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april | may 2014 • vol. 20 no. 2 |

“Farmland” Puts Farmers on the Big Screen

Farm Bill at a Glance Members Blog on WFBF Site Meet Members: Adrian, Giebel

Farm Machinery Bill Gets Legislative Action Pages 6-8


The lifeblood of America. They’re the humble heroes who rise before dawn and battle the elements. They put clothes on our backs and food on our tables. Their genuine values and tireless work ethic are an inspiration to us all. We appreciate all that America’s farmers do and invite you to join us in saying thanks at /SayThanksToAFarmer FB02-WI (7-13)


vol. 20 no. 2

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features 6

articles 5


Members showed their agriculture pride via social media on National Ag Day.

Legislature votes to keep machinery legal on the roads.


giebel Meet National Collegiate Discussion Meet winner from Lyndon Station.


wfbf Blogs Read ‘The Farm Husband’s’ blog about farmers’ compassion for livestock.



Get to know this board member and Women’s Committee Chair from Platteville.

Farmland Young farmer documentary hits screens May 1 in select Wisconsin cities.


farm bill View our one-page summary of the 2014 Farm Bill.




20 departments 5





member benefits






ag in the classroom




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yfa contests Competitive events for members ages 18-35.

COVER photo by Patti Roden

Highlights from Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit. april | May 2014



Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor’s Note


am going to boldly go out on a limb and assume that by the time you receive this magazine, the ‘Winter That Wouldn’t End’ finally has given way to spring. When Old Man Winter gasps his last breath it’s time to think about spring cleaning. I have an urge to sweep my garage and change the oil in my lawn mower, but I know these annual rituals are much more intense on the farm. Loads of once-frozen livestock manure must be moved and used to fertilize the soil. Inputs are purchased, seed bags are stacked and farm machinery is prepped for the mad dash known as planting season. We at Farm Bureau have been doing some spring cleaning as well. We are making changes to the front page of wfbf. com and we are freshening up the look of our weekly Ag Newswire email service for members and media. Why wait every two months to get the latest news from Farm Bureau? Send your email to clangan@wfbf. com and we’ll make sure the Ag Newswire is keeping you informed.

{from Casey Langan} Spring has a way of renewing our optimism and giving us a new set of eyes. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau has been taking a good look at itself lately. Through a strategic planning process, our members from across the state have been weighing in on the direction that Farm Bureau should take in the years to come. A few of the themes that came up during our listening sessions are showcased in this issue of Rural Route. One was partnering with other groups, much like what was done with Badgerland Financial to host another successful Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit (pages 32-33). Empowering others to educate about agriculture was another, and that is a focus of the FFA Farm Forum (pages 34-35), which informs high school juniors about ag careers, relevant topics and the role of Farm Bureau. Just as farm families sometimes struggle with how to pass the farm on from one generation to the next, the listening sessions also explored how county Farm Bureaus embrace and attract young leaders. This issue features two young leaders, Nicole Adrian, who chairs our state Women’s Committee, and Ethan Giebel, a national collegiate Discussion Meet winner and shining star from UWPlatteville’s collegiate Farm Bureau. It’s been a long winter, but as the countryside springs back to life, so does our drive to dig into our work. Be safe out there this spring and thanks for reading. Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Assistant Editor/Designer Sheri Sutton 262.949.2418

Contributor Amy Manske 608.828.5706

Address of Publication Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 5550 1241 John Q. Hammons Dr. Madison, WI 53705-0550 Postmaster: Send address changes to Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 5550 Madison, WI 53705-0550

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276) “Like” us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

WFBF Board of Directors Jim Holte, Elk Mound, (President) Richard Gorder, Mineral Point, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Jerry Bradley, Sun Prairie Joe Bragger, Independence Kevin Krentz, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo Don Radtke, Merrill Nicole Adrian, Platteville (Women’s Committee Chair) Tim Clark, Beaver Dam (YFA Committee Chair) Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route (ISSN 39940) (USPS 1082-1368), the official publication of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, is published six times per year in February/March, April/May, June/July, August/ September, October/November and December/ January. Subscription of $5 is included in Farm Bureau dues. Periodical postage is paid at Madison, Wisconsin. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. For advertising rates and information: Wisconsin accounts contact Slack Attack at 608.222.7630 or National accounts contact Hurst & Associates at 800.397.8908 or For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or


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National Ag Day Celebrated with #WIAgProud


e encouraged all farmers and agriculturists to share what they do and why they do it on National Ag Day, March 25. National Ag Day, organized by the Agriculture Council of America, is designated to help educate the world on how food is grown, the role it plays in Americans’ lives and the U.S. economy and to highlight the various careers it involves. The Wisconsin ag community took to social media on March 25 and explained why they are #WIAgProud. If you missed it you can view the posts by visiting

april | May 2014



Farm Machinery Bill Clears Legislature It appears farm machinery will be legal as it travels down Wisconsin roads this spring.


bill that accomplishes this was the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s highest priority during the recently completed legislative session. As of the Rural Route’s press time, identical versions of the bill had passed both houses of the Legislature and was sent to Governor Scott Walker for his consideration. “We are incredibly appreciative of the work that the offices of Senator Jerry Petrowski and Representative Keith Ripp put into crafting this legislation that addressed the usage of implements of husbandry on roadways,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte. “Senate Bill 509 forges a compromise between the agricultural community and local governments to allow farm equipment to operate legally and safely on roads while balancing the protections of our local infrastructure.” As farm machinery was built larger, there was a widelyaccepted misconception within the farming community that it was exempt from any size and weight criteria. This was never the case. While there has been limited enforcement of road weight limits on farm machinery, this is changing. Several counties have purchased portable scales and are expected to begin education and enforcement activities. “Nearly $60 billion of Wisconsin’s economy is directly attributed to the success of agriculture so it was essential to update our laws to accommodate the operational needs of the farming community,” Holte said. “It’s also incumbent upon us to protect the investment Wisconsin taxpayers make into our road and bridge infrastructure. That is why we believe we have reached an accord that does both.”


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Senate Bill 509 had strong bipartisan support, passing a Senate committee by a 5-0 margin and the full Senate by a voice vote in March. The bill was amended and approved by the State Assembly on March 20 by a 82-11 margin. The Senate then concurred with the amended bill on April 1.

What’s in SB 509? As farm machinery has modernized, one of the things that Farm Bureau sought was a clearer definition of what qualifies as an implement of husbandry (IOH). Once signed into law, the updated statutes will define IOH as a self-propelled or towed vehicle manufactured, designed or reconstructed to be used off of the roadway, and actually used, exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operation. An implement of husbandry includes any of the following: • Farm tractors • A self-propelled combine; a self-propelled forage harvester; self-propelled fertilizer or pesticide application equipment but not including manure application equipment; towed tillage, planting and cultivation equipment and its towing power unit; or another self-propelled vehicle that directly engages in harvesting farm products, directly applies fertilizer, spray, or seeds but not manure, or distributes feed to livestock. • A farm wagon, farm trailer, manure trailer, or trailer adapted to be towed by, or to tow or pull, another implement of husbandry. • A combination of vehicles in which each vehicle in the vehicle combination is an implement of husbandry. SB 509 clarifies state law to specify that farm pick-up trucks pulling farm machinery are implements of husbandry. However, farm trucks still need to be registered.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

New Definition: Ag-CMV SB 509 creates a new definition called Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicle (Ag-CMV). It allows this equipment to comply with federal regulations, but qualify for the benefits of exclusive agricultural use. These include a straightbed truck with a box spreader or a total mixed ration (TMR) mixer mounted on the chassis. Ag-CMV are not required to be registered and have expanded size and weight requirement allowances compared to general commercial motor vehicles. An Ag-CMV is a commercial vehicle to which all of the following applies: • The vehicle is substantially designed or equipped for the purpose of agricultural use. • The vehicle was designed and manufactured primarily for highway use and manufactured to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Certification. • The vehicle is used exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operations. • The vehicle directly engages in harvesting farm products, applying fertilizer, spray or seeds to a farm field or distributes feed to livestock.

Height, Length, Weight and Width

the proper number of axles and axle spacing. SB 509 increases the allowable gross vehicle weight for both IOH and Ag-CMVs to 92,000 lbs and the axle weight to 23,000 lbs, depending on the number of axles and axle spacing.

PHoto by Kuhn North America

For tillage, planting and harvesting equipment, SB 509 allows these IOH to be above the 23,000 lbs per axle weight. However, local municipalities have the authority to adopt a local permitting process to enforce axle weight limits and direct travel for these IOH from the farm to the field. (See the Highway Jurisdiction Authority section for more on this) If an IOH exceeds the new statutory weight limits, the amount of the overweight violation is computed based on how much the vehicle exceeds the general statutory weight limits (20,000 lbs per axle or 80,000 lbs gross vehicle weight), not how much the vehicle exceeds the new weight allowance, which is approximately 15 percent higher.

SB 509 sizes up farm machinery in a number of ways: Height - There are no height limitations for IOH, but the operator remains responsible for ensuring clearance of all bridges and utility lines that are constructed to the proper height. Length - Length limits are extended for single, two- and three-vehicle combinations. Single vehicles go from 45 feet to 60 feet, two-vehicle combinations go from 70 feet to 100 feet, and three-vehicle combinations can go up to 70 feet. It increases to 100 feet for three-vehicle combinations if operated under 25 miles per hour. A no-fee permit is required for those who wish to exceed these length limits. Width - There are no width limitations for IOH. However, additional lighting and marking features are included for IOH that exceed 15 feet. Weight - Under current law the same weight limits that apply to any other vehicle on the road apply to an IOH. No axle may exceed 20,000 lbs and Suburban . Commercial . Agricultural . Horse Barns & Arenas the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of any Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 . vehicle may not exceed 80,000 lbs with april | May 2014

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news New Lighting Requirements During hours of darkness, IOH that exceed 15 feet or that operate over the center line of the road when traveling will be required to add some lights and reflective material, if not already installed on original equipment. • Two flashing red or amber lights (or two red or amber reflectors) visible from the front and back placed 16 inches or less from each side of the vehicle’s lateral extremities. • On the back, red reflective tape placed within 25 inches of the lateral extremities. • On the front, two strips of yellow reflective tape placed within 16 inches of the lateral extremities. • Two red tail lamps (hardwiring is not required). • A standard slow moving vehicle (SMV) sign. During daylight hours, lighting requirements for IOH that exceed 15 feet, or that operate over the center line of the road when traveling, are not applicable if the wide IOH is accompanied by an escort vehicle with hazard lights activated, and two orange or red flags are attached to the rear of the IOH at the lateral extremities. For an IOH wider than 22 feet, in addition to any lighting and/or marking requirements, it must also be escorted by at least one vehicle with the vehicle’s hazard lights activated. On two-lane roads, the escort is the lead vehicle. On roads with two or more lanes with traffic going in the same direction, the escort vehicle will follow the IOH. No escort is required for incidental movements from “farm to field” or “field to field” under 0.5 miles.

Highway Jurisdiction Authority Local municipalities have three options for addressing IOH road weight limits. The first option is for the local authority to do nothing. Under that scenario, IOH can operate within the parameters of the state’s new weight standards. The second option is for local authority to opt-in to a local permitting process by ordinance or resolution and issue no-fee permits to farmers and agribusinesses for established approved routes for tillage, planting and harvesting equipment. The final option is for the local authority to, by ordinance or resolution, establish higher weight limits for IOH. Application for Permit - If an IOH that exceeds length and/ or weight limits needs to obtain a no-fee permit from the road maintaining authorities (municipalities, counties or state), the


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applications will be submitted using a standard form available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s website. The application form will require the applicant to provide (on the form or as an attachment) all of the following information: • The applicant’s contact information. • A listing or map of potential roadways to be traveled. • Identification of the types of IOH for which the application is made, the length, number of axles, make, model and estimated weight of the IOH. • The time of year and frequency that these IOH are expected to be operated on the roadway. The information provided on the no fee permit is required to be kept confidential and may not be disclosed under Wisconsin’s open records law.

Operational Exemption from Permit - Operators may cross a road or operate for up to 0.5 miles on a road from “farm to field” and “field to field” without a permit and without requiring an escort vehicle. Implements may be operated or transported (on a flat-bed semi) without a permit on any road, other than an interstate highway, for up to 75 miles if they are traveling between the dealer/repair shop to, and/or from, a farm for delivery or repair. Effective Dates of the Legislation - These new IOH size and weight limitations take effect on the day of publication (shortly after it is signed by the governor), and expected to be in effect for the 2014 cropping season. The lighting and marking requirements have a delayed effective date of 18 months (will be in effect at the end of the 2015 harvest season). The increased weight allowances and the no-fee permit provisions will sunset on January 1, 2020. This provision was included to require a review of this by the Legislature within five years.

Story compiled by Paul Zimmerman, Karen Gefvert and Rob Richard.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees


and County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation are accepting applications for the $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award, which honors Wisconsin farmers who demonstrate responsible stewardship and management of natural resources. Applications are due by August 1, 2014. Finalists and winner will be

Applications are due by August 1, 2014. Finalists and winner will be announced in late 2014. For complete application information, visit www.

Photo by Paolo Vescia

announced in late 2014. For complete application information, visit “Through this outstanding partnership, we have been able to recognize the conservation efforts of the Hebbe, Koepke, Bragger and Cates families who have built a strong tradition of sustainable agriculture, but they are not the only farming families doing exceptional work for natural resources in Wisconsin,” said Brent Haglund, president of Sand County Foundation. “We look forward to honoring more innovative farmers who are committed to the enhancement of Wisconsin’s landscape.” Given in honor of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, inspires other landowners in their communities through these examples and provides a visible forum where leaders from the agricultural community are recognized as conservation leaders outside of the industry. april | May 2014

“The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is proud to join Sand County Foundation in saluting the innovative conservation practices and work that Wisconsin farmers do each day to enhance our environment,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, American Transmission Company, Badgerland Financial, We Energies, Alliant Energy Foundation, UW-Extension, Farm Credit, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. In 2014, Sand County Foundation will also present Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.



Rural Landowners, Check 2014 Tax Assessments


by Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue for each municipality. “Farmers need to be aware of how the various types of land they own are classified in order to determine which assessments apply,” Zimmerman said. “Tax assessment statements for municipalities are typically issued in April and May to notify landowners of changes in property assessments,” Zimmerman said. “If farmers have questions about their assessments, they should first talk with their assessor. They should also be aware of the appeals process available through their local Board of Review.”

he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation urges rural landowners to check their property tax assessments this spring. “It’s especially important for landowners to review the classifications for their woodlots and undeveloped land,” said Paul Zimmerman, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations. “State law defines wetlands, swamp and wasteland as undeveloped land. These areas are to be assessed at 50 percent of the market value.” Further, the same law classifies woodlots on a parcel also containing agricultural land to be considered an “agricultural forest” which also is assessed at 50 percent of its market value. Assessments for agricultural land (both cropland and pastureland) are determined by the use value assessment of farmland formula set

Land on Wisconsin farms generally falls into one of five classifications... 1. Agricultural Land: Agricultural land is subject to the use value assessment law, and is further classified as Grades 1, 2 or 3, or pastureland. 2. Agricultural Forest: Assessed at 50 percent of market value, this is a woodlot located on a parcel also containing Agricultural Land, or wooded land contiguous to a parcel entirely classified as Agricultural Land under the same ownership. 3. Productive Forest Land: Assessed at market value, these are wooded areas that do not meet qualifications as Agricultural Forest. 4. Undeveloped Land: A classification that encompasses wetlands, swamps and wasteland, all of which are assessed at 50 percent of market value. 5. Other: The farmstead and farm buildings are assessed at market value.


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on the web The Department of Revenue’s agricultural assessment guide and use value assessment of farmland rate for each municipality can be downloaded at useval/14useval.pdf. For additional information visit

Steps for checking property tax assessments: • Check with the local assessor to make sure land is accurately classified. • Verify that assessments for the property have been accurately applied from the Department of Revenue guidelines. • Compare any market value assessments of property (buildings, woodlots and wasteland) with comparable property in the municipality. • Talk with the assessor over any questions or disagreements. • Go to local board of review if there are disagreements with the assessor. The property taxpayer must notify the board clerk at least 48 hours before the first scheduled meeting of the board. A property owner must go to the board of review if they want to keep their options open to appeal their assessment. By law, the board of review is to meet on the second Monday in May or during the 30-day period following.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Volunteers Make a Difference

Helping Hands from the Heartland Benefit Raises $13,000 for South Dakota Ranchers.


arm Bureau members from north-central Wisconsin raised funds to help South Dakota cattle ranchers impacted by a freak blizzard last October. Nine members representing counties in Farm Bureau’s District 8 formed a committee to plan a benefit called Helping Hands from the Heartland. The committee planned the one-night event over the course of three months. It was held at Dale’s Weston Lanes in Marathon County on Saturday, February 22. Entertainment was provided by country-rock band Tuscan Road that evening. Proceeds from a steak supper and more than 40 raffle items garnered more than $13,000 for a donation to the South Dakota

april | May 2014

Farm Bureau CARES funds. The charity was working directly with ranchers affected by devastating losses of livestock due to the early winter storm. The Helping Hands from the Heartland Committee wishes to thank all of the volunteers and contributors who made this grassroots Farm Bureau event a success.



“Farmland” Brings Farmers to the Big Screen

Advance private screening held in Madison before hitting theaters nationwide. More Wisconsin screenings planned for May 1.


cademy Award®-winning filmmaker James Moll’s new feature length documentary, “Farmland,” will be released nationally May 1. A special advance screening of the film was hosted by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation at Marcus Theatres in Madison on March 27. “Farmland” offers viewers an intimate and firsthand glimpse into the lives of six young farmers and ranchers across the U.S. chronicling their high-risk/ high-reward jobs, and their passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve. “In Farmland, audiences will hear thoughts and opinions about agriculture, but not from me, and not from a narrator,” Moll says about his film. “They’re from the mouths of the farmers and ranchers themselves.” The film will have its New York premiere at a private screening on April 17, during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.


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Additionally, Farmland has been selected to be in film festival competitions in Cleveland, Atlanta, Nashville and Newport Beach. The film will be shown in a growing number of Wisconsin cities on May 1. As of press time, confirmed showings include: Milwaukee, Mequon, Sturtevant, New Berlin, Appleton, Ashwaubenon, Brookfield, La Crosse, Madison, Menomonee Falls, Oak Creek, Oshkosh and Sheboygan. For details on these showings, additional information about the film and to watch the trailer, visit www. “With the average American several generations removed from farm life, we hope this film finds a wide audience of those interested in where their food comes from,” said Casey Langan, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spokesman. “The six farmers in the film discuss many misconceptions about agriculture. Wisconsin farmers and agriculturists can expand this conversation by promoting Farmland to others.”

on the web For more information on the film visit For some reactions to the Farmland video check out

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

A Jack of Many Trades:

Ethan Giebel

Most farm kids have an area of specialty in agriculture, but Ethan Giebel says, “I feel like a jack of all trades, master of none.”


is farm background includes harvesting crops, milking cows for his grandparents, raising beef cattle and hogs with his parents and showing sheep at the fair. This UW-Platteville junior said it wasn’t until he went to college that he realized not all farm kids have the diverse ag background that he grew up with. That background served him well as he competed and won the 2014 National Collegiate Discussion Meet at the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference in Virginia Beach on February 8. “I was nervous but I was comfortable with my preparation. The more prepared you are the more confident,” said Ethan who competed against 52 other collegiate Farm Bureau members from 36 states. His victory was a culmination of five years of competing in similar competitions. He won the state FFA competition as a

By Sheri Sutton

Mauston FFA member in 2010 and two years ago he finished in the top four of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet. To qualify for the national competition, he first won the UW-Platteville contest last fall and then the state collegiate competition at the WFBF Annual Meeting in December. “Ethan is an outstanding Discussion Meet contestant because he brings so many abilities and skills to the contest,” said WFBF’s Director of Training and Leadership Development Dale Beaty. “He grew up on a farm, so he really knows farming and agriculture; that’s something I cannot coach. He is quick-witted, an excellent extemporaneous speaker and he executes what he has been coached on to perfection.” Ethan earned a $2,500 scholarship for his efforts, but he raves more about the ideas that came from the discussion and how he hopes it will go beyond just the competition. “Not only are you discussing among the discussion meet participants but you have an audience that is listening as well and maybe you have presented an idea for the first time that triggers

Ethan enjoys working on his parent’s 350-acre farm, EDEM Acres, where they raise Holstein dairy steers along with corn and alfalfa.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

The collegiate Discussion Meet is an activity designed to help members analyze agricultural issues and decide on solutions that best meet their needs. By participating, members build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. It is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each committee member.

On campus, Giebel is a member of the UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau, Collegiate FFA and Alpha Zeta. He is also a member of the Juneau County Farm Bureau and a lifetime Mauston FFA Alumni member.

Ethan has sought out several writing avenues to reach his audience. Last summer he worked as an intern for the Wisconsin Agriculturist and continues to do freelance work for the publication. He also writes for Filament Marketing and Hay & Forage Grower magazine. He works part-time in the public relations department of UW-Platteville’s University Information and Communications Office. “My experiences in journalism have allowed me to meet with a diverse cross-section of farmers and agriculturists,” he said. “From

discussion among the audience. Perhaps someone in the audience will take that idea and run with it,” he said. “It is a contest, but at the same time we are presenting real ideas and plans that we can act on to strengthen Farm Bureau and agriculture.” Both of Ethan’s parents, Ernie and Denise, are Juneau County Farm Bureau members. Since turning 18, he has had his own “I enjoy meeting and interacting with people in membership. agriculture and sharing their stories. I’d like to extend “I always knew as I got involved in agriculture that Farm Bureau was definitely an this and share with a greater audience. It is all about organization that resonated with me and that finding the right avenue to do this.” - Ethan Giebel I knew I wanted to be a part of. Farm Bureau does a great job of representing Wisconsin farmers in Madison and Washington, D.C.,” people who are small farmers that direct market their product to Ethan mentioned. some of the largest farms in Wisconsin. It is really interesting to As a UW-Platteville collegiate member, two of his favorite events see what is going on in this industry and to be able to put their are Ag Day on Campus and Brag about Ag, where guest speakers stories into words for others to enjoy and learn from.” talk about ag advocacy. His leadership in agriculture is tied back to his FFA roots. “I enjoy meeting and interacting with people in agriculture and Serving as his chapter’s president for three years, he said his sharing their stories,” said Ethan. “I’d like to extend this and share advisors at Mauston always gave him tools that empowered him to with a greater audience. It is all about finding the right avenue to practice his leadership and grow in his character. do this.” Ethan served as a state FFA officer from 2010 to 2012 with

Ethan Giebel served as the Wisconsin State FFA President in 2011-12. Throughout his FFA career, he owned 11 FFA jackets. That’s a lot of corduroy!

his final year as state president. He continues to motivate FFA members by traveling the nation facilitating leadership workshops through his work for the National FFA Organization. “One of the biggest things I took away from my FFA experience is the relationships. Relationships with my former teammates, FFA members, advisors and other people in the agriculture community,” Ethan said. Relationships have driven Ethan to pursue his degree in ag education because according to him, “I like to work with people and see them grow.” Compiling his diverse agriculture experiences, from his strong writing and speaking skills, to leading and working with people, there are many who would say this jack of all trades is a master in many of them.


As seen on’s blog’s page…

Wisconsin Farm Bureau members are sharing their thoughts and insights with the world via blogging. One blog was extremely popular after it was released last year, causing’s web traffic to surge. Green County Farm Bureau President Jeff Ditzenberger, who blogs under the moniker, “The Farm Husband” shared a touching story about a Jersey cow named Emilie, and the compassion that farmers have for their animals.


By Jeff Ditzenberger, The Farm Husband


ompassion. It’s not just for mankind. Since I can remember, I have been surprised by the constant bad publicity and misconceptions of how farmers treat their animals. Things like, “They are just kept around long enough to make money” or “if they are sick they just send them to market” or “how can you consume something you raised” and finally, “you just pump them full of antibiotics and hormones so they are super animals.” I personally know A LOT of farmers, and trust me when I say, that even though there are a few bad apples...the good ones sweeten the pie. Let me tell you of an example of this. In 2003, a young farmer and her husband got done milking early on a Sunday evening to make a trip that was a little over four hours to look at a herd of Jersey cows that an older farmer was selling. When they arrived, they talked to the farmer who was already in his 80s and still milking. A short fellow in height, slightly bent over, but very tall in pride when he started talking of his girls. He was especially fond of an 8-year-old named Emilie. She was his favorite but she was getting a little tired he thought and maybe shouldn’t be sold to continue as a milk cow. The look in the farmer’s eyes told the buyers that he didn’t believe that Emilie should be separated from the herd. The young farmer petted Emilie and she responded by looking over her shoulder at the face connected to this gentle hand and a connection was made. Emilie was a “boss” cow. She was the first up and she wanted her feed first and she was the center of attention. Heck maybe in her cow mind, the center of the universe. She always got bred back right away. Always had bull calves, but milked like crazy and was always in that kind of moooood that you sensed she knew when you needed a pick me up. However, when she was around 15, she had some complications and wasn’t doing very good and needed surgery. The farmer said to her husband, “Emilie needs to go” through teary eyes she continued, “she is in a lot of distress and I’m not sure the vet and surgery will save her.” The compassion and sorrow in his wife’s eyes were too much. His reply back was, “Emilie is more than just a cow. I’ll call the vet. I’d rather see her pass here than to be with strangers.” The vet came and did surgery. Emilie was given the best chance she could be given. When the farmer (through teary eyes) whispered in her ear, “You have to fight and get well,” Emilie perked her ears and nudged her farmer, and a few days later she was up and walking. For the next couple of years, Emilie was a queen. The vet advised against breeding her, so Emilie was allowed to roam the pasture at will. She came in the barn when she felt like it, and if you were out in the pasture getting cows


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

and were walking anywhere near her, you had better pet her and scratch her ears or her head was under your arm and she was lifting and nudging you until you gave her some attention. A couple more years went by and she got slower, coming up to the feed bunk less. In the winter of 2011, she fell a couple times in the cow yard and had a hard time getting up. She was finally put with the dry cows on the bedding pack and she was quite content and quite spoiled. A few days later the husband got a call from his wife and she was crying and sobbing and all he could make out was something about Emilie. Finally he caught it, Emilie had apparently been a cougar and had a romantic interlude with the bull and gave birth to a beautiful heifer calf. It was her first heifer, and her first calf in almost four years. Her name would be Mykenzie Fayth. (That’s a whole other blog by the way). Emilie was pretty wore out but she licked her baby clean and got up long enough to get the ever important and rich colostrum (or mother’s milk), out of her and fed to her daughter. Three days later, Emilie passed. It was a bittersweet time as you could see her momma’s eyes and spirit in her baby. The farmer cried. Her shoulders heaved in a pain and sorrow not seen in most. She petted Emilie’s soft coat, nuzzled her head, whispered in her ear, patted her head one last time and as she walked away said, “She deserves more than that truck to come get her.” In the dead of winter, Emilie was buried in a clearing in the woods next to a young tree. She has been immortalized three times. First, by an engraved plaque and picture frame. Second, on a tattoo on the farmer’s strong shoulder with her beautiful sweet face surrounded by a heart made of braided barbed wire; and third on a cake pan that reads, “The only thing that gets as much love and attention as my cows is what I made in this pan.” But even more, she has been immortalized by the lessons she taught. To never give up. To take time to cherish those close to you. That a few kind words renew the spirit of all those that breathe; and finally, that farmers aren’t in it for the money. That even in the cold of winter when it’s 30 below at 2 a.m. they will strip down to a t-shirt to save a momma and her baby. Compassion can be taught by an 18-year-old cow and her farmer. I know this because I am the farmer’s husband who gets to see and hear the farmer tell Mykenzie (while being hand fed grass or some molasses covered corn) while scratching behind her ears, that her momma was amazing and that she taught her some of the most valuable lessons in life. So to those that doubt, I challenge you to find a more compassionate people than farmers. Whether it’s their animals or their land or their families. Let’s not forget the millions of people who they don’t even know, yet they put food and fiber in the system to get from their farm to your care. Not about the money, but about those they provide for. It’s who they are and it’s what they do. Compassion. It’s not a word. It’s a value.

The Farm Husband Jeff Ditzenberger

He may be short, but he’s never short on words! When Jeff Ditzenberger is not farming with his wife, Marie, he is advocating for agriculture as his county Farm Bureau president. The Ditzenbergers have two children, 200 cows and 250 acres near Monticello in picturesque Green County. Other than his four years of service in the Navy, Ditz has worked on the farm or in the farm supply/support biz.

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Farm Bureau

From the kitchen of Oconto County Farm Bureau members Ken and Vicky Harter

Grandma Maslik’s Barbecued Ribs Sauce: 1 cup catsup 1 cup water ¼ cup lemon juice ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp chili powder (optional)

Rib Ingredients: Up to 2 pounds spare ribs, bone-in or boneless country style pork ribs Liquid smoke Cooking oil

Combine sauce ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 325. Brush ribs with liquid smoke; let stand for 10 minutes. Heat enough oil to cover bottom of a dutch oven or heavy fry pan over medium high heat. Brown meat on all sides in batches. Return meat to dutch oven or place in baking dish. If spareribs are fat, bake for half hour then pour off rendered fat. Add sauce to dutch oven, cover and return to oven. If using a separate fry pan, pour off fat. Add sauce to pan and scrape up browned bits. Pour sauce over ribs in baking pan and cover. Bake at least one hour or until ribs are very tender.

Great Grandma Harter’s Dinner Rolls 2 ¼ tsp or 1 pkt dry yeast ¼ cup water 1 cup milk, warmed 2 tbsp lard or butter

2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1 egg, beaten 3 ½ cups flour

Grandma Schmoll’s Extra Moist Chocolate Cake ½ cup shortening 2 cups sugar 2 eggs ½ cup cocoa

1 cup sour milk or buttermilk 2 ½ cups flour ½ tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda 1 cup warm water

Dissolve yeast in water with ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Combine milk, shortening, salt and sugar. Add yeast mixture and egg. Gradually stir in flour to form a soft (and slightly sticky) dough. Cover and let rise in a warm area until doubled: 45 minutes to one hour. Do not punch dough down but dump out onto a well-floured surface.

Grease and flour a 9x13 inch cake pan; set aside. Combine flour, salt and soda in a small bowl; set aside. Cream sugar and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy; add cocoa and mix well.

To make Parker House rolls like Grandma’s, roll or pat dough out to about ½ inch thickness. Cut with a 2½ inch, round biscuit or cookie cutter. Pull each round to slightly elongate, smear half with melted butter and fold in half over butter. Place in greased 9x13 inch pan spacing about ½ inch apart. Brush tops of rolls with more butter. Can also divide into 24 equal pieces and form into round rolls, place in cake pan or space two inches apart on cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rise until nearly doubled, another 30-45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

(The Harter’s daughter won best of show with this cake at the Oconto County Fair.)


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Add the dry ingredients alternately with milk. Beat in water. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vicky and Ken Harter live in northeastern Wisconsin. She is a retired agribusiness instructor who taught students from middle school to technical college. Ken also taught agriculture before he was appointed as the UW-Extension Oconto County ag agent where he retired in 2002. Both believe strongly in ag education as seen by their past and current involvement in Ag in the Classroom, WFBF, FFA, FFA Alumni and 4-H. They have one daughter, Rebecca (married to Brian Kruger), and two grandchildren, Isaac and Eli. wisconsin farm bureau federation

Photo submitted by Barbara Ott, Wonewoc, WI

Photo submitted by Lori Weiler, Arpin, WI

Send in YOUR Photos Wisconsin Farm Bureau members live and work on some of the most beautiful pieces of land. On this page we would like to highlight those sights and special moments with your families and friends. Please email your photos (high resolution jpgs, 4x6 inches at 300 dpi) to ssutton@ Due to the high volume of photos we receive, we are unable to include every photo.

Photo submitted by Richard Gorder, Mineral Point, WI

The only thing worse than finding a worm in your apple… is finding half a worm. #RuralWisdom For more inspiration see our “Rural Wisdom” and “Farm Facts” at

#FarmFact: 100 pounds of #milk are required to produce 15 pounds of cottage #cheese. #WFBF april | May 2014

Photo submitted by Laura Daniels, Cobb, WI


Meet Board Member:

Nicole Adrian By Sheri Sutton

A farm girl with an off-farm job, Nicole Adrian rarely misses a chance to work agriculture into a conversation.


any times I use my work at the pharmacy to tell the agriculture story,” said Nicole, a certified pharmacy technician who fills prescriptions and orders drugs for a Platteville hospital. In her fourth year on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and her first year as its chair, one of Nicole’s priorities is to spread agricultural awareness. “One of the greatest strengths of the Women’s Program is agriculture education,” Nicole said. “I enjoy talking to people about agriculture and hearing their story. It’s important for others to get involved in their county programs to learn from each other and share ideas and knowledge on important issues like agriculture education and farm safety.” Returning home from a state Women’s chair conference in Washington, D.C. in March, Nicole was impressed by how much

Wisconsin’s Women’s Program for Education and Leadership does in comparison to other states. One of her goals as chair is to get the word out to other Farm Bureau members and potential members so they can see the gamut of Women’s activities available. “A lot of people don’t know what the Women’s Committee is and what we do. I’d love to get more women involved and educate people on what we do,” she said. One of the ways she hopes to do this is through a monthly

“A lot of people don’t know what the Women’s Committee is and what we do. I’d love to get more women involved and educate people on what we do.” - Nicole Adrain


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newsletter to showcase what’s happening statewide. From the successful Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit in March to opportunities to reach students with the Ag in the Classroom program and from July beef promotions to a pop tab challenge to help the Ronald McDonald Houses, Nicole says there is something for all women involved in agriculture.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Nicole and her husband, Matt, raise chickens and turkeys on an 80-acre farmette in Grant County. She grew up on a dairy farm, and works part-time on a friend’s dairy farm. Nicole is not the only Farm Bureau leader in her family. Her husband, Matt, is on the Grant County Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, her dad Don Steinbach serves as the board vice president and her mother Pat is the vice president of the county’s Women’s committee. Her experience in Farm Bureau has taken her to Washington, D.C. three times: once as a Young Farmer and Agriculturist member, as an Institute graduate and with the Women’s Committee. When she is not working, participating in a Farm Bureau event or running her three children (Hayden, 13; Allison, 11 and Abby,

“Many times I use my work at the pharmacy to tell the agriculture story.” - Nicole Adrian 7) to 4-H, soccer, drama and wrestling, Nicole enjoys church, FFA alumni, bowling, volleyball and being a part of the National Pharmacy Purchasing Association. In all her endeavors, Nicole is not bashful to spread conversations about agriculture.

Collect Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House This year the Women’s Committee will be running a Pop Tab Challenge. Pop tabs are the little aluminum tabs from all kinds of cans: soda, pet food, fruits, vegetables and more. Once the pop tabs are collected they will be turned into a Ronald McDonald House to be recycled in exchange for money, which supports the children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Madison, Milwaukee and Marshfield. The WFBF Women’s Committee pop tab challenge is a state wide project which began in January and will run through april | May 2014

November with the final collection in December at the WFBF Annual Meeting Trade Show at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The Women’s booth there will have nine tubs labeled by district. The committee asks that all counties send their tab collection to the Annual Meeting and drop them in their district tub. Pop tabs will then be taken to a Ronald McDonald house to be weighed and cashed in. For more local or district information on collecting tabs and possible prizes, contact your county Farm Bureau Women’s committee or district Women’s chair.


on the web

Member Benefits

Savings for your Family or Business

View additional WFBF Member Benefits and more details on our website at

Wisconsin Farm Bureau offers benefits and services to its members, covering a range of options that respond to the needs of farmers, families and businesses in Wisconsin.

Auto/General Motors Discount

Supplies & Products



ase IH - Eligible Farm Bureau members will receive an incentive discount ($300 to $500) when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers. The discount can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. Go to to see the eligible models and print your certificate.

eneral Motors - Eligible members may receive a $500 discount on qualifying Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles they purchase or lease.



S-Growmark Patronage - Members who are patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage dividends when patronage is paid.


criptSave® - ScriptSave is a prescription drug savings card available to you at NO COST as an added feature of your membership. Call 800.700.3957.


rainger Industrial Supply - Grainger Industrial Supply is the nation’s leading maintenance, repair and operational supplies distributor. Receive a 10% discount on all Grainger catalog items. For a free catalog call 608.221.3861. When ordering use the Farm Bureau account #855922019.


troke Detection Plus - Stroke Detection Plus offers preventative medical screenings at a discounted price to Farm Bureau members. These ultrasound screenings help detect blockages that can lead to stroke, aortic aneurysms and other artery diseases. For more information, call 1.877.732.8258.



eward Protection Program - Farm Bureau pays a $500 reward to people providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals for arson, theft or criminal damage to a member’s property that is posted with a Farm Bureau reward sign or sticker.


ffice Depot - Save up to 80% on Office Depot Preferred Products along with reduced prices on ink, paper, office supplies, toner, stamps/daters, pens, pads, furniture and much more. Members get free next day delivery with free shipping on orders over $50 and terrific copy and print pricing. Visit



griPlan Medical Reimbursement Program - The AgriPlanNOW! program is based on Section 105 of the IRS code and can allow farmers and other selfemployed individuals to deduct 100 percent of their family’s medical expenses through their farm or business. To learn more about AgriPlan and/or sign up, go to or call 888.595.2261.


ccidental Death Policy - Members receive $1,500 in accidental death insurance for themselves and their spouse, and $500 for minors. The policy increases in value for consecutive years of membership up to $3,500.



ural Mutual Insurance Company - Offering a full line of insurance and financial products for your personal, farm and business needs exclusively for Wisconsin Farm Bureau members. Our rural Wisconsin heritage assures that you’ll find in us the strong values you expect and deserve. Visit us on the web at to find your nearest Rural Mutual agent.


arm Bureau Financial Services is a dynamic multi-state insurance and investment organization serving individuals and families in not only rural areas, but also suburban and metropolitan. You can get more information about the financial services from your local Rural Insurance agent. Learn more about Farm Bureau Financial Services at



griVisor - WFBF members can receive a 35% discount on daily grain, livestock and feed input marketing advice, as well as current market quotes and updates. Call 800.676.5799.


he Country Today - With every new subscription or renewal purchased by a Farm Bureau member, The Country Today will donate $5 to the Ag in the Classroom program. Call 888.833.9268. *WFBF member benefits may be changed or discontinued at anytime without notice.



arm Bureau Bank - Take advantage of Farm Bureau Bank’s FDIC insured checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans. Go to



AA - Members can save up to 20% on AAA membership and the enrollment fee to join AAA is waived. FB members who already belong to AAA can receive the discount by calling before their next renewal. To enroll or to add the benefit to your existing account, call 877.731.3315 and give them the group code “WI07.”


VIS Car Rental Discount Program - You can save 5%-25% on Avis’ daily and weekly rates. To receive these discounted rates, all you need to do is use your Avis Worldwide Discount number: A298849. To rent a car and enjoy benefits visit or call Avis at 1.800.331.1212.


hoice Hotels International, Inc. - Members save an average of 20% at participating Choice Brand Hotels. Call 800.258.2847 to make the required advance reservation or book online at Make sure to select “special rate/CORPID.” Request WFBF member rate using ID# 00209870.


yndham Hotel Group - Members save 20% off the best available rate at more than 5,000 participating locations throughout North America. Mention Farm Bureau ID# 8000004288 when making your reservations. Call 877.670.7088.

Loyalty pays.

On top of most current offers, here’s a private offer 1 for Farm Bureau members.

1 Offer available through 4/1/14. Available on all 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet vehicles (excluding Volt). This offer is not available with some other offers, including private offers.

Only customers who have been active members of an eligible Farm Bureau for a minimum of 60 days will be eligible to receive a certificate. Customers can obtain certificates at Farm Bureau and the FB logo are registered service marks of the American Farm Bureau Federation and are used herein under license by General Motors.

Farm Bill at a Glance Summary

What’s included in the farm bill? 1%

• This five-year bill provides certainty to Wisconsin farmers and consumers

4.8% 5.7%

Food Stamps/Nutrition (SNAP), $390.7 billion


Crop Insurance, $41.4 billion

• Significant dairy reform

Conservation, $28.2 billion 80%

Commodity Programs, $23.5 billion

• Funding for research and specialty crop research • Strengthens livestock disaster programs

Other 8 Program Titles, $4.8 billion

Dairy •

• Strengthens crop insurance

• Eliminates direct payments

• Creates payment limits • Tightens eligibility rules for Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) • Consolidation or repeal of nearly 100 programs • 23 duplicative conservation programs consolidated into 13

• •

• •

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National monthly feed costs will be calculated - Must be established by based on the monthly market-reported prices September 1, 2014 for corn, soybean meal and alfalfa hay. Dairy production margin calculation is based - Voluntary program on a consecutive two-month period. The twomonth average feed cost will be subtracted from - Margin Protection the two-month all-milk price. Program included An administrative fee of $100 will be charged to all participating dairies. - No supply management Production history will be the highest base from 2011, 2012 or 2013. Annual adjustment will occur based on any increase in national milk production. Margin protection payments are based on a consecutive two-month period. Dairies shall determine their margin coverage level annually. Coverage levels are $4 to $8 in $0.50 increments. Percentage of coverage ranges from 25% to 90% in 5% increments of the production history. Payments will be issued when, for a consecutive two-month period, the average actual dairy margin is less than the coverage level selected by the dairy. The first four million pounds will be calculated at a separate coverage level from any production exceeding four million pounds. The premium for the first four million pounds of milk will be reduced by 25% for 2014 and 2015.

Crop Insurance • • •


$488.6 billion will be spent over 5 years.

Price Loss Coverage (PLC) provides a payment to the grower when the market price is below a fixed reference price for covered crops. Agricultural Risk Protection (ARC) payments will be provided when either a farm’s revenue from all crops or the county’s revenue for a crop is below 86% of a predetermined benchmark level of revenue. Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) is an option to purchase area coverage with an underlying individual policy or plan of insurance.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Farm Bill Offers a New Tool Box A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte

“It’s important to remember that the farm bill in many ways is just a blue print. The mechanics of its many programs still need to be built.”


his is the story of a tool box known as the farm bill. This box once held tools that were designed with good intentions, but had outlasted their usefulness. Others were under-utilized. Some didn’t lend themselves to marketbased decisions for crop and livestock farmers. Wisconsin Farm Bureau has long sought a revamp of this tool box. This new tool box has finally arrived in the form of the 2014 Farm Bill being signed into law earlier this year. It’s important to remember that the farm bill in many ways is just a blue print. The mechanics of its many programs still need to be built. So while growers shouldn’t expect to see many changes to crop programs this year, they shouldn’t be lulled into thinking things haven’t changed. The delivery of this tool box from Washington, D.C. to rural America is admittedly a few years over due. Its road to passage resembled a political soap opera, but that’s all in the past. While Farm Bureau rightfully heralded its passage, in many ways the real work is just beginning. A full-fledged education process must now begin to let farmers know the tools they now have to manage their own fiscal risk. Participation is still largely voluntary, and that’s a positive thing. The bottom line is there are a variety of tools for every farm to choose from. Savvy farmers will step up and take

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the time to learn which camp their farm falls in. Once they crack the tool box’s lid, they’ll discover we got the right farm bill for Wisconsin agriculture. Most of our farms meet the cross compliance measures in the new farm bill and will qualify for crop insurance. Farm bills of old primarily focused on row crops like corn, soybeans and cotton. More crops are covered in the new one and that’s a good thing in an agriculturally diverse state such as ours. Tools that had outlasted their usefulness and fell out of public favor were the much-scrutinized direct and counter-cyclical payments. Throughout the farm bill debate, Wisconsin Farm Bureau advocated replacing these tools. Two new tools, Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage, allow crop growers to manage their revenue and yield risk. A hard-fought set of sweeping changes will finally move federal dairy policy into the 21st century. The final version does not utilize supply management to combat price volatility. Federal dairy policy will be market-oriented. This is good as many economists have said a supply management program would have stacked the deck in favor of Western dairies. The farm bill contains a margin insurance program that will allow dairy farmers to voluntarily sign up for various

coverage levels. Like with crop growers, dairy farmers will have to quickly master this risk management tool. I know there are already farm bill critics. I would remind them that nobody got exactly what they wanted and nobody ever can in such a complex piece of legislation. Given our deeply-divided Congress, the compromise before us is probably the best hand we could have hoped to be dealt. Agriculture adapts and excels. We always do. It’s what farmers are good at. Each of us uses new technology, genetics and management skills to improve how we farm each year. Now is the time for each farmer to learn how this new tool box will best allow them to succeed.

WFBF President since 2012, Holte is a grain and beef farmer from Elk Mound in Dunn County.



Misguided ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Proposal Guest Column from AFBF President Bob Stallman

“Farmers and other landowners should be concerned that the federal government is proposing to regulate ditches and, in some cases, even dry land.”


he administration often talks about creating jobs, and with millions out of work the White House is right to focus on the issue. So it’s puzzling that the administration would consider a proposal that will hurt farms and other businesses, making it more difficult to create jobs. The administration is about to propose regulations to broadly expand the scope of the Clean Water Act. When Congress wrote the law, it was clear that it only applied to navigable waters or, as the law names them, “waters of the U.S.” Two Supreme Court decisions have reaffirmed that those terms do not cover all waters. However, the impending proposal would effectively eliminate any constraints those terms now impose on federal jurisdiction. It would let EPA and the Corps of Engineers regulate


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virtually any and all waters found within a state, no matter how small or seemingly unconnected to a federal interest. Farmers and other landowners should be concerned that the federal government is proposing to regulate ditches and, in some cases, even dry land. Based on a leaked version of the rule, any landscape feature that could be found to contribute any flow that eventually reaches a water of the U.S. would be regulated the same as the Mighty Mississippi! More landowners will have to apply for federal permits to make changes in how they use their land. Uncertainty about whether the government would issue a permit could be an innovation killer.

Ineffective Exemptions EPA has claimed that the proposal won’t be so bad because of exemptions. The exemptions may help some avoid costly permit requirements, but the agencies have so narrowed them that most farming activities do not qualify. If

a young, beginning farmer changed his grandfather’s land from, say, a cornfield to an apple orchard, he would have to get a permit or face up to $37,500 a day in fines. Homebuilders and other industries that fuel our economy would face similar requirements. Also, the existing exemption for agricultural stormwater—water that stands on a field after a heavy rain— would no longer benefit farmers because the land underneath would be subject to federal regulation.

Economic Impact EPA had to do an economic impact analysis of the proposal and it did—sort of. Through selective use of data and outdated studies, by not addressing all the costs of getting permits and by dramatically underestimating the acreage affected, the analysis cooks the books in favor of the proposed rule. Other economists say the government’s analysis doesn’t hold water. You would think that with the economic challenges we face and with such an unsound basis for the proposed rule the administration would shelve it. Instead, it is likely to publish it soon. Then we will see how serious the administration is about growing the economy and creating jobs.

American Farm Bureau Federation President since 2000, Stallman is a cattle and rice farmer from Columbus,Texas.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Ag’s Apathy Taking a Toll A Message from WFBF’s Casey Langan


f your neighbor was spreading lies about your farm, you would be mad. If someone was badmouthing your family, you would be livid. Guess what? Armies of activists tell anyone who will listen that farmers regularly abuse animals and harm the air, water and food supply, all for their own greed. Mad yet? Farming’s image is diminished daily by the food, environmental and animal rights activists. Yet too many farmers look the other way. They have never read anything Michael Pollan has to say, never seen a single frame of the ‘Food, Inc.’ film and don’t even know the true motives of the Humane Society of the United States. Agriculture’s apathy in the face of amped up advocacy by its vocal opponents is taking a toll. Most politicians believe that for every call, letter or e-mail they receive on a topic, there are another 100 people who feel the same way, but didn’t voice their opinion. Too many farmers and agriculturists are falling into that camp. Those of us who know which end of a cow the milk comes out of are already a small minority. We need every last aggie to speak up. It pains me to put this in print, but agriculture’s influence is shrinking. The long-delayed farm bill ought to be enough proof of this on the federal level. Now it’s happening in the Wisconsin Legislature too, where fewer than 10 of the 132 members are farmers. A common sense update to laws pertaining to high capacity wells is dead in the water. Lawmakers didn’t hear from enough

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farmers, but they heard from plenty of alarmist environmentalists. Now getting a well permit, or transferring ownership of one, just became a legal (and more costly) affair. Our opponents often use a divideand-conquer to approach with the farm community. Other times, we fail to unite on the most important issues on our own. Call the animal, food and environmental activists all the names you want, but I will give them this much, they’ve grasped the importance of building coalitions and using technology to advance their causes. All is not lost. We have some great advocates who use social media to bring the world to their farms, and engage the hearts and minds of consumers. Yet this is an all-hands-on-deck type of job. A handful of bloggers and active Facebook users, coupled with the hundreds of people who attend ‘Ag Day at the Capitol’ cannot do this alone. I’ve heard it said that unless there’s an emergency, nothing stirs up the farm community enough for them to set their chores aside and make a call or shoot off an e-mail. Have we really got to that point? If the regulatory pendulum ever swings hard against farming, will there be enough lawmakers in an increasingly urban society to right the ship? What can you do? • If you don’t have an email account, get one and give it to Farm Bureau so we can keep you informed. • Not on Facebook? Change that. • On Facebook? Create a page for your farm.

• Know what others are saying about agriculture and participate in the public dialogue about farm and food issues. • Don’t tear down one type of agriculture to build up another. Modern agriculture has become specialized. Custom harvesters, full-time milkers, nutritionists, veterinarians, agronomists, mechanics, accountants and attorneys have allowed farmers to ‘farm-out’ the things they don’t like to do. However, there’s one thing you can no longer afford to leave to someone else: communicating and advocating for agriculture’s best interest.

Langan is WFBF’s Executive Director of Public Relations.



Cattle Markets in Focus Guest Column by Nick Klump


he summer of 2013 was the beginning of one heck of a bull run in the live cattle futures market. No question, there have been peaks and valleys dating back to May of 2013, but there is no doubt that when you look at the price structure of the live cattle contracts since the summer of 2013, the uptrend is still intact. The reasoning for why the cattle market has been on this upward trending path, started a few years back with the aggressive herd liquidations that were caused by severe droughts in the Southern and Western portions of the United States. Back in late 2010, the cattle market was in a normal cycle of


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herd liquidation and rising prices, but the rainfall was starting to quit at that point too. Normally, the cycles wouldn’t have been a big issue, but the lack of rainfall eventually lead to producers shrinking their herds. Those liquidations lead to lower on feed numbers and lower placements. For example, if you were to look back at the September 2013 Cattle on Feed Report, you would notice that the monthly cattle on feed number had been lower than the 2012 estimates in each month, from January 2013 to September 2013. Throw in the removal of Zilmax, which helped cattle put on the final few pounds before slaughter, and colder weather, experienced towards the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, and we’ve got a market with fewer cattle and at some points lighter weight cattle. This all culminated to form one of the smallest national cattle herd sizes since the 1950s. So, the question is, where are we now, and where will we go in the next nine months? First, we must look at the cash cattle markets that ultimately are driving futures prices. Week after week we continue to see record to near record cash cattle trading across the cattle states. Retail demand has been stronger than expected, which has been pushing packers to pay ever increasing prices to secure supplies that they didn’t secure post holidays. The extreme cold and winter storms that have persisted this year have also been a driving force of

cash markets, with producers struggling to get cattle on the move. Anyone seen the hog market lately? The strength there is another driving force. We are in a period of uncharted waters, where it’s difficult to say when exactly the slowdown in cattle prices will come, but with continued tight supplies and the unwillingness for the retailer to switch enthusiastically to other proteins, live cattle will continue to bring top dollar. Over the past month, wholesale beef prices have shot up $40/ cwt (Choice). Looking at the Cattle on Feed Report, released February 21, we notice that placements were larger than expected, but on feed and marketings were both below 2013 numbers. Cattle on feed were three percent less than 2013 and marketings were five percent less. Indications, however, do show expansion plans among producers, with the most recent estimate that two percent of heifers are being held back from placement, in order to grow herds. That will take time though. In the meantime, demand from the retailer, amid tight supplies could likely keep cash markets supported and will be one of the major factors to keep an eye on.

Klump is the business operations specialist for AgriVisor, one of WFBF’s member benefits.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Room at the Table Guest Column by Katie Pratt


t a community foundation dinner, a gentleman thanked me for working as an advocate for agriculture. “I couldn’t do it,” he shrugged. “Gets my blood pressure going too high. That’s why we need people like you.” My usual response has been, “Thank you. It’s always an adventure,” but I’m thinking of changing my reply to this: “There’s room at the table for everyone, so pull up a chair.” As one of the Faces of Farming & Ranching for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, I have discovered that pulling up a chair around a table, preferably one set with a meal, lends itself to very honest, frank and respectful conversations. Not everyone leaves agreeing, but I have left several meals appreciating another perspective on food production. Our efforts to cultivate a civil discussion around farming and food are making a difference. Non-farmers are discovering that farmers and ranchers have nothing to hide and a whole lot to share. Farmers and ranchers – from beginning to multi-generations, of all crops and livestock, sizes, shapes and methods of production – are reaching out to share their stories on social media, through blogs, videos, statewide engagement efforts and conversation. Basic “hey, how ya doin’” conversations can be a powerful tool. Our audiences vary as much as agriculture itself. From the average Jane consumer to restaurant owners and operators to our state and federal

april | May 2014

senators and representatives, there is room at the table for us all and plenty of opportunity for engagement. The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance continues to drive social media outreach through Facebook and Twitter, often posting an article and allowing everyone to have their say. This open-ended dialogue doesn’t happen on other pages where I’ve witnessed farmers blocked because their views did not match that of the group. These “blocked” conversations are the most frustrating to me. Most general agriculture groups and organizations make a solid attempt to include a diverse choir of farmers and ranchers because the consensus is that all types of farming and ranching are needed in order to satisfy the demands of the consuming public. However, a few ag groups claiming to support the farmer, only offer that support if he or she farms a certain way. Agriculture has to learn to play nice with each other before we can expect the non-farming public to accept us as a unified community, and our agriculture community is big. Often, the farm/food conversation highlights “farm stories,” but there are many links between the farm gate and dinner plate – food processors, food scientists, nutritionists and grocery store managers. The people involved in these professions have “food stories” to tell, all of which are pertinent to the conversation. There is room at the table for all voices in the food chain.

Of course, inviting so many individuals to dinner comes with a note of caution, because engaging in a conversation starts with active listening. With so many people sharing their stories, we must strain to truly hear the initial questions about farming and food in order to understand the source. Fear? Concern? Ignorance? Honesty? I fully understand the power of social media, but believe the most powerful connection we share is one made in person, maybe sharing a meal. So set the table, pull up a chair and prepare to listen, engage and then share your story.

Pratt and her husband Andy raise corn, soybeans and seed corn in Illinois.



Conservation Should be Locally Led Guest Column by Jimmy Bramblett


need for local leadership in natural resources management was one of the most important factors leading to the establishment of Conservation Districts almost 80 years ago. Wisconsin has a proud history of leading this locally-led effort through a 1934 Soil Conservation Demonstration Project in the Coon Creek Watershed (Vernon County). Shortly thereafter, the federal Soil Conservation Service was formed and local Conservation Districts were created as a local focal point for coordinating and delivering technical assistance and prioritizing conservation funding to private landowners based on local conditions and needs. Multiple legislative enactments by Congress in the mid-to-late 1980s changed how the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, formerly Soil Conservation Service) addressed conservation and natural resource management needs. Programs were largely driven by national priorities and


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federal conservation efforts focused on a narrower range of natural resource concerns. Fortunately, the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (the 1996 Farm Bill) signaled a shift back to the original idea of locally led conservation. Subsequent farm bills have further reinforced this return to locally led conservation. During Federal Fiscal Year 2013, NRCS in Wisconsin obligated more than $35 million for new conservation investments with farmers across the state. In fact, there are currently more than 5,100 farmers working to install over $120 million worth of conservation practices on their farms. Despite recent farm bills, farmers and other local conservation partners in Wisconsin have expressed concerns about these investments. Specifically, private landowners and other local conservation interests have indicated a desire for more input to help prioritize conservation funding based on local conditions and needs. In response, NRCS in Wisconsin will fully embrace this original, and recently reinforced, concept of locally led voluntary conservation. Farmers and other private landowners will be invited to participate in Local Work Groups (LWGs) this summer. LWGs include local USDA representatives, local University of Wisconsin-Extension representatives, local farmers and others with an interest in voluntary local conservation. Each LWG will receive a minimum amount of federal dollars through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to determine local priorities including, but not limited to: Funding Allocations: LWGs will be asked to identify what “type� of funding is desired. Choices will include cropland,

pasture, forest and farmstead (i.e. barnyards) at a minimum. It is reasonable to speculate LWGs in the far northwoods might like most of their funding to address forestry needs as an example; while LWGs in the Fox Valley area may want a mix of cropland and farmstead funding. The bottom line is LWGs (including local farmers) will prioritize what type of funding they receive based on local conditions and needs. Practices Desired: In addition to making decisions on what type of funds each LWG should receive, LWG participants will also highlight the most appropriate conservation practices for their area. For example, a LWG choosing to receive pasture funds might want to prioritize the conservation practice pasture and hayland planting (now called forage and biomass planting) or watering facility for livestock. LWGs will be given an opportunity to request practices based on fund types solicited to address their local concerns. Prioritization of Applications: Each application is also prioritized for funding based on a set of national priorities, state priorities and local priorities. LWGs can set local questions to help ensure conservation dollars are directed to fund types requested and practices desired. In short, successful voluntary conservation works best when it is locally-led. LWG meetings will be widely publicized so you can participate. We look forward to working with you and learning from you on how conservation in your area should be locally led. Bramblett is the state conservationist for the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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Daniels, Schauf Named “AgVocates of the Year” at the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit

AgVocates of the Year


ore than 300 women were in attendance to celebrate their role in agriculture at the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit, hosted by Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Badgerland Financial and UW-Extension March 14-15 in Madison. Farm Bureau leaders Laura Daniels of Cobb and Karyn Schauf of Barron were specially recognized as true promoters of agriculture, being named the 2014 Wisconsin AgVocates of the Year during the Friday evening banquet. “We all have that moment where we see something come across our desk or we read it in the newspaper, something that doesn’t represent the truth and diversity of agriculture. We know that someone needs to speak up on behalf of farmers, and it’s that moment that we come to realize that it’s our time,” Daniels commented. She and her husband, Jarred, and children, Nathan and Julia, care for their 300 Jersey cows and 650 acres of crop and pasture land at Heartwood Farm. “There is room and need for different styles of agvocacy. Work in the styles you do best,” Schauf shared with attendees. Karyn and her husband, Bob, own and farm Indianhead Holsteins where


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

they milk 100 registered Holstein cows and market cattle genetics world-wide. Since 2013, the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit has recognized an Wisconsin AgVocate of the Year. This award is given to a woman who actively and positively represents agriculture to both her peers and those outside of the agriculture community. She works to tell agriculture’s story in a professional manner and is seen as a leader and voice for local and state issues and events. In their honor, a $250 donation will be made to the charities of Laura and Karyn’s choice. The Summit’s planning committee invites women to save the date for the 2015 Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit, to be held March 13-14 at the Madison Marriot West in Middleton. For event details, visit or

As Seen on Twitter (#WAWS14)

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on the web Check out more Ag Women’s Summit photos at

april | May 2014



FFA Farm Forum ‘Ignites’ Ag Leaders


early 200 high school juniors from across Wisconsin attended the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s FFA Farm Forum in Wisconsin Rapids, February 21-22. “The Farm Bureau is proud to host this annual event with the FFA to help grow the next crop of agricultural leaders in Wisconsin,” said Jim Holte, president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. During the two-day event at Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids, FFA members attended workshops that covered topics including post-high school agricultural opportunities, current legislative issues and misconceptions about agriculture and biotechnology. Joining Holte as keynote speakers at the event were two young dairy farmers who regularly engage the public on social media: Rick Roden of West Bend, a former chair of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee, and Carrie Mess of Lake Mills, who blogs under the name Dairy Carrie. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation sponsors the FFA Farm Forum in cooperation with the Wisconsin Association of FFA. This year’s FFA Farm Forum marks the 42nd year the Farm Bureau family of affiliates has sponsored the event for Wisconsin youth.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

april | May 2014



YFA Holds Three Contests for Members


isconsin Farm Bureau Federation is again holding contests for Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) members. Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 are eligible for the Discussion Meet Contest, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Achievement Award. Farm Bureau co-sponsors these contests with GROWMARK Inc. and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Information and applications for the contests can be downloaded from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s website,, or members can call Dale Beaty, Director of Training and Leadership Development at 608.828.5714. The winners of these contests on the state level will compete at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in San Diego, California, January 10-13, 2015. They will be guests at the GROWMARK, Inc. Annual Meeting, August 27-28, 2015, and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau 2015 Annual Meeting/YFA Conference, December 4-7, 2015. They will also have the opportunity to take part in the YFA Washington, D.C. trip. Achievement Award contestants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service

organizations. Applicants must have derived a majority of their income from on farm production for the past three years. Rural Mutual Insurance Company will provide a free financial plan for the state winner. The final four receive a $50 FAST STOP gift card. FABCO Equipment Inc. provides the state winner with 40 hours use of a FABCO 226 skidsteer loader. Excellence in Agriculture contestants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. Applicants must have derived a majority of their income from a non-production agribusiness enterprise for the past three years. Examples would be an agriculture teacher, fertilizer salesperson, veterinarian, farm employee, agricultural writer or marketer. All applicants receive a $50 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK Inc. The state winner receives a $250 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. towards FS products. Applications for the 2014 Achievement Award and the Excellence in Agriculture Award are due postmarked by July 1. Finally, the Discussion Meet contest gives young members a chance to demonstrate their speaking skills on agriculturalrelated topics. Contestants are judged on their problem-solving skills as they discuss timely topics with their colleagues. Each of WFBF’s nine districts will hold a district Discussion Meet competition this fall. The three finalists in each district receive a $50 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK Inc. The statewide winner will also receive a chain saw from Midwest Stihl, Inc.

on the web Check out more information about the YFA program and YFA contests at


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“Our Food Link” Allows Members to Serve Others


n Saturday, February 22, Washington County Farm Bureau members Mariann Gundrum, Judy Kasten, Emily Krueger and Nancy Dornacker went to the Ronald McDonald House to prepare 40 lunches for the families staying at the house. This was part of the “Lunch-2-Go” program whose goal is to eliminate the worry and cost of a lunch for families residing in the House. The women serving also left various brochures about farming and coloring books for the kids to enjoy. This was the first year the Washington County Farm Bureau Women’s committee planned an event at the Ronald McDonald House. Over the past two decades, American Farm Bureau has donated more than $3 million in monetary and food donations. The District 8 Women also did a Ronald McDonald House event in Marshfield on February 22.

In addition to serving, monetary donations in honor of Our Food Link were given. Dunn County Farm Bureau donated money to a local food pantry, Grant County Farm Bureau donated money to five local food pantries and Sauk County Farm Bureau donated $200 to Second Harvest Food Bank.

AFBF State Women’s Chair Conference Wisconsin’s state Women’s Chair Nicole Adrian attended the AFBF State Women’s Chair Conference in Washington, D.C., March 2-5. The conference provided opportunities for state chairs and vice chairs of Promotion & Education and Women’s Leadership committees to enhance skills, meet with students and/or lawmakers and collaborate through program idea sharing. Nicole along with 15 other women, shopped for and donated food to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C.

“Our Food Link” is a new year-round program that county Farm Bureaus will

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use to reach consumers with accurate information about agriculture. Our Food Link replaces ‘Food Check-Out Week’ which marked the week in which many families have earned enough income to buy their groceries for the year.

visit or call 888-518-4963 Ext. 32499 38

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


news resources for teachers

ag in the classroom NEWS educational resources America’s Farmers

( – Sponsored by Monsanto, this website provides links for changing the conversation and building trust with the non-farm public and agriculture. Information about farming, farm families and the various programs Monsanto sponsors are featured. America’s Lasting Heritage ( – Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and Syngenta, this website is designed for consumers, farmers and ranchers offering video and written profiles of American Century Farms, engaging agriculture history timelines and free, standardsbased educator resources. Wisconsin Dairy Council ( – As we head into spring and June Dairy Month time, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board/Dairy Council offers teachers, students and farmers a variety of educational resources and lesson plans. Many free, downloadable resources are featured along with information for athletes, food service programs and consumers.

april | May 2014

Come “Board the Bus” this Summer For the third year, instead of having students riding the bus to learn, this summer Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom is offering a twoday opportunity for teachers, home school parents, 4-H leaders and volunteers working with agricultural literacy to “board the bus.” The bus tour, July 8-9, will visit farms, agri-businesses and other sites to help them learn about the variety of agricultural production and resources our state has to offer. Registration forms, undergraduate and graduate credit information and other details will be posted at Summer Classroom Training in River Falls Teachers and volunteers are encouraged to attend the Summer Classroom AITC Training on Wednesday, July 23, on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus. A combination of commodity group presentations, sharing of lesson plans and ideas, handson activities and connecting it to educational standards will be included. Undergraduate and graduate credits will be available. Registration and other information can be found at


ag in the classroom

Soybeans Used as Teaching Tool


isconsin agriculture educators, volunteers and FFA members participated in two types of Soybean Science Kit trainings at the FFA Farm Forum in February. The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board supported the training on how to use the kits in classrooms, FFA events and other venues. Two separate days of training plus three FFA Farm Forum workshops were held. The Soybean Science Kits and related curriculum, designed by researchers at Purdue University, uses soybeans to introduce students in grades 4-9 to science and its fundamentals, highlighting the principles of using biological, renewable resources. More information can be found at

All lessons are aligned to National Science Education Standards. Karyl Rosenberg, retired Milwaukee High School Science Teacher, and Rhona Schuebel, Agriculture Education Instructor at Clayton, are working on correlating the kits to the new Next Generation Science Standards and Wisconsin Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource Standards. Those correlations will be available on the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom website upon completion. You can find a listing of the 74 sponsored kits, their coordinators and promotional materials under the Soybean Science Kit tab on the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom website:

Thank you Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board for your support of Soybean Science Kits in Wisconsin! 40

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Scholarships Spur Agriculture Education


he American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has recognized two Wisconsin volunteer educators for their exceptional efforts to encourage agricultural literacy. The educators will each receive a $1,500 scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania in June. The Foundation, through the WhiteReinhardt Fund for Education, sponsors the scholarships in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee. The volunteer recipients are: Sheila Everhart of Janesville and Ashley Prue of Green Bay. Educators nationwide attend the conference to learn to incorporate real-life agricultural applications into science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition lessons. Scholarship recipients were judged on past use of innovative programs to educate students about agriculture as well as future plans to implement information gained at the AITC conference in their own lesson plans and share the information with other teacher and volunteer educators.

The AITC conference joins a diverse group of organizations and speakers to address how to improve agricultural education and literacy, showcase successful programs and offer educational materials. The Agriculture Department coordinates the AITC program with the goal of helping students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society. The American Farm Bureau Federation and state Farm Bureaus also support and participate in the program’s efforts. The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education honors two former American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were leaders in early national efforts to educate about agriculture and improve agricultural literacy.

Because no food should go to waste...

april | May 2014



Shining our spotlight on...

Wisconsin Agricultural Education and Workforce Development Council WAEWDC is comprised of individuals representing private industry, education and state government. It is dedicated to attracting, developing and retaining the superior human capital required to grow Wisconsin’s agricultural, food processing, natural resource, agribusiness and emerging biological and bio-energy industries.

findings and recommendations report to Wisconsin’s Secretary of Agriculture on July 29, 2004. The final report of the Panel led to the creation of 2007 WI Assembly Bill 83 and to the passage of 2007 WI Act 223, “The Wisconsin Agricultural Education and Workforce development Council.”

How it Began

Act 223 does not provide funding for the Council. The Wisconsin Agriculture Education Foundation, Inc. was formed to help ensure the availability of a strong, well educated workforce for agriculture, food and natural resource systems. The funding for the Council has come from donations, in-kind contributions, grants and other resources.

The concept of such a council started back in 2001 when the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE) created a committee to focus on attracting students to agriculture. The Council’s beginnings drew support from educators and businesses. Under the direction of leaders such as Paul Larson, Freedom High School Agriculture Educator, a statewide summit on agricultural education was hosted in July 2003 at Mauston High School. The summit theme was “Knowledge Crisis.” The summit resulted in the Secretary’s Panel on Agriculture Education being convened to recommend actions that offer the greatest potential for assuring the sufficient human resources to “Grow Wisconsin’s Agriculture.” The panel met three times during 2004, during which time they developed and provided a

Nutritional Forage Management Manufacturing Services Programs 42

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Feed Delivery

Who Funds the Council?

What is the Council’s Purpose/ Mission? Provide advocacy for agricultural education, educational initiatives and associated resources that improve the employment opportunities for and retention of a superior workforce necessary to meet the ever changing demands of the agriculture industry in Wisconsin.

Current Projects and Initiatives Paul Larson now serves as the chairman of WAEWDC and Al Herman is the executive director of the Wisconsin Agriculture Education Foundation, Inc (WAEF). The Foundation and Council have been working on several projects this past year including the career website, This website helps inform young people and displaced workers about potential careers in agriculture and has Committed a skills matrix which then connects to Our the visitors to careers in agriculture Customers’ related to their interests. The website Success also provides information about educational requirements and live Valders, WI links to human resource departments of the sponsor companies. 800-277-4465 The Council is also finalizing a 920-775-9600 data project with their partners at

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Workforce Development. This data work will show the importance of agriculture to the economy of Wisconsin and draw attention to the thousands of career opportunities available now and for the coming years. It is their hope to “rebrand” the image of agriculture in Wisconsin to be inclusive of all the great career opportunities available in the industry. With this new marketing strategy, they hope to inspire young people to consider an exciting, diverse and fast paced career choice in agriculture.

Farm Bureau’s Involvement A number of Wisconsin Farm Bureau members have or are serving on the Council in a variety of roles. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation is a sponsor of the Council and the WhyAg initiative.

“Your support of the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Council will help assure that we have the workforce needed to meet the needs of our vital agricultural industry in Wisconsin. We know we will be short at least 132,000 employees by 2020 and if we don’t take action now it will have a huge impact on agriculture in Wisconsin. Any support to help meet this employee shortage would be greatly appreciated.” - Paul Larson

How can you get involved? Farm Bureau members are encouraged to visit the three websites (, and to learn about agricultural careers and the roles of WAEWDC and WAEF. Share the website with your school counselors and teachers, friends and family who may be interested in agricultural careers. If you are employed or own an agricultural related business, consider being a sponsor so that your company appears on Seats on the WAEWDC represent different sectors, you may have an interest in serving on the Council in the seat related to your business or position. Individual contributions are always accepted.

Check out:

april | May 2014

Hi Darlene! I just wanted to shoot you a quick email to say thank you for attendin g our Collegiate Farm Bureau meeting yes terday and sharing information on Ag in the Classroom. Many of the members said afterward s they didn’t know how many materials we had access to and how much work went into this progra m, so thank you for all the work that you do to make this available to volunteers! Thanks again! Zoey Brooks, UW-Madison Collegiate Far m

Bureau Director

One of the core values of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation is “We believe that the future of the agriculture industry is dependent on our students.” The Wisconsin FFA achieves this by providing programs and activities driven to promote classroom instruction, Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs) and leadership devel opment. Your generous contribution helps to provide those opportuniti es for personal and professional growth. Sincerely, Sara Schoenborn, Executive Director Wisconsin FFA Foundation Thank you for sponsorin g the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award! 4-H has had an im portant role in my life and I am very honored to receive this award. Thank you for all you do to support 4-H!

Sincerely, Kayla Powers, Dunn Coun ty


Want to donate to the WFB Foundation? Visit: foundation.



Ag in the Classroom Grants Aid Local Teachers


ometimes just $100 can go a long way for a classroom teacher that wants to do an agricultural project, lesson or take students to a farm. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, through the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program, has awarded 12 Teacher Mini-Grants to Wisconsin teachers to use in agricultural literacy lessons and activities. The grants provide opportunities for teachers to obtain funding that may not be available through their local school budgets.

Antigo High School: Awarded $100 for “Seed, Soil and Sun Science Kit” based on author Cris Peterson’s

Southern Door Schools, Brussels: Awarded $100 for “Ag Career Day.” This activity is a partnership

book, Seed Soil Sun. The students will present a copy of the book to all fourth grade classes and help teach science lessons. (Jolynne Schroepfer, grades 9-12 agriculture)

between the Southern Door School District and Kewaunee County Economic Development Council Ag Committee. Seventh and eighth grade students will travel to Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee. (Jeanna James, grades 9-12 agriculture)

Bethlehem Community School, Mosinee: Awarded $100 for “Beautiful Butterflies Abound.” The lesson includes a garden unit, starting seeds, caring for plants and hatching the larvae while they keep a journal about these activities. (Terri Eberhardy, 4-K)

Black Hawk Schools, South Wayne: Awarded $100 for “Pen to Plate.” An animal science class will raise chickens from chicks to market weight. They will learn about poultry production, daily care, feeding and processing the birds for the chapter FFA banquet. (Lori Berget, grades 9-12 agriculture)

Elcho Public School: Awarded $100 for “The Farmer in the Dell.” Children will have hands-on opportunities to learn about farm life and where their food comes from with the purchase of agricultural books, farm toys and materials to plant an indoor garden. (Anne Schmidt, pre-school)

Sparta High School: Awarded $100 for “Ag Day 2014.” FFA members will facilitate an Ag Day event that will feature seed germination, butter-making and cheese-making. (Eric Follendorf, grades 9-12 agriculture)

St. Croix Falls High School: Awarded $100 for “Farm to Table Class.” The classes will harvest and preserve products grown in the school garden. The students will also learn different food preservation techniques. (Brian Waltz and Laurie Sabel, grades 9-12 agriculture and family and consumer science)

St. Rose School, Cuba City: Awarded $100 for “What else lives on a farm.” Through the use of books, farm animal sets and games, the project will discuss animals, proper names of various species and what they produce. (Cheri Oglesby, pre-K)

Feith Family YMCA, Port Washington: Awarded $100 for “Adventures in Agriculture.” Adventures in

Viking Middle School, Woodville: Awarded $100 for “Rural Life Rules.” By developing oral histories and

Agriculture is a seven week pre-school youth development class. Students will explore agriculture through books, songs, movement, crafts and hands-on experiences. (Kate Hoffmann, pre-school)

other resources, the students will incorporate math, science, literature, writing and social skills as they learn about the history of their rural community. (Kirstin Thompson, fifth grade)

Holmen High School: Awarded $100 for “Book Barns.” The grant will purchase age-appropriate agricultural-focused books. High school students are building book barns to store the books in their high school classes. They will read to and do hands-on activities with younger students. (Roger King, grades 9-12 agriculture)

on the web Read more about these grants by searching “teacher mini grants” at

Lodi High School: Awarded $100 for “National Agriculture Week.” FFA members will present a program based on the story “Tap the Magic Tree” to K-2 students during National FFA Week. After reading the story, they will make a “Wisconsin Tree” and explain products that are harvested from trees. (Glenda Crook, grades 9-12 agriculture)


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Show your support for local teachers. A $100 donation to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation helps fund these worthy grants.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

rural mutual

Are You Covered? Are You Sure?


ortunately it does not happen often, but when it does the most difficult thing we ever do is tell a client there is no coverage, or not enough coverage. The purpose of insurance is to put you in the same position you were prior to the loss. While nobody should win when a loss occurs, we should also be working to diligently assure that loss is minimized. Rural Mutual Insurance Company will be doing a series of articles titled Are You Covered? Are You Sure? in upcoming Farm Bureau Rural Route issues. These articles will have feature topics on building values, replacement cost verses actual cash value,

By Peter Pelizza

coinsurance, crops in the open and farm personal property inventories. This month’s feature article discusses building values and what you need to know when determining what value you should have on your farm buildings. We hope you find this information of value and I encourage you to contact one of our Rural Mutual Insurance agents to discuss your coverage before a loss occurs. Pelizza is the CEO and Executive Vice President of the Rural Mutual Insurance Company.

Rising Property Values Scenario: You have a 10-year-old machine shed that is covered for replacement cost at $80,000. Based on current market values that machine shed should be insured for $120,000. Due to large amounts of ice and snow the building collapses and is a total loss. Because you were not adequately insured at the current value you sustain a $40,000 out of pocket expense as the claim will only pay out the $80,000 that you had on it. Property insurance is intended to help you get back on your feet by covering the loss of your home or farm buildings. Take the time to make sure your insurance policy has been updated recently to take into account the increases in the values of buildings. You can do that by contacting your Rural Mutual Insurance agent to do a review of your insurance coverage to make sure you are covered before you find out that your insurance policy comes up short. Remember, if you want to cover the full costs to replace property in a loss, strive to have your insurance coverage be close to 100 percent of the replacement cost. Tips on reviewing your insurance coverage with your agent: • Make sure the proper description, dimensions and construction style of your buildings are included. • If you’ve done extensive remodeling, notify your agent.

april | May 2014

• Discuss the levels of coverage you want on property in the event you experience a loss. • Know the difference between comprehensive and named peril coverage. - Comprehensive coverage covers most losses, except those excluded. - Named peril coverage applies only to loss caused by the perils listed on the policy. • Discuss an inflation guard option to make sure the coverage value of your buildings adjusts with inflation. • Even if you have an inflation guard, recheck your policy annually.


rural mutual

Rural Mutual Recognizes Top Agents

Pat Truttmann

Kurt Johnson

Jerry Ring


ural Mutual agent Pat Truttmann was the company’s 2013 Agent of the Year. Truttmann, who is a member of the Eastern Shore District, has his office in Green Bay. The 2013 District of the Year honors went to the Capitol District and District Manager Kurt Johnson. Rural Mutual held its 2013 Honors and Awards program recognizing the top producing agents on February 19 at the Marriott Hotel in Middleton.

Chuck McDaniel

Daryl Pulsfus

Jerry Ring, Madison, was the Company Top Performer in Life Lines. Chuck McDaniel, Waupaca was the Company Top Performer is Personal Lines, Daryl Pulsfus, Reedsburg was the Company Top Performer in Farm Lines and Pat Truttmann, Green Bay was the Company Top Performer in Commercial Lines.

Looking Out for Loved Ones Have you ever…

taken a vacation day (or 20) to hold a hand during treatment?

taken the winter bundling just a little too far? strapped on a helmet, knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, gloves and special shoes…and still not felt like it was enough? seriously thought about installing a backup brake on the passenger side? sent a text to check in and followed up with a phone call just to hear their voice? carefully prepared a care package to send to someone far from home? double-checked – make that triple-checked – on a sleeping baby? 46

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driven across town to check on an aging family member?


ou go to great lengths to protect the ones you love. Life insurance is the simplest way to ensure they remain protected if you’re not there to do it yourself. If the unexpected were to happen, life insurance can help replace your income to ensure your family can keep a familiar lifestyle. It can help fund a child’s future education. It can pay for someone to provide loving care for sick or aging family members. It can provide a sense of security and comfort during the most difficult of times. Have you ever talked to a local Rural Mutual Insurance agent about how life insurance could protect your loved ones? Find an agent near you by visiting us on the web at

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Fuel isn’t the only thing driving your success. Businesses that are driven to succeed partner with FS. Our energy experts stay focused on what’s ahead, providing next generation fuel management tools and state-of-the-art software, along with a breadth of essential, quality products that point the way forward. FS is always discovering new ways to help customers optimize their operations and ensure they’re ready for what’s next.


©2014 GROWMARK, Inc. A14174C

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Don’t Get Caught With Your CROPS Down! Rural Mutual Insurance Company’s Crop Hail insurance covers more than just hail damage. It also covers crop losses caused by fire, lightning, transportation, vandalism and damage caused by non-owned vehicles. In addition, if your crops are destroyed early in the growing season, our policy offers financial assistance for replanting expenses... with no reduction in coverage. To protect your livelihood, visit us on Facebook or on our website at to find an agent near you.


Rural Route  

April | May, 2014 Volume 20 Issue 2

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