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wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

june | july 2014 • vol. 20 no. 3 | wfbf.com

Weigh in on high capacity wells and other hot ag topics Downer Animals in Food Supply

Energy Exports

Drones & Privacy

Climate Change

See Page 16 New Stackable GM Offer Institute Grads Work Capitol Hill Top Talkers Offer Discussion Meet Advice

JUNE DAIRY MONTH RECIPES Page 24

Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants


The landscape is changing. We have the roadmap. Successful businesses look forward, not back. That’s why they turn to FS for next generation agronomy and energy solutions. We’re utilizing cloud-based information technology, while providing essential crop inputs and fuel management tools that point the way forward. FS is always discovering new ways to optimize operations and ensure our customers are ready for what’s next. www.fssystem.com

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©2014 GROWMARK, Inc. A14175C


contents

vol. 20 no. 3

6 10

16

features

articles

6

Institute in D.C.

5

Leadership graduates get congressional facetime.

10

Arneson’s reflections Outgoing AITC coordinator and foundation director reminisces.

16

Hot ag issues

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27

Make your voices heard through WFBF’s policy development process.

22

PAL experience changes how this Oregon ag instructor teachers her students.

departments 5

news

Law makes it legal to operate farm machinery on the road.

21

Members

26

member benefits

new blogger

28

Opinion

Cheri Klussendorf is now blogging about farming with her three sons.

34

Leadership

42

ag in the classroom

member benefit enhancement

44

foundation

45

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GM offers members stackable benefit on vehicles.

34

Beaty

Revamp Ioh

22

discussion meet advice Past Discussion Meet winners share tips on contest.

primary COVER photo by casey langan

VFA Committee Preps for 2014 Elections june | july 2014

14 wfbf.com

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Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor’s Note

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hen I was younger, my dad always hired someone to help him in the fields. Each spring, I noticed that the hired men would always take the plow out and my dad was the only one ever driving the planter. When I asked about it, he said he felt better planting because he enjoyed it and he wanted to make sure it was done right. The harvest all depended on how the crop was put in the ground he said. When something is important to you, you want to make sure it is done right. Such is the case with Farm Bureau’s legislative policy. Each year, passionate members work together to sow their beliefs and desires in hopes of harvesting good policy. As my dad taught me, if you want something done right you need to work hard for it, and not just rely on other people to do the work. It is crucial for all Farm Bureau members to take it upon themselves to share their opinions on pressing ag issues (page 16) to help guide the directions of Wisconsin agriculture and our organization. My dad was the first to show me what hope was. He desired for the corn and soybeans to yield a good crop and he was confident in his labor. This Rural Route

{from Sheri Sutton} not only brings together our members’ hopes for future legislation and policy, but also their hopes to educate others about agriculture. Our collegiate Farm Bureau members have done an outstanding job reaching out to consumers and peers through their Ag Day on Campus events (page 40) with the hope of spreading messages of how agriculture impacts everyone. Our Institute graduates took on being lobbyists for a day as they traveled to our nation’s capital in the hope of leaving an impression on their elected officials (page 6). Our bloggers are opening up about their farms and lives (page 21) with the hope of making agriculture more transparent. Awaiting a good fall harvest from this spring’s plantings requires patience. This was another key virtue I picked up from my dad. I am not sure how he did it with six kids and a busy farm of hogs, chickens and crops, but it always seemed like he had an unlimited amount of patience. Our work in policy development, in our farms and our outreach to consumers don’t necessarily yield immediate benefits. It requires a farmer’s patience, patience that has years of experience in knowing that some years the harvest is fantastic. My husband and I will be welcoming our second child to the world at the end of June. Just as my father and all farmers want to plant their seeds right, my husband and I will have another opportunity to plant seeds of hope, values and wisdom into a child, seeds that we hope grow and have long lasting results. Thank you for reading and remember the effort you invest now in weighing in on current ag topics will bear fruit in the future. Sheri Sutton Rural Route Assistant Editor/Designer 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) www.wfbf.com info.demingway@wfbf.com “Like” us on Facebook facebook.com/WIFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter twitter.com/WIFarmBureau

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 barbara@slackattack.com. National accounts contact Hurst & Associates at 800.397.8908 or hurstp19@comcast.net. For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or clangan@wfbf.com.

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


news

WFBF Applauds Revamp of Farm Machinery Laws By Rob Richard

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overnor Scott Walker signed a bill into law that clarifies definitions of farm machinery and makes it legal to operate such equipment on public roads. “The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is very proud that the farming community was able to forge an agreement with town and county officials on this legislation in a bipartisan manner,” said Jim Holte, President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. “For our state’s farm families and agricultural economy, it was imperative that the debate over farm machinery on roads was resolved before the growing season,” Holte said. “A critical component of our state’s $59 billion agricultural economy is the ability for farmers to safely and legally operate farm machinery on roadways.” The legislation modernizes Wisconsin’s antiquated laws concerning farm machinery by: • Clarifying the definition of an implement of husbandry (IOH). • Creating a new definition for agricultural commercial motor vehicles. • Establishing size parameters and lighting requirements for farm machinery operated on roadways. • Generally increasing weight limits by 15 percent for IOH with maximum axle weight limits of 23,000 pounds and total gross vehicle weight of 92,000 pounds. Passed by both houses of the State Legislature earlier this year by wide bipartisan margins, the legislation was authored by State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and State Representative Keith Ripp (R-Lodi). Senate Bill 509, june | july 2014

now known as Act 377, was signed by Governor Walker on Wednesday, April 23. “We applaud Governor Scott Walker and the State Legislature for their efforts,” Holte said. “It’s now up to farmers to talk with their local officials about how this law will be implemented in their town and county.”

Find this docu wfbf.com/legment online: islative/ioh.

on the web To view this document on “Implements of Husbandry Legislation - What You Need to Know” and for Farm Bureau’s summary of Act 377, please visit wfbf.com/legislative/ioh.

wfbf.com

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While sitting with Senator Ron Johnson, Institute class members talked about EPA regulations and immigration.

Leadership Institute Trip Leaves Impressions By Amy Manske

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isconsin Farm Bureau leaders became lobbyists for a day while meeting with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on April 9. The issues at hand were technology, taxes, trade, farm bill implementation, immigration, water regulations and animal welfare. “I was very happy with my visits on Capitol Hill,” said Doug Rebout, a Rock County Farm Bureau member. “It was educational for me and my representative and senators. I explained my concerns and they updated us on what they are working on.” Rebout was one of 12 members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s leadership Institute class to make the trip to Washington, D.C., April 7-11, with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s

Board of Directors. It marked the completion of the yearlong leadership training available to Farm Bureau members. “The capstone experience in D.C. was absolutely delightful,” Rock County Farm Bureau member Sheila Everhart said. “To see the process of how our democratic government works along with getting the chance to use our voices and share the story of agriculture in Wisconsin was great.” Everhart also mentioned how beneficial it was to get to know the WFBF Board and her fellow class members on a deeper level. Any WFBF voting member, regardless of age or participation level, may submit an application to participate in the 15-member leadership Institute. Many graduates expressed their gratitude for the program and encouraged other Farm Bureau members to pursue an application. “The Leadership Institute was a great experience because you get to meet so many people in Farm Bureau,” Charlie Knigge, a Winnebago County Farm Bureau member said. “ I think it is a really valuable experience and a great way to build your leadership.” While in Washington, Farm Bureau members met officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and American Farm Bureau Federation. A visit to the British Embassy included a conversation on trade and the global agricultural economy. Members also participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Left: Institute members took a moment to reflect at Arlington National Cemetery which was the first stop of the trip.

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Right: Lisa “Participating this past year in the Gantner stood leadership Institute has been one at the podium at of the best experiences of my life,” the United States Katie Mattison, a Dunn County Department Farm Bureau member said. “It has of Agriculture given me the opportunity to grow building. personally and has provided me the skills to succeed as a leader. I look forward to utilizing what I have gained from the class in my current leadership role with the Young Farmer and Agriculturist program and into the future within Wisconsin Farm Bureau, my career and my community.”

Left: Institute class members and the WFBF Board stood outside the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. after learning about trade and agriculture in the United Kingdom. Below: Congressman Reid Ribble stood with a group of Farm Bureau members after his meeting with them. (Left to right) District 7 Director Wayne Staidl, District 6 Director Rosie Lisowe, Congressman Reid Ribble, Crystal Pollack, Michelle Backhaus and WFBF President Jim Holte.

Members of the seventh leadership Institute class who attended the D.C. trip were: Michelle Backhaus, Appleton; Cindy Bourget, Elk Mound; Jennifer M. Digman, Markesan; Sheila Everhart, Janesville; Lisa Gantner, Belgium; Charlie Knigge, Omro; Katie Mattison, Menomonie; Chris Pollack, Ripon; Crystal Pollack, Ripon; Doug Rebout, Janesville; Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo; and Dave Wilke, Ripon. You can watch the wreath-laying ceremony and view photos from the trip by going to facebook.com/ WisconsinFarmBureauInstitute. Applications and more information on the program are available by visiting wfbf.com and searching “Institute.”

june | july 2014

wfbf.com

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news

DATCP’s Farm Center Answers Herd Health Questions

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hen dairy herd health and production problems remain unresolved both farm profits and the joys of farming suffer. The Herd-Based Diagnostic Program at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is one service that can help uncover underlying causes and generate solutions. The Herd-Based Diagnostic Program serves Wisconsin dairy herds of all sizes and management types. The program addresses production issues, milk quality, cow loss and other concerns. Veterinary services and laboratory tests are provided at no cost to those DATCP Veterinarian John Roberts takes a blood sample from a newborn calf requesting assistance. on a farm in northwest Wisconsin. “Unlike traditional veterinary diagnostic skills, which tend to focus on the individual sick cow, the focus of the Then, directly by doing the testing or indirectly by facilitating Herd-based Diagnostic program is on factors that effect overall local professionals testing, the Herd-Based Diagnostic Program herd performance,” said Dr. John Roberts, who along with Dr. will then fill in the missing diagnostic gaps. John Marks, bring a combined 30 years of veterinary experience The Herd-Based Diagnostic Program works on resolving and considerable diagnostic laboratory support to their efforts each farmer’s specific concerns by identifying underlying in assisting Wisconsin dairy farms. causes, finding practical solutions and leaving ways to monitor “Our approach is a team approach,” explained Dr. Marks. progress. At the conclusion of the analysis, Dr. Roberts and Dr. “Our purpose is to add to the valuable knowledge and Marks provide a detailed report to the farm. This report can be experience of the local farm service providers, to improve used by the farmer and local professionals to ensure a long-term outcomes for the farmer but also enhance local diagnostic benefit. capacity.” The information provided by the Herd-Based Diagnostic Farmers can tap into this valuable team experience by filing Program can help farmers make informed business decisions. out an application with the Herd-Based Diagnostic Program. Resolving complex herd health and production concerns in the “The application provides a large blank space for farmers to barn can lead to an overall better bottom line. By going through explain what the primary herd health and production issues the Herd-Based Diagnostic Program, farmers can increase their are,” explained Dr. Roberts. “Each response is tailored to profitability and find causes to long-time stresses. address the farmer’s specific concerns.” The work of Doctors Roberts and Marks is provided through “The application really helps us to formulate a good DATCP’s Wisconsin Farm Center, which assists the state’s strategic plan,” added Dr. Marks. “It asks for basic orientation farmers and agribusinesses in growing Wisconsin’s agricultural information, like when is milking and feeding done and how to economy and rural communities. Besides the diagnostic contact involved local professionals.” program, Wisconsin Farm Center services include conflict In response to the application, Dr. Marks or Dr. Roberts will mediation, energy-related issues, financial planning, counseling, initiate phone conversations with the farmer and with the key transition assistance and minority farmer outreach. All services local professionals. A farm visit is then set up. Throughout the are offered at no charge to the farmer and all information is process, the emphasis is on team-building and enhancing local kept confidential, unless permission is granted. diagnostic capacity. The Wisconsin Farm Center is accessible weekdays from Farmers rely on a team of local professionals to maintain herd 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To request veterinary assistance from health, from the nutritionist to the veterinarian. The Herd-based the Herd-Based Diagnostic Program or to take advantage of Diagnostic Program’s assistance does not replace any one of any Wisconsin Farm Center services, call the toll-free hotline these important players but adds another member to the group. 1.800.942.2474 or email farmcenter@wisconsin.gov. Once on the farm, the investigative process looks at what Article and photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of diagnostic work has already been done by local professionals. Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


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wfbf.com

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Darlene Arneson’s Reflections

For almost 10 years Darlene Arneson has served as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Coordinator and Foundation Director. She has moved on to be the manager of the new Norwegian Heritage Center in Stoughton, but she will remain an active Farm Bureau member. Here are some of her Farm Bureau reflections.

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Who made the biggest impression on you?

What is your favorite Farm Bureau memory?

Several people in Farm Bureau have made a huge impression on me over the years. Trayton Greenfield and Jack Meffert share the honor in their countless hours of time, peering over lists and asking members to join. The thousands of people they have offered opportunities to by getting them involved in Farm Bureau is just amazing. Both have taught me the value of being honest, believing in the product you are selling and the importance of follow-up when people have questions. Sam Skemp and I go back to the Verona FS days when he’d buy my steers at the fair. Through both of our career changes and progression through Farm Bureau and the GROWMARK FS system, we both have learned, grown professionally and made a positive influence on the industry and our members/customers. We still are working together in taking floats to parades after 20+ years! I admire all that Sam does for others and the concern he has for his employees and friends.

Serving as the Dane County Farm Bureau President when our county was recognized as the top county at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. I couldn’t have been more proud of the many board members, volunteers and families that put in countless time and effort to make that happen.

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What were the biggest issues you were involved with? Use value assessment and rBST approval were the biggest issues I was involved with. I was asked to be the Farm Bureau member representative on the use value committee. Working with Cate Zeuske and Bruce Jones taught me about economics and what one needs to consider when implementing an issue that impacts so many. John and I were very active in the rBST debate and we learned the ups and downs of defending farmers’ rights in controversial topics. We did countless media interviews, had positive/negative mail and phone calls (thank goodness we didn’t have email back then) and testified at hearings.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Darlene’s Farm Bureau Timeline What was your favorite county annual meeting? We had Governor Tommy Thompson speak at the Dane County Farm Bureau annual meeting when I was president. Our program cover was the state of Wisconsin with his picture and WFBF President Dan Poulson’s which looked like a great campaign piece. We teased Dan that he could have been Tommy’s running mate and really carried the agricultural community.

What was the best training for your job at WFBF? Being a volunteer for more than 20 years gave me a wonderful background and perspective on Farm Bureau programs, activities and plans. As I made decisions in my area of responsibilities, advised on annual meeting, membership or other programs, I knew how it might affect members and what their reaction or though process might be. I often thought, “How would I react if I got this as a county president or county volunteer?”

What will you miss the most as a staff member? I will miss getting to see so many of our members who I consider friends. That is the hardest part of leaving. I have been blessed to work with great staff members, volunteers and commodity partners who emulate what team effort is all about! In a few emails or phone calls, we can put together a great program, training or activity because we all believe in the same mission: supporting agriculture and educating the non-farm public. Our network is great and I’ll appreciate keeping in touch with everyone at Farm Bureau events and through social media. And of course, you’re welcome to visit me in Stoughton anytime! june | july 2014

1960s

Born into a “Farm Bureau family” in rural Verona

August 1987

Purchased joint Farm Bureau membership with husband John

December 1981

Named Miss Wisconsin Farm Bureau

Late 80s

Served as Dane County Young Farmer Committee Chair

December 1990 Won WFBF Discussion Meet

Fall 1992

Elected Dane County Farm Bureau Vice President

September 1998

Earned Binbuster status in the Farm Bureau Producer Club

September 2004

Hired as WFBF Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator

Fall 1991

Elected to Dane County Farm Bureau Board of Directors

Fall 1994

Elected Dane County Farm Bureau President

2001-2004

Dane County Farm Bureau office secretary

May 2014

Leaving WFBF staff, remains active FB member

wfbf.com

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news

Wendy Kannel Named Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Foundation Director

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endy Kannel is the new Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation Director. Since joining the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation in 2010, Kannel has worked as a district coordinator for WFBF’s District 9 in northwest Wisconsin. In her new role, Kannel will oversee the Ag in the Classroom program which provides Wisconsin teachers, volunteers and students with tools about how food travels from the farm to the fork. She will work with local Ag in the Classroom coordinators and educators. Kannel will also lead the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation which provides financial support to Ag in the Classroom, Farm

Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist program, Women’s Program for Education and Leadership, leadership Institute course, collegiate Farm Bureaus, FFA and 4-H. “Wendy has a strong background in education, agriculture and volunteer training. Her excellent communication and networking skills make her a great choice to lead Ag in the Classroom and oversee our Foundation’s activities,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. Kannel, an agricultural education major from UW-River Falls, grew up on a dairy farm near Spring Valley in Pierce County. She worked as an agri-science teacher and FFA advisor for the Mishicot School District and adjunct instructor at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin. “I’m excited to be continuing my work with Farm Bureau, and expanding my outreach with our state’s volunteer leaders, teachers and youth,” Kannel said. “With less than two percent of our society directly involved in production agriculture, it’s critical we create and maintain relevant agricultural resources for teachers.” Kannel relocated from Elmwood to the Madison area and began her new duties on May 12. Kannel succeeds Darlene Arneson, who is now the manager of the new Norwegian Heritage Center in Stoughton.

The Farm Bill: How it Works

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he American Farm Bureau Federation has produced a new series of videos and launched a website (http://goo.gl/ ujjnny) to help farmers, landowners and other stakeholders better understand the provisions of the 2014 farm bill. Featured content includes videos on key commodity program and crop insurance provisions of the farm bill. “We have distilled down a massive and complex piece of legislation—the 2014 farm bill—into several ‘bite-size’ pieces, with the goal of helping farmers and managers understand how it will affect their farms,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist with AFBF. “Now that safety net and risk management tools important in crop planning are in place, along with the new program for dairies, the next step is for farmers to be able to move forward with confidence in determining the best options for their individual farms,” Anderson said. “We created the farm bill video series with that goal in mind.” The videos include a farm bill overview describing the basic provisions of the commodity

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title, including a description of the decisions related to program participation that will need to be made by farmers and landowners. Four other videos go in-depth on the Price Loss Coverage and Supplemental Coverage Option, the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program, the Stacked Income Protection Program for Cotton and the Dairy Margin Protection Program. Links to useful farm bill information from USDA, land-grant universities and other organizations also is available on the website at http://goo.gl/ujjnny.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


news

WFBF Welcomes Two New District Coordinators

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shleigh Calaway and Katie Mattison have been hired by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation as new district coordinators in northern Wisconsin. District coordinators are 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. Calaway will serve Farm Bureau’s District 8, which includes the counties of Clark, Lincoln, Marathon, Price, Portage, Taylor and Wood. Ashleigh Calaway Mattison will serve Farm Bureau’s District 9, which includes the counties of Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer and St. Croix, as well as the Superior Shores Farm Bureau, made up of Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas and Iron counties. Both began their duties on May 27.

Calaway

Committee, representing District 8. Ashleigh will work from her home near Vesper in Wood County, where she and Josh own a beef farm. She replaces Lindsey Prahl, who stepped down from her role at Farm Bureau to farm full-time with her husband, Ryan.

Mattison “I am excited about the opportunity to join the WFBF staff and work side by side members in District 9 to promote agriculture,” Mattison said. “Katie’s Farm Bureau training and her experience working in agriculture will Katie Mattison be useful as she assists county Farm Bureau leaders in northwest Wisconsin, as well as the collegiate Farm Bureau chapter at the UW-River Falls campus,” Leege said. Mattison grew up near Amery in Polk County and is a graduate of UW-River Falls with a degree in agricultural business. She has worked in agricultural lending for Badgerland Financial, Bremer Bank and WESTconsin Credit Union. Mattison is a 2013 graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute leadership course and represents the District 9 region on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. She will be based in Menomonie. She succeeds Wendy Kannel, who was recently named the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Coordinator and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation Director. WFBF is made up of 61 county Farm Bureaus.

“I am extremely excited to start this new journey in life. I can’t imagine working with a better group of people and being able to share my passion for agriculture and inspire members to advocate for our way of life and enjoy all that Farm Bureau has to offer,” Calaway said. “Ashleigh’s previous work experience in the areas of program development, volunteer recruitment and training and her diverse experience as a Farm Bureau volunteer make her an ideal fit for this position,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Member Relations. Calaway grew up in Lafayette County and is a graduate of UW-River Falls with a degree in agricultural education. She recently worked as a community development coordinator for Girl Scouts, coordinating member recruitment and leadership training for 300 adult volunteers and 775 girls throughout central Wisconsin. Along with her husband, Josh, she Suburban . Commercial . Agricultural . Horse Barns & Arenas served on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 . waltersbuildings.com Young Farmer and Agriculturist june | july 2014

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wfbf.com

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news

Volunteers for Agriculture Committee Preps for 2014 Election By Rob Richard

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s the Volunteers for Agriculture (WFBF’s political action committee) preps for candidate endorsements and political expenditures, it’s no secret that 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting and interesting election year in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker will face a re-election challenge from Democrat Mark Burke, a former Department of Commerce Secretary and Trek Bicycle executive, or Democrat State Representative Brett Hulsey of Madison. The winner of an August 12 primary will face Gov. Walker in the November 4 general election. With the announced retirement of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, the open seat has Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, a Republican, running against one of three Democrats vying to win the August primary: State Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee, Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ and Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. In two other state constitutional races, four individuals are seeking to challenge incumbent Secretary of State Doug La Follette, and with the retirement of State Treasurer Kurt Schuller a field of seven candidates will seek to replace him. Wisconsin has eight congressional seats but the one that is making the most noise this year is the 6th Congressional District where U.S. Representative Tom Petri has served for the last 35 years. Covering an area that stretches 10 counties, numerous candidates have announced their intent to run for this seat that Petri, a Republican, will vacate. Expect a well-publicized and well-funded campaign from both sides of the aisle. Something we have not seen in several years is the sheer number of legislative retirements in the State Senate and

TAGE COUNTY POR August 12-14 2014

The Center of It All 14

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Assembly. As of Rural Route press time, there are a total of 29 open seats in the 132-member legislature. Note that 11 of these open seats were created because current legislators are seeking a different state office and a twelfth member was elected mayor of a large city this spring. In the Senate, four Republicans (Mike Ellis of Neenah, Neal Kedzie of Elkhorn, Joe Leibham of Sheboygan and Dale Schultz of Richland Center) and three Democrats (Tim Cullen of Janesville, John Lehman of Racine and Bob Jauch of Poplar) have announced they are not seeking reelection. Leibham is running for the 6th Congressional District seat and Lehman is running for Lieutenant Governor. Republicans currently hold an 18-15 advantage in the Senate. You might think 22 open seats in the Assembly would be challenging enough for both sides to manage, but expect some serious challenges to both Republican and Democrat incumbents as well. Republicans go into the fall campaign with a 60-39 majority. While conventional wisdom says they will hold that majority, Democrats hope to make gains in preparation for 2016. So as you can see there is a lot for WFBF members to keep an eye on this year. As it has in the past, the VFA committee will set up candidate interviews (with local WFBF members doing the interviewing) and seek to actively support those candidates who believe in the mission of WFBF and the work it does for Wisconsin agriculture. Throughout the summer and fall, our staff will continue to keep you posted on the latest election-year developments.

Visit us at Farm Technology Days

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isiting Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Portage County this August 12-14? Be sure to stop by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Rural Mutual Insurance Company booths. The three-day outdoor event showcases the latest improvements in production agriculture,

including many practical applications of recent research findings and technological developments. This year’s host farms are Blue Top Farms and Feltz Family Farms in rural Stevens Point. The WFBF and Rural Mutual Insurance Company booth numbers are C199 and C200. Wisconsin farm bureau federation


County Farm Bureaus Earn Cash for Membership

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hirty-one county Farm Bureaus earned recognition for their membership recruitment efforts from October 1 through April 30. County Farm Bureaus that reached their 2014 goal for new voting members during this period received a $1,000 cash award. “County Farm Bureau volunteers made a strong membership push in recent weeks, helping to sign up nearly 600 new voting Farm Bureau members during the month of April,” said Bob Leege, Executive Director of Member Relations. “Reaching this goal is a very positive step for a county Farm Bureau and demonstrates a commitment by county leaders to make the organization stronger. In addition, counties that reach this goal have a big advantage in achieving membership growth by the end of our membership year on September 30.”

(Bayfield) (Douglas)

Superior Shores

(Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas & Iron counties) (Iron) (Ashland)

Sawyer Price Polk

Rusk Barron

Lincoln

St. Croix

Chippewa

Dunn

Oconto

Marathon Eau Claire

Pierce

Clark Portage

Trempealeau Buffalo

Wood

Adams

Interested in signing up a new member? Please visit the “Become a Member” page under the Benefits and Membership tab on www.WFBF.com.

Congratulations to the highlighted counties that reached their 2014 new voting goal by April 30 and qualified for the cash incentive.

Brown Waupaca

Jackson

La Crosse

Door

Shawano

Calumet

Vernon Richland

Sauk

Manitowoc

Winnebago

Marquette

Crawford

Kewaunee

Outagamie

Waushara

Monroe Juneau

on the web

Marinette

Langlade

Taylor

Green Lake

Fond du Lac

Columbia Dodge

Sheboygan

Washington Ozaukee

Iowa

Grant

Lafayette

Dane

Green

Jefferson

Rock

Waukesha

Walworth

Milwaukee Racine Kenosha


What Do You Think? W

FBF’s Policy Development Committee has five state issues, while the American Farm Bureau Federation has six national issues for Farm Bureau members to consider during their county’s upcoming policy development process. Please note that the Policy Development Committee has not taken formal positions on these topics; but rather, wants to encourage discussion among Farm Bureau members during our policy development process. For more in-depth information on these issues see wfbf.com/legislative/2015-policy-development.

State Issues - 2015 Policy Development Agricultural Enterprise Areas Wisconsin’s farmland preservation law was updated in 2009. The previous law was income-based. The new law has three per acre payment levels. Two of the three payments, either $5 or $10 per acre, are determined if a farmer’s land is located in an agricultural enterprise area and the farmer has signed a 15-year farmland preservation agreement. According to DATCP’s 2013 AEA report, 25 AEA have been designated in 19 counties and 72 townships with a total acreage of nearly 750,000 acres. Of this acreage, about 85,000 acres have actually been enrolled in the program. The remaining acres are eligible to be enrolled, but the landowners have not chosen to do so.

How can the AEA program be improved or modified so more farmers participate?

UW-Extension UW-Extension has been an integral part of the success of Wisconsin farmers, agri-businesses and rural communities. Many farm youth have been involved in 4-H and many farmers have worked with their county ag agent. If all the positions were filled, there would be over 80 county ag agents in the state. For each agent, the county pays 40 percent of their salary and fringe benefits and office facilities and support staff, while Cooperative Extension pays 60 percent of salary and fringe benefits. As farming and technology have evolved so has the role of the county ag extension agent. For some commodities, farmers may go to the private sector for advice, while the county extension agent may be the expert for others. However, a county agent cannot be an expert on everything. As a result, some counties are sharing agents based upon their respective areas of expertise. What does agriculture in your county need from UW-Extension?

How can the relationships between county Farm Bureaus and UW-Extension be improved? 16

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


High Capacity Wells Wisconsin has an abundance of both surface and groundwater, but in recent years there have been areas of the state where the availability of and access to groundwater has become a concern. This is no longer just an issue for Wisconsin’s central sands region. Due to the 2012 drought and commodity markets, more farmers are looking to install irrigation wells. Combined with a 2011 State Supreme Court ruling that requires the DNR to extensively review all aspects of a high capacity well application, some farmers have waited more than eight months to get a high capacity well permit. Legislation to address high-capacity well permit issues was not passed by the Legislature, but will have to be addressed next year. Some suggest that Wisconsin address the cumulative impacts of groundwater withdrawals.

Should the State of Wisconsin establish parameters to decide who gets to withdrawal groundwater and when they get to?

Driver’s Licenses for Immigrant Workers In 2007, a Wisconsin law went into effect that established new requirements for non-U.S. citizens seeking to obtain a Wisconsin driver’s license. Prior to this, Wisconsin was one of 10 states that did not require an immigrant to show proof of legal status (valid visa, permanent residency or U.S. citizenship) in order to obtain a driver’s license. Legislation was introduced this past session, but did not pass, that would allow under-documented workers to obtain a driver’s license.

WFBF does not have policy on this issue. What should it be?

Drones Impact on Privacy Wisconsin is one of four states to enact legislation to address the use of drones. Earlier this year, a law passed that limited the use of drones by law enforcement agencies, unless it obtained a search warrant; prohibited the use of weaponized drones; and made it illegal for an individual to use a drone with the intent to photograph, record or otherwise observe an individual in a place or location where the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy. The law does not address the use of drones by the federal government. Even though the legislation was passed, discussion still continues about privacy and drones.

Should an individual or a business be able to use a drone to fly over a farm to see how many cattle a farmer has or how many acres of a given crop was planted or to determine the condition of the crop? Is the use of drones in these scenarios any different than using an airplane? june | july 2014

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National Issues - 2015 Policy Development Interstate Commerce Restrictions In 2008, California voters approved a ballot initiative (Prop 2) requiring veal calves, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs in California to be confined only in ways that allow animal to lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. The California Assembly subsequently passed a law imposing those same Prop 2 standards on all eggs sold in the state, including those produced in other states. Missouri’s Attorney General filed suit against this law, alleging it violated the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The litigation is still pending.

Should ballot initiatives or state laws affecting farming practices in a given state be applied to products produced in other states but sold in the state that adopted the ballot initiative or law?

Agriculture’s Adaptability to Climate Change Farmers have been responding to climate change since they first put seed in the ground and herded livestock. Whether or not one believes the climate is changing or whether humans are the cause of that change, from a food supply standpoint, agriculture needs to be as resilient as possible.

What policies and approaches should be promoted to help farmers handle more extreme weather events? What can land grant universities do to provide unbiased information?

Downer Animals in the Food Supply USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations require that all animals found to be nonambulatory at ante-mortem inspection (or those that become non-ambulatory after the ante-mortem inspection but before processing) be condemned. Clearly, animals downed due to an illness need to be removed from the procession system. However, there are cases where animals are non-ambulatory not because of illness (a leg fracture incurred during transport). These non-ambulatory animals pose no human health risk; however, FSIS rules treat them the same as other downer animals.

Should the rules associated with non-ambulatory animals be modified to create a separate class for animals injured in transit to the processing facility so as to allow for their entry into the meat processing system? 18

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Energy Exports Last fall, a record harvest of high moisture corn increased demand for propane for drying in the Midwest. As a result, propane inventories in the Midwest were at their lowest level heading into the winter since 1996. After harvest, logistical problems prevented the region from fully replenishing inventories before the onset of a particularly cold winter. At the same time, propane exports were at record highs while farmers were facing higher energy costs for propane.

Should we continue exporting energy products or should we consider limiting such exports? Should there be policies and regulations that restrict the end use on energy products when disruptions or market extremes occur?

Effect of International Approval of Biotech Crops on Variety Selection Recently, China rejected a number of vessels carrying small amounts of a corn variety approved for marketing in the United States, but not in China. When China rejected those shipments, the market reacted negatively and a number of grain handling companies have indicated they will no longer accept that variety at their elevators. The seed company that developed the technology has since indicated that it will provide its own marketing channel to countries for new traits (approved in the U.S., but not in China) for the coming growing year.

Should companies introducing varieties with new technology have to set up marketing channels to protect the rest of the supply chain when other nations’ approval processes do not match the U.S.?

Water Storage Infrastructure One way to mitigate the effects of drought on all aspects of society is to increase water reserves through water development projects. Yet, construction of new reservoirs or other storage systems is difficult, if not impossible due to regulations and litigation. In light of growing competition for water available for agricultural use, investments in water infrastructure will be key to ensuring sustainability of future water supplies. Recent droughts have increased public awareness and federal policy makers’ focus on flaws in water storage and delivery systems.

Should states play a more prominent role in the development of future water storage projects? Are current federal water policies and disaster assistance polices balanced to achieve necessary investments in future water infrastructure projects?

june | july 2014

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news

Ag Tourism Group Spearheads New Liability Law

By Amy Manske

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f you have ever tasted a cheese curd fresh from the factory, picked a cherry straight from the tree or pet an emu then you have participated in the constantly-growing agricultural tourism industry.

What is considered ag tourism? Pumpkin patches, pick-your-own orchards, food discovery centers, breweries, farmers markets, vineyards, cheese tours, ag fairs and festivals, country wedding venues, farmstead bed and breakfast… and the list goes on and on.

What is WATA? The Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association was formed 20 years ago to enhance awareness of Wisconsin’s great ag tourism activities. Together with other partners and their members they promote and protect ag tourism businesses. WATA recently spearheaded an ag-tourism limited liability law which places limits on liability for people offering ag tourism activities.

New Ag Tourism Law – What does it do? In April, Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 746, which places limits on liability for persons offering agricultural tourism activities. The bill was co-authored by Rep. Lee Nerison and Rep. Travis Tranel and spearheaded by the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association. “This law is a game changer for tourism because ag tourism destinations now have a safety net when opening their property up to the tourist visitor,” said WATA President Steve Peterson.

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The new law limits the liability farmers have when the public visits their property for recreational opportunities and educational tours. Farms that charge for visits will have to post signs about potential hazards and risks. This legislation does not provide “blanket” immunity if the farm operator acts with willful or wanton disregard for visitor safety. “This law provides an assurance for Wisconsin’s agricultural tourism providers that the inherent risks of being on a farm won’t translate to a major lawsuit that could put them out of business,” said bill co-author Rep. Nerison.

What you need to know when it comes to visitors and safety: “The law is great, but we need to remember that it doesn’t provide blanket immunity,” said Marsha Salzwedel of the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. “Farmers still need to post signs for hazards and follow other safety best practices.” Agritourism resources published by the National Children’s Center include guidelines, checklists, signs and other resources that will help operators be in compliance. View the resources at www.safeagritourism.com. The Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association has begun the task of manufacturing the compliance signs and will make them available to agritourism destinations throughout the state. WATA will be hosting an education series around the state focusing on farm safety. More details on the new law and information about acquiring signage can be found on the WATA membership website www.luv-r-ag.com. You can also find WATA on Facebook (facebook.com/wiagtourism).

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


As seen on wfbf.com’s blogs…

We are excited to introduce Cheri Kluessendorf as our newest blogger. Cheri’s blog, “Farming with my Three Sons,” will be about just that, her sons and her days on the farm with her husband. You can expect some day-in-the-life stories from Cheri along with a few heartfelt lessons.

We Still Dream

By Cheri Klussendorf, Farming with my Three Sons

W

hen I was little I can remember dreaming about who I would marry, how many kids I would have and what I would do for a living. I was lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams, Ryan, at college, get married and have three wonderful sons, Kale (10), Owen (8) and Max (6). We are two of the very few young farmers that are able to say that we have built our farm from the ground up. We started dairy farming one year out of college, got married and then had our first child all within a year. We have grown up so much in the last 11 years, but we still dream. I dream about what our farm will look like in 10 more years, if my children will go on to school, what their occupations will be and if I will ever be “lucky” enough to be a mother-in-law or have grandchildren. It seems to me that no matter what your age, you always have something to dream about. I seem to dream about the big picture far in the future. Ryan’s dreams revolve around the farm now and what new piece of machinery he might need. Our sons on the other hand dream “BIG” all the time. I started to notice them thinking about the future while we were driving. Anywhere we go, they watch the fields like a Sunday driver. I hear from the back of the car, “Oh look at that tractor,” or “They’re tanking manure over there.” I could care less what random farmers are doing out in their fields. I have way too many things to think about then what day of the week the neighbor cut his hay. The boys however notice everything and will fill Ryan in when we get home. Weeks after they started doing this, I noticed the loud, “I’d buy that tractor” or “I’d buy that disc.” They actually fought over who was going to buy the equipment in the fields or right out of some farmer’s yard to use on their farm when they grew up. It was kind of comical listening to them fight over who was going to be the owner of this brand new combine in the field, even though one of them just bought the combine a few miles back. It doesn’t really matter if it is a Case, John Deere or New Holland, as long as it runs and looks bright and shiny! Now you can only imagine on a nice day with all sorts of farmers in the field how a headache could happen in just a short drive to town. I encouraged the boys to not be so loud and as with most good things, it finally came to an end. Seriously now, I have three sons, nothing comes to an end, it only gets more creative. Ryan has lots of things to do during the day running the farm, while I am a work. So when the mail comes, he throws it on the table, eats lunch and goes back to work. Most farmers know that Thursday is farm paper day. Well the paper sits on the table until chores are done at night then Ryan reads it while the rest of us are watching TV. The most the boys have ever looked at the farm paper was when they have to pick it up on Saturday morning to throw it in the recycling. However, recently one of them noticed that there was implement ads in the farm paper. Now it is a race to the farm paper, markers in hand, with large circles in every color of the rainbow with M, O, or a K right next to it. I was so happy that this was a quieter way to dream about their future farms. However, to a farmer who loves to dream about what his current farm might need or who is looking for the next score on equipment, this is a very bad thing! As a mother I am so proud that my boys strive to have a bigger, better farm then we do. Ryan and I have three tractors, two were gifted to us and the third was an auction score because it went cheap! We have two old and I mean OLD International tractors and a Heston, the cheap one, but it has heat which is a step up from the others. Someday maybe farmer Ryan will be able to swing a (in Owen’s words) big 8-wheeled Case tractor, but in the meantime, he can watch the ads in the farm paper for the next great deal, if he gets to them first!

june | july 2014

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“I

wanted to be a brain surgeon from fourth through ninth grade,” Jillian Beaty said with a laugh, “but I didn’t have a steady hand and I cannot cut a straight line.” Instead, the Ohio farm girl’s life path led her to become a Wisconsin high school agricultural instructor and director of the Rock County Farm Bureau. She’s a teacher at Oregon High School, but a student as one of 10 individuals picked for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Partners in Agricultural Leadership (PAL) program. “I enjoy personal development and working with like-minded individuals from across the nation with a passion for agriculture and leadership,” Jillian said of the training for members who have excelled in competitions for Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35. “The PAL experience has changed how I interact with students and how I talk about agriculture to my teaching colleagues,” Jillian explained. “I hope there’s a ripple effect. I have 130 students. If I can inspire just five of them, that’s five more people that can make an impact.” Making an impact is what drove her to teaching, and she clearly remembers the very moment she wanted to teach agriculture. A past winner of the WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program’s Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture Award wasn’t always so polished at speaking in front of a crowd. As a high school freshman, she participated in the FFA creed speaking contest at the urging of her sister. “I was scared to death,” she recalls, “but there was this nice ag teacher from a neighboring town who just smiled at me the whole time I recited the FFA Creed. A stranger saw something in me.” Although she finished in fourth place, a technicality on how many students

Teacher Becomes the Student

in National Ag Leadership Program By Casey Langan

Growing things comes naturally to Jillian Beaty. Whether its plants, animals or the knowledge of her high school agricultural students. The Rock County Farm Bureau member is available to give presentations to other county Farm Bureaus and ag groups about her experience in the Partners in Agricultural Leadership program.

Four Fast Facts About Jillian Beaty

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Jillian grew up on a dairy farm in Ashland, Ohio.

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After her parents sold their herd of Brown Swiss and Holstein cows, they converted the farm to a three-season agri-tourism destination.

Jillian was casually involved in Ohio’s “Farm Bureau Youth” program as a high school senior, but it was at Ohio State University where she served two years as the collegiate Farm Bureau president.

She met her husband, Dale Beaty, at a FFA Alumni conference in Texas in 2003. They married in 2005 and reside in the Rock County community of Milton. Dale is WFBF’s Director of Training and Leadership Development.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Right: Touring rural Brazil earlier this year, Jillian’s fellow PAL classmates include a Tennessee pork and strawberry grower, veterinarian from Idaho, California community college ag instructor, Texan with a grain farm and trucking business, Illinois beef farmer, feed mill operator from Kentucky and a cattle rancher who serves on the Kansas Farm Bureau Board of Directors. each school could send to the sectional competition allowed her to advance. “This ag teacher was so encouraging. It was a cool moment. I knew right then, I wanted to do that for people,” she said. She describes the Dane County community of Oregon as a rural-meetsurban school district. Her primary goal from enrolling in the PAL program was to develop her students’ confidence to talk about agricultural issues. As a PAL participant, Jillian has been immersed in the issue of animal antibiotics, as American Farm Bureau is training the 10 classmates to be spokespersons on the topic. The two-year commitment, which included an agricultural tour of Brazil, began in April, 2013 and wraps up in February, 2015. “I expected it to be hard, but you never get stronger unless you go through an uncomfortable situation,” she said.

“The PAL experience has changed how I interact with students and how I talk about agriculture to my teaching colleagues. I hope there’s a ripple effect. I have 130 students. If I can inspire just five of them, that’s five more people that can make an impact.” - Jillian Beaty

What is PAL? The American Farm Bureau Federation created the Partners in Agricultural Leadership (PAL) program to enhance leadership skills built through an individual’s participation in AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet, Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and/or the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. The program is also made possible by sponsorships from Monsanto and the Farm Credit Foundation. The PAL program focuses on taking young farmers and ranchers who have already begun their personal development journey and moving them to the next level. The curriculum is designed to be a high-level executive type that provides

june | july 2014

participants with unique opportunities to represent agriculture when opportunities arise in the media, on speaking circuits or in testimonial arenas. Program graduates may be best described as “advocates for agriculture” – stepping forward and promoting awareness about issues important to those in the farm-to-consumer food chain. Each state may submit one applicant and they will be evaluated on their knowledge of agriculture issues, leadership desire and the extent to which they offer leadership potential for agriculture’s future. For more information about the rules or request an application email pal@fb.org.

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Members

Farm Bureau

Recipes and photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Bacon, Cheddar and Onion Scones Ingredients

Ingredients

Orange Creamsicles 2 cups (1 pint) vanilla ice cream, softened 1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate 1 carton (6 ounces) orange yogurt 6 five ounce paper cups 6 wooden sticks

In a large bowl, mix softened ice cream, juice concentrate and yogurt, stirring until thoroughly blended. Pour into paper cups. Cover each cup with foil. Make a slit in foil with knife and insert stick into orange mixture. Freeze until hard (about 6 hours). Remove foil and paper cups to serve.

3 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 1 1/2 cups Wisconsin cheddar cheese, large grate

2 green onions, thinly sliced 12-ounce package of bacon strips, fried, chopped or crumbled 1 cup buttermilk For egg wash: 1 large egg 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 400째F. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper. With pastry cutter or fingertips, cut in butter cubes until crumbly. Add cheese until just combined. Mix in green onions, bacon and buttermilk. Stir until mixed. With floured hands, form dough into a ball. Place on floured surface and pat into an 8-inch disk, about 1 1/2 inches high. Slice into 8 wedges. Place on baking sheet. In small bowl, mix egg and water for egg wash. Brush scones with mixture and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Ingredients

Family-Style Potato Salad

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2 pounds red boiling potatoes 3/4 cup sour cream 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup coarse-grain or spicy brown mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 8 ounces Wisconsin muenster, brick or havarti cheese, diced 1/4 cup chives or red onion, chopped 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons) 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (optional) 1/4 cup crisply cooked bacon, crumbled

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Simmer potatoes in salted water to cover until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, depending on size of potatoes. Drain; rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and cool the potatoes. Peel, if desired, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. In large bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add potatoes, cheese, chives and 1/4 cup of parsley. Toss well. Stir in eggs, if desired. Cover and chill at least two hours or up to 8 hours before serving. To serve, sprinkle with the bacon and the reserved two tablespoons of parsley.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Photo submitted by Lori Weiler, Arpin, WI

Photo submitted by Kailey Turner, Baraboo, WI

As Seen on

interest

Photo submitted by Buffy Uglow, Watertown, WI

Send in YOUR Photos pinterest. com/wifarmbureau june | july 2014

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 clangan@ wfbf.com. Due to the high volume of photos we receive, we are unable to include every photo.

wfbf.com

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on the web

Member Benefits

Savings for your Family or Business

View additional WFBF Member Benefits and more details on our website at www.wfbf.com/benefits-membership.

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

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G

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 www.fbverify.com/case 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.

Health

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Protection

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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.

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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 wfbf.com/officedepot.

Financial

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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 www.tasconline.com or call 888.595.2261.

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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.

Insurance

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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 www.ruralins.com to find your nearest Rural Mutual agent.

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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 www.fbfs.com.

Communication

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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.

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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.

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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 www.farmbureaubank.com.

Travel

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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.”

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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 Avis.com or call Avis at 1.800.331.1212.

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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 choicehotels.com. Make sure to select “special rate/CORPID.” Request WFBF member rate using ID# 00209870.

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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.


New Stackable GM Bonus Cash

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arm Bureau is pleased to announce that a new FB Member Advantage! “Bonus Cash” program with General Motors is available to members, effective immediately. While the $500 discount on the purchase or lease of a new GM car or truck is the same, the ability to stack the offer with one other private offer is new, and demonstrates Farm Bureau’s commitment to exceed member expectations. “We are committed to providing our members exclusive access to superior, high-quality brands, programs and products,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “The ability to stack the current GM ‘Bonus Cash’ offer with another private offer means our members are saving more money than ever before when they purchase a vehicle from General Motors – and is just one more way it pays to be a member of Farm Bureau.” The new Bonus Cash offer can be stacked with all other offers available to eligible Farm Bureau members, such as Owner Loyalty (discounted employee, dealership employee and supplier pricing is excluded). Additionally, members are eligible 30 days after becoming a member – a reduction from the previous 60-day eligibility requirement. The $500 “Bonus Cash” offer can be used on the purchase or lease of all 2013, 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models without exclusions in states that participate in the GM program. To take advantage of the GM program discounts through FB Member Advantage!, members should log on to fbverify.com/gm where eligibility will be confirmed once a member enters his/her membership number and zip code. A certificate will be made available online that must be printed and taken to the dealership of choice for presentation to the sales person. There is no limit to the number of certificates that a member may print or use. Certificates expire after 60 days.

Rock County Farm Bureau members Tom and Amy Krajeck smile beside the GM truck they took home after using their Farm Bureau $500 discount. FB Member Advantage! increases the economic value of membership in Farm Bureau by teaming with leading companies to offer special incentives that demonstrate their strong support for agriculture and rural America. FB Member Advantage! is the member benefits program of the American Farm Bureau Federation, America’s largest, most influential, and most effective organization of farmers and ranchers, and those who support them. General Motors is the official vehicle sponsor of the American Farm Bureau Federation. For more information about the FB Member Advantage! programs, please visit www.fbadvantage.com.

Here’s a private offer 1 for Farm Bureau members.

Member benefits keep growing. Chevrolet presents this exclusive $500 private offer 1 toward the purchase or lease of a 2013 Chevy Silverado. Recognized by Vincentric for lowest total cost of ownership of any full-size pickup, 2 Silverado means you’ll save more money over time. And that means a lot. With the best full-size pickup coverage in America, rest assured your Silverado will keep you working without skipping a beat. Visit fbverify.com/gm for your authorization number. 1 Offer available through 4/1/14. Available on all 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet vehicles (excluding Volt). This offer is not available with some other offers, including private offers. Only customers who have been active members of an eligible Farm Bureau for a minimum of 60 days will be eligible to receive a certificate. Customers can obtain certificates at www.fbverify.com/gm. Farm Bureau and the FB logo are registered service marks of the American Farm Bureau Federation and are used herein under license by General Motors. 2 Based on Vincentric 2012 Model Level Analysis of 1/2-ton, 3/4-ton and 1-ton pickups in the U.S. retail market.


opinion

Walking in Someone Else’s Boots A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte

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ast year, I would have been hardpressed to locate the nations of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan on a world map. I also would have fallen into the group of Americans who had a leery feeling about nations whose names end with ‘stan.’ So you can imagine the flurry of thoughts I had when I was invited to travel to these Central Asian nations in January. Would I feel safe there? How would people view me as an American? Would religious issues be a dominate concern? The travel invitation came from a long time friend I had made as a student at UW-River Falls in the 1970s. Gary is a community resource development educator who had hosted several groups from Kazakhstan. From those connections, he had been invited to

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bring a group to Central Asia to build on people-to-people contacts, experience their culture and see their business creation efforts. Past foreign travel opportunities have allowed me to meet and interact with people outside of the US. I hoped, and expected, that this trip would do the same. I was not disappointed. So along with Gary and two other travel companions, an Extension nutrition coordinator and a county housing authority director, I packed my bags and was on a plane in March for a 13 day adventure through Central Asia. Geographically, Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country on the planet with a population of 17 million people, while Uzbekistan is much smaller in area and has about 30 million people. In preparation, I brushed up on the histories of these two countries through some reading. Many of my perceptions had come from news reports of the difficult times these nations faced as part of the Soviet Union until the early 1990s. While there I saw first hand the positive education and service structure that the Soviet’s central government created, along with the devastating environmental and social challenges that will be present for decades to come. Aside from flights and one high-speed train ride, we mostly traveled by car in each city. We were fortunate to have a dedicated host in each country that acted as our guide. We visited churches, mosques, markets and national sites that gave us a clearer sense of the centuries of history in Central Asia.

While there we visited many entrepreneurs, ranging from bakers to farmers and flower shop owners to door manufacturers. A native of Kazakhstan who is an associate of Gary had assisted each of these entrepreneurs with developing business plans. What I saw made it clear that a business spirit is not bound by borders. Perhaps the best part of the trip was experiencing the local culture and meeting real people from the other side of world. I found them to be friendly, as they showed great hospitality, welcoming us into their homes and sharing meals with us. They were as interested in our ideas as we were interested in theirs. We were welcomed to be a part of their most significant national holiday, a five-day celebration of the arrival of spring. By the time my long journey brought me back to my farm’s driveway, I had realized my perceptions of other people and places were too easily influenced by media. It’s easy to be inflexible to ideas that challenge us. I have heard it said before that our society has lost the art of listening. In a world that claims to be more interconnected, in some ways we’ve never been more isolated. Whether it is in another country, state or just down the road, sometimes it’s important to take a break from our routine and walk in someone else’s boots.

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

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


The Old Barn Opens New Doors A Message from WFBF’s Amy Manske

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rive the outskirts of New London and you will see a red roadside barn with a white door showing weathered cracks, a busted window from a mishap with a pigeon and a barnyard gate with more rust than blue paint. What I see is a place where siblings played hide-and-go seek and took naps on feed bags, a dad giving his little girl wheelbarrow rides while she squealed with delight, and a mom and a daughter singing “Little Drummer Boy” far from on key. It’s where responsibility was learned, fair animals were trained and where a family came together.

Looking ahead Decades before my parents married in 1983, cows have been routinely milked on the Manske farmstead twice a day inside the barn’s walls. Cow comfort was becoming a concern and it felt like things spent more time breaking than working. After a century of duty, the old barn was showing its age. Restrictions with the manure pit ruled out remodeling, so if we were going to keep dairy farming we needed a new barn, period. It was discussed for years, but the deal was sealed when my brother decided he would come back to be the sixth generation to farm after graduating from UW-Platteville. Plans were drafted for a parlor and freestall barn, ground was broken just a quarter of a mile away from the old barn and since last fall, hundreds of hours have been spent collaborating and building the new structure. After many trials, including a winter from hell, our herd finally moved into the new barn on April 10.

june | july 2014

Although I wanted to be part of the cows’ welcoming crew when they moved in to their new and improved home, I was needed elsewhere.

No one said it was easy While the cows were stepping off the trailer, I was stepping onto a plane to come home from Washington, D.C. I had been there for four days with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors and graduates of leadership Institute class VII (a yearlong leadership program offered by WFBF). I had spent the day prior on Capitol Hill attending legislative visits and listening to our members advocate for agriculture. Their passion, love and determination for Wisconsin agriculture shone so bright that even the most jaded congressman could not miss it. These members of the leadership Institute class get it; they understand that in order for Wisconsin agriculture to flourish they have to be part of the conversation and be engaged in inevitable changes that lie ahead. Is it hard to put your thoughts into words in front of your senator? You bet it is. Almost as scary as taking a financial leap of faith and altering decades of routine. These bold actions are the things that keep agriculture moving in the right direction and, just like farm chores, the work is never done.

Working toward a happy ending I made it home for the fourth milking in the new parlor. Although the love of farming had never left my parents, I can

tell their spark is back. I am extremely proud of where I come from and seeing this dream come together to better the lives of the cows, employees and my family was enough to leave this girl, whose not-so-little anymore, speechless. The red barn stands on a hill overlooking the new barn. Ironic to me, as if it is looking on as an older and wiser mentor saying, I support you. I’m not a sentimental person, but that barn on the hill did more than shelter cows. It is where the careers for me and my brother were born. He will spend his days working in the new barn below the hill, and I will spend some of mine on Capitol Hill, both working hard for agriculture. Not bad for an old red barn. Manske is WFBF’s Communications Coordinator.

wfbf.com

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opinion

Why Policy Development Matters A Message from WFBF’s Paul Zimmerman

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our thoughts matter as a Farm Bureau member. Our grassroots structure is built on a policy development process where one farmer’s idea can impact state and federal laws. Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s top legislative priority this year was to update our state’s laws so farm machinery could legally operate on roads. This significant change would not have been possible without our policy development process and the ideas and efforts of members like you. Farm Bureau’s push for this legislation was largely a result of our members’ concerns over a situation that arose during 2011’s harvest season. A tractor pulling a manure tanker was pulled over in Marathon County for being significantly overweight. Additionally, there have been other instances bringing into question the legality of certain pieces of machinery due to weight, length and classification. Member input prompted the WFBF Board of Directors to establish a transportation task force to make

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recommendations needed to address today’s farm machinery. After several meetings, in the fall of 2012 the task force made 14 recommendations that were integrated into the policy development discussion for consideration by the delegates at WFBF’s Annual Meeting. Delegates adopted policies supporting: increased weight limits and length allowances for farm machinery, exemption from width limitations and updates to the definition of an implement of husbandry (IOH). Based on WFBF’s transportation task force, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation convened its own study group, comprised of 18 different organizations (including WFBF) to examine IOH issues. It released two reports that highlighted where legislative attention was needed. State Senator Jerry Petrowski and State Representative Keith Ripp jointly introduced legislation to address a variety of issues related to farm machinery. It was signed into law by Governor Walker in April. A summary of the IOH changes can be found at wfbf.com/legislative/ioh. This law clearly shows that WFBF’s policy development process matters. The law contains several of WFBF’s policy recommendations: increasing IOH road weight limits to 23,000 pounds per axle and 92,000 pounds gross vehicle weight; provisions to exempt most self-propelled IOH from axle weight limits; requiring IOH of 22 feet to be accompanied by an escort vehicle; and updating the definition of IOH. Once again, Farm Bureau’s policy development process is about to get under way. Policy development meetings will be held for Farm Bureau members in several districts. They are an opportunity to discuss topics and bring ideas back

to your county Farm Bureau’s policy development discussion. Each of you has the opportunity to attend your county annual meeting where your county adopts resolutions for the organization to consider. I encourage you to be involved. Please contact your county Farm Bureau president or the WFBF district coordinator in your area for information about your county’s policy development process. This year WFBF’s Policy Development Committee has suggested five policy areas for county Farm Bureaus to consider: UW-Extension, Agricultural Enterprise Areas, high capacity wells, drones and privacy, and driver’s licenses for immigrant workers. In addition, AFBF has six suggested topics for consideration: agriculture’s adaptability to climate change, downer animals in the food supply, effect of international approval of biotech crops on variety selection, energy exports, interstate commerce restrictions and water storage infrastructure. Last January, delegates at the AFBF Annual Convention adopted a resolution on the availability of milk jugs in school lunch programs that originated from one of Wisconsin’s county Farm Bureaus. Like Wisconsin’s new IOH law, it illustrated how our policy development process helps put a farmer’s common sense into necessary rules and regulations. Your membership in a grassroots organization like Farm Bureau puts you in the driver’s seat, but it’s our policy development process that lets you take the steering wheel on the agricultural issues that matter most. Zimmerman is WFBF’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Does Rural Wisconsin Need a Revamp? A Message from WFBF’s Casey Langan

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here’s a lot of talk about how the economic health of Wisconsin hinges on attracting a young, hip and professional workforce to Milwaukee and Madison. It has been said that cities have an advantage at attracting innovators and entrepreneurs. While I don’t discount that our fates are tied to the Brew City and Mad Town, I do wonder if enough attention is paid to rural Wisconsin’s future. Population shifts are a reason for concern. Wisconsin’s largest urban areas are growing, but 40 of our 72 counties (mostly rural) lost population between 2010 and 2013, according to the U.S. Census. As recent as 2000, about one-third of Wisconsinites lived in rural areas. Yet a trend that dates back to the Great Depression continues: younger people migrate to larger cities and warmer climates, leaving behind hometowns where the average hair color is increasingly gray. We’re certainly not alone. Each year there are now more deaths than births in half of our nation’s rural counties. However, this is about more than just babies. “A new birth simply cannot replace the loss that results every time a collegeeducated twentysomething on the verge of becoming a worker, taxpayer, homeowner or parent leaves,” wrote researchers Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas in a column titled, “The Rural Brain Drain.” As rural counties lose population, Wisconsin’s overall population grows at about 0.5 percent annually. Professors and urban planners seem more

june | july 2014

concerned that Wisconsin is losing a key demographic (college graduates) to the allures of Minneapolis and Chicago, southern states and both coasts. You don’t have to be a professor or urban planner to realize that losing 9,000 residents between the ages 21 to 29 with college degrees, each of the past five years, is more than a trend. It’s a problem. Often referred to as “brain drain,” this exodus of the young and educated is usually about more than available jobs. So while broadband availability and mining could be beneficial to pockets of our state, there’s a human side to this equation. Small towns with an apparent lack of culture and diversity look boring to graduates who want to live near the amenities they desire. Do tomorrow’s young farmers and agriculturists feel the same way? Does rural Wisconsin have the amenities that will make them want to put down roots? Are ample wide open spaces enough, or does their need to have an outlet mall within a manageable drive? There are critics who want to blame the declining rural population on large farms and agribusiness. Just like many other professions, farming takes fewer human hands than it did a generation ago. The next Silicon Valley we are not, but with ample rains and access to the Mississippi River and Great Lakes trade channels, a diverse agricultural community remains the best economic and environmental assets for our landscape. What are we to make of the oncevibrant communities that dot the

countryside? Some small towns appear a few years away from extinction. Is this something to worry about and fix, or should they just be left to die a natural death? The spider’s web of issues facing rural Wisconsin like shifting populations and “brain drain” won’t be easy to untangle. This column may leave you with more questions than answers: Does rural Wisconsin need a revamp? What is going to keep your hometown viable in 20 years? The only thing that I hope these issues make clear is this: Wisconsin’s most valuable exports are not the cows or cranberries…it’s our young people. Langan is WFBF’s Executive Director of Public Relations.

wfbf.com

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opinion

El Nino’s Return Could Affect Grains Guest Column by Joe Camp

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everal months ago we were alerted that 2014 could be an El Nino year. On May 8, the National Climate Prediction Center issued an El Nino Watch Alert. Now, it seems the question is not if El Nino will develop, but rather when it will develop. Early indications suggest that the expected El Nino could produce historically strong weather events. El Nino is characterized by a warming band of water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that is coupled with rising air surface pressures. The effects of El Nino vary according to the strength and timing of its occurrence. El Nino weather patterns can be expected every two to seven years. A strong El Nino would likely have a material influence on agricultural

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production across the globe. A new study by Japanese scientists suggests that El Nino has the potential to hurt corn and wheat crops, but it could be beneficial to soybean yields. Recent El Nino occurrences have benefited crops in the Corn Belt. The United States and South America usually benefit from rainfall patterns that increase soybean production. El Nino can damage Australia’s wheat crops by producing drought. India could suffer from an interruption of monsoon season, placing wheat crops at risk. Chinese grain yields could be affected as well. The weather phenomenon could help or hurt Asian crops, depending on the amount of precipitation and whether increased rainfall occurs during the growing season or during the time when crops need to be harvested. Some weather officials have warned that the initial signs of this El Nino development draw similarities to those associated with the major El Nino event in 1997-98. That crop year, U.S. grain yields were largely unaffected but some significant crop damage was reported in other countries. Most damage in the U.S. occurred in the country’s southwestern and northeastern regions. Areas in California and the Gulf Coast faced heavy flooding. The particularly strong El Nino produced a warm, wet winter across North America. Major growing regions outside of the U.S. have been affected differently by past El Nino weather patterns. Some

areas were burdened by massive flooding or drought while others benefited from increased rainfall and favorable temperatures. Northern Brazil faced an intense drought that hurt corn and soybean crops. Drought hurt agricultural production in most parts of Asia. Black Sea growers have largely benefited from El Nino conditions. If a significant El Nino does occur, its effects on agriculture are likely to linger. El Nino reverses itself by way of La Nina, the phenomenon of cooling ocean temperatures. Studies suggest that La Nina occurrences have been responsible for global crop yield losses of anywhere from zero to five percent below normal. El Nino is often viewed as beneficial to North American harvests, but the weather phenomenon produces too many unknowns for agriculture. Its occurrence has resulted in massive flooding in some regions and severe drought in others. Let’s hope ‘the boy’ is quiet and well-mannered this time around. Keep yourself informed on developments regarding the possible El Nino. If the weather phenomenon starts to look as though it will disrupt agricultural production this year, marketing plans will have to be adjusted.

Camp is the risk management specialist for AgriVisor, one of WFBF’s member benefits.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


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Top Talkers Offer Discussion Meet Advice The Discussion Meet contest gives YFA members a chance to demonstrate their speaking skills on agricultural-related topics. Contestants are judged on their problem-solving skills as they discuss timely topics with their colleagues.

Chris Pollack

2013 WFBF Discussion Meet Winner AFBF Final 4

Why did you participate in the Discussion Meet? I had participated in the discussion meet a few times in FFA and was discouraged by how I did. After seeing a Farm Bureau discussion meet, I was excited to talk with other people in agriculture about the challenges that we face.

Why should YFA members compete? The discussion meet is a great way to meet other Farm Bureau members. You get to talk to other contestants and in the course of the discussion, get to know them and in many cases build relationships. Not to mention there are some pretty sweet prizes if you are good at it!

What tips do you have for Discussion Meet participants? Many contestants have speaking ability and know the topics reasonably well but it’s more important to understand what you are being scored on. The smartest, smoothest talking individual isn’t going to necessarily be the winner. You need to be the committee chair.

Katie Reichling

2012 WFBF Discussion Meet Winner

Why should YFA members compete? It really provides an opportunity to gain knowledge on pertinent, relevant topics in agriculture across the U.S. One year I participated there was a question about water rights and I remember thinking, “Water rights? We don’t have a problem with that in Wisconsin. If anything we have too much water at times.” It opened my eyes to realize that a variety of issues, problems and opportunities abound in agriculture, solving these is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

How should YFA members prepare for the Discussion Meet? • Print off a copy of the policy manual. Find out what current policy is for each topic. • Talk to others about the topic. You have your own viewpoints but others will bring up ideas you might not have thought of. • Have two or three key points for each question. Know what YOU want to talk about before hand. • Check out the AFBF website for what other states are doing in trying to find actionable items that you as a Farm Bureau member can execute.

Troy Sellen

2010 WFBF Discussion Meet Winner Made Sweet 16 Round at AFBF

How should YFA members prepare for the Discussion Meet? Some of the best resources are the peers and professionals around you. Ask their opinions on the topic.

What have you learned from participating in the Discussion Meet? Participating in the Discussion Meet gave me solid comfort and confidence in myself while participating or leading a group event.

What tips do you have for Discussion Meet participants? Don’t worry about stage fright. One minute into the competition and you’ll be too engaged in the discussion to think of anything else.

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Beth (Porior) Schaefer

2009 WFBF Discussion Meet Winner Made Sweet 16 Round at AFBF

How should YFA members prepare for the Discussion Meet? Read up on the topics and definitely read the manual that was prepared by Dale Beaty – all of these materials are conveniently located on the WFBF website. I also found that preparing my opening statements in advance took a lot of the anxiety of the competition away. I also discussed the chosen topics with colleagues to gain some different insight on the topics. And if you really have time, volunteer to judge the Wisconsin FFA Discussion Meet – there are district, sectional and state contests held all around the state and FFA Advisors are always looking for judges. Viewing the competition from the judges “seat” will help you learn what you need to do to be successful.

What have you learned from participating in the Discussion Meet? Participating in the YFA Discussion Meet was a fantastic experience. I met LOTS of new friends, and the Discussion Meet was a gateway to Farm Bureau for me. After participating in my first state contest, I was hooked! I had so much fun and learned a lot about agriculture, current issues and what Farm Bureau is all about. I began to become involved in my county FB, which led me to apply to the WFBF leadership Institute, which led to me gaining valuable skills that helped me land my current job! The Discussion Meet challenged me to become a more engaged and knowledgeable “agvocate.”

Nicole Reese

2008 WFBF Discussion Meet Winner AFBF Final 4

How should YFA members prepare for the Discussion Meet? Preparation is so different for everyone, but I would suggest: 1) Watch some contests to see the flow; 2) Start taking part in some practice sessions or district competitions; 3) Research your topic (in addition to online material, don’t be afraid to talk to Farm Bureau staff or farmers who are directly affected by the issues for some great quotes); 4) Don’t try to memorize every statistic! Pick out a few statistics, data or quotes and wow your competitors and judges with that; 5) come with an action plan! Be ready to tell what you are going to do to directly impact this issue and ask what others can do.

What tips do you have for Discussion Meet participants? Don’t be afraid to get involved! The great thing about today’s discussion meet is that it really is a cordial discussion where you will be encouraged to get involved and can share your own stories and experiences. Most importantly if you have questions, feel free to reach out to those of us that have been involved! I competed quite a few years before I won state and strongly feel that those years helped me develop so I could reach the final four at AFBF.

District Discussion Meets

Come Compete or Support YFA Members at These Locations

District 1

District 4

District 7

Lloyd Williams Farm, Waukesha 6:00 p.m.

Community Center/Old Grade School, Taylor 7:00 p.m.

CRI Resource Room, Shawano 7:00 p.m.

August 21

August 17

August 19

August 20

District 2

August 7

District 5

District 8

ABS Barn, Poynette 6:30 p.m.

City Inn Bar & Grill, Berlin 7:30 p.m.

Wildwood Zoo, Marshfield 4:30 p.m.

District 3

District 6

District 9

Grant County Farm Bureau Office, Lancaster 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Lucky’s Charcoal Haus, Valders 6:00 p.m.

The Orchard, Baldwin 6:00 p.m.

August 27

August 26

june | july 2014

August 15

August 14

wfbf.com

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program

YFA Shapes The Future

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

As part of the YFA competitions, national winners in the Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Ag areas will receive their choice of a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra truck, courtesy of GM; three national finalists in each competition will receive a Case IH Farmall tractor, courtesy of Case IH; as well as a $2,500 cash prize and $500 in STIHL merchandise.

For more information about YFA competitive events and how you can get involved, contact Dale Beaty at 608.828.5714 or dbeaty@wfbf.com or visit wfbf.com. You may also contact the American Farm Bureau Federation at yfr@fb.org or 202.406.3600.


leadership

Rural Mutual to Sponsor YFA Members

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he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Conference will be held December 5-7 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Rural Mutual Insurance Company will again provide sponsorship for 100 firsttime attendees to represent their county Farm Bureau at this year’s event. This sponsorship opportunity is open to any Farm Bureau member age 18-35 who has never attended the event. Firsttime participants who are selected to attend will receive complimentary conference registration and two nights lodging at the Kalahari Resort. The conference registration includes four meals, all conference sessions and entertainment. To be considered for sponsorship, you must complete and submit an application for sponsorship by August 15. Application forms are available from WFBF by calling 800.261.FARM, or from the WFBF website at www.wfbf.com. If selected, you will be notified by September 15, and additional details regarding the conference will be mailed to you with a conference registration form that you will be required to complete. The Farm Bureau YFA Conference starts on Friday, December 5 with a welcome banquet, social and musical entertainment featuring the Mantz Brothers band. On Saturday morning, the conference will feature a keynote presentation by J. Scott Vernon, professor of agricultural communications at California Polytechnic State University. Saturday’s program

will also feature the YFA Discussion Meet, Achievement Award and Excellence in Ag competitions, followed by a series of workshops. The evening will be capped by a dinner and entertainment. Sunday’s events include the WFBF Discussion Meet finals, a buffet brunch and Farm Bureau program and free time to enjoy the Kalahari Resort. Rural Mutual Insurance Company is a major sponsor of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program, and takes pride in supporting the programs that develop future leaders for Farm Bureau and for Wisconsin agriculture.

The Mantz Brothers Headline YFA Conference

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he Mantz Brothers will kick off the WFBF YFA Conference on Friday, December 5. The entertainment and reception that evening is sponsored by Badgerland Financial. The Mantz Brothers are comprised of the duo Jordan and Holdan Mantz out of Richfield, Wisconsin. The duo began singing together at a young age. During high school, they were recognized by the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) four times. After high school, they knew they had to continue singing and performing so they started their band. They’ve been performing together throughout the country over the past few years and are gaining a strong following. They are currently in Nashville recording their first CD. They’ve opened for many national acts, including Montgomery Gentry, The Lost Trailers, Emerson Drive, JT Hodges, Parmalee, Chase Rice and june | july 2014

Cole Swindell. They’ve performed at major events such as the CMA Fest in Nashville and Milwaukee’s Summerfest. This dynamic country duo has a strong passion for music and they deliver high energy performances that engage audiences. They play today’s hottest hits, classics that built the foundation of country music and their originals. They have a very a strong Midwest following and keep the crowd engaged. They bring a unique sound with their harmonization, create one voice from two great singers and naturally connect with their audience. Along with their growing music career, The Mantz Brothers are active in their community, serving as firemen for the Richfield Fire Department. While they have big hopes and dreams in the music industry, they still have strong roots in their community and want to make a difference with whatever they do.

wfbf.com

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leadership

Young Farmer Wins Tractor

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espite it being cold and rainy, Chris Pollack had good reason to smile on April 28 as his brand new tractor was delivered. Pollack was named a national Discussion Meet finalist back in January, leading him to earn a CASE IH tractor. Case IH awarded nine new Farmall® tractors to the runners-up of the 2014 American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers awards. The winners were announced at the AFBF 95th Annual Meeting Jan. 12-15 in San Antonio, Texas, and were selected for their knowledge of agricultural topics, ability to discuss these topics with others and public speaking skills. Pollack, a dairy farmer and YFA member in Fond du Lac County, ordered his Case IH Farmall 55A from a local Case IH dealer – Service Motor Company. Pollack currently farms alongside his parents. They milk about 150 cows, farm 650 acres and have heifer and calf facilities. “I have gained many connections with farmers across the state through Farm Bureau,” says Pollack. “I really enjoy the political aspect of the grassroots organization because it is important that farmers make their voices heard.” Pollack plans to use the tractor for hauling wagons and raking hay. “This is an awfully impressive contribution for Case IH to make to the Young Farmers & Ranchers program,” says Pollack. “It’s admirable that they make this kind of investment in the participants.”

“Funniest Former Farmer” at Annual Meeting

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ore than 1,000 Farm Bureau members from across the state will meet at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells December 6-8 for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Meeting. Members and guests from 61 county Farm Bureaus will celebrate the successes of 2014, hear from speakers on a variety of agricultural topics and recognize those who were instrumental to Farm Bureau’s success over the past year. The Annual Meeting culminates on Monday, December 8 when county Farm Bureau delegates will set the organization’s policy for 2015. WFBF is proud to announce that comedian Roger Radley will headline this year’s Farm Bureau Extravaganza, set for 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 6. Drawing upon his values and experiences as a farm boy growing up in Wisconsin, Roger has been called the “Funniest Former Farmer” in the United States. He has completed over a quarter-century of performing comedy from coast to coast and along the way has shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, George Carlin, B.B. King and Waylon Jennings. Highlighting Sunday’s program will be keynote speaker Chad Hymas, named “one of the 10 most inspirational people

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in the world” by Wall Street Journal. In 2001, at the age of 27, Chad’s life changed in an instant when a 2,000-pound bale of hay shattered his neck leaving him a quadriplegic. But Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day – he became an example of what is possible. His presentation,“Who Needs Legs, When You Have Wings?” will move and inspire Farm Bureau members to look at life’s challenges in a new way. “The generous support of our affiliate companies and primary sponsors, Rural Mutual Insurance Company and GROWMARK, Inc. help make the WFBF Annual Meeting a premier event year after year,” said Bob Leege, Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Member Relations. This year’s Annual Meeting will again coincide with the WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference which will be held Friday through Sunday, December 5-7. “The combined format of these two events allows us to showcase Farm Bureau programs and opportunities to a growing pool of Young Farmers and Agriculturists, with the goal of involving them at the county and state level,” Leege said. Registration packets for the 95th WFBF Annual Meeting and WFBF YFA Conference will be mailed to county Farm Bureaus in early August and will be available from WFBF at that time.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Spring YFA Events

Brewers Game On Saturday, April 26, 40 Farm Bureau members attended a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game outing at Miller Park. They watched the Brew Crew defeat the Chicago Cubs. It was a fun social event that included tailgating, a great way to kick-off summer.

YFA Ball The fourth annual District 5 YFA Ball was held on February 1 at The Shed in Oshkosh. More than 200 YFA members from all over the state attended the event. Pictured above: YFA members participated in a tug of war competition.

Spring Fling The seventh annual District 1 YFA Spring Fling was held on Saturday, March 29 at The Columbian in West Bend featuring The Mantz Brothers band who will also be playing Friday, December 5 at the Kalahari for the YFA Conference. “When we started the District 1 YFA Spring Fling seven years ago, I had no idea that we could get over 725 people to attend and max out the hall,” said Rick Roden who was the district 1 YFA chair when the Spring Fling began. june | july 2014

Farm Bureau 5k Walk/Run The second annual Farm Bureau 5K Run/Walk – Fueled by Farmers took place May 17 on the Aaron and Rita Tigert farm in Mazomanie. There were 35 runners/walkers who participated in the 5K course featuring fresh country air and scenic views. Donations will be sent to the Susan G. Komen of Madison and to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.

wfbf.com

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leadership

Ag Day on Campus Students Spreading Ag Messages Across College Campuses

UW-Madison

UW-Platteville

UW-River Falls

Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-Madison held their fourth annual Ag Day on Campus on April 23 on Library Mall, at the intersection of campus and State Street. CFB at UWMadison partnered with the University Club for the second year to hand out fresh culinary creations made with Wisconsin ingredients. Complete with a trivia wheel, animal care station, photo booth and tractors (old and new), Ag Day on Campus sparked conversations between CFB members and the Madison community, including many UW-Madison students. Pints of milk were also handed out, wrapped in Ag Day can koozies and agriculture facts. The #AskAFarmer theme encompassed CFB’s goals for the day: to share their agriculture stories with others and answer questions about food production. Two local television news crews visited the event. Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel also stopped by Ag Day.

The UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau held its annual Ag Day on Campus on Wednesday, May 7 with a theme of “800 Strong with Agriculture you can’t go wrong.” The theme resembled the number of agriculture majors at UW-Platteville. Their clubs and organizations came together to educate the students on campus about Wisconsin agriculture. They had over 300 students and faculty stop and participate at their event. They stressed how vital it is for people to realize how important agriculture is in their lives. Numerous people assisted in making Ag Day on Campus a success.

UW-River Falls Collegiate Farm Bureau hosted their second annual Ag Day on Campus on Tuesday, April 22. Fifteen student agriculture organizations and two agriculture businesses volunteered their time with interactive agriculture booths. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so they were able to have all of the booths outside on the University Center’s mall. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., students, faculty and other community members were able to get a glimpse of agriculture without leaving campus. They had two lambs, two calves, two tractors, a dunk tank, multiple agriculture educational games and lots of free food. They had 36 pounds of cheese curds to hand out, more than 200 dirt cake cups, two Nesco roasters full of beef tips, 300 root beer floats and 300 Ag Day t-shirts. In the evening, they hosted 150 campus and community guests to a free dinner followed with a wonderful message by Alice in Dairyland and keynote speaker Daren Williams from the Masters of Beef Advocacy program who spoke on “Engaging in the Great Food Debate.” They had many door prizes donated by local businesses to hand out following the speaker.

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


AFBF Annual Convention in San Diego

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an Diego, California is the site of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention, to be held January 9-13, 2015. Farm Bureau members attending the convention will notice many new wrinkles that have been added to the event. With a significantly larger agenda, the 2015 convention will encompass an additional day, beginning with a full schedule of activities on Saturday morning and concluding with the AFBF voting delegate session on Tuesday. The 2015 convention will feature a broader array of issue conferences and workshops, as well as a greatly expanded trade show. Farm Bureau members will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of optional pre- and post-convention tours, including several that highlight the diversity of California agriculture, including vegetable, citrus, nursery crop and wine production. The annual convention registration fee is $100 per person, which covers entrance to all sessions. Registration materials for the AFBF Annual Convention will be available in September. For more information, contact Bob Leege, WFBF Executive Director of Member Relations, at 608.828.5710 or bleege@wfbf.com.

New Alice: Farm Bureau Member Zoey Brooks

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Waupaca County woman has been crowned as Wisconsin’s 67th Alice in Dairyland. Zoey Brooks from Waupaca was selected for the title Saturday night at the El Norteno Banquet Hall in Curtiss during a finale program hosted by Clark County. A recent graduate of the University of WisconsinMadison with a degree in animal science, Brooks is the sixth generation on her family’s dairy and grain farm. She serves as Dane County Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom coordinator and as a director for her collegiate Farm Bureau. She has also held internships with the Food Export Association of the Midwest and with UW-Extension. She succeeded Kristin Olson of Windsor. “Kristin and the 65 ‘Alices’ before her have done such a tremendous job. I can’t wait to be part of this amazing legacy that they have created for so many years,” Zoey said just after being named. “Everyone here is an advocate for agriculture, whether they know it or not. You don’t need a sash and tiara to promote this industry--it lies upon on all of us.” june | july 2014

Other finalists in the running during the competition were Allyson Binversie, Manitowoc; Katie Dogs, Watertown; Kristin Klossner, New Glarus; Melissa Ploeckelman, Stetsonville; and Whitney Rathke, Fredonia. Situated in the heart of America’s Dairyland, Clark County is the top milk producing county in the state and is among one of the largest in the nation. It ranks first in total number of cows, number of herds and dairy farms. Agriculture also provides jobs for nearly half of the county’s workforce. Next year, the Alice in Dairyland finals will be held in Manitowoc County May 14-16.

Zoey Brooks (left) was one of the key organizers of Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-Madison’s Ag Day on Campus event on April 23. Here she stands in front of their #AskAFarmer banner with two fellow students and DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel.

wfbf.com

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&

news resources for teachers

ag in the classroom NEWS educational resources Dairy Days of Summer

(dairydaysofsummer.com) – Looking for a dairy related event this summer to visit or take guests to? The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board offers information about dairy breakfasts, events, recipes and other fun activities highlighting our dairy industry. Farmland (farmlandfilm.com) – This website offers many resources, profiles and resources to help the non-farm community learn about agriculture and farming. It is also a great tool for social studies, family and consumer education and agriculture teachers to use in class.

Summer Training Opportunities A classroom training will be held on Wednesday, July 23 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on the UW-River Falls Campus. The registration deadline is July 10. Join us for a full day of commodity resource sharing, Ag in the Classroom lesson plans and activities, Soybean Science Kit training, classroom lesson sharing, hands-on activities and UW-River Falls campus exploring. You will leave with many educational resources, ideas and activities to share with students! Cost: $20 which includes lunch, refreshments and materials. For information about graduate and undergraduate credits, contact Dr. James Graham at 715.425.3555 or james.graham@uwrf.edu. For other questions, contact Wisconsin Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Wendy Kannel at 608.828.5719 or wkannel@wfbf.com. Space is limited so register today! Watch for the Fall Meetings Meetings are being organized throughout the state for August and September for AITC volunteers, teachers and those interested in agricultural literacy. New resources, Book of the Year, 2014-15 Essay Contest materials, and other networking opportunities will be covered. Watch the website and county Farm Bureau newsletters for details.

Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center (discovercranberries.com) – The Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center is located at the historic Union Cranberry Warehouse in downtown Warrens. The website offers a virtual tour, recipes, cranberry educational resources and an online store.

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


ag in the classroom

Phillips Student is Essay Winner

Left to Right: Trinity’s parents Sherry and Jon Pesko, Trinity, George Blomberg (Price County Farm Bureau President) and teacher Julie Zumach.

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rinity Pesko, a fifth grade student from Phillips, is the statewide winner of the Ag in the Classroom essay contest. Wisconsin fourth and fifth graders were asked to write a 100 to 300 word essay with the theme, “Wisconsin gardens provide many healthy food choices for us.”

The finalist from each of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s nine districts across the state will receive a certificate, educational resources for their teacher and a classroom presentation about Wisconsin agriculture. This year’s finalists include: • Bear Deavers, St Paul’s Schools, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson County (District 1) • Gabby Weis, Pineview Elementary School, Reedsbury, Sauk County (District 2) • Trent Shepherd, Belmont Community School, Lafayette County (District 3) • Ellie Wirtz, Gebhardt Elementary School, Black River Falls, Jackson County (District 4) • Haley Franz, St. Mary Springs Academy, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County (District 5) • Haley Beeser, Seton Catholic School, Sheboygan, Sheboygan County (District 6) • Eden Witt, St. Anthony School, Oconto Falls, Oconto County (District 7) • Trinity Pesko, Phillips Elementary School, Price County (District 8) • Emily Wehausen, St. Croix Middle School, Hammond, St. Croix County (District 9) june | july 2014

Trinity is the daughter of Jon and Sherry Pesko and Julie Zumach is her fifth grade teacher at Phillips Elementary School. A total of 2,467 Wisconsin students wrote essays for the competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Frontier-Servco FS and We Energies.

Trinity Pesko’s Winning Essay “I love gardening and all of the nutritious food we can get from gardens, but the fact that we get so many more choices here in Wisconsin makes gardening so much better. My dad and I grow a garden every year, and we have so much fun doing it. Wisconsin farmers and gardeners ourselves, Dad and I know good food when we taste it. In our garden we grow tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, kohlrabi, radishes, peas, green beans, pumpkins and squash. We also have two apple trees, two pear trees and a grape plant. Dad and I do the gardening and harvesting, but that doesn’t mean I don’t participate in one of the best parts – cooking! Some of mom and my favorite recipes are homemade apple sauce, grape jelly, ham, potato and chive soup and baked squash. I love how everything tastes so fresh and delicious; that’s a taste you can only find in Wisconsin. It almost seems impossible that something so healthy can taste so sweet and full of flavor. One of the things I like the most besides eating and cooking the fruits and vegetables is the hard work that goes into growing them. When you work hard for something, whether it’s growing a garden or winning a contest, it makes you appreciate it more. When I work hard growing my garden, my hard work makes the fruit and vegetables taste so much better. If you think about it, great Wisconsin produce that is really healthy, and good old-fashioned hard work is an unbeatable combination. I’m so glad that Wisconsin gardens provide such healthy and great tasting produce.”

wfbf.com

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foundation

Matching Grants Help Entire State

W

isconsin Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom awarded 18 groups over $8,245 in matching grant funds. Groups, schools and clubs use the funding for a variety of activities that help students and the public learn about agriculture. Grants are due each year on April 1 – consider applying for one next year. Descriptions of all past recipients are located at www. wisagclassroom. org. (Bayfield)

(Douglas)

Superior Shores

(Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas & Iron counties)

(Iron)

Dear Wisconsin Farm Bu

reau Foundation On behalf of the Cranberr y Museum Inc. Board of Directors and Wisconsi n Cranberry Discovery staff, we thank you for you r support. Your gracious donation will ass ist us in our continued efforts to spread the “go od word” about Wisconsin’s #1 fruit cro p. Donations allow us to promote the Wisconsin cranberry industry while offering a place of inspir ation, education and discovery. Barbara Hendricks, Director

(Ashland)

Sawyer

Price

Polk

Rusk

Barron

Lincoln

St. Croix

Marinette

Langlade

Taylor Chippewa

Dunn

Oconto

Marathon Eau Claire

Pierce

Clark Portage

Trempealeau Buffalo

Wood

Adams

Calumet

Marquette

Vernon Crawford

Richland

Manitowoc

Winnebago

Monroe Green Lake

Fond du Lac

Columbia

Sauk

Kewaunee

Outagamie

Waushara

Juneau

Congratulations to the highlighted counties that received at least one matching grant.

Brown Waupaca

Jackson

La Crosse

Door

Shawano

Dodge

Sheboygan

Washington Ozaukee

Dane

Iowa

Grant

Lafayette

Green

Jefferson

Rock

Waukesha

Walworth

Milwaukee Racine Kenosha

Wisconsin Ag Open

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he 17 Annual Wisconsin Ag Open will take place Monday, September 8 at Christmas Mountain Village in Wisconsin Dells. It will begin with a shotgun start at 10:30 a.m. An awards program, appetizers and prizes will follow the game. Registration is $125 and includes 18 holes of golf with cart, box lunch, appetizers, contests and door prizes. The field is limited to 144 golfers to insure a pleasant golfing experience and pace on the course. All proceeds from the golf outing will help support Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation education and leadership programs. th

Can’t golf but want to support it? Sponsorships are also available ranging from $50 to $1,500. For more information contact Wendy Kannel at wkannel@wfbf.com or 608.828.5719.

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Dear Wisconsin Farm Bureau, This year I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a recipi ent of the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award. It is an honor for me to have been chosen. Thank you for your sponsorshi p and support of this program. Without your generosity, this would not be possible and outstanding youth leaders may not be recognized. Jacob Scho walter, West Bend Dear Wisconsin Farm Bu

reau,

Thank you very much for your support of the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award s program. 4-H means the world to me, and I can ’t even begin to tell you how excited and grateful I am to have received thi s award, which would not have been possible witho ut you. Thank you very mu ch! Sincerely, Lucas P. Stiemann, Siren

Want to donate to the WFB Foundation? Visit: wfbf.com/aboutwfbf/ foundation.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


rural mutual

Are You Covered? Are You Sure?

O

ur next installment of “Are You Covered? Are You Sure?” articles discusses the need for an umbrella liability policy. If someone sues you for $2,000,000, $4,000,000 or even $6,000,000, do you have coverage? Will you have to sell off your assets to meet the demand? We hope not and we have solutions for you in the event such a situation like the one below happens to you.

By Peter Pelizza

We hope you find this information of value and I encourage you to contact one of our Rural Mutual Insurance agents to discuss this important coverage.

Pelizza is the CEO and Executive Vice President of the Rural Mutual Insurance Company.

Scenario A farmer was hauling round bales at dusk on the highway, with the bales covering up any rear lighting or SMV signage. A mini-van with a young professional couple and their three kids rearended the wagon and were med-flighted to a hospital. The damages have the potential to exceed $1 million.

Reasons to Have an Umbrella Policy The umbrella liability policy provides high limits of liability to protect an insured against a catastrophic liability loss. This policy covers bodily injury, property damage and personal injury, which includes offenses such as libel, slander, false arrest, invasion of privacy and others. It grants liability coverage that stacks on top of the primary liability coverage provided by the insured’s homeowners, farm, business, personal or business auto, watercraft, motor home and any other scheduled underlying liability policies. The umbrella policy also fills some gaps in coverage over the underlying policy. A huge liability loss can strike an insured at any time, in a variety of ways. And no one can really predict how much a judge may award an injured person. The following are examples of large liability losses that can impose serious financial hardship on an insured, and which may be covered under an umbrella policy. • The named insured’s teenage resident son is driving his auto home with his best friend. He is driving under the influence of alcohol and flips his car, killing his friend.

june | july 2014

The named insured owns rental property and a tenant sues for wrongful eviction and unlawful entry. • A guest at the named insured’s two-story home falls down the stairs, due to a faulty railing, and is paralyzed as a result. • The named insured with horses left a gate open and a horse got out of the pasture. A woman crested a hill and hit the horse with her car. The woman suffered significant bodily injury, as well as severe damage to the car and death of the horse. As the tendency to sue for damages rises and awards granted by the courts grow, the umbrella policy is increasingly seen as an insurance necessity, rather than a luxury. Umbrella coverage provides an excellent tool to protect your personal and business assets. Contact your local Rural Mutual agent to find out more about this very important coverage.

wfbf.com

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rural mutual

Open for Business

R

ural Mutual Insurance is proud of our affiliation with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. In fact, as a member benefit we would like to offer every member a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! All you have to do is request a FREE quote for insurance from us. It will take no more than a minute to complete your request. You enter some basic information on www.ruralins.com/ open-for-business then we enter you into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card. Simple as that.

We will hold three random drawings throughout the year to determine a winner! Anyone who has requested a quote will be entered to win. Note: Only one entry per household allowed. Rural Mutual Insurance values what’s important in life. That’s why we have been protecting families, businesses and farms exclusively in Wisconsin for over 80 years. And since Rural Mutual Insurance does business in only one state, premiums paid here, stay here to keep Wisconsin strong.

Sportsmanship Award Recipients

80th Anniversary

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R

he Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance, has chosen the recipients of the team Sportsmanship Awards for the 2014 winter State Tournaments. Superior was presented the award for its sportsmanship at the State Boys Hockey Tournament. It is the fifth time overall the school and community have received the sportsmanship honor. The River Falls Co-op, which includes River Falls/Baldwin-Woodville/Boyceville/ Glenwood City/St. Croix Central, won its fourth sportsmanship award in girl’s hockey. The Fusion were recipients of the award three consecutive years from 2009-11. Brodhead is this year’s Sportsmanship Award recipient in girl’s basketball. The Cardinals earn the honor for the first time in any sport. Cochrane-Fountain City made it’s first-ever appearance in the State Boys Basketball Tournament and is the recipient of this year’s Sportsmanship Award. It is the first time the Pirates have won the award as a single program and community. The Evansville/Albany co-op receives its first Sportsmanship Award in team wrestling, and it’s also the first Sportsmanship Award by either of the two schools and communities. River Valley receives the Sportsmanship Award in gymnastics. It’s the first state sportsmanship honor for the Blackhawks in any sport. This award is presented to one school and community in each of the state team tournaments. The award winners are determined by the conduct and sportsmanship displayed by athletes, coaches, cheer and support groups, mascots, bands and spectators. Additional consideration is given for the effort of school administrators and chaperones to insure support for their teams are positive and that the highest ideals of sportsmanship are upheld. Award winners receive a plaque and banner in recognition of the honor. Rural Mutual Insurance Company has been a sponsor of this award for more than 40 years.

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ural Mutual Insurance Company is proud to celebrate providing 80 years of insurance services to farms, families, businesses and industries across the state of Wisconsin. The Madison-based insurance company was founded in 1934 under the sponsorship of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation to provide personal auto insurance to the farm community at affordable rates. This affiliation has served Rural Mutual well in the past and Rural Mutual continues to build on this niche focus as evidenced by its leading farm market share during 2013. “With over 80 years of service, our mission and vision have not strayed far from the original purpose of the organization,” said Peter Pelizza, CEO of Rural Mutual. “Holding the position as a leading farm insurance provider in the state of Wisconsin has been our mainstay, however expanding our footprint in the state to include a significant market share of personal as well as commercial protection is something we are proud of and will continue to cultivate.” For the fifth consecutive year Rural Mutual was selected as a “Ward’s 50® Top Performer” by the Ward Group. This means Rural Mutual is considered one of the top 50 property and casualty companies in the nation based on its superior financial performance over the last five years. Rural Mutual is also recognized by AM Best with an “A” Excellent rating with a stable outlook. Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Here’s to bringing up the sun. Here’s to muddy boots and grease-stained hands. Here’s to caring for this great land.

Here’s to protecting what you live for. We’re proud of our agricultural roots, and proud to be the insurance company so many families rely on to protect them from the unexpected. Here’s to protecting you, your family and your future.

www.fbfs.com FB10 (4-14)


Insurance plans designed exclusively for Wisconsin.

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here To Keep Wisconsin Strong. Rural Mutual Insurance values what’s important in life. That’s why we have been protecting families, businesses and farms exclusively in Wisconsin for over 80 years. And since Rural Mutual Insurance does business in only one state, premiums paid here, stay here to keep Wisconsin strong. Check out our competitive Town & Country Auto program, featuring a GOOD STUDENT DISCOUNT and MULTI-POLICY DISCOUNT. With Rural Mutual Insurance, you can rest a little easier knowing there are people nearby you can trust with your insurance. Call us at 877-219-9550 for a competitive insurance quote and see how our coverages and price compare. Or visit us on Facebook or on our website at www.ruralins.com to find an agent near you and to enter for your chance at a $100 Visa gift card!

Enter TODAY for a chance at a $100 VISA GIFT CARD!

www.ruralins.com

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Mu Rural OPEN for BUSINESS

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n Insura

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June | July, 2014 Volume 20 Issue 3

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