Page 1

Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

february | march 2014 • vol. 20 no. 1 |

Wisconsin in

Winter’s Grip

Finally a Farm Bill Meet the Roden Family Ag Day at the Capitol Highlights



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


©2014 GROWMARK, Inc. A14173C


vol. 20 no. 1

14 5





AFBF Annual Convention Highlights from Texas gathering appear on pages 5-12.


Ag Day at the capitol See pictures from when our members visited their legislators.



roden Family Learn more about this true Farm Bureau family.

COVER photo by Patti Roden

capitol watch



departments 5


Updates on the farm bill and implements of husbandry.




member benefits







ag in the classroom

membership tips



One of our leading membership workers shares tips for signing members.


Rural mutual

Animal rights group questions WFBF’s stance on tail-docking of dairy cattle.

freese Get to know WFBF’s new CAO with roots in southwest Wisconsin.




new projects The Women’s Program for Education and Leadership celebrates accomplishments and launches new initiatives.

40by 40

Thank you to all the 40 by 40 campaign contributors. February | March 2014

Wisconsin Farm Bureau



Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor’s Note


he old saying that “misery loves company” is certainly true. Doesn’t it give you some solace to know that every man, woman, child and beast in the Midwest is suffering through this unforgiving winter right along with you? Tonight’s forecast (a windchill of 50 below by morning) has my wife saying things like, “Why do we live here?” Drowsy from cough medicine, I can barely muster a response. Instead I sit under a blanket, sucking on a lemon cough drop, cursing the weather outside for my bad case of writer’s block. My mind wanders away from my looming magazine deadline to topics like the R-level of the insulation in our attic. Ours is a really old house, so I’m sure it has survived colder winters...I‘m just not sure when. Someone once wrote that, “Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat.” I found that and other gems while online surfing for winter-inspired quotes. “Nothing burns like the cold,” jumped out at me. So did one from Sinclair Lewis, who must have been thinking about Wisconsin farmers and frozen drinking cups when he said, “Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.”

{from Casey Langan} There are positive winter quotes like Tom Allen’s, “While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” Or, the Japanese proverb, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” There’s also Shakespeare’s famous, “Now is the winter of our discontent.” I’m not entirely sure what he meant by that, but my guess is that he meant it to be grumpy. Sort of like Bill Watterson, who said, “I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.” Admit it, it’s hard to be cheery when it’s warmer in Siberia than it is in on the other side of your window pane. I will be honest, while scanning Facebook, I am much more likely to give an empathetic ‘like’ to someone posting photos of calves under heating lamps or a shoveled out driveway than I am to a lucky soul who is sunning themselves on a beach somewhere. Some will tell you to embrace the winter. I tried snow-shoeing last month, but face it, the closest I get to winter sports is watching the Olympics. I will still stand by the words of humorist Dave Barry, who said, “The problem with winter sports is that - follow me closely here - they generally take place in winter.” “It’s so cold outside I just saw a teenage boy with his pants pulled up,” was another winter wisecrack that was too good to pass up. Finally, Robert Bryne was certainly thinking about frozen fuel lines, busted water pipes and impassable roads when he said, “Winter is nature’s way of saying ‘Up yours.’” On that pleasant note, until our next issue comes out (in balmy April!), be safe out there Wisconsin! 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


Rural Route

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Crop Growers Told to Prepare for Low Price Era By Casey Langan


“Don’t compound financial problems with divorce,” he said. ollowing some of the best years ever for growing row crops, Roberts noted that global demand and ethanol have fueled an agricultural economist advised farmers to prepare for corn’s rise. several years of lower prices at a workshop at the American “We are living in the most prosperous time in history,” Roberts Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention. noted by pointing out that the world poverty rate has dropped “The last six years have been extraordinary years if you are significantly over the past 40 years. a row crop producer,” said Matthew Roberts, an associate In 1970, nearly a quarter of the world’s population lived professor at Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, on a dollar a day or less. That number fell to five percent in Environmental and Development Economics. “It’s been the best 2007. People who live better, eat better. Improving economic six years in history. The next six years will not be like that.” conditions in the Strong demand from developing world China and the ethanol “We are entering a four year to five year period have caused demand industry altered corn and for U.S. agricultural soybean production globally of lower costs and profitability. I think we’ll see commodities to surge. during agriculture’s recent some farms (that expanded aggressively) in From 2001 to 2011, boom period. A decent China’s demand for U.S. crop year in 2013 and the corn belt go bankrupt,” predicted Matthew soybeans grew by 30 curbed growth from ethanol Roberts. “Put one year’s worth of land charges million acres. Over may mean some acreage (above normal working capital needs) in the roughly the same time will revert back to pasture period, U.S. ethanol and forage crops. bank as soon as possible.” usage increased by 20 “The question is how fast, million acres. after a grower has made an “Fifty million more acres were needed just to meet the top investment into row crops, we’ll likely have to see losses before two demands,” he said. “High prices give incentives to change that land reverts to another use,” Roberts said. behavior. As a result, global corn, soybean and wheat production Roberts advised large, aggressive and young growers to have all increased substantially.” prepare for a bumpy ride by putting cash in the bank. However, ethanol’s demand for corn has flatlined. Roberts “We are entering a four year to five year period of lower costs said 2013 saw the first decent corn yields in four years and that and profitability. I think we’ll see some farms (that expanded means lower prices. He thinks more corn will be added back into aggressively) in the corn belt go bankrupt,” he predicted. “Put feed rations, and exports will increase. one year’s worth of land charges (above normal working capital Domestic demand is flat for soybeans, but exports are very needs) in the bank as soon as possible.” strong, from China, Africa and the rest of the developing world. “Cash is the only way to ultimately manage risk,” Roberts As for wheat, he said the United States has been using more added. than it produced lately, which has positively ate away at wheat “We have a generation of young farmers who have never stocks. experienced hard times,” he said. Roberts urged farmers to get their spouses fully on board with the farm’s financial outlook. February | March 2014



FB Delegates Set Public Policy Positions for 2014


On another livestock-related issue, delegates maintained their oting delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention approved resolutions that will provide support for country of origin labeling and reiterated that it needs to be compliant with World Trade Organization rules. They also the organization with authority from its grassroots members voted to support efforts to lengthen the term of grazing permits to push Congress toward the goal line on unfinished issues like the from 10 years to 20 years. farm bill and ag labor. On other issues, delegates adopted new policy that supports the “Securing victories on those issues is critical to our use of unmanned aircraft systems for commercial agricultural, competitiveness as individual farmers and ranchers, and to our forestry and other natural resource purposes. They also supported nation’s success as a food producer,” said AFBF President Bob the requirement for drone users to gain the consent of the Stallman, who was re-elected to his eighth two-year term as the landowners, if operating below navigable airspace. However, organization’s president. “Farm Bureau made progress on our delegates opposed federal agencies’ use of drones for regulatory priorities this past year, more so than most other organizations, enforcement, litigation or natural resource inventory surveys. and this year, our delegates have provided us direction to work Delegates approved new policy with Congress to complete this supporting the protection of proprietary agenda.” data collected from farmers and On the farm labor front, delegates maintaining that such data should reaffirmed their strong support for remain their property. Delegates also meaningful ag labor reforms that voted to support efforts to educate ensure farmers and ranchers have farmers regarding the benefits and risks access to workers when they are of collaborative data collection systems. needed. Delegates also voted to They also approved policy stating support flexibility that would allow that farmers should be compensated the employment of workers by more if companies market their propriety than one farmer. information, and that farmers should “Farmers and ranchers need a have the right to sell their proprietary reliable supply of labor,” Stallman From left, WFBF Board Director Dave Daniels, data to another producer, such as in said. “That is a simple truth. It’s about President Jim Holte and Vice President Richard the case of a land sale. Delegates voted availability and flexibility – neither of Gorder served as Wisconsin’s three delegates to to oppose farmers’ data being held in a which have been hallmarks of the system the AFBF Annual Convention. clearinghouse or database by any entity our farmers, ranchers and growers have subject to the Freedom of Information Act. operated under for many years. We must have a workable ag labor Delegates also reaffirmed their support for the renewable fuels program.” standard and approved a policy supporting renewable fuels tax As congressional farm bill action neared completion, delegates incentives for the production of biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol reaffirmed Farm Bureau’s policy, overwhelmingly determining that and installation of blender pumps. now is not the time to make changes. At the AFBF Annual Convention, voting delegates, representing “It has been a long process, but substantial reforms have been every crop and livestock sector in the United States, deliberated made,” Stallman said. “Crop insurance has been strengthened so on policies affecting farmers’ and ranchers’ productivity and that farmers can play a role in determining the level of their safety profitability. The policies approved at the Annual Convention will net, and how much they are willing to invest for that coverage.” guide the nation’s largest general farm organization throughout Specifically on dairy-related issues, delegates reaffirmed policy 2014. supporting changes to the dairy safety net, including margin insurance programs.


Rural Route

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

YFA Members Make Wisconsin Farm Bureau Proud


contribute and hris Pollack came home from Texas with a new tractor. grow through their The Fond du Lac County dairy farmer was one of four involvement in finalists in the Discussion Meet competition held at the agriculture, their American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention, leadership ability January 12-15. and participation in Pollack, along with Corey and Miranda Leis, and Nicole Farm Bureau and Reese, represented Wisconsin in the Young Farmers & Ranchers other organizations. Discussion Meet, Achievement Award and Excellence in Reese, who recently Agriculture competitions, respectively. Young farmers and taught agricultural ranchers from around the country competed for the awards by courses at Milton demonstrating knowledge of and achievement in agriculture, as High School is the well as commitment to promoting the agriculture industry. new executive As a final four finalist, Pollack will receive a Case IH Farmall director of the 55A, courtesy Evansville-based, of Case IH, Southern Wisconsin and $3,000 Agricultural Group. in cash She is also a former and STIHL state FFA vice merchandise, president and Alice courtesy of in Dairyland. STIHL. The Chris Pollack was Monroe Discussion one of the four County dairy Meet finalists in the farmers, Corey simulates a national Discussion and Miranda committee Meet competition Leis, competed in meeting in at the AFBF Annual the Achievement which active Convention. Award which discussion recognizes young and farmers and participation ranchers who are expected. Rock County Farm have excelled Bureau members Participants (l-r) Dale Beaty, Arch in their farming are evaluated Morton, Jr., Aaron or ranching on their ability Barlass and Casey operations to exchange Langan flank Nicole and exhibited ideas and Reese (center), a superior information on top 10 finalist in leadership a predetermined the Excellence in abilities. topic. Pollack Agriculture Award. Participants are grew up on a evaluated on a dairy farm near Ripon. He and his combination of parents milk 150 cows and farm 700 Miranda and Corey Leis represented Wisconsin in the national their agricultural acres. He also does custom baling Achievement Award in San Antonio. operation’s and markets straw to local farmers. He is growth and a graduate of the Farm Bureau Institute financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership leadership course. outside of Farm Bureau. Miranda works off the farm at Organic Nicole Reese of Rock County was among the top 10 finalists Valley Cooperative and serves on the state Agriculture, Trade for the Excellence in Agriculture Award which recognizes and Consumer Protection Board. Corey is a director for the young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively February | March 2014


2014 AFBF Annual Convention


Scrapbook 1) AFBF President Bob Stallman welcomed thousands of Farm Bureau members to his home state of Texas.

2 3

2) Chris Pollack and Nicole Reese were all smiles after qualifying as finalists for the Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture competitions. 3) Country star Josh Turner performed at an event for the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. 4) While in San Antonio, this foursome of Dave Daniels, Paul Zimmerman, Richard Gorder and Steve Freese found time for a round of golf in support of AFBF’s foundation.


Rural Route


Wisconsin farm bureau federation



5) WFBF Women’s Committee Chair Nicole Adrian (left) with Terry Gilbert, chair of the AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee. Gilbert, a cattle and corn farmer from Kentucky, said, “Women have always been a powerful force in agriculture, in business, as entrepreneurs and in our communities. Our new program of work reflects this reality and provides a strategic platform for Farm Bureau women to improve their skills and become compelling advocates in sharing the importance of modern agriculture.” 6) WFBF President Jim Holte proudly carried Wisconsin’s flag during the parade of states at the convention’s opening. 7) A foursome of WFBF members wave from a boat ride. The historic River Walk is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River in the heart of Texas’ second largest city.


February | March 2014


8) Farm bill priorities were a hot topic as WFBF President Jim Holte fielded questions from a farm broadcaster.



Dodge County’s Fish Fry in the Spotlight


Wisconsin fish fry that drew 500 people together to learn more about Farm Bureau, has drawn national praise. Dodge County was among the 24 county Farm Bureaus nationwide that were recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation for innovative program ideas through the organization’s County Activities of Excellence Awards program. The winners were highlighted during AFBF’s 95th Annual Convention, January 12-15, in San Antonio. The CAE program acknowledges and shares successful county Farm Bureau programs and activities. The awards also are based on county Farm Bureau membership. The CAE focuses on Farm Bureau’s priority issues in the following areas: Education and Ag Promotion; Member Services; Public Relations and Information; Leadership Development; and Policy Implementation. AFBF President Bob Stallman is flanked by Dodge County Farm Bureau members “Grassroots members who join at the county level Mason Rens, Andrea Brossard, Fay and Roger Hildebrandt. are the heart and soul of Farm Bureau,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “The innovative ways they Yet he was impressed with the amount of younger members reach out in their communities with information about today’s involved in the Dodge County event, and the effective use of food and farming shows they are eager to engage and share social media to promote it. their stories of agriculture,” he said. Dodge County Farm Bureau members in attendance were A Kentucky Farm Bureau member who dropped by the booth county president Roger Hildebrandt and his wife Fay along with said his county Farm Bureau conducts an annual fish fry as well. Andrea Brossard and her husband Mason Rens.

Overcoming Adversity - Vital Skill for Strong Leadership


en. Stan McChrystal, a retired four-star general and former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, gave a rousing keynote address at the closing session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention. McChrystal highlighted both military and civilian stories of overcoming unexpected challenges. “When an organization is small it learns very quickly. Over time it continues to learn, but not as fast and it starts to level out,” said McCrystal. “But our society continues to change and the weight of that change has sped up. This leads to a gap that I like to call the adaptability gap.” McChrystal spoke about the military’s struggle to escape the adaptability gap after various tragic events. This included after Sept. 11, when the U.S. military had to learn to fight an enemy


Rural Route

that was culturally difficult to understand, was geographically diverse and operated with a completely different leadership model. “If you wait to respond to terrorist actions, all you’re going to do is pick up the fallen,” McCrystal lamented. “So we had to prevent terrorist attacks so that we could protect the nation that we work for.” The military’s ability to adapt to change came from a combination of team work and cooperation. McCrystal’s final message focused on the power of team work. “The best teams that I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in a lot, are just people like all of us,” McCrystal said. “They have the same hopes, fears, strengths and weaknesses, but when they come together something magical happens and that’s leadership.” Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Marathon County Resolution Adopted as National Policy


t’s a text book example of how Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process works. An idea that originated with the Marathon County Farm Bureau was adopted as policy of the American Farm Bureau Federation during its delegate session on January 14 in San Antonio. The resolution, which was first passed on the county and state levels, before being forwarded to AFBF for consideration dealt with limiting dairy consumption in middle and high schools. Current law does not allow 16-ounce containers of milk to be sold in schools. The successful resolution stated that Farm Bureau should oppose the 12-ounce limit on milk sold in middle schools and high schools as regulated by the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. Milk in excess of 12-ounces is considered ‘competitive food’ by federal regulators. Likewise, AFBF has already opposed mandatory caloric limits and mandatory limits on lean meat, protein and dairy. “It is great to see an idea that is important to our county Farm Bureau gain traction and attention at the state and national levels,” said Marathon County Farm Bureau Board Director Ryan Prahl. “The support of our state resolutions committee and state staff, particularly Karen Gefvert and President Holte, is what really propelled this resolution onto the national floor. “We will continue to assist our local schools who will be impacted by this initial ruling, but we know that with the right policies in place now at the national level, AFBF will keep working in Washington to reverse the USDA 12-ounce mandate on competitive milk sold in schools set to begin July 1, 2014.

“We will continue to assist our local schools who will be impacted by this initial ruling, but we know that with the right policies in place now at the national level, AFBF will keep working in Washington to reverse the USDA 12-ounce mandate on competitive milk sold in schools set to begin July 1, 2014.” - Ryan Prahl

© 2013 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

“Overall, our county is very pleased with the outcome of the resolution process, and we look forward to seeing the fruit of our new national policy go to work in Washington to help make a difference here at home, in our county and in our local schools.”

Want more ag news? Visit for our online Ag Newswire!

February | March 2014



AFBF Keeps Casper Coming Back


t was 1971 when Carl Casper represented Wisconsin in the Discussion Meet at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Houston. “It was my first time in a big city,” recalls the Dunn County Farm Bureau member. Back then a hot topic of debate was cholesterol and the level that dairy products were contributing to diets. Casper said he lost to a smooth-talking farm broadcaster from Illinois. “I’d hate to compete with those guys today,” he said of today’s crop of young members. The experience in 1971 clearly made a positive impression on the young farmer. He’s made more than 30 trips back to AFBF’s annual gathering since then. A self-described “people person,” Casper was part of a small group of seasoned Farm Bureau members from across the state who traveled to San Antonio in January. “It’s a wintertime getaway with people we enjoy the company of. You know what they say about birds of a feather. We have a fun time,” he said. “Agricultural people care about their friends. No matter where you go, or where they’re from, or what they grow, you

By Casey Langan

can visit with them,” he said of other Farm Bureau members in attendance. Since 1971, he said “The associations with people haven’t changed, but the

“Agricultural people care about their friends. No matter where you go, or where they’re from, or what they grow, you can visit with them,” Casper said of other Farm Bureau members in attendance.

2014 Farm Bureau Polic

Adopted by delegates

at the 94th Wisconsin

Farm Bureau Federation

Annual Meeting.


problems involving agriculture have. They’ve gotten more complex.” He credits his parents (charter members of the Dunn County Farm Bureau) with letting him get away from the farm to attend that fateful first AFBF Annual Meeting. “They were generous people,” said Casper. He encourages others to make the trip. “It’s an opportunity (that other Farm Bureau members) will never forget,” he said.

2014 Policy Book Available Online


ant to know where the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation stands on an issue? The 2014 Policy Book is now available online at The document reflects the most recent policy directives established by voting delegates at Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 94th Annual Meeting in December. “As delegates, Farm Bureau members establish our organization’s legislative agenda from the resolutions submitted by our voting members,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “These grassroots-generated policies address topics like transportation, taxes, energy, farmland preservation and wildlife management.” “We want this information easily accessible to all of our members and the decision-makers who have a role in agriculture’s future,” Holte added. To view the policy book online, visit and search “policy.”


Rural Route

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Sime, Richard Join Farm Bureau Team


elly Sime of Stoughton and Rob Richard of the Sauk Prairie area were recently hired by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Sime is the District 2 Coordinator in southcentral Wisconsin. Richard is the Senior Director of Governmental Relations. Kelly Sime will be responsible for working with county Farm Bureaus to develop and implement programs to serve Farm Bureau members and to coordinate membership recruitment and retention efforts. Sime will serve Farm Bureau’s District 2, which includes the counties Kelly Sime of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Rock and Sauk. “Kelly’s farm background, together with her leadership experience as a Farm Bureau volunteer will serve her well as she works with the county Farm Bureaus in south-central Wisconsin and the collegiate Farm Bureau chapter at the UWMadison campus,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Executive Director of Member Relations. Sime grew up on a dairy farm near Stoughton in Dane County. She is a graduate of the University of WisconsinMadison with degrees in dairy science and life sciences communication. She previously worked for Filament Marketing, an agricultural marketing firm in Madison. She is a member of the Dane County Farm Bureau, where she recently served as its chair of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. Sime also is a graduate of Farm Bureau’s Institute leadership course. She began her duties on December 16. As a registered lobbyist for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Rob Richard will assist grassroots Farm Bureau members in working with local, state and federal lawmakers to advance the policy directives for Wisconsin’s largest general farm organization. Richard comes to the Farm Bureau from the State Capitol where he served

as deputy chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. He previously worked as the assistant director for Circus World Museum and also as legislative aide for both State Representatives Mark Gottlieb and Steve Freese. The Kieler native has a degree in history from the University of WisconsinPlatteville. “Rob’s background as a legislative aide in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate make him an outstanding asset to our team,” said Paul Zimmerman, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Executive Director of Governmental Rob Richard Relations. “With his experience he will be able to hit the ground running to lobby on behalf of Wisconsin farm families. He understands the importance of Wisconsin agriculture and will be an asset for advocating our position to legislators, state agencies and other farm commodity groups.” Richard and his wife, Carrie, live in the Sauk Prairie area with their two young children. He began his duties on January 20.

Fresh Strawberries from Florida! Visit for county Farm Bureaus who are hosting spring sales.

February | March 2014


Farmers from Washington and Ozaukee counties looked right at home in chairs typically occupied by legislators in one of the state capitol’s hearing rooms.

Attendees like this group from District 3 made the short walk from the Monona Terrace Convention Center to the state capitol.

Ag Day at January 29, 2014

Grant County farmerlegislator Travis Tranel had lunch with his constituents from southwest Wisconsin. Changes to the state’s implements of husbandry laws were discussed with State Rep. Joan Ballweg, whose family has a farm implement dealership.


Rural Route

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Steve and Patricia Kling from Jackson County shared a laugh with WFBF President Jim Holte at the Ag Day luncheon.

Governor Walker talked to a slew of agricultural and political reporters following his Ag Day remarks. He was asked about ag labor needs, use value assessment of farmland, his plans for a nearly $1 billion budget surplus and President Obama’s visit to Waukesha.

the Capitol Governor Scott Walker emphasized the state’s response to a propane shortage during his remarks to Ag Day at the Capitol’s approximate 400 attendees.

Assemblyman Chris Danou posed for a photo in the capitol rotunda with a large group of his constituents from westcentral Wisconsin.

February | March 2014


Steve Freese Knows Where His Roots Are Planted

County farm located outside of Hazel Green. “It’s just like working again with my dad and grandfather,” he said of being around the well-preserved antique tractors and tools. During his youth, Freese witnessed the transition from horses to tractors on the farm, and the transition between generations from his grandfather to his father. His grandfather farmed with horses until 1972 when his favorite lead horse, Daisy, died. The next day the rest of the farm’s horses were sold. That same year, the farm’s small dairy herd of Holsteins was sold and replaced with Herefords.

“It’s the best place to get away from everything,” Freese said while looking at its hip-roof barn built in 1948. “It’s where I learned my work ethic. It reminds you what matters.”

By Casey Langan


igh on the to-do list for Steve Freese in early 2014 is a new strategic plan for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. As WFBF’s new Chief Administrative Officer, he will be working with members, staff and interested parties on a vision for how the organization will evolve over the next five years. His is a job that requires someone to look forward. Yet outside the office he often finds himself looking back with nostalgia for his family’s farm on a Mississippi River bluff. “It plants you solidly where you came from,” Freese said of the 250 acres that his family still owns in Wisconsin’s southwest corner. A celebration marking 140 years of Freese family ownership is being planned this year. A portion of the farmhouse predates Wisconsin’s 1848 statehood. “It’s the best place to get away from everything,” Freese said while looking at its hip-roof barn built in 1948. “It’s where I learned my work ethic. It reminds you what matters.” Following the 24-7 rigors of his last job managing the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Freese is looking forward to a “more normal life” and having the time to care for the Grant


Rural Route

Some of the farm’s horse-drawn machinery was sold to a museum in Illinois. It was a move his father later regretted. It is not common for the Freese family to part with relics from the past. Nowhere is that more evident than in their machinery shed that could double as a farm museum. There are the two wagons that his grandfather used to haul hogs and 5,000 bushels of potatoes to nearby Dubuque during the Great Depression. There are potato planters and diggers, and a corn planter that planted one seed at a time. The walls are adorned with every license plate received since 1917. Hanging from the rafters are an American flag with 30 stars on it (marking Wisconsin’s entry as the 30th state) and another that commemorated Wisconsin’s sesquicentennial. Freese still has the family’s first tractor, a 1935 Allis Chalmers WC, purchased in 1948. It’s parked near Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Above left: Although faded, an ornate design is still visible on an antique wagon that once hauled hogs and potatoes to nearby Dubuque. Above right: From legislator, to Circus World director, to Chief Administrative Officer for WFBF, Freese remains a farm boy at heart and takes pride in his family farm’s fleet of Allis Chalmers tractors

another rare Allis Chalmers WC made in 1944 (amid World War II) that was once rescued from an overgrown pasture. Then there’s a 1949 International KB1 pickup truck, “Grandpa gave it to me when I was 13 and I drove it to high school,” he recalls. “Its top speed was 45 miles per hour, downhill.” Today, most of the farm is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, which Freese says keeps him busy cutting box elder trees. There is a remnant of a limestone quarry that was in operation starting in the 1990s. There are five acres of crops in a wildlife food plot. One of the farms pastures hold a deer stand made from old plywood political signs. The signs from elections past also clog the chicken coop. They are visual reminders of Freese’s former career in the State Assembly,

A product of Southwestern Wisconsin Community Schools in Hazel Green and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Freese served on the boards for the Town of Jamestown and Grant County in his twenties before making the jump to the statehouse.

where he served a large swath of southwestern Wisconsin from 1991 to 2007 in the State Assembly. Today, he and his wife, Dawn, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, reside in Dodgeville in Iowa County, and have two children, Marie and Andrew.

The Freese farm is tucked in Wisconsin’s southwestern corner. It looks across the Mississippi River into Iowa. Just three farms to the south is the state line with Illinois. Over its history the farm has had a mailing address from three states: first, Dubuque, Iowa, then East Dubuque, Illinois and finally Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

February | March 2014



Watch Farm Bureau advocates for you in Madison and Washington, D.C. Finally….A New Farm Bill! As Rural Route went to press, the U.S. Senate had just approved the 2014 Farm Bill by a 68 to 32 margin. Senator Tammy Baldwin voted yes. Senator Ron Johnson voted no. Delayed since 2012, the U.S. House (which voted down a farm bill proposal last summer) approved the long-sought farm bill (officially known as H.R. 2642) by a 251 to 166 margin. Wisconsin’s House delegation was split on the measure. GOP Congressmen Paul Ryan, Tom Petri, Reid Ribble and Sean Duffy voted in favor. Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner voted against the farm bill, as did Wisconsin’s three Democrat House members, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore. Rep. Ribble, Wisconsin’s lone member on the House Agriculture Committee, had this to say after the vote: “While far from perfect, the 2014 Farm Bill will save taxpayers $23 billion from the previous farm bill. The bill eliminates direct payments to farmers who were previously paid regardless of market conditions, and this bill repeals or consolidates nearly 100 additional programs. The farm bill also tightens loopholes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program while targeting program benefits to those most in need.” “Representing America’s Dairyland, I am pleased with the significant dairy policy reforms included in the legislation,” Ribble continued. “The


Rural Route

farm bill offers dairy farmers a voluntary margin insurance program that will help farmers manage risk and will work well for Wisconsin dairy farmers of all sizes. The 2014 Farm Bill takes several other steps forward for Wisconsin, including critical reforms to our forest policy, new opportunities for fruit and vegetable producers and processors, and Rep. Ribble ongoing support for critical agricultural research.” “I have been serving on the House Agriculture Committee since I arrived in Congress, and I have taken that responsibility very seriously. I’m pleased we were finally able to pass a long-term farm bill after years of hard work,” Ribble added. “This farm bill provides risk management tools and safety net provisions for grain, livestock, dairy and fruit and vegetable growers. This is good news for an agriculturally diverse state like Wisconsin,” said WFBF President Jim Holte, prior to the House vote. “In regards to dairy, we are please this farm bill compromise offers the most significant reform to federal dairy policy in a generation. This reform comes in the way of giving dairy farmers the option to participate in a safety net program during times of volatile milk prices,” Holte said. “Agriculture represents over $59 billion in annual economic activity for Wisconsin. The farm bill proposals before the Congress provide the right amount of flexibility and certainty as our farmers make decisions that impact the fiscal health of their businesses and our local economies,” Holte added.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Machinery Bill Needs to Plow Forward Bills to clarify definitions and laws pertaining to implements of husbandry (IoH) must pass this spring to keep farm machinery legally operating on Wisconsin roadways. State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and State Representative Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) have introduced Senate Bill 509 and Assembly Bill 648. The companion bills were a focus of attention at Ag Day at the Capitol on January 29. “It is imperative that this legislation is passed this session. Failure to do so will leave farmers operating combines and other farm machinery on Wisconsin roads subject to law enforcement actions for being over existing road weight limits,” explained Karen Gefvert, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Director of Governmental Relations. “The legislation needs to balance a farmer’s need to legally drive farm machinery on roads, while recognizing towns’ and counties’ responsibility to protect and maintain roads.” The bills establish a consistent definition of IoH for modern agricultural equipment. All IoH will be exempt from registration requirements. Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) used exclusively for farming will be defined as agricultural commercial motor vehicles and a self-certification process will be established. The bills establish size limits, often referred to as an “envelope” for IoH. * Width envelope: Generally there are no width limitations for IoH. However, wide pieces of machinery would be subject to new lighting and marking requirements. * Height envelope: There is no limitation or permit needed, but the operator is responsible for ensuring safe clearance of any overhead obstructions. * Length envelope of 60 feet for a single IoH; 100 feet for combinations of two IoH; and 70 feet for combinations of three IoH or 100 feet for combinations of three IoH if traveling under 20 miles per hour. * IoH are given an increased 15 percent weight allowance over limits established by the Federal Bridge Formula, except where posted during periods of spring thaw or on bridges and culverts. This equates to a

maximum single axle weight of 23,000 pounds and a gross vehicle weight of 92,000 pounds, based on axle spacing. Written authorization to exceed the size envelope limits (weight and/or length) may be requested on an annual or consecutive month basis from the maintaining authority of that roadway. Any maintaining authority may use a blanket exemption per passage of an annual ordinance to exempt all oversized IoH. IoH vehicles operating in excess of the 15 percent allowance will be subject to fines for the amount in excess of standard gross motor vehicle weight of individual axle weight (20,000 lbs). Lighting and marking requirements are created for IoH exceeding 15 feet or those that exceed the centerline when operated on the road. These include amber flashing warning lamps, red tail lamps to the rear, red reflective material to the rear and yellow reflective material to the front. Self-propelled IoH exceeding 12 feet must have a 360-degree rotating amber or yellow flashing strobe light or two amber flashers at the highest possible point of the vehicle. The bills also eliminate a provision that currently allows motorists to pass IoH in otherwise no-passing zones. “Before passage there are two changes needed to make this bill practical for farmers when the rubber literally hits the road,” Gefvert said. * Simplify Lighting and Marking Requirements: “As written now, this bill is very prescriptive on the placement of lighting and markings that make farm machinery more visible to other motorists. Owners of farm machinery need to be granted greater flexibility to comply with this portion of the bill,” Gefvert said. * Limit the Local Permitting Process: “As written now, this bill creates burdensome paperwork for farmers. A trip from the machine - Karen Gefvert shed to the corn field often requires travel through more than one town or county. Wisconsin is home to 72 counties and more than 1,300 towns. Farmers should not be required to secure a permit for every trip their machinery takes on the road,” Gefvert said. “This can be accomplished by exempting implements of husbandry from axle weight requirements.”

“It is imperative that this legislation is passed this session. Failure to do so will leave farmers operating combines and other farm machinery on Wisconsin roads subject to law enforcement actions for being over existing road weight limits.”

February | March 2014



How a Safe Step Walk-In Tub can change your life Remember when… Think about the things you loved to do that are difficult today — going for a walk or just sitting comfortably while reading a book. And remember the last time you got a great night’s sleep? As we get older, health issues or even everyday aches, pains and stress can prevent us from enjoying life. So what’s keeping you from having a better quality of life?

Check all the conditions that apply to you. Then read on to learn how a Safe Step Walk-In Tub can help. Personal Checklist: Arthritis Lower Back Pain Insomnia Diabetes Asthma Anxiety Headaches High Blood Pressure

Safe Step includes more standard therapeutic and safety features than any other tub on the market, plus the best warranty in the industry: Hydro-Jet Water Therapy — 10 Built-In Variable-Speed Massaging Water Jets Limited Lifetime Warranty on the Tub, Door Seal and Faucets

GentleJet™ (Air-Jet) Therapy — 16 Bubble Streams Gel-Coat, Easy-Clean Finish

A Safe Step Tub can help increase mobility, boost energy and improve sleep.

Feel better, sleep better, live better A Safe Step Walk-In Tub lets you indulge in a warm, relaxing bath that can relieve life’s aches, pains and worries. It’s got everything you should look for in a walk-in tub: • Pain-relieving therapy — Air and water jets help you sit more comfortably, move more easily and even relax and sleep better. • Safety features — Low step-in, grab bars and more allow you to bathe safely and maintain your independence. • Quality and value — Safe Step Tubs are made in the U.S.A. and have the best warranty in the business. Call now toll free

1-888-409-0361 for more information and for our Senior Discounts.

Personal Hygiene Therapy System and Bidet

Financing available with approved credit.

$750 OFF

10-year Limited Warranty on Water Pumps, Blowers and Heaters

when you mention this ad Anti-Slip Tub Floor

for a limited time only

Call Toll-Free 1-888-409-0361

Wider Door, The Industry’s Leading Low Step-In


HSUS Questions WFBF on Tail-Docking of Dairy Cattle


prominent, national animal rights group recently called on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation to join them in seeking a ban on tail-docking of dairy cattle in America’s Dairyland. WFBF responded that decisions over appropriate animal husbandry practices should remain a decision between

The letter from HSUS tried to liken tail-docking to the video footage shot on a Brown County dairy farm and released in December by fellow animal rights activist organization, Mercy for Animals. The HSUS letter also noted a lack of scientific support for tail-docking to keep cattle clean or a positive impact on milk quality. “This is one reason why the National Milk Producers Federation and American Veterinary

WFBF’s policy on animal welfare states: We support farmers and veterinarians deciding appropriate husbandry practices for their farm.

farmers and veterinarians, and not be a legislative mandate prompted by an animal rights group whose end goal is to eliminate animal agriculture. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte received a letter from Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society of the United States, regarding tail-docking of dairy cattle on January 6. Shapiro urged WFBF to call on all dairy farmers to cease this practice. The HSUS simultaneously sent a press release to media outlets, informing them of the letter. “As a grassroots organization, we do not adopt the top-down approach that you suggest, by having us call for a ban on a management practice used by our members,” Holte wrote back to Shapiro. “The way we operate is the complete opposite. Our policies are drafted and approved by our voting members. WFBF’s policy on animal welfare is clear: We support farmers and veterinarians deciding appropriate husbandry practices for their farm.” “Personally, I believe that this should remain a decision between farmers and their veterinarians, and not become a legislative mandate from the HSUS, Farm Bureau or any other organization,” Holte added. “This choice is not that different from the rights afforded to the owners of dogs and cats. Tail-docking and ear-cropping of dogs, or declawing of cats, is done by veterinarians primarily for the convenience of their owners,” Holte wrote. February | March 2014

Medical Association both oppose and criticize routine tail-docking of dairy cows,” Shapiro wrote. HSUS is known for its fundraising commercials that request $19 a month to protect cats and dogs. However, it has been widely reported that less than one percent of HSUS’s multi-million dollar annual budget actually goes to animal shelters. “Many of HSUS’s commercials feature dogs and cats, so I would assume they are a focus of your advocacy as well,” Holte wrote. “I would guess that in Wisconsin more dogs have their tails docked than cows do. Other practices like ear cropping of dogs and declawing of cats are done in the name of providing convenience to their owners. I think it is reasonable to let farmers, in consultation with their veterinarians, make these decisions for their animals just as pet owners do.” “The timing of your request to work together is suspicious, as the simultaneous release of a letter and a press release about the letter suggests that you would rather garner headlines than achieve your goals,” Holte wrote. “Also, it came on a day when farmers across our state were battling brutal weather conditions to provide the best possible care for all their animals as they do every day.”

on the web For more on HSUS’s radical agenda and what it spends its money on, see



Wisconsin’s Use Value Law Preserves Farmland


under an antiquated market value system that based assessed he amount of farmland converted to other uses continues values on speculative development. Farm Bureau always to stay relatively low thanks to the state’s use value maintained that farmers needed assessments based on the assessment law. The law is responsible for allowing Wisconsin farmers to save millions on the property taxes they pay on farmland. 50,000 The number of acres of farmland diverted to other uses 44,403 acres is a fraction of what it was in the 1990s according to the Wisconsin 40,000 Agricultural Statistics Service. In 2012, just 4,277 acres of farmland (with and without buildings and improvements) 30,000 were diverted to other uses. This stands in stark contrast to 1993 when 90,971 acres of farmland (with and without buildings and 20,000 improvements) were sold and diverted to other uses. That statistic remained over 60,000 acres per year throughout 10,000 the rest of the 1990s. With full 4,277 acres implementation of Wisconsin’s use value assessment law in 2000, the loss of farmland has slowed 0 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 considerably:

The loss of farmland has slowed considerably.

• • • • • • • • •

44,403 acres in 2004 33,808 acres in 2005 23,969 acres in 2006 15,228 acres in 2007 8,666 acres in 2008 6,702 acres in 2009 4,899 acres in 2010 3,764 acres in 2011 4,277 acres in 2012

“The use value law remains the best tool we have to keep farmland in production rather than being sold off to recreational or developmental pressure,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President.

“The use value law remains the best tool we have to keep farmland in production rather than being sold off to recreational or developmental pressure,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “Wisconsin farm families have seen savings of over $400 million annually and $4 billion in total since the use value assessment law was enacted in 2000.” “Farmers must not take for granted that we now have fairness in the way farmland assessments are determined,” said Holte, a corn and soybean grower from Dunn County. “For decades farm families suffered as property taxes were shifted to farmland


Rural Route

realities of farming. Use value’s equitable tax structure helps the viability of Wisconsin’s $59 billion agricultural economy, which is good news for the job market and our state’s overall economy.” “From a global perspective, the world’s growing population coupled with a limited supply of good farmland underlines the importance of keeping Wisconsin’s rich soils in production agriculture,” Holte said.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

The RodenS

A True Farm Bureau Family By Sheri Sutton

Farm Bureau’s strength comes from families who are heavily involved in the organization. Families like the Rodens.

(Front row left to right) Jacki, Chrit (Blakeney), Amy (Blakeney) holding Eleanor, Cindy and Bob. (Back row left to right) Eric (Assmann) holding Jadyn, Becky, Patti and Rick.


rom grandma winning Farm Bureau Woman of the Year in 1981 to Patti joining Farm Bureau staff in 2012 to Rick completing his term on the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Rancher Committee this year, the whole family gives their all to Farm Bureau and agriculture. With parents that can boast being Ozaukee County’s Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year and Farm Bureau Queen, Rick Roden says he was “born into Farm Bureau.” Rick’s involvement began when he was awarded a scholarship for UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course and he went to his first Ozaukee County Farm Bureau meeting to thank them. He quickly became the county’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist chair. “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I had no clue what to expect,” said Rick, who began inviting his friends to YFA meetings and events. “Soon there were people coming to me asking to sign up.” February | March 2014

Their cattle are crosses between Holstein, Montbeliarde and Swedish Red. “We feel like these genetics put more meat on their bones,” Rick explained. “There is less maintenance for our herd; they don’t get as many cases of milk fever or twisted stomachs. We have seen better health traits all around.”


In 2010, Rick led the state YFA committee (made up of nine young farmers and agriculturists) and this month he wraps up his term on the AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Committee. He said, “I got my arm twisted (referring to getting more involved in YFA) and it turned out pretty good.”

While Patti does enjoy helping with computer needs, mixing feed and doing other chores, her love on the farm is the equipment. “I could spend hours in the field,” said Patti with a smile. “I do spend hours in the field.” Taking the next step within YFA took some encouragement by his field area’s field supervisor at the time, Lindsey Prahl. “Honestly looking back, I am glad it happened. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I got my arm twisted and it turned out pretty good.” He served on the state YFA committee (made up of nine young farmers and agriculturists) from 2008-2010, topping his last year off as its chairman. In 2012, Rick was selected to serve on the AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Committee with 15 other

“Rick bought us all memberships for our 18 birthday,” said Patti Roden. “They had no choice but to join Farm Bureau,” Rick said with a grin. farmers, representing Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. He just wrapped up his term this month. His experience took him to Washington, D.C., Michigan, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee, Arizona, Kentucky, Virginia and Minnesota. His highlights including chairing the Discussion Meet contest at the AFBF Annual Convention last month, and working with a group of diverse farmers and ranchers from across the country.


Rural Route

“The committee is a neat group of people,” said Rick. “We are all in this business of ag together with the same common goal of producing safe, wholesome products.” Rick didn’t want to keep his love of Farm Bureau to himself and made sure each of his four younger sisters all became members. “Rick bought us all memberships for our 18 birthday,” said Patti Roden, a speech communication graduate from UW-Oshkosh. “They had no choice but to join Farm Bureau,” Rick said with a grin. It’s paid off, as all of his sisters have flourished with Farm Bureau. His youngest sister Jacki was a charter member and first president of the collegiate Farm Bureau at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The recent graduate is beginning her own ag tourism business on the farm to educate others about where food comes from. She is part of the Ozaukee County Ag in the Classroom and YFA committees. Sister Amy Blakeney is involved with the Rock County Ag in the Classroom program and works at MidState Equipment. Becky Roden works at the State Bank of Newburg, is in this year’s Institute class and is involved with YFA activities. Patti was hired as WFBF’s District 1 Coordinator in August 2012. She assists Farm Bureaus in Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties to develop and implement programs that serve and attract members. “I love all the people I get to meet,” Patti said. “They are a diverse group focused on good ideas and are always willing to

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Jacki was a charter member and first president of the collegiate Farm Bureau at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The recent graduate is beginning her own ag tourism business on the farm to educate others about where food comes from. She is part of the Ozaukee County Ag in the Classroom and YFA committees.

share. I really like working with YFA members because that is where it all starts.” “It is easy to see the enthusiasm that Patti has for Farm Bureau and for agriculture,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Member Relations. “She has a history of involvement and leadership in organizations like 4-H and Farm Bureau and is eager to work with our county Farm Bureaus to help them continue to grow and carry out successful programs.” The flexibility of her job allows her to help out on her family’s dairy farm near West Bend, where Rick farms in partnership with his parents, Bob and Cindy Roden. “I have always wanted to be a farmer,” said Rick. “There was never anything else I wanted to be.” The Rodens grow 1,800 acres of corn, winter wheat, soybeans and alfalfa, milk 470 cows and conduct custom work that includes

chopping hay, combining, planting and baling for neighboring farms. The Roden family has always been open to learning how to improve their business. Bob Roden went to a farm show in California five years ago and came back with an idea to implement the pro-cross breeding program into their herd. Their cattle are now crosses between Holstein, Montbeliarde and Swedish Red. “We feel like these genetics put more meat on their bones,” Rick explained. “I love the switch. There is less maintenance for our herd; they don’t get as many cases of milk fever or twisted stomachs. We have seen better health traits all around.” Whether it be farming, serving Farm Bureau, organizing a Breakfast on the Farm or hosting groups to their farm, for the Rodens, it’s a family affair.

“I love all the people I get to meet,” Patti said. “They are a diverse group focused on good ideas and are always willing to share. I really like working with YFA members because that is where it all starts.”

The Rodens host farm tours for numerous groups to learn about agriculture. They also tell their story on Facebook at www.facebook. com/RobNCinFarms. Here they post pictures and are transparent about the work that goes on day in and day out on their family farm. February | March 2014



Farm Bureau

Photos and recipes courtesy of the Wisconsin Beef Council

GarlicGinger Beef & Noodle Soup

Calypso Beef Soup 1-1/2 pounds ground beef 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 1 teaspoon curry powder 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups water or ready-to-serve beef broth 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained 1 can (13-1/2 ounces) light unsweetened coconut milk 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme Salt and ground black pepper 1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon. Pour off drippings in pan; add sweet potato, onion, bell pepper and curry powder. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until onion and pepper are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 minute. 2. Stir in water, black-eyed peas and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 to 8 minutes or until sweet potato is tender. Stir in spinach and thyme. Cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Season with salt and black pepper, as desired.


Rural Route

1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak, cut 3/4 inch thick 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, divided 1 tablespoon sesame oil 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth 4 ounces uncooked thin spaghetti or rice noodles, broken into thirds 1 package (12 to 16 ounces) frozen stir-fry vegetable blend 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce (optional) 1. Cut beef Steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick strips. Combine 1 tablespoon garlic, 2 teaspoons ginger, sesame oil and beef in medium bowl; toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 hours. 2. Combine broth, remaining 1 tablespoon garlic and remaining 1 teaspoon ginger in stockpot; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and vegetables; bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. 3. Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of beef; stir-fry 1 to 3 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining beef. Keep warm. 4. Remove soup from heat; stir in beef and soy sauce, if desired.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Soup 1 boneless beef chuck shoulder pot roast (2 1/2 pounds) 2 cups chopped onions 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions, undrained 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes (cubes) 1 cup ready-to-serve beef broth 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 cups broccoli slaw 1/2 cup frozen peas 1. Cut beef roast into 12 equal pieces. Place in 4 1/2 to 5 1/2-quart slow cooker. Add onions, tomatoes, potatoes, broth, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 to 6 hours, or on LOW 8 to 9 hour, or until beef is fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.) 2. Stir in broccoli slaw; continue cooking, covered, 30 minutes or until brocolli slaw is crisp-tender. Turn off slow cooker. Stir in peas; let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Photo submitted by Jessica Schuh, Brillion, WI

Photo submitted by Leslie Svacina, Deer Park, 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 Julie Rettenmund, Mazomanie, WI

#RuralWisdom: The only place #success comes before #work is in the #dictionary . For more inspiration see our “Rural Wisdom” and “Farm Facts” at

#FarmFact: Soybeans can be used in flour, animal feed, soy sauce and bio-diesel . February | March 2014

Photo submitted by Don Andrew, Blue River, WI



Randy Wokatsch’s Membership Tips

“Farm Bureau members are the life-blood of the organization and our clout in Madison and Washington, D.C is dependent on membership numbers,” said Marathon County Farm Bureau Director Randy Wokatsch. “Perhaps the following list will help motivate and guide you to membership success.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Memberships can sell themselves. Farm Bureau is a great organization run by quality people with the important mission of being the “voice of agriculture.” Who wouldn’t want to buy that? Pick the low-hanging fruit. Your friends, neighbors, relatives, local farmers and those you do business with know that Farm Bureau must be a good organization because they know and trust you. Enthusiasm is contagious. I am passionate about Farm Bureau. I believe in what I’m selling and I think prospects can tell this. Set goals. Tell people how important it is to your county to make its membership goal. Also, have a personal goal. Mine is to beat Mr. Membership, Trayton Greenfield. Though I’ve yet to accomplish this, I’ve sold a lot of memberships trying! Bridge the generation gap. Consult with young farmers. They have a wealth of info on names and contact numbers which may not be in phone books. Make a list of prospects and prioritize them. We all have limited time. Go to those you are sure will listen and your success with them will grow your confidence. Don’t forget memberships come with benefits. Many people like our discounts on lodging, Grainger supplies and GM vehicles.

About Randy Randy Wokatsch and his wife Kerry farm 330 acres, milk 55 cows and raise young stock in Marathon County. They also have a seed cleaning business of more than 20,000 bushels of oats, barley, rye, wheat, sunflowers and soybeans. The Wokatschs sell firewood, tap 700 maple trees and own two fill sand pits. They have four boys: Ryan (21), Kyle (20), Ross (18) and Kory (13). Wokatsch serves as a Marathon County Farm Bureau Board Director and membership chair and enjoys being on the WFBF Policy Development Committee.


Rural Route

Through his hard work and dedciation to our organization, Randy (right) has signed up more than 75 new Farm Bureau members. One of those was Marathon YFA member Lucas Nuessmeier (left).


9 10 11 12 13

Have your membership info handy at all times. I’ve got an accordion file with membership applications, benefit sheets, Rural Routes and informational flyers right inside my house door. Prospects can drive into your yard at any time. Be ready! I always carry a Marathon County membership master list. Folks are very impressed by our 1,350 members that include many people they know. Also mention we have more than 44,000 state members. Explain how we are set up as a “grassroots” organization – how our policy starts with our membership. It’s a winning concept. Also, that small farms have a say. Land-use assessment and fighting animal rights activism are two topics that can highlight the need for a strong Farm Bureau. Don’t burn bridges. Be polite when getting turned down. I’ve signed many members on the second or third try. The Producer Club meal (exclusive luncheon during the WFBF Annual Meeting) is really good. If you’ve been there, you know enough to get five more memberships next year! Wisconsin farm bureau federation


New Members

The challenge is on for you to sign up at least five new Farm Bureau members by September 30. Farm Bureau volunteers are eligible to receive a $20 cash award for every new member signed. Volunteers signing five or more new members by September 30 receive special recognition as members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Producer Club at an exclusive luncheon during the WFBF Annual Meeting on December 6. Membership applications are available online, from your county Farm Bureau office or by contacting the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation at 800.261.FARM. To receive proper credit for new members signed, be sure to fill in your name as the “membership worker” and submit all memberships prior to September 30.

Do your part to strengthen Farm Bureau’s voice! New members must have no prior membership or be at least 25 months past due. Official contest rules available from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

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

$500 on top of most current offers1


Farm Machinery Bill Must Pass Now A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte


seed has been planted in the form of a bill to update laws pertaining to farm machinery on Wisconsin roads. It faces a short growing season and it’s crucial that we get this crop harvested by April. Last fall I stressed that an update of our state laws to allow farm machinery to be legally on our roads was long overdue, and a size-neutral debate. Proposed legislation has been introduced by State Sen. Jerry Petrowski and State Rep. Keith Ripp. These rural lawmakers deserve praise for taking the lead on such a complicated issue. Yet there are those who are asking why Wisconsin needs to do anything on this issue. My answer to them is simple. We have no choice. There’s a widespread misconception that farm equipment has always been exempt from road weight limits. That’s never been the case. Just because you


Rural Route

can buy it, doesn’t mean you can drive it on roads. This bill aims to increase maximum weight limits by 15 percent for farm equipment (for both total gross vehicle weight and weight per axle), a provision that should be seen as helpful to farmers, and yet the bill remains contentious. A typical combine with a head attached to its front weighs more than 20,000 pounds on its front axle. That means its owner could be currently pulled over and cited for being overweight. The last thing we want to have happen is farmers being ticketed for trying to harvest their crops. We run that risk when everyone (from your local sheriff to your neighbor with an ax to grind) knows which pieces of machinery in your shed will be illegal on the roads this year. Now is not the time to put our heads in the sand. We must get this done or face a situation where we will have no recourse. Without a compromise, how long will your town and county officials tolerate you breaking up roads? How long will neighbors accept traffic jams or dangerous conditions resulting from excessively wide equipment? Fortunately, this bill does not just address road weights. It also makes needed updates to the definition of what is considered an implement of husbandry (farm machinery). Take, for example, trucks that are custom made for farm purposes. Some might say they should be a commercially licensed truck, others (including the authors of this legislation) would say they are farm machinery. It’s those kinds of questions that prompted the Department of Transportation to

initiate a conversation to update farm machinery laws. There are no laws that limit the width of machinery, and this bill does not change that. However, safety concerns have prompted a call for lighting and reflective markings on farm equipment. Finally, town and county road officials have legitimate concerns about heavy equipment traveling on roads. Local governments are seeking a permitting process that could determine when and where combines can travel on roads. Farmers are likewise wary of the red tape and roadblocks such a process might produce. The bottom line is everyone must come to the table to ensure that farm machinery can safely and legally travel our roads. I know there are skeptics reading this who think their own local law enforcement has no interest in enforcing weight limits. Are they aware of the recent uptick in county sheriff’s departments buying portable scales? The Wisconsin Legislature will adjourn in April and will not convene again until January 2015. Suppose this fall we have widespread enforcement of weight limits in rural Wisconsin. We will have no place to turn for help, and no one to blame but ourselves for not getting this done. My challenge to you is clear. Call our legislators today and urge them to get this bill passed.

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

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Ag Labor: Congress Needs to get the Job Done Guest Column from AFBF President Bob Stallman


ith high expectations that Congress will finalize both the farm bill and Water Resources Development Act early this year, farmers are optimistic Congress will next turn its sights to moving immigration reform to the front burner. Farmers and ranchers can’t wait any longer for effective, long-term solutions to the agricultural labor crisis, which has forced growers to leave millions of dollars-worth of crops unharvested and threatens the country’s food security. Farmers and ranchers need effective, long-term solutions to agricultural labor shortages. And Congress needs to get the job done.

A Crisis in Farm Country It’s not as if Congress would be starting from scratch. The Senate in June passed a balanced, Farm Bureau-supported immigration reform bill that includes a fair and workable farm labor provision. The House took a piecemeal approach, passing a series of immigration reform bills at the committee level, including an agricultural guest worker bill. As this is the second session of the 113th Congress, these bills are still in play. Passage of the Senate bill last year gave farmers great momentum. And while the House may be doing things differently, farmers and ranchers will be right alongside lawmakers throughout the process making sure they understand how critical this issue is to agriculture and all consumers who count on U.S.grown food.

February | March 2014

From a Colorado potato grower to a Pennsylvania fruit farmer, and from a South Carolina peach farmer to a Tennessee tobacco grower, farmers all across the country are facing a labor crisis. And then there is California, the top fruit and vegetable producing state. A survey by the California Farm Bureau found that 71 percent of tree fruit growers and nearly 80 percent of raisin and berry growers were unable to find enough employees to prune trees and vines or pick crops. When you have that many farmers unable to get the workers they need, you have a crisis in farm country. That also means a crisis for Americans who want their food grown in the United States.

A Simple Truth The current H-2A temporary agricultural worker program is broken. It artificially raises wages above the market rate, and often does not bring workers to the farm until after the need for them has passed - after the crops have already started to rot. That’s why at the American Farm Bureau’s 95th Annual Convention in January, delegates reaffirmed their strong support for meaningful ag labor reforms that ensure farmers and ranchers have access to workers when they are needed. Delegates also voted to support flexibility that would allow the employment of workers by more than one farmer. Farmers and ranchers need a reliable supply of labor. That is a simple truth.

It’s about availability and flexibility neither of which have been hallmarks of the system our farmers, ranchers and growers have operated under for many years. Congress has known about these problems for more than 30 years. It’s time for Congress to put the nation’s needs above politics and work toward finding solutions. It’s time for Congress to get the job done.

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



Corn or Beans?

Guest Column by Cory Winstead


t’s that time to speculate about this year’s corn and soybean acres. Analysts start looking at price ratios and farmers start penciling out what is going to make more sense on a balance sheet. Currently, analysts feel we will lose corn acres and gain bean acres. The numbers vary, but the range is a 2 to 6 million acre decline in corn and the same 2 to 6 million acre increase for soybeans. Many factors go into determining these numbers, including price (ratio), input costs and demand. I believe given current conditions we will see a small decrease in corn acres and a slight increase in bean acres. However, I do not expect these changes to be acre for acre. The market from a futures and fundamental standpoint is not pointing


to a large bean increase. If you look at the corn to bean price ratio, it typically runs around 2.2 to 2.5 to 1 as an average. This equates to 2.5 bushels of corn for every 1 bushel of soybeans. As I write this, this year’s nearby ratio is running at a whopping 3.06 to 1. However, the ratio that we need to look at is on the December and November 2014 contracts, respectively. The reasoning is simple, U.S. farmers use December corn and November soybean contracts as the key pricing mechanisms to determine how much their corn will be worth when they harvest during those time periods. This ratio is back at the normal average of 2.48 to 1. This would tell me that fewer acres will switch to soybeans than what some predict. The main driver of old crop prices has come from the very strong demand we have seen so far in this marketing year. Current bean sales are at 103 percent of what the U.S. Department of Agriculture has projected for exports and our current shipments (what has actually been shipped) of what is sold is at 70 percent. There are two factors I believe we need to look at. The first, although ahead of average pace (5-year average is 57 percent shipped), shipments are much lower than the percentage sold. This is where the danger of cancelations arise. We are already seeing cancelations come in and orders being pushed back to the next crop year or shifting origins to South America. China is the main buyer of beans and they will slow their buying

pace, especially from the U.S., when South America begins filling the export pipeline in mid-February. South America is the other factor that needs to be addressed. They are going to harvest another record crop and potentially double-crop another crop of beans behind it. This is due to the economics of their own corn inputs increasing and our corn prices being competitive with theirs. If they doublecrop more beans this will flush the world bean stocks and drive prices lower. This increased supply would cause our nearby and new crop bean prices to fall. South America has proven that even with their logistic issues they are able to export at a pace sufficient to meet their demand. So, although prices could see rallies due to logistical problems in South America, the increased supply could slow our export numbers, if not shut them down after February. The last two years the discussion has been the same, we are going to run out of beans at the current demand pace. Last year we did not run out of beans as South America came on line and met the world demand, taking pressure away from the U.S. This year is setting up to play out the same and bean prices will not be at levels come planting time to make it more attractive to grow them over corn.

Winstead is the account manager for AgriVisor, one of WFBF’s member benefits.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Move the RFS Forward, Not Backward Guest Column by Matthew Erickson


he renewable fuels standard has been front and center in Washington since the Environmental Protection Agency last year proposed to roll back total 2014 renewable fuel blending requirements to 15.52 billion gallons, a whopping one billion gallons less than 2013 totals and 2.63 billion gallons below the mandate set in the Renewable Fuel Standard 2 law. This decision strikes a blow to conventional ethanol production, as well as dampens the prospects for advanced biofuels. Renewable fuels play a significant role in American agriculture, but have certainly not been the only driver of demand for agricultural products. Since the RFS2 was put into place in 2007, agricultural exports have increased 57 percent, total livestock output has increased 31 percent and total crop output has increased 44 percent. However, the effect of the proposed rule will affect corn prices. Since the leak of the proposed rule in October, corn futures have seen a 5-percent reduction. Net farm incomes for 2013 are expected to hit the highest level in four decades, driven by a bumper crop of corn and soybeans that followed two years of drought. Even with corn and soybean prices where they are now, farmers were able to lock in higher prices earlier this year through contracts, a situation that is not likely to repeat in the spring of 2014. Corn prices dropping the way they are now raises the question: Will 2014 be the year when production costs blow past decreasing commodity prices? Further, if finalized, EPA’s proposed rule would essentially shed more than 500 million bushels from corn demand, making ethanol exports the key ingredient to make up for lost demand

February | March 2014

in the domestic ethanol industry. In fact, estimates range farm prices for corn between $3.95 and $4.15/bushel for the 2014/15 crop year, making the likelihood of the price farmers receive for their corn and soybeans lower than their cost of production. In addition, this significant reduction, should EPA go final with its proposed rule, would slow or halt investments in the infrastructure needed to distribute and dispense larger volumes of ethanol. This decision from EPA will stall new investments in cellulosic biofuels and introduce detrimental ambiguity in a market that is still developing. According to EPA, more than $2.4 billion was invested in advanced biofuel companies by venture capitalists alone from 2007 through the second quarter of 2011. This decision from EPA sends a negative signal that threatens to stall investments that foster good-paying jobs in rural America. While the RFS is important to agriculture, it’s just as important to America’s overall economy and energy independence. Since the RFS2 has been in place, the U.S. has seen its crude oil imports decrease from about 60 percent of total oil use to around 40 percent. However, the U.S. still has a ways to go from being completely energyindependent even if oil imports are dropping. We are still affected by swings in oil prices, which are set on world markets. Price spikes in crude oil can lead to large global economic consequences. During the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973-1974, global crude oil expenses represented 4.5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Since 2011, every time this figure has increased

over 4.5 percent, a world recession has occurred. From 1973-74 during the Arab Oil Embargo, annual world oil prices experienced a price shock of 252 percent, 125 percent from the Iran Revolution in 1978-79 and 34 percent from the 2007-08 recession. The RFS has been a tremendous success story that has provided growth in the agricultural sector, provided good paying jobs to rural America and has made the U.S. economy less energydependent on foreign sources for crude oil. We are all affected by rising energy costs. Moving the RFS forward and not backward is paramount to enhancing our energy independence. Fortunately, farmers across the country are up to the challenge of growing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that is needed to meet these increasing demands.

Erickson is an economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation.



Leader Construction in Process


ourteen Farm Bureau members have embarked on a yearlong adventure of self-discovery, personal growth and professional leadership development in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute. The mission of the leadership Institute is to develop strong and effective county Farm Bureau leaders. “The Institute is intentionally structured to push class members outside their comfort zone because that is where learning occurs,” said Dale Beaty, the program manager. “However, this is done in a safe and friendly learning environment in which they are supported by their peers as they experiment with their leadership style.” Institute Class VIII met in January to focus on emotional intelligence, business and dining etiquette, public speaking, and identifying their personality, other’s personalities, and how they can lead in such a way as to bring out the best in others. Their remaining four sessions focus on advocacy training, creative

leadership, working with local and state government, and national and global current and future ag issues. Group Photo: Members of 2014 Institute Class VIII include (L to R front row) Jamie Propson, Denmark; Alena Graff, Waupun; Becky Roden, West Bend; Lori Gardow, Eau Claire; Ronda Lehman, North Freedom; Brittany Kalscheur, Clinton; Lynn Dickman, Plover; (back row) Danielle Hammer, Beaver Dam; Dan Adams, Montfort; Jackie Bevan, Platteville; Ryan Brueggemann, Muskego; Becky Murkley, McFarland; Ed Hookham, Janesville; and Daniel Ripplinger, Sarona. Top right: With the theme of the first Institute session being Leader Construction in Progress, Daniel Ripplinger and Danielle Hammer don construction hard hats as they take turns introducing each other to their fellow Institute classmates. Bottom right: Ed Hookham and Jamie Propson (front) and Dan Adams and Becky Murkley (back) tell each other their story, so the other person may introduce them to the group.

Hats Off to WFBF Women’s Committee


FBF’s nine Women’s Committee members each donated $25 to AFBF’s 2013 Foundation Challenge Award to benefit the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education and to improve agricultural literacy. The committee’s support was recognized at the AFBF Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.


Rural Route

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

you F c o for an g r a li eq et a mite uip 3 d me .99 tim nt % fi e pu xe rch d as rate It is strong financial advice, strategic insight and proven es. agriculture experience that makes State Bank Financial

Agricultural experience you can bank on the choice to grow your business

State Bank Financial was the perfect partner for Holmen area farmer Dan Anderson. The Anderson’s family farm was growing and he was in the market for a financial institution that had agriculture on its list of priorities. “It’s nice that there is still someone interested in agriculture,” Anderson explains. Dale Pertzborn, Dan Anderson

“State Bank Financial is going to stand with you and help you.”

DJ Wright Ext 8204

Dale Pertzborn Ext 6702 | 800.880.7151 Limited time offer. Available for business purpose equipment loans greater than $75,000. New loans only. Subject to credit approval.

February | March 2014



Collect Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House “It’s amazing how something so small can make a difference,” said Kathleen Papcke, District 1 WFBF Women’s Committee member. “The real winner of this challenge will be the Ronald McDonald Houses of Wisconsin.”


ast year, the WFBF Women’s Committee and volunteers from their districts came together to help in one day projects at the Ronald McDonald houses in Madison, Milwaukee and Marshfield. The committee and volunteers cooked and served meals, provided games and crafts for the children and donated food, books, toys, clothing and money. This year in addition to conducting this project in all three houses, the Women’s Committee will be running a Pop Tab Challenge. What is a pop tab? Pop tabs are the little aluminum tabs from all kinds of cans: soda, pet food, fruits, vegetables and more. How do pop tabs help the Ronald McDonald House? Once the pop tabs are collected and turned into a Ronald McDonald House, they are taken to be recycled in exchange for money, which supports the children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Madison, Milwaukee and Marshfield.

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

Farm Bureau Women Help Fund a Well


isconsin Farm Bureau Women’s Program for Education and Leadership supported half of a well restoration project in the nation of Sierra Leone. This well serves 1,000 people in the community of Newton. Farm Bureau women partnered with WaterDrops of Hope - a non profit project (connected to The Water Project) bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water. “Before the well was restored, people were drinking from an unprotected hand dug well one kilometer away from the community,” said Sheri Sutton, WaterDrops of Hope founder. “This water was not clean nor was it safe. People were suffering from cholera, dysentery, typhoid, malaria and respiratory illnesses.”


Rural Route

Most of the community members earn a living by small-scale farming or petty trading and a few teach at the nearby school. “Thank you to all who bought and sold water bottles and made and collected donations,” said Sutton. “You are making a difference in the lives of so many across the world. You gave water, life and hope. One thousand people in Sierra Leone are thanking God for you.” There was also a hygiene education for the community on hand washing, how to properly transport and store water, disease transmission and prevention, how to maintain proper care of the pump as well as signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to make oral rehydration solution. All of these lessons were taught to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices and implement community driven solutions. Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Food Link Consumer Outreach Program Launched


ur Food Link, a new year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus can use to reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture, was launched during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention. “With the average American several generations removed from the farm, consumer outreach is critical,” said Nicole Adrian, a Grant County farmer and chair of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee. Farm families make up less than two percent of the U.S. population today. The roll-out of the program included the distribution of a planning toolkit to help Farm Bureau members start thinking about projects that will engage people in their communities. The Food Link program replaces the Food Check-Out Week program and will be coordinated by the WFBF Women’s Committee. Suggested Our Food Link activities range from outreach at supermarkets or farmers’ markets to hosting interactive booths at community events, speaking with lawmakers and neighbors about food and visiting classrooms to help students understand

Suburban . Commercial . Agricultural . Horse Barns & Arenas

Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 . February | March 2014

agricultural topics. Other program ideas include: an Adopt-aFarmer program, fun runs, garden projects and “Zest ‘n Zing” or other foodie events. Our Food Link activities may also include the collection of food and monetary donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities or other charities. “Our committee will be cooking for families and promoting agriculture at Wisconsin’s three Ronald McDonald Houses beginning in February,” Adrian said. “With the launch of this flexible new program, we hope to enhance and energize the efforts of Farm Bureau members as they help people connect with sources of clothing, food, shelter and energy in their communities,” said Terry Gilbert, American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee Chair. The launch of Our Food Link was spearheaded by the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee, with participation open to all Farm Bureau members. Grants for county and state Farm Bureaus to initiate Our Food Link projects are available on a competitive basis. Up to seven $700 grants will be awarded for project proposals that reflect strong connections between the food system and agriculture, while creatively engaging consumers in a way that encourages them to learn more about food and agricultural products. The application deadline is March 28. For more information about the Save 10% Now application process, contact Deb & Build this Winter Raemisch at or 608.828.5712.


on the web

Quality Buildings Since 1958

The Our Food Link planning toolkit and publicity tools can be can be found on by searching ‘Our Food Link.’


Join Us

March 14-15, 2014


Ag SWomen’s U M M I T Keynote Speaker:

Madison Marriott West Madison

Chariti Gent

Founder, Chariti Gent Life Coaching, Inc.

Saturday’s Presentation:

Friday’s Presentation:

Bold Action: Charting the Course in Choppy Waters When the waters of our lives get rough and choppy, it can be a challenge to stay on course. Despite our best intentions, there are days when it is incredibly difficult to remain positive and trust that we will succeed in our mission. The myriad of “dangers at sea” can cause us to lose focus, get knocked off balance and fail to be effective, productive, positive and assured. Fortunately, when this happens, we have recourse. Within each of us lays a BOLD, action-oriented spirit, called a “Captain,” with deep wisdom, benevolence, certainty, clarity and courage. In this experiential presentation, Chariti Gent takes you on a journey to a place where you learn how to call forth this BOLD spirit that resides within each of us. She will share with you some simple, pragmatic strategies for tapping the strength of this wise inner leader (even in the toughest of circumstances!) so you can move forward in your work and life with strength, confidence and power.

I’m REALLY Gonna Do It This Time: A Simple System for Turning Those Good Ideas into Action In this workshop, Chariti Gent introduces you to a simple system that takes the great ideas you glean from this conference and turns them into actions that produce results. In this hands-on, interactive session, Chariti will engage participants to REALLY consider why they get stuck on the implementation of a great idea or plan. She’ll explore how to shift your thoughts and ideas in such a way that you’ll be dying to tackle that “to-do” list! At the end of this closing keynote workshop, you’ll leave with an exciting “I’m Really Gonna Do It This Time!” plan, centered around one great idea of your choosing from the conference. And to top it off, you’ll be given a no-fail system of accountability to help make sure you follow through and get results!



Registration Fee: $140/person

You are responsible for your own hotel reservations. Call the Madison Marriott West, Middleton, at 888.745.2032 to reserve a room.

To register, complete the form below or register online at

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 Wisconsin Aquaculture Association ( – The Wisconsin Aquaculture Association (WAA) offers educational resources for farmers and educators on their website. They are currently taking entries for their seventh annual Wisconsin Schools Aquaculture Poster Contest. Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Program ( – The Wisconsin Soybean Program’s educational pages offer links to the Soy Savvy curriculum, Soybean Science Kits, Get Soybean Smart virtual classroom, and to production information. National Ag in the Classroom ( – The National Ag in the Classroom Program’s website continues to offer the most updated resources, Tweets, lesson plans, STEM updates and other resources for teachers, students and volunteers. If you’re

looking for resources, don’t forget to use the National Resource Directory - an online searchable database that lists hundreds of educational resources.

February | March 2014

AFBFA 2014 Book of the Year – The Beeman “The Beeman” was awarded the coveted 2014 American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Book of the Year award. The book, by Laurie Krebs, introduces young readers to bees, beekeepers and pollinators. This excellent book is a great way to introduce students to how agriculture relies on pollinators. An educator guide accompanies the 2014 Book of the Year, “The Beeman.” The educator guide is for grades K-2 and has six activities that range from topics such as language arts, math and science. It helps students understand bees and how they help in the pollination process. The Bee Ag Mag is a great way to incorporate agriculture into a science or literature classroom. This 100 percent standards aligned nonfiction text covers topics such as: How is honey made? Who is a beekeeper? How do farmers use bees? What is the life cycle of a bee and more! For the first time ever the Foundation has translated an Ag Mag into Spanish. This resource includes all of the topics in the English version of the Ag Mag. It is great for Spanish language classrooms. Updated Wisconsin Farm Facts Available! Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom has updated its statistical information about Wisconsin agriculture based on the 2013 Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics bulletin. You can download brochures by visiting and click on “Agricultural Resources.” The tri-fold brochures are also available free of charge by contacting Darlene Arneson at A children’s version, Fun Facts about Wisconsin Agriculture, is also available online.


ag in the classroom

Talk Farmer

New Agricultural Education and Advocacy Program Its mission is to help farmers tell their farm’s unique story and to provide resources that teach people more about agriculture and its impact on society.


ecky Murkley originally developed Talk Farmer in 2013 as part of her agricultural education graduate school program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Murkley worked with producers and current agricultural educators to discover what resources they needed to help educate the public about agriculture. As a certified elementary Murkley taught a lesson about dairy to teacher, elementary-age youth at Weyers-Hillard Public Murkley also Library in Brown County. Later, students had the reflected on opportunity to make butter. her teaching experiences and the tools she wished she had for her own classroom. Her goal was to incorporate agriculture into her students’ learning. However, Murkley wanted the resources to be flexible and adaptable so that those without an agriculture background or not in a classroom would be able to effectively use them. She wanted to create tools for farmers, producers, librarians, teachers, etc. For the Talk Farmer program, Murkley first developed cross-curricular lesson plans that aligned to current Wisconsin academic standards. The lessons were written at different grade levels, and cover topics ranging from sustainability to changes in agriculture technology. She also created interactive maps containing dairy data. Users can compare and contrast dairy cattle data between Wisconsin counties, as well as analyze the map for trends in milk production. Murkley used all of these tools in her own classroom, modifying the materials to make them fit both the students’ and educators’ needs. In addition to agricultural education materials, Murkley wanted to provide farmers with tools they could use to more


Rural Route

effectively educate youth about agriculture. She created a talking guide and a video about answering children’s questions about agriculture using age appropriate terminology. Murkley also developed a series of tools and a video about how to give an engaging farm tour. All Talk Farmer resources are available at no cost and online at The program’s goal is to not only give people resources, but also show people how to use the tools to create meaningful learning experiences that increase agricultural awareness. Murkley teamed up with Sarah Englebert of Brown County Dairy Promotions to lead workshops for producers and educators to help them learn more about and practice using the Talk Farmer materials. On February 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Talk Farmer will host an agriculture advocacy workshop at Legends in De Pere. This one-day event is open to the public, and attendees will learn how to use the Talk Farmer materials to improve agriculture advocacy within one’s local community. Murkley and Englebert have also scheduled a farm tour workshop on March 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wayside Dairy in Greenleaf. Attendees will learn how to give a meaningful farm tour no matter the audience’s age. Participants will also practice developing learning stations such as testing the amount of fat in milk so their farm visitors learn the properties of milk. Both of these workshops are free to attend. For more information and to register for the events, visit com/site/talkfarmerwi/workshops. “Talk Farmer’s materials meets the needs of both educators and farmers as they are cost free resources that are easy to use and adaptable,” said Englebert. Englebert also reflected on the importance of having the Talk Farmer tools stating, “Each farm is unique, which is why it is important for farmers to share their farm’s story, creating awareness among the public about agriculture’s profound impact on our communities’ culture and economy.” For questions about Talk Farmer or to register for the workshops, contact Murkley at

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Ag in the Classroom Launches New Lesson Plan Set




Telling Our Agricultural Story




Dr. John Deen, University of Minnesota

Resource Library

Pork producers and farm managers need access to resources to help them train their employees. Through collaboration of national and state organizations, the comprehensive resource library offers a wide array of electronic and printed brochures, videos and links to useful third-party websites that address topics such as animal care, pig disease prevention and pig handling. Some of these materials are available in both English and Spanish.

The Swine ID Plan is one example of pork industry-led efforts to enhance preharvest traceability for animal health purposes. Program standards developed in 2004 for the Swine ID Plan promote the implementation of a nationally standardized animal identification and preharvest traceability system for animal health that is consistent across all states. There are three key components to implementing the Swine ID Plan: premises identification, animal identification and animal tracing. By design, the plan provides animal health officials the ability to rapidly perform a systematic trace-back for disease events that could affect commerce and trade. The National Pork Board has been conducting an educational campaign to promote implementation of the key components of the Swine ID Plan. Today, more than 95 percent of all swine premises are registered.

Comparison of management factors affecting aggression in group-housed sows


February | March 2014



Progress Report

Telling Our Agricultural Story Telling Our Agricultural Story


Source: 2012 Pork Industry Progress Report

Protecting low-ranking sows in group-housing systems

Dale Norton, farmer, Michigan

Chris Hostetler, director of animal science, National Pork Board

Today, more than 95% of all swine premises are registered.

Animal agriculture has changed and evolved over the years, in part because farmers understand that it is in their interest to adopt practices that lead to healthier animals. To further advance animal well-being and farming methods, the National Pork Board plays a key role in bringing together recognized agriculture specialists and researchers to continuously promote a standard of excellence in hog farming. Committees led by farmers, veterinarians and animal well-being experts collaborate on the development of uniform programs and practices that can be shared with farmers throughout the country. These efforts address areas such as employee training, research priorities, certification programs, best practices and standard operating procedures. The National Pork Board then disseminates the latest recommended practices and protocols to farmers to adopt in their individual operations. This coordinated, unified approach has enabled farmers to address strategic health and care issues more quickly and effectively than would otherwise be possible. As a united group, hog farmers will continue to demonstrate their commitment to protect and promote animal well-being and bring best practices to farms across the United States.

Farmers have long been proactive in funding research that leads to better care for animals. Over the past 10 years alone, the National Pork Board has invested more than $1.5 million of farmer funds into swine-housing research and $3.13 million in general research to improve animal well-being. Funding for research is directed to leading agriculture education institutions in the United States. Some of the research projects recently spearheaded by the National Pork Board include:

Studies to better understand, prevent and treat swine diseases

“This could be one of the tools used to help eliminate PRRS, but more important, this work may provide the platform for finding similar marker genes responsible for conveying resistance to other economically devastating diseases.”

Keeping the Promise

Research Investments Help Improve Animal Health and Well-Being

Evaluating nutritional efficiency of feed

The good news is that the efforts to combat PRRS are paying off. The Pork Checkoff established the PRRS Initiative Research in 2004, and this effort has since funded 123 projects totaling more than $10 million. The Pork Checkoff has just published a 38-page report, PRRS Initiative Research, 2004-2011, which contains key findings and applications for PRRS based on the research funded during this period. These research funds have helped support scientists at more than 25 universities, U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratories and private research facilities in the United States and abroad. One recent example of progress in fighting PRRS is the PRRS Host Genetics Consortium. Member scientists from around the country have discovered a genetic marker in pigs that identifies whether a pig has a reduced susceptibility to PRRS. Scientists involved in the research believe the identification of the marker gene will allow genetics companies to more easily focus on selecting breed stock that is PRRS-resistant. In the future, producers can introduce new “PRRS-resistant” lines into their herds.

U.S. hog farmers support nationally standardized premises identification, animal identification and record-keeping as cornerstones for animal health, disease surveillance and rapid and accurate preharvest traceability for animal health. This is important to help monitor and contain an incident in the event of an animal disease or foodborne illness outbreak. Since the late 1980s, hog farmers have had a system for identifying and tracing pigs in interstate commerce from the last farm of ownership to the point at which they enter a harvesting, or processing, facility. This includes following very specific means of officially identifying market hogs, sows and boars, as laid out in the federal Code of Regulations. Farmers and facilities are required to make these records available to animal health officials when necessary.

Producers recognize that their obligation to animal care does not end when the pig leaves the farm. Because it’s vital that proper and humane methods are used for handling and transporting pigs at all stages of life, the National Pork Board launched the Transport Quality Assurance® (TQASM) program. TQA is an education and certification program that trains swine transporters, farmers and handlers about best practices in handling, moving and transporting pigs. Farmers, their employees and transporters wishing to be certified must attend a training seminar and then successfully pass an exam. As of August 2012, there were more than 29,000 handlers certified in the TQA program. The goal for the TQA program is to achieve a 10 percent increase in the number of individuals certified in 2012 over 2011.

Determining the proper protocols for bedding and boarding trailers when transporting weaned pigs

In every segment of animal agriculture, disease prevention continually poses challenges; new diseases occasionally appear that are not easily understood. These diseases not only threaten the ability of animals to grow, but they also threaten the overall comfort of the animal and, sometimes, the safety of the food supply. For these reasons, the pork industry is continually focused on how to mitigate the introduction of disease into the herd. Farmers have been battling a disease known as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). The PRRS virus causes both respiratory and reproductive disease in pigs.

Preharvest Traceability and Swine ID

Transport Quality Assurance® (TQASM)

Dr. James McKean, associate director, Iowa Pork Industry Center

Making Progress in the Fight Against PRRS

Research Spurs Improvement in Pig Well-Being During Transport The amount of bedding used in trailers to haul pigs can have a significant impact on animal well-being, according to John McGlone, professor and swine welfare specialist, Texas Tech University. Dr. McGlone was one of the researchers who conducted a 2012 study funded by the Pork Checkoff, which found that more bedding is not always better in cold temperatures and that overuse of bedding in the summer can be detrimental to animal well-being. The study focused on transporting hogs on trailers with various numbers of hay bales in hot, mild and cold temperatures. Transport losses refer to pigs that die or become nonambulatory during transport to market. To date, the industry has made good progress in reducing the incidence of transport losses. For finishing pigs, it is estimated that more than 99.3 percent of pigs transported to harvesting facilities arrive in good condition. The National Pork Board will continue the efforts to identify areas for improvement in animal transport.


Source: 2012 Pork Industry Progress Report

ood and agriculture are topics for everyone to discuss. With a renewed interest by the public in understanding where their food comes from, farmers can offer a valuable insight to the non-farm public and customers about how food gets from the farm to the table. There is a lot of information available today, especially about food, agriculture and the farm community. Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Program has launched a new set of lesson plans called, “Telling Our Agricultural Story,” for middle and high school students. To help students, teachers, and the public process the information and make decisions and opinions “PQA is designed to provide measurements and assessments and thus give a basis for more substantial based on facts, “Telling Our discussion on the ways that farms and the industry as a whole can improve the provision of care. I have been encouraged by the broad uptake of PQA Plus and the Agricultural Story” offers broad discussions that are occurring in the industry.” information about farming and production agriculture, sources to contact, social “The key to PQA Plus success media and website references, in influencing on-farm practices and other resources relating is the training of PQA Plus advisors who have swine to the production of our food production or veterinary medical and fiber. experience. These individuals offer The curriculum offers tailor-made recommendations for each production a number of lessons and unit evaluated.” activities for a classroom setting, for youth groups such as 4-H and FFA and for educational displays. The available resources include “Our farm recently went through its second PQA Plus site assessment. While we have had quarterly walk-throughs with our consulting veterinarian for about 15 years, these visits have focused mostly on herd health, production a booklet about modern and any issues at hand. What I really liked about the site assessment was the thoroughness of the format that was followed.” agriculture, a student handout, a tri-fold brochure and various lesson plans. The lessons and related resources can be downloaded from the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom website ( or by contacting Darlene Arneson at 608.828.5719 or The lessons were developed from an ACE Grant of the USDA Ag in the Classroom Program. Information about the National Ag in the Classroom Program can be found at

Telling Our Agricultural Story


Be sure to like “Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Program” on Facebook.



40 by 40 Campaign Contributors

As of January 17, 2014,

$52,124.80 was raised to benefit the WI Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapters.

$4,000 and above

Roger and Cathy Cliff Frontier-Servco FS/ GROWMARK, Inc


Bradley Farms Jim and Gayle Holte Krentz Family Dairy, Inc Stroud, Willink & Howard, LLC - Dale & Julie Peterson Willie Witter


Todd and Amy Argall John and Darlene Arneson Dale and Jillian Beaty Brown County Farm Bureau Bill and Mary Bruins Buffalo County Farm Bureau Calumet County Farm Bureau Chippewa County Farm Bureau Columbia County Farm Bureau Dane County Farm Bureau Dave and Kim Daniels Dunn County Farm Bureau Eau Claire County Farm Bureau Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau Richard and Cindy Gorder Grant County Farm Bureau Hansen Family Farms, LLC Iowa County Farm Bureau Iowa County Farm Bureau YFA Jefferson County Farm Bureau Kenosha County Farm Bureau David Kruschke Lafayette County Farm Bureau Bob and Lisa Leege Joseph and Rosie Lisowe Manitowish Cranberry Company


Rural Route

Manitowoc County Farm Bureau Milwaukee County Farm Bureau Jane Mueller Ozaukee County Farm Bureau Peter Pelizza Dan and Jean Poulson Racine County Farm Bureau Don and Jilayne Radtke Rock County Farm Bureau Shawano County Farm Bureau Brent and Beckie Sinkula Sam and Julie Skemp St. Croix County Farm Bureau Vernon County Farm Bureau Walworth County Farm Bureau Washington County Farm Bureau Waukesha County Farm Bureau Waushara County Farm Bureau WFBF Institute Class VII David and Terri Wilke Wood County Farm Bureau YFA Annual Meeting Activities


Sheryl Albers-Anders Bob and Claudia Andersen Don Armitage LaVerne and Beverly Ausman Michelle Backhaus Barron County Farm Bureau Bob and Carol Bartholomew Tom and Jill Bennwitz Steven Berger Dean Bergseng Eric Birschbach Ross and Marcy Bishop Linda Bochert Paul and Angie Bocksell Steve Boe Joe and Noel Bragger

Ben Brancel Stephen and Mary Brenton Russel Brock Andrea Brossard Phil Brown Michael and Susan Brugger James Buchen Douglas Caruso Carl Casper Daniel Chesemore Clark County Farm Bureau Lee Columbus Crawford County Farm Bureau Bob and Paula Daentl Cal and Joanne Dalton Dodge County Farm Bureau Door County Farm Bureau Steve and Darlene Eckerman Harv Eckrote Stephanie Egner Keith Engel Stephen Freese John and Joy Freitag Jeff and Mary Fuller Brad and Karen Gefvert Randy and Rosalie Geiger Sabrina Gentile Perry and Barb Goetsch Matt Graff Green Lake County Farm Bureau Daniel Guenterberg Joyce Hach Eugene and Lorraine Hahn Delbert Hamilton Bill Hanson Teresa Hanson James and Lanette Harsdorf Ken and Vicky Harter David and Karen Henselin Del Herrbold Matthew and Becky Hibicki Roger Hildebrandt Martin Hintz

Richard Hoffman William Holtz Reuben and Betty Hopp Noah and Becky Hurley James and Bonita Jarvis Dennis Jesberger Kurt Johnson Steve and Dawn Jones Juneau County Farm Bureau Stan Kaczmarek Josh and Gretchen Kamps Wendy Kannel Kenosha County Farm Bureau Women Kewaunee County Farm Bureau Rob Klussendorf Rodney Knuth Adam and Becky Kuczer Marie Lane Casey and Amanda Langan Langlade County Farm Bureau Thomas Larson Paul and Edith Lauscher Michael Lehman Oscar and Shirley Linnerud Edward Lump Kevin Malchine William Malkasian Amy Manske Marathon County Farm Bureau Marinette County Farm Bureau Julie Marten Steve and Marie Mason Katie Mattison Jack and Marilyn Meffert Wilfred Meier Rich and Darci Meili Jim and Cindy Meng Dan and Julie Merk John and Nancy Meyers Arch Morton, Jr. Dennis and Tammy Murphy Mark and Sue Mussehl

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Bruce Nelson Patrick and Jean O’Brien Oconto County Farm Bureau Carl Oehlke Darryll and Mary Olson Outagamie County Farm Bureau Ozaukee County YFA Richard and JudyAnn Pahlow Doug and Tracy Pape Gary and Melanie Peterson Laurie Peterson Paul and Carolyn Peterson Pierce County Farm Bureau Randy Pingel Polk County Farm Bureau Crystal Pollack Cloyd and Joan Porter Judith Porter Mike and Renee Powers Ryan and Lindsey Prahl Roger and Ida Price Chuck and Nichole Rabitz Wesley Raddatz Randall Radkte Dan and Deb Raemisch Nicole Reese Richland County Farm Bureau Charles Rippley Patti Roden Rick Roden Robert Roden Mike Ruder Dave and Kim Rusch Rusk County Farm Bureau Sawyer County Farm Bureau Bob and Karyn Schauf Larry Schlough Sally Schoenike Becky Schollian Craig Schollian Linda Schopen Dale Schultz Robert and Karen Schwandt Shawano County Farm Bureau Women

Sheboygan County Farm Bureau Lynn Siekmann Glen and Brenda Sikorski Mary Simmons Jesse and Colette Singerhouse Roger Sinkula Richard and Susan Stadelman Wayne and Mary Staidl Judy Stoikes Strohm Ballweg, LLP Superior Shores County Farm Bureau Brad and Sheri Sutton Woody Syverson Taylor County Farm Bureau Michael Theo Tommy Thompson Warren and Kathleen Tober Steven and Debra Towns Ken and Lydia Turba Phil Ullmer Dan Uminski UW Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau James and Nodji Van Wychen Kathryn Vanden Bosch Bernard Vander Heiden Helmut Wagner David Ward Washington County YFA Waupaca County Farm Bureau Bob and Jeanne Welch Jerry and Sharon Wendt Jim and Karen Werner Winnebago County Farm Bureau Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Cletus and Geri Wolfe Loren and Ruth Wolfe Richard and Peggy Wright Euncie Yanke Paul and Kelly Zimmerman

Thank you for your support and generosity! February | March 2014

Darlene, I would like to thank you helping make the Farm Bureau Young Far mer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet contest a great opportunity! This year, I had the opportunit y to compete and made it to the ‘final four’ round . This contest opened my eyes to the opportunit ies in Farm Bureau, opened doors with the ne w connections I was able to make, and broaden my knowledge base on how Farm Bureau makes a hu ge impact in agriculture ! As an Agriculture Educati on Instructor at Mondovi High School, I value stron g partners in the agriculture industry. It is great to see a positive role model like Farm Bu reau. I hope we can continue to work togeth er in the future! Adam Wehling, FFA Advis or and Agricultural Education Instructor at Mondovi High School

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Thank you for your support of the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award through the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. 4-H has provided me with leadership experience I plan to use for the rest of my life. It also taught me to be a strong member of my community. Scott Pederson, Spooner Dear Darlene, We would like to thank you for your presentation at the Waupaca 8th Grad e Agricultural Career Day this year. We have he ard many wonderful comments about your pre sentation from 8th grade teachers and studen ts. Your dedication and commitment to the agricultural industry, agriculture education, an d the FFA is truly appreciated by the Waup aca agriculture teachers and the FFA members. Austin Zempel, 8th Grade Ag Career Day Chair, Waupaca FFA Chapter

Dear Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Thank you very much for your donation for the Kindergarten Day on the Farm. The kids had a blast ! The Kiel FFA


rural mutual

Do I Really Need Crop Insurance?


f you have never considered Crop Hail insurance as a risk management tool in the past, consider purchasing it in 2014. Crop Hail insurance has been proven useful to many Wisconsin Farm Bureau members. Their loss experience proved that Crop Hail insurance was the best insurance product to indemnify them for their loss when a hailstorm damaged all or a portion of their crops. Crop Hail insurance allows flexibility in your risk management insurance program. You can insure both profit and the cost of

production in the event that you lose your crop. Whether you have insured your crops in previous years or are considering purchasing Crop Hail insurance for the first time, you need to determine what level of coverage will fit your farm’s situation. Rural Mutual Crop Hail insurance covers your crops in units of one acre so that when a hailstorm crosses your property and damages a portion of your crops you have coverage. Crop Hail insurance covers your growing crops for direct loss of yield due to: hail, fire, lightning, vandalism, malicious mischief, vehicle

Wisconsin Towns Association Scholarship Contest


ural Mutual Insurance Company, Wisconsin Towns Association and Scott Construction, Inc. are again offering the following scholarships to winners of an essay contest. Scholarships will be awarded on the following basis: • Two (2) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded, one each to the highest ranking boy and highest ranking girl from a town insured by Rural Mutual Insurance Company as of May 1, 2014. • Four (4) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded, two boys and two girls. • One (1) $1,000 scholarship to either a boy or a girl who has the highest ranking below the previous four. Seven scholarships will be awarded based on an essay answering the topic: “What does local control mean for town government and why is it important in 2014?” To enter, applicants must live in a municipality that has Rural Mutual Insurance coverage as of May 1, 2014; be a 2014 graduate of a Wisconsin public or private high school; and, plan on enrolling in a Wisconsin public or private college or vocational-technical school in 2014. Applicants should contact their local town office to determine if they have coverage through Rural Mutual Insurance. Entries must be between 500 and 1,000 words and received by the WTA by May 30, 2014. Essays can be mailed to the Wisconsin Towns Association, W7686 County Road MMM, Shawano, WI 54166-6086. Winners will be announced October 27, 2014 at the WTA annual convention in Stevens Point.


Rural Route

damage, fodder for silage corn, replanting allowance for covered perils, transportation coverage and fire department service charges. Rural Mutual offers no deductible and deductible policies that allow you to select what amount of your risk you wish to transfer and how much you will selfinsure. Rural Mutual also has a wide array of discounts available. Producers are in business today simply because they made the good business decision to purchase Crop Hail insurance from Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Premiums paid here stay here to keep Wisconsin strong! Contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent today to get more information before purchasing your 2014 Crop Hail insurance.

Sportsmanship Award


he WIAA announced the winners of the WIAA/ Rural Mutual Insurance Company Sportsmanship Award for the 2013 Fall State Championships. The winners are: Oshkosh North - football, Middleton - girls team tennis, Hilbert - girls volleyball, Brookfield East boys volleyball and Ashland - boys soccer.

Telecast Sponsorship


ural Mutual will again sponsor the telecast of the following state tournament games. The finals of the boys and girls State Tournaments will be televised live on WKOW Madison, WAOW Wausau, WXOW La Crosse, WQOW Eau Claire, WYOW Eagle River, WMOW Crandon, WACY Green Bay, KBJR Duluth/ Superior and WMLW Milwaukee. Dates: Hockey Boys and Girls - March 6-8, Boys basketball tournament - March 1315 and Girls basketball tournament - March 20-22. Wisconsin farm bureau federation

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

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


Rural Route  

February | March, 2014 Volume 20 Issue 1

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you