadly outcomes. Such events are costly in a financial sense as well as emotionally. It’s always a tragedy when someone dies in a preventable collision. In recent years a few states have

updated state requirements and statutes. In the past decade Wisconsin updated its state-based requirements to account for changes in farm equipment, including farms operating larger and heavier equipment as well as different lighting and marking technology. The state also wanted to account for the additional travel on roadways necessary for farm managers whose fields are more spread out. There’s another issue not widely discussed within the industry. Then-President Barack Obama signed a law in 2012 containing the Agricultural Machinery Illumination Safety Act. In 2017 the act required all agricultural equipment manufactured on or after June 22, 2017, to be equipped with roadway Please see SLEEP, Page E2

Farmers share solutions working together ERICA OLSON

Producer-led watershed-protection grants are awarded to groups of farmers each year to assist in collaborative goals to protect water quality, given by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The program began in 2016 and has gained increasing momentum during the past few years. It creates posiOlson tive interactions among farmers as they join forces for water-quality solutions. To further the connection and idea-sharing among farmers, the ag department along with the University of Wisconsin-Division of Extension’s Discovery Farms program began a producer-led webinar series called “Planting New Ideas, Growing Conservation.” Webinars take place the second Tuesday of each month. Each features a farmer-member of a producer-led watershed group who shares his or her experience, and answers questions about conservation practices. Tony Brey was interviewed May 12 about growing alternative forages on his dairy farm, by Barry Bubolz with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Brey and his brother Jacob Brey and their families own and operate Brey Cycle Farm, a dairy farm in southern Door County, Wisconsin. Tony Brey is a member of Peninsula Pride Farms; the farm is part of


True leaders train next leaders


A September field-day demonstration showcases manure injection into the field of a participating farmer.

Jacob Brey shows a partially harvested triticale field. He and the other partners at Brey Cycle Farm have found a good way to start is to plant rye and triticale after a small grain like wheat or barley. the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms Network. “Peninsula Pride Farms was started to address water-quality concerns in relation to shallow soils in our area,” Brey said. “We come together and talk about management solutions to challenges.” The family has been growing alternative forages for five years for their young stock. They double-crop sorghum sudangrass, triticale and rye, which they ensile as quality feed for their young

stock. The protocol provides environmental benefits and aids in their nutrient management by creating opportunities to spread manure. In addition the alternative-cropping system keeps their soils covered all year; it’s reducing erosion and improving infiltration. “We used a rainfall simulator and found that the sorghum took up more water than a three-yearold hay field,” Brey said. With the more than-average rainfall received in the 2019 crop-

ping year, the sorghum sudangrass helped fields recover from rut damage. Triticale and rye are planted in early September and harvested mid-June. Sorghum sudangrass can be planted immediately after harvest with a notill drill or planted shortly after a manure application. The Breys harvest the sorghum sudangrass in September and store the feed in bunker silos. Though sorghum sudangrass could be harvested twice, the Breys have opted to take just one cutting in September. They believe one cutting will yield more tonnage with less expense than if they ran equipment twice, Brey said. They also believe the crop can be used as part of a milking-cow diet when harvested at the appropriate time. Cost-sharing is available to Peninsula Pride farmer-members for the practices they’re implementing. “It has helped to get people to try something new,” he said. “We have found farmers are using these practices on many more acres than just those that are cost-shared. We see conserva-

tion-management practices implemented by farmers in our area such as planting green, growing cover crops, improved waterways and low-disturbance manure injection. Driving through the watershed it’s obvious the message is spreading.” He was asked what advice he’d give someone looking to start a producer-led watershed group. “It takes a committed group of farmers of all sizes, interests and types,” he said. “Work with the people around you and tap into resources at the Natural Resources Conservation Service, land-conservation departments, the UW-System, and (the Wisconsin) Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The sharing of ideas and collaboration has helped our groups and brought about better management practices in our area.” Visit bit.ly/3et2Los for more information. Erica Olson is the farmer network and communications coordinator with the University of Wisconsin-Discovery Farms. Email erica. olson@wisc.edu to reach her.

“Gets 2-year-olds ready to reach their potential.” — Keith Beer


ost people in agriculture will agree a farm is a great place to raise a family. Young children are able to spend extra time with parents and siblings. HANK Yes I unWAGNER derstand sometimes it may not seem like a blessing. But when we travel far enough ahead in life to look back on our childhoods, most people Please see LEADERS, Page E2

BEER CATTLE CO, BERNE, INDIANA, Max and Karen and sons Keith (right) and Craig Beer 2020 Indiana Master Farmers Calving 200 to 250 two-year-olds monthly, milking only fresh heifers, SCC 150,000 “Getting udders softer, faster for more milk is why we use Udder Comfort™ for our 2-year-olds over the past 5 years. The proof is in our comparisons. We see softer, more pliable udders with better flow and a 3- to 4-pound production increase by 14 days in milk, along with a Quality Udders Make Quality Milk lower collaborative SCC. This gets 2-yr-olds ready to reach their potential,” says Keith Beer. He and Craig and parents Max and Karen raise and sell fresh heifers, calving 200-250 heifers monthly at Beer Cattle Co., Berne, Ind. They were announced as 2020 Master Farmers in June. “We continue to find ways to supply dairies with quality heifers that make milk. Udder Comfort is part of that, and the tools make it easy to do groups. “We like the Udder Comfort Backpack Sprayer for pre-fresh heifer groups in the barn and the Spray Gun for post-fresh in the parlor. For us, a combination is ideal.


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Solving problems on their own gives kids more self-confidence and helps develop them into better leaders for their future.

“We apply Udder Comfort 1x/day for 2 days before and 2x/day for 3 to 5 days after calving. Our guys are proud to use it. One pass delivers the spray to the bottom of the udder and up a few inches, the critical area to overcome edema around teats and suspensory ligament, getting udders ready to accept volumes of milk. We find 5 gallons covers 200 heifers for all 12 to 14 applications.” https://wp.me/pb1wH7-aS

Maximum Results Minimal Cost Call to locate a distributor 1.888.773.7153 uddercomfort.com

For external application to the udder only, after milking, as an essential component of udder management. Always wash and dry teats thoroughly before milking.

BOTTOM LINE Thursday, July 16, 2020 E2

Sharing ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

PDPW: Who we are

Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW ) is Dairy's Professional Development Organization®. W ith a vision to lead the success of the dairy industry through education, our mission is to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.

PDPW Board of Directors President Kat y Schultz Fox Lake, Wis. 920-210-9661 katylschultz@ gmail.co m Vice President Janet Clark Rosendale, Wis. 608-341-6709 vafarmsllc@hotmail.com Secretary John Haag Dane, Wis. 608-576-0812 jahaag5@gmail.com Treasu rer Jay Heeg Colby, Wis. 715-507-0030 jcheeg@yahoo.com Directors Andy Buttles Lancaster, Wis. 608-723-4712 stonefront@tds.net

Measure to manage calf mortality FRANKLYN GARRY

Across the country an average of about 6 percent of dairy heifers die between two days of age and the time they’re weaned. About another 6 percent of calves are born dead or die within the first two days after delivery; those are classified as stillbirths. The good news is calf-mortality estimates have decreased Garry through the past 20 years. The bad news is 12 percent of calves lost before weaning is still too many. Because the estimates are averages, the numbers inherently rep-

Leaders From E1

Ken Feltz Stevens Point, Wis. 715-570-6390 feltzfarms@hotmail.com Corey Hodorff Eden, Wis. 920-602-6449 corey@secondlookholsteins.com Steven Orth Cleveland, Wis. 920-905-2575 orthlanddairy@gmail.com Dan Scheider Freeport, Ill. 815-821-4012 dnscheider@gmail.com

PDPW Advisers

Paul Fricke UW-Madison Dairy Science Madison, Wis. pmfricke@wisc.edu Roger Olson Zinpro Performance Minerals roger.olson@zinpro.com Kurt Petik Rabo AgriFinance Fond du Lac, Wis. kurt.petik@raboag.com Andrew Skwor MSA Professional Services Baraboo, Wis. askwor@msa-ps.com

www.pdpw.org mail@pdpw.org 800-947-7379

who had the opportunity to grow up on farms have endless supplies of fond memories. Maybe those memories include floating homemade boats down the ditch during spring rains or riding bikes over farm-built jumps. Or perhaps there were trips to a nearby river for swimming or a casual three-hour inner-tube float. For those whose circumstances were similar to mine, the lack of access to technology left our minds open to so many creative games with family, friends and neighbors. And then there are the stories about farm animals, featuring our favorite cats, dogs, horses, calves or cows. Among the more-comical memories are those that involved someone in the family being chased by an angry rooster or pooped on by a cow – or some other harmless but not-so-pleasant encounter with an animal. Unlike most urban counterparts, farm kids often are able to watch the birth of kittens, puppies or calves. Some of them also experience the grief of losing animal friends through death. Even if we don’t intentionally initiate learning on the farm, it happens. Work ethic just comes along with growing up on the

resent dairies that lose calves at an even greater rate. In days gone by calf losses were sometimes paid limited attention, especially if producers were more concerned about moving cows into lactation than raising healthy calves. In recent years dairy farmers have been employing technologies that promote genetic progress. As a result the value of heifer calves is more fully appreciated – and the impact of calf death and sickness on the productivity of the future milking herd is much clearer. An increasing number of producers invest considerably more than they once did to impregnate cows, keep calves healthy and administer treatment to sick calves before they die. Each calf death trans-

Successful calf-care managers routinely utilize practices to

farm. As kids we usually don’t appreciate having chores to do when our city friends are playing, but it pays big dividends later in life. I’ve heard many employers say if a person with a farm background applies for a job, his or her application moves to the top of the pile. That’s even if the person doesn’t have the same level of formal education as other applicants. When our two kids were young they always had some difficult jobs to do. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do them but rather because I wanted them to realize life isn’t always easy. No matter what occupation we eventually choose there will always be some difficult tasks or days. That’s likely another reason why employers seek out farm kids and why farm kids often make great leaders. Our kids would likely say their least favorite job was washing the scraper tractor; they both did it many times. That tractor was used to scrape alleys in our freestall barn; sometimes there was so much manure on it that it was difficult to tell what color the scraper was. There were times they needed to wash it because it was their turn to be reminded there would be some stinky days in life. Other times it was a consequence for a wrong choice they made. If they were

ever caught complaining about how bad they had it – or if they ever dared saying they were bored – it was a sure bet they were next in line to wash the scraper tractor. As our kids grew older they realized a dirty scraper tractor was not the only problem on the farm. Equipment broke or wore out, animals became sick, gates were left unlocked and cows escaped sometimes. Farm kids have a tremendous opportunity to gain problem-solving skills when those learning opportunities are approached correctly. When our children were growing up they were encouraged to bring their challenges to Pam and me; we’d help them as all good parents would do. But as they became partners on the farm I realized that needed to change. I wanted them to solve more problems on their own. It gave them more self-confidence and would help develop them into better leaders for their future. They would one day need to run the farm without us. They would be tasked with raising their own families and guiding farm employees. Plus their self-confidence and problem-solving skills would be beneficial in other aspects of their lives as they chose to be more involved in the community and other organizations.

Twohig Rietbrock Schneider & Halbach “Attorneys for Agriculture” (920) 849 - 4999 Legal, business and planning solutions for Wisconsin’s farms and agribusinesses.

From E1

lighting and marked in accordance with the most current engineering-design standards as published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. U.S. and international manufacturers such as John Deere, CNH Industrial Corporation, AGCO and others follow the safe-design standards developed by agricultural-industry stakeholders and maintained by the society. The specific standard embedded into federal law is American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers standard S279, entitled “Lighting and Marking of Agricultural Equipment on Highways.” The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, headquartered in Wisconsin,

The combination of Roto-Mix stationary feed mixers and the correct size Roto-Mix feed delivery box make an accurate, efficient ration batching and delivery system.




Manage wisely for healthy calves


The Complete Feeding System

Batch rations up to 1220 cu. ft. with a Roto-Mix Horizontal or up to 1300 cu. ft. with a Roto-Mix Vertical mixer. Combine the quick, gentle mixing action of a Roto-Mix Stationary with the efficient, cost effective delivery of a RDB belt floor or FDB chain floor delivery box to maximize profitability. Roto-Mix delivery boxes allow you to either match your feeder to the capacity of your stationary mixer, or with capacities up to 1900 cu.ft., choose to deliver two stationary batches in one trip!

lates directly into lost genetic progress, and the unrewarded expense of pregnancy and treatments. It also represents poor calf welfare. Dairies with worse-than-average calf-mortality rates are able to decrease both the stillbirth losses and the postnatal deaths. That means good management can reduce calf losses. One of the keys to attaining reduced calf-death rates is to employ practical strategies to identify where potential management problems lie.


When recording reasons for calf deaths, descriptions such as “respiratory” or “diarrhea” are often used inappropriately – leading to ineffective calf-mortality records. keep calves healthy. Those include sound maternity-management and calf-delivery protocols in addition to excellent colostrum management, calf care and Please see MEASURE, Page E3

The time came when they’d bring problems or challenges to me and I’d present them with a question or two. “What would you do to solve this problem?” I’d ask. “What are some ideas that you have?” They came to expect those types of questions from me. They learned to have at least three solutions to their problem before presenting any problems to me. Some leaders want every decision to go through them because it makes them feel needed, valued or in control. I have always believed the true test of a leader is how the business, family or organization runs when the leader isn’t there. A great leader will believe in his or her people and train the team to believe in themselves. The team will learn how to create, invent and problem-solve as well as how to collaborate and collaborate with other team members. A great leaders will one day work himor herself out of a job. Hank Wagner is a dairy producer and a John Maxwell Team teacher, mentor, speaker and coach. To learn more about nurturing thankfulness, consider reading Hank’s book “Teachable Moments: Lessons from Africa.” It’s available online at amazon.com and at most book stores. Contact hwagner@frontiernet.net for more information.

has an excellent publication covering American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers standard requirements. Visit http://bit. ly/AEM-LightingMarking for more information. Use it to do a walk-around assessment of the equipment that travels most often over public highways. Operating equipment manufactured in or after June 2017 are likely in compliance – as long as the manufacturer followed the safety standard. If not, or if tractors and machines were manufactured before 2017, upgrading to comply is generally not difficult. The law that Mr. Obama signed supersedes state law for agricultural equipment manufactured after mid2017. One reason for the new law was that each state had its own statutes and there were inconsistencies from state to state. The new federal requirements alle-

viated some of those concerns. In some cases state statutes still don’t quite align with what current federal law requires. For those operating older pre2017 equipment, it’s not a big issue in terms of being legal to operate but it’s still confusing. And in the event of a lawsuit, attorneys and expert witnesses often use engineering standards as an example of best practices to be followed by the industry. When feasible, upgrade pre-2017 equipment. For older equipment compliance with state statutes is just a bare minimum. Consider fully upgrading to meet recognized safety standards; it’s often the more-sensible option. As a simple example standard S279 requires turn signals for agricultural equipment operated on the roadway. Those turn signals are usually integrated into flashing amber lights, which are required. Wisconsin state law currently doesn’t require turn signals. Operating farm equipment on any public roadway is a potentially dangerous activity for producers and other drivers. Take advantage of new technologies on the market, including excellent-visibility light-emitting-diode lighting, inexpensive reflective materials, turn signals and more. Though the inconsistencies between state and federal laws can be confusing, compliance with the current version of standard S279 is the best bet to effectively improve highway safety. Summer is here and the roads are being traveled. Travel safely. John Shutske is a professor and University of Wisconsin-Division of Extension specialist. Email john.shutske@ wisc.edu to contact him.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020 | E3

Cattle lead to efficient land use

Flowchart classifies calfdeath-loss categories. FRANKLYN GARRY‌


When it comes to opposing the raising of animals for food – particularly ruminants such as cattle – arguments often pertain to land use. One of the most prevalent theories is that the planet wo u l d be better served if catMitloehner tle-grazing land was repurposed to grow crops to support a universal vegetarian or vegan diet. Yet shifting gears from animal agriculture to plant agriculture is not as easy as it seems. It might not even be possible. To put the issue in perspective, think of the surface area of earth as an 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper. One-fourth of that sheet is all land. Of that postcard-sized parcel representing all land, an area about the size of a business card is suitable to produce food. However – and here’s the rub – not all agricultural land is created equally. One-third of agricultural land is arable, meaning suitable for farming fruits and vegetables. Conversely the other twothirds is marginal farmland. It’s not conducive


to growing plant-based food due to conditions such as poor soil nutrients, lack of moisture and more. But that’s not to say marginal land doesn’t help feed people. It just does so indirectly, thanks to cattle and other livestock. Cattle are masterful at taking what we can’t digest and turning it into quality protein that’s digestible as well as packed with nutrients. Globally only 14 percent of what we feed to livestock is digestible by us. About half of livestock feed is grass and leaves; only 13 percent is grain. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations supports that

number. The organization has gone on record to state a whopping 86 percent of livestock feed doesn’t qualify as human food. Marginal agricultural land isn’t suitable for growing fruits and vegetables but it can – and is – used to raise grasses and additional feed for cattle and other livestock. They’re able to break down and upcycle into foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and meat products. Removing animals from U.S. agriculture would reduce agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions. But it would also create a scenario in which the food supply is Please see CATTLE, Page E4

Measure From E2

hygiene, and calf nutrition and housing. Prompt identification and treatment of sick calves is also key. Another critical component for improving calf health is recording information about specific health events. Unfortunately most dairies don’t track information about calf-death losses well. Some don’t even actively monitor death losses and therefore don’t observe when things are going well – or veering off course. Many dairies record data on calf illness and death but don’t use that information to evaluate potential improvements. The bigger problem is that even when dairies do track illness and death, the information that’s kept is often not enough to make meaningful change to improve outcomes. For example it’s common for dairy managers to categorize all calf deaths associated with diarrhea as a death related to “digestive” issues. That typically means that any calf with some degree of diarrhea is given the same treatment, though several different diseases can cause that symptom. Similarly most calf deaths due to a notable change in the calf’s breathing are classified as “respiratory” deaths or “pneumonia,” including calves that die at two or three days of age – even though it’s rare for pneumonia to affect a calf that young. The point is that most calf-record systems use only a few categories for cause of death although there are numerous reasons calves die. To effectively note trends, causes of illness, and systems to improve management and treatment, an accurate assessment of calf illness and death is important. There are big differences in how to appropriately prevent or treat septicemia, for example, versus a simple case of scours. The same is true in the case of treating pneumonia as opposed to post-natal respiratory problems. To work toward a reduced calf-mortality rate, assess the current rate of calf losses. Partner with a veterinarian to improve disease recognition. Then develop an information-tracking system that effectively – and simply – portrays why calves have died. With accurate information, problematic trends will become clear and management strategies can be implemented to keep more calves healthy.

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Dr. Franklyn Garry, veterinarian, is a professor of veterinary medicine at Colorado State University in the Department of Clinical Sciences. Email franklyn.garry@colostate.edu to reach him.

PDPW Upcoming Educational Events As dairy’s professional development organization, PDPW is committed to leading the success of the dairy industry through education. The following programs have been developed guided by our mission to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed. See pdpw.org/programs for full program details and to register. Date(s)

PDPW Program


July 21-23

The Dairy Signal™

Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

July 28-30

The Dairy Signal™

Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

June 23-25 Aug 4-6 Aug 12 Aug 19

A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org. A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org.

The Dairy Signal™

A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org.

The Dairy Signal™

A free resource featuring experts in the industry; available and shareable to all from www.pdpw.org.

Dairy Fest – a night on the farm, with learning and laughter Dairy Fest – a night on the farm, with learning and laughter

Call 800.947.7379 or visit pdpw.org for more programs and details, and to register.

Audio and video recordings also available free Audio and video recordings also available free

Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

Audio and video recordings also available free

Online, 12 – 1 pm CDT

Audio and video recordings also available free

Travis & Melissa Marti Farm, Vesper, WI Vision Aire Farms: Roger & Sandy Grade, Travis & Janet Clark and David & Torrie Clark, Eldorado, WI

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Efficient cow management saves costs! CowManager finds cows in heat and sick cows earlier. All resulting in increased pregnancy rates, healthier cows, decreased mortality rates, lower labor and medical costs.

It will pay for itself!

“Every morning we check the computer and see which animal needs the most attention. We can then go right to that animal, which eliminates a lot of walking of pens looking for sick animals. I would highly recommend CowManager to any size Dairy, small or large. CowManager is definitely a very useful tool that we can use in our arsenal to become even better and make that step towards higher efficiency.” Paulus Dairy LLC, Fredonia, Wisconsin, 1,550 cows Ask your CentralStar team how you can try CowManager for 90 days. 800.631.3510 | www.mycentralstar.com/cowmanager | www.cowmanager.com

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E4 | Thursday, July 16, 2020





Cattle From E3

incapable of supporting the U.S. population’s nutritional requirements, not to mention that of the world. As critics of animal agriculture are quick to say, we could produce more pounds of food and more calories per person if we raised only plants. What the argument fails to consider is that there

Zach Olson is a senior at Southern Door High School in Brussels, Wisconsin. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm and hopes to one day continue the family tradition. He plans to pursue a degree in dairy science this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. is a more-robust and even sensible perspective on nutrition. Food security is not so much about producing enough calories, but about essential micro- and macro-nutrients. Consuming livestock is a way for us to value-add plant agriculture, both in terms of nutritional value and economic value. Those who advocate eating less meat and dairy have every right to do so

but some of the arguments are flawed – at least where land use is concerned. From an accuracy standpoint the land-use argument doesn’t hold much water. Frank Mitloehner is an air-quality specialist for the University of California-Extension and a professor in the University of California-Department of Animal Science. Email fmmitloehner@ucdavis. edu to reach him.


Cattle are masterful at taking what humans can’t digest and turning it into quality protein that’s digestible as well as packed with nutrients.

Laura Speckman will be a senior this fall at Badger High School in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. ‘I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to serve as president this year for the Badger FFA,’ she says. ‘The highlight of my FFA career so far has been being a part of the floriculture team and qualifying for state two years in a row. From teaching thirdgraders in the fall for our annual agriscience day to attending the State Convention and everything between, I have grown to love it all more and more each day.’ She helps with the group’s greenhouse sale, and teaches students what FFA does and why agriculture is so important. This past year she was in the school’s musical, ‘The Addams Family,’ and participated in Mock Trial, in tennis and as a student mentor to the class of 2023. She’s been a member of the Elkhorn 4-H for a number of years and raised turkeys in the Walworth County CONTRIBUTED‌ Fair’s poultry project. She plays keyboard as part of her church’s worship team, and has been a leader for first- and secondgraders in the AWANA program. She’s growing up on her family’s 300-cow dairy farm as the fifth generation; she has five older siblings. ‘My main job is feeding calves; my seasonal job is working in the tractor to help harvest forage,’ she says. Her plans after high school are to attend a gap-year program at Nicolet Bible Institute in northern Wisconsin and then return home to major in criminal justice.


Ben Styer is a senior at Menomonie High School in Wisconsin. He’s the fifth generation on his family’s 2,100-cow dairy farm, Alfalawn Farm. He’s been involved in 4-H, 4-H dairy judging, FFA, forensics, National Honor Society, student council, Link Crew, Science Olympiad, St. Henry’s Church and multiple livestock-breed associations. He’s running for Wisconsin State FFA Office this summer. He plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities this fall to major in animal science with a dairy emphasis, and agricultural and food business management.

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