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december | january 2017-2018 • vol. 23 no. 6 |

Includes highlights from Farm Bureau

Family Rooted in



‘Tis the Season for Trees Page 26

Today’s growers look to the cloud for more than just rain. Cloud-based computing is revolutionizing the way growers run their operations. The agronomy experts at FS are helping growers connect with next generation digital platforms that manage workflow, track assets and optimize productivity. What’s more, FS is partnering with leading technology providers to anticipate demands down the road, ensuring our customers are ready for what’s next. •

©2016 GROWMARK, Inc. A14173D

contents vol. 23 no. 6

















35 stay connected

42 WIFarmBureau


Delegates set Farm Bureau policy for 2018.


Farm Bureau members recognized for distinguished service.


AFBF President Duvall tours Wisconsin.


Young Farm Bureau members recognized for achievements.


Highlights from the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference.


Fond du Lac County member helps grow Farm Bureau family.


Christmas tree business is a family affair for Woloseks.


Opinions from Holte, Duvall, Harsdorf, Chalmers and Camp.


Find some new favorite holiday recipes from


Annual Meeting activities raise funds for the WFB Foundation.


Fall sportsmanship award winners announced.



Read our previous issues at






t’s full-fledged Christmas season. Or, as some may refer to it as, chaos season. Holiday parties, endless shopping, gift wrapping and candy making. As if there wasn’t already enough to fit in during the week, now you have small holiday miracles to make happen for a whole month. I promise I’m not Scrooge; I sincerely enjoy Christmas. I believe this is because my parents always made it a special holiday. However, now that I’m an adult, I admit it’s a stressful time. The beginning of Christmas season also marks the date of our premier event: the combined Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. December also includes this issue of Rural Route being sent to the printer. This edition always has a tight turnaround for us, but includes a fantastic recap of the state-wide event that brought in nearly 1,200 people. On a personal note, to add to

December’s hectic playlist, my husband and I decided our gift to my parents was to remodel their farmhouse bathroom. We were ambitious, and tried to do this in a three-day weekend. Stop laughing. Yes, we failed. But, they’re my family and forgave us for leaving them without plumbing in their only bathroom for a few days. (At least I’m hoping that by putting this in print they will.) It was during a late night in the middle of the rushed remodel that I stepped outside for some fresh air. I was tired, it was late and the only light on was the dusk-to-dawn light. It was silent. No wind, animals stirring or cars driving by. Some snow had fallen the day prior. It was beautiful. It caught me off guard. Amid the holiday season, the remodel and a hectic work schedule, I was reminded to stop for a moment. With the holiday season in full force, don’t forget to take a minute for yourself. We can get caught up in the daily grind so often and forget the true meaning of why we are doing the things we do. Remember the reason for the season and the reason for the chaos. Take time to reflect on what matters most. For us at Farm Bureau that’s you, our members. Thanks for taking time to read Rural Route, and for being a part of the Farm Bureau family. Happy holidays! Amy Eckelberg Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Amy Eckelberg 608.828.5706 Designer Lynn Siekmann 608.828.5707 Contributors Sarah Marketon - 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 Board of Directors Jim Holte, Elk Mound, (President) Don Radtke, Merrill, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Arch Morton Jr., Janesville Richard Gorder, Mineral Point Joe Bragger, Independence Kevin Krentz, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Adam Kuczer, Pulaski Andrea Brossard, Burnett (Promotion and Education Committee Chair) Brian Preder, Weyauwega (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 National accounts contact Casey McNeal at 800.798.2691 ext. 334 or For general inquiries, contact Amy Eckelberg at 608.828.5706 or


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Holte Re-elected WFBF President Brossard Promotion and Education Chair Preder to lead YFA


on the board representing District 2 (Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green Rock and Sauk counties). Joe Bragger of Independence in Buffalo County was re-elected to a three-year term on the board representing District 4 (Buffalo, Trempealeau, La Crosse, Jackson, Monroe and Eau Claire counties). Rosie Lisowe of Chilton in Calumet County was re-elected to a three-year term on the board representing District 6 (Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties). Nine of the 11 members of the WFBF board of directors are farmers elected in each of Farm Bureau’s nine districts. These nine individuals also make up the board of directors for Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Rounding out the WFBF’s board are the chairs of WFBF’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist and Promotion and Education Committees, both serve a one-year term. Andrea Brossard of Burnett in Dodge County was elected to a one-year term as the representative from the Promotion and Education Committee on the board. She succeeds Rosalie Geiger from Manitowoc County. Brian Preder of Weyauwega in Waupaca County was elected to a one-year term as chair of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee and will serve as the committee's representative on the board. He succeeds Derek Husmoen of Trempealeau County. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board Directors who were not up for re-election are: Dave Daniels of Union Grove in Kenosha County, Richard Gorder of Mineral Point in Iowa County, Kevin Krentz of Berlin in Waushara County and Adam Kuczer of Pulaski in Shawano County.

im Holte has been re-elected to a sixth one-year term as president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Holte raises beef cattle and grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa on 460 acres near Elk Mound in Dunn County. Holte was first elected to the WFBF Board of Directors in 1995 to represent District 9 on the board. District 9 represents the Superior Shores, Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer and St. Croix County Farm Bureaus. Holte previously served as WFBF’s representative to the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium board. He also chaired the Wisconsin Livestock Siting Review board. Holte is a graduate of the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program. He served as a school board member in Elk Mound, as board member for GROWMARK, Inc., a citizen board member for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and president of the Wisconsin Beef Council. Holte and his wife, Gayle, have two children and five grandchildren. Don Radtke of Merrill in Marathon County was re-elected to a one-year term as vice president. He represents District 8 (Clark, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Price, Taylor and Wood counties). Arch Morton Jr., a crop farmer from Janesville in Andrea Brossard Rock County, was re-elected to a three-year term

Brian Preder



Wisconsin Farm Bureau

Delegates Set Policy for 2018 E

arlier this month, 250 delegates at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells established new policy directives for the organization.

Farm Bureau delegates adopted the policies that will guide the legislative agenda for the state’s largest general farm organization in 2018. Resolutions were submitted by delegates as part of a grassroots policy development process. Delegates held discussion on various dairy policy items. They supported milk processors giving farms 60 days notice before any changes to premium structure or required fees and giving 90 days notice before termination of service. They also supported Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to define clear and concise rules and regulations for automated milking installations and programs that emphasize manufacturing and marketing strategies.


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Delegates supported a $0.05/gallon tax on agricultural dyed fuel to be used only for town road improvements and maintenance. Regarding nutrient management, they supported increased nitrogen levels for nutrient management planning due to higher yields and the ability of hybrids to better utilize these nutrients, as well as efforts to assist agriculture to understand its role regarding nutrient management for surface water and groundwater. They supported the need to continue the reasonable scientifically-based best management practices for the protection of groundwater resources in high risk areas such as Karst areas. Delegates supported increased trade deals that benefit Wisconsin and U.S. agriculture. Regarding marketing initiatives, delegates opposed using misleading food labels for a marketing campaign. They supported changing fat percentage labeling on bottled milk from ‘2% Fat’ to ‘98% Fat Free’, ‘1% Fat to 99% Fat Free,’ etc. and use of the non-GMO label only on products that have a GMO alternative.


Delegates from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 61 county Farm Bureaus also voted to support: •• Legislation that allows wineries and craft brewers to have equivalent operating hours as taverns and restaurants. •• Allowing tasting rooms to sample wines and ciders made by other producers. •• Managed grazing as an approved method of stream bank management and managed wetland areas. •• In a time of disaster or emergency, any fees, permits or hold times should be waived to aid people with bridges and creek crossings. •• Allowing stream bank damage following a storm to be returned to pre-storm locations. •• Controlling predatory wildlife populations. •• A tax incentive for selling and renting land to beginning/ young farmers. •• Mandatory rural traffic safety curriculum in driver’s education classes. On the federal level, delegates supported: •• Fair regional pricing within the Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage program. •• Over the road truckers should be exempt from e-logging requirements when transporting livestock or perishable agricultural products. The federal resolutions will be forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation for consideration at its annual convention next month. DECEMBER | JANUARY 2017-2018



Bruins Receives Distinguished Service Award College of Ag and Life Sciences Board of Visitors and in 2011, was appointed by Governor Walker to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board. He served as vice president of the Equity Cooperative Livestock Association, on the Wisconsin Beef Council Board and on the UW-Platteville Environmental Farm Steering Committee. Over the years, Bruins served on numerous Wisconsin Farm Bureau committees including Rural Health and Safety, Dairy, Policy Development and


ill Bruins was presented the ‘Distinguished Service to Wisconsin Agriculture’ award for his outstanding contributions to Wisconsin agriculture during the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 3. Bruins grew up on a dairy farm next to the home where he and his wife live in Waupun in Fond du Lac County. He is the general manager of his family’s dairy partnership. Homeland Dairy has 600 cows and 1,400 acres of crops. “Bill has served Wisconsin agriculture in many different capacities during his lifetime,” said WFBF President Jim Holte. “He represented District 5 on the WFBF Board of Directors for 24 years, serving nine years as president. His skills were critical in serving farmers and building strong relationships with Farm Bureau and agriculture statewide.” Bruins was a board member of the coordinating committee for the Wisconsin Agricultural Stewardship Initiative, and in 2005, was appointed to the Governor Doyle’s Bio-based Industry Consortium. He served as a member of the Farm Bureau Life Board of Directors and on the Farm Bureau Life Audit and Budget Committee. He served on the UW-Madison’s


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Young Farmers. He is also a former state Discussion Meet winner. Nationally, he served on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Dairy Advisory Committee. He continues to serve on the Wisconsin DNR Board and as president of the Waupun School Board. “Bill’s commitment to the agriculture community is admirable,” said Holte. “He is extremely deserving of this award.” Bruins and his wife Mary are the proud parents of six adult children and have 20 grandchildren.


Kling Earns Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Highest Honor J

ackson County’s Steve Kling has received the highest award Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation bestows upon its members. Kling was presented the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s ‘Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau’ award during the organization’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 3. “It is because of his selfless dedication to others and agriculture that I am extremely proud to recognize Steve’s distinguished service to Farm Bureau,” said WFBF President Jim Holte. Kling has been an active member of Farm Bureau for 39 years and served in key leadership roles at county and state levels. “Steve is an advocate for Farm Bureau and has devoted countless hours during his years as Jackson County Farm Bureau president,” said Holte. “His leadership and experience are assets to our organization.” Kling's history in Farm Bureau runs deep. His grandfather, Walter, was a founding member of the Jackson County Farm Bureau and his father, Bob, served on the board of directors. Kling served on the county board of directors for all but two years since 1977 and now his son, Nathan, is serving on the board of directors with him. He has attended the Farm Bureau leader trip to Washington, D.C., and makes it a point to attend Ag Day at the Capitol. Kling has also served on the WFBF Dairy Committee and Policy Development Committee. He has been a Farm Bureau Proud Club (formally Producer Club) member numerous times and has signed more than 35 new Farm Bureau members. Kling was instrumental in the creation of the annual District 4 policy development meeting. In the mid-2000s, with the help of Todd Quarne of Trempealeau County, they brought county Farm Bureau leaders together to discuss policy resolutions as a district for the first time. “Steve truly embodies what Farm Bureau is about,” said Darby Sampson, Jackson County Farm Bureau promotion and education chair. “He is a member at a local level making an impact in Farm Bureau that reaches all the way to the top of our organization. He is paving the

way for generations to come.” Kling and his wife, Pat, have hosted the Jackson County Dairy Breakfast twice. They were the 2016 Jackson County Farm Family of the year and 2012 Farm Family of the La Crosse Farm Show. In 2005, they received the Jackson County Land Conservation Department Watershed Farmer Award and were finalists for the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award. The couple has hosted more than eight foreign exchange students through 4-H and DFA programs. Sampson added, “To Steve Kling, Farm Bureau isn't just an ordinary organization; it's an organization made up of neighbors, friends and family from across the state and nation that come together for a common cause.”




American Farm Bureau President Visits Wisconsin I n October, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall visited Wisconsin. During his three days in Wisconsin he visited a variety of farms and agribusinesses to hear about the challenges they face. His visit also included being the keynote speaker at the Manitowoc County Farm Bureau annual meeting in honor of its 75th anniversary.


Duvall is a third-generation farmer from Georgia. In addition to a 400-head beef cow herd for which he grows his own hay, Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, also raise more than 750,000 broilers per year. Prior to being elected AFBF president, Duvall served for nine years as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau.

President Duvall honored longtime Marketbasket shopper Wilma Rehbein at the Manitowoc County Farm Bureau annual meeting.

Prior to touring Lakeside Foods in Random Lake, President Duvall stood for a photo with Manitowoc County Farm Bureau members.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte and President Duvall had some fun while touring Henning's Cheese in Kiel.

President Duvall stood with Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte and Master Cheesemaker Kerry Henning following a tour and tasting at Henning’s Cheese.

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President Duvall talked with Manitowoc County Farm Bureau president Dan Meyer and dairy farmer Donna Phillips while touring D&D Jerseys.


President Duvall took a selfie with the curious Jerseys at D&D Jerseys in Newton.

After touring Soaring Eagle Dairy in Newton, President Duvall ate lunch with Farm Bureau members and then was interviewed by Wisconsin’s agricultural reporters.  

President Duvall shook hands with Brown County Farm Bureau member Ray Diedrich following a tour of his robotic milking system.

Farm Bureau members accompanied President Duvall on a tour of CP Feeds in Valders.

During his tour of Newton Meats, President Duvall looked over the meat varieties it offers.

President Duvall met an employee during his first visit to a Culver’s restaurant.




Outstanding Programs and Events Recognized T

he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation annually recognizes county Farm Bureaus that conduct outstanding programs or events to promote agriculture, build membership and strengthen the organization. During the 98th WFBF Annual Meeting, eight county Farm Bureaus were awarded 2017 County Activities of Excellence Awards. County Farm Bureaus chosen for recognition and their outstanding areas of work include: •• Green Lake County for hosting the Green Lake Area Conservation Field Day, an event designed to form networking connections between farmers and shoreline owners and showcase conservation practices in the county. •• Marathon County for hosting a Young Farmer and Agriculturist candidate forum. The purpose of the forum was to give YFA members an opportunity to build relationships with legislators and share their policy concerns with their elected representatives. •• Calumet County for organizing a farmto-table tour to give consumers a chance to tour four local farms to see how their food is grown and raised and to meet the farmers who produce it. •• Adams County for its vermiculture and vermicomposting activity. This Ag in the Classroom project teaches students about the role of worms in composting and their importance to healthy soil and plants. •• Dodge County for its unique Ag in the Classroom outreach program at Genessee Lake School, a facility for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities and complex trauma. •• Dodge County was also recognized for its Rural-Urban Luncheon, which brings together people from all walks of life to learn about agriculture, the environment and Farm Bureau programs. •• Green County for its use of Facebook to share farmer posts and videos and to increase awareness of county Farm Bureau activities and news, agriculture facts and community events. •• Outagamie County for organizing Milk and Cookies with Santa, a Christmas-themed event designed to give community members an opportunity to tour a farm and have interactions with animals in a family-friendly environment.


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Outagamie County was one of 24 county Farm Bureaus recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation for innovative program ideas in this year’s County Activities of Excellence Awards program and will be highlighted during AFBF’s 99th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, January 5-10, 2018, in Nashville, Tennessee.




The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation invites you to attend

AG DAY AT THE CAPITOL January 24, 2018

Monona Terrace Convention Center • Madison, WI

Schedule of Events: 11:00 a.m. Registration 11:30 a.m. Opening Program 11:45 a.m. Lunch 12:30 p.m. Governor Walker Speaking 1:00 p.m. Legislative Briefings 3:00 p.m. L  eave for Capitol Visits

Early Registration Deadline: January 18 Cost: $  25 per person by registration deadline $30 after deadline and at the door

Presented by:

Detach and return to WFBF to register.

Ag Day at the Capitol Registration Form Contact Name: Address:

City: County: Zip Code: Telephone: Amount Enclosed: (# of people)

Thank You to Our Sponsors: Rural Mutual Insurance Company

x ($25) =

Mail to: Wisconsin Farm Bureau, P.O. Box 5550, Madison, WI 53705 Questions? Call 1.800.261.FARM

Event #991022

Name & County of Attendees:


Brickstead Dairy Named 2017 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award® Recipient


and County Foundation, conservation practices and their Wisconsin Farm Bureau efforts should be praised,” said Federation, Wisconsin Milk WFBF President Jim Holte. Marketing Board and the “Congratulations to Dan for being Wisconsin Land and Water recognized for his outstanding Conservation Association are proud land stewardship. Brickstead to announce Brickstead Dairy Dairy is a shining example of a as the recipient of Wisconsin’s farm doing the right thing for the Leopold Conservation Award®. generations to follow.” The award honors Wisconsin “The conservation efforts of the landowner achievement in Brick family are a testament to voluntary stewardship and their commitment to the future management of natural resources. of their farm and assurance to the The announcement was made community that they, like farmers during the November 16 meeting of across the state, continue to look the Wisconsin Agriculture, Trade for ways to improve and preserve and Consumer Protection Board in From left, Sand County Foundation President Kevin the quality of land and water McAleese, Gene Brick, Helen Brick, Dan Brick, Wisconsin for the next generation,” said Madison. DATCP Secretary Sheila Harsdorf. Established in 1848, Brickstead Patrick Geoghegan, Wisconsin Dairy has been a family affair for Milk Marketing Board Sr. Vice five generations. Since partnering President of marketing and with his father in the 1990s, Dan industry relations. Brick has expanded the dairy to Given in honor of renowned include 900 cows. While the size of conservationist Aldo Leopold, the dairy has changed over the years, the Leopold Conservation conservation remains at the heart of Award recognizes extraordinary this family business and the pulse achievement in voluntary that keeps the farm running. conservation. It inspires other Over the past few years, Dan has landowners through these committed to ‘plant into green.’ examples and provides a visible Instead of conventionally tilling forum where farmers, ranchers and planting into a brown field, he and other private landowners are plants into a living cover crop such recognized as conservation leaders. as wheat or winter rye. By planting In his influential 1949 book, "A into cover crops, Dan ensures the Sand County Almanac," Leopold ground is continuously covered to called for an ethical relationship The Brick family accepted the award at the WFBF help the soil and its nutrients stay between people and the land they Annual Meeting. on the field rather than the local own and manage, which he called waterways. “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.” Dan has played a significant role in promoting conservation The award was presented on December 3 at the WFBF practices in his area. Acknowledging the impact agriculture Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells. The Brick family was has had on Green Bay, he is committed to helping promote presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and $10,000. practices that minimize impacts on the bay. He enjoys sharing The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made his experiences with fellow farmers in the area, as well as those possible through the generous support of the Wisconsin who are not familiar with agriculture. Dan has taken advantage Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, of many media opportunities through his participation on Fox Compeer Financial, Wisconsin Soybean Council, American Demo Farms to share lessons he has learned in transitioning to Transmission Company, WE Energies, USDA NRCS and a more conservation-focused farm. Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association. “Many farmers are taking a lead role in promoting Visit DECEMBER | JANUARY 2017-2018


Outstanding Collegiate and Lynn Dickman Receives Excellence in Agriculture Award Dickman is the research agronomist at Heartland Farms, Inc., an 8,000-acre potato farm in Hancock in central Wisconsin. Dickman grew up on a 77-cow dairy farm in Argyle and was active in 4-H and FFA. She earned a bachelor's degree in dairy science and a master's degree in horticulture from UW-Madison. She is the District 5 representative on WFBF's Promotion and Education Committee and the Waushara County Farm Bureau YFA chair. She is graduate of WFBF Leadership Institute Class VIII. Outside of Farm Bureau, she is president of the TriCounty FFA Alumni, a member of the Stevens Point Curling Club and City Band and a Meals on Wheels board member in Stevens Point. Dickman will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, Rural Mutual Insurance Company provides a free financial plan and GROWMARK, Inc., invites the winner to be a guest at their annual meeting in August and provides a $250 FAST STOP gift card.


ynn Dickman was selected the winner of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Excellence in Agriculture Award at the organization’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 3.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award is given to a Farm Bureau member between the ages of 18 and 35 who is actively engaged in agriculture, but derives the majority of their income from an off-farm agricultural career. The winner is selected based on their knowledge of agriculture, leadership in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations.

Chad and Katrina Gleason Earn Achievement Award The Gleasons are fourth generation farmers located north of Shullsburg. They have three children: Cassidy, Gage and Kinsey. On their farm they specialize in dairy beef, where they raise bottle fed calves to finished steers. The family raises about 400 calves per year from local dairy farms and grows their own feed on 80 acres of owned and 60 acres of rented land. Chad enjoys farm-related activities and spending time with others who share his passion for agriculture. Katrina home schools their children and does the books for the farm. She enjoys spending time with the family’s horses, cooking and spending time with family and friends. The Gleasons will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, Rural Mutual Insurance Company provides a free financial plan and FABICK Cat, Inc. provides 40 hours use of a FABICK skid-steer loader. They will also be invited to the GROWMARK, Inc., annual meeting in August.


afayette County farmers, Chad and Katrina Gleason, were selected as the winners of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Achievement Award at the organization’s 98th Annual Meeting on December 3.


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Farm Bureau’s Achievement Award is a contest that awards farmers between the ages of 18 and 35, who have excelled in their farming career, understand current issues affecting agriculture and have shown leadership and involvement in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations.


YFA Members Recognized Jamie Propson Tops YFA Discussion Meet


amie Propson of Manitowoc County was selected as the winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet at the organization’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 3. The Discussion Meet is a panel discussion in which Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 are judged on their ability to express their ideas and opinions and reach a solution on issues affecting agriculture. Propson is an agriscience teacher at Mishicot High School. She is a strong agricultural advocate who enjoys sharing the passion of Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry through the classroom and FFA Chapter. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UW-River Falls before returning to northeastern Wisconsin. Jamie and her husband, David, have a two-year-old son, Reed and a small hobby farm. Propson is a former Brown County YFA chair, graduate of the WFBF Leadership Institute and former learning and leading chair. Propson will represent Wisconsin at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in January. Other state finalists in the Discussion Meet were: Jenny Leahy from Fond du Lac County, Julie Sweney of Dodge County and Kelly Wilfert of Manitowoc County.

Alison Wedig Wins Collegiate Discussion Meet


lison Wedig was selected as the winner of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Collegiate Discussion Meet at the organization’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 3. Wedig is a senior at UW-Madison where she is majoring in life sciences communications. She grew up in Darlington and got involved in agriculture through her dad’s landscaping business and FFA. Alison is passionate about helping consumers understand where their food comes from and looks forward to being an active member of Lafayette County Farm Bureau. The Collegiate Discussion Meet is a panel discussion in which collegiate members are judged on their ability to lead a committee discussion on current issues affecting agriculture and to develop consensus on an action plan to effectively address issues. Wedig receives a $1,500 scholarship courtesy of GROWMARK, Inc., and will represent Wisconsin in the national Collegiate Discussion Meet held in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference in Reno, Nevada, in February. Runners-up included Kati Kindschuh from UW-River Falls and Brenna Bays from UW-Platteville who each

received a $500 scholarship courtesy of Waukesha County Farm Bureau. Other finalists included Connor Willems from UW-Madison, Ashley Bergsbaken from UW-River Falls and Heidi Smith from UW-Platteville.




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Highlights from Farm Bureau

Family Rooted in


and 19


Offers vary by model. Rebate and finance offers valid on select 2014-2018 new and unregistered models purchased between 11/1/17- 12/31/17. See your authorized dealer for complete details. Rates as low as 2.99% APR for 36 months. Examples of monthly payments required over a 36-month term at a 2.99% APR rate: $29.08 per $1,000 financed; and at an 6.99% APR rate: $30.87 per $1,000 financed. An example of a monthly payment with $0 down, no rebate, an APR of 2.99% APR for 36 months at a MSRP of $9,999.00 is $290.74; total cost of borrowing of $467.60 with a total obligation of $10,466.60. Down payment may be required. Other financing offers may be available. See your local dealer for details. Minimum Amount Financed $1,500; Maximum Amount Financed $50,000. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply. Financing promotions void where prohibited. Tax, title, license, and registration are separate and may not be financed. Promotion may be modified or discontinued without notice at any time in Polaris’ sole discretion.

It takes a lifetime to build a farm. But just a few short weeks or months after you’re gone the whole thing could be gone. Which is why planning for your succession calls for a legal partner that understands farming, and farmers. Contact Ruder Ware and talk with one of our experienced ag attorneys. They understand that your farm is not just a business, it’s the accomplishment of a lifetime.


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wausau | eau claire visit our blogs at


Family Grows in 2017 Wisconsin Farm Bureau


arm Bureau membership is comprised of voting and associate members. Voting members are farmers, people with direct involvement in production agriculture and owners of agricultural property. Associate members are individuals and businesses who join Farm Bureau to utilize services and benefits and to support the work of the organization. This year marked WFBF’s 10th consecutive year “Membership is a high priority for Farm Bureau,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm of membership growth. Bureau’s executive director of member relations. “Without membership growth, no Farm Bureau program can be successful in the long term. This year our volunteer recruitment efforts were outstanding, with more than 260 Farm Bayfield Bureau volunteers combining to sign nearly 900 new members into the organization. Superior Shores Those membership efforts, combined with the (Douglas, Bayfield, Iron, Ashland) Douglas outstanding work of our Rural Mutual Insurance Iron agents across the state, helped make Farm Bureau Ashland a stronger organization in 2017.” WFBF finished the year with 24,024 voting Sawyer members and 22,598 associate members. Thirty-nine of the 61 county Farm Bureaus Price reported a membership gain, Polk Rusk Lincoln led by Dane, Marathon and Barron Marinette Dodge counties. ThirtyLanglade Taylor four county Farm Bureaus Chippewa St. Croix Dunn reported an increase in Oconto Marathon voting members. The largest Door increases came in Dodge, Eau Claire Pierce Clark Shawano Taylor and Dunn counties.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation wrapped up the 2017 membership year on September 30 with total membership of 46,622 members, a gain of 473 over the previous year.











Adams La Crosse


Both Voting and Total Gain Voting Gain Only Total Gain Only



Winnebago Marquette Green Lake


Fond du Lac


Vernon Crawford




Washington Dodge Ozaukee

No Gains Iowa






Farm Bureau

Family Rooted in





Racine Kenosha

Membership Workers Join


Farm Bureau

Proud Club



"Doing membership work gives me the chance to meet so many new people and share with them the benefits of Farm Bureau. I also get the opportunity to learn things from other farmers." – Trayton Greenfield, Fond du Lac County

volunteers were responsible for bringing nearly 900 new members into the organization this year.” Once again, Fond du Lac County membership chair Trayton Greenfield led the way among all volunteers with 50 new members signed. Other top membership workers included Randy Wokatsch (29 new members), Arch Morton Jr. (15), Mike Duerst (13), Kay Olson-Martz (12), Jim Meng (12), Jillian Beaty (11), Joe Bragger (10) and Scott Breitrick, Mike Harms, Todd Servais and Mark Zimmermann each with nine.

ith the close of the Farm Bureau membership year on September 30, WFBF reported its 10th consecutive year of membership growth. As with most programs and activities in Farm Bureau, a successful membership recruitment and retention program is dependent on volunteers who are committed to helping the organization meet its goals. Driving this year’s success was a dedicated group of volunteer membership workers who invited their friends and neighbors to join the organization in 2017. For more than 30 years, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

has honored a select group of volunteer membership workers who sign at least five new Farm Bureau members during the membership year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. Known as the Farm Bureau Proud Club, this group grew to 84 membership workers from 37 counties in 2017. “It’s great to see the commitment of our membership workers year after year,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s executive director of member relations. “This group takes a lot of pride in bringing new faces into our organization and helping to build Farm Bureau’s influence. Our membership







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Fond du Lac County Member Helps

Farm Bureau Family D

uring the last 45 years, Farm Bureau membership has grown by 2,200 members thanks to one Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau member—Trayton Greenfield. He has already signed five new members for 2018. “Fond du Lac County cannot say enough about Trayton's dedication to getting new and renewal members,” said Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau president Reuben Hopp. “He works hard and spends a lot of time each year to be as successful as he is. As Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau board members, we are very appreciative of his tremendous efforts.” Greenfield credits former Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau membership chair Gertrude Van Kirk with igniting his membership drive that became a life-long mission. “Gertrude served as the Fond du Lac County membership chair for many years and when she was ready to step down she asked me,” said Greenfield. “That was quite a responsibility.” Greenfield says one of his secrets to recruiting Farm Bureau members is the conversation. “I enjoy talking to anybody,” he said with a smile. “I usually bring some Farm Bureau brochures, I talk for a while explaining the benefits of being a Farm Bureau member, answer any questions they have and then leave so that they can think about it.” The other event that Greenfield credits his membership recruitment success to is the Alto 4-H and Farm Bureau Fair, which lasts two days and is held midweek, making it the shortest Fond du Lac County membership chair and smallest Trayton Greenfield reviewed one of the many journals that lists the members he annual summer has signed and other membership notes. fair in Wisconsin. Hundreds of volunteers make it happen. “After my father took me to the first Alto 4-H and Farm Bureau Fair, I’ve never missed attending in 70 years,” said Greenfield proudly. “It’s where I make connections,” added Greenfield who served on the Alto 4-H and Farm Bureau Fair board of directors for many years and can usually be found driving a John Deere gator transporting fairgoers to and from their vehicles. “Everyone is family and if not, I encourage them to join.” Greenfield farmed along the Fond du Lac and Dodge County

Not only is Trayton Greenfield a dedicated membership chair but he has attended most of the AFBF Annual Conventions while a Farm Bureau member and has missed very few WFBF Annual Meetings or Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau annual meetings. (From left) Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau president Reuben Hopp, Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau membership chair Trayton Greenfield and District 5 Coordinator Becky Hibicki attended the 2017 WFBF Annual Meeting.

line west of Waupun since his parents moved to the area when he was six years old. In 1955, he and his wife, Elaine, took over the farm. While raising six children, Greenfield did custom fieldwork for neighbors, and grew 150 acres of cash crops including sweet corn, peas and green beans. The rest was planted to feed the family's herd of Holsteins. Before retiring well into his 70s, Greenfield milked about 50 cows and grew feed and cash crops on 350 acres with help from family and neighbors. District 5 Coordinator Becky Hibicki said Greenfield truly lives and breathes Farm Bureau. “It has been an honor to work with Trayton during the past several years,” said Hibicki. “His dedication and enthusiasm for Farm Bureau membership is unmatched. He always has a smile on his face and I consider him not only a dedicated Farm Bureau member, but also a dear friend.” Greenfield said he enjoys being one of the Farm Bureau family members and “I like people and I like what Farm Bureau does for farmers.”



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County Kernels County Fair Ag Tent - Grant County

Ag in the Classroom Tour - Marquette County

Farm Tour - District 9 YFA

Borzick Family Farms hosted the Ag in the Classroom farm tour for fourth grade students on October 17. More than 120 students from three area elementary schools attended. Students visited a variety of educational stations around the farm and learned about different aspects of agriculture.

The Grant County YFA hosted an Ag Tent at the Grant County Fair. Kids and adults stopped by to test their Wisconsin knowledge and learn more about agriculture. Fairgoers sampled types of cheese, visited the animals, colored the large farm mural, won prizes donated by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and rode ‘Buster the Bull.’

Legislative Panel - Fond du Lac County

On September 30, District 9 YFA members toured the newly-updated calf barn facilities at Owens Farms in Frederic. Members learned about the Owens' new calf barn ventilation and watched a smoke bomb demonstration by the system designer, Crystal Creek Natural, LLC. Attendees also watched calf feeding with a milk shuttle. In addition to farm tours, YFA members enjoyed a cookout.

In August, the Fond du Lac YFA committee organized a legislative panel in Rosendale. The agricultural panel included: Cassandra Gewiss, a large animal veterinarian and dairy farmers Janet Clark and Chris Pollack. Legislators in attendance included: Senators Duey Stroebel and Dan Feyen, Representatives Keith Ripp and Jesse Kremer and U.S. Congressman Glenn Grothman. Topics discussed included improving rural broadband, labor and trade.

Agriculture Tours - District 3 Promotion and Education On October 28, a group of District 3 members toured Kickapoo Orchard in Crawford County. Attendees learned about the apple industry while enjoying apple cider and a hot lunch. Afterwards, they ventured to Udder Brothers Creamery in Boscobel, where dairy farmer Jason Sparrgrove shared how they opened their retail store featuring local ice cream, cheeses, baked goods, popcorn and more. All six counties in District 3 were represented at the orchard tour. DECEMBER | JANUARY 2017-2018


‘Tis the Season for Trees

By Sarah Marketon


or many people, buying a Christmas tree is a tradition that is anticipated joyfully each year. For the Wolosek family, Christmas trees are more than tradition, they are a lifestyle. Jan Wolosek and his wife, Christine, have been growing Christmas trees for 25 years. Jan relies on Christine’s help to oversee the choose and cut tree lot and day-to-day record keeping. Jan and his brother, Nathan, are involved with multiple enterprises outside of growing trees and Nathan’s son, Lance, is beginning to take on more responsibility associated with the Christmas tree business. Jan was introduced to the Christmas tree business when he began helping a friend who owned a tree farm. Throughout the years, Jan gained knowledge and discovered a passion for growing trees. His friend, and tree growing mentor, eventually retired and asked Jan to be responsible for running the farm. “Growing Christmas trees isn’t something I ever envisioned myself doing, but looking back I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Jan. “I look toward the future with optimism as I anticipate passing the tree farm onto the next generation.” The Woloseks enjoy having a special role in other families’ holiday traditions. “Growing Christmas trees is very rewarding because we are helping create Christmas memories for families,” Jan said. “One family that visited our farm had saved pennies all year long to pay for their Christmas tree. They had two coffee cans full of pennies.” Much like other agricultural sectors, the Christmas tree growing business has changed.

“Years ago, the most popular tree was the Scotch Pine,” said Jan. “Now, it’s shifted to the Fraser Fir. We also are seeing families decorating Christmas trees earlier than in years past. The day after Thanksgiving is always sure to be a busy one.” The Woloseks grow a variety of trees including Balsam Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine and Fraser Fir. The family’s favorite tree is the Fraser Fir because it is long lasting and retains needles. Jan Wolosek Jan noted that while the Balsam Fir looked over one does not hold needles as well as the of the Christmas Fraser Fir, it is a good choice for those trees to inspect looking for a fragrant tree. the quality and Recently, many farmers have condition of the encountered labor shortages. Christmas tree. tree growers are no different. “The biggest challenge we are facing is difficulty finding employees to do the physical work associated with the trees,” Jan added. “It is a very labor-intensive crop.” Having grown up on the family farm, Lance, is no stranger to physical labor. He has been responsible for a retail tree lot in Stevens Point since he was 16 years old. “I do a little bit of everything on the farm,” said Lance. “Once our grain and vegetable crops are off, I assist in harvesting Christmas trees and ultimately selling them at a retail lot.” According to the most recent agricultural census, Wisconsin is fifth in the nation in the number of trees cut and acres (more than 23,000) in production. Cheryl Nicholson, executive secretary of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association, said, “The sale of Christmas trees and wreaths generates more than $16 million for Wisconsin’s economy and thousands of residents are employed in the industry.” Wisconsin has more than 365 licensed Christmas tree farms with more than 600,000 evergreens being harvested.

From left: Lance, Nathan, Christine and Jan Wolosek gathered for a photo next to a colored Christmas tree.


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When it’s Not Tree Season Farming is truly a family business for the Woloseks. When they aren’t focused on connecting families to their Christmas tree, they are growing other crops.


Colored Christmas Trees

Jan and Nathan, are partners at Prairie Star Ranch, Inc., a vegetable farm in Portage County. They grow a variety of crops including potatoes, sweet corn, snap beans, sweet peas, soybeans and field corn. Lance also has daily responsibilities with the farm and offers a unique skillset that complements his dad and uncle. “Lance is a great asset to our farm,” Nathan said. “He does the nutrient management for us and we are doing a better job of utilizing the nutrients we have available to us.” Similar to other agricultural crops, the Woloseks have a crop rotation on their Christmas tree land. After the trees have been harvested from an area of land, the family plants small grains before planting more trees in that specific location. Since it takes seven to eight years for a Christmas tree to be ready to harvest, the crop rotation is on a longer timeline than some other agricultural crops such as corn and soybeans. Nathan and Lance manage the small grains and are working toward no-till in the near future. Raising crops sustainably is important to the Woloseks, especially with the next generation on board. “My goal as a farmer is to leave this place better than when I came here,” said Nathan. All the farm work leaves this family busy no matter the time of the year. They find value in their Farm Bureau membership because the organization is always working on their behalf.

Turns out green is not the only color that shoppers are looking for in a Christmas tree. Over the past couple years, colored Christmas trees have grown in popularity. This year marks the second year the Wolosek family has sold the unique evergreens and they are a huge hit. The trees are painted with a specially formulated, nontoxic colorant and come in blue, purple, pink, white, gold and teal. have time to go to public hearings, so I rely on Farm Bureau to be the voice for my farm and other Wisconsin farmers.” Nathan serves on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Policy Development Committee and finds value in his Farm Bureau membership because the organization provides a platform for him to share his agriculture story. “Farmers are a minority and I often see that we don’t have the voice we need, and Farm Bureau helps give us that voice,” Nathan added. After completing college and moving back home, Lance is excited to get more involved with Farm Bureau and the Young Farmer and Agriculturist program. Like his dad, he sees the importance of farmers having a voice even during the busy seasons on the farm. Nathan Wolosek posed for a photo next to the Seppi Multi Forst implement used to grind up leftover tree stumps in preparation for growing small grains in rotation with the trees.

A Voice for Farmers “My family has been members of Farm Bureau since my dad was alive in the 1960s,” Nathan said. “Policy is the backbone of Farm Bureau and the reason I am active in the organization. As a farmer, I don’t DECEMBER | JANUARY 2017-2018



2017: A Year of Change, 2018: A Year of Work A Message from Jim Holte


don’t know about you, but this year is one that has left a mark on my mind. Much like the flood of 1967, or the drought in 1988, this year will be the year I remember new experiences for the ag community. Managing risk is something our livelihood depends on, but nothing really could have prepared us for what happened earlier this year. In April, dairy farmers faced the possibility of not having a milk processor. It was an emotional and draining time. They had just 30 days to fix a situation that was out of their control. The dairy scene has transformed. You are no longer guaranteed a place to take your milk. Gone are the days where you could just up and leave if you and your processor weren’t seeing eye to eye. Plus, increasing production might not be an option because the lending community needs assurance of a market and your processor may not accept the increased production. We are also seeing production-decisions being directly impacted by food processors and consumers domestically and abroad. This year there has been an uptick in


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trade discussions. Farmers are closely watching international discussions. Our markets depend on our trade negotiations and the changing rhetoric is unnerving. With all the unknown going on with international trade talks, farmers are just left hoping that some certainty comes soon. In 2017, we saw passage of the high capacity well bill that provides certainty to farmers with existing high capacity wells on their farms. The bill specifically addresses replacement, reconstruction and transfer of ownership of existing high capacity well permits. We also saw the fees for the Agrichemical Management Fund and Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program restructured in Governor Walker’s budget. The budget updated the AMF and ACCP to modernize the fee and license structure for pesticides, fertilizers, soil or plant additives and inspections. Most importantly, this restructuring should prevent future raids of the programs’ revenues to fund other programs. In recent years we have seen a change in local government and its interest in agriculture. For this exact reason we created a local affairs program in 2017. It’s a resource for our Farm Bureau family to use when they need it. Our goal is to help you with the issues you are facing on the county and town level. Because not only do we have concerns on the national and state front, we also have local issues that need attention. Even though 2017 is nearly complete, the work is not. There is no doubt that the coming year will also bring challenges, changes and collaboration. As we stick up for our Farm Bureau family on Capitol Hill, we also continue to express our frustration with over regulation. All farmers, and public, state and local officials, should be able to count on a regulatory system that is

fair and transparent. Farm Bureau is working to prevent implementation of the current Waters of the U.S. rule and other excessive expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, reform the Endangered Species Act, preserve farmers’ and ranchers’ land-use and water rights, and reform the federal regulatory process. There’s no doubt the conversations will continue about immigration as well. We need a system in place to ease our farm labor shortages. The next 365 days will hopefully bring a 2018 Farm Bill. It is imperative that we pass a robust 2018 Farm Bill in a timely manner to provide certainty to farmers, as well as consumers, to maintain our plentiful and strong food system. It may bring new risk management tools for dairy farms. The dairy margin protection program has been heavily criticized. As a result, American Farm Bureau is proposing a new concept that would help dairy farmers manage their unique risks. This program, Dairy Revenue Protection, is based on futures markets so farmers can put a floor under their milk price. The program would be run by USDA’s Risk Management Agency and rates would be actuarially sound and based on market signals. Continuous improvement is a phrase used by farmers often. Like all things we do on our farms we will continue to look for ways we can be better stewards of the land and manage nutrients. A new year is a time to reflect on the previous year but also to anticipate and set goals for the coming year. Let’s ring in the new year by rolling up our sleeves and being the drivers of the change we want to see. President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

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


The Greatest Hardships Bring Out the Greatest Resolve in Rural America A Message from Zippy Duvall


he New Year is a time for new beginnings, when we resolve to do better, try harder, and make more of a difference in the lives around us. It’s a chance to renew the commitments we’ve made to help our neighbors and make our communities stronger. This resolve is what led the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union to team up to increase awareness of a heartbreaking crisis in our nation’s rural communities—opioid abuse. According to a new survey we jointly commissioned with the firm Morning Consult, nearly half of rural Americans say they’ve been affected by opioid abuse, and 74 percent of farmers and farm workers echo that sentiment. Too many of us have seen people we know struggle with addiction personally or with the pain of addiction in their families. Our nation is facing an opioid epidemic. Rural Americans cannot ignore this crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. While we may want to think drug addiction is a big city problem, this crisis is hitting rural America especially hard. The CDC reported this fall that the rate of drug overdose deaths is actually higher in rural areas. It’s time to talk about it, and that is what this AFBF – NFU partnership is about.

These tragic stories often begin with folks accidentally developing an addiction to what they believe are safe painkillers. Even without a prescription, opioids have become too easy to come by. According to our Morning Consult survey, three in four farmers say it would be easy for someone in their community to access a large amount of prescription opioids or painkillers without a prescription. Opioid addiction is a disease, not a moral weakness. We must help our neighbors struggling with addiction fight this battle, rather than pointing fingers and placing blame. AFBF and NFU are committed to raising awareness and empowering rural communities to access the resources they need to overcome this crisis. And while opioid abuse is a disease, recovery is possible. It may not be quick or easy, but support of the community will be the key to success. One in three rural adults say there is a great deal of stigma associated with opioid abuse in their local community, and shame only fuels the crisis. It’s our hope the awareness campaign we’re launching with NFU will empower friends and family to have tough, honest conversations—the kind we need to have to bring people out of the shadows and into the treatment they need. We have to start talking with friends, family—anyone we know who may need

help. Folks need to know that they are not alone in this battle. The Apostle John reminded us to love our neighbors, not just with our words but also with our actions. He asked, if anyone “sees a brother in need yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” The opioid epidemic presents a real need to support to our rural communities. We must resolve to fight this disease by bringing the problem out into the open and helping our neighbors find the hope and healing they so desperately need. President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Duvall raises beef cattle, hay and poultry in Greshamville, Georgia.




Excited about Wisconsin Agriculture Guest Column by Sheila Harsdorf


am truly honored to serve as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Agriculture has always been an important part of my life. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to continue to serve Wisconsin’s producers, businesses and rural communities. I grew up on a farm and being a farmer was always my goal, even as a young girl. After earning a degree in animal science and working for a short time after graduation as an ag loan officer, I returned to farm full-time with my dad and brother, Jim. While farming, I served as treasurer of the Pierce County Farm Bureau board of directors, chair of the Pierce County Dairy Promotion Committee, and a member of the Pierce-Pepin Holstein Breeders board of directors. As a young farmer, Farm Bureau provided me valuable experiences to connect with other producers, learn about ag policy and gain communication skills. Serving in the state legislature


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representing northwestern Wisconsin for more than 25 years, I valued my time as a member of numerous committees, including the Joint Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism. First as a State Representative for the 30th Assembly District and most recently as a State Senator for the 10th Senate District, I saw firsthand the critical need for the voice of farmers to be heard through organizations like Farm Bureau. While I was pleased to work on ag issues as a legislator, I am now thrilled to work with the great team at DATCP to serve the industry as Secretary. At DATCP, we will work on policies that grow our agriculture industry and support our farmers and small businesses. The department will also continue to focus extensively on matters of consumer protection. Being accessible and responsive to agricultural stakeholders and consumers will be a top priority. When Governor Walker announced his rural agenda this fall, it was clear that he recognizes and appreciates the value of Wisconsin’s farms and rural communities. I look forward to working with the Governor on these priorities. Investments in broadband access are critical to attracting and keeping businesses in rural areas, providing our youth with expanded learning opportunities and enabling our farmers to better connect online. Implementation of the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit is a win for Wisconsin and a great incentive for future investment in two of Wisconsin’s largest economic sectors. I commend our Governor for his commitment to encouraging rural economic development and developing our rural workforce. Economic development relies on

streamlined regulations. Here at DATCP we have already begun discussions on how to transfer regulatory authority over large farms from the DNR to DATCP. This will allow the state to make the best use of technical expertise and create program efficiencies going forward. Wisconsin agriculture has found great success marketing its products locally and internationally. Some farmers direct market food products locally to consumers and institutions. Others sell their products beyond our nation’s borders. The state exported nearly $2.6 billion in agricultural products to 144 countries during the first three quarters of 2017. This is an increase of 6.7 percent in value compared to the same period last year. Through the Governor’s rural agenda, we will continue to create new markets for Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural products. When I think about the future of Wisconsin agriculture, I am excited about the opportunities it can provide to the beginning farmer. Wisconsin has a strong agricultural heritage with farms that have been in the family for generations. Agriculture makes great contributions every day in Wisconsin as an economic driver. I am confident in the important role that agriculture will play in our state’s future as the industry continues to innovate and evolve. I look forward to meeting and visiting with farm families and agribusinesses as I travel around the state. I am eager to work together to continue to promote and build a strong agriculture industry and rural economy in Wisconsin. Harsdorf is Wisconsin's Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.


Do Right and Feed Everyone Guest Column by Sandy Chalmers


t is an honor to serve you – and the word ‘serve’ is a key one for me. My first priority is to provide Wisconsin farmers and ranchers with top-notch customer service. Farmers are the hardest working people in the country, dealing with all kinds of challenging weather and economic conditions, and your time is valuable. It’s critical that you receive accurate and timely program information, so you can make good decisions about participating in Wisconsin Farm Service Agency programs. It’s also important that your time at the FSA office is productive and that all necessary paperwork is completed so you don’t have to make an extra trip in. The role of a State Executive Director is to implement USDA policies in planning, organizing and administering FSA programs in the state. My background is in agricultural and rural policy, and I have worked at the Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection as Communications and Policy Director, Administrator and most recently as Assistant Deputy Secretary, responsible for the overall management of the agency. I also served Wisconsin FSA as Executive Officer, serving for seven years as the dayto-day manager of the state operations. My family has owned and farmed the same land for seven generations and I am thankful that I can assist in the management of the farm today. I’m also a member of Wisconsin Farm Bureau and I appreciate the important role Farm Bureau plays in providing a grassroots voice on issues that impact farmers, ranchers and rural Americans. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue set out four guiding principles for decision-

making at USDA. I’ll share these principles with you because I will also use them in administering FSA programs to benefit Wisconsin farmers and ranchers. The first principle is to maximize the ability of American agriculture to create jobs, sell foods and fiber and feed and clothe the world. FSA offers a safety net through its farm commodity and disaster programs. We also offer a variety of conservation programs and provide credit to agricultural producers who are unable to obtain traditional financing. In 2016, Wisconsin FSA issued $338 million in commodity loans and program payments and made $387 million in direct and guaranteed loans. Wisconsin FSA’s loan portfolio is the largest in the nation. The second guiding principle is to make customer service a priority. At FSA, our customers are the people who receive FSA services, but the American taxpayer is also our customer. Our customers expect that USDA will conduct the people’s business efficiently, effectively and with the utmost integrity. At Wisconsin FSA, I’m honored to serve alongside some of the most customerfocused employees in the agency. The third principle is to ensure America’s food supply is safe and secure. The broad network FSA has with our partner agencies and stakeholders like Wisconsin Farm Bureau allow us to keep the lines of communication open and be aware of any issues that may be of concern for the state’s producers. The fourth and final principle is to maintain good stewardship of the natural resources that provide us with our miraculous bounty. FSA offers conservation programs that help to

effectively reduce soil erosion, preserve wildlife habitats and preserve and restore wetlands. In addition, we have excellent partnerships with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, county land conservation districts and other conservation groups. Working as a team, Wisconsin currently has more than 230,000 acres under FSA conservation programs. As Secretary Perdue says, our USDA motto is, “Do right and feed everyone.” That is our goal here at the Wisconsin Farm Service Agency, as well. I look forward to meeting you and hearing from you as I travel through the state. I want to make sure we are doing right for all of you, because you’re working hard to feed everyone. Chalmers was recently appointed by USDA Secretary

Sonny Perdue to serve as State Executive Director for the Wisconsin Farm Service Agency.




Marketing Basics for a Bumper Corn Crop Guest Column by AgriVisor’s Joe Camp


arvest 2018 is all but wrapped up and it leaves the U.S. farmer with the bounty of another bumper crop. The USDA’s latest estimate for a 175.4 bushel per acre corn crop makes for a second consecutive record yield achievement. Two big crops in a row give the farmer plenty of corn to market. Marketing that crop becomes more difficult when large supplies weigh on prices like they have this year. Price risk management in the current environment of weak basis, large futures carry and low futures volatility requires a back-to-the-basics marketing approach that involves consideration of the rudimentary storage and


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re-ownership hedges. Grain on storage can be hedged to protect carry – a premium for storage costs built into forward bids and deferred futures contracts. Take advantage of hefty carry by selling futures in a brokerage account or opening hedge-to-arrive contracts with your grain buyer. Compare the futures carry incentive against your own real cost of storage, whether on-farm or at the elevator, and factor in additional costs related to brokerage commissions or HTA fees. Storage hedges also can be employed in an effort to capture basis improvements. Basis generally shows seasonal weakness during harvest when grain flow is at its maximum and tends to strengthen in the spring and summer when farmer selling is slow and possible uncertainties exist about the next crop. Re-ownership hedges have turned popular at a time when low market volatility makes option contract premiums look attractive relative to storage costs. Some farmers are choosing to forego storage costs (and price risk) by selling cash corn and re-owning upside opportunity through the purchase of call options. Buying call options against a sold cash position establishes a price floor and allows participation in a rising futures market. The transfer of cash grain ownership is already complete, so the

strategy does not benefit from potential basis appreciation. The sell-cash/buy-calls strategy can have diminished effectiveness in a market with substantial carry. Getting to know your marketing alternatives, including the storage and re-ownership hedge strategies, is one of AgriVisor’s top tips for successful marketing. Having a trusted advisor to discuss hedging strategies with is another of our top tips. As with any strategy that involves futures and options, storage and re-ownership hedges may not be suitable for everyone. A farmer should contact his or her advisor to discuss if any of these strategies fit his or her marketing program. Rounding out the rest of our five key marketing tips, first we encourage focus on profit through calculation of your break-even levels and secondly, we advocate contract diversification and the practice of making several small sales. Last, time should be made for management of the marketing strategy. Now, time for making a plan may come more readily available as we put another harvest away and head into winter. Camp is the risk management specialist for AgriVisor, one of WFBF’s member benefits.


Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg


t this past fall’s annual meeting of the Portage County Farm Bureau several interesting topics were covered including: farm safety, groundwater contamination, noxious weeds and election of officers. Among the agenda items discussed were resolutions presented to the membership for their consideration and vote, with results to be shared with the WFBF Policy Committee. While all proposed resolutions were of great importance, one particular item of business stopped everyone in their tracks and caused a bit of outrage. It dealt with a proposed state legislative bill introduced that would change the license plate wording from ‘America’s Dairyland’ to the state's motto, ‘Forward.’ Everyone across the country knows Wisconsin as ‘America's Dairyland’. Our state is one of the nation's top dairy producers and leads in cheese production. Apparently, a few bureaucrats and lawmakers in Madison think otherwise. They are prepared to throw away an important piece of our heritage and identity, in the name of economic diversity and image makeover. To them, ‘Forward’ implies resolve, indomitability and progress, an image perhaps linked to

the recently announced Foxconn deal. Is that an image we really need? I for one prefer a living, breathing Holstein to a lifeless computer chip. Will Rogers, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist and political satirist once said, “There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the entire government working for you.” He also quipped, “All I know is what I read in the papers.” If Rogers was still alive, he’d have a field day reading recent state political news where the heads of the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce and lobbyists for manufacturers and commerce were quoted saying it may be time to do away with the slogan ‘America's Dairyland’ on Wisconsin license plates. And a law being drafted by an elected official suggesting redesigning state license plates. I can hear Rogers now, “I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Proponents of the change claim that other slogans like ‘Forward’ might be more appropriate to emphasize the state's dynamic economy. Say what? What’s more lively than the dairy industry that contributes $43.4 billion to our state’s annual economy. Since 1940, the famous ‘Dairyland’ saying on our plates has celebrated an industry that remained the backbone of this state’s economy for more than 100 years. And my editor Amy, said it best, “No other single product drives more of an economic impact in Wisconsin than milk. ‘America’s Dairyland’ has earned it’s right to be the state’s slogan on our license plate.” Indeed, it has. Members of our federation need not worry. Rural folks are by far, heads above the fray of politics. Generations of our kind that live on and by the land know, what’s right is right, and truth will prevail. And undeniably, Will Rogers said it best when he pronounced, “The farmer has to be an optimist, or wouldn’t still be a farmer.” Long live America’s Dairyland! Blomberg is a freelance writer and a member of the Portage County Farm Bureau.



WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference Edition

Andrew DalSanto, Platteville

Leslie Svacina, Deer Park

Ryan Kuster, Potosi

Zenner Family, Medford

Rural Mutual Insurance, Madison

Kaitlyn Riley, Gays Mills

Derek Orth, Fennimore

Stephanie Hammerly, Wisconsin Dells

Jordan Gaal, Oconomowoc

Send us YOUR Photos

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


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Farm Bureau

Photos and recipes courtesy of

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Ingredients

• ¼ c. cocoa powder • ½ c. sugar • ¼ c. water


• small peppermint sticks or candy canes for garnish, optional

• 4 c. whole milk • ½ tsp. peppermint extract • ¼ tsp. salt

1. In a saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar and water. Stir together over low heat until well combined. 2. Pour in milk, peppermint extract and salt.

Stir occasionally until well heated. 3. Pour into mugs, and top with whipped cream and a short peppermint stick.

Fruitcake Bars Ingredients

• ¾ c. salted butter, melted • 1 ½ c. light brown sugar, packed • 2 large eggs • ¾ tsp. vanilla • 2 ¼ c. all-purpose flour • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder • ¼ tsp salt


• pinch nutmeg • 1 tsp. cinnamon • 1 tsp. allspice • ¼ c. dried apricots, coarsely chopped • ¼ c. dried cranberries • 2 T. candied cherries, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Stir melted butter into brown sugar. Pour into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. 3. With an electric mixer, beat in eggs and vanilla. 4. I n a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in dried fruits (batter will be thick). 5. Spread batter into a greased 9" x 13" baking dish. Bake for 18 to 21 minutes or


• 8 oz. cream cheese, softened • 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted • ¾ c. white baking chocolate, melted • 2 T. each dried apricots, dried cranberries, candied cherries and walnuts or pecans, chopped

until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool completely on wire rack. 6. F  or frosting, in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with fruits and nuts. Drizzle with remaining white chocolate. Let the frosting set, then cut into squareor triangle-shaped bars. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies Ingredients

• 1 c. white whole wheat flour • 1 c. all-purpose flour • ¼ c. almond flour (also known as almond meal) • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature • ⅔ c. sugar


1. W hisk together three flours in medium bowl and set aside. 2. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. 3. Mix in almond extract and lemon and orange zests. 4. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture slowly, mixing well after each addition. 5. Place dough on large piece of plastic wrap, form into slightly flattened disk and completely cover with wrap. Refrigerate at

• ½ tsp. almond extract • ½ tsp. each lemon and orange zest, finely grated • ¼ c. each strawberry, blackberry and apricot preserves, jelly or jam

least one hour. 6. Heat oven to 350 F. 7. S  hape dough into 1 to 1-1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Make deep indentation in center of each ball with thumb. 8. F  ill each indentation with at least ¼ tsp. preserves or jam. 9. B  ake for 14 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand one minute on cookie sheet then remove to wire cooling racks.




Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-Platteville Receives Grant A merican Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Program offers mini-grants to Collegiate Farm Bureaus for $500 for a semester to aid in chapter recruitment, leadership development, community service outreach, officer development, purchase of educational materials and registration costs for conferences. The grants are offered to Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters on a competitive basis with priority given to those chapters demonstrating a need for financial support. This year the Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-Platteville received a mini-grant. Their goal for the mini-grant was to prepare collegiate Farm Bureau members to be the future ‘voice’ and advocates for agriculture. "The mini-grant provided by the AFBF and the Young Farmers & Ranchers Program has given our Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter at UW-Platteville a wonderful opportunity,” said Erin Marchant, the chapter’s president. “We were able to utilize the funds awarded to send 25 active collegiate members to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation's Young Farmer and Agriculturalist Conference.” Due to limited funds the collegiate Farm Bureau normally

only sent eight students to the conference. With the help of the grant, this year they sent 25 members. “We greatly appreciate the support of AFBF,” said Andy Cartmill, the chapter’s advisor. “The YFA Conference is an excellent opportunity for UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau students to learn about current issues in agriculture and how Farm Bureau is involved in the conversation. The mini-grant meant that more students were able to attend the conference, which is a great learning and networking opportunity for them.” Participation at the conference provided members with the opportunity to see Farm Bureau in action as a supporter and advocate of agriculture, network and learn from experts within their fields about current and future issues facing agriculture and interact and network with members from across the state, including the two other collegiate Farm Bureaus. The students enjoyed it and learned a lot, and are looking at ways to bring what they learned at the conference to campus,” said Cartmill. “They are already looking forward to next year’s conference.”

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Collegiate Farm Bureau members who attended the YFA Conference from UW-Platteville cheered on fellow students, Brenna Bays and Heidi Smith, in the Collegiate Discussion Meet.

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Members Chosen for State Committees

Promotion and Education Committee


eorge Mroch of Walworth County, Darby Sampson of Jackson County and Kay Gilbertson of Dunn County have been re-appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee by the Farm Bureau’s state Board of Mroch Sampson Directors. George Mroch is a retired electronics technician from Burlington. Married for 49 years to Connie, they have one son, one daughter and six grandchildren. He is a director on the Walworth County Farm Bureau board and Ag in the Classroom coordinator. He also serves as a director on the Walworth County Fair board. Darby Sampson and her husband, Clint, maintain a 200head beef cow/calf herd near Melrose. In partnership with Clint’s parents they also grow 3,500 acres of corn, soybeans and hay. She is the Jackson County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education committee chair and county Ag in the Classroom coordinator. She enjoys helping with livestock shows at the county fair and is the Open Class Beef Superintendent at the Wisconsin State Fair. She and her husband have two boys.

Kay Gilbertson lives in Elk Mound with her husband Kevin and their three children, Brandon, Bailey and Kaleb. As a family, they are active in FFA, 4-H, church and school activities. Along with Farm Bureau they are members of Gilbertson the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. The couple manages Gilbertson Farms in partnership with Kevin’s family. They milk 475 cows and farm 1,900 acres. Kay is the general leader of Elk Meadow 4-H Club, Sunday School superintendent at her church and the Dunn County Ag in the Classroom coordinator. The Promotion and Education Committee members develop, implement and promote projects and programs that build awareness and understanding of agriculture and provide leadership development for the agricultural community. The committee’s chair, Andrea Brossard of Burnett, sits on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board of Directors as the program’s representative. The Promotion and Education Program is funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.

Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee


ally Turpin of Juneau County, John and Megan Lyons of Kewaunee County and Rosli Bragger of Buffalo County have been appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Turpin Lyons by the Farm Bureau’s state Board of Directors. Sally Turpin is a UW–River Falls graduate working as a dairy consultant at Star Blends. She has served as the Juneau County YFA chair since 2014 and is a Class VI WFBF Leadership Institute graduate. In her free time, Turpin enjoys helping on her home farm, previously a dairy now raising beef cowcalf pairs. John and Megan Lyons manage the daily operations of John’s family farm. John is a fourth-generation farmer who is transitioning into an ownership role on his family’s century farm. The couple raises beef cattle, crops and provide custom harvesting services. Megan recently completed her doctorate in clinical psychology and is working to address the mental health

needs of those in northeast Wisconsin. The couple has been married for nine years and enjoy finding ways to create value-added farm products. Rosli Bragger grew up on her family’s Buffalo County farm Bragger and is a certified nursing assistant at Mayo Clinic. Even though her full-time employment is outside of the ag community, she is passionate about incorporating agriculture in her daily life and being an advocate for farmers. In her free time, she works on a nearby farm and assists her sister with her FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience project. The WFBF YFA Committee consists of nine couples or individuals (ages 18-35) from across the state. Its goal is to get more young farmers and agriculturists acquainted with and involved in Farm Bureau. They carry out a variety of statewide initiatives, such as conferences, contests and award programs. The YFA Program is funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.




Mineral Point Teacher Recognized for Ag Literacy Work L

degree in elementary education from ivia Doyle, a fourth-grade teacher at UW-Platteville. She has taught in Mineral Point Elementary School in Iowa County, is this year’s recipient the Mineral Point School District of the Outstanding Teacher Award from since 2010. Doyle taught first-grade the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the for one year and then moved to Classroom program. fourth-grade. Each year the Wisconsin Farm Bureau “Livia has used agricultural resources, grants and opportunities Foundation recognizes a teacher for his to enhance her classroom, school or her efforts in educating students on the garden project and students’ lives in importance of agriculture. Teachers of all so many ways,” Arneson added. “Last grade levels and subject areas, with the year her class made history as they exclusion of certified agriculture education successfully lobbied the Wisconsin instructors, are eligible to apply. From left, Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom legislature to make cheese the official “Livia is everything you could ask Coordinator Darlene Arneson, Livia Doyle and district administrator Luke Francois. Wisconsin dairy product.” for in a teacher and educator,” said Doyle will be Wisconsin’s nominee for the National Darlene Arneson, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award and will receive $500 Classroom Coordinator. “She lives and breathes agriculture to attend the 2018 National Ag in the Classroom Conference in and incorporates it whenever she can in her classroom and in Portland, Maine. everyday life.” For more information about Ag in the Classroom or the Doyle earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education Outstanding Teacher Award, contact Darlene Arneson at from UW-Platteville with a minor in early childhood, inclusion 608.828.5644. (special education) and Spanish. She also earned her master’s












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2018 Resolutions: Don’t Forget About Ag in the Classroom A s the end of the year nears, take time to consider these Ag in the Classroom resolutions and goals. You will find the information for these various items on the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom website at

1. Volunteer to help with one county Ag in the Classroom a Wisconsin Ag in the activity. Whether it’s a classroom visit, or a farm tour, many Classroom Matching counties are searching for volunteers to help them deliver Grant. These are materials or help with activities. Contact your county Ag in the due March 1. Classroom coordinator to learn how you can help. 9. Encourage at least 2. Encourage at least one teacher in your area to have students two teachers to attend enter the essay contest. Our member volunteers who live in the Summer Ag in the a school district are our best advocates for the program. One Classroom Bus Tour. of our biggest challenges is having a local connection with Maybe you could take the school. it a step further and 3. March 20 is National Ag Day. Mark it on the calendar sponsor them as a farm, individual and commit to doing an agricultural education activity that or county Farm Bureau. Sponsorship week. Read to a classroom, library program, or other group would make a good thank you gift at for National Ag Day or find other ideas on the Ag in the the end of the school year. Classroom website. 10. Offer to talk about your career 4. Encourage at least five youth (younger than 12 years old) to to a local high school agricultural participate in the Ag Day coloring contest. They will be asked to department, event that school draw and color what they think farm machines will look like in counselors organize or help organize 2050. All contest information is on the website. a career event for your school 5. Something as simple as sharing social media posts can be district. We need young people and a resolution for 2018. Nearly everyday items are posted on the transitioning workers to consider Ag in the Classroom Facebook page to highlight new resources, agriculture. Will you help in this initiative? activities, success stories and applications that are available. All Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program new items are found under 'What’s New' on the website. Share provides teachers and students with an understanding of how this information with your friends to help spread the word their food is produced. The program seeks to work within about Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program. existing curricula to provide basic information on our nation’s 6. Visit the ‘big three’ websites at least monthly to see largest industry: agriculture. what’s new! These are great resources for agricultural education tools. The ‘big three’ are: Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom (wisagclassroom. org), National Ag in the Classroom ( and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture ( 7. Purchase one copy of the Ag in the Classroom’s Book of the Year and donate it to a local library, day care or school. These agricultural books also make Since 1958 great gifts. 8. Encourage a teacher, group who . . . Suburban Commercial Agricultural Horse Barns & Arenas does agricultural literacy activities or Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 . your county Farm Bureau to apply for

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Members Step Up to the Leader Challenge Fundraiser Targets YFA D.C. Trip


the future leaders of our organizations. They very two years, the know the positive impact the Young Farmer Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation provides and Agriculturist Washington, D.C., trip has. It approximately $40,000 to confirms for YFA members that Farm Bureau send about 30 young farmers gives them a voice in influencing decisions which and agriculturists on a directly impact their farms and agribusinesses. five-day trip to our nation’s The trio was convinced WFBF members, county Farm Bureau Leaders and past capital for an educational Washington, D.C., trip participants understand learning experience. This the value of this trip and would be willing to trip introduces them to the donate to this program. They put $10,000 on the important role our federal table to match any donation of $100 or more. government has in establishing To set the tone for this fundraiser, and to signify agriculture policy through the importance of this effort, the fundraiser was legislative and regulatory From left, WFBF President Jim Holte thanked titled the ‘Leader Challenge.’ processes. To date, approximately $32,000 has been raised WFBF President Jim Holte, Arch Morton Jr. and Adam Kuczer for their donation to the Leader Challenge during the of the $40,000 goal. Rural Mutual Insurance recent WFBF Annual Meeting. If interested, you can still donate by visiting Company Chief Executive Officer Peter Pelizza and WFBF Chief Administrative Officer Dale Beaty know our young farmers and agriculturists are

Photos from the June, 2016 YFA D.C. Trip


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Thank you to these contributors for their generous support: Platinum - $1,000 or more

Dane County Farm Bureau, Adam and Becky Kuczer, Arch Morton Jr.

Silver - $500 – $749 Todd and Amy Argall, Peter and Lori Badtke, Perry Goetsch, David Kruschke

Bronze - $250 – $499 Richard Althaus, Brian and Kristi Fiedler, Mike and Pam Garvey, Derek Husmoen, Peter Kappelman, Bob and Lisa Leege, Marathon County Farm Bureau, David Olson, Chris and

Kelly Pollack, Donald and Jilayne Radtke, Patrick and Sarah Schaffer, Lloyd and Cheryl Williams

Contributor - $1 – $249 Adams County Farm Bureau, Aaron and Nicole Barlass, David Bartholomew, Tom and Jill Bennwitz, Dean Bergseng, Chris and Amy Blakeney, Blue Star Dairy Farms, Steve Boe, Ken and Cheryl Borzick, Joe and Noel Bragger, Jacob and Lauren Brey, Alex Bringe, Nathan and Michelle Bula, Josh and Ashleigh Calaway, Carl Casper, Neil and Noreen Christianson, Clark County Farm Bureau, Travis and Janet Clark, Paul and Jill Dalebroux, Laura Daniels, Dave and Kim Daniels, Dodge County Farm Bureau, Jon and Amy Eckelberg, Stephanie Egner, Dennis and Sheila Everhart, Chris Fuchs, Jeff and Mary Fuller, Randy and Rosalie Geiger, Shane and Melinda Goplin, Alissa Grenawalt, Rebecca Hasburgh, Richard and Mary Hauser, Becky Hibicki, Roger and Fay Hildebrandt, Thomas and Janice Houdek, Randy and Sonya Huebner, Jackson County Farm Bureau, Keith and Beth Jacobson, Ben Jahnke, Thomas and Rose Jelinek, James and Joanne Juedes, Richard Julka, Stan Kaczmarek, Wendy Kannel, Kenosha County Farm Bureau, Peter Kimball, Louis and Carol Korth, Matt and Debra Krenz, Corey and Jennifer Kuchta, Randy and Carla Kuehl, Bob and Heidi Larson, Richard and Ronda Lehman, Lincoln County Farm Bureau, Joseph and Rosie Lisowe, William Litzer, Brian and Sara Maliszewski, Dustin and Teresa Marker, Andrea Brossard and Mason Rens, Marquette County Farm Bureau, Katie Mattison, Rich and Darci Meili, Adam and Kendall

Melichar, Dan and Julie Merk, Dan and Becky Meyer, Bill and Rita Mueller, Kevin and Kim Muhlenbeck, George and Kathy Muth, Scott and Carol Ninnemann, Nicole Nohl, Pat and Jean O'Brien, Derek and Charisse Orth, Outagamie County Farm Bureau, Derrick Papcke, Pierce County Farm Bureau, Polk County Farm Bureau, Crystal Pollack, Dennis and Kristie Popp, Jeffrey and Sheri Prellwitz, Marv and Mary Prestrud, Price County Farm Bureau, Todd Quarne, Wesley Raddatz, Dan and Deb Raemisch, Megan Rebout, Rob and Carrie Richard, Jennifer Riederer, Daniel and Heather Ripplinger, Rick and Melissa Roden, Patti Roden, Kennth and Sue Rosenow, Roger and Debbie Ross, Clint and Darby Sampson, Matt and Beth Schaefer, Bob and Karyn Schauf, Brad and Diane Schulte, Mark Schuster, John Scott, Richard and Jean Sheahan, Jessie Singerhouse, Sam and Julie Skemp, Jeff and Kathleen Sommers, Terrance and Toni Sorenson, Allen and Annegret Stolz, Superior Shores County Farm Bureau, Scott and Leslie Svacina, Alan Tauchen, Steven and Debi Towns, Trempealeau County Farm Bureau, Sally Turpin, Robert Walejko, Garrel and Linda Walejko, Waushara County Farm Bureau, Waupaca County Farm Bureau, Brad Weber, Kevin Whalen, David and Theresa Wilke, Peter and Christina Winch, Randel and Kerry Wokatsch, Joe and Christy Wollinger, James and Melissa Yates, Paul and Kelly Zimmerman  

Thank You to the Following WFB Foundation Donors:

(Donations were made between September 28 and December 8, 2017

•• Pearl Mary Goetsch •• Richard Gorder •• Dane County Farm Bureau •• Dunn County Farm Bureau

•• Superior Shores Farm Bureau •• Sally Schoenike in memory of Joan Johnson •• Dave Daniels in memory of Les Halladay •• Dave Daniels in memory of Les Gundrum

•• Dan Poulson in memory of Randy Craig •• Dave Daniels in memory of Randy Craig




Silent Auction Supports Foundation The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Silent Auction has long-standing support from our members and partners and this year was no different. Thank you to each person, county, group or business who donated items, brought them to the Annual Meeting, purchased items and continued to bid throughout the event. With your help, 299 items were donated and more than $16,000 were raised to continue supporting our education and leadership development programs. We’re Farm Bureau Proud to have supporters like these!


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Members Fund the Foundation

Trivia Contest

A trivia contest was held Saturday night during the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference. Twenty-three teams raised more than $1,260 for the WFB Foundation.

50/50 Raffle

This year the YFA Committee held two 50/50 raffles. Mike Turner (left pictured with Brian Preder) was the winner Saturday morning and Ken Harter (right pictured with Derek Husmoen) was the winner Sunday morning. A total of $2,622 was raised for the WFB Foundation from the raffles.

The Jeffersonians were the winning trivia team(from left) Chris Jones, Steve Jones, Dawn Jones, Jeff Graff, Eugene Mess and Mary Mess.

Cornhole Tournament

A cornhole tournament was held Friday night of the YFA Conference. Eighteen teams participated, raising $340 for the WFB Foundation. The first place team was from Dunn County and the second place team was from Marathon County.

Second place team (from left) James Juedes and Randy Wokatsch from Marathon County; first place team: Ashley and Jean Burger from Dunn County. DECEMBER | JANUARY 2017-2018



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Workers’ Compensation: Making the Complicated … Easy D o you know that last year alone, Rural Mutual Insurance Company received more than 1,600 workers’ compensation claims? In an effort to not only decrease the number of claims but to ensure fast, quick treatment, we implemented the 24/7 Rural Mutual Nurse Hotline. Administered by Medcor, the Rural Mutual Nurse Hotline is a call center that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help injured employees get the right care at the right time. As of October 16, the program is available to our workers’ compensation policyholders, who should have received a 'Policyholder Work Injury Guide' that contains information and tools to help implement the new system in their workplace. How does the Rural Mutual Nurse Hotline work? Once an incident occurs, a manager or employee should call the toll-free hotline number to reach a registered nurse. The nurse will provide medical advice to either self-treat or seek medical attention depending on the severity of the situation. Ideally, this program works best when an injured employee calls the Nurse Hotline immediately after reporting to the employer,

even before medical treatment is sought. Calling the Nurse Hotline also takes away the need for the employer to report claims to Rural Mutual. If a claim is filed, our system will be updated based on the information you provided to the nurse during the call. A confirmation number will be provided for the employer’s records. During the past several years, we have found that for every 10 calls made to the nurse hotline, four incidents did not result in medical treatment. Thus, the policy holder doesn’t have go through a claims process or experience any changes in their premium. With a decrease in worker’s compensation claims, a 24-hour reporting process and less hassle for our policyholders, we are making the complicated, easy. Contact a local Rural Mutual agent to learn more about how the Rural Mutual Nurse Hotline can help your business be prepared and protected when an employee is injured on the job. If it’s 'more than a Band-Aid® and less than a 911 call' we ask that you call the Rural Mutual Nurse Hotline at 844.334.6477.

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Rural Mutual Partners with Insight FS


ural Mutual Insurance Company, the #1 farm insurer in the state of Wisconsin, is excited to announce its new partnership with Insight FS, a division of GROWMARK, Inc. Insight FS is a leading cooperative providing agri-finance, agronomy, energy, feed, grain marketing and turf products to its patrons in Wisconsin. This partnership allows Rural Mutual’s farm policy holders access to the Insight FS Rewards program. With the Insight FS Rewards program, patrons are rewarded for purchasing products and services needed for their farming operation. Rewards can be increased through the purchase of an

eligble Rural Mutual policy. Reward payments are based on total interest paid on FS Agri-Finance Loans. Full program details can be found at “At Rural Mutual, we’re always trying to do what’s in the best interest of our policy holders. We felt that this new partnership would allow our policy holders an opportunity to save money, while still taking care of their insurance needs,” said Todd Argall, vice president of customer acquisition and services. Rural Mutual and Insight FS prioritize rewarding customers for their loyalty. In addition to the Insight FS Rewards program, earlier in the year Rural Mutual introduced the only Farm Dividend program in the state. Both programs are designed to give back to our faithful customers and policy holders. This is another way that Rural Mutual is helping keep Wisconsin Strong. Our Rural Mutual agents and Insight FS agri-finance specialists are ready to discuss your crop insurance needs and how you can be rewarded for your loyalty. Contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent today or visit, for more information.

Fall Sportsmanship Award Winners F or every sport, there is a champion at the WIAA State Tournament. They bring home a trophy and hang a banner in their gym for the whole community to see. At the end of the day, there is something more important than just winning and losing. The team and fans who support their athletes with dignity and class are champions who deserve recognition in their community in the same light as the state champions. Rural Mutual Insurance Company has been the proud sponsor of the WIAA/Rural Mutual Sportsmanship Award since it began in 1965. This prestigious honor is truly a community award, one that grows in stature and importance. All schools are eligible for the award, regardless of the number of games played. Judging is done by game officials, scoring personnel, WIAA tournament management, security personnel, parking personnel, hotel personnel and regional and sectional tournament managers. The award winners are determined by the conduct and sportsmanship displayed by athletes, coaches, cheer and support groups, mascots, band members and spectators.


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Taking part in a WIAA State Tournament is a unique and memorable experience. When fans and athletes emphasize good sportsmanship, the event is more rewarding for everyone who participates. With the 2017 fall sports season complete, we want to congratulate the teams that competed in the WIAA State Tournaments and the Fall Sportsmanship Award Winners. Good luck to participants in winter sports. Let’s see if your team can be the next winner of the Rural Mutual/WIAA Sportsmanship Award.



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Rural Route December-January 2018  
Rural Route December-January 2018