Rural Route

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Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

august | september 2016 • vol. 22 no. 4 |

Appreciating the Past Annual Report YFA and Institute D.C. Trips Key Agricultural Topics

Looking to the Future

2016 WFBF annual Meeting and YFA Conference Preview Page 20

WFBF Annual Meeting & YFA Conference

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contents vol. 22 no. 4




Aggie Answers Board members share what they would have been had they not been farmers.


ADVOCACY IN D.C. YFA members and Institute graduates visit Washington.




Rural Mutual Insurance named an Elite Sustaining Sponsor.


12 18






20 stay connected


Farm Technology Days


Policy Development Weigh in on these emerging ag issues.

Annual Report See highlights from the last year.

America’s Dairyland Farming stories from the late Gordon Raddatz.

Annual Meeting Preview the 2016 WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference.

Opinion Columns Columns from Duvall, Holte, Langan and Camp.

Ag in the Classroom Highlights from this year’s bus tour and teacher training.

Farm Bureau Flavor Recipes from the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers.

Rural Mutual Eight years straight in the Ward’s® Top 50 list. On the cover: photo by Casey Langan


August | September 2016


Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor’s Note


hen people ask me what it’s like to put together each Rural Route, I joke that a magazine is like a herd of dairy cows. Once you’re done, it’s almost time to start again. Truth be told, there is rarely much of a break between issues. As finishing touches are applied before sending to the printer, I’ve seen so many versions of that issue that my mind wanders to the excitement of mapping out the next issue. A habit that drives Lynn, the magazine’s designer, a bit crazy. The evolution of a magazine is like a herd of cows too. Any herd has turnover. Old cull cows give up their stalls for fresh heifers. Since we began printing this magazine in 2010, old ways of doing things have given way to new ones. This same principle is true for Farm Bureau or any vibrant organization. Some of those

changes make up the Annual Report you’ll find on page 14. Back to cows. I’ll be honest, it’s been a few years since I milked one, so they conjure up thoughts of nostalgia. In this issue, we have two nostalgic and touching tales from Farm Bureau staff who lost family members from what has been called the Greatest Generation. District Coordinator Wes Raddatz shares an interview he conducted with his late father about farming. Director of Communications Amy Eckelberg penned a column about her grandfather shortly before and after his death last spring. In this issue, you are asked to share your opinions on a variety of policy development items impacting agriculture. They range from things as old as Wisconsin’s fence law to figuring out how to bring broadband to the most rural stretches of our state. Just as it takes a herd of cows to produce a cooler or tanker full of milk, the collective work of many volunteer members and staff is on display throughout these pages. I wanted to wrap up this Editor’s Note with another comparison to cows, but it’s almost time to send this issue to the printer. Besides, my mind has already drifted to the October issue. Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Designer Lynn Siekmann 608.828.5707

Contributor Amy Eckelberg 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)

WFBF Board of Directors Jim Holte, Elk Mound, (President) Richard Gorder, Mineral Point, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Arch Morton Jr., Janesville Joe Bragger, Independence Kevin Krentz, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo Don Radtke, Merrill Rosalie Geiger, Reedsville (Promotion and Education Committee Chair) Derek Orth, Stitzer (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 Casey McNeal at 800.798.2691 ext. 334 or For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

ggie nswers

Derek Orth

YFA Chair

For the longest time, I wanted to be an auto mechanic, like my uncle. But after winning the state FFA meats judging contest, I wanted to be a meat inspector.

Dave Daniels

District 1

A veterinarian. I went to college and found out that was going to be way too much schooling and studying.

We asked the WFBF Board of Directors: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up (other than a farmer)?

Rosalie Geiger

Promotion and Education Chair

When I was a child, I liked school and I was a very good student and always got As. Believe it or not I was rather shy, but I wanted to become a teacher.

Joe Bragger

District 4

I was fixated with building a plane. My dad thought I was crazy, but he did get me to some flying lessons. After getting ridiculously lost during a solo practice I hung it up.

Richard Gorder Arch MOrton JR

Vice President

I always thought it would be cool to follow in my Great Grandfather Aldro Jenks’ profession. He was the longest serving Circuit Court Judge in Iowa County.

District 2

I thought it would be interesting and exciting to be a sportscaster. That idea came from watching Howard Cosell, ‘Dandy’ Don Meredith and Frank Gifford on Monday Night Football.

GMO Labeling is Now Law P

resident Obama signed the National Biotech Disclosure bill into law on July 29. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said the bill’s passage will put a stop to the harmful patchwork of state GMO labeling laws and set in place a uniform, national disclosure system that will provide balanced, accurate information to consumers. “For decades, biotechnology has made it possible for farmers to grow safe and healthful crops while reducing their environmental impact. We are pleased that Congress and the administration have moved swiftly to prevent consumer confusion and protect agricultural innovation,” Duvall said. The bill requires that food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) ingredients with be identified by words, pictures or a bar code that can be scanned with smartphones. The U.S. Agriculture Department would decide which ingredients would be considered genetically modified. “This legislation is far from perfect because it requires labeling when there is the presence of ingredients (from GMOs) that scientists have deemed completely safe,” explained Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. The U.S. Senate and House passed the bill in July. “Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation thank Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, as well as Congressmen Paul Ryan, Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman, Ron Kind and Reid Ribble for supporting this legislation,” said Holte. August | September 2016


Seeds Success

Members Plant for Legislative

By Casey Langan and Amy Eckelberg


ith a ‘lame duck’ worth the time away,” said Brad Hoffman, a occupying the Oval Shawano County Farm Bureau member and Office, it is a strange year dairy farmer. to be working the halls As lobbyists for a day, both groups discussed of Congress. However, trade, immigration, wolves, GMO labeling politics has always been and the farm economy with Wisconsin’s about the long game. congressional delegation. They also met With that in mind, Farm officials from the American Farm Bureau Bureau members made Federation and the U.S. Department of trips to Washington in Agriculture where they discussed issues April and June to build pertaining to wetland conservation, food relationships and lay the safety and telecommunication and broadband groundwork for progress expansion. on big issues in 2017. With presidential hopefuls Hillary Fourteen graduates of the Clinton and Donald Trump both taking Farm Bureau’s Institute verbal shots at a proposed trade deal with traveled to Capitol Hill nations surrounding the Pacific Ocean, not in April, while 27 Farm many members of Congress were wanting Bureau members active to talk trade. Still, insiders told Farm Bureau District 8 Farm Bureau members and leadership Institute graduates stood with Congressman Sean in the Young Farmer members that a congressional vote on the Duffy outside his office. (L-R) Randy Wokatsh, Will and Agriculturist (YFA) Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could come Litzer, Brad Weber, Congressman Duffy and Bill Program were there in up during the ‘lame duck period’ after the Mueller. June. November election through December. AFBF “At first it was difficult to commit to leaving the farm for officials noted that many of American agriculture’s potential a week, but the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, talk to our gains from TPP would come due to Japan lowering its high representatives and meet other YFA members was definitely tariffs on U.S. beef and pork. At the AFBF Senator Tammy Baldwin of Madison addressed the YFA group. offices, lobbyist Don Parrish told members that the Environmental Protection Agency had “used social media like we’ve never seen before” in order to promote its expansive and Amanda and Erik Melin of Polk County controversial represented District 9 on the YFA D.C. trip Waters of the in June.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Senator Ron Johnson of Oshkosh, who is making a reelection bid in November, met with both Farm Bureau groups to discuss trade, regulatory relief and taxes.

United States rule change. From the day the 371-page document was released to the public, he and others have said the EPA aggressively promoted the rule change with a government-funded public relations campaign. In addition, one million ‘retweets’ from Twitter with simplistic messages like “I support clean water” were included in the public record. The long-simmering issue remains tied up in the court system, but Parrish said Farm Bureau’s concerns have not gone away. “Being aware of political changes and how they can or will affect my farm and life are important to me,” said Janet Clark, a dairy farmer and Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau member. “I was able to share with my legislators exactly how their decision will impact me.” In April, members of the Institute were given tours of the floor of the House of Representatives chambers, and the expansive capitol office of the House Speaker. These rare opportunities came compliments of House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville, who also found time to meet with Farm Bureau members.

Members of the ninth leadership Institute Class who attended the D.C. trip were: Hannah Barthels, Rock County; Amanda Carlson, Jefferson County; Janet Clark, Fond du Lac County; Jayne Dalton, Columbia County; Erin Daluge, Rock County; Will Litzer, Marathon County; Kelsi Mayer, Green County; Bill Mueller, Marathon County; Sarah Sacker, Green County; Taylor Schuetz, Rock County; Kim VandenAvond, Brown County; Brad Weber, Wood County; and Randy Wokatsch, Marathon County. For more information about the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Institute, and search “Institute.” Kim VandenAvond (left) and WFBF Board Director Rosie Lisowe at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

August | September 2016


Members who attended the YFA D.C. trip in June were: Sean and Jennifer Beres, Waukesha County; Alex Bringe, Vernon County, Nate and Karyn Eckert, Taylor County; Nick Entringer, Sheboygan County; Becky Hasburgh, Iowa County; Brad and Christa Hoffman, Shawano County; Josh Huber, Marathon County; Peter Kimball,

Pierce County; Michael Leahy, Fond du Lac County; Lee and Megan Meinholz, Dane County; Erik and Amanda Melin, Polk County, Cassie Olson, Eau Claire County; Derek Orth, Grant County; Keith and Kelly Oudenhoven, Outagamie County; Jeff and Katrina Pionek, Manitowoc County; Leslie Svacina, St. Croix County; Adam Wehling, Buffalo County;

Dustin and Aimee Williams, Green County; Nate Zimdars, Fond du Lac County. For more information about the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist program, visit


New Zealand for TPP Approval While in Washington, both Farm Bureau groups paid visits to the Embassy of New Zealand. The island nation is an ardent supporter of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact being negotiated by 12 Pacific Rim nations. Officials from New Zealand asked the Farm Bureau members to advocate for the TPP while visiting Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Their message was clear; the TPP needs to be approved by Congress in 2016. Located to the east of Australia, New Zealand’s land mass is about twice the size of Wisconsin, but with one million fewer residents. All told, New Zealand is home to 4.6 million people and 6.7 million dairy cattle. There are about 11,000 large dairies and the average herd size is 402 cows. Dairy makes up about half of receipts from New Zealand agriculture. Dairy’s downturn in price has resulted in New Zealand’s dairy exports falling from $18 billion to $14 billion between 2014 and 2015. New Zealand’s farm economy includes more than 29 million sheep and 3 million beef cattle. The cost of feed limits pork and poultry production. Popular crops include apples, kiwi fruit and wine grapes. About half of the island nation is made up of pasture and arable land, another quarter is natural forest. Embassy officials listed the challenges to New Zealand agriculture as the allocation and quality of water, along with adhering to an emissions trading program to combat


Rural Route

YFA members at the New Zealand Embassy.

climate change. Politically, support for trade is waning among its residents and a growing anti-agricultural sentiment in the cities has created a rural-urban divide. This is fueled by environmental concerns from ag runoff into water supplies and undercover videos from animal rights groups. One of the richest countries in the world in the 1950s, New Zealand’s fortunes reversed and by the 1980s the nation greatly reduced its level of subsidization for farmers. Embassy officials said this helped create a more competitive, innovative and productive agricultural sector. Modern farming in New Zealand was said to be market driven with a focus on the customer’s expectations of price and quality.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Rural Mutual is an ‘Elite Sustaining Sponsor’ for Farm Technology Days R ural Mutual Insurance, Wisconsin’s premier farm insurer, is an ‘Elite Sustaining Sponsor’ of the 2016-18 Farm Technology Days, the most innovative agricultural show in the state. “We’re honored to be part of this rich state tradition,” said Peter Pelizza, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Mutual Insurance. “We recognize the importance of this unique event, which brings together forward-thinking farmers and celebrates innovation in the agriculture industry.”

Above: Throughout the three-day event, attendees stopped by the Rural Mutual Insurance and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Safety Zone Tent on Rural Mutual Insurance Street. Many of these activities explained the importance of insurance and farm safety. Visitors participated in demonstrations such as the ‘Distracted Driving Simulator,’ which exhibited the danger of operating a vehicle when unfocused. There was also an ID Risk Compass, which assessed exposure to identity theft.

Farm Technology Days, which took place this year at Snudden Farms in Walworth County from July 19-21, showcased the latest improvements in production agriculture. As an integral sponsor of the event, Rural Mutual Insurance emphasized valuable messages about the protection its insurance products and services provide to Wisconsin families, as well as the importance of farm safety. “We’ve been protecting farms across the state for more than 82 years, so we know how critical it is to protect the families and children in our farming communities,” Pelizza said. “We appreciate the opportunity to interact with our state’s valued farmers and encouraged important safety precautions.” Rural Mutual Insurance also sponsored the ‘Rural Mutual Insurance Family Living Tent,’ which offered live music, family fun and presentations about unique aspects of Wisconsin agriculture. On all three days of the event, Rural Mutual Insurance hosted a presentation in this tent called Up, Up and Away to introduce children to the principle of air. Hot air balloons, vortex generators, and even a hovercraft helped the audience understand how air pressure affects the world – especially farms. For information about Rural Mutual’s involvement at the show, visit

Below: Attendees signed up to win one of five rebate coupons for up to $300 toward a Rollover Protection Structure on their tractors. Those still interested can also enter online at for additional drawings that will be held throughout the year.

August | September 2016


What Do You Think About… Y

our thoughts on agricultural issues are critical to Farm Bureau’s policy development process. The issues that Farm Bureau’s lobbyists work on in Madison and Washington, D.C. evolve from the input

that members give through the policy development process. This year your thoughts are sought on these emerging issues:

Rural Broadband Anyone who understands the social and economic impact that high-speed broadband can bring to a farm, manufacturer, school or community, clearly understands the need for rural Wisconsin to be technologically connected to the rest of the world. Expansion at the Federal Level It is a basic economic truth that it is not very profitable, if profitable at all, for telecommunication companies to expand broadband service in many rural areas. Recognizing this truth, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now using a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to help subsidize a $9 billion-plus investment to bring high-speed broadband to more than seven million customers in 45 states. Approved in 2015, the FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II six-year allocation plan is being financed through the annual $4.5 billion Universal Service Fund. Wisconsin, second in total funding only to California, is set to receive $570 million during the next six years. The three internet service providers (ISPs) that agreed to the FCC’s rules and terms for receiving the funding were CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and AT&T, Inc., with the intent of reaching an estimated 230,000 unserved or underserved Wisconsin customers. Expansion at the State Level The 2013-14 state budget created the Broadband Expansion Grant Program. Its purpose is to help fund broadband expansion projects in unserved or underserved areas around the state. The 2015-16 state budget increased the appropriation to $1.5 million annually and those monies come from a one-time transfer of $6 million from the Universal Service Fund. A number of proposals were introduced during the last legislative session to expand broadband investment and service; however, none of them passed. In light of continued interest, the Legislature created a committee to study the issue of broadband expansion in underserved areas.

What’s Next? Ultimately, what is critical to users is the speed of the broadband, but cost (including installation of infrastructure and customer rates) is a crucial factor in determining availability of speed. The FCC may have redefined broadband to be 25 Mbps/3Mbps, but speeds of 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps or even 1 Gbps (gigabit per second) are quickly becoming the standard in urban areas. Even though it is very expensive for private ISPs to install, WFBF’s current policy supports installation of rural fiber optic cables because fiber optic broadband is the fastest, most energy efficient, secure, dependable and safest method for providing rural broadband. It also supports expanded cellular and broadband telecommunications coverage for rural areas. • Unfortunately, dial-up service may be the only option for many, but it simply cannot meet the demands of a faster and more competitive world. Is current WFBF policy realistic considering the availability, expansion and speed of wireless and satellite internet technology and other technologies that may be developing? • Should WFBF support a significantly greater allocation of funds for the Broadband Expansion Grant Program to meet the needs of rural Wisconsin? • Should WFBF support a state government mandate requiring all households that use/demand Internet service be provided a minimum service speed? If so, how would that mandate be funded?

Animal Husbandry Animal rights groups seek to dictate livestock care through ballot initiatives, state legislation and pressuring manufacturers and retailers. As a result, some processors are requiring farmers to change the way cattle, poultry and hogs are raised. For example, the National Milk Producers Federation has announced that farmers participating in the National Dairy


Rural Route

Farmers Assuring Responsible Management program, must eliminate tail docking by 2017. Farmers have varying views on these topics. What are yours? WFBF supports farmers and veterinarians deciding appropriate husbandry practices. It also supports legislation prohibiting local units of government from regulating animal care and welfare and granting this authority to DATCP. • Should WFBF policy contain language that specifically supports or opposes tail docking? Should it address the fact that some buyers are requiring certain animal husbandry practices?

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Wetlands and Farming’s Complex Relationship Wetlands provide numerous environmental benefits, including recharge area for groundwater, improving surface water quality and wildlife habitat. Wisconsin once had about 10 million acres of wetlands. About five million acres were converted to other uses and agriculture was responsible for converting about four million of these acres into crop production. About one-third of Wisconsin farmers have installed some type of drainage system on their farms with most of these drains being private systems. Wisconsin has 176 active drainage districts encompassing more than 400,000 acres. Wetlands are subject to federal, state and local regulations that at times are different. To complicate things even more, the regulations by each level of government can vary depending on the activity conducted in the wetland. The overlapping federal and state jurisdiction on some wetland activities leads to confusion and frustration. Lastly, there is a growing public sentiment to preserve wetlands. The USDA’s Wetland Reserve Program works with willing landowners to restore and permanently protect wetlands. This tends to be done by converting farmland back to a wetland and leads to the question: What is more valuable farmland or wetland? Some of WFBF’s wetland policies include: • We believe that a consistent set of definitions and guidelines need to be adopted for all wetlands. Furthermore, wetlands that have been farmed should be allowed to remain in agricultural production. • We believe that farmers’ rights should be recognized in any wetlands legislation or regulations, including the right to maintain farm drainage systems and ditches. Any such legislation or regulations should compensate farmers for restrictions placed on any lands classified as wetlands. • We encourage county regulations covering wetlands, flood plains and navigable streams be consistent with state regulations. • Do other questions need to be addressed by WFBF members? What can agriculture do to enhance wetlands, while keeping land in agricultural production? What changes, if any, should be made to federal, state and local government regulatory programs overseeing wetlands?

Fence Law

‘Good fences make good neighbors,’ is an old adage. For more than a century, Wisconsin has had the same fence law that specifies when and what types of fences are required for adjoining property owners. The law states that if property is used for farming or grazing, a fence is required; however, adjoining landowners can mutually agree not to have a fence or to use markers instead. The law states then when a landowner is facing the neighbor’s land, the right-hand half the fence is the landowner’s responsibility and the left-hand half is the neighbor’s responsibility. The law prescribes several options for a legal fence. There has been increased discussion about changing the fence law. The Farm Bureau supports the current fence law. It opposes any general requirement that all streams or lakes must be fenced. It also urges the DNR to comply with the state fence law. • Does WFBF policy adequately address the fence law? • Should the fence law be modified to require livestock farmers to be responsible for maintaining fences to contain their livestock? • Does the definition of a legal fence need to be modified? If so, how?

Atrazine DATCP regulates the use of herbicides and pesticides. Administrative rule ATCP 30 has provisions and prohibitions on the use of atrazine products, such as the amount that can be used per acre and the timing of application. Since 1990, more than 100 prohibition areas have been created that encompass more than 1.2 million acres. ATCP 30 contains a process to repeal prohibition areas if certain conditions are met. Weed resistance in some prohibition areas could be addressed with limited atrazine use. Atrazine use may help reduce soil erosion when combined with conservation tillage practices. For these reasons, some farmers have discussed trying to repeal some of the prohibition areas. WFBF’s current policy opposes a complete ban on the use of any agri-chemical or drug unless it can be demonstrated positively by prolonged and responsible research that use of a product represents a clear and present danger to health or the environment. It also opposes having state pesticide and herbicide registrations and regulations that are more restrictive than federal standards. • Does WFBF policy adequately address atrazine issues? Should WFBF policy contain provisions about repealing atrazine prohibition areas?

WFBF’s government relations team has prepared issue backgrounders and personalized blogs on these topics available at If you have opinions on these topics, join the conversation by commenting online. Perhaps an entirely different issue warrants discussion by your fellow Farm Bureau members. Attend your county Farm Bureau’s annual meeting to start the dialogue. A complete list of the 61 county annual meetings can be found at: August | September 2016


16 2016 Annual Report

A Message from Dale Beaty It was basketball coaching legend John Wooden who said, “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

place on the county level. True to its mission, the newly-formed state Promotion and Education Committee wants to see these great ideas spread and take hold across Wisconsin’s 61 county Farm Bureaus.

Many fail to heed Coach Wooden’s wisdom about not resting on their laurels, and that’s one reason why more than half of all businesses fail within their first five years. The fact that the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has been around for 97 years speaks to our drive for continuous improvement and our commitment to remain relevant to our members.

Another publication is in the works which focuses on Wisconsin’s implements of husbandry law. WFBF’s governmental relations team has been critical in pushing the passage of updates and improvements to the laws impacting farm machinery on roadways. This guide book is a continuation of the multi-year educational effort that WFBF staff have undertook with UWExtension and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

This annual report provides a snapshot of some of our successes over the past year. While I’m very proud of what we’ve already accomplished; I know we have the ability to be even better. Here are some of the programs and activities being worked on with an eye toward the future success of our organization. A newly-formed Centennial Committee recently met for the first time to map out how WFBF will mark 100 years. During 2019, the focus will be on celebrating and honoring those who have brought us to where we are today; our history, traditions, and past successes. During 2020, the focus will be on our next 100 years and those who will lead us in the future. Committee members also recognize the importance of using our centennial celebrations as a way of building relationships with audiences outside of farming. A ‘play book’ project is in the works which outlines the best Farm Bureau activities and events taking

As a member, you are part of the lifeblood of Farm Bureau. Any successes highlighted in this annual report are due to you; our volunteer members and leaders working in your county and collegiate Farm Bureaus. Farm Bureau is always looking for ways to maximize our ability to innovate and work smarter. You have my pledge that WFBF will continue providing the valuable legislative representation, education, public relations and leadership development you need to better yourself and your farm or agribusiness. Thank you for your membership.

Chief Administrative Officer Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Members Life Line Screening was added as a new member benefit.

Farm Bureau launched a successful

I’ll Get 2 campaign where members pledged to sign two new members by March 31.

WFBF celebrated

membership gains during

its 2014-15 year.

More counties joined the financial, administrative and newsletter portions of WFBF’s innovative County Services Program.

Rural Mutual Insurance was named as a Ward’s 50 PropertyCasualty Company for the

8th straight year.

A new partnership with Caterpillar was announced that provides members up to $2,000 in purchase incentives.

Now in it’s


year, WFBF’s leadership Institute graduated another crop of emerging leaders for our organization and rural Wisconsin.

Led 4 member trips to Washington, D.C.

Interaction Ag Day

All three collegiate Farm Bureau chapters (Madison, Platteville and River Falls) hosted Ag Day on Campus events in April.

More than 200 members took part in a training program during the first part of 2016. Trainings ranged from making committees work and parliamentary procedure to succession planning for the county Farm Bureau and membership. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation continues their partnership with the Sand County Foundation for the Leopold Conservation Award.

Communication Farm Bureau’s blog series was named best blog among its peers by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Find them at newspublications/ blogs.

Members host #WFBFTakeoverTuesday on WFBF’s Instagram account, where they share more about themselves and their jobs.


#WIAgProud On National Ag Day,

March 15

June | July 2015 • vol. 21 no. 3 |

The Maddie Project Page 44


Farm Bureau members flooded social media with positive images and the hashtag, #WIAgProud.

Farm Bureau’s member magazine Rural Route was selected as ‘Best Magazine’ among its peers by the American Farm Bureau Federation for the 4th consecutive year.

Outreach Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom

Annual Meeting Ag in the Classroom hosted a bus tour for teachers statewide to farms and ag-businesses in central Wisconsin.

A mix of great speakers and entertainment attracted more than

1,000 members

to WFBF’s Annual Meeting in December.

#FFAFF16 Nearly 200 students

attended the FFA Farm Forum in February. WFBF has hosted this event in Wisconsin Rapids for the past

44 years.

AgVocate of the Year Dairy farmer and Calumet County Farm Bureau member, Deb Reinhart, was named the ‘AgVocate of the Year’ at the Women’s Ag Summit in Middleton in March.

Elite Sustaining Sponsor

Rural Mutual Insurance Company is an Elite Sustaining Sponsor for the Farm Technology Days for 2016 until 2018.

Advocacy Legislative Achievements

•F all harvest weight exemption now begins August 1 •P iping of manure allowed in right of ways •U W land sales allowed to be reinvested by UW-CALS •F unding available to producer-led watershed initiatives •U pdates to IOH law, including use of multiple lanes in roundabouts

Government Relations staff serve on a variety of state agency (DATCP, DNR, DOT) advisory committees.

Photo Credit: WisDOT

Ag Day at the Capitol brought hundreds of farmers to Madison to lobby, network and advocate.

Volunteers for Agriculture (Farm Bureau’s political action committee) successfully endorsed Justice Rebecca Bradley and will be involved in many state legislative races this November.

Farm Bureau Staff Administration

Jim Holte, WFBF President Dale Beaty,

608.828.5700 608.828.5714

Chief Administrative Officer

Jill Bennwitz, Executive Assistant 608.828.5701

Governmental Relations Paul Zimmerman, Executive Director 608.828.5708 Rob Richard, Senior Director 608.828.5703 Karen Gefvert, Director 608.828.5713

Operations Jeff Fuller,


Treasurer and Executive Director of Operations

Steve Mason, General Accountant 608.828.5720 Sonya Huebner, Administrative Assistant 608.828.5705

Public Relations Casey Langan, Executive Director 608.828.5711 Amy Eckelberg, 608.828.5706 Director of Communications

Lynn Siekmann, Graphic Designer 608.828.5707 Marian Viney, Graphic Designer 608.828.5721

District Coordinators: Patti Roden, District 1 866.355.7341 Amy Blakeney, District 2 866.355.7342 Melissa Doyle, District 3 866.355.7343 Steve Boe, District 4 866.355.7344

Member Relations

Becky Hibicki, District 5 866.355.2029

Bob Leege, Executive Director 608.828.5710 Deb Raemisch, Director 608.828.5712 Wendy Kannel, 608.828.5719

Becky Salm, District 6 866.355.7345

Director of Training and Leadership Development

Teyanna Loether,


Foundation Director and Ag in the Classroom Coordinator

Darci Meili, Administrative Assistant 608.828.5704

Wes Raddatz, District 7 866.355.7346 Ashleigh Calaway, District 8


Katie Mattison, District 9 866.355.7349





Wisconsin Farm Bureau

The Women’s Program for

Promotion and Education

Education and Leadership was changed to Promotion


and Education, allowing


more members to be involved with ag education and promotion.

To offer more agricultural education materials, a

commodity map and


fact sheets were created.

Dairy What is a dairy cow?

Heifers are female dairy cattle and after two years, they give birth to their own calves. Once a heifer gives birth, it is called a cow.


All dairy cows must have a calf to produce milk, therefore, male dairy cattle or bulls do not produce milk. Milk is filled with many important vitamins and nutrients including, calcium, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamin D.

More than Milk

Milk is made into many other products that you can buy including, flavored milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese and buttermilk.


Milk, cheese and yogurt provide nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin. You should have 3 servings of nonfat or low-fat milk and milk products each day. Dairy foods are great for building strong bones and they also improve overall diet quality and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases.

Fast Facts

• Dairy is the largest segment of Wisconsin agriculture. Wisconsin agriculture creates $88.3 billion and $43.4 billion is from dairy! • A Wisconsin dairy cow produces an average of more than 7 gallons of milk each day. • 90% of Wisconsin's milk is made into cheese and Wisconsin has 126 cheese plants, which is twice as many as any other state. • Chocolate milk's optimal carbohydrate-toprotein ratio makes it an ideal beverage choice for athletes.


There are many different kinds of dairy cows, which means they come in many colors. Holsteins are the black and white cows that are most common in the United States. However, other breeds include Jersey, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn and Ayrshire.

Sources: Dairy Doing More, and Illinois Ag in the Classroom

WFBF Board Directors James Holte, President, District 9, Elk Mound Richar d Gorder, Vice President, District 3, Mineral Point Dave Daniels, District 1, Union Grove Arch Morton Jr., District 2, Janesville Joe Bragger, District 4, Independence Kevin Krentz, District 5, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, District 6, Chilton Wayne Staidl, District 7, Peshtigo Donald Radtke, District 8, Merrill Derek Orth, YFA Chair, Stitzer Rosali e Geiger, Promotion and Education Chair, Reedsville

Took over publication and redesigning books from the former Wisconsin Agribusiness Council.

The June|July 2016 edition of the Rural Route was mailed to WFBF’s more than

20,000 associate members again this year.

America’s Dairyland Memories from

By Wes Raddatz

My father, Gordon Raddatz of Oshkosh, was involved in the dairy business for more than 70 years. Dad has passed away, but a few years ago we talked about his memories of his adventures in America’s Dairyland and I wrote down some of his comments and recollections.

Dad, what is your first recollection of your dairy farm? The earliest single event in my life that I can recall was the delivery of my father’s first tractor in 1922, an International 8-16. It had a 4-cylinder engine with the radiator at the rear of the engine and it used kerosene for fuel. It had external roller chains as the final drive to the steel wheels with angled lugs. Another memory is when I was 9 years old and it was my task to get the cows from the pasture for milking time. My favorite cow would let me sit on her back in the barn which I found was also the case in the pasture. She even let me ride her to the barn bringing the other cows with us. It wasn’t long before she wouldn’t even come to the barn for milking unless I rode her there, so I was stuck with my pasture job for quite a while. There were several cows and heifers that let me ride them. What do you remember about milking when you were young? It was very tedious work. A farm’s milk sales volume was determined by the number of family members that could help milk by hand. Five to 15 cows was the size of most dairy herds back then and our herd was at the top end of the scale. Our cows were put out on pasture for the primary feed source in the summer. In winter they were fed hay and corn silage with a small amount of grain. My earliest recollection of the milking equipment we used is several eight-gallon milk cans, soldered tin pails and a strainer. The filter was a piece of cloth large enough to fit across the strainer. There was a rack holding the cans and milk pails a few feet from the outdoor hand water pump. This served for washing and storing the milking utensils between milkings. Of course, one must not forget the one and three-legged stools we sat on while milking. You mentioned feeding corn silage. When was the farm’s first silo built? In 1918, the year I was born, my father built one of the early silos in the community. It was a 12’ diameter by 30’ tall glazed


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tile silo that was a very long-lived investment, as we used it until the late sixties. It remained standing solidly until it was razed in 1992. The farm’s second silo, a 12’ x 40’ concrete stave silo, I built in 1950 when I expanded the herd to 24 cows. How did you cool the milk in those days? On our farm there was a milk can cooling tank in a shed near the barn. Well water was pumped into the tank after milking. The overflow went into the livestock watering tank outside. A milk stirring rod was occasionally used to stir the milk in the cans until it cooled down. The goal in those days was to get the milk temperature down to 50 degrees (about as low as you could normally get it with well water). In winter, cooling the milk was much less of a problem. In extremely cold weather, the problem was running enough water into the stock tank fast enough to keep it from freezing into a solid block of ice. Do you remember when you stopped milking cows by hand? The big advance in dairy equipment on our farm was when my father purchased a milking machine in about 1930. We purchased the Fords brand of milking machines (no connection with the auto manufacturer). It was a portable vacuum pump with the milk receiving pail placed between two cows. Both these cows were milked and then the unit was moved to the next set of cows. You were a teenager during the Great Depression of the early 1930s. What do you remember about farming in that era? Low prices of one dollar per hundred pounds of milk (that’s about 11.5 gallons) spawned militant groups like the Wisconsin

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Milk Pool to call a milk strike. This resulted in the Governor of Wisconsin declaring a moratorium on milk marketing for several days. No deliveries were legal except to hospitals and people with small children. Picketers halted milk trucks, forcing them to dump their loads. Such tactics pitted neighbor against neighbor and friend against friend. Barns were burned and cheese factories’ equipment mysteriously became contaminated with kerosene. A lot of milk marketing cooperatives were formed helping farmers deal with the harsh realities of the free market system. During the Depression, farmers living near urban areas delivered milk directly to consumers in order to enhance their income but we weren’t one of those. Fierce competition and other economic factors forced the price of a quart of milk to a low point of five cents. At one time 50 farms were delivering milk into Oshkosh. This is when regulation and inspection first began to creep into the distribution system. Reports listing the bacteria count and butterfat content of each dealer’s milk were published monthly. Random samples were picked up for testing as the dealer made his deliveries. What about when you were in high school? At that time many high school vocational ag departments were encouraging students to start testing their home herds for milk and butterfat production and developing their own herd improvement programs. I became involved in such a herd testing program and was the first student in the Oshkosh High School agriculture department to prove a bull. I didn’t receive or want credit for it, though, because the bull’s proof was bad, that is his daughters were producing less milk than their dams (mothers) instead of more. It was a learning experience, though, and I found out the importance of knowing each cow’s production in order to improve the herd.

owner after it had been hit by a train. Because of the war, parts were hard to find and I had to run it with a cracked engine block ‘patched’ with a piece of flat steel bolted over the crack for nearly a year before a new motor block assembly became available and was installed. I sold the route in 1950 when I decided to expand the number of milking cows on the farm to 24 and upgrade to Grade A production standards to ship milk into the Chicago market. It sounds like selling the milk route started some major changes? Selling milk in cans became obsolete within a 10-year period. I expanded the dairy herd from 24 to 45 cows during 195657. A new milk house and wash room was built in 1956. A 300-gallon bulk milk storage tank was also installed at this time. In 1957 the barn was lengthened and a mechanical barn cleaner was installed. After several years in the Chicago market we switched to shipping milk to the Guernsey Dairy Co. (Oshkosh fluid milk market). We continued shipping to GDC until the company was sold to Morning Glory Farms about 1980. Our herd’s production levels advanced dramatically after artificial insemination became part of my farming practices in the early 1950s. The dairy herd bull was a dangerous animal that was a necessary part of maintaining the herd. A bull has an unreliable temperament and many farmers were killed or injured while handling or moving them about the barn or farmstead. Fortunately I don’t remember any really close calls.

Thanks Dad,

that’s where my memories of growing up on the farm begin.

How did World War II affect your farm? Raddatz of Green Bay is Wisconsin Farm When the war began I was already operating the farm Bureau’s District 7 Coordinator. with my father and had enough production units to merit a farm deferment from the military draft. War-time shortages made times tough for everyone, and new trucks or tractors were not available except for the defense industry’s use, so we had to keep the equipment we had going as best we could. In 1944 an opportunity arose for me to purchase a truck and route hauling milk to the White House Milk Company in Winneconne which Since 1958 supplied condensed milk for the A&P food stores nationwide. I acquired the . . . Suburban Commercial Agricultural Horse Barns & Arenas 1939 Dodge truck from the previous Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 .

Quality Builders for Quality Buildings.

August | September 2016


Annual Meeting & YFA Conference WFBF

December 2-5, 2016

Kalahari Resorts and Conference Center,Wisconsin Dells

97th Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting 82nd Rural Mutual Insurance Company Annual Meeting Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference


Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Friday, December 2

Sunday, December 4

YFA Committee Meeting First-timers’ Orientation Session YFA Welcome Dinner District YFA Meetings Rece ption Featuring Soggy Prairie Boys

Morning Devotional Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet Final WFBF Women’s Committee Meeting and Reorganization Resolutions Processing YFA Discussion Meet Final Buffet Brunch and General Session Featuring Aaron Thomas

Saturday, December 3 WFBF YFA Committee Reorganization Meeting Discussion Meet Contestant Orientation Discussion Meet Quarterfinals I Excellence in Ag Practice Session Discussion Meet Quarterfinals II YFA B uffet Brunch and General Session Featuring Vance Crowe WFBF Annual Meeting Begins Excellence in Ag Presentations Achievement Award Interviews Discussion Meet Semifinals Trade Show Breakout Sessions Farm Bureau Reception Farm Bureau Extravaganza! Featuring Tonic Sol-fa Fun’d the Foundation Trivia Contest

WFBF YFA Conference Ends Trade Show Workshops Policy Development Committee Meeting Reception Silent Auction and Trade Show End Farm Bureau Awards Banquet and Program Reception

Monday, December 5 Rural Mutual Insurance Company Annual Meeting Breakfast and General Session District Caucuses Resolutions and Business Meeting

#WFBFAM16 #FBProud


YFA Conference Entertainment • Friday, December 2 Soggy Prairie Boys

The Soggy Prairie Boys have been playing music together for more than a decade. The Soggy Prairie Boys are fierce advocates of both bluegrass music and the agricultural industry. Formed for the State FFA Talent competition back in 2002, they stay true to their agricultural roots, with two members being high school agriculture instructors and FFA advisors. The Soggy Prairie Boys play traditional and original bluegrass music, and are sure to get you up out of your chair and dancing.

Keynote Speakers

YFA Conference Keynote • Saturday, December 3

Vance Crowe

Director of Millennial Engagement, Monsanto Company Vance Crowe is the Director of Millennial Engagement at Monsanto in St. Louis, Missouri. Vance is a former Communications Strategist for the World Bank Group, a returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Kenya, a former communications coordinator at an NPR station in Northern California and was a deckhand on an eco-tourism ship that traveled in the Western Hemisphere.


YFA Conference Workshops • Saturday, December 3 Going Beyond Google

Brian Preder, WFBF YFA Committee

What They Didn’t Tell You About Being a County YFA Chair Derek Husmoen and Beth Schaefer, WFBF YFA Committee

The Ultimate Balancing Act: Keeping children safe who live, work and play on farms Marsha Salzwedel, National Farm Medicine Center

Maximizing Your Farm Bureau Potential

Steve Boe and Patti Roden, WFBF District Coordinators

Social Media: Finding New Networks Vance Crowe, Monsanto

Charting Your Financial Roadmap

Jared Nelson, Farm Bureau Financial Services

Annual Meeting Workshops • Sunday, December 4 Workshop begin after the noon Green Bay Packer game.

Follow Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation on Facebook for the latest information on Annual Meeting workshop topics and presenters.

Watch For More Highlights WIFarmBureau

Farm Bureau Extravaganza! • Saturday, December 3 Tonic Sol-fa

Tonic Sol-fa began at St. John’s University in Central Minnesota and includes lead vocalist Shaun Johnson, tenor and vocal percussionist, Greg Bannwarth and bass, Jared Dove. Together the group reached national prominence with appearances on NBC’s Today Show and in Newsweek magazine. Along the way, they shared the stage with a number of recognizable performers including Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy and Lonestar, and were recently part of Garrison Keillor’s 30th Anniversary celebration of A Prairie Home Companion.

Annual Meeting Keynote • Sunday, December 4

Aaron Thomas

High School Principal, Coach Aaron is a high school principal, basketball coach, a devoted husband and a father of three boys. Aaron has a unique story that will help you identify opportunities throughout your own life. He will challenge you to reexamine your commitment to your career, family and overall outlook on life.

Fun’d the Foundation Trivia Contest Gather five of your closest (or smartest) friends together for a Farm Bureau trivia contest Saturday night. Topics will include: current events, history, geography, music, movies, sports, religion, Farm Bureau and more. • Teams of six people. $10 per person • Three rounds of 25 questions • To sign up visit programsevents/event-registration.

Silent Auction

A highlight of each year’s Annual Meeting is the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Silent Auction. Thanks to the generosity of members, county Farm Bureaus, businesses and sponsors, a large selection of items are offered for bid. To donate, visit and find silent auction on the right hand side of the page. All proceeds benefit the education and leadership development programs of the WFB Foundation.


your $100 membership includes marketing resources, educational seminars, and networking opportunities. Learn more at










Dairy erica’s s in Am res


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Vermeer, the Vermeer logo and Equipped to Do More are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2015 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Thank You to the Following WFB Foundation Donors:

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(Donations were made between May 6 and July 15, 2016.)

• Carl Casper in memory of Gloria Holte • Lynn Siekmann in memory of Gloria Holte • Dave Daniels in memory of Gloria Holte • Howard Paulson in memory of Gloria Holte • David Kruschke in memory of Gloria Holte • David Kruschke in memory of Rodger Goodrich • David Kruschke in memory of Richard Peterson • Steve Jones in memory of Gerald Raatz • Marian Viney in memory of Gloria Holte • Marian Viney in memory of Norman Manske • Howard Paulson in memory of Jerry Raatz

• Donald Radtke in memory of Gloria Holte • American Agricultural Insurance Company in memory of Gloria Holte • John Arneson in memory of Geraldine Cooper • John Arneson in memory of Elaine Greenfield • John Arneson in memory of Jerry Raatz • Geri Wolfe in memory of Gloria Holte • Jefferson County Farm Bureau in memory of Gerald Raatz • Shawano County Farm Bureau in memory of Ruben and Betty Giese • John Reifsteck (general contribution)

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Do you receive our weekly Ag Newswire? If you would like to receive great ag news direct to your email inbox every week, send your email to to sign up!


1000 OFF



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August | September 2016


Farm Bureau Membership Doesn’t Cost... ...It Pays 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.

Supplies & Products


General Motors - Most 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC (except Corvette) models are eligible for the $500 Bonus Cash program. To qualify for the offer, individuals must be a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member for at least 30 days prior to the date of delivery of the vehicle. Members must present their Farm Bureau Bonus Cash Certificate to the dealer to take advantage of the Bonus Cash program. Print your Bonus Cash certificate at www.fbadvantage. com/Deals/gm. Call 800.261.3276 for questions on eligibility guidelines. Contact dealership for full details.

Travel AAA - Members can save up to 20% on AAA membership and the enrollment fee to join AAA is waived. Farm Bureau 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.’ AVIS Car Rental Discount Program - Members can save 5%-25% on Avis’ daily and weekly rates. To receive these discounted rates, all you need to do is use the Avis Worldwide Discount number: A298849. To rent a car and enjoy benefits visit or call Avis at 1.800.331.1212. Choice 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. Wyndham 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.

Financial AgriPlan 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. Farm 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. Call 800.492.FARM (3276), or check online at


Rural 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. Farm Bureau Financial Services is a dynamic multi-state insurance and investment organization serving individuals and families in rural, suburban and metropolitan areas. You can get more information about the financial services from your local Rural Insurance agent. Learn more about Farm Bureau Financial Services at

Protection $500 Reward 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. Accidental 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.

Case IH - Eligible Farm Bureau members will receive an incentive discount ($300 to $500) when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers. The discount is stackable, meaning it can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. A current Farm Bureau membership verification certificate must be presented to the Case IH dealer in advance of product delivery to receive the incentive discount. Go to to check out eligible models and print your certificate. Caterpillar - Members qualify for a variety of discounts on new purchases. Members must provide a valid Member Verification Certificate to the Cat dealer at the time of quote to receive the discount. Visit www.fbadvantage. com/cat to print your certificate and for details on models and discounts. The discount can be combined with any current retail discounts, promotions, rebates or offers available through Caterpillar or its dealers with the exception of other membership purchase incentives (such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association discount). FS-GROWMARK Patronage - Members who are patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage dividends when patronage is paid. Grainger Industrial Supply - Grainger Industrial Supply is the nation’s leading maintenance, repair and operational supplies distributor. Receive at least a 10% discount on all Grainger catalog items. For a free catalog call 608.221.3861. When ordering use the Farm Bureau account #855922019. Office 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 officedepot. Polaris - Farm Bureau members will receive a manufacturer’s incentive discount of $200-$300 depending on the vehicle acquired. Individuals must be members for at least 30 days to qualify. Visit to print your certificate.

Communication AgriVisor - Wisconsin Farm Bureau members can receive a 35% discount on daily grain, livestock and feed input marketing advice, as well as current market quotes and updates. Members go to and click on E-Visor to sign up or call 800.676.5799 to learn more. The Country Today - The Country Today will give a discounted rate and donate $5 to the Ag in the Classroom Program with every new subscription or renewal purchased by a Farm Bureau member. Write ‘Farm Bureau member’ on your renewal or mention it when calling 800.236.4004.

Health ScriptSave® - ScriptSave® is a prescription drug savings card available to you at NO COST as an added feature of your membership. Call 800.700.3957 or go to and login with group number 703A. Life Line Screening offers state-of-the-art vascular screenings to detect blockages to all members at a discounted price. Members also get a free osteoporosis risk assessment. For more information, call 844.591.7159 or go to

On the web

View additional WFBF member benefits and more details on our website at *WFBF member benefits may be changed or discontinued at anytime without notice.*


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation






Chevrolet is proud to present this exclusive $500 offer 1 toward the purchase or lease of most 2016 and 2017 Chevrolet vehicles.

1 Offer available through 5/31/17. Available on most 2016 and 2017 Chevrolet vehicles. Excludes 2016 Equinox L, Colorado 2SA and Spark EV; 2016 Malibu and Traverse L models, Cruze Limited L, Spark, SS and City Express, and 2016 Chevrolet Cruze L model. This offer is not available with some other offers. Only customers who have been active members of an eligible Farm Bureau for a minimum of 30 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.








TPP Is a Good Deal for U.S. Agriculture A Message from Zippy Duvall


armers and ranchers know a good deal. We know how to make every dollar, down to the penny, count. That’s why Farm Bureau wasted no time in looking at what the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would mean in dollars and cents on farms and ranches across America. What’s the bottom line for agriculture with TPP? We’re looking at an expected boost in business just when farms and rural economies need it most. Farm Bureau estimates an annual increase in U.S. net farm income of $4.4 billion, compared to not passing the agreement. In spite of negative political rhetoric, the

fact is that every day we wait to approve TPP we lose ground. It’s like showing up at the auction barn with a load of cattle after the last gavel has fallen. We fall behind our global competitors. We give up billions in business. And we lose out on deals that other countries are ready to make without us. Our farm and ranch businesses lose when our nation leaves trade deals on the table that would level the playing field. American-grown and -made means quality and customers around the world know this. But high tariffs and other trade barriers put in place by countries like Japan will keep shutting out American businesses and agricultural goods if we refuse to lead the way in approving trade agreements that would move us forward. Our farmers and ranchers need market expansion like never before. I hear this when I visit with them. Thanks to good weather and improved technology, we expect an abundant grain harvest. But this won’t yield good prices for farmers already struggling to get by. It’s no secret that farm incomes took a nosedive this year—what’s worse, incomes are expected to drop further still. TPP would increase cash receipts for a variety of farm products, including rice, corn, cotton, beef, pork, poultry, dairy, fruits and nuts, vegetables, soybeans and wheat. Overall

U.S. exports would increase by $5.3 billion per year with this deal. But those numbers don’t mean much if we hand economic leadership over to other countries like China. “Other countries should play by the rules that America and our partners set, and not the other way around,” President Obama wrote recently. “The world has changed. The rules are changing with it. The United States, not countries like China, should write them.” What’s more, other countries won’t keep waiting on us for enhanced trade rules. In fact, 15 Asian countries, including China, met recently to start working out their own trade deal. And we can bet their trade deal won’t look out for American agriculture. We live and work in a global economy today—and that’s good news for U.S. agriculture. We’re in a growth business, but if we want to keep that up into the future, we need good deals like TPP to remove trade barriers and open up new markets. Today, our auction barn is global, and when the opening gavel echoes, our lawmakers need to make sure our goods are in the arena. President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Duvall raises beef cattle, hay and poultry in Greshamville, Georgia.

There are more people living inside this circle than outside of it.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

America’s Dairyland Relies on Roads A Message from Jim Holte


ood roads paved the way for Wisconsin’s rise to the top of the dairy world a century ago. Milk needed to travel from the farm to a bottling plant or cheese factory and on to the customer in short order. This meant gravel gave way to hard-surfaced roads in rural Wisconsin. Today, milk’s prominence remains. Dairy products contribute about half of the $88 billion that agriculture contributes to Wisconsin’s economy each year. Dairy’s economic importance to Wisconsin is more than what potatoes mean to Idaho, and citrus means to Florida, combined. In addition to cattle, Wisconsin still grows a bounty of things: corn, cranberries, cabbage, cherries and carrots, to name a few. For all of the changes that farming has made during the last century, its reliance on the transportation system has not changed. Wisconsin finds itself at a dangerous and daunting crossroads and our problem is two-fold. Our lawmakers and governor can no longer put off reconstructing our crumbling roads and bridges. Nor can they delay fixing the way we fund the state, county and town transportation

system. It is imperative that they start this process in next year’s state budget. Highway projects near Milwaukee and Madison receive most of the media’s attention, but the situation is dire on rural town and county roads and bridges. Like the rest of the state’s residents, Wisconsin’s farm families and rural businesses need new solutions and a safe way to transport their goods to market; however, this is not just about the business of moving product. There are school buses with children on roads ranked as some of the worst in the nation. There is an old farm adage that painfully fits the predicament that Wisconsin finds itself in: you reap what you sow. For too long we’ve delayed making infrastructure improvements, raided the state’s transportation fund and borrowed like there is no tomorrow. A non-partisan Transportation Policy and Finance Commission found that if no new funding sources are found, Wisconsin’s transportation fund is at least $650 million short every year going forward, and that is predominately to fund state highway projects that have already been approved. Hundreds of millions more are needed for local roads and bridges.

DRIVE is a statewide transportation advocacy organization with the mission of building broad support for a bipartisan transportation funding solution, improving public awareness and coordinating efforts to improve transportation infrastructure in Wisconsin. DRIVE has been formed to bring organizations together to address the needs of our state’s transportation system. As a member of DRIVE, WFBF is actively working to promote the need for increased transportation funding for local roads, as well as our state highway system. Over the next few months DRIVE will be highlighting the importance of maintaining and improving our state roads to ensure a vibrant economy. WFBF is a committed partner to this effort.

Like driving full speed down a deadend road, if we do nothing, Wisconsin’s deteriorating roads and budgetary shortfalls only get worse. This is a new position for the organization that I lead. While Farm Bureau is usually for lower taxes and fees, we also see the need to fix roads from the end of the driveway to the state line. The gravity of this situation leaves us no choice but to address it head on. Please ask your legislators to do the same. Any solution must put the needs of local roads and bridges on the same level as major highways. Tough decisions await when it comes to transportation, but the bottom line is that it’s time Wisconsin finds a better path. President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

since 2012, Holte is a grain and beef farmer from Elk Mound.

August | September 2016



A Bad Summer for Science A Message from Casey Langan


he corn, soybeans and tobacco look pretty good on the home farm, but it’s been an otherwise bad summer for things like civility, politics and science. Let’s just skip over the obvious examples of where civility and politics are falling short and get right to science. Nationally, this summer the U.S. Congress passed a bill requiring mandatory labeling of food ingredients that come from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A law passed in tiny Vermont caused a huge potential headache for the farm and food industries. Here is where I could try to work in the old line about never wanting to see sausage or laws being made, but this was something else. This was one of those compromises that left those supporting the bill holding their nose. Remember compromise? That thing people claim they want, until it comes served up in its true form?


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The unintended consequences of labeling a scientifically-proven safe technology remain to be seen. In the Midwest, another battle is brewing over a scientifically-safe technology used by dairy farmers. Instead of in a capitol building, this attack on science is taking place in the private marketplace. It has received scant attention, but some dairy processors are notifying farmers that they will no longer accept milk from cows given rBST (bovine somatotropin) to boost their milk production. It seems like a replay of the 1990s: fighting over rBST while a Clinton vies for the White House. Kidding aside, the timing couldn’t be worse for dairy farmers who want to keep using this management tool. A global glut of dairy products makes for an awkward backdrop of why this technology is needed. Secondly, this issue is not a mandate handed down by a regulator or politician. This is the marketplace telling the farmer to produce a commodity a certain way or look for another buyer. It ought to make farmers see that changes to how they farm are as likely to come from the private sector as the public one. Finally, there is another antiscience, knee-jerk reaction taking place throughout Wisconsin. It’s banning the spreading of manure during the winter. Every county (Bayfield, Green, Kewaunee, Wood, am I leaving anyone out?) seems to fall for this. These bans are ripped from the same playbook that is carted around to every

county that is debating the expansion or building of large livestock farms. What seems to get lost is the reality that the largest livestock farms have manure storage facilities to get them through the winter months. The smallest ones do not. It’s time someone calls out these bans for being anti-small-farm. Ironically, the very people who propose such bans usually claim to support small farms. They must not realize that by penalizing small farms they are encouraging the large-scale agriculture they so loudly oppose. They must not know the average beef herd in Wisconsin is just 18 animals. They must not have read the UWDiscovery Farms’ 2013 report that found manure spreading bans should be established on field conditions and not a calendar. GMOs, rBST and manure spreading bans are three examples of emotion winning out over science. The issues facing agriculture are complex. Perhaps too complex for a society with an attention span just long enough for Twitter and bumper stickers. Our society’s institutions are weathering an unprecedented storm. I have little doubt that the summer of 2016 will be an infamous chapter in the history books. I also wonder if this will be remembered as the time when the hinges began to come off the once rock solid institution of science. I worry what that will mean down on the farm. Langan is the WFBF’s Executive Director of Public Relations.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Traders’ Positions a Telling Market Indicator Guest Column by AgriVisor’s Joe Camp


t the end of each trading week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issues a report that accounts for all futures and options positions held by the various types of traders. Here’s a look at the report and what it has to say for our grain markets. The weekly trader positions report includes a look at what the often-talkedabout ‘funds’ are up to. Designated as ‘managed money’ by the CFTC, funds include those run by commodity trading advisors (CTAs) and commodity pool operators (CPOs). The relatively active market participants can be both buyers and sellers as they trade on behalf of their customers. The CFTC classifies money managers as speculators. Speculators are welcome participants in the market because they take on risk that is passed on to them by hedgers, which include ‘swap dealers’ and what the industry sometimes broadly refers to as ‘commercial’ traders. Swap dealers manage risk related to over-the-counter (OTC) derivative products and also take positions on

behalf of large commodity index funds that generally take passive long positions in the market. Examples of commercial traders include grain elevators that hedge purchases made from the farmer, merchants that may use futures and options to manage risk related to export agreements, processors that hedge their production of goods like ethanol or soy-derived plastics, and various other end-users that might hedge grain used to feed livestock or create food for human consumption. Market analysts watch most closely the changes in positions held by the managed money trader category. The flexibility of funds in their ability to switch the direction of their speculative bets quickly makes it so that the managed money position is a gauge of market sentiment. When grain markets were in the doldrums of last winter, funds were decidedly bearish. They pointed to large global grain inventories and sluggish demand for reason to be sellers. Fund traders started covering short soy positions and eventually turned bullish when crop troubles started to develop in South America. Their corn bets eventually turned bullish, too. The graphic (above) shows money mangers cutting length from their bullish corn bet after beneficial rains came during the July 4th weekend and at the

start of the week after. Fund traders have decided to stay somewhat long going into the end of the growing season so that they may take advantage of any late season weather troubles. Their remaining long is also a sign of a more favorable outlook for demand. Swap positions fluctuate less rapidly than managed money positions do, but the long-term trend of swap activity is still an important piece to monitor. A steady climb in the long swap position observed since the beginning of 2015 is partly seen as an indication that index funds are funneling investment money into the grain markets. Keep an eye on the size and type (long or short, futures or options) of positions

held by the market’s various groups of traders. Positions held by money managers, swap dealers, and commercial hedgers each have something important to say about the prevailing market sentiment. Camp is the Risk Management Specialist for AgriVisor, one of WFBF’s member benefits.

August | September 2016


Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg


he male bobwhite quail emphatically whistled, “bob-white, bob-white,” from a nearby fencerow bordering a knee-high cornfield. My fatherin-law and I were picking up a load of oak slabwood from an Amish sawmill in Waushara County. The quail paid us no mind as he proclaimed to his world, “Yes indeed, all is well!” No one would rather hear a male bobwhite call out in the summer more than I – so much so, that I buy a couple dozen quail of both sexes each year from a local game farm and release them in our prairie grass field along the creek. And this year I planted a hedgerow smack dab down the middle of the field to give them an enhanced environment to call home. During the 1920s, farmers removed all hedgerows in the corn belt. Then in the 1930s the Dust Bowl government assisted in replanting hedgerows, and hundreds of miles of pine windbreaks sprung up along highways, farm boundaries and fence rows. The war against wind began in earnest. Neighbors helping neighbors stop the wind and keep precious topsoil on their land.


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By the 1940s brushy fencerows were established hedgerows along potato, corn and common and harbored scores of species of soybean croplands interspersed on the statesong and game birds and mammals. Brushy owned Buena Vista Grasslands. Alive with fencerows also sheltered insects, some songbirds and flowering plants, they were a detrimental to adjacent crops. But they also testament to a very successful government shelter beneficial insects, which prey on the program. noxious ones, and attract birds that prey on A phone call earlier this year yielded the both. The net effect on insects was neutral assistance of project manager Shannon and resulted in farms with abundant bird and Rohde and his crew. We planned for a wildlife. summer planting of about 600 feet of silky During the 1950s and 1960s, wildlife dogwood, ninebark and rose low crabapple, researchers (Kabat and Thompson, 1963) extending from our pond to a row of pines found that quail had disappeared in the on the east end of our property. The crew southeastern and east central parts of covered the plants with a porous black fabric Wisconsin in areas where brushy hedgerows and guaranteed a 95 percent survival rate by were removed. Quail populations were directly providing a three-year maintenance program correlated with the amount of hedgerow cover of weeding, replacement plantings, pruning present or absent. They also discovered diverse and mowing. hedgerows adjacent Our hedgerow has to grain and forage been planted. I couldn’t crops contained be more pleased. It will more beneficial take a few years for the insects than did songbirds, flowering field borders plants and pollinating composed of grassy insects to prosper, but it and broad-leaved will be worth the wait. species. Hedgerows In the July 26, 1941, containing a variety issue of Wisconsin of shrubs presented Agriculturist and an almost constant Farmer, Aldo Leopold source of flowering summed it up when he plants required by wrote, “Summer without the all-important bobwhites whistling pollinating insects. in the fencerows is But windbreaks not really summer, but and hedgerows used only an imitation of it. The author recently employed the services of up good land and But many a southern the Central Wisconsin Windshed Partners and Wisconsin farmer, fond when corn prices together they installed a wildlife hedgerow in of his quail, has himself soared, like a few the family’s grasslands along the creek. years back, they evicted this bird from tended to disappear. his acres without being In steps our Dust Bowl government once aware of how or why…For weeds we can again. substitute corn, but for thickets, there is no The Central Wisconsin Windshed Partners substitute. We can, however, bolster deficient (CWWP) now “seeks solutions to wind thickets with grape-tangles, brushpiles and erosion and wildlife habitat enhancement” evergreen plantings. Most farms must either by establishing windbreaks, wildlife habitat build such cover, or go quailless into the and education. I was hooked by the services future.” offered, especially the 70 percent cost sharing and seeing firsthand their windbreak hedgerows. Nearby in our own Portage Blomberg is a freelance writer and a member of the Portage County, I viewed miles and miles of wellCounty Farm Bureau.

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The soft pump of the oxygen machine is ironically comforting as I hold grandpa’s hand. They are calloused but soft. He hates the fact that in his old age his hands are tender. Rosco, the family dog (mostly his), stares at me with confusion. It’s been days since grandpa has petted him or fed him scraps from his plate. It’s hard seeing this man, who once threw full feed bags over his shoulder, lying helplessly in a hospital bed. Parked in the center of the living room and hooked up to machines, it’s less than homey. Yet, this place has always been home to him. I stare at his limp hands and recall the stories he has shared with me over the years. Tales of living in the Depression, corn husking parties, the many deer that ‘got away’ and in-depth descriptions of the dogs he has befriended over the years. Even though I have heard them hundreds of times, I long to hear them just one more time. Being his only granddaughter we have a special connection. We like to make each other laugh and even have a secret hand shake. He’s the guy who taught my dad the meaning of hard work so he could pass it on to me. He is the foundation of our small family.

A message from Amy Eckelberg Grandpa passed about 12 hours after I wrote what you just read; peacefully with his family and Rosco by his side. In the days that followed my heart was empty. Our family lost our leader and I lost my biggest fan. At the funeral it was heartwarming to hear the stories people shared about him. So many others knew he was ‘one of the good ones’ too. Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech could have been written for my grandpa. I have never known a kinder man who led by example which is true for so many of our old farmers. Grandpa undoubtedly baled our family together. In recent years Grandpa was too old to farm, but many memories were shared at the kitchen table with my dad and brother. Even though he couldn’t be out on the tractor (he finally gave that up when he turned 88!) he was reassured that things were getting done when planting arrived and harvest showed up. “Time Has Made a Change in Me” by the Oak Ridge Boys was played at grandpa’s funeral. There’s a line that goes “Time has made a change in the old homeplace.” Grandpa saw dynamic changes to our farm and agriculture, especially with machinery and technology. Last year I witnessed his disbelief, as milkers automatically came off the cows in our milking parlor. Grandpa, who once milked eight cows by hand, was blown away. The challenges our future farmers will face won’t be the same as what Grandpa saw in his 93 years, but they’ll be there. Whether it’s low prices or balancing caregiving for a loved-one and the cows, farming will always have its struggles regardless of the decade. Losing a loved-one and farming share some similarities. It’s comforting to reflect on the memories and keep certain mementos. But it’s tough to look ahead. In the days that followed the cows

still got milked and crops got planted despite our sadness. Just because a heart stops, a farm doesn’t. It’s hard picturing our family and farm’s futures without him in it. As a farmer he knew how the seasons worked. On that late April evening, with another spring planting upon us, I think he knew it was his time to go. My brother is the sixth generation on our farm. With the help of my dad he will continue to build on the foundation that grandpa helped lay. Grandpa never said it, but his smiling eyes spoke for him. He knew his farm was going to make it another generation. He had fulfilled his legacy. Eckelberg is WFBF’s Director of Communications

August | September 2016




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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

e r u t u F e h t s e Shap

Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program

The YFA program helps young members shape the future of agriculture, as well as their individual futures, with leadership development and personal growth opportunities. Through three competitions, members are able to showcase their leadership experience, communication skills and successful farm plans as they compete against the best of the best Farm Bureau has to offer.

As part of the YFA competitions, winners in the Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Ag areas will receive their choice of a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra truck, courtesy of Chevrolet. Three national finalists in each competition will receive a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor, courtesy of Case IH, as well as a $2,500 cash prize and $500 in STIHL merchandise.

For more information about YFA competitive events contact Wendy Kannel at or 608.828.5719.


County Kernels Moovin’ With Milk 5K – Trempealeau County

June Dairy Month Promotion – Chippewa County

The second annual Moovin’ With Milk 5K and funrun wasn’t all about the race. Attendees could meet a calf, enter into the ice cream eating contest, learn about the diet of a dairy cow and much more.

On Saturday, June 4, members of the Chippewa County Farm Bureau and Rural Mutual Insurance agent Stacey Miller served free ice cream cones at Klinger Farm Market in Chippewa Falls to celebrate June Dairy Month. Klinger Farm Market is also a Farm Bureau member.

AgVenture Day – Marinette County

Youth Education – Green Lake County

On May 23, Coleman FFA and Marinette County Farm Bureau held the second annual Ag Venture Day. About 26 high school leaders taught more than 280 Coleman elementary students about different aspects of agriculture. It was a highly-educational day promoting agriculture in Marinette County.

Members of the Green Lake County promotion and education committee conducted a variety of agricultural promotional activities throughout the county. On May 25, Matt Graff showed students his milk truck during the Princeton Elementary Schools K-5 Career On Wheels Day.

Red Cedar Watershed – Barron County


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Farmers in Barron County are in a position to make a significant difference in soil and water quality of the Red Cedar Watershed. This belief motivated them to form the Farmers of Barron County Watersheds. Experimenting, sharing results and taking advantage of new funds may be what it takes to encourage a neighbor to try something different. The group will incorporate a variety of efforts including demonstrations, education, field days, tours and on-farm research projects. The group hopes fellow farmers will follow and participate when possible.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

What age adults are involved in YFA and do they teach non farmers about agriculture and farming? What do YFA programs do to give back to the communities they represent and how are YFA groups funded? (Amy Micke, Brillion) The YFA program is for members ages 18-35 and we offer a variety of programs and activities that give members an opportunity to learn more about agriculture. Activities include dairy breakfasts, county fairs and educational workshops that are often open to farmers and the public. On the state level, the YFA program is funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation while each county YFA program is funded by their respective county Farm Bureau. Each county program is unique and YFA members give back to their communities by donating books to hospitals, food drives and more.

How do you incorporate new technologies on the farm? (Molly Cabaj, Lodi)

When milk prices are good and we want to be riskier, we look at what we can do to be more efficient. We have a robot that pushes feed closer to the cows in the free stall barn every hour. This helps to increase milk production as cows continually have new feed in front of them. We also use ultrasound on our cows to tell us the viability of embryos and pregnancy health. These are just a few examples

Red or Green? ( Jon Eckelberg, DeForest)



WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Chair, Derek Orth, asked members to submit questions about agriculture and farming, the YFA program or Derek’s role on the WFBF Board of Directors. Here are a few of the questions and responses.

As a young farmer, is your voice heard? (Ryan Klussendorf, Medford) Our voice is heard by the people who want to hear it. We want to make connections with consumers and educate about how food is produced. Whether they listen to what we have to say is up to them. On the legislative side, our legislators care about what we, as farmers and Farm Bureau members have to say. They hear from a lot of people on different issues. In both situations, we need to continue to share our stories.

How can young adults become more involved with Farm Bureau? (Erin Marchant, Brodhead) First and foremost, learn who your county and district YFA chairs are. They will be able to tell you more specific details about events and activities that are happening in Farm Bureau for YFA members. Also, don’t forget to check out YFA’s webpage and Facebook page. If you don’t already, please ‘like’ the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist page on Facebook. Feel free to message it with any questions you have. How do you balance farming, family and Farm Bureau? (Bob Nash, Saukville)

I haven’t considered myself to sway one way or the other on the color of our tractors, but most of the tractors I own are red.

It has been a true balancing act this year. Being state YFA Chair is a part-time job, being a husband and father is a full-time job and being a farmer is a double-time job! There’s still only 168 hours in a week, I just try to make the most of it.

August | September 2016


Ag in the classroom

In the field or

Ag in the Classroom bus tour, July 13-14, Beaver Dam.

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ered teachers a greenhouse off cs ni po ua istry, physics, aq s corporate chem Windy Drumlin in at th s ea id on plan plethora of less d aquaculture. an re ltu icu rt ho It was Christmas in July at Propst Tree Farm in Beaver Dam. Owner Dave Propst explained how shaping Christmas trees when trimming each summer requires 8-10 years of foresight to think about what a consumer desires.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

John oint at evens P a beautiful t S in It was as held t Barn. ining w s for The tra sa Eron’s Even rtunitie o p p o s l li a cation and Me ll of edu venue fu . ors educat

Is there DN A in my foo d? Teachers DNA from a strawberr and volun teers learn y to help te ed how to ach about extract biotechno logy.

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in the classroom

Teacher training, Wednesday, July 27, Stevens Point.

Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom

August | September 2016



Kendra Spier Wins Wisconsin FFA Discussion Meet H ailing from the Cambridge FFA Chapter, Kendra Spier was named the state winner of the FFA Discussion Meet Contest at the 87th State FFA Convention in Madison. Spier’s advisor is Emily Klingbeil. The Discussion Meet tests the abilities of FFA members in cooperatively discussing agricultural issues, exchanging ideas and information, and finding solutions to problems. Modeled after the Farm Bureau’s

Discussion Meet, contestants give a 30-second opening statement, participate in 15 to 20 minutes of discussion, and finish with a one-minute closing statement. To qualify for the state finals, Spier competed in chapter, district, and sectional discussion meets prior to competing in Madison. Other finalists were: Second Place: Emily Kruse, Elkhorn Third Place: Mason Jauquet, Pulaski Fourth Place: Kellie Kjeseth, Amery The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation proudly sponsors the State FFA Discussion Meet Contest.

Manawa FFA is Food for America Contest Winner T

he Manawa FFA was named the state winner for their Food for America program at the 2016 State FFA Convention in Madison. Numerous chapters entered this award area, where FFA members educate elementary students about Wisconsin agriculture. The top eight chapters were interviewed at the convention. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation sponsors the award for the Food for America program winner at the state level. The Food for America program through Manawa FFA went above and beyond elementary aged students, with agricultural literacy for all ages as the overarching theme. Programs and activities focused on teaching people where their food comes from as well as an appreciation for the careers involved in production, processing, distribution and marketing. Over the course of the school year the program reached more than 750 K-12 students through the efforts of chapter advisor, Sandra Piechowski Cordes, and 88 FFA members. With all of their FFA members participating in various activities, they have collectively logged more than 3,000 hours educating the public about agriculture. New to their program this year was an active


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contribution to National Night Out with a cooking demo and healthy choice stations that involved more than 300 community members. They also became active in the Farm to School program which brings healthy, locally produced foods to their cafeterias. Manawa FFA’s award application said, “It is imperative we teach our future consumers essential vocabulary and an understanding of what it takes for food to get from gate to plate.” Other top FFA Chapters recognized for their programs were Weyauwega-Fremont, Waupaca, Badger, Lodi, Stevens Point, Barron and Brodhead.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Summit 2017


Bought my MF135, and it’s still working hard today.

March 10-11, 2017

Years later, my son bought a compact tractor for his first piece of land.

I set aside a few acres for my first grandson. But he’ll need to get his own Massey Ferguson.

Follow us on Instagram yet?

Visit @wifarmbureau on Instagram for photos and videos! Watch for #WFBFTakeOverTuesday where members take over the account to share more about their farm, job and Farm Bureau experience.

Tough. Versatile. Dependable. Our tractors have been running in families for generations. Visit a dealer today and ask about our latest compact and mid-range tractors.













©2016 AGCO® Corporation. Massey Ferguson® is a worldwide brand of AGCO Corporation. AGCO and Massey Ferguson® are trademarks of AGCO. All rights reserved.

August | September 2016


Ag in the classroom

Foundation Funds Thousands for Ag Literacy Projects The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Ag in the Classroom program awarded 15 matching grants to schools and organizations to expand agricultural literacy. The grants of $350 to $500 (totaling more than $7,100) were awarded in May. The 15 matching grant recipients are:

Madison’s Cows on the Concourse: This annual event in June kicks off Dairy Month in downtown Madison. The free event gives people the opportunity to get close to cattle, consume dairy products and talk with dairy farmers. Marathon County Commodities Interactive Board - Partnership for Progressive Agriculture: Visitors of the Wisconsin Valley Fair will be able to learn about the variety of agriculture commodities grown in Marathon County. Sun Prairie High School Agriculture Education Department: Students will grow plants with an aeroponics system and compare how it works compared to other growing techniques. Stevens Point FFA: A hands-on farm tour will allow high school students to talk to elementary students about agriculture. Home Grown in Wisconsin – Story Book Kids: Funding will be used to create a learning area to focus on Wisconsin crops like ginseng, cranberries and corn. The learning area will have three areas of interest including books about various crops, a hands on tub with different crops in them and a play area for agricultural toys for imaginative play in planning and harvesting crops. Farming Education and Demonstrations in Schools – Wood County Land and Water Conservation Council: This multicounty project will help students develop their understanding of agriculture. Resource professionals will bring factual, scientific and hands-on activities into schools to connect students to where their food comes from. Ag Venture Tent – Taylor County Farm Bureau: The Ag Venture Tent presents the value of agriculture and how it impacts everyone with interactive games. 40

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FFA PALS Program – Janesville FFA: Partners in Active Learning Support increases awareness and interest in agriculture with hands-on activities and presentations by FFA and adult community members. Incubation and Life Cycles – Two Rivers Public Schools: Students are exposed to the process of hatching poultry eggs through incubation. School Garden – Dodgeville School District: Students will learn the importance of farming by a school garden project. The produce harvested will be used in the school lunch program. Stewards of the Earth Project – Eagle Christian School: Students will gain knowledge through hands-on work in a school garden and farm tours. Barnyard Adventure – Walworth County Fair: This ag education program now includes a Learning Coop focused on beekeeping, hydroponics and poultry. Soybean Science Kit – Portage County Farm Bureau: Soybean Science Kits teach students about the many uses for soybeans through activities and lesson plans. Agriculturallyaccurate books will also be purchased for county classrooms. Discover Agriculture – Sauk County Ag in the Classroom: With a small team of volunteers, this project reaches more than 750 second grade students through interactive classroom presentations. Chippewa Valley Farm – City Day: Chippewa Valley FarmCity Day is an annual on-farm tour and 5K walk/run event. The 2016 event is at Alfalawn Farms in Menomonie. Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program provides teachers and K-12 students with an understanding of how their food is produced. The program seeks to work within existing curricula to provide basic information on our nation’s largest industry: agriculture. Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program is carried out by a network of local educators, volunteers and representatives from agricultural organizations and businesses. The goal of the program is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Teyanna Loether Hired as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Foundation Director T eyanna Loether has been named the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator and Director of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. Loether will oversee the Ag in the Classroom program which provides Wisconsin teachers, volunteers and students with tools about how food travels from the farm to the fork. Loether will be responsible for developing and promoting educational resources for use by teachers and students along with working with Ag in the Classroom partners and volunteers to plan and conduct educational programs and activities. Loether will also be coordinating fundraising activities for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation which provides funding to Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist,

Promotion and Education and Leadership Institute programs, as well as, collegiate Farm Bureaus and Ag in the Classroom. Loether grew up on a dairy farm near Sauk City and is a UW-Madison graduate where she received both a bachelor and master’s degree in animal science. During graduate school, she worked as a teaching assistant and tutor and received a Delta certificate in research, teaching and learning. Most recently, Loether served as Wisconsin’s 68th Alice in Dairyland, traveling throughout the state promoting Wisconsin agriculture. “Agriculture literacy is critical to teaching our next generation about where our food comes from,” Loether said, “It is for that reason that I am thrilled to be joining the Wisconsin Farm Bureau team as the Ag in the Classroom Coordinator and Foundation Director. I look forward to growing both the Ag in the Classroom program and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.” Loether and her husband, Tyler, live in Sauk City. She began her duties on June 13.

August | September 2016


Farm Bureau Recipes and photos courtesy of Beef and Potato Dinner Ingredients 2 lbs. lean ground beef 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 can condensed tomato soup 6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced 1 cup light cream, undiluted

Instructions 1. In a large skillet brown beef; pour off excess fat. 2. In small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, onion and undiluted soup. 3. Arrange layers of potatoes and meat in slow-cooker with potatoes on bottom. Pour soup mixture over. 4. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours. 5. Turn control to high. Pour cream over all; cook on high for 15 to 20 minutes.

Grilled Red Potato Skewers Ingredients 2m edium russet or Yukon gold Wisconsin potatoes or 6 red Wisconsin potatoes 2 medium zucchini

1/2 smoked sausage rope 4 12-inch skewers 1/2 cup Italian dressing

Instructions 1. Preheat grill. Cut potatoes in half. Cut zucchini and sausage the same width as potatoes. Place skewer through potato, zucchini and sausage. Repeat for each skewer. 2. Place skewer in dish and pour Italian dressing over skewers. Marinate in dressing for 5 minutes. 3. Place skewers on grill and cook 5 minutes each side, or until potatoes are done. Remove from grill and serve.

Parmesan Panko Potato Balls Ingredients 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs 2/3 cup f reshly-grated Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp. Italian herb seasoning 1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 cup flour 2 eggs, beaten 1 1/2 lbs small yellow potatoes olive oil cooking spray warm marinara sauce or pesto

Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. 2. Stir together bread crumbs, cheese, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl. 3. Place flour and eggs in two separate bowls. 4. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet and spray liberally with olive oil spray. Roll each potato in flour, dip in egg, then bread crumb mixture, making sure to coat potatoes well with each step. 5. Place back on baking sheet and spray again with olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork, coating with spray twice during cooking. 6. Serve with marina sauce or pesto.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Five things about ...

Daylight Saving Time

By Daniel Phaneuf


A Founding Father was an early advocate.

In 1784, Benjamin Franklin observed that during summer months, people slept during the daylight hours of morning and then burned candles at night for illumination. Thus adjusting schedules to begin earlier in the day during summer months would substitute free sunlight for costly wax. Though Franklin advocated changing schedules, he did not propose changing the clock. This idea was first suggested in Britain in 1907, and it was implemented in warring nations in 1916 as an energy-saving measure.


Farmers were not. The notion that farmers pushed for daylight saving time to give them more time in the field is a myth. In fact, farmers consistently came out against a peacetime daylight saving time, which was not implemented in the U.S. until 1966. Losing an hour of morning light meant an early rush to get crops to market. And dairy farmers noted that cows respond poorly to changes in their schedule.


The health effects of DST are a mixed bag.

More time spent pursuing outdoor activities and increased exposure to vitamin D can be beneficial. However, studies have found increases in such maladies as workplace accidents, heart attacks, headaches and even suicides at the start and end of daylight saving time, attributable to the negative effects of disrupted sleep rhythms. This is particularly so for people with mental health problems.


It’s good for business—except when it’s not.

Outdoor sports facilities (think golf courses), the grill and charcoal industries and retail groups have long argued that DST is good for business—and for theirs, it is. Less fortunate: airlines that have to scramble to keep international flights running smoothly during the time changes, and television networks that lose prime-time viewers to the extended daylight.


Photo Credit: Wolfgang Hoffmann/UW-Madison CALS

The biggest argument for DST is questionable. The idea that daylight saving time saves

energy has been the most formidable argument for its implementation and extension. Most recently, the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended DST in 2007 by three weeks in the spring and one week in the fall. But studies by economists in 2008 and 2011 suggest that DST leads to the same amount of electricity use, but shifts it to different parts of the day, or even increases energy use slightly if people engage in additional energyintensive activities (examples: driving and using air-conditioning). Phaneuf is a CALS professor of agricultural and applied economics. Reprinted with permission from UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Grow


August | September 2016


Sherri Nelson, River Falls

Ashley Henke, Montello

Sara Griesbach, Stratford

Casey Langan, Edgerton

Send us YOUR Photos Wisconsin Farm Bureau members live and work with beautiful landscapes and livestock. On this page we highlight those sights and special moments. Please email your best photos (high resolution jpgs, 4x6 inches at 300 dpi) to Due to the high volume of photos we receive, we are unable to publish every photo.


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Dawn Mroczenski, Athens

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Rural Mutual

Keep Kids Safe on ATVs J

ust three days before he turned location and function of the key controls 10 years old, Derek Lendosky of of the ATV before riding. Ask children to Fennimore lost his life in an ATV point out the brakes and parking brake, the accident. throttle control lever, the engine stop switch He and his two siblings were and shift lever. sitting atop a ranger ATV pulling a Here’s a list of questions to help bush hog at five mph when Derek determine the answer to one simple reached up to grab a walnut from a question: can your child do this job? Think tree. But the walnut was stubborn, about the children on your farm, and answer and Derek didn’t let go. He ended honestly. up on the ground, then underneath • Can the child reach and operate all the bush hog. controls while comfortably seated? His siblings watched their brother • Is the child strong enough to operate the die, right before their eyes. controls without straining? Derek Lendosky with his family before the “As a parent or a farmer, you • Does the child have good peripheral accident. do everything you can to protect vision? yourself from an accident,” said Steve, Derek’s father. “But that’s • Can the child use hands and feet at the same time? just what it is. It’s an accident.” • Can the child understand and repeat from memory a fiveSadly, accidents like Derek’s are not anomalies. A quarter of step process? youth fatalities on farms involve machinery, while 17 percent • Can the child recognize a hazard and solve the problem involve motor vehicles like ATVs, making them the two leading without getting upset? causes for child death on farms. • Can the child react quickly? Rural Mutual Insurance believes that protecting farms means • Do you trust the child to do what’s expected without protecting people on those farms, especially children. It’s why anyone checking? they partner with farmers like the Lendoskys, to spread the “If this information helps save one life, it’s all worth it,” said word about farm safety in hopes to raise awareness and prevent Peter Pelizza, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Mutual. future accidents. Rural Mutual is incredibly grateful to the Lendoskys for Young farmers tend to be attracted to ATVs because they’re sharing Derek’s story. The hope is this story raises awareness big, fun and fast. But in reality, ATVs are not a child’s play toy. of ATV and farm safety, inspiring farmers to take extra In fact, they require responsibility and a deep understanding of precautions. the consequences if used recklessly. In an effort to improve safety on farms across Wisconsin, “So often kids think they are above it, that they’re invincible,” Rural Mutual offers a variety of resources, including safety said Brandee, Derek’s mom. “It’s so easy for them to just not information regarding ATVs, tractors, crop storage, animal listen.” handling, farm machinery, hazardous materials and more. That’s why it’s important for farm parents and communities Visit to learn how you can keep to be well versed in how to teach children about ATV safety. your family safe on the farm. Some of the main hazards facing ATV drivers are overturns and collisions with fences, trees and other obstacles on the property. ATVs can weigh up to 600 pounds, which is a lot of machine to control, even for a grown adult. Parents should be responsible for carefully assessing whether or not their child is ready to operate an ATV. While it’s tough to calculate the exact age a child is ready, farm parents can consider their child’s ability to react quickly, whether they’re strong enough to operate controls and if they trust their child’s overall capabilities. The ATV Safety Institute recommends having your child show that they know the August | September 2016


Rural Mutual

Rural Mutual Insurance Retains Status as One of Nation’s Top Insurance Companies R ural Mutual Insurance, premier insurance provider of Wisconsin families, businesses and farms, has been selected as a Ward’s 50® Property-Casualty Company for the eighth straight year. The honor is bolstered by Rural Mutual Insurance’s recently-designated A.M. Best Positive Outlook on their already strong A rating. A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating source. “We are so honored to once again be named a top performer by the Ward Group, and couldn’t have done it without the dedication of our talented and experienced employees and agents,” said Peter Pelizza, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Mutual Insurance. “This eight-year Ward’s 50® legacy highlights our ongoing efforts in improving the offerings and services we provide for all Rural Mutual Insurance customers.” Ward Group releases its annual list after analyzing and measuring the financial performance of nearly 3,000 propertycasualty companies nationwide. In order to be selected, honorees such as Rural Mutual Insurance must pass a series of safety and consistency screenings in addition to recording superior performance over the previous five-year period. Recognized companies receive a Ward’s 50® seal and are listed among the other top performers in their same category. In addition to the great work from Rural Mutual Insurance’s

team members, the company’s disciplined approach to managing the business is another key factor in its success. From 20102015, the company generated an average pre-tax return on revenue of 14.7 percent, far exceeding the industry standard of 10.1 percent. In addition, net premiums written over this five-year period increased at an average rate of 5.5 percent, once again exceeding the industry average of 4.1 percent. For policyholders, another Ward’s 50® seal means that Rural Mutual Insurance is financially secure and one of the most efficiently operated insurance providers in the country. This recognition also reinforces the company’s promise that when a claim happens, Rural Mutual Insurance will be there to work with its customers in order to reach a prompt and fair settlement. “This recognition coupled with our recent A.M. Best upgrade to a Positive Outlook is a great achievement for our company and those on our team” said Pelizza. “But, of course, we couldn’t do it without our loyal, valued customers across Wisconsin. Thank you for making it all possible.”

Planning for the Future of the Family Farm S urveys show widespread interest and concern for farm continuation planning, yet so few farm families have completed the process and are confident with their planning. The reason for this is clear when you consider the challenges of tax laws, estate valuations, non-business heirs, other family concerns and nursing home costs. The structure of your continuation plan embodies many complex subjects: wills, trusts, tax law, business entities, life insurance and long term care insurance. Farm Bureau Life and your Rural Mutual Insurance agent can help you make sense of this complex situation with easy to understand examples and solutions. It is just a matter of contacting your local representative to help you navigate through these challenges and protect your investment. Farm Bureau Life developed an effective planning approach for your family farm to help you create a framework to make good decisions regarding your estate and business plans. Through Rural Mutual agents, farm owners have access to Farm Bureau Life’s regional financial consultants who will meet with you on your farm to develop your continuation plan.


Rural Route

Your Rural Mutual agent and regional financial consultant follow a six-step planning process: 1. Fact finding – detailed information about your business and family 2. Set goals – What’s important to you? 3. Farm Bureau will design a tailored solution draft 4. Presentation of draft, discussion and determination of final plan 5. Implementation of plan 6. Periodic review and update The business of farming comes with enough risks: commodity prices, operating costs and weather just to name a few. A well-designed and implemented continuation plan will help avoid a different set of risks (costly buyouts of nonbusiness siblings, expenses of nursing home care and financial setbacks from death or disability). Proper planning will pave the way for the next generation to continue what you’ve worked so hard to build. To start your plan or review the planning you’ve done so far please contact your local Rural Mutual agent or Farm Bureau Life’s senior regional financial consultant, Jared Nelson at 608.250.0404 or

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company*/West Des Moines, IA. *Company provider of Farm Bureau Financial Services L160 (7-16)

Insurance plans designed exclusively for Wisconsin.

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here To Keep Wisconsin Strong. As the leading insurer of Wisconsin farms, we recognize that agribusiness requires special protection. After all, your farm is your home, your business, and a considerable capital investment. To protect what matters to you, call 1-877-219-9550 or visit our website and we can show you the variety of coverages available to address all your insurance needs.

877-219-9550 •