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december | january 2013-14 • vol. 19 no. 6 |

Annual Meeting: Leading Growers. Growing Leaders.

ANnual Meeting Highlights, News and Pictures Pages 5-15

Leading Gr o

w Gro s. wer

Cates Receive Leopold Award Hedrich’s Award Winning Dairy Goat Farm Delegates Set 2014 Legislative Policy

in g

Lea d e r s.

“WHY DO I USE FS?” “My dad started off with a farm and a tandem axle grain truck that he used to haul a little bit for hire. And over the years… well, one thing kind of led to another. Today, my son Corey runs the trucking business – and my son Ty, he runs the farming business. Why do we use FS? Service and dependability. We’ve been working with FS on the farm for over 40 years, for everything from seed to fuel to fertilizer. And as for the trucking business, since we deliver just-in-time freight, we have to be able to depend on our suppliers. So it’s nice to know that with FS, we can count on the fact that our fuel barrel is always full. That service and dependability is why we stick with FS”


Ty, Ron and Corey Neumann

Farm and trucking operators

©2011 GROWMARK, Inc. A11539E








Scrapbook Take a look at who our photographers spotted at this year’s Annual Meeting and YFA Conference.


Leopold Iowa County farmers, Dick and Kim Cates, chosen for prestigious conservation award.


Elections select Holte, Adrian and Clark for leadership postitions.


POLICY Delegates voted on Farm Bureau’s legislative policies for 2014.



26 departments 5





member benefits






ag in the classroom



Reese, Pollack, Giebel and the Leis’ found their way to the winner’s circle.

LACLARE DAIRY Dairy goat farming family opens up a first-of-its-kind business in Fond du Lac County.


vol. 19 no. 6


CAPITOL WATCH Read the updates on farm bill, locks and dams, raw milk and high capacity well legislation.

COVER photo by Sheri Sutton

Attend Ag Day at the Capitol - January 29 December | January 2013-14



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Editor’s Note


don’t have many nicknames, but at least one weekend each year I am regularly called ‘Oz’ by more than a few Farm Bureau members. That’s because I do the announcing at the WFBF Annual Meeting from backstage. So I am literally the voice that comes from behind the curtain. I’ll admit it, my mind wanders when I’m not reading our script into a microphone. Since people are already calling me Oz, I’ve taken it a step further and have imagined opening our Sunday Awards Banquet with a short Wizard of Oz themed skit. I’ve already picked out which of my colleagues would make a great Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Dorothy. I suppose we could have the Wicked Witch of the West too, but I won’t go there. I’ve also checked with the Kalahari Resort, and they don’t allow smoke machines. So there’s only so much I could do with the whole Oz thing. We’ve had a bumper crop of babies born to staff members over the past couple years, but

{from Casey Langan} I’m not sure any of them would pass as the Lollipop Kids. Perhaps when it’s time to give their annual address the WFBF President could be lowered onto the stage by a pack of flying monkeys? But I digress… In all seriousness, “The Wizard of Oz” does share something in common with our Annual Meeting and this magazine. Dorothy’s trio of travel companions were on a quest for a brain, heart and courage. If you think about it, the smarts, heart and bravery of Farm Bureau members are recognized on the Annual Meeting stage and in these pages. Read the stories on Yvonne Shepherd, Dennis Frame, Dick and Kim Cates, and Larry and Clara Hedrich. I think you’ll agree that each of them have been guided by equal parts, brains, heart and courage. On a professional level, the Annual Meeting is the highlight of my year as a Farm Bureau employee. It’s inspiring to see more than 1,000 passionate members come together under one roof to learn, discuss, network and celebrate together. It makes perfect sense that it takes place during the month of December, when families across the world gather. On a personal note, this issue of Rural Route is set to be mailed just two days after Christmas. Rather than Kansas or Oz, I only wish to be home during the waning days of 2013. After all, Dorothy said there’s no place like it. Happy New Year, Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Assistant Editor/Designer Sheri Sutton 262.949.2418

Contributor Amy Manske 608.828.5706

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

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

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


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

news counties) on the WFBF Board of Directors. 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 the Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Rounding out the WFBF Board are the chairs of WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee and WFBF Women’s Committee, both of which serve a one-year term on the board. Wayne Staidl of Peshtigo in Marinette County was reelected to a three-year term on the board representing District 7 (Langlade, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano and Waupaca counties). Don Radtke of Merrill in Lincoln County was reelected to a three-year term representing District 8 (Clark, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Price, Taylor and Wood counties). Nicole Adrian of Platteville in Grant County was elected to a one-year term as the Women’s Committee Chair. She succeeds Jane Mueller of Fall Creek in Eau Claire County. Tim Clark of Beaver Dam was elected to a one-year term as chair of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. Nicole Adrian This member of the Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau is a sixth-generation farmer who also works as a forage product manager for Dairyland Seed. He succeeds Teresa Hanson of Shell Lake in Washburn County. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board Directors who were not up for Tim Clark reelection were Dave Daniels of Union Grove in Kenosha County, Jerry Bradley of Sun Prairie in Dane County, Joe Bragger of Independence in Buffalo County, Kevin Krentz of Berlin in Waushara County and Rosie Lisowe of Chilton in Calumet County.

Jim Holte Reelected WFBF President Adrian named Women’s Chair, Clark selected to lead YFA


im Holte has been reelected for a second one-year term as the 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 of land 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 includes Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer and St. Croix counties and the Superior Shores Farm Bureau. In addition to being reelected president, he was reelected to another three-year term on the WFBF and RMIC Boards. Holte previously served as WFBF’s representative to the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) Board. He formerly chaired the Wisconsin Livestock Siting Review Board. He is a graduate of the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program (WRLP) and currently serves as a board member for Leadership Wisconsin (formerly WRLP). Locally, Holte serves on the Elk Mound School Board and on several committees at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He is also a former board member for GROWMARK, Inc. and the citizen board for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. He is the past president of the Wisconsin Beef Council. A 1975 graduate of UW-River Falls, Jim and his wife, Gayle, have two children and three grandchildren. Richard Gorder, a dairy farmer from Mineral Point in Iowa County, was reelected as vice president. He represents District 3 (Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland and Vernon December | January 2013-14



Wisconsin Farm Bureau Delegates Set 2014 Policy

Delegates at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells established new policy directives for the organization on Monday, December 9.


arm Bureau delegates adopted the policies that will guide the legislative agenda for the state’s largest general farm organization over the next year. Resolutions were submitted by farmers from across the state through Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process. Delegates voted down a resolution that would have reversed the organization’s policy on sales of raw milk. A resolution to support a dairy farmer’s right to offer sales of raw milk directly to consumers (if state regulated) failed to receive a majority vote by the delegate body of farmers from Wisconsin’s 61 county Farm Bureaus. As a pair of state lawmakers prepare legislation to update Wisconsin’s rules and definitions related to implements of husbandry (farm machinery), Farm Bureau members approved a variety of transportation-related resolutions: • Support being able to transport farm machinery down roads without permits up to 22 feet in width, and if the implement is over 22 feet in width, an escort vehicle with flashing lights is needed. • Support repealing the law that allows vehicles to pass implements of husbandry with slow moving vehicle signs on a yellow line. • Support requiring a non-probationary driver’s license to operate any agricultural equipment. • Support increasing road weight limits for implements


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of husbandry to 23,000 pounds for axle weights and 92,000 pounds for gross vehicle weight. They also supported category II self-propelled implements of husbandry being exempt from axle weight requirements. • Support all oversized and weight penalties assessed on vehicles on town roads in a township should go back to that township. Other transportation issues that delegates approved were: • Support allowing local government to permit the piping of manure in road right-of-ways. • Support requiring the Department of Natural Resources to maintain local roads adjacent and through DNR owned land. • Support allowing counties to raise the sales tax by an additional 0.5 percent with funds being used for county and township roads. Additionally, the funding should be distributed on a percentage rate based on road miles between counties and townships. Farm Bureau members encouraged farmers and consumers to be actively engaged in sustainability discussions.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Bureau’s legislative policy is a result of the grassroots resolution process. It begins locally on the county level and culminates with statewide delegates discussing the issues on Monday morning of the WFBF Annual Meeting. “Responsibility for a balanced approach must include all stakeholders contributing to an outcome that enhances the quality of life for present and future generations. We recognize there are three essential components to defining sustainability: social, environmental and economic,” read a portion of the sustainability resolution. Other resolutions the delegates passed include: • Support requiring an agriculture impact statement be done to assist in the approval process and help determine compensation for projects that are using eminent domain. • Support existing law that limits foreign nationals from land ownership in excess of 640 acres. • Support funding students who attend technical colleges in other districts and allocating the property tax portion December | January 2013-14

from their home district to the school the student is attending. • Support requiring high capacity well permits being processed within 65 business days. • Oppose regulating agricultural crops as an invasive species. • Oppose the 12-ounce limit on milk sold in middle and high schools as a ‘competitive food’ as regulated by the federal Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act.

on the web To see Farm Bureau’s policy book go to policy. The 2014 policy book will be uploaded by February.



Yvonne Shepherd Receives ‘Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau’ Award


“Yvonne is what the Farm Bureau is all about, folks at the grassroots level, working extremely hard to make our organization stronger, respectable and growing into the future.” - Todd Quarne, Trempealeau County Farm Bureau President

rempealeau County’s Yvonne Shepherd has received the highest award the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation bestows upon its members. Shepherd was presented the ‘Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award’ at the WFBF Annual Meeting on December 8 for providing exceptional leadership and support to Farm Bureau’s efforts. “Yvonne is what the Farm Bureau is all about, folks at the grassroots level, working extremely hard to make our organization stronger, respectable and growing into the future,” said Todd Quarne, Trempealeau County Farm Bureau President. Shepherd’s involvement with Farm Bureau began in 1969. She served as Trempealeau County Farm Bureau’s secretary for 15 years. She was elected to the county Farm Bureau’s board of directors in 1992 and served as the chair of the county’s Women’s Committee for nearly 20 years. In that role she organized a variety of leadership events. “Yvonne has been instrumental in the success of Trempealeau County Farm Bureau’s influence in local elementary schools, particularly in getting Ag in the Classroom

curriculum and its essay contest information to teachers,” Quarne said. Yvonne regularly purchased the Farm Bureau’s “Book of the Year” and delivered them to each elementary school in her county. She regularly planned all aspects of her county’s annual meeting, Christmas party and summer picnic, including the venue, menu, speakers and door prizes. Shepherd also organized the county’s beef promotion activities and participated in the county fair and dairy breakfast. She was a regular attendee of Farm Bureau’s district policy development meetings and Ag Day at the Capitol. In the past, she helped with the Miss Trempealeau County Farm Bureau program and coordinated the Farm Save 10% Now Bureau’s parade float. Outside of Farm & Build this Winter Bureau, she served as a 4-H leader and on the Farm Service Agency Citizen Board from 1998 to 2007. Active at her church, she continues working as a site manager for Senior Dining and Fellowship. She and her late husband, Joseph, have four children. Their farm in the Quality Buildings Town of Pigeon Falls is now farmed by Since 1958 one of their sons.

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Dennis Frame Receives Farm Bureau’s “Distinguished Service to Agriculture” Award


ennis Frame was presented the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s “Distinguished Service to Agriculture” award during the organization’s 94th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 8. The Distinguished Service to Agriculture is awarded to an individual for outstanding contributions to Wisconsin’s agricultural industry. Dennis Frame co-founded the UWDiscovery Farms Program in 2001 and served as its director until his retirement earlier this year. “Wisconsin farmers have benefited from Dennis’ vision and leadership because he brought a farmer’s commonsense to Wisconsin’s rules and regulations,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “The on-farm research he has overseen on water, air and soil quality has positively impacted crop and livestock farmers throughout Wisconsin.” “Dennis was the right person to bring together farmers, regulators and researchers to collectively decide what to study in order to show how rules and regulations work or don’t work on actual farm fields and pastures,” Holte said. Frame began his career with University of WisconsinExtension in 1982, working in Wood and Brown counties before being named Trempealeau County’s agriculture agent in 1987. The western Wisconsin county has a rich conservation history and Frame soon became active in soil and water conservation education. When the nutrient management standard was being proposed in the 1990s, Dennis and a group of Trempealeau County Farm Bureau members undertook a project (partially funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau) that examined the potential impacts the regulations would have on local farms. Since that time he has focused his educational programming on environmental rules and regulations; developed a farmerled nutrient management-training program and researched the

December | January 2013-14

“He would rather have all farmers doing everything 80 percent right, than just a few doing 100 percent right. It’s that kind of commonsense, pragmatic approach that Farm Bureau members admire in Dennis Frame.” - WFBF President Jim Holte importance of soil moisture for the proper timing of manure application. In 2001, he and Fred Madison designed and developed the Discovery Farms Program. Frame was involved in all aspects of the program’s funding, personnel, data collection and maintaining countless partnerships, in addition to teaching and speaking at numerous field days and workshops. “Dennis is fond of saying that nutrient management planning should be on a note card, not in a big report,” Holte said. “He would rather have all farmers doing everything 80 percent right, than just a few doing 100 percent right. It’s that kind of commonsense, pragmatic approach that Farm Bureau members admire in Dennis Frame.” Dennis, his wife Susan and their two sons live on a farm near Osseo in Trempealeau County where they maintain a herd of beef cattle and spend time fishing in western Wisconsin.



Annual Meeting

Scrapbook 1) Bumblefist rocked with the YFA members on Friday night of the YFA Conference. 2) District 9 YFA members enjoyed an activity in their district meeting. 3) James Wedgwood, ventriloquist and entertainer, brought many laughs during Saturday’s Farm Bureau Extravaganza.




4) These District 8 YFA members used the YFA Conference as a way to meet up with old friends and network with new ones. 5) Members of the Producer Club enjoyed their special luncheon on Saturday.



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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

6) The YFA Committee collected food and money donations during the YFA Conference and Annual Meeting for the River Food Pantry in Madison. 7) Clara Rusch gave Santa a high-five during the trade show.

8) YFA Committee Chair Tim Clark congratulated Jane Mueller, this year’s 50/50 raffle winner. The YFA Committee donated the proceeds from the raffle to the 40 by 40 campaign.

6 7


9 9) The top 10 membership workers were recognized on stage. 10) UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau members gathered for a photo after cheering on Victoria Goad and Ethan Giebel in the state collegiate Discussion Meet.

5 December | January 2013-14



Congratulations! YFA and C

Chris Pollack

Wins Discussion Meet Contest

hris Pollack of Fond du Lac was selected as the winner of the 2013 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet contest at the organization’s 94th Annual Meeting. The Discussion Meet contest 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 current issues affecting agriculture. Pollack will compete in the national Discussion Meet contest at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Conference next month in San Antonio. Pollack grew up on a dairy farm near Ripon. He attended UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course and then returned to farm with his parents at Pollack-Vu Dairy LLC. They milk 150 cows and farm 700 acres. He also does custom baling and markets straw to local farmers. He is involved with the Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau’s YFA program, Ripon FFA Alumni and coaches the Fond du Lac County dairy judging team. Pollack qualifies for the YFA trip to Washington, D.C. in 2014. Midwest Stihl awarded a chainsaw and Rural Mutual Insurance Company provided a free financial plan. He will be a guest of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation at next year’s WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference, and a special guest at the annual meeting of GROWMARK, Inc. in Chicago in August. Other state finalists in the Discussion Meet were: Brad Gefvert of Columbia County, Tiffany Schneider of Calumet County and Adam Wehling of Buffalo County.


Corey and Miranda Leis

Earn Achievement Award 12

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onroe County dairy farmers received the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Agriculturist Achievement Award at the organization’s 94th Annual Meeting on December 8. Corey and Miranda Leis of Cashton milk 300 cows and farm 1,300 acres. Owned jointly with Corey’s father, the farm was originally his grandfather’s. They also operate a small custom harvesting business. The couple has three children, is active in Farm Bureau and previously served on the state Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. Miranda works off the farm at Organic Valley Cooperative and serves on the state Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board. Corey is a director for the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. 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 and understanding of current issues affecting agriculture and have shown leadership and involvement in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations. Corey and Miranda Leis will compete in the national Achievement Award contest at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Conference next month in San Antonio. They also qualify to attend a trip to Washington, D.C. in 2014. They will be a guest of WFBF at next year’s WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference, and of GROWMARK, Inc. at its annual meeting in Chicago this August. FABCO Equipment Inc. provided 40 hours use of a FABCO skidsteer loader, and Rural Mutual Insurance provided a free financial plan to the Achievement Award Winner.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Collegiate Award Winners N

Nicole Reese

Earns Excellence in Agriculture Award

icole Reese of Rock County was selected as the winner of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Excellence in Agriculture contest at the organization’s 94th Annual Meeting. The Excellence in Agriculture Award goes 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 ag career. The winner is selected based on their knowledge of agriculture and leadership in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations. Reese, who lives in Janesville, works as an agricultural instructor at Milton High School. She was recently named as the new executive director of the Evansville-based, Southern Wisconsin Agricultural Group. Reese was raised on her family’s 120-cow dairy farm and still regularly works there. As an agri-science teacher, she gives students experience and hands-on learning relatable to real world agricultural occupations. She also is the FFA advisor for nearly 300 members. She serves on both the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators Board and the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotion Board. Reese is a past state FFA vice president and Alice in Dairyland. Reese will compete in the national Excellence in Agriculture contest at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Conference next month in San Antonio. She will also be guest of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation at next year’s WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference in Wisconsin Dells. She will also received a $250 FS Fast Stop gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. and will be a guest at its annual meeting in Chicago in August. She also qualifies for the YFA Washington, D.C. trip in 2014.


Ethan Giebel Wins Collegiate Discussion Meet December | January 2013-14

W-Platteville student Ethan Giebel was selected as the state winner of the Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet contest. The Collegiate Discussion Meet is an activity designed to help members analyze agricultural issues and decide on solutions that best meet their needs. By participating, members build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. The Collegiate Discussion Meet is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each committee member. Ethan is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he is pursuing a degree in agricultural education. His degree will assist him to communicate the message of agriculture in his future career. He enjoys working on his parent’s 350-acre farm, EDEM Acres, where they raise approximately 400 Holstein dairy steers along with corn and alfalfa. Giebel also works as a freelance writer for the Wisconsin Agriculturist and presents leadership conferences to students in FFA throughout the United States as a facilitator for the National FFA Organization. On campus, Giebel is a member of the UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau, Collegiate FFA and Alpha Zeta. He is also a member of the Juneau County Farm Bureau and a lifetime Mauston FFA Alumni member. Ethan will compete in the national Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet contest to be held in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference in Virginia Beach on February 8.



WFBF Grows in 2013 The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation marked another year of membership growth in 2013. WFBF ended its membership year in September with 44,881 members, an increase of 712 from the prior year. 2013 was WFBF’s sixth straight year of membership growth.


FBF 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. WFBF’s voting membership grew by 424 members this year, reaching 24,145 voting members, while the associate member total grew by 288 members to 20,736. Forty-eight of the 61 county Farm Bureaus reported an increase in voting members. The largest increases came in Rock, Manitowoc and Jefferson counties. With a renewal rate of more than 93 percent for voting members, combined with 1,917 new voting members, the Farm Bureau achieved an increase in voting members for the ninth time in the last 12 years. In terms of total membership, 41 county Farm Bureaus saw increases in 2013. “Membership recruitment activities are a high priority for Farm Bureau,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Member Relations. “Without membership growth, no Farm Bureau program can be successful long term. This year our volunteer efforts were outstanding, with more than 250 Farm Bureau volunteers combining to sign nearly 850 new members into the organization.”

on AAA membership and many other travel and equipment discounts. WFBF members work to develop grassroots policy that is lobbied in Madison and Washington, D.C. on their behalf. A variety of programs provide networking and leadership development opportunities to members. In addition, WFBF assists farmers in sharing their stories with the non-farming public.

“WFBF has a long and successful record of representing members on issues that are important to them. By providing a voice for Wisconsin farmers and offering a number of other valuable member benefits and programs, Farm Bureau membership pays for itself in a variety of ways.” Among the member benefits are a $500 private offer discount on eligible General Motors vehicles, a discount


Superior Shores (Douglas, Bayfield, Iron, Ashland)


Iron Ashland Sawyer Price Polk




St. Croix



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Marathon Eau Claire


Clark Portage







Manitowoc Calumet

Adams Monroe

Total Gain Only Voting Gain Only Both Voting and Total Gain



Waushara La Crosse



Winnebago Marquette Green Lake


Fond du Lac


Vernon Crawford




Washington Dodge Ozaukee

No Gains Iowa





Grant Lafayette








Racine Kenosha

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Membership Volunteers Earn Producer Club Status “I find great joy in reaching out to others to bring them into an organization that continues to offer endless opportunities for personal and professional growth.“ - Andrea Brossard, Dodge County


he Wisconsin Farm Bureau recently marked six consecutive years of membership growth. This achievement was made possible in large part due to the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteer membership workers who take pride in signing up new members every year. For three decades, the Farm Bureau Producer Club has recognized volunteers who sign at least five new Farm Bureau members during the membership year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. In 2013, 73 Farm Bureau volunteers from

37 counties earned Producer Club status. Producer Club member Andrea Brossard from Dodge County summed up her thoughts regarding membership recruitment, saying “I’ve been able to experience personal growth first hand through Farm Bureau activities, programs and committees such as the Institute, Policy Development Committee, Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee and competing in contests. I find great joy in reaching out to others to bring them into an organization that continues to offer endless opportunities for personal and professional growth.” Once again, Fond du Lac County Membership Chair Trayton Greenfield

(pictured at far right) led the way among all volunteers with 40 new members signed. Other top membership workers included Randy Wokatsch (25 new members), Jacki Roden (15), Tim Miller (15), Robert Schwandt (13), Jim Meng (12), Mike Strupp (12), Joe Bragger (11), Andrea Brossard (11), Valarie Pitterle (11), Rick Roden (11) and Dave Henselin (11). “Membership growth is crucial for Farm Bureau,” said Bob Leege, Executive Director of Member Relations. “Our volunteer membership workers have accepted the challenge of helping to ensure that Farm Bureau will have a growing base of active members and the financial strength to carry out our mission in years to come.”

Counties Recognized at Annual Meeting


ounty Farm Bureaus across Wisconsin work hard to promote agriculture, build membership and strengthen our programs. To honor this outstanding work, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation presented the 2013 County Activities of Excellence Awards during the WFBF Annual Meeting. Chosen counties and their outstanding areas of work include: Dane County for conducting the FARM Institute, a series of succession planning workshops for young farmers and agriculturists looking to transition into farming; La Crosse County for its successful legislative efforts to change a local animal agriculture ordinance; Taylor County for its educational outreach program to local kindergarten classes; Dodge County for its “Farm Bureau Fish Fry,” a December | January 2013-14

community outreach event designed to build connections between the county Farm Bureau and community members, businesses, and elected officials; Green Lake County for hosting a “membership recruitment” bus tour to a farm equipment manufacturing facility for current and prospective Farm Bureau members; Waupaca County for its part in promoting a rural health initiative, designed to provide in-home health screening to local farm families and their employees; Sheboygan County for its “Classroom on the Farm” event which attracted nearly 1,000 third and fourth graders from 17 area schools; Green County for its innovative

approach to engaging members in the policy development process through a combined golf outing and policy development meeting; and Marathon County for organizing and hosting its Little Britches Kiddie Showmanship events at two area fairs.



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The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation invites you to attend

Ag DJanuary Ay At the CApitol 29, 2014 Monona Terrace Convention Center • Madison, WI

Schedule of Events:

Presented by:

11:00 a.m. Registration 11:30 a.m. Opening Program 11:45 a.m. Lunch 12:45 p.m. Legislative Briefing 2:30 p.m. Leave for Capitol Visits

Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Registration Deadline: January 23

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Cost: $25 per person by registration deadline. $30 after deadline and at the door.

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The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation co-sponsors Ag Day at the Capitol with a variety of corn, soybean, cranberry, potato, vegetable, dairy, beef, horse and general farm organizations. Detach and return to WFBF to register.

Ag DAy At the CApitol RegistRAtion FoRm Contact Name:

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Amount Enclosed: (# of people)

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

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Watch Farm Bureau advocates for you in Madison and Washington, D.C.


New Farm Bill by February?

Senate Moves High Capacity Wells Bill

As of the Rural Route’s press time, the fate of the long-awaited farm bill appeared to be coming into focus. According to Karen Gefvert, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Director of Governmental Relations, mid-December’s legislative developments showed promise of a new farm bill by February. “Since November, a farm bill conference committee has been meeting to negotiate terms of a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the farm bill,” Gefvert said. The two major issues of contention in negotiations “While the federal are the commodity title and the level of cuts to the dairy program expires Supplemental Nutrition on December 31, U.S. Assistance Program. Agriculture Secretary “The Wisconsin Farm Tom Vilsack has a Bureau Federation sent a letter to Wisconsin’s considerable amount congressional delegation of discretion when expressing our desire for a implementing the law farm bill to be completed that would ultimately in 2013 and outlining specific points regarding impact milk prices.” reforms to dairy policy,” - Karen Gefvert Gefvert added. “There are now positive indications that the farm bill compromise has enough support from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to pass.” Gefvert said that even though the farm bill will not be passed by December 31, consumers will not see $8 per gallon milk in grocery stores in January, as is reported by some media outlets. “While the federal dairy program expires on December 31, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has a considerable amount of discretion when implementing the law that would ultimately impact milk prices,” Gefvert said. “He has indicated that he will not implement it immediately. Instead, he is hopeful that a compromise farm bill will be passed when Congress returns after the holiday recess. Most parts of the farm bill expired at the end of September. “If all goes well, full House and Senate votes on the farm bill, followed by President Obama’s signature could all take place by late January,” Gefvert said.

A bill to clarify the permitting process for high capacity wells needs to be passed before the 2014 planting season, says the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. Senate Bill 302 passed the State Senate Natural Resources Committee on 3-2 vote at a November committee meeting. “During and after the drought of 2012, farmers were looking at irrigation systems as a way to minimize crop losses,” explained Paul Zimmeman, WFBF Executive Director of Governmental Relations. “Many applied to the Department of Natural Resources for a permit to install a high capacity well. Given the complexities of a 2011 State Supreme Court decision, approvals are backlogged by over six months. A high capacity well is defined as a single well or a combination of wells on a single property that have the combined capacity to withdraw more than 100,000 gallons of water per day. SB 302 would allow the DNR to focus its environmental review to four main criteria for groundwater protection. Those include impacts to a public water supply, outstanding or exceptional resource water body, high volume springs and withdrawals for bottling water. “This bill clarifies state law to have the DNR revert back to the way it was handling high capacity well permits prior to the 2011 State Supreme Court ruling,” Zimmerman said. SB 302 also allows the owner of land containing a high capacity well to transfer the well permit to another person when the land is also transferred to that person. “Many farmers had hoped, but were unable to get their permits granted and wells installed last fall,” Zimmerman said. “We need to get this legislation passed in a timely manner in 2014, so farmers can get wells approved and installed before the 2014 planting season.”

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wisconsin farm bureau federation

2014 Use Value Assessments Released

Maintenance Trust Fund. Maintenance on locks and dams is paid for by the Inland Waterways The Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s Farmland Advisory Council met Trust Fund. This tax of 20 cents per gallon on barge fuel generates about in November to adopt the use value assessment values for 2014. These $85 million annually. Some agricultural organizations have proposed assessment values will be used to calculate property tax bills mailed in increasing the current per-gallon barge diesel fuel tax by 6- to 9-cents. December 2014. Federal assistance provides the remainder of the $175 million annual “Use value assessment continues to be the most important thing budget. However, about $380 million is what is actually needed. Average Wisconsin has done to help keep farmers economically viable,” said rehabilitation costs are about $50 million per lock and the estimated cost to replace the present system of locks throughout the country is over $125 billion. Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Pasture Statewide The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund 2014 Averages $209 $177 $132 $52 $142 is funded by taxes on the value of imports 2013 Averages $213 $180 $134 $53 $145 and domestic cargo that arrive in federallymaintained U.S. ports. Funds are used for dredging and dredged material Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “Under the old disposal, jetties and breakwaters construction and maintenance. The market value assessment system, farmers would be paying in excess of an collection of funds far exceeds what is spent, resulting in a significant additional $600 million annually in property taxes.” surplus in the fund that has historically been raided to fill gaps in the Based upon the use value formula, 2014 assessed values are one federal government’s general fund. Only 55 percent of the funds collected percent lower than 2013. have actually been used on harbor maintenance. The House version sets a The local assessment ration needs to be applied to these values. To target expenditure for this fund, increasing each year, so that by Fiscal Year view the assessed values for your farmland, please go to the Department 2020 and beyond, no less than 80 percent of the funds collected go to of Revenue’s website: the operation and maintenance activities.

Use Value for Agricultural Land Assessment (Dollars per Acre)

Has the Log Jam Finally Broke on the Locks and Dams Upgrade Bill? A long-sought federal priority of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau might finally be moving past gridlock. The Water Resource Reform Development Act addresses the deterioration of inland waterways and other harbor maintenance needs. With separate and divergent bills passed in the U.S. Senate and House, a conference committee met in November to work out differences. WRRDA passed the Senate in May by a vote of 83-14, with Senator Tammy Baldwin voting in favor and Senator Ron Johnson voting against. The House passed its version in October by a vote of 417-3, with Congressman James Sensenbrenner being the only member of the Wisconsin House delegation to vote against. “This is a priority issue for Wisconsin because of the vast amount of trade made possible by transporting ag commodities on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River,” said Karen Gefvert, WFBF’s Director of Governmental Relations. The Mississippi River’s lock and dam system was designed to last 50 years, but it is approaching 80 years. The current capacity of most locks is undersized to meet the typical 15-barge towing capacity. Typical 15-barge tows have to be broken in two to fit into the 600’ lock system currently in place, so time and efficiency are lost. Infrastructure of waterways and ports are funded through the Inland Waterways Trust Fund and the Harbor

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Raw Milk Sees Senate Action A bill that would allow farmers to sell unpasteurized (raw) milk directly to consumers from their farms could be heard by the full State Senate in 2014. In November, the Senate’s Rural Affairs and Insurance Committee passed an amended version of Senate Bill 236 by a 3-2 vote. “While the amendment made some significant changes to the bill, we will still oppose it based on the member policy that was adopted by delegates at the WFBF Annual Meeting on December 9,” explained


it in case of a disease outbreak. Another amendment change to the original bill was creating a new permit called grade 1 unpasteurized milk, to be issued by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. There would be minimum standards for plate, somatic and bacteria counts. This applies only to fluid milk, and not to any other milk products. “Despite these changes, concerns about public health, food safety and the potential impact to the dairy industry mean WFBF will remain opposed to such legislation,” Zimmerman added. In December, Governor Walker made comments to the agricultural press which cast doubts that he would sign the bill if it were passed by the state legislature.

Paul Zimmerman, WFBF Executive Director of Governmental Relations. “For a variety of reasons, a majority of our delegates still oppose the sale of unpasteurized milk directly to consumers.” The bill would require farmers selling raw milk directly to consumers to save a milk sample for at least 15 days and maintain a number of records in order for regulators to know who purchased

Benefit Planned for South Dakota Ranch Families


arm Bureau members in central Wisconsin are organizing a fundraiser to benefit ranchers impacted by an early October blizzard that killed thousands of beef cattle in South Dakota. “A Helping Hand from the Heartland” is a benefit concert and steak supper planned for Saturday, February 22 at Dale’s Weston Lanes in Weston. “Farm Bureau members from central Wisconsin have been touched by the stories of loss from this disaster,” said Beth Schaefer, a Marathon County Farm Bureau member and event

Names in the

Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau member Trayton Greenfield was given special recognition last summer for his 43 years of service on the Alto 4-H and Farm Bureau Fair Board. He served for many years on the fair’s entertainment committee and was responsible for lining up the fair’s entertainment and taking care of them when they arrived.


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organizer. “We have endeavored to reach out and help our fellow agriculturists and give them a helping hand in their time of need.” A steak dinner will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. Country band, Tuscan Road, will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight at the fundraiser. Additional family activities are in the works. Proceeds from the benefit will go to the “SD Farm Bureau Cares Fund” to help ranch families impacted by the blizzard. Organizers are currently seeking raffle items, food donations for the steak supper and cash donations to help defray costs of putting on the event. If you are interested in supporting “A Helping Hand from the Heartland” or have questions, please contact Beth Schaefer, 608.577.6845, or Melissa Eron, 651.380.1710.

Farm Bureau members making headlines around the state

WFBF District 4 Coordinator Steve Boe has helped keep the Lincoln Alma Center FFA alive over the past two years by serving as its advisor after the school district cut its agricultural education program in 2011. At the National FFA Convention in October, one of his students was named the 2013 Star in Agricultural Placement, one of the highest awards that the National FFA Organization can bestow upon its students. Without Steve’s dedicated commitment and service, Trenton Bemis would not have been eligible to submit an application for this award let alone to go on to be the national winner. The Lincoln Alma Center FFA member was recognized on stage with a plaque and cash award of $4,000.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

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Cates Family Farm Named Wisconsin

Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation are proud to announce Cates Family Farm is the recipient of the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award, which honors Wisconsin landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.


he award announcement was made during the November 13 meeting of the Wisconsin Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board in Madison. Dick and Kim Cates operate Cates Family Farm, a grass-fed beef enterprise near Spring Green in Iowa County. The farm includes 700 acres of managed grazing land and 200 acres of managed forest. They direct market their pasture-raised steers to grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias and households around southern Wisconsin and the Chicago area. Since 1987, the Cates have worked to make the family farm more environmentally sound and profitable. They adopted rotational grazing practices and created a managed grazing


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system included subdivision fencing and stream crossings for livestock. They encouraged the revitalization of a native oak savannah and care for Lowery Creek, a trout stream that runs through the grazing acreage. “This is the proudest moment of my agricultural career,” Dick Cates said at the award presentation. “The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to sponsor this important award and to recognize Dick and Kim Cates as this year’s recipients,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “Cates Family Farm is an excellent representative of the farms across Wisconsin that care for land and natural resources through proper conservation.” Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.” The 2013 Leopold Conservation Award was presented December 8 at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

“This is the proudest moment of my agricultural career,� Dick Cates said at the award presentation. in Wisconsin Dells. The award recipient was presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. The other finalists for the award included Katie and Hans Breitenmoser Jr. of Merrill, Jack and Pat Herricks of Cashton and David and Angelita Heidel of Random Lake The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, American Transmission Company, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, UW-Extension, We Energies Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. For more information, visit www.

october | november 2013

ABOUT THE LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.



Farm Bureau

From the kitchen of Trempealeau Farm Bureau member Crystal Johnson

Potato Soup 6-8 potatoes, diced and peeled 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 stalks celery, sliced onion, chopped 1/4 cup butter 1 can cream of chicken soup 2 cups milk 8 oz. cream cheese salt and pepper to taste Place potatoes, carrots and celery in a saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside. Saute onion in butter until tender. Put all ingredients in stock pot and warm at a moderate heat. Do not boil as it may scorch.

Baked French Toast 1 stick butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1 long loaf of French bread 6 eggs 1 1/2 cups milk 1 tsp vanilla dash of salt Melt butter, sugar and cinnamon together. Pour onto the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Cut 1 long loaf of French bread into 1/2” to 3/4” slices. Put two layers of bread on bottom of pan. (Optional: spread layer of cream cheese between layers of bread - DELICIOUS!) Beat together: eggs, milk, vanilla and dash of salt. Pour over sliced bread. Then cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Flip onto platter and serve. You may serve with your favorite syrup (although it’s not really needed!)


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Meet The Chef

Crystal Johnson lives and works on a dairy farm in northern Trempealeau County with her husband Ryan and children Charlie (10) and Heath (4). They milk 100 cows and crop 450 acres. Ryan’s parents, Tom and Bonnie Johnson, are currenty transitioning the farm to Ryan and Crystal. Crystal is a former agriculture teacher and continues to reach students by teaching a monthly class to homeschool students. Crystal also works part-time for the local Rural Mutual Insurance Company in Whitehall.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Photo submitted by Jaime Sawle, Prairie du Sac, WI

Photo submitted by Shelby Prince, Ladysmith, WI

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

Photo submitted by Jordyn Vanden Heuvel, Seymour, WI

Never judge a day by the weather. #RuralWisdom For more inspiration see our “Rural Wisdom” and “Farm Facts” at

#FarmFact Milk is better than water for cooling your mouth after eating spicy food since it contains casein, a protein that soothes. December | January 2013-14

Photo submitted by Shelly Mleziva, Luxemburg, WI


: e l fi o r P r Membe

s m r a F e r a LaCl By Casey Langan

What began with a couple goats and a dream for one Farm Bureau family has morphed into a oneof-a-kind farmstead culinary experience.


e’ve been on this journey for 30 years,” said Clara Hedrich. Clara and Larry Hedrich and their children recently opened a 35,000 square foot dairy plant, retail store, café, milking parlor and barn for 600 milking goats. They broke ground last December on a modern dairy processing facility to produce high quality dairy products. The retail space opened in July. The café began serving in August and the cheese plant went online in November. From the onset, the Hedrichs wanted a clean, comfortable environment where customers could see a raw product made into something. Within the café dining room are viewing windows to the milking parlor and cheese aging rooms. With a capacity of 120 people, the farmstead café offers daily lunch and dinner menus. Their chef answers customers’ questions about recipes including goat cheese. The store offers specialty


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cheeses, craft beers, wines, ice cream and other Wisconsin-made products. The facility will host special events like church dinners, wedding rehearsals, business happy hours and baby showers. Featuring an area where outside visitors can watch the cheesemaker’s at work, the cheese plant is equipped to process Grade A and B goat, sheep and cow milk products, including cheese, cultured products and bottled milk. In addition to crafting their own LaClare Farms products, the Hedrichs perform custom processing and aging, and work with other dairy entrepreneurs to develop new products. “Quality, small-scale is our goal,” Clara said. LaClare Farms already has a reputation for quality. The Hedrich’s daughter, Katie, was named the 2011 U.S. Champion Cheesemaker. The farmstead dairy plant will allow the Hedrichs to expand their already diverse offering of cheeses (Evalon, Fresh Chevre, Cheddar, Fondy Jack and an array of other originals).

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

“The goats were a family affair. So we had a family meeting with the kids to decide if they would ‘go commercial’ or sell the goats. Our daughter, Heather, was five years old at the time. She thought the word ‘commercial’ sounded fun. So there was one vote for keeping the goats.” - Clara Hedrich The couple’s son, Greg, is the business manager, and daughter, Jessica, runs the retail shoppe/cafe. Another daughter, Anna, works part-time in herd management while continuing her off-enterprise job. All Hedrich siblings hold university degrees in subjects ranging from marketing to human resources to dairy science to education. LaClare Farms employs 20 full and part-time employees. Larry hauls milk and manages the farm. He was a co-founder of the Quality Dairy Goat Cooperative. Today, six farms currently produce for the co-op. Only milk from LaClare Farms is used to craft Evalon. Milk is purchased from the co-op on an as needed basis to make the other cheese and products. LaClare Farms produces the only bottled goat milk in Wisconsin. Since June, the Hedrichs’ goats have been milked twice daily in a milking parlor equipped with automatic take-offs and an electronic feeding that distributes a pelleted ration with oats and corn. Dry hay is fed in the freestall barn. Milking 48 goats at a time, it takes one hour and 45 minutes to milk the entire herd. There are plans to grow the milking herd to 600 head. Recently 430 goats were in the milking string, with another 120 dry. All six of the original dairy goat breeds are represented. The Hedrichs grow most of the herd’s feed on their 160 acre farm previously owned by Larry’s grandfather. Members of the Calumet

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County Farm Bureau, Larry and Clara live on another farm, 12 miles to the north, near Chilton. It was there they raised their children to understand the value of work. They bought their farmette in 1978 and started out with two goats, two peacocks and some chickens. Clara grew up on a dairy farm near Armstrong Creek, WI. The UW-River Falls grad teaches agriculture at West De Pere High School. Larry grew up in town, but spent much of his youth working on his grandfather’s beef and mink farm. He worked for Lunda Construction Company. Since the 1980s they had wanted to do something productive with goats. Back then there was not a viable market for goat’s milk. They both had full-time jobs and five kids to raise. By the 1990s the kids were involved in 4-H. Their son, Greg, didn’t like showing dairy cattle so a friend got him into showing goats. “Our show herd turned into 30 goats. We were milking them by hand. We thought, something here is not right,” Clara said with a chuckle. “The goats were a family affair,” she recalled. “So we had a family meeting with the kids to decide if they would ‘go commercial’ or sell the goats. Our daughter, Heather, was five years old at the time. She thought the word ‘commercial’ sounded fun. So there was one vote for keeping the goats.” By 1996 they began shipping milk to Bresse Blue in Watertown. An entrepreneurial


spirit was sparked in Katie when she began making goat milk soap. “It was great for the kids. They all had goats as FFA projects, learned how to milk, and had a job milking cows elsewhere at some point,” she said. In 2000, Larry retired from the construction business and LaClare Farms is located at W2994 County Road HH, just off of went full-time Highway 151 in Fond du Lac County’s tiny town of Pipe on the eastern into farming shore of Lake Winnebago. with goats. After Bresse Blue moved away from the area, he formed the Quality Dairy Watch a video about LaClare Farms on WFBF’s Facebook Goat Cooperative in 2005. A grant from the U.S. Department of page and also visit LaClare Farms on Facebook. Agriculture helped write a definition of quality goat milk, which helped fetch a better price. With a grade A licensed farm, low somatic cell count and a quality milk taste, the Hedrichs began distinguishing themselves. Larry always wanted to make cheese from their milk. Fate would have a hand in making that happen. A dairy goat farmer from Holland who was visiting his brother in Appleton found the Hedrichs family via Google. Like Clara, he too was an agriculture teacher. He was milking 400 goats and thriving. At the time, curds from goat milk imported from Holland were cheaper than those made in the United States. Contact your “We need to do something local Demco dealer today. different here,” Clara remembers We want to be your thinking. provider for sprayers, They met with an dairy exporter saddle tanks, from Holland and later traveled grain carts, there with their daughter, Katie, and wagons. and another cooperative member. “They were 20 to 30 years ahead of us with technology,” Clara said. Except for the built-in café, much of what they eventually built in Wisconsin was first seen in 1-800-543-3626 • • Boyden Iowa Holland.

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on the web

Member Benefits

Savings for your Family or Business

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

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

Auto/General Motors Discount

Supplies & Products



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

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



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


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


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


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



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


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



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


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



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


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



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


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



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



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


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


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


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

Presenting a Private offer for farm Bureau memBers

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2013 Offered Much to be Thankful for A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte


his time of year often finds many people reflecting on the activities and happenings of the past 12 months. I am among that group. The year flew by and I recognize that I have much to be thankful for when I look back. It’s no secret that the past year has seen change at Farm Bureau. As I assumed a new role in our organization, I benefitted from the legacies of two men stepping away from their leadership positions. Each left the organization in a stronger position than they found it. After many years of passionate dedication to agriculture, Bill Bruins retired as WFBF President one year


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ago. He passed the torch of a strong and focused organization with great opportunity ahead. Likewise, Roger Cliff concluded his 40-year career with Wisconsin Farm Bureau in December. Aside from his many successes as our chief lobbyist, Roger worked to strengthen our organization by creating and developing programs with long term value. I am very thankful for the deliberate way that Bill and Roger staggered their departures. Such a steady hand approach was representative of the way Roger served Farm Bureau and all of agriculture in both legislative and administrative roles. I am thankful to work with a board of directors that is dedicated to the best interests of Wisconsin agriculture. They use their time and talents to guide this organization and I sincerely appreciate their counsel and support. Being active in Farm Bureau for a number of years has allowed me to interact with many staff members. As I now work with them on a regular basis, my respect and admiration for their commitment to Farm Bureau keeps growing. I am thankful for each of them. Working with the entire team at Rural Mutual Insurance Company is a great opportunity for me. I am thankful for the way they serve all of the policy holders and the generous support they

lend to Farm Bureau. Their collective efforts have resulted in the development of a community-minded, nationallyrecognized and financially-secure company that offers a great product, undivided attention and the best value in insurance to Wisconsin consumers. There is much to be thankful for at Farm Bureau and Rural Mutual Insurance Company, but it is not a time to just sit back and watch. Challenges will always confront us. Together we must continue to look forward, to change, to adjust and to prepare for the next opportunities and problems that will surface. To put those words into action, the WFBF Board will embark on a strategic planning process in 2014. It serve as a critical roadmap for this organization as WFBF approaches its 100th birthday in 2020. We will be asking for your ideas, your vision and your solutions as we move forward. Reflecting on the past can give us helpful perspective, but it’s looking forward that plants the seeds of opportunity and a bright future. Thank you for a wonderful year at Farm Bureau, and join us in looking forward! WFBF President since 2012, Holte is a grain and beef farmer from Elk Mound in Dunn County.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Strategic Plan for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Guest Column by Stephen Freese


ne of my first responsibilities as I assume my role as Chief Administrative Officer in January is leading the development of a Strategic Plan for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. Our current strategic plan has been in place since 2003 and while it has been updated with an annual plan each year, the board of directors at the November board meeting decided it was time to develop a new strategic plan. During 2014, the board and staff will develop the new strategic plan and we look forward to significant input from our many stake holders as we go through the process of this development. Our goal is to have significant input from our members, staff, Council of Presidents, Rural Mutual Insurance Company Representatives, GROWMARK Inc. Representatives, WFBF Women’s and YFA Committee members. We will also ask for participation from selected Ag Coalition members and graduates of our Institute classes for their insight as we develop this plan. The guiding principles we will follow will ensure we successfully carry out the mission of the Wisconsin Farm

December | January 2013-14

I would very much appreciate when the opportunity presents itself for you to participate and give us your input on where you would like to see the Wisconsin Farm Bureau at when we celebrate the centennial of our founding in 2020. Bureau which is to lead the farm and rural community through legislative representation, education, public relations and leadership development. We will focus on maintaining a professional and well trained staff working together to serve our members. Providing great member services and annual membership growth will be two important principles to discuss as well. We will continue to focus on training to prepare the most effective volunteer leaders we can. And an ultimate goal is to enhance our principles that will maintain financial viability of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and its Foundation. I would very much appreciate when the opportunity presents itself for you to participate and give us your input on where you would like to see the Wisconsin Farm Bureau at when we

celebrate the centennial of our founding in 2020. On May 27, 1920 in Waukesha an organizational meeting for the creation of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau was held. Wisconsin would become the thirtysecond state Farm Bureau to join the American Farm Bureau Federation. We now stand at the threshold of where we take the Wisconsin Farm Bureau during its next 100 years and I look forward to working with you, our members, as we chart the course of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau through this strategic plan. Freese is WFBF’s Chief Administrative Officer.



Grassroots Policy Development Depends on You

Guest Column by Paul Zimmerman


FBF prides itself on being a grassroots organization, where members set the policy, not a few member leaders or staff. Delegates from our 61 county Farm Bureaus recently adopted WFBF’s member policy for the coming year. You might say it marked the official end of our annual policy development process, but the reality is, this process never stops. We are always looking for your ideas regarding local, state and national issues. Your input is critical to our responses when lawmakers and media call Farm Bureau. It’s important that you lend your voice to this process, especially in cases when changes to a particular policy would


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benefit your farm. We appreciate those committed, politically-active members who place a priority on being part of this process. Great synergy comes from developing policy with your agricultural peers. The formal process typically begins in March when a Policy Development Committee (made up of farmers across the state) meets to decide which issue backgrounders and proposed resolutions should be developed and sent out to the county Farm Bureaus for their consideration. In 2013, there were four issue backgrounders and two proposed resolutions. During the summer there were numerous district and county policy development meetings. Last fall, county Farm Bureaus submitted resolutions to the WFBF’s Policy Development Committee for their consideration. There were a total of 465 resolutions submitted: 349 new state resolutions, 15 state reaffirmation resolutions, 98 federal resolutions and three internal resolutions. Upon reviewing the resolutions submitted by the counties, the hot topics were raw milk, sustainability, technical colleges and implements of husbandry. Some counties had voted in favor of allowing farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers, other counties were against it. There were varying view points on changes to our state’s rules and definitions on implements of husbandry. Should there be increased weight

allowance or not? Should there be a width limitation or not? Opinions varied. At its two-day meeting in November, the Policy Development Committee went over each resolution and decided whether or not to forward it to the delegates for their consideration. The committee had extensive discussions on topics like raw milk, sustainability and implements of husbandry. The committee’s role is to develop policy based on the varying viewpoints of the county Farm Bureaus. At the Annual Meeting, delegates had the opportunity to discuss, debate and ultimately adopt the policy for 2014, which can be found on our website, wfbf. com. I want to offer my congratulations to those involved in the process on a job well done. We are always looking for ways to improve the process and have more members involved. If you have an idea or an issue that needs to be addressed, don’t wait. Please contact your county president, district coordinator or the WFBF office. One of the bedrock principles of Farm Bureau is that we accomplish more collectively than we would soldiering alone. No where is that more evident than in our policy development process.

Zimmerman is WFBF’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

From Farmer to Producer, Back to Farmer Guest Column by Casey Langan


armers and agriculturists use terms to describe themselves that hurt ag’s image to its customers. There are two commonly used words that fail to conjure images that will win the heart and mind of the average American. The first one is producer. I’m a dairy producer. I’m a grain producer. No you’re not, you’re a farmer. At least that’s who your customers would rather buy their food from. Think of it, nobody goes to a producers’ market to buy their fruits and vegetables; they go to a farmers’ market. Consumer research shows the average American still trusts and holds farmers in high regard. Call a farmer a producer and it only plays to the stereotype that agriculture has become too clinical, technical, slick and uncaring. It seems producer began to replace farmer back in the 1980s. Farmers were tired of being seen as hayseeds and wanted to be viewed as the business professionals that they were. So they thought calling themselves something else would freshen up their image. Something’s changed since then. Agriculture is no longer ignored. People have great interest in how food is grown, unlike the 1980s when farmers’ markets were scarce and most people just assumed food grew in grocery stores. A generation later, the average American doesn’t know a farmer, yet many are intrigued by those who grow food and raise livestock for a living.

December | January 2013-14

They like farmers. Yet we refer to ourselves as producers, which to most people, describes a person who runs the soundboard in a recording studio. It might sound like I’m being picky, but it only widens the divide between those who drive tractors and raise livestock, and the other 99 percent of our country. Another term that hurts us is operation. Producers don’t own farms, they own operations. Say operation to most people and they think of their last trip to the hospital. It’s not a positive connotation, and not a place for crops and livestock. People like farms. Consumer research bears this out. Still don’t believe me? Tell me this: would people rather buy a fresh tomato from a farmer or a producer? Do they take their kids on a field trip to a farm or an operation? Notice I used the term customer instead of consumer in my lead sentence? Consumer doesn’t give people enough credit. They are our customers and in business, the customer is always right. At some point I think much of agriculture seemed to have forgotten this business principle. Too often we work off the premise in agriculture that we’re right and that everyone else either doesn’t understand us or is out to get us. Well whose fault is that? We all shake our heads when we hear the average American is several generations removed from farm life. Maybe we need to look at this from another angle. Perhaps farmers

got a little too removed from what was happening in the city? Change takes time. Producer and operation has been engrained in all of our vocabularies. I make every effort to nix producers and operations from Farm Bureau materials. I would hope that my colleagues in education, government, journalism and commodity groups would do the same. Agriculture faces no shortage of public relations challenges. Let’s take a small step forward by simply going back to saying farmers and farms.

Langan is WFBF’s Executive Director of Public Relations.



2013: The Year that Was...Volatile Guest Column from Nick Klump


olatile. One word can almost capture the previous eleven months in the grain markets. The wild ride has seen corn futures drop $1.63 from January to late November, and soybean prices, during the same period, lose one penny. You might think that a one cent move in soybeans doesn’t qualify for high volatility, but with a $2.38 trading range, prices have been on a nonstop elevator cycle. Furthermore, there were 18 trading sessions when January 2014 soybeans settled up or down at least 25 cents! Let’s take a look at the supply and demand situations that led us to where we are now. January 1, 2013, new crop corn futures were trading at $6.03/bushel. The U.S. was just coming off arguably the worst drought in U.S. history, and was well documented that there was potential for another dry year. Subsoil moistures, mostly in the western Corn Belt, weren’t


Rural Route

great, and grower sentiment regarding selling new crop was extremely cautious. One could argue then that prices were going to be supported at the $6 level. The flip side of that coin had analysts projecting 2013 harvested corn acreage at 89 million bushels (vs. today’s 87 million estimate), and a trend yield over 163 bu./acre (vs. today’s 160). Corn exports were running on pace with projections, but well below the five year average, and weren’t expected to pick up steam by the end of the marketing year (high prices don’t prompt many exports). So, fundamentally, a significant supply shift, given acreage and trend yield estimates, within the coming calendar year was possible. Fast forward two months to March 28, 2013. The USDA, in the Prospective Plantings report, projected that the 2013 corn plantings would show 97.3 million acres, the largest since 1936 and confirming previous estimates. A similar projection was in store for the soybean crop with production pegged at a record 3.38 billion bushels. Consequently, both corn and bean prices that day dropped double digits, and helped setup the house of cards that turned into lower corn and soybean prices. The next several months and throughout most of the summer saw prices swing back and forth on crop progress reports and updated monthly production numbers. The June 28 quarterly stocks report was another blow to prices, showing a slight increase in corn planted acreage estimates. This was a shock to the trade, which had been expecting a 2 million acre decrease.

Both new crop corn and bean prices settled down over 20 cents after the report. With grain prices now on a downtrend heading into mid-August and rain events starting to become less frequent, both corn and bean prices were able to stage moderate (corn) to significant (beans) weather rallies. January soybeans topped out at $14.06 in late August but were unable to hold those price levels as early, strong, southern soybean yields moved to market. Both corn and bean yields continued to impress, leading to declines throughout harvest. Five hundred words later, we’ve come to the middle of November and corn prices have found a tight trading range, although $1.50 below January 2013 prices and soybeans have started to bounce on very strong export inspections and sales, while trading almost identically to futures levels seen back in January. Speaking of exports, the U.S. is currently 90 percent complete on their 2013-2014 soybean commitments and 69 percent complete on corn commitments. Something might have to give regarding export estimates or our export pace, but one thing is for sure, there is a lot of grain in the U.S. and with expectations for another record South American soybean crop, prices could find difficulty after the beginning of the new year when growers begin to sell and South American supplies come online.

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

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Field to Foodbank Captures 1 Million Pounds of Food… and Extreme Grower Generosity Guest Column by Jed Colquhoun


or me, the holidays are about relationships and generosity, all centered around great food. These same traits epitomize Wisconsin’s farmers and could be no better demonstrated than through the Field to Foodbank program. This partnership among Wisconsin agriculture, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin and UW-Madison was initiated a couple of years ago in an effort to match the diversity and strength of Wisconsin agriculture with the unfortunate growing need to end local hunger. About 20 percent of Wisconsin children live in “food insecure” households – a designation that basically means that they go to bed not knowing where breakfast will come from. Meanwhile, Wisconsin enjoys a bountiful cornucopia of agricultural production, from recognition as “America’s Dairyland” to national leaders in several vegetable crops and cranberry production. While still in the early stages of implementation, this partnership has proven amazingly fruitful. Field to Foodbank will capture over 1 million pounds of nutritious fruit and vegetables in Wisconsin this year, with even more planned for 2014. Such an amazing amount of food of course raises some skepticism, particularly among the vast majority of the population disconnected from agriculture. When I tell people about Field to Foodbank, almost invariably the

December | January 2013-14

first question is: “Why would a grower or agricultural business just donate their products?” Folks often assume that it is just for the tax benefits (although such a benefit is rarely possible) or the real skeptics have suggested that participants are trying to subliminally repent some other “sin.” The truth is that this partnership is very one-sided, to the point where it causes me some guilt. It’s like eating dinner (almost literally!) while watching someone else do the dishes. Those involved in Field to Foodbank – from the can manufacturer, to grower, trucker, food processor and everyone in between – are simply good people doing amazing things. I tell the skeptics that there are three reasons that Wisconsin agriculture has grown this program. Yes, I acknowledge that all the participants are businessminded folks, but they are in the business of producing food so that it can be consumed. The Field to Foodbank program, operating almost invisibly within the traditional food distribution system, is just another outlet that ensures that we take advantage of every nutritious calorie that is grown. Second, Field to Foodbank is about relationships – long-term, often multi-generational family relationships among those still working in agriculture as well as among neighbors involved in producing food and those in need. Finally and most importantly, Field to Foodbank is about a level of generosity that I had

never imagined until this partnership formed. It’s about caring people looking out for each other, about the rich feeling of a good deed done and about providing a local solution to a local challenge. If you would like to join the growing list of farmers making a difference in their community, call Danielle Lawson, Food Resource Manager at Second Harvest Foodbank, at 608.216.7241.

Colquhoun is a professor in the Department of Horticulture and co-director of the Environmental Resources Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



in the

Rural Route

It doesn’t cost.

Circulation: 24,000+


february | march 2013 • vol. 19 no. 1 |

2014 advertising calendar February/March 2014

Ad Space Confirmation: Jan. 10, 2014 Ad Materials Due: Jan. 24, 2014 Mailing Drop Date: Feb. 14, 2014


Farm Bureau

Rural Route F E D E R A T I O N



Farm Bureau

April/May 2014


Ad Space Confirmation: Mar. 7 2014 Ad Materials Due: Mar. 21, 2014 Mailing Drop Date: Apr. 11, 2014

june | july 2013 • vol. 19 no. 3 |

Join Us March 6 for

Ag Day at the Capitol

June/July 2014

Ad Space Confirmation: May 9, 2014 Ad Materials Due: May 23, 2014 Mailing Drop Date: Jun. 13, 2014

June Dairy Month Fact: WFBF WINS BIG in Nashville PAGE 5

Each year she generates $20,000 in economic activity.

Ag Lab Updates Seek State Approval Meet Members: Hanson, Holterman Social Media Rock Stars Encourage Farmers

Rural Health Initiative Brings ‘Kitchen Wellness’ Meet Members: Krentz, Strebel Farm Bill, State Budget and Nonpoint Rule

Meet Farm Bureau Members:

Chad and Katrina Gleason By Casey Langan

While sitting through an extra-long Catholic wedding, his smartphone allowed him to check on his calves without leaving the pew. Such is the life for today’s tech-savvy farmers like Lafayette County Farm Bureau members, Chad and Katrina Gleason.


side from convenience, calf health is one of the reasons the Gleasons have invested in a new barn and automatic feeder for the nearly 300 dairy bull calves they purchase annually. “If you don’t like technology, don’t build one,” Chad advised with a chuckle as he explained the details of the automatic feeder that mixes the right diet and monitors the health of calves.


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Housing the feeder and two feeding stations is a new clear-span hoop barn with great natural light and comfortable conditions thanks to a side-wall curtain system. Completed in March, it’s the newest addition to a farm that has been in the Gleason family for four generations. Chad and Katrina bought it from his grandfather in 2006. All of the crops from the 80 acres located northwest of Shullsburg are used to feed the nearly 300 steers the Gleasons market annually. Some other land is rented to grow enough feed for the total mixed ration used to fatten the steers. After being weaned, their calves are housed at his father’s farm and a rented farm before returning home between 400 and 500 pounds. Prior to construction of the barn, the calves were raised in hutches and individual pens in an old dairy barn. For their first two weeks on the farm, they are kept in a nursery calf shed where they are bottle-fed and receive


vaccinations. From there they’re moved into the new barn; where once a computerized tag is attached to their ear, they drink milk replacer from an automatic feeder. “They learn quick. In most cases, I show them how to drink three times the first day, and then most are off and running,” Chad said. “None have ever refused it.” Chad can individualize each calf’s diet from his computer screen. The machine then mixes the milk for the calf. Provided they drink their full allotment, they can drink up to four times. While standing in the feeding stall, the calf’s weight and daily rate of gain is recorded. As they grow older, the feeding system weans them by diluting the milk. While a smartphone app allows him to check if everybody’s drinking properly from church or the combine, Chad said he still finds himself around the calves quite often. “I’m just not mixing 60 bottles of milk several times per day,” he said. “This will feed them, so I can better manage them. It’s about working smarter, not harder.” Calf health has improved. Before, when they were weaned individually, the calves were initially scared of each other. “Their stress level is down,” he said. “The new setting allows them to learn social behavior sooner. They teach each other to eat.” Chad admits he is learning how to best use the barn with the passing of each season. His only regret since construction is that he didn’t order automatic curtains, as the manual ones need adjusting more often than he thought would be needed to block rain and moderate temperatures. The barn was built to easily add two more feeder stations but Chad said, “I want to walk before I run, and I need more land base.” The Gleasons hosted a barn tour in July for Lafayette and Grant County Farm Bureau members. They also participated in the Young Farmer and Agriculturist District 3 Discussion Meet in September. Their farm is insured by Rural Mutual Insurance

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August/September 2014


Ad Space Confirmation: Jul. 11, 2014 Ad Materials Due: Jul. 25, 2014 Mailing Drop Date: Aug. 14, 2014

October/November 2014

Ad Space Confirmation: Sep. 12, 2014 Ad Materials Due: Sep. 26, 2014 Mailing Drop Date: Oct. 17, 2014

“I’m just not mixing 60 bottles of milk several times per day. This will feed them, so I can better manage them. It’s about working smarter, not harder.” - Chad Gleason


State Accounts SLACK ATTACK 608.222.7630 38


New FB Policy

December/January 2014 - 2015

Company and they credit their friend (and Farm Bureau district coordinator) Gretchen Kamps, with getting them more involved in Farm Bureau. The Gleasons have two children: Cassidy, 3, and Gage, 11 months. Chad is a 2001 Shullsburg High School graduate, who completed a welding apprenticeship from Southwest Technical College while in high school. Katrina is a 2004 Shullsburg graduate with a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. In addition to helping with afternoon chores, Katrina manages the farm’s bookwork, and works from home for the federal Women and Infant Children’s program. She is a 4-H leader who enjoys horseback riding and cooking. He collects farm toys. They are active in their church and the Shullsburg FFA Alumni chapter.


Ad Space Confirmation: Nov. 21, 2014 Ad Materials Due: DEC. 3, 2014 Mailing Drop Date: Dec. 26, 2014

National Accounts Hurst & Associates 800.397.8908

General Inquiries CAsey Langan 608.828.5711 Wisconsin farm bureau federation


New Faces on YFA and Women’s Committees


atie Mattison of Dunn County, Peter Muth of Washington County and Katie Mattison Peter Muth Derek Orth of Grant County have been appointed to leadership roles on the WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee by the WFBF Board of Directors. Katie Mattison of Menominee is an agricultural and business banker with Bremer Bank. Peter Muth is a sixth generation dairy farmer. He and his parents have a 500-acre, 180-cow dairy farm near Fredonia. Derek Orth and his wife, Charisse, milk 250 cows at Orthridge Jerseys with his parents on a farm near Lancaster. Katie, Peter and Derek are all graduates of the Institute leadership class. The Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee consists of nine couples or individuals (ages 18-35) from across the state. Their 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. Derek & Michelle Bula Michelle Charisse Orth Bula of Oxford in Adams County was appointed to a three year term on the nine-member Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee by the WFBF Board of Directors. She and her husband, Nathan, grow corn and soybeans. Michelle is earning a degree in ag business and science technology from Mid-State Technical College. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee carries out a number of projects and activities to educate youth and consumers about farming, food safety and animal welfare. They also are planning the 2014 Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit, set for March 14-15 at the Marriott in Middleton. Their terms began at WFBF’s Annual Meeting, December 7-9, in Wisconsin Dells. For more information about these programs, call 1.800.261. FARM or visit

Nominate a Wisconsin Ag Woman today!

AgVofocate the Year Ag Women’s 2014



Know an innovative leader who has contributed to the success of Wisconsin agriculture? Nominate her for the 2014 AgVocate of the Year award.

December | January 2013-14


Nomination forms are available online at: -OR- Entry deadline: January 31, 2014


Day 1 - FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2014 9:00-10:00 a.m. 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Registration Welcome, Keynote Presentation by Chariti Gent

Bold Action: Charting the Course in Choppy Waters 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch


Ag SWomen’s U M M I T

1:00-2:10 p.m.

Breakout Sessions #1 (choose one)

Anne Reynolds Dale Beaty Karen Gefvert Paul Dietmann

The Importance of Women in Cooperative Leadership Roles Managing Four Generations in the Workplace or on the Farm The State of Agriculture Policy Planning and Financing Your Value-Added Ag Business

2:15-3:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions #2 (choose one)

Peggy Olive Leah H. Ziemba Dr. Sheila McGuirk Lorre Kolb & Pamela Seelman

Making Your Money Work for You Regulatory Updates for Agri-Business Vet Tales: Lessons from the Field (plus “Ask a Vet” open question session) UW-Extension 101

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions #2 (choose one)

Amy Manske Patrick Reinsma Dennis Deery Beth Schaefer

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest–Oh My! Great Wisconsin “Stay”-cations Mobile Technology to Make Your Farm Life Easier Ag Literacy: Tips and Tricks on Getting into the Classroom and Engaging Students

SAVE $25 BY REGISTERING EARLY Early Registration Fee: $115/person (if received on or before February 14, 2014) After February 14, 2014: $140/person

5:00-6:00 p.m. 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Social Banquet and Program honoring 2014 AgVocate of the Year

Registration Deadline: March 7, 2014

6:30-7:30 a.m.

Workout A - Zumba with Becky Pellmar (optional)

6:30-7:30 a.m.

Workout B - Boot Camp with George Chavez (optional)

8:00-8:30 a.m.

Learn about our AgVocate of the Year (optional)

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions #4 (choose one)

March 14-15, 2014 Madison Marriott West, Middleton

SAVE $ ON HOTEL RESERVATIONS You are responsible for your own room reservations at the Madison Marriott West. Request the “WI Ag Women’s Summit” room block on or before February 14, 2014, to receive the REDUCED standard room rate (up to 4/ room): $116/night + tax. Regular rates will apply for reservations made after February 14, 2014. Call 888.745.2032 for reservations. Or make reservations online at

Get all the latest updates!

7:30-9:00 p.m.

Entertainment by Comedy City A live improv comedy show!

Day 2 - SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014

Operation $40K: How We Saved $40,000 in Less than a Year Facebook Farm Pages with Amy Manske, Moderator Carrie Mess - “Dairy Carrie” Blog Daphne Holterman - Rosy Lane Holsteins Patricia Faber Down on the Farm: Challenges and Resources in Rural Mental Health Rachael Prochaska You’re Online...Protect Your Personal Information Dannelle Gay Panel Discussion

9:45-10:30 a.m. 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Brunch Wrap-Up Keynote Presentation by Chariti Gent

Presented by:

I’m Really Gonna Do It This Time: A Simple System for Turning Those Good Ideas into Action

12:00 p.m.

Adjourn 

University of Wisconsin–Extension

TO REGISTER: Complete the mail-in form below -OR- register and pay online at

Name(s): Address: City:


Phone: E-Mail: Are you a WI Farm Bureau member? Yes_____ No_____



Are you a Badgerland Financial customer? Yes_____ No_____

Note: You do not have to be a member or customer to attend. All are invited and welcome!

Do you have special dietary needs? Yes_____ No_____ If yes, please indicate: Do you require non-meat meals on Friday for Lent? Yes_____ No_____ Please mail form and payment to: WI Farm Bureau/Women’s Summit, P.O. Box 5550, Madison, WI 53705 Please make checks payable to: WI Farm Bureau Foundation


news resources for teachers

ag in the classroom NEWS educational resources Growing Wisconsin ( – This magazine is a guide to Wisconsin’s farms, forests, food and exports. It is published in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and features stories about the state’s livestock, crop, agriculture, food safety and food products. National Ag Day ( – March 25 is National Ag Day, a time when producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America gather to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture. Visit this website for promotional materials, essay contest, media resources and other tools to help you with National Ag Day events. National FFA Week ( – February 1522 is National FFA Week - an opportunity for FFA members, alumni and sponsors to advocate for agricultural education and FFA. Visit this website to find resources to help share with local, state and national audiences what FFA is and the impact it has on members every day.

December | January 2013-14

AFBFA White Reinhardt Mini-Grants Due March 15 The second cycle of American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Mini-Grant Program which funds projects that will increase agricultural literacy are due March 15. County and state Farm Bureaus may apply for grants of up to $500 for classroom education programs for grades K-12 to initiate new programs or expand existing programs to additional grade levels or new subject areas. Grants are available on a competitive basis. Visit www. and click on “What we Support” for the information and link to the online application. Start Planning Now for National Ag in the Classroom Conference The National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference provides a variety of educators with relevant experiences that support core instructional goals. Workshop sessions and presentations address the needs of K-12 educators, administrators, curriculum developers, guidance counselors, volunteers and professionals engaged in agricultural literacy. The 2014 Conference will be held June 23-27 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Visit for registration and other information. Fourth and Fifth Graders – How Are the Essays Coming Along? Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom essay contest for fourth and fifth grade students is well on its way to another exciting year. The 2013-14 topic is “Wisconsin gardens provide many food choices for us.” Resources, lesson plans, sources for information, and promotional materials can be found on www.wisagclassroom. org. Entries are due to county essay coordinators postmarked April 1. This year’s contest is sponsored by Frontier Servco FS, We Energies and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.


ag in the classroom

Soybean Science Kits Connecting Science and Agriculture in a fun way! History of our program For almost 10 years, Wisconsin Agriculture in the Classroom has partnered with the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board in educating elementary and middle school teachers and their students about soybeans and their many uses. The Soybean Science Kits and related curriculum (designed by researchers at Purdue University) uses soybeans to introduce students in grades 4-9 to science and its fundamentals, highlighting the principles of using biological, renewable resources. The kit includes everything necessary for 30 students to participate in 21 hands-on experiments and exercises. It also includes two new biotechnology lessons, an interactive CD-ROM and an instructional video tape. All lessons are aligned to National Science Education Standards.

Kit coordinators to monitor the use of their kit and annually report on their use. Last year, the counties reported 4,943 students/participants who have been able to learn about soybeans and biotechnology during the school year. (The reporting deadline changed and there were some counties that missed the date, so the actual usage is more.) This included 55 schools, 127 classes, 2,221 students in school settings, 46 other events (i.e. fairs, dairy breakfasts, Day on the Farm), and 2,722 participants at other events.

Who uses the kits? The kit is an ideal resource for county Ag in the Classroom coordinators, teachers, extension agents and volunteers to use for conducting hands-on demonstrations in the classroom and special events. The value of the kit is almost $500 and Wisconsin currently has 74 sponsored kits. As part of the sponsorship from the Wisconsin Soybean Program, Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom asks Soybean


Rural Route

Wisconsin farm bureau federation



level. People of all abilities can easily access feeders and houses installed on the

Packaging Information:

Training offered in February

Case dimensions: 59”L x 13”W x 10” D 50 pounds, six per case

Box Dimensions: 58”L x 6”W x 3”D Weight 8.2 pounds


Put it in your yard or on your deck (deck mounting bracket sold separately) Lower feeders to your height. Handicap accessible m

In the box: • • •

Packaging Information:

Box Dimensions: 58”L x 6”W x 3”D

Weight 8.2 pounds

50 pounds, six per case

Case dimensions: 59”L x 13”W x 10” D

Hanger assembly for 3 feeders or houses Rope and pulley system to raise and lower feeders and houses PVC ground sleeve for in ground installation • • •



Pole height 10 ft +

lev Fee el. Pe dS ople av r po of all le. abil itie s ca ne asi ly a cce ss

w.f eed sav

• •

Squirrel deflector


Keep feeders and bird houses out of reach of squirrels, deer and other

For more information visit the Ag in the Classroom• website, www. Keep feeders and bird houses out of reach of squirrels, deer and other Feeders not or• No reaching for feeders with a pole or climbing a ladder. included

The FeedSavr pole keeps your feeders and houses away from unwanted critters Raise them out of reach... lower them for easy filling

level. People of all abilities can easily access feeders and houses installed on the FeedSavr pole.

No reaching for feeders with a pole or climbing a ladder. Put it in your yard or on your deck (deck mounting bracket sold separately) Lower feeders to your height. Handicap accessible

• Ke ep fee • ders No • and Pu reach • bir t dh Lo it in ing fo ou you we r fe In se r th s fe ou ede r yard eders eb to rs to or wit ox: f re ach you on yo h a p • o of rh u Ha squ eig r dec le or • n c ht. irre k Ro ger a Ha (de limbin ls, • p c nd dee PV e an ssem ica k mo g a la ra d bly C p u n g a d fo rou pulle cce ntin dder. oth r3 y ssib g bra nd er sle syste feede le cke ev m rs t so ld se para tely )

• • •

Pa c

e fo to o Cas kag r in rais r ho in ed gro e an uses 50 im g In en p d u fo n r d in lowe Bo ound sion x s, si s: 5 mati r sta Wei Dim on llati feed ensi x per 9”L gh on ers a case x 13 : t8 nd .2 p ons: ”W 5 ho ou x1 use nd 8”L x 0” s 6” s D W x3 ”D

Hanger assembly for 3 feeders or houses Rope and pulley system to raise and lower feeders and houses PVC ground sleeve for in ground installation

In the box:

• • •

Packaging Information:

Case dimensions: 59”L x 13”W x 10” D

50 pounds, six per case

Box Dimensions: 58”L x 6”W x 3”D

Weight 8.2 pounds Educators and volunteers interested in teaching with a Soybean Science Kit are welcome to attend a free one-day training this February in Wisconsin Rapids. Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program and the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing program will host Fred Henderson, an education consultant who developed the Soybean Science Kit, at training sessions at the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids on Friday, February 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday, February 22 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Space is limited to 24 people per session. Lunch will be provided, and thanks to a sponsorship from the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing program, registration is free. Registrations are due by level. People of all abilities can easily access feeders and houses installed on the February 1. Download a registration form at FeedSavr pole. or contact Darlene Arneson at or 608.828.5719. A map and other details will be sent to registered participants. This hands-on training workshop will enable teachers, Ag in the Classroom volunteers, 4-H agents, club leaders and others to become more familiar with the learning opportunities that the Soybean Science Kit offers.

In the box:

No reaching for feeders with a pole or climbing a ladder. Put it in your yard or on your deck (deck mounting bracket sold separately) Lower feeders to your height. Handicap accessible

Keep feeders and bird houses out of reach of squirrels, deer and other

Keep feeders and bird houses out of reach of squirrels, deer and other

• • •

No reaching for feeders with a pole or climbing a ladder. Put it in your yard or on your deck (deck mounting bracket sold separately) Lower feeders to your height. Handicap accessible

The Soybean Science Kits include a binder with 21 lesson plans, DVD or tape to show how to do many of the lessons and the supplies for 30 students to conduct the 21 lesson plans. Supplies include beakers, beeswax, soybean samples, containers, crayon molds and lip balm In the box: materials. More complete information is available online at www. • Hanger assembly for 3 feeders or houses • Rope and pulley system to raise and lower feeders and housesThe Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom website • PVC ground sleeve for in ground installation also has resources for the kits including usage reports, coordinator lists and promotional materials. •


• • •

What’s in a kit?

level. People of all abilities can easily access feeders and houses installed on the FeedSavr pole.


FeedSavr pole.

Hanger assembly for 3 feeders or houses Rope and pulley system to raise and lower feeders and houses PVC ground sleeve for in ground installation

WFBF employees have a combined 280 years of service. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute has provided personal and professional training for 99 graduates from 7 classes. 30 Farm Bureau volunteers conduct the Marketbasket Survey in communities across the state. WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference attracted 500 participants. There were 36 district contestants in Farm Bureau’s 2013 YFA Discussion Meet. 328 women from across Wisconsin attended the 2013 Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit. -


December | January 2013-14


Case dimensions: 59”L x 13”W x 10” D

inst alle do n th e

Packaging Information:

pounds, six per case WFBF is a federation of 61 county Farm Bureaus.50BoxThe Dimensions: 58”L x 6”W x 3”D Weight, 8.2 pounds organization’s current membership stands at 44,881 more than 24,000 of which are voting members who each hold the right to vote on the organization’s policies. The retention rate for membership in Wisconsin Farm Bureau this year was 92 percent. 253 volunteer membership workers signed a combined total of 845 new members this year. The WFBF Board of Directors is composed of 11 farmers who are elected by their peers. WFBF Board members have a combined 85 years of service on the board. 14 farmers from across Wisconsin serve on WFBF’s policy development committee, which reviewed 465 resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureaus. 258 county delegates voted on the organization’s 2014 policy at the WFBF Annual Meeting.

fee ders and ho use s

By the Numbers

Farm Bureau offers numerous opportunities for you to take an active role. How will you get involved?



Silent Auction Raised Money for Ag Promotion The WFB Foundation Silent Auction was popular again with donors, bidders and buyers. There were nearly 300 items donated which raised $16,147 for the WFB Foundation. Thank you to everyone who contributed, bid and purchased items.


Rural Route

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

40 by 40 Campaign Goal Surpassed


he 40 by 40 campaign’s goal was to raise $40,000 by the Sunday night Award’s Program at the WFBF Annual Meeting. We surpassed our goal and raised $50,213.72. Benefiting the three Wisconsin Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapters, the funds will be utilized to help them build their program of activities, host events, recruit members and send members to leadership activities. Watch for the complete list of contributors in the next Rural Route issue or you can view the list online at under the Foundation tab.

40by 40 Wisconsin Farm Bureau

On behalf of the Wisconsi n Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, I wo uld like to thank you for your interest in using ou r promotional materials and pamphlets about Wi sconsin potatoes for educational use. I am ho ping these materials offer a good starting po int as you meet with teachers and train volun teers. Thank you for helping us spread word of the great things Wisconsin growers do an d the quality products they provide. Dana Rady, WPVGA Direct

or of Promotions

Dear Darlene,

Thank you so much for all the grea t materials for the kids that visited our Ag Discovery Tent at the Richland County Fair. We had a grea t turn out and are planning on doing it again next year! Melissa Sprecher, Lone Rock

WFBF’s President Jim Holte, retiring CAO Roger Cliff, new CAO Stephen Freese and WFB Foundation Director Darlene Arneson thank the members at the Annual Meeting for their generosity.

Thank you for your contin ued support of the Walworth County Fair Dis covery Barn. This year 130,685 people attended the fair and its estimate d about half visited the Dis covery Barn. We had six stations teaching children about where their food comes from and 1,435 children successfully ma de it through the stations wit h their parents. Without the continued support of sponsors like you, we would not be able to edu cate the public on where their food comes from. Thank you, Big Foot and Badger FFA Ch


Dear Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Thank you for sponsoring the 4-H Key Award. It is a grea t honor to recei ve this award. 4-H has been the most significant leadership and learning opportunity of my life. I will use what I have learned through 4-H to make this world a better place. I appreciate your support of 4-H and me. The State YFA Committee, including YFA Chair Tim Clark (left) and District 4 Representative Brian Maliszewski, sold 50/50 raffle tickets during the Annual Meeting to support the 40 by 40 campaign. December | January 2013-14

Miranda Thesing-Ritter Eau Claire



What are the considerations that dairy farmers should make for their family, business and spouse? A primary need exists if a death will leave a spouse with the need for cash to pay off a debt, hire additional help, or to provide a financial allowing the surviving spouse enough time to transition the farm to the next owner. Having cash allows a transition to happen on their own terms. Many farmers can look at their balance sheet to see that assets exceed liabilities and come to the conclusion that they do not need life insurance – “we have enough assets – my spouse could sell everything and be OK”. While this may be true today, one cannot predict the economic environment that the spouse may be dealing with in the future. There have been periods in the past 30 years where a forced sale of a farm would not have been advantageous to the seller. From the time, you were a teenager looking forward to the weekend to the day you die – cash provides options, always has, always will. A secondary need exists when cash is needed after Mom and Dad pass, often times to provide for the equitable distribution of assets among farm and non-farm heirs. Someone gets the farm, someone gets the cash. No buyout, no big loan payment, no confusion, everyone is on the same page, farm stays intact. Estate Taxes: This secondary need is one of the most difficult risks to plan for, as it is dependent upon two unpredictable numbers. What will the Federal Estate Tax Exemption be and what will the net worth be. Failure to plan for this event could have dire consequences on the next generation’s ability to continue the farm. The tax is due within 9 months and there are only three ways to pay for it – sell something, get a loan, or have enough cash to pay for it. A properly structured life insurance program can provide for tax-free cash to pay for those liabilities. Life insurance is a tool that is used to fix a problem. Each person reading this article has at one point used a screwdriver as a hammer – with mixed results. If it did not work out the way you expected is it the screwdriver’s fault? Make sure you are using the right tool for the job. Work with a professional that can help you navigate through the various types of policies to match the right policy for your need. For more information contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent.

Neither the Company nor its agents give tax or legal advice. Consult with your attorney and other professional advisers for tax and legal advice, and to determine the best solution for your specific situation. Registered Representative/Securities & services offered through FBL Marketing Services, LLC+ 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA 50266, Member SIPC. Life insurance and annuity products offered through Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company+ I +Affiliates

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

The DAYs ARe long buT The office hAs A PReTTY sWeeT vieW.

They work the land sun up ‘til sun down – every day rain or shine. Chances are, you don’t think twice about the many ways America’s farmers and ranchers enhance our everyday lives. We rely on them for everything from comfortable clothing to quality meats and fresh produce. That’s why we continue to thank the farm families who work and care for this great land. /SayThanksToAFarmer

FB06 (8-13)

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here To Keep Wisconsin Strong. As the leading insurer of Wisconsin farms, we recognize that agri-business requires special protection. After all, your farm operation is your home, your business, and a considerable capital investment. Contact Rural Mutual today for a competitive insurance quote and see how our coverages and prices compare.

877-219-9550 •

Rural Route  

December | January, 2014 Volume 19 Issue 6.

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