Rural Route WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION®'S
august | september 2019 • vol. 25 no. 4 | wfbf.com
Farm Bureau Member
FINDS WAY TO
FARMING Page 14
contents vol. 25 no. 4
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AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
MEMBERS VISIT D.C.
Members visit Capitol Hill to advocate for agriculture.
Farm Bureau's policy season is underway.
MEET LESLIE SVACINA
Member thrives in specialty meat market.
WFBF ANNUAL MEETING
See what's in store for the 100th WFBF Annual Meeting.
FORD MEMBER BENEFIT
Farm Bureau member shares success with new benefit.
FARM BUREAU PROGRAMS
Learn the history of Farm Bureau programs.
Columns from Holte, Duvall, Zimdars, Eckelberg, Orth and Setzer.
FARM BUREAU FLAVOR
Try these tasty recipes on the grill before summer is over.
SUMMER BUS TOUR
Teachers and volunteers became students on this year's tour.
Learn more about the Harvest of Hope Fund.
COVER PHOTO BY AMY ECKELBERG
Read our previous issues at wfbf.com/communication/rural-route.
Rural Route WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION'S
ver have a song randomly pop into your head? Recently, I had a flashback to my show choir days when I suddenly couldn’t get Steve Miller Band’s "Fly Like an Eagle" off my mind. The lyric that kept playing over and over in my head was “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future.” As we head into fall, I don’t think that line could be more true. During my years in show choir, and many other school activities, I often said my schedule couldn’t get much busier. Now, with a few more years’ experience, I know that statement was just silly. As I get older, I find that time is a precious gift that is hardest to give. I often hear the expression, if you want something done ask a busy person to do it. Think about the people you work with in your volunteer groups and friends. Doesn’t that reign true? As we wrap up summer, you might have
spent time volunteering with your 4-H club or in the Farm Bureau food stand at the county fair. You most likely gave time to your business or employer, but did you give enough to your family and service organizations? As a membership organization, Farm Bureau understands that the greatest gift you can give is your time. Don’t think we don’t notice those who step up to volunteer and, even more so, those who encourage others to do the same. Those who show up are our 'bread and butter' and the faces that define our organization. As you flip through Rural Route, you’ll see some of those faces. These are just some of the members who make our organization what it is. You’ll meet Leslie Svacina on pages 14 and 15. I’ve known Leslie for quite a few years, and I know you’ll find her farming story interesting. I hope you also appreciate her Farm Bureau story. Sometimes the way we get connected to a group isn’t always traditional. There is a lot of focus in this issue on our policy development process. The end of summer means it’s time to get down to business. Read more on pages 8 and 9. On pages 6 and 7, you’ll read about members who took time away from their farms, jobs and families to visit Washington, D.C., on behalf of agriculture. Their experiences are captured in the story, but the time given is not. Time does slip away if we don’t pay attention. Give it to what matters most. I hope Farm Bureau makes the list. Amy Eckelberg Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation
Editor Amy Eckelberg - 608.828.5706 Designer Lynn Siekmann - 608.828.5707 Contributors Sarah Hetke - 608.828.5711 Marian Viney - 608.828.5721 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.com email@example.com WFBF Board of Directors Jim Holte, Elk Mound, (President) Kevin Krentz, Berlin, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Arch Morton Jr., Janesville Robert Nigh, Viroqua Joe Bragger, Independence Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Don Radtke, Merrill Andrea Brossard, Burnett (Promotion and Education Committee Chair) Julie Wadzinski, Rice Lake (YFA Committee Chair) Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation's Rural Route (ISSN 1082-1368) (USPS 39940), 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. National accounts contact Casey McNeal at 800.798.2691 ext. 334 or email@example.com. For general inquiries, contact Amy Eckelberg at 608.828.5706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
WFBF Board Meets with EPA, White House Advisor and National Milk on Issues Facing Farmers W
isconsin Farm Bureau board members and staff met with the Environmental Protection Agency at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to discuss the environmental regulations on Wisconsin farmers. Discussions centered around opportunities for farmers to use nutrient credit trading to become more creative in how nutrients are used on their farms and fields while keeping them out of bodies of water. “In our EPA meeting we discussed the 2015 WOTUS rule that has been pulled back,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte. “We appreciate that this rule is being reevaluated to address some serious concerns regarding regulatory overreach on farms.” Special advisor to the White House Kristi Boswell joined the meeting to discuss immigration. Wisconsin dairy farmers have been vocal advocates of reform to the national immigration system. Currently, dairy farmers are unable to use the H2A guest worker WFBF Board and staff members gathered for a group photo after meeting with EPA program for temporary and seasonal workers. and White House officials; back row (from left): Arch Morton Jr., Dale Beaty, Robert “We are thankful that Kristi took time with Nigh, Jim Holte; front row (from left): Joe Bragger, Don Radtke, Rosie Lisowe, Dave us to explain the efforts of the administration Daniels and Kevin Krentz. to help address agriculture’s concerns,” said Holte. “Leadership is trying to work within the current legal The eight board members who attended the trip met with framework to craft better options.” National Milk and U.S. Dairy Export Council staff to discuss the climate of the dairy industry. “Trade issues and tariffs are at the top of the list for concerns within the agricultural community,” said Holte. “While relief on the steel and aluminum tariffs with Canada and Mexico should help with moving the United StatesMexico-Canada Agreement forward in Congress, agriculture needs additional access to new markets. There also are opportunities to address reform to the Federal Milk Marketing Orders in the U.S.” WFBF board members also visited Capitol Hill to meet with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. The issues discussed were trade, immigration reform, wolves, WOTUS, Whole Milk for Healthy for Kids Act and options for delayed planting WFBF Board members spoke with White House and EPA officials about issues affecting farmers such as the Waters of the U.S. rule and immigration. problems. AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
Farm Bureau Members Use Capstone Trip to Voice Concerns in D.C. I
n June, nearly 30 Farm Bureau members and staff visited In addition to meeting with Wisconsin’s congressional Washington, D.C., to advocate for Wisconsin farmers. The delegation, Farm Bureau members also toured George trip marked the completion of the WFBF Leadership Institute, Washington’s Mount Vernon and enjoyed a night tour of the a year-long leadership training program available to Farm national monuments. Bureau members. Accompanied by the WFBF Board of Directors, the Farm Bureau leaders became lobbyists for a day while meeting Leadership Institute graduates who participated in the D.C. trip with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. were: Savannah Brown, Black River Falls; Neil Christianson, The issues discussed were trade, immigration reform, wolves, Shawano; Andrew Dal Santo, Platteville; Scott Eastwood, Waters of the U.S. rule, Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act and Sun Prairie; Jeff Huber, Wisconsin Dells; Rob Klussendorf, options for delayed planting problems. Medford; Lauren Kostello, Manitowoc; Corey Kuchta, “During my time in Washington, D.C., with Farm Bureau, I Coleman; Jamie Marx, Oconto Falls; Erica Olson, Black River learned the importance of staying up to date on issues and how Falls; Kyle Kudick, Merrill; Amanda Volp, Omro; and Nate to get out of my comfort zone to speak up,” said Jackson County Zimdars, Ripon. Farm Bureau member Erica Olson. “It was a unique opportunity “I didn’t know any of the state board members before this trip. to be up close speaking on issues affecting Wisconsin farmers I enjoyed visiting with them and learning their Farm Bureau with representatives who can make a stories,” said Shawano County Farm difference on Capitol Hill.” “During this trip, I learned that all voices Bureau member Neil Christianson. “I Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau also learned a lot from my classmates. matter. We were able to have our member Nate Zimdars added, “I I have made life-long friends from voices heard and discuss how we are learned that our representatives and this experience.” being impacted in Wisconsin.”- Lauren their staff want to understand the The WFBF Leadership Institute Kostello, Manitowoc County Farm Bureau difficulties we are experiencing in the consists of five multi-day sessions agricultural community. They want that provide hands-on learning on to hear from us so that they can make educated policy decisions issues important to agriculture, development of leadership and that will provide meaningful, long-lasting change that will speaking skills, interaction with Farm Bureau and governmental support agriculturists.” leaders and staff at the state and national levels and networking The group heard from experts at American Farm Bureau, with other participants. The class concludes with a capstone trip several officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and with the WFBF Board of Directors to Washington, D.C. visited the Canadian Embassy. The next WFBF Leadership Institute class will be offered Taylor County Farm Bureau member Rob Klussendorf said, in 2021. Those interested should contact WFBF’s Director “I appreciated learning more about the enforcement of organic of Training and Leadership Development, Wendy Kannel, at standards during a meeting with USDA officials.” 608.828.5719 or email@example.com.
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
“My favorite part of the D.C. trip was spending time with my classmates and getting to know the WFBF Board of Directors.” - Savannah Brown, Jackson County
Farm Bureau (left)
“I learned how important of a role Wisconsin Farm Bureau can play in helping shape policy that keeps the interests of rural Wisconsin in mind.”
- Scott Eastwood, Dane County Farm Bureau (center)
“I learned that legislators really do care about agriculture. They want to work with Farm Bureau to implement policies that will help Wisconsin farmers stay strong and survive the whirlwind of price swings and Mother Nature.” - Corey Kuchta,
Marinette County Farm Bureau (right)
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
If you Want Change, Take Action
Farm Bureau Policy Season Underway
ith the late spring that faded quickly into summer, it’s hard to believe harvest season is approaching. While the end of summer marks the beginning of fall, it also means it’s time for Farm Bureau policy discussions. Farm Bureau policy guides WFBF’s governmental relations team. It’s an important part of the organization and crucial for members to be engaged in this process. The team of Farm Bureau members who make up the WFBF Policy Development Committee can select topics for discussion. This year, the selected topics are water quality, minimum markup on fuel, rollover protection structures and driving licenses or permits to undocumented persons. Water Quality WFBF continues to be proactive in addressing water quality issues. WFBF engaged in a stakeholder group with DNR to update the nonpoint rule to create for the first time in Wisconsin targeted performance standards for some areas of the state where there is shallow soil over-carbonated bedrock. WFBF supports the UW Discovery Farms program that does on-farm research regarding the effectiveness of regulations and best management practices.
According to Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, agriculture is the primary contributor of phosphorous and sediment in most of the impaired water bodies in the state.
Unfortunately, some groundwater contamination has occurred where field-applied manure contaminated wells. This leads to discussions about local ordinances and referendums to restrict commercial fertilizer and manure applications at town and county levels. Not only is surface water quality drawing attention, but groundwater quality has some counties starting groundwater testing programs. Like many aspects of farming, continuous improvement of water quality is important to continue progression. What WFBF is doing in support of water quality may not be enough. We may need to do more such as encourage additional research and use of technology or amplify the proactive things farmers are doing to improve and protect water quality. Through Farm Bureau’s policy development processes during the last two decades, WFBF members have adopted extensive policy regarding water regulations, cost-sharing, nonpoint pollution and nutrient management plans. Is the current WFBF policy adequate? Minimum Markup on Fuel Arguments supporting a minimum markup on fuel include preventing larger operators from offering gasoline below wholesale price as a ‘loss leader’ to harm smaller operators. This argument contends that smaller operators may be squeezed out of business eventually resulting in the fuel cost to end users being controlled by very few large vendors. This is often coupled with evidence that even with the minimum markup, some smaller operators cannot be guaranteed a profit. Arguments against minimum markups on fuel point out that the law is anti-competition, and setting an artificial markup has no relationship to the actual cost of doing business or profitability. Should WFBF continue to support repealing the minimum markup on only gasoline and diesel fuel? Should WFBF amend its policy statement to support repealing minimum markup and sales below cost on all products? Some products? Rollover Protection Structures The leading cause of deaths on farms is due to tractor accidents. A rollover protective structure is a cab or frame (the operator compartment) built to protect the tractor operator from injury caused by a rollover or turnover of the tractor. In WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Wisconsin, fewer than 50 percent of the tractors have this protection installed. The laws requiring ROPS to be standard on tractors didn’t occur until 1985. If the ROPS is used with a seatbelt, it is shown to be 99 percent effective in preventing injury or death in the event of an overturn incident. Marshfield Clinic’s National Farm Medicine Center has a ROPS Rebate Program. This program was developed to encourage farmers to install ROPS on their tractors by offering a 70 percent or up to $865 rebate on the purchase and installation of a ROPS. The current program is constrained because the program runs completely on donated funds. Recently, 2019 Senate Bill 35 and Assembly Bill 31 were introduced to make a grant available using state funding for farmers to be reimbursed at least 70 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing rollover protection structures for farm tractors. This would be a voluntary program. Currently, WFBF does not have a policy statement addressing any aspect of rollover protection structures. Should WFBF support a state-funded grant program? Should this program be voluntary? Mandatory? Driving Licenses or Permits to Undocumented Persons Twelve states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. These states will issue a license if an applicant provides certain documentation such as a foreign birth certificate, a foreign passport or a consular card and evidence of current residency in the state. In 2013, Oregon enacted a provision to provide driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants, but the following year, a statewide referendum suspended the law with 67 percent of the vote. The only upper-Midwest state to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants is Illinois. That law allows the Secretary of State to issue a temporary visitor’s driver’s license to an individual who has resided in Illinois for a specified time but is ineligible to obtain a Social Security number and unable to prove lawful presence. A valid, unexpired foreign passport
or consular identification document from his or her country of citizenship are acceptable forms of identification. Currently, WFBF supports the ability for immigrant workers to obtain a valid driver’s license provided they meet the criteria for state driving requirements. This policy is not qualified by documentation of legal residence. Should WFBF policy be changed? While these topics were brought forth, the Policy Development Committee still encourages grassroots discussions on topics that are impacting rural communities. It’s time to make your voice heard. To find full-length background information on the topics mentioned in this article, visit wfbf.com/policy/policy-development. During county Farm Bureau annual meetings, voting members will submit a draft of policy resolutions they would like added to current WFBF Farm Bureau policy. If passed at the local county meeting, these resolutions are forwarded for further consideration to the state Policy Development Committee. To find your county annual meeting information, visit wfbf.com/events/farm-events-calendar or watch for this information via a postcard. The committee members review hundreds of submissions to see if we already have policy or if it should be considered for a vote on the WFBF Annual Meeting delegate floor. Every December at the WFBF Annual Meeting, delegates from each county vote to set new Farm Bureau policy. To find out more about the policy development process or to download a copy of the 2019 Farm Bureau policy book, visit wfbf.com/policy/ policy-development.
Attend Your County Annual Meeting
View a full schedule at wfbf.com/ events/farmevents-calendar. AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
Focusing on Farm Stress
arm stress has been a topic of many conversations as farmers in Wisconsin and across the country battle with tough economic times, extreme weather and many other challenges. One of the best parts of rural America is the sense of community and that neighbors are always there for one another. Wisconsin Farm Bureau has been working to bring people together to help with the stress of farming. WFBF is partnering with other influential agricultural groups to launch a social media campaign called #FarmNeighborsCare. Farm neighbors are encouraged to visit one another with a snack, hot meal or just friendly conversation. Snap a picture of the snack or meal you prepared and share it on Facebook letting people know that you’re stepping up to lend a listening ear to those around you. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #FarmNeighborsCare. Partnering with WFBF on this initiative is: AgrAbility of Wisconsin, Dairy Business Association, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, National Farm Medicine Center, Professional Dairy Producers, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Farm Center, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Pork Association, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. You can learn more about navigating tough conversations, identifying signs of depression and snack or meal ideas by following Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation on Facebook.
Local Appreciation Activities
everal county Farm Bureaus and state committees have stepped up to show farmers some appreciation during these stressful times. County Farm Bureaus are encouraged to participate in the #FarmNeighborsCare campaign and brainstorm other ways to give support to farmers. Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee: During its summer meeting, the state YFA Committee donated money and coordinated goodie bags that were delivered to farmers across the northwestern part of Wisconsin.
“It was rewarding to act on our gratitude. Instead of just saying we care about and are thankful for our farmers and members, we got to show it. If we could make just one person’s day a little better, then it was all worth it!” – Julie Wadzinski, YFA Committee Chair
YFA members delivered goodie bags to farmers.
#FBCares: Members from WFBF’s Districts 4 and 8 accepted nominations for farmers who needed a pick-me-up or just deserved a pat on the back. Those nominees then received a goodie bag during the tough spring planting season.
“The FB Cares campaign was developed by the YFA members in the district as a response to the stressful spring in 2019. Seeing the joy of our members receiving such a small token of appreciation left a lasting impact on my Buffalo County Farm Bureau member Emily Kaltenberg delivered goodie bags. heart and career. FB Cares put into prospect the value of our members and the reasons behind why our organization exists.”
- Cassie Olson, District 4 Coordinator If you are interested in starting an activity on the county or district level, talk with your district coordinator who will provide guidance. WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Masters Named Director of Member Relations M
andy Masters was hired by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation as its Director of Member Relations. Masters serves as staff advisor to the WFBF Promotion and Education Committee. She assists with volunteer training functions, planning and conducting a variety of Farm Bureau meetings and events and provides staff support to WFBF’s nine district coordinators with functions of the County Farm Bureau Services Program. Masters grew up on a 200-acre crop and livestock farm near Dodgeville in Iowa County. She graduated from UW-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in agricultural business. Since 2014, Masters has served as the program director for the Wisconsin Pork Association. Prior to working for the pork association, she worked for the Farm
Credit Administration. “We’re happy to have Mandy join our team because of her previous experience coordinating promotional events and
"I’m excited for the opportunity to represent farmers and the ag industry in our state. I look forward to meeting and working with Farm Bureau members in my new role." - Masters coordinating volunteer activities,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Member Relations. “We are excited to see her apply those skills in her work at Farm Bureau.” Masters began her duties on June 3.
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AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
State Budget Approved with Ag Items Included Getting funding included for the Dairy Innovation Hub also was important for WFBF. The Dairy Innovation Hub will add funding for research and researchers at the University of Wisconsin system’s three agricultural colleges in Madison, Platteville and River Falls. The research would focus on four areas: land and water use, human health and nutrition, animal health and welfare and improving and integrating farm businesses and rural communities. “The $8.8 million investment in research for our state’s dairy community is extremely needed,” said Holte. The Dairy Hub funding includes $8.8 million total for the project. During the first year of the biennium, $1 million will be distributed and the remaining $7.8 may be given in the second year. The Joint Finance Committee is holding the funds until a proposal on how to use the funds is presented and approved by the Joint Finance Committee.
n July 3, Governor Tony Evers approved Wisconsin’s Items in the biennial budget that WFBF lobbied for include: biennial budget. • $48 million to expand broadband service to “Wisconsin Farm Bureau is pleased underserved areas. that Governor Evers has approved • Four new positions at a budget with support for several Wisconsin’s Department of agricultural items,” said WFBF Natural Resources to operate President Jim Holte. the concentrated animal feeding Included in the agricultural items operation program. were funding of the Department of • $700,000 in funding during the Agriculture, Trade and Consumer biennium for the Wisconsin Protection’s producer-led watershed Livestock Identification grant program. Consortium. “This program is essential to keeping • $90 million in bonding to support farmers proactively involved in local the UW School of Veterinary water quality discussions and was a Medicine renovation. priority item for WFBF,” said Holte. • Three additional positions to support the hemp program, During the biennium, $1 million will be provided to fund including one-time funding of $300,000 for testing DATCP’s producer-led watershed grant program. equipment. Transportation issues continue to be a large concern for rural • Funding for farmer mental health assistance. residents, therefore this is another topic that WFBF weighed in on. Overall there was a $483.7 million increase in new revenue for transportation over the biennium and +$33<&2:686( an increase in approved borrowing of 3(5)250$1&($1,0$/ Since 1950 $326.2 million for road construction %('',1* • Silo Relining projects. Also included is a one-time Choose Between: Sawdust or Shredded Wood • Barn Wall & Basement Wall * Call us today for your competitive price quote! funding of $95 million in general funds *FREE delivery within 50 miles of Seymour, WI or Carney, MI! for local road projects. Resurfacing “We are happy to see extra funding for our town roads and appreciate that 112 N. Mainline Dr., Seymour, WI 560 N. Guard St., Carney, MI the Governor and State Legislature Retail Store Hrs: 8 am – 4 pm. 800-801-7070 By appointment on the weekends. understood the importance of increased 920-833-7839 • www.perfcorp.com Beaver Dam, WI investment in infrastructure for our rural businesses,” said Holte. Ǩ
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
Farm Bureau Member
FINDS WAY TO By Amy Eckelberg
There is no way I would’ve believed you if you told me that I would grow up to be a goat farmer,” laughed Leslie Svacina. The young farmer from St. Croix County owns Cylon Rolling Acres, a meat goat farm in Deer Park. While she didn’t grow up on a farm, Leslie knew from her involvement in FFA that she wanted to work in agriculture. She never predicted working in production agriculture. “When I was looking at careers, I didn’t initially see production agriculture as an option for me,” said Leslie. “I was going to be working in a position that was going to support farming and encourage others to join the industry.” She began her career in agricultural communications in Minnesota. Later, she transitioned to working in career advising in Wisconsin and Minnesota but felt disconnected from agriculture. “I just felt like there was a piece of me missing,” said Leslie. As Leslie and her husband, Scott, discussed their future they talked about buying land and what was the next step for them and their growing family. With Scott secure in an agri-business career, Leslie knew that she would have to maintain any farming entity they started by herself. “It seemed like no amount of land was enough if we wanted to do some kind of farming,” said Leslie. “Goats were an opportunity for me to manage solo. Specialty markets are a way for young business owners to enter into the industry.” Even though she didn’t grow up on a farm, her parents ran a small business. “You could say that I have entrepreneur spirit in my blood,” added Leslie. After doing more market research, Leslie found that goats were something in demand, especially with the diverse group of people in nearby Minneapolis-St. Paul. According to Leslie, most goat meat is shipped in from Australia because it’s not something readily available in many U.S. markets. “There was an opportunity for me to break into that market for people who wanted a local option,” she explained. Starting with just nine goats, the herd has grown in the last six years. Last year she had 120 goats, which also included raising bottle-fed buckling goats for meat from goat dairy farms in the area. Leslie admits this was too much to manage since the dairy bucks required so much extra attention and more inputs
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
compared with her meat breed herd. Now, she has a herd of 40 breeding does with a goal of about 60. With her chosen method of rotational grazing, it takes seven months for an animal to reach market weight. Most of the herd are Boer goats, the ‘Angus of meat goats’ as Leslie phrased it. She also has been starting to breed with Kikos, a breed from New Zealand, for a heartier animal. As the business grows and settles into a manageable normal, Leslie continues to seek what is the best fit for the ‘onewoman operation.’ She does direct marketing but recognizes that it takes a lot of time to build relationships and deliver a customized product. Recently, she has found success by focusing on larger wholesale buyers. “I have been working with a couple of local restaurants to carry our product. I think that is a good avenue to pursue, along with other retailers to incrementally grow the business,” explained Leslie. Transportation needs, space and storage concerns and food safety are things that need to be considered as the business moves forward. She also is making headway into the ‘foodie’ scene. “The foodie crowd is always excited to try something new and learn more,” said Leslie, “Especially a new type of protein.” At the end of the day, some of the best experiences have been her customers sharing special occasions with her. “Goat meat is tied to many cultural celebrations,” she explained. “It’s more than nutrition. My product plays a role in celebrating an occasion. It’s a centerpiece of a family tradition. These families are grateful to have somewhere local to go for this product and I’m happy to be the farmer to supply it.” Stepping Up After working some time in agriculture in the MinneapolisSt. Paul area, but still living across the border in western Wisconsin, Leslie found herself looking to connect with other Wisconsin ‘aggies.’ You could even say she grabbed the goat by the horns in learning more about Farm Bureau. “I was the one who reached out to our county president to learn more about the organization,” she explained. “I had some friends who were involved in the Young Farmer and Agriculturist program, so I knew a little about their experiences.” She attended events such as the dairy breakfast and the Farm City Day and slowly became more involved. “I have always been one to seek professional development; it’s something that’s important to me,” she explained. “I decided to do the WFBF Leadership Institute and asked the county for support in doing the program.” After the county Farm Bureau agreed to support the leadership training, they asked her a question. “They asked me to serve on the board,” Leslie said. “While it was something I had thought about doing further down the road, I decided, why not? When they want to invest financially in you, you feel obligated to give back.” When asked about serving as the vice president on the county Farm Bureau board, Leslie said she would consider it. It was after she was elected, she found out it was the position on the board that worked on policy. “It was a surprise,” Leslie laughed, “But not a bad surprise AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
At the on-farm store, Leslie sells cuts of goat meat and organ meat. You can also order a whole animal. To learn more about Cylon Rolling Acres or to order meat, visit cylonrollingacres.com.
because I’m interested in policy.” Serving in this role has made Leslie aware that she needs to be involved in policy discussions, especially in her local area. She added, “I have always been interested in education and leadership, and this gives me a platform to grow in those areas.” Because there isn’t an official meat goat organization in Wisconsin, Leslie looked for an outlet for resources, leadership opportunities and a platform to express her opinions. “Sometimes people are surprised that I am a Farm Bureau member,” said Leslie. “Farm Bureau is a general agricultural organization and I recognize that strength is in numbers. It’s important to be active in the industry and I like being involved in an organization that is well-respected.” The variety of relationships is something Leslie values in her Farm Bureau membership. For example, this year after she decided to grow hemp for the first time, she leveraged many connections to learn more about the reintroduced crop. “There’s value in explaining what I do on my farm and networking with other farmers,” said Leslie. “We do have similar goals of getting a quality product to our customer. No one does anything the same in farming so we can learn a lot from each other.” Through her Farm Bureau involvement, Leslie has learned the value of speaking up and being engaged in policy discussions. “I have learned that relationships carry a value with those who make decisions,” said Leslie. “That is definitely something Farm Bureau has taught me.” Growing hemp plants for the first time, Leslie partnered with a local hemp business owned by Farm Bureau members Jody and Abbie Testaberg. The plants are irrigated and require a lot of manual labor and upkeep.
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WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Another Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in the Books W
isconsin Farm Technology Days was July 23-25 in Jefferson County. Wisconsin Farm Bureau shared a tent with Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Visitors played games,
visited with staff and volunteers and took selfies with Sally the Cow.
A family posed with Sally the Cow outside the tent.
WFBF President Jim Holte was interviewed by Millaine Wells, host of Midwest Farm Weekly.
Rural Mutual Insurance agent Tom Murphy talked with a show attendee about the power washer and state fair ticket giveaway.
While visiting the Rural Mutual Insurance tent, visitors learned more about farm safety.
Kids of all ages enjoyed receiving temporary tattoos at the Ag in the Classroom booth in the Youth Tent.
Visitors who stopped at the Ag in the Classroom booth learned about growing seeds and took home other educational materials.
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
Are you ready for
Your Office Depot member benefit can help! For complete details, visit wfbf.com/membership/member-benefits.
Farm Bureau members who are agricultural producers and patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage when patronage is paid.
Members receive an incentive discount ($300 to $500) when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers.
Rural Mutual Insurance Company
Special member pricing and free shipping. Visit wfbf.com for more details. "Grainger is one of the best member benefits that Farm Bureau members have available. The access to this service is amazing, the Farm Bureau discount pays more than the cost of membership every year." - Joe Bragger, Buffalo County Farm Bureau member
Members qualify for a variety of discounts on new purchases. Visit wfbf.com to print your certificate and for details on models and discounts. "With the Farm Bureau member discount, we purchased two skid loaders and saved an additional $1,000, which made the deal even sweeter.” - John Piechowski, Waushara County Farm Bureau member
To find a Rural Mutual Insurance Company agent, visit ruralmutual.com or call 877.219.9550.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau members are eligible for a complimentary John Deere Rewards upgrade (Platinum 2 status) – which unlocks the best loyalty rewards including valuable equipment discounts.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau members save up to 20% off published rates at participating Wyndham Hotels.
Take advantage of Farm Bureau Bank's FDIC-insured checking, savings and money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans. Visit farmbureaubank.com. Farm Bureau members receive $500 bonus cash off the purchase or lease of an eligible new Ford vehicle and $750 bonus cash off the purchase or lease of an eligible new Lincoln vehicle. Must be a member for 30 days. Visit fordfarmbureauadvantage.com/Login/Login for complete details or to print your certificate. 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.
You can get more information about the services Farm Bureau Financial offers from your local Rural Insurance agent. Learn more at fbfs.com.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau members save up to 20% off published rates at participating Choice Hotels.
Accidental Death Policy • AgriVisor • Life Line Screening • Avis • Budget • The Country Today • ScriptSave $500 Reward Protection Program • AgriPlan Medical Reimbursement Program • Six Flags Visit wfbf.com to find out more about your membership benefits! *WFBF member benefits may be changed or discontinued at anytime without notice.* 22
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Former ‘Alice’ Gets New Ride A
fter serving as Wisconsin’s 71st Alice in Dairyland, driving Maizey, a flex-fuel Ford Explorer, more than 30,000 miles and growing up in a Ford dedicated family, Crawford County Farm Bureau member Kaitlyn Riley was certain to purchase a Ford. When she learned about the NEW Farm Bureau Ford $500 bonus cash toward the purchase or lease of an eligible new vehicle, it sealed the deal. “I was interested in purchasing from Ford before learning about the Farm Bureau discount, but that gave me more incentive to purchase a new vehicle instead of used,” said Riley. “It worked great because my new Ford Edge came with warranties that would not have applied to a used car.” It may not be a Maizey, “but I am excited for my adventures ahead in Ruby,” added Riley, whose first car in high school was a maroon Ford Taurus that she named Rooney. Riley spent a few days researching cars in the area near Gays Mills, where her parents, Jody and Paulette milk a herd of 70 registered Jersey cows. “Our first stop was at Fillback Ford in Richland Center where staff had a vehicle similar to Ruby on the store floor, but it was a different model with fewer options,” explained Riley. “The staff kindly drove Ruby from the dealership in Prairie du Chien for me to test drive, and I knew it was the one! My salesperson was John Nankey.” Riley purchased Ruby on June 18. “For me, the best-selling points are the sensors and safety features,” said Riley. “Whether I am back home on the farm or trying to park in downtown La Crosse for work, I love being reassured that more than just my eyes are making sure the path is clear.” Recently, Riley was hired as the farm news director and a
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news anchor for Midwest Family in La Crosse. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the UW-Madison in strategic communications and broadcast journalism and then served as Wisconsin’s agriculture ambassador, educating audiences across Wisconsin about the $88 billion economic impact and important of the state’s diverse agriculture industry. “I am so grateful not only for the financial benefits of being a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member, but also for the opportunities to network for personal and professional growth,” added Riley. To take advantage of the Ford Bonus Cash, you must be a Farm Bureau member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase and take new retail delivery from dealer by January 2, 2020. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com or your authorized Ford dealer for qualifications and complete details. For more information about Farm Bureau member benefits, visit wfbf.com/membership/member-benefits.
We asked county Farm Bureau leaders: Reflecting on your time in the WFBF Leadership Institute Class, what is one thing you’ve learned?
“One thing I learned is the importance of using my voice to support agriculture and how to construct an appropriate message for a non-ag audience. I enjoyed learning about how Farm Bureau policy is crafted and used with our government.”
“Farm Bureau gives us the opportunity to come together as agriculture leaders with very diverse backgrounds to work towards a common goal and make a positive impact on the future of our industry.”
“It’s hard to name just one, but the power and respect of a leader are so motivating to others. We learned tools to successfully have challenging conversations and take a stand for situations that are crucial to American agriculture.”
“One thing I learned is that Wisconsin Farm Bureau has many opportunities to be a voice for agriculture to positively impact my community and agricultural industry.”
“That one voice alone is a great start, but a group of voices is most effective. WFBF will always be the group that stands for individuals, but is built to unify voices into one to make it heard.”
“I’ve learned how to tell agriculture’s story through the media, social media platforms and public speaking. I’ve also learned that your opinion on a topic may differ from WFBF and that’s OK.”
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
County Kernels District 2 - Every Farmer's Dream Tour
Lincoln County - June Dairy Month
Every Farmer’s Dream 3.0: Tillage, Tours and Tastings, was a great success. Thirty-six Farm Bureau members traveled to Sauk County to participate. The tour began at McFarlane Manufacturing Company, Inc., where members learned about the products made such as tillage tools and industrial beams for large structures. Another stop was at Carr Valley Cheese Store to sample some locally-produced cheese. Lunch was pizza with a side of custard donated by Culver’s. The day finished with a tour and wine tasting at Wollersheim Winery.
On June 9, Lincoln County Farm Bureau kicked off their June Dairy Month celebration at the Multi-Agency Resource Center with close to 1,100 friends and community members.
Calumet County - Meet Your Local Farmer
Buffalo County - Calf Grant
Buffalo County Farm Bureau recognized Nessa Noll as the 2019 recipient of the Buffalo County calf grant. Nessa used her grant from Farm Bureau to help with the purchase of Vallowhill Lloyds of London. London is a registered Ayrshire fall calf that Nessa hopes to show at the State Ayrshire Show and Buffalo County Fair. Nessa is the daughter of Scott and Heidi Noll of Alma. Nessa’s family milks 120 cows on Noll’s Dairy Farm, LLC. Nessa shows cattle, pigs, sheep, rabbits and takes other projects to the county fair.
In April, five farms in Calumet and Fond du Lac counties, each with a different specialty, opened their doors for a self-guided tour. In the evening, the chefs at LaClare Family Creamery offered a three-course dinner using products from each farm for a farm-to-table experience. The farms included: Kesler Family Farm, Sattler Lamb Farm, LaClare Family Creamery, Lake Breeze Dairy and Ledgeview Farms.
Jefferson County - Fourth-Grade Farm Tour on Kutz Dairy Farm In May, the 26th annual Jefferson County Fourth-Grade Farm Tour was held at Kutz Dairy Farm in Jefferson. The Kutz family milks 1,900 Registered Jerseys. All fourth-grade students in public and parochial schools in Jefferson County were invited to attend. Students visited 11 agricultural stations agricultural stations taught by area FFA members. The stations were taught by FFA members from area chapters. A few additional stations were staffed with the Kutz family, the farm veterinarian and other agricultural industry professionals. Students received an educational packet of materials, a ticket to the Jefferson Dairy Breakfast and a free scoop of custard from Culver’s. Each teacher received a hard-cover book about agriculture. This free field trip is provided by the Jefferson County Farm Bureau and the Jefferson CountyAgri-Business Club. AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
n Farm B nsi u co
Strong Traditions in Farm Bureau Programming Members and Youth Served Well Through the Years
hroughout its history, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has placed a high priority on sponsoring and conducting programs that provide valuable services, information and training for members and Wisconsin youth. Through the decades, those programs have evolved as members’ wants and needs have changed. Some have been discontinued, while others have had new programs take their place. The following are just a few of the programs that Farm Bureau has proudly sponsored during its first 100 years.
Youth Citizenship Seminar In 1980, the Youth Citizenship Seminar was created to give freshman and sophomore high school students a better understanding of their duties and responsibilities as American citizens. The three-day seminar was a project of the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and was held on the UW-Stevens Point campus from 1980 to 1990 before moving to UW-Oshkosh from 1991 to 2002. The event featured a variety of speakers and
group activities focused on patriotism, freedom and social responsibility.
First Care Program In 1986, the First Care Program was introduced in Wisconsin. Created ty by Dr. Allen host safe B u r e au s m r a F Van Beek, a ty n Some cou ons and events. ati plastic and demonstr reconstructive surgeon in Minneapolis, the program was designed to help farm family members prepare for a life-threatening farm accident through a rehearsed, step-by-step response training. Although taking safety precautions on the farm is a crucial life-saving step, the primary focus of First Care was how to respond after an accident has happened. The program was first introduced by Minnesota Farm Bureau and was then adopted by county Farm Bureaus in northwest Wisconsin. Counties participating in the program provided a four-hour training course, usually facilitated by members with medical training.
WFBF Centennial Timeline WFBF begins the STOP (SCHOOL TAXES OFF PROPERTY) CAMPAIGN
WFBF is instrumental in repealing the PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX ON LIVESTOCK
1980 WFBF BEEF PROMOTIONS organized.
1982 RIGHT TO FARM LEGISLATION enacted
WFBF helped develop and pass Wisconsin’s first GROUNDWATER PROTECTION LAW
1984 WFBF MEMBERSHIP 40,368
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
FFA Farm Forum
Miss Farm Bureau Program
For 48 years, WFBF has hosted the FFA Farm Forum, a two-day conference designed to provide FFA members with information on a variety of agricultural topics. Wisconsin FFA members had previously attended a similar conference at Illinois State University, until January 1972 when WFBF and affiliates collaborated to sponsor the first FFA Farm Forum in Stevens Point. Since then, thousands of high school juniors have represented their FFA 1990 chapter at the annual event, which is now held in Wisconsin Rapids and is scheduled to coincide with National FFA Week in February. FFA Farm Forum continues to provide training for young people who are preparing for a career in agriculture, with an emphasis on topics that are of concern to production agriculture. It also familiarizes them with opportunities for further involvement with collegiate Farm Bureau and the Young Farmer and Agriculturist program.
In 1939, Mary Swanton was named the first Miss Wisconsin Farm Bureau to serve as the organization’s 1980 goodwill ambassador. In 1960, after a 21-year hiatus, the program was renewed, with each county Farm Bureau selecting a county candidate to vie for the title of Miss Wisconsin Farm Bureau. The winner was selected during the WFBF Annual Meeting for a one-year reign. Miss Wisconsin Farm Bureau attended a variety of state and county Farm Bureau events and represented the organization at agricultural meetings throughout the state. For a time, she also represented Wisconsin in the Miss Farm Bureau competition at the American Farm Bureau convention. In 1995, following the discontinuation of the national Miss Farm Bureau program, Wisconsin’s program was replaced by a statewide scholarship program.
Look for more history summaries in the upcoming issues of Rural Route. Excerpts from "Seventy-Five Years of Farm Bureau in Wisconsin" were used for this article.
MARKETBASKET food price survey begins
VOLUNTEERS FOR AGRICULTURE® political action committee created
1985 AG IN THE CLASSROOM education program organized AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
RURAL SECURITY LIFE merges with FARM BUREAU LIFE of Iowa
1992 WFBF MEMBERSHIP 59,527
1993 Legislation passed to FREEZE PROPERTY TAX RATES and take at least TWO-THIRDS OF SCHOOL COSTS off property taxes
On the Road Again
A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte
’ve spent a good amount of time on the road during my last six years as President of Wisconsin Farm Bureau. I feel like I have spent equally as long talking about transportation issues in our state. As part of the DRIVE coalition, WFBF has expressed its concerns to policymakers regularly. DRIVE stands for Devote Resources, Invest for a Vibrant Economy. DRIVE coordinates and implements a legislative advocacy strategy to enact a sustainable, longterm transportation plan that will keep Wisconsin's economy strong. I co-chair DRIVE along with Tom Diehl, coowner of Tommy Bartlett Incorporated in Wisconsin Dells and Steve Baas, senior vice president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce. This coalition was put together to impact discussions on transportation and to raise awareness of the immediate need for a solution to funding these needs.
I have been actively engaging the coalition and our lawmakers on the need for a fix to our transportation issues. It doesn’t take long into your Sunday drive through the countryside to realize we are underserving the communities in rural Wisconsin. Our town boards are put in a tough spot when it comes to finding a way to maintain their roads and bridges. Additionally, our county boards have their struggles as well. We were encouraged to see progress on transportation included in the budget. However, the one-time funding of $95 million in general funds for local road projects is just a start. Our political leaders realize something needs to be done. Unfortunately, the political bridge to get over will take some time. Regardless, we have had productive conversations and try to stay as positive as possible. The future of our road situation must be thought through strategically. We must prioritize the issues we have with maintaining our local roads. That means finding additional funding for maintenance. The creation of new roads must also be addressed. While growth must continue to happen, that growth must be deliberate and planned while happening at a reasonable rate. Roads not only cost money to build but, again, they must be maintained. Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s state policy supports improvement and maintenance of existing highways and roads rather than new construction, using existing right-of-ways whenever possible. We continue to emphasize that with our legislators.
Small creeks and springs are one of the features that makes Wisconsin unique. This means that local bridges and culverts are a common occurrence while driving through Wisconsin’s countryside. When culverts are damaged and unusable it creates a transportation bottleneck for agriculture equipment. Many local municipalities struggle to meet the balance between the funds in their transportation budget and supporting their largest economic driver: agriculture. While it may be unreasonable to expect that every box culvert in Wisconsin is built to the standards to carry the weight of a packing tractor, there must be a realization that rural agriculture needs a reliable infrastructure system to get their commodities from the farm to market. We are going to have to get more strategic as an industry on where our money is invested and how. For example, wouldn’t it be helpful if priority routes for agriculture were identified and transportation funds were directly targeted to help maintain or improve those routes? As I travel Wisconsin roads transportation is a topic I often think about and I know you do too. Transportation is an opportunity for our organization to lead on an issue that affects every farmer in the state. That’s why no matter how long the road is to get to a solution, we have to continue to keep this topic on the minds of our leaders. President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation since 2012, Holte is a grain and beef farmer from Elk Mound.
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Leading Ways Your Membership Dollars Work for You A Message from AFBF President Zippy Duvall
arm and ranch families know how to stretch every dollar, and we take that same care here at Farm Bureau with every dollar that comes our way. We want you all to get the best value from your membership. Everywhere I go, I ask folks—from FFA and 4-H kids to long-time farmers—if they’re members because I believe my Farm Bureau membership dues were one of the best investments I made as a young farmer—and still are today. For nearly a century now, the American Farm Bureau Federation has been the leading general farm organization. While we’ve upgraded our way of doing things to meet the times, our values haven’t changed, and the value we bring to your Farm Bureau membership has only grown. 1. A united voice in Washington, D.C. Thanks to the membership dollars your states send to support our national organization, we all share in a united voice in Washington, D.C. From the Capitol to the White House, we are able to stand together on the top issues facing agriculture and make our voices heard. We’re in continual communication with the Administration on the trade issues farmers and ranchers are dealing with right now, for example. We’re also making progress with Congress on agricultural labor, disaster assistance, rural broadband Internet access and other issues. Our strength is in both our numbers and our unity. Your American Farm Bureau has built a strong reputation on Capitol Hill and among other leading ag organizations, and we regularly have a seat at the table with our nation’s leaders and lawmakers because of the respect the name Farm Bureau carries around town. I love looking back at the history of our great organization and seeing how right from the beginning our forefathers and mothers were front-and-center in shaping policy to build strong farms and rural AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
communities. And we’re still working just as hard today protecting the business of farming and ranching for this generation and the next. 2. A seat at the table with leading ag businesses At AFBF, we understand that policy isn’t just shaped in government buildings but in company boardrooms around the country. Our team in Washington, D.C., has built—and continues to build—strong relationships with food and agriculture companies around the country. It’s no secret that there’s a lot of misinformation about agriculture, and companies face pressure from consumers responding to that misinformation. When a company takes a bold stand for safe and sustainable farming practices, we want them to know that farmers have their back. And if a company promotes messages that get it wrong about modern farming, then we want to come alongside and provide them with the facts. We ensure we are working together across the food chain to protect the business of farming. It’s up to all of us to educate consumers on where their food comes from, and we want to support companies who stand with the farmers who grow and raise the food we all enjoy. 3. Leadership development and grassroots advocacy training In my opinion, this one of the greatest values membership brings. I grew up in Farm Bureau, and it’s hard to put a price tag on the training I received through the young farmer program or the relationships my wife, Bonnie, and I have formed over the years through Farm Bureau. I’m so grateful for the leadership and advocacy training team we have at AFBF, and I’m proud of each of you who have taken advantage of these programs to take your advocacy to the next level. Advocacy and leadership are muscles that we all need to train and exercise,
and when we do we help make the whole body stronger. If you haven’t already, I’d urge you to take advantage of these training programs and get involved in any and every way you can. From special advocacy trainings and boot camps here in Washington to our online Farm Bureau University, we are committed to bringing you the tools you need to lead in advocating for agriculture in your community, your state capital, and all the way to Capitol Hill. On behalf of our whole team here at your American Farm Bureau, I want to thank you for investing together with us to strengthen our agricultural and rural communities. I hope you will let your friends and neighbors know about the value of Farm Bureau membership, so we can continue to grow the Farm Bureau family and its influence. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any member of our staff, to let us know how we can serve you and your farm better. President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Duvall raises beef cattle, hay and poultry in Greshamville, Georgia.
Speak Up: You Won’t Regret It A Guest Column from Nate Zimdars
hen I was in high school, I attended the National FFA’s Washington Leadership Conference. I spent the week visiting monuments dedicated to the great women and men who have served our country, looking at the Capitol building where significant policy decisions are made and having the opportunity to interact with my representatives. This experience brought a simple truth to light: politics, whether you love it or hate it, impacts everything we do. Laws that are crafted through the political process determine how much we pay in taxes, what support we can receive from the government or how we can appropriately seek the pursuit of happiness. Why does the word policy need to elicit fight or flight? While many individuals tend to lean towards the flight end of the spectrum, I find myself gravitating toward those conversations. I like to discuss the nitty-gritty of what the intended purpose of a policy proposal is
and the impact that it will have. It wasn’t until the years following my FFA trip that I realized I needed to be part of that work. If I wanted to be a part of policy that could positively impact my community, getting involved in organizations that have touched my life was the way to do it. I also decided that regardless of my age, there was no need to wait to get involved. Engaging in hefty policy discussions isn’t where most folks my age are spending their free time. Age doesn’t serve as an obstacle for me serving, and it shouldn’t for you. Currently, I serve in a variety of roles including as a member of the Ripon Area School Board. While these roles all take time and require work to know and understand what is going on, I find it very fulfilling. To see how a vote after a constructive conversation can open the door to new opportunities or combat an ongoing issue in a more effective way, proves that the system can work. While the results are not always immediate, I rest with the knowledge that the policy decisions I am helping to craft now are done to positively shape the future. Through my involvement in Farm Bureau, I have grown as a leader who is equipped to tackle responsibilities and policy discussions. Involvement in the district policy meetings and the Discussion Meet have provided a greater understanding of the issues and the ability to confidently share my opinions. As a member of the WFBF Leadership Institute, I was able to take it a step further. If not for these opportunities to participate with supportive Farm Bureau members at the local level, I would not have felt as prepared for any of my
current leadership positions. As a young adult, I feel that I provide a unique perspective. One that is sometimes missing from organizations. Diverse voices bring forward a wealth of experience that will make any governing body stronger. The voices of young agriculturists are needed now more than ever in Farm Bureau, and I have a recent example to highlight why. During a recent conversation with a fellow school board member, someone who I thought had a basic understanding of agriculture, I was asked, “What is a ewe?” As you might imagine, I was a little taken aback. That question is why I wanted to have a seat at the table. There continues to be a need for those of us in the agricultural community to use our voice to share our perspectives when others who do not have the same knowledge are making decisions that will affect us greatly. While this person is a decision-maker on the local level, I guarantee the same conversations happen at all levels of government. Now is the time to consider how you can serve. There are many opportunities to contribute the knowledge and passion you have to share. Policy might be a great fit. Don’t fear it because you are young. Don’t fear it because sometimes it comes with tough conversations. Get involved and you might just find it fulfilling and worthwhile. Zimdars is a Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau member and a recent WFBF Leadership Institute graduate.
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Don’t Forget About this Member Benefit A Message from WFBF's Amy Eckelberg
ur public relations team at Wisconsin Farm Bureau helps promote our organization’s member benefits. Ironically, one benefit that we don’t always showcase is the communications efforts WFBF works on behind the scenes. Social media, 24-7 news and mobile devices have changed how our society communicates. As your public relations team, it’s our job to make sure Farm Bureau is keeping up with those communication changes. As communication has adapted, so has WFBF’s public relations and communications efforts. Four people carry out the work on the public relations team. While each person has niches, the team works together to keep members, media and others informed of what Farm Bureau is doing. Even though our team is small, and resources are limited, we effectively set goals and follow through with the organization’s initiatives. One of our biggest projects, and most visible, is what you are reading: Rural Route. The membership magazine is published six times per year and is sent to voting members. The summer issue is sent to the full membership and includes more member highlights than any other issues. A large focus is on Farm Bureau members because that is what makes us a unique organization. The goal is to have a member front and center on the cover. As a team, we do our best to find interesting stories while making sure we are showcasing different types of agriculture from around the state. Another membership publication
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you receive is newsletters. In 2018, we started a newsletter pilot program. This was implemented to see if we could make some much-needed changes to our well-established newsletter program. We transitioned from black-and-white to full-color and made the newsletters multiple-county focused. Voting members receive newsletters three times per year that include local news to their district. Associate members received newsletters twice a year as part of this pilot. These full-color pieces include recipes, member features and an article from Rural Mutual Insurance. During the fall of 2019, the newsletter pilot will be evaluated to see how the program will proceed in 2020. In 2018, the public relations team redesigned wfbf.com. The organization’s website was in dire need of an upgrade for functionality and navigation. Now, the site is mobile-friendly and includes an online membership form. The website also showcases the voices of members in the blog section. Ag Newswire also has made an evolution in recent years. The weekly e-newsletter is sent to a list of nearly 5,000 people every Friday. Anyone can subscribe. It’s emailed to members, legislators and media representatives. This spring, after conducting a survey of readers, Ag Newswire was redesigned to better match our new website and provide a format to easily digest Farm Bureau news. Because social media is continuously changing it takes considerable time and a lot of attention. While Facebook is where WFBF has the most prominent presence,
the organization also is active on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. An extensive portion of daily work includes taking media inquiries from reporters. WFBF gets hundreds of media calls a year. The public relations team provides media training for members so they feel comfortable when talking with reporters. We also send media releases and monitor news stories. The things listed above are only some of the things your public relations team covers. The best thing you can do is connect with members of the public relations team if you have questions or need help. Don’t forget about this member benefit, because it’s one that is working for you while you are busy farming. Eckelberg is WFBF's Executive Director of Public Relations.
Farm Bureau’s Dairy Committee: Grassroots in Action A Guest Column from Derek Orth
on't you wish we had a crystal ball to predict the future of the dairy community and tell us the perfect solution? Heck, I'd love to be able to trust a Magic 8-Ball for the answers and to nudge me in the right direction. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Dairy Committee has been hard at work engaging industry stakeholders in conversations about our industry’s future. As chair of the committee, and a dairy farmer myself, I have a very personal stake in these discussions. The committee is made up of two individuals from each of WFBF’s nine districts who are appointed by their district representative on the WFBF Board of Directors. These individuals are also dairy farmers, so they have an excellent understanding of the current climate of the industry. Last December, during the WFBF
Annual Meeting, our voting delegates had a lengthy discussion about dairy policy and adopted new language that states, "We are willing to consider a flexible supply management system." This policy position, in conjunction with direction from the WFBF Board of Directors, made this a priority issue for the Dairy Committee's agenda for 2019. The committee members have been inviting industry experts and stakeholders to engage in discussions about risk management tools that could be used to help farmers. In February, Steve Ingham and Tim Anderson, representatives form the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, talked about milk inspections. Additionally, Dr. Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at UW-Madison, gave an overview of federal dairy policy and talked through a system to manage dairy supply. Our second meeting took place in April. We welcomed many guests to talk on a number of different topics. Dr. Kent Weigel, a dairy science professor at UW Madison, and Shelly Mayer, executive director of Professional Dairy Producers, highlighted the importance of the Dairy Innovation Hub. We also heard from Dave Daniels, a member of the Dairy Taskforce 2.0, on its recommendations for future success. Kara O’Connor and Bobbi Wilson with Wisconsin Farmers Union also spoke on proposals for managing the amount of milk produced on our farms. Our third meeting was held in July.
We learned more about Dairy Margin Coverage, Federal Milk Marketing Orders and dairy prices along the supply chain. At this meeting, the committee took time to discuss everything that has been presented and work toward drafting recommendations for the WFBF Board of Directors to review. As a dairy farmer, I know other farmers out there want the freedom and flexibility to manage their business in whatever way works best for them while making a decent living. Farmers are proud of the work they do. As farmers in the U.S. we are the best of the best. We know how to provide the best care to our cows, make the highest quality milk and we have some creative ways of using that milk. If you are struggling to see what the future holds for your farm, I am too. I wish I had a crystal ball that could predict the future and tell me exactly what I need to do today to help my farm in the future, so my children don’t deal with these same struggles. This is a great opportunity to get involved in Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process. I encourage you to attend your district policy development meeting. This is a time for county Farm Bureau members to bring new policy ideas and initiatives to the table for discussion. Resolutions that pass on the county level are sent to the state level for further review, so this is the time to make your ideas known. Orth is a Grant County Farm Bureau member and serves as chair of the WFBF Dairy Committee.
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Acreage Still A Factor
A Guest Column by AgriVisor's Karl Setzer
ven though we are now well into the domestic growing season, acreage remains a market factor. Trade issues are causing disputes on the planted and harvested acres the U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently using in its balance sheets. Many analysts and farmers alike are expecting to see decreases in these numbers as the market year moves forward but that is questionable. Historically, we have seen very little acreage declines from July forward. Delayed planting and prevented plantings this year may change that trend. Not only are trade talks debating this yearâ€™s acreage, but we are already starting to gain attention on what next yearâ€™s acreage might look like. Recently, we have seen the new crop price ratio tighten to 2-to-1. This means it only takes two bushels of corn to equal the value of one bushel of soybeans and is historically associated with elevated corn plantings. This ratio has widened slightly in recent weeks as there is less concern over a small corn crop this year. The concern in the corn complex has been a small 2019 corn crop and how it would drop corn reserves to a minimal level. These fears have eased, especially following the late-season corn planting that took place. Even if this late crop is used for feed, it will still make
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more corn available for other needs. Another factor being monitored as we look at next yearâ€™s corn production in the U.S. is inputs. We have already started to see a firming of fertilizer values as it is believed that elevated acres will create more demand. There also are some concerns over seed availability if production from this year is not as much as others. Acreage is not just a factor in the domestic market. Soybean harvest has just concluded in Brazil and we are already hearing reports of elevated plantings for this coming year. Sources in Brazil claim the country will expand soybean plantings by 2 million acres in the next year. One reason for this is the elevated values Brazilian farmers are seeing, but also from demand prospects. Brazilian exporters do not see a quick end to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China and feel they will see elevated soybean demand as a result. Brazil also has been steadily increasing its soybean production in recent years, so to see another 2 million brought into production would not be uncommon. We also are hearing about elevated wheat plantings in Argentina. Argentine officials believe that their farmers will expand wheat seedings by 1 million acres this year. While this does not seem like a
significant amount, when added to larger crops out of the Black Sea and Russia, it further cushions a global wheat supply. There are several factors that will ultimately impact acreage next year, but weather will be the primary one. While these factors are moving numbers, trade officials will monitor them as the market evolves with perpetual production and supplies coming from the global market. Setzer is the commodity risk analyst for AgriVisor, one of WFBF's member benefits.
Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg
t happens every August. A cutting expectation sets in – sometimes early in the month, more often towards the end. Exactly what triggers this disorder remains a mystery, despite several theories by experts. For those of us afflicted with this ailment, it’s specific to the host and has only one cure. For this scribe, the anticipation starts with the stridulation of crickets out our back door. Their chirping, produced by rubbing forewing ‘teeth’ together, calls out to others of their kind and in the process, activates something lying deep within me – an anticipation – a yearning for yet another fall season. The short-term weather forecast calls for a small pardon from summer’s heat waves. Long-term calls for more heat, yet tell-tale signals of fall are popping up all over the landscape. Slowly, but surely, the seasons change. On my way into town I couldn't help but see signs of autumn coming to pass. While getting into my truck, an assembly of blackbirds and grackles – several families worth–flocked together and made a racket that filled the treetops behind the house. Their gabble signaled a turning point, from the backyard to the cattail marshes they march. Stepping stones towards fall migration. A longing hunter, by wishing so hard, can see what others pass by without notice. While driving down the road, I
spotted browning ferns, yellow and red poison ivy leaves and scarlet lowland maples. Boxelder and popple added to the mix and began to pale against the deep greens of summer. Fueling the fire are molting sandhill cranes, potato harvesters at work, fall hunting catalogs and sporting goods sales flyers in the mailbox. Gaggles of urban Canadian geese tease me each morning as they graze on mowed lawns. Any one of these signals, or all of them put together, activate a launch sequence of events that lead to my favorite time of the year. Like a chameleon or snake, my skin sheds its appearance according to the season and my surroundings. I become a hunter and join thousands of my kind in the fields and woods. We’re drawn by a force beyond our control – a power outside our command. The role of hunting in human evolution has demonstrated to researchers that early huntergathering men demonstrated an altered state of testosterone, while the endorphin and adrenaline rush experienced by modern hunters also has been well-documented. Upland, waterfowl and deer hunters have been ‘wired’ for science and produce heartbeats more than 120 beats a minute during hunting situations. Beyond all that, the physiological excitement that attracts one to hunt also produces a sense of well-being and is strengthened by anticipation, preparation and posthunt activities. The cure? The only known one involves participation. If you are not prone to this burden, chances are you know someone who is. For those of you that live with the afflicted, you struggle to understand why. A dear neighbor lady once told me, “I don’t know what happens to my son. He’s a different person come deer season. Just the thought of the approaching season makes him crazy.” The boss of our house, a non-hunter, has learned to deal with our family’s obsession with the fall hunting season. You see, after several decades of living with men who suffer from the misery, she seems to have come to terms with the annual event. She actually savors the peace and quiet it affords her while we’re off in the woods. Can you feel and see it coming? Look hard, the signs are all around. Blomberg is a freelance writer and a member of the Portage County Farm Bureau. His books, "Up the Creek" and "Wisconsin Bird Hunting Tales and Letters from Art" are available at amazon.com. WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Recipes and photos submitted by Leslie Svacina. You can follow her grilling adventures on Instagram @grillinglikesteven.
Ingredients and Supplies • ¼ c. soy sauce • ½ c. pineapple juice • 1 scallion, minced • 2 tsp. garlic in water (from a jar) • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
• 1 tsp. ginger • ½ tsp. sea salt • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper • 2 lbs. steak, in 1-inch cubes • 1 large zucchini, cubed
1. Mix marinade: soy sauce, pineapple juice, scallion, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, salt and crushed red pepper. 2. Put beef in a bag you can seal and pour half of marinade over it. Mix to coat. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes. Save remaining marinade for basting.
• 2 red bell peppers, in 1-inch cubes • 1 large red onion, in 1-inch pieces • 1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, in 1-inch cubes • skewers, wooden or metal
3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. 4. D rain meat and discard marinade. Put meat, veggies and pineapple skewers. 5. Grill, covered for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with remaining marinade.
Smoked Apple Pie Ingredients and Supplies • 1 premade dough pie crust • 2 cans apple pie filling
• hickory woodchips or pellets • pie pan, glass or aluminum
1. Remove pie crust from fridge and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before unrolling. 2. Place one crust in bottom of greased pie pan, gently pressing the dough into place. 3. Pour filling into pan. 4. C ut second crust into horizontal strips, about 1/2 inch wide. Using every-other strip, place half the strips on top of the pie with even spacing between the strips. Then take the remaining strips and place them on the pie, weaving them to make lattice. Press the edges around the pan, pushing the top and bottom crusts together. To speed up this step, place the pie crust on top, cut a few slits at the center and press the crusts together at the edges of the pan. 5. Smoker option: Prep smoker with hickory chips
and heat to 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Bake pie for 50-60 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. 6. G rill option: Create a smoker packet by putting ½ c. of hickory chips or pellets on a piece of aluminum foil. Fold the foil to create an enclosed packet. Gently poke several holes in the top for smoke to release. Put packet on the grill and heat to 300 degrees medium/high, setting up for indirect heat. Once at the temperature, place the pie on the grill away from the heat for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
7. I f bottom crust needs more time to cook, put foil on top of pie and let cook longer. 8. When finished, let cool before eating.
Sesame Soy Chicken Drummies Ingredients
• 3 lbs. chicken drumsticks • 1 tsp. of minced garlic (from a jar) • ½ c. dark sesame oil • 1 scallion, mince white and green • ½ c. soy sauce parts, but keep separate • 1 tsp. ginger • 1 tsp. lemon zest
Dipping Sauce: • ½ c. hoisin sauce • ¼ c. honey, warmed
6. G rill until skin is crisp and meat is cooked 1. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallion through to the bone, about 30-40 minutes. whites and lemon zest in a bowl. 7. W hile chicken is cooking prepare dipping 2. Refrigerate drumsticks with marinade for 1-2 hours, sauce. Boil left over marinade for 3 minutes, stirring a few times so the chicken is evenly seasoned. then whisk in hoisin sauce. Cool to room 3. Prepare grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium. temperature. 4. Drain the chicken, save the marinade. 8. W hen chicken is on a serving dish, drizzle 5. Place chicken on grill away from the heat and close with honey and sprinkle with scallion greens. the lid. Serve with dipping sauce in small bowls. AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
Burgess Wins 2019 FFA Discussion Meet C
To qualify for the state finals, heyenne Burgess of the Shullsburg FFA Chapter Burgess has competed in several was named the state winner of other contests during the past five the FFA Discussion Meet at months. These included district, the 90th FFA Convention in sectional and state semi-finals Madison. Jennifer Russell is in Madison. her advisor. The other finalists were (in order) The Discussion Meet tests Anna Kitzerow, Plymouth; Gracelyn the abilities of FFA members Footit, Mauston; and Lorelei Sawyer, in cooperatively discussing De Soto. agricultural issues, exchanging The Wisconsin Farm Bureau WFBF CAO Dale Beaty with the finalists of the Wisconsin ideas and information and finding FFA Discussion Meet; (from left) Amelia Hayden, State Foundation sponsors the State FFA FFA President; Dale Beaty; Lorelei Sawyer, De Soto FFA; solutions to issues or problems. Discussion Meet. Established in Gracelyn Footit, Mauston FFA; Anna Kitzerow, Plymouth Modeled after the Farm Bureau 1988, The Wisconsin Farm Bureau FFA; Cheyenne Burgess, Shullsburg FFA; and Sarah Discussion Meet contest, Foundation continues to invest in Calaway, State FFA Vice President. individuals give a 30-second the next generation of agriculturists opening statement, participate in 15 to 20 minutes of discussion by funding a variety of agricultural education and leadership and finish with a one-minute closing statement. programs.
Four Members Attend AFBF Advocacy Conference I
n June, four Wisconsin Farm Bureau members accompanied by WFBF’s Director of Local Affairs Steve Boe attended American Farm Bureau’s Advocacy Conference. Representing Wisconsin Farm Bureau at the conference was Shane Goplin, Amanda Heisner, Derek Orth and Chris Pollack. The conference included briefings from AFBF staff, a panel discussion with two members of the problems solvers caucus and Salena Zito, a reporter for the Washington Examiner. Following the conference, attendees met with members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation. Meetings were held with Rep. Ron Kind, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Glenn Grothman along with Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Ron Johnson. The four Farm Bureau members who Wisconsin Farm Bureau members stood with AFBF President Zippy Duvall. attended the conference serve on AFBF’s (From left): Shane Goplin, Trempealeau County; Chris Pollack, Fond du Lac Grassroots Outreach Team. Farm Bureau County; AFBF President Zippy Duvall; Amanda Heisner, Iowa County; and Derek created the GO Team to be effective in the Orth, Grant County. new reality of advocacy, having advocates trained to effectively interact with the media and understand the GO Team members advocate by attending targeted issue flybest practices to influence lawmakers. ins with lawmakers on topics such as on tax reform; answering The goal for the GO Team is simple: be the best group of media calls on priority issues; engaging with consumers; such grassroots and media advocates for Farm Bureau. People are as during the Smithsonian Meet-a-Farmer series; hosting invited to join the GO Team because they participated in one of lawmakers at farms; engaging with media; and participating in several leadership programs, or because they are nominated by a meetings with White House officials, all in support of Farm state Farm Bureau. Bureau’s positions.
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
You’re Recruited: Boot Camp is for Everyone A
By Lynn Leahy
media and social media relations. s a member of Wisconsin With social media, the news Farm Bureau’s Promotion world moves at a blistering pace. and Education Committee, I Our news feeds are constantly am recruiting you for our third updated with the latest and annual Leadership Boot Camp on Saturday, November 16, at greatest information —whether the Farm Wisconsin Discovery it is true or untrue. Typically, and sometimes, unfortunately, Center in Manitowoc. Boot the most sensational, terrifying, Camp was designed by the and outlandish stories are the Promotion and Education most popular. These stories Committee to serve as a fastcan be shared on social media paced, challenging, one-day thousands of times, so we need to training session based on topics be prepared when they involved the WFBF Leadership Institute This year's Leadership Boot Camp will be held at the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center in Manitowoc. farming or food production. covers. As farmers and agriculturists, it is very important that we Boot Camp gives individuals the opportunity to get leadership development training but only commit to a few hours have the tools and training to provide our media and social media outlets with the correct information about 21st-century of training. The committee recognizes that not all individuals can commit the time to be involved in the WFBF Leadership agriculture. We need to know how to share our stories because Institute class. With more than 10 completed classes of the otherwise someone not connected to agriculture will tell WFBF Leadership Institute, this event can serve as a refresher it for us. for those graduates on certain topics. Please attend our Leadership Boot Camp on Saturday, This year’s event will focus on interview training, working November 16. Registration includes lunch, training and a with the media and how to use social media to advocate for ticket to tour the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center after our agriculture. It is critical for us as farmers and agriculturists to program. We need to be prepared to defend our industry and have a deep understanding and receive adequate training in attending can prepare you to do just that.
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
AG IN THE CLASSROOM
No Summer Vacation for Ag in the Classroom WAAE Conference in La Crosse Nearly 40 educators attended Ag in the Classroomâ€™s presentation at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators Conference. Program resources were shared and guest presenters from Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers highlighted maple syrup equipment, kits and new lesson plans.
One-Day Training in Madison
On July 9, nine educators and volunteers attended a summer training session at the West Madison Research Station and O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research Station.
In the morning, presenters from the Wisconsin Beef Council, Wisconsin Pork Association, Discover MediaWorks and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin shared educational resources with attendees. The afternoon focused on the research trials and careers in the turfgrass industry.
One-Day Training in Green Bay
On July 31, educators and volunteers attended a summer training session at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay. After the training, the group toured the museum.
Presentations were given by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Brown County Dairy Promotion. New lesson plans and resources were shared by the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers and Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom. WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Wisconsin Represented at National Conference “I highly recommend this I conference to anyone in
n June, more than 450 educators from around the country learned how to use agricultural concepts education to help teach to teach reading, writing, math, how food is grown or science, social studies and more produced. The tours at the National Agriculture in have been excellent for the Classroom Organization’s gathering first hand National Conference in Little Rock. Wisconsin attendees were stories about various Nicole Nohl, Jennifer Bartkowski, industries. It is such a Ashley VandenBush and Wisconsin unique place to turn Ag in the Classroom Coordinator educators and agricultural Darlene Arneson. VandenBush enthusiasts into the attended as Wisconsin’s Teacher of During the conference, Wisconsin attendees sat at a lucky student!” - Nicole Nohl the Year and was recognized for her table during bingo night. accomplishments. NAITCO and the Arkansas “The National Ag in the Classroom Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in Conference allowed me to learn the Classroom program hosted something interesting about three days of workshops showing Arkansas and its agriculture. It is kindergarten through 12th-grade rewarding to meet new people and teachers how to use agriculture share lessons and activities with to teach core subjects. The others. This conference allowed me organizations received partial funding for the conference from the to network with others and build U.S. Department of Agriculture’s friendships while seeing others I A highlight of the trip for Ashley, Nicole and Jennifer was the opportunity to meet autism National Institute for Food and met from previous conferences.” spokesperson Dr. Temple Grandin. Agriculture. - Ashley VandenBush During the opening banquet, autism spokesperson and animal "This was my first NAITC behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin Conference. During it my head was the keynote speaker. Dr. Marty was just spinning with ideas to Matlock, executive director of the incorporate with current programs University of Arkansas Resiliency we offer in Brown County and Center, spoke about global sustainability. In addition, USDA even new ones for the future. NIFA Director Dr. Scott Angle NAITC conference is such an presented the National Excellence in invaluable tool to connect and Teaching about Agriculture Awards. network with fellow educators and Conference participants traveled to agriculture advocates. The NAITC nearby agribusinesses and research Conference is definitely something facilities to learn about beef, poultry Heifer International headquarters was just I will look at attending in the and rice production and other one of the businesses toured by attendees future." - Jennifer Bartkowski during the conference. The display area and agricultural issues. Of the more than 450 conference exhibits were interactive. participants, about half are teachers from around the country, NAITCO is a non-profit organization representing many of whom received scholarships provided by CHS Agriculture in the Classroom programs in 50 states and the Foundation, Inc., to cover their conference registrations. In District of Columbia. Its mission is to educate K-12 teachers addition, American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and students about the importance of agriculture by providing honored teachers and agricultural industry educators for using them with educational resources, grant opportunities, awards agriculture as an effective teaching tool as part of its Whiteprograms and a national conference that demonstrates how Reinhardt Fund for Education program. agriculture can be used to effectively teach core subject areas. AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
BUS TOUR VISITS NORTHERN WISCONSINâ€¢ JULY 15-16 CRASS SAWMILL
The Ag in the Classroom Summer Bus Tour visited hosts in Taylor, Clark and Marathon counties. There were 35 participants including teachers, volunteers and others involved in agriculture. The 2020 bus tour will travel to southern Wisconsin.
MEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT HEMLOCK HILLS ELK RANCH
MEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT
STONEY ACRES FARM 40
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
PEISSIG’S ROBOTIC DAIRY
REISTERER & SCHNELL
PEISSIG’S ROBOTIC DAIRY
REISTERER & SCHNELL
HEMLOCK HILLS ELK RANCH
AG IN THE CLASSROOM
Be Prepared to Head Back-to-School Fall Informational Meetings Set
he time is now to learn more about Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program. Informational meetings will be held around the state this fall to offer an opportunity to learn more about the Ag in the Classroom program, events and resources. Volunteers, teachers and others involved in agricultural literacy are encouraged to attend. There is no charge or pre-registration required. All meetings will run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Meeting dates and locations include: • Tuesday, September 17 Sherman and Ruth Weiss Community Library Community Room 10788 State Highway 27/77, Hayward, WI 54843 • Wednesday, September 18 Oconto Falls Public Library - Meeting Room 251 North Main Street, Oconto Falls, WI 54154 • Monday, September 23 West Allis Public Library - Constitution Room 7421 West National Avenue, West Allis, WI 53214 • Tuesday, September 24 Ruth Culver Community Library - Community Room 540 Water Street, Prairie du Sac, WI 53578 • Wednesday, September 25 L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library - Eau Claire Room 400 Eau Claire Street, Eau Claire, WI 54701 • Thursday, September 26 Waupaca Area Public Library - Room A 107 South Main Street, Waupaca, WI 54981 If you have questions, please contact Darlene Arneson at email@example.com or 608.828.5644. To learn more about Ag in the Classroom, visit wisagclassroom.org.
Step Up to the Purple Plow STEM Challenge
urple Plow is a special project hosted by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. Purple Plow is a great fit for individuals or groups in middle school and high school. It’s perfect for maker spaces, after-school programs, in-school lessons, 4-H clubs, library learning and Scout troops. This year’s fall challenge is ‘Growing Green Challenge.’ In this challenge, students will learn about energy and they will design, build and share a solution that diversifies energy consumption. Farms consume energy both directly through the use of diesel, electricity, propane, natural gas and renewable fuels. They also use fuel in the production of fertilizers, pesticides and feedstock. In this challenge, students will learn about energy in various forms, design, build and share a solution that diversifies energy consumption. The official challenge question is: how can we improve or diversify the way agriculture generates or consumes energy? The solution must address production as well as economic, environmental and societal needs. It also must cover the trade-offs of using different energy sources. The resources for this challenge are made possible through the generous support of the title sponsor, Corteva Agriscience, a division of DowDuPont. For more information, visit purpleplow.org.
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Alison Hardy, Richfield
Becky Woelfel, New Holstein
Sara Adams, Delavan
Caitlin Pierce, White Lake
Daphne Holterman, Watertown
Jeremy Krusemark, Burlington
Patti Roden, West Bend
Allison McCormick, Berlin
Dan Poulson, Palmyra
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 Lsiekmann@wfbf.com. Due to the high volume of photos we receive, we are unable to publish every photo. Photos sent in may be used in other WFBF publications. AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
Centennial Campaign Continues
isconsin Farm Bureau is still seeking donors for the Centennial fundraiser. The organization is hoping to raise $100,000 by the 2020 WFBF Annual Meeting. This campaign is meant to serve as a celebration and a monetary foundation for Farm Bureau's exceptional educational programs. Members are served well by our leadership development programs and this campaign will enhance funding for these programs.
Nearly $30,000 has already been collected because of the generosity of supporters. Please consider contributing. Your tax-deductible contribution will help keep the future of Farm Bureau programming strong. You can donate online by visiting wfbf.com/centennial. Contributions will be taken until the 2020 WFBF Annual Meeting.
Rob and Carrie Richard John and Darlene Arneson
between March 28 and July 30, 2019.
n Farm B nsi u co
Centennial Donations $100-$199 donation
Joe and Rosie Lisowe
Thank You to the Following WFB Foundation Donors:
MAXIMIZE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY
(Donations were made between May 22 and July 30, 2019.
•• Peggy Uhen in honor of Darrell and Kathy Baumeister •• Harold Arpke in honor of Darrell and Kathy Baumeister •• Dan Poulson in memory of Pat O'Brien •• Ross Bishop in memory of Theresa Bruckert •• Dan Poulson in memory of Richard Mayer •• Judith Savatski in memory of Don Armitage •• Carl Casper in memory of Don Armitage •• Dale Beaty in memory of Don Armitage •• Theresa Klug in memory of Don Armitage •• John Arneson in memory of Don Armitage •• Carl Casper in memory of Barbara Wiff •• Dave Daniels in memory of Harold Schoessow
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation was established in 1988 to provide support for agricultural education and leadership programs. Through donations and other contributions, the foundation invests time and resources to support the next generation of agriculturists.
www.gellingsimplement.com W3143 Hwy 45 • Eden, WI 53019 920-477-5292 877-922-0676
Robust hay harvesting
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
How to Choose the Right Life Insurance Submitted by Farm Bureau Financial Services The coverage you buy today for life insurance will protect the people you love long after you are gone. More than a death benefit, depending on the coverage you choose, your life insurance could protect you while you are still living and be a vital part of your retirement plan. With so many coverage options, how do you choose the policy that is right for you? Outlined below are the most common questions asked when choosing a policy. Do You Really Need Life Insurance? Every situation is different. Generally, you should purchase life insurance if you have dependents, or are responsible for primary care of your loved ones. If your family depends on you, you can protect your family’s future with life insurance that will provide financial security after you are gone. You also should consider purchasing life insurance if you have outstanding debts (like a mortgage) that would go to a co-signer or spouse. If you own and operate a business, life insurance could provide an immediate cash payout, which would assist while transitioning business accounts. Many people also consider leaving a portion of their life insurance to a favorite cause or charity. How Much Life Insurance Do You Need? Consider how many dependents you have, what their future education expenses might be, how much outstanding debt you have and your current lifestyle. Many people look to buy a policy that is worth five to 10 times their annual salary. Consult with your agent to ensure you have the right level of coverage for the needs of your family. What Are the Types of Life Insurance Policies? Each type of life insurance has some unique characteristics and knowing about what makes them different will help you decide. • Term Life – Term life is generally the most affordable life insurance option. As the name implies, the insurance is good for a specific period (usually 10, 20 or 30 years). The term life policy does not gain cash value and cannot be used as an asset. • W hole Life – Whole life insurance, also called permanent insurance, offers lifetime coverage that does not expire and builds cash value over time. • Universal Life – Universal Life is a form of permanent insurance but generally offers greater flexibility than whole life policies. AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
How Do You Choose the Right Policy? With so many options, choosing the right life insurance policy can be confusing. Consider term insurance if: • You need a short-term solution and need insurance for a specific time period. For example, if you have young children and want to ensure they will be able to afford their education if you die a term policy might be the ideal solution for your family. • You have a limited budget but need coverage. Term insurance is generally the most affordable form of life insurance, but still provides excellent coverage benefits if something happens during the policy term limit. • You are looking to lock in your insurability while you are young. Many term policies include an option to convert to a permanent life policy without additional medical examinations when the coverage term nears its end. Consider permanent insurance if: • You need insurance for as long as you live. Whole life policies allow the security of knowing you are covered because coverage remains steady over time. • You are looking to invest in a product that grows and matures over time. They can be considered an asset because you can build equity with permanent life policies. As you examine your options, be sure to consult with a trusted Rural Mutual Insurance agent. They will be able to clarify the details of each type of policy and help you choose the best option. wfbf.com
Hope for Wisconsin Farm Families T
he Harvest of Hope Fund was created in January 1986 to respond to the farm crisis of the 1980s. It was intended to be a short-term effort to help Wisconsin farm families get through a difficult time. The fund has now given out more than 1,655 gifts totaling more than $1,075,000. The mission of the Harvest of Hope is simple: to provide financial help, and hope, to Wisconsin farm families in difficult financial situations. The goal is to keep Wisconsin family farms in the hands of farm families. Responses are given to families in crisis situations, especially ones that could turn into disasters. Responses are quick. (Always within a week of the request and often in two or three days.) Sensitivity is given to the needs of families with small children. Farm families are also connected with local experts for financial and management assistance. We ask recipient families to sign a ‘covenant’ saying they will contribute to the fund if and when they are able to do so, therefore, gifts get passed on to other families in need. The Harvest of Hope Fund was created by and is still supported by the Madison Christian Community, an ecumenical Christian community on the west side of Madison. The MCC covers all the administrative costs associated with the program and the fund is administered by an all-volunteer committee. Every dollar contributed to the fund goes directly to Wisconsin
How to Prevent Farm Injuries F arms are a great place for children to live, work and play. However, agriculture is also one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. Scott Heiberger from the National Farm Medicine Center shared the top three causes of injuries and fatalities, safety prevention strategies and resources listed below. Top Causes of Fatal Agricultural Injuries • machinery • drowning •m otor vehicles (includes ATVs) Top Causes of Non-Fatal Agricultural Injuries • falls • animals • machinery and vehicles 4 Simple Strategies to Avoid an On-Farm Injury 1. Make sure your children are old enough for the work they are doing. Keep kids away from tractors until they are 14 years old. Know where your children are at all times. 2. Make safety your business. Ensure the work environment is as safe as possible. Working with a safety expert can help you put a plan in place to make sure your farm is safe, and your employees are trained properly. Reach out to an insurance agent for more information. 3. Stay up to date. Subscribe to a safety newsletter, use the resources provided in this article or check out the Rural Mutual
“We are most appreciative of a gift from the Rural Mutual Insurance Company. This will help us respond to the recent downturn in the Wisconsin farm economy. We welcome all partnerships that further the important mission of the Harvest of Hope Fund.”
farm families in need. Grants are limited to two gifts of $1,500 to spread funds as far as possible. Prices for agricultural products such as milk, corn, soybeans and pork, have been low for the past five years intensifying the farm crisis for Wisconsin farm families. Situations considered a crisis can be electric power cut-offs, medical or veterinary bills, house or barn fires, feed for cattle, machinery repair, climatic conditions (drought, floods, frost, hail) or supplies for spring planting. Sometimes it’s as simple as putting food on the table or fuel in the tank. If you are a Wisconsin farm family with emergency needs, please call 608.836.1455 (press 8) or visit the Harvest of Hope website. If you call, leave your name, address and phone number in a voicemail message. If you visit the website, click ‘Serving’ then click on ‘Harvest of Hope’ in the drop-down menu to gain access to our brochure and application forms. By Roger T. Williams, Chairman of Harvest of Hope Fund
Insurance farm safety learning center. Check safety lists on a regular basis to keep safety top of mind. 4. Engaging in agri-tourism? If so, take an extra look at every inch of your farm. It is the responsibility of the farm owner to control hazards that may risk the health and safety of guests. Other Injury Prevention Resources • Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines: Guidelines to help farm parents and supervisors assign tasks based on worker ability. (cultivatesafety.org/work) • Safe Play: Creating safe play areas on farms on the farm is important. Also, consider play area ‘upgrades’ like turning your corn box into a sandbox. (safeagritourism.org) • Integrating Safety into Agri-tourism: Agri-tourism resources, guidelines, checklists and signs available. (safagritoruism.org) • Ag Injury News: Allows users to search for injury reports using variable such as age, year and more. (AgInjuryNews.org) • Childhood Agricultural Safety Network: Shares information and resources from a coalition of organizations working to keep children safe on farms. (childagsafety.org) As the #1 farm insurer in Wisconsin, Rural Mutual has been protecting farms across the state for more than 85 years. For additional safety information, visit ruralmutual.com/farm-safety or contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent. WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
No one can see into the future. And even if you could, you’d want to be prepared for what’s coming. That’s what we’re here for – to help protect the future you can and can’t see. Let’s sit down, face-to-face and talk about your future as you imagine it. You talk and we’ll listen – one-on-one, the way it should be.
Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company/West Des Moines,IA M205-WI (10-18)