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Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

June | July 2015 • vol. 21 no. 3 |

The Maddie Project Page 44

You can’t predict your future. But we can help you protect it.

Contact your agent to see how we can help safeguard your family’s future with life insurance and prepare you for a retirement that’s financially secure.

Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company/West Des Moines, IA. LI156-WI (2-15)


vol. 21 no. 3










Young woman runs marathons and a dairy farm.


Facebook Pages Give a ‘like’ to these informative farm/food pages.



More milkweed needed to feed monarch butterflies.


Farm Bureau members roll out the welcome mat across Wisconsin.


Cranberry fest


Cover Image: “Maddie” 2015 Artist Valerie Miller. Copyright 2015 Steel Cow, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Tornado tips What to do when the weather turns wild.

10 ag trips

A little town hosts a big festival each September.

Monarchs &

UW-EXTENSION Four-page look at what UW-Extension has to offer.

35 departments 6





Rural mutual




member benefits




ag in the classroom



Maddie Project

Cow painting sale helps support Farm Bureau Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association

Recipes for Wisconsin’s Official State Fruit…. June | july 2015

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Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor’s Note


ummer means different things to different people. To some it means baseball games, campfires in the Northwoods, waterslides in the Dells or haying season. As our backyards bloom and farm fields flourish, there’s a bumper crop of hometown festivals, county fairs and special gatherings to take in. Regardless of how it’s spent, we rush to squeeze in all that summer offers before leaves begin to change color. I felt the same urgency when prepping this issue of the Rural Route that would be sent to each of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s associate and voting members. There’s an abundance of sights, stories and savings that I wanted you to be aware of as a member of our grassroots organization. While our membership is diverse, I hope these pages show you that Farm Bureau membership has something for everyone. Our list of member benefits saves you money with well-known brands like General Motors, Polaris, Case-IH, Grainger and Choice Hotels. Heading to a Northwoods League baseball game or Noah’s Ark water park this summer? We can help you save money with those, too. In this issue we offer up 10 places to visit in Wisconsin. Speaking of lists, we

also share five Facebook pages you should ‘like’. Our friends at the Rural Mutual Insurance Company offer tips on preventing identity theft, and being safe while driving all-terrain vehicles and when the weather turns threatening. At our core are the members who make up our 61 county Farm Bureaus. This issue introduces you to a young dairy farmer and a cranberry grower. Both are examples of the enthusiastic younger generation beginning their careers on the farm and in ag-related jobs. Likewise, we share photos from successful Ag Day on Campus events by our three collegiate Farm Bureau chapters. These pages give you a taste of our state’s official fruit, the cranberry, and attempt to answer, what exactly gluten is. More food for thought includes an effort to increase milkweed for monarch butterflies and the wide-array of programming offered by University of Wisconsin-Cooperative Extension. Finally, there are black-and-white answers to your questions about what it means to be a Farm Bureau member. Let’s not end the dialogue here. We invite you to learn more about us on, or our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Just like summer, Farm Bureau means different things to different people. Whether you’re an associate member who lives in a city or a long-time voting member on a fourth-generation family farm, we hope that Farm Bureau and this magazine have something for you. Enjoy! Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Designer Lynn Siekmann 608.828.5707

Contributor Amy Eckelberg 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)

WFBF Board of Directors Jim Holte, Elk Mound, (President) Richard Gorder, Mineral Point, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Arch Morton Jr., Janesville Joe Bragger, Independence Kevin Krentz, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo Don Radtke, Merrill Rosalie Geiger, Reedsville (Women’s Committee Chair) Andrea Brossard, Burnett (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 For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or

Welcome to Rural Route Farm Bureau Membership Q & A What is Farm Bureau?

Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization of more than 45,000 farmers, agriculturists and others with an interest in keeping Wisconsin agriculture strong. Farm Bureau’s purpose is to promote, protect and represent the business, economic and educational interests of Wisconsin farmers. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is a federation of 61 county Farm Bureaus, each with a local board of directors. “Grassroots” means that Farm Bureau policy decisions are made from the bottom up, rather than top down, based on resolutions that are proposed at the local level by voting members.

Why pay dues to be a Farm Bureau member?

Farm Bureau is a membership organization that relies on membership dues as a primary source of revenue. By joining Farm Bureau, you become part of an organization that provides numerous member benefits (for more details, see page 28) while helping to support Wisconsin’s #1 industry. Members are classified at the local level as voting or associate, with voting members having the right to hold office and vote on the organization’s policy.

I’m not a farmer, so why should I be a member of Farm Bureau? Agriculture is a major driver of Wisconsin’s economy. We all have a vested interest in helping maintaining a safe, affordable and abundant food supply. As a member of Farm Bureau, you help support programs and policies that ensure that farmers can continue to feed and clothe us, while helping keep Wisconsin’s economy strong.

I have an insurance policy with Rural Mutual. Why is Farm Bureau membership required?

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau created Rural Mutual Insurance Company in 1934 to service the insurance needs of its members. Rural Mutual is an affiliate of Farm Bureau, and access to insurance products sold through Rural Mutual is a benefit of membership. Therefore, a paid Farm Bureau membership is a prerequisite to purchase auto, homeowners, country estate, farm and crop/hail policies through Rural Mutual.

Can my spouse and I share a membership?

Yes! A Farm Bureau membership is a family membership. It applies to the member, member’s spouse and any children under age 21. Family members age 21 and over require their own membership.

When does my membership renew?

Your annual membership renewal date is the first day of whatever month you joined Farm Bureau. You will receive a renewal notice approximately 45 days prior to your due date. If no payment is received, a second renewal notice will be sent to you the month that it is due.

How much are my annual membership dues?

Membership dues are established at the local level by your county Farm Bureau board of directors and vary from county to county. Annual dues range from $45 to $55 depending on where you live, with most counties at $50.

How are my membership dues used? When you join Farm Bureau, you not only become a member of your county Farm Bureau, but also the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau. Your membership dues are allocated as follows:

American Farm Bureau Federation - $4 of your dues are forwarded to support Farm Bureau activities at a national level. These funds support agriculture’s voice in our nation’s capital as well as the many programs that AFBF has in place to educate consumers, share the message of agriculture and provide online resources to its members.

Accidental Death Policy - $1 of your annual dues is applied toward an accidental death insurance policy that is a benefit of membership and covers you as a member, your spouse and eligible children. Coverage begins at $500 and increases in value for the member and spouse with each consecutive year of membership up to $3,500.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation $36 of your dues are used to support state activities, conduct programs and provide staffing for those efforts throughout the state. Consumer and youth education, issue advocacy, leadership development and member publications are services that also are funded with state dues.

County Farm Bureau dues The remaining portion of your dues ($4 - $14 depending on the county) is used to fund events and activities that take place locally. This may include county meetings, scholarships and other programs for youth, consumer education activities and member service programs in that county.

June | july 2015



Andrea Brossard By Casey Langan

Young farmer, leader, runner charts her own course


ndrea Brossard is a runner, literally and figuratively. When she’s not running a third-generation dairy farm with her family, she runs full and half marathons. The energetic 33-year-old also leads the pack as 2015’s chairperson of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. “Being your own boss allows you to work your passion, invest in a lifestyle and build a legacy for future generations,” she said of being a dairy farmer. “It’s more than a job. You put all of yourself into it.” “I was a typical farm kid in 4-H and FFA and showing cattle, so I always wanted to be in agriculture,” she said. “My parents (Dennis and Carol Brossard) have always been supportive of me farming someday. That door has always been open.” When Andrea graduated from Beaver Dam High School in 2000, her parents included her as an owner of a limited liability corporation for the farm. “This has always been a family business, and that’s how they wanted it to continue,” Brossard said.


Rural Route

While returning to Dodge County to farm has always been in the cards, Andrea’s career path would take her away from the farm for a time. After high school, like her brother, she enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course. That year-long training for future farmers evolved into graduating from UW-Madison with bachelor’s degrees in dairy science and agricultural journalism in 2005. For the next two years she worked for Agri-Nutrition Consulting as a dairy nutritionist working with dairy farms in Wisconsin, California and Pennsylvania. From there she went to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, creating newsletters and crisscrossing the state at trade shows and the Wisconsin State Fair as a producer communications specialist. Next was a stint as the Director of Communications for East Central Select Sires, a cattle breeding business in Waupun. “There was a time I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay in the industry side of agriculture before coming back to farming full-time,” said Brossard who worked double duty (a day job and mornings, nights and weekends on the farm) after her father suffered a stroke in 2008, impairing his physical involvement with the farm. With her parents now in their seventies, the decision was made last summer

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that Andrea would chaired Dodge County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer return to the farm and Agriculturist Committee and sparked change in the full-time. county Farm Bureau’s leadership as its first female board Her responsibilities director. Today she serves as its secretary/treasurer and include calf care, coordinates popular events like a fish fry in Juneau that monitoring herd attracts more than 500 people, and the Dodge Dash, a 5K health issues, run-walk that takes place at the Brossard Farm. managing the farm’s She says Farm Bureau’s Institute leadership class employees, bookwork propelled her involvement on the state level. She won the and keeping abreast Excellence in Agriculture competition (for Young Farmer of the technological and Agriculturist members working off of the farm) in side of a modern 2009. More than once she’s been a state finalist in Farm dairy farm. Bureau’s Discussion Meet. “One of the things When interviewed for this story in April, Brossard I love is working was training for a duathlon (a 3-mile run, followed by a outside” Brossard 20-mile bike ride and another two mile run). She brings said. “I worked the same kind of for some great driving enthusiasm to organizations and farming and promoting miss many of my agriculture. colleagues, but She proudly gave a Brossard is married to Mason I struggled with tour of a calf barn that Rens, a Waupun native who she being cooped up was completed last met on a blind date and married in an office.” fall. With room for 72 in 2013. He travels the Midwest The Brossards’ calves, tunnel ventilation as a well driller for Municipal neat and tidy farm with curtain side-walls Well and Pump. They live a few consists of 650 acres miles from the Brossard farm in give the structure a light of land used to grow Burnett. and airy feel. crops to feed the “They excel in this 200-cow milking herd. In 2001, a milking parlor and setting. We pasteurize freestall barn were built to replace an aging 48-stanchion the milk we feed them. barn. Calf care is one of the The farm’s roots trace back to when Andrea’s maternal most important parts of grandfather, Walter Werner, began dairy farming about a dairy,” she said. “Our a century ago in Dodge County’s Town of Trenton. goal isn’t to be a 1,000 Andrea’s mother, Carol, was one of the Werners’ two cow herd. Instead, we daughters. focus on production “My grandfather and parents built a well-run farm and strive to provide the Andrea Brossard is chair of the Young Farmer that was a huge opportunity to come back to,” she said. type of great animal care and Agriculturist Committee, made up of Brossard says there are many opportunities that exist that makes a good herd.” individuals and couples (between 18 and 35 in agriculture for those not born into farm families. This attention to years of age) from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s nine districts. She also represents detail is on display at She’s seen it happen firsthand with her farm’s partthe YFA Committee on the WFBF’s 11-member time employees and as a guest instructor at the UWthe many farm tours board of directors. Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course. they host. “Most employers like to see farm experience on a “Today’s consumer resume. It means you’ve experienced hard work and early or wants to know where their food comes from. I get that. So long hours,” she said. being more proactive and transparent is important,” she said. Personally, going from being an employee to managing and Grocers and chefs from across the nation are often brought motivating the farm’s employees was a rewarding transition to the farm by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. for Brossard. “Sometimes because our cattle aren’t out on pasture, they “I’ve learned a lot of people skills. We treat our employees assume they aren’t being taken care of, but they leave amazed at like part of the family. They watch how my brother and I how meticulous things can be on a farm,” she said. “The biggest care for our animals and then carry it out themselves,” thing my brother and I take away from those tours is how she said. hungry they are for information. They come here not knowing Brossard also has grown from her what went into the products they serve. Nor do they know involvement in Farm Bureau. any young people like us who are in this line of work. It really While working in Madison, she saw it strikes me when they say how much they respect what we do as a way to get reacquainted with Dodge and how it’s done.” County’s agricultural scene. She soon June | july 2015



What is the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program? The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) program is for members between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. The YFA program offers opportunities for leadership and skills development, along with the chance for YFA members to meet and network with their peers.

Why choose YFA?

What kind of opportunities will YFA give me? The Wisconsin YFA program gives young Farm Bureau members a chance to build their leadership skills while meeting others with an interest in agriculture from their county and state. The YFA program offers competitive events such as the Discussion Meet contest, the Achievement Award and the Excellence in Ag Award. YFA members can qualify to travel to Washington, D.C., on a Farm Bureau trip and attend the annual YFA Conference. What is the YFA Conference? Each year Young Farmer and Agriculturist members are invited to attend the Wisconsin Farm Bureau YFA Conference. The conference is held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting each December in Wisconsin Dells. The YFA Conference includes workshops, entertainment, contests and networking time.

“It gives us the chance to work with others of the same generation to share ideas and systems with the mutual goal of improving farms and ag businesses throughout Wisconsin.” Josh & Amanda Knoch

“Getting to know people who have the same passions and love for ag I do! We have a lot of fun together while talking about the important issues of my industry.”

Find out more on Facebook

Cindy Bourget

“My experience with the YFA program has been tremendous. The future of Wisconsin ag is very promising with the outstanding leadership coming from this program. The YFA program makes me ‘Farm Bureau Proud!’” Tim Clark

2015 District Discussion Meets Come compete or support YFA members at these locations The Discussion Meet gives YFA members a chance to demonstrate their speaking skills on agricultural topics.

District 1

District 4

Roden Echo Valley, West Bend 6 p.m.

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

August 18

District 2 September 2

District 3 September 1

July 21

September 9

CRI Resource Room, Shawano 7 p.m.

District 5

District 8

Marquette County UW-Extension Office, Montello 7:30 p.m.

Abbyland Truck Stop, Curtiss 12:30 p.m.

District 6

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

District 7

August 24

ABS Barn, Poynette 6:30 p.m.


Contestants are judged on their problem-solving skills as they discuss timely topics with their colleagues.

District 9 September 10

August 11

Dunn County Community Services Building, Menomonie 7 p.m.

Mackinaw’s, Green Bay 7 p.m.

August 29

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Facebook Pages You Should Like By Amy Eckelberg


here’s more to Facebook than selfies and silly videos. Want to add some value to your news feed? I picked five pages with reliable information about food and farming that I think you’ll find intriguing and educational. Once you’ve ‘liked’ these pages, be sure to invite your friends to ‘like’ them too.


Wisconsin Cheese – What cheesehead wouldn’t like to see this in their news feed? This page from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board serves up mouthwatering recipes, amazing food photos, contests and giveaways, as well as how-to videos of recipes and cheese pairings.


U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance – The Internet is flooded with conflicting information about food and farms. This farmer-and-rancher-led organization helps you cut through all the noise with straight-forward answers and thought-provoking commentary. You’ll also find interviews with farm families explaining the care that goes into taking your next meal from the farm to the fork.


Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom – This page is a must for parents and teachers. Fun activities and lesson plans can be found to help youth of all ages learn more about Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural landscape. From cranberries to beef, to potatoes and dairy, farm and food facts are shared each week on various topics. Crafts, free educational resources and grant applications also are regular features.


GMO Answers – Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) conjure up emotions ranging from excitement and optimism to skepticism and fear…but what are the facts? This page (and its accompanying website) does a good job of answering questions about GMOs. In the process it’s also starting a new conversation about how food is grown. So be skeptical, ask tough questions but be open to dialogue. You won’t be disappointed.


Beef. It's What's For Dinner. – Summer months are prime time grilling season. Tasty recipes and cooking tips are a click away with this page. They also include some great information regarding our protein intake needs. Full disclaimer: their photos will make you hungry. June | july 2015


Ag Tourism Trips to Take Jelli’s Market

N5648 South Farmington Road, Helenville Jelli's Market is a produce farm located in Jefferson County. Steve and Jody Knoebel, along with their three daughters, grow and sell all of the produce found in their onfarm store. In the spring they pick two acres of asparagus and sell plants

Eugster’s Farm Market

3865 State Highway 138, Stoughton Located between Stoughton and Oregon, Eugster’s hosts thousands annually to their petting zoo, play area, event barn and fresh produce stands. Open from May 22 to October 31 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) the farm market has fresh produce, as well as baked goods, homemade pickles, delectable jams, honey, goat milk soap, local pure maple syrup, popcorn, toys and crafts. Their petting zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer admission for the zoo is just $5 for adults and children (children 24 months and younger are admitted for free). An old dairy barn has been remodeled into a 9,500 square

Vesperman Farms 8149 Stage Road, Lancaster

Louis Vesperman purchased this farm in the late 1890s. Since then, the farm has been passed down through the family, each generation making their own improvements and changes. Now, more than 100 years later, Kyle Vesperman is the fifth generation to manage the farm along with his parents, Bruce and Judy,


Rural Route

In need of a road trip? Here are 10 trips to mark on your map. They include a member-business from each of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s nine districts. Rounding out the list is a perennial summertime experience, the Wisconsin State Fair.

By Amy Eckelberg

out of their two greenhouses. Summer features pick-your-own strawberries and peas, followed by raspberries, blueberries, green beans, sweet corn and other vegetables. Jelli's Market also sells their homegrown beef, pork, chicken and lamb. A recently-added apple orchard offers pick-your-own or already-picked apples. Their fall crops include pumpkins, gourds and squash. There are plenty of free activities for kids and a petting zoo. Group tours are offered all year-round and there also is a walking trail and picnic area. For more information, visit or find them on Facebook. foot banquet facility called ''The Big Barn'', perfect for hosting a gathering. They also have lambing and kidding days during the spring and fall festival weekends. For more information, visit or find them on Facebook.

who still live in the original farm house among the rolling hills and prairies of southwestern Wisconsin. This is a great place to bring your family and friends out for a full day of fun during spring summer and fall. Stop out for strawberries in June or try the five-acre corn maze, a hay wagon ride through the pumpkin patch or pumpkin launching in the fall. You can visit the animals and participate in all barnyard activities year round. Farm admission is $6 for ages 5 and older. Kids younger than 5 are free. For more information, visit or find them on Facebook.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Danzinger Vineyards

S2015 Grapeview Lane, Alma Melvin and David Danzinger loved to farm but were looking for a new adventure for their retirement. Someone suggested growing grapes and the rest is history. What started as a family venture has

Larson Clydesdales

W12654 Reeds Corner Road, Ripon A true Wisconsin gem, this is one of the few places in the United States where visitors can see Clydesdales, upclose and personal. The Larsons’ love of big horses is a family affair that dates back 27 years. While competitions are a regular occurrence, it's not the glitter and pomp that tourists see at the ranch. Rather they get to see the down-home feel of a family that works hard, is proud of what they do and does it well. Guests are invited to take in an entertaining 90-minute

Soren’s Valhalla Orchards 6491 County Road J, Sturgeon Bay

The Sorenson family’s mission is to grow nutritious food for you and your family. They believe in sustainable agriculture and the preservation of the heritage of fruit growing in Door County. With these values and a welcoming atmosphere

grown into a passion with more than 8,000 plants on 18 acres located in some of the most beautiful scenery you will find in the Mississippi River Valley. All of their grape wines are estate wines and they use all of their own grapes to make and bottle the wine on-site. From the casual wine drinker to a true connoisseur, Danzinger Vineyards has the blend to enchant your palate. You also can work with them for private events. For more information, visit or their Facebook page.

guided tour with a short grandstand show. Visitors also get to pet and take pictures of the rare baby Clydesdale, and visit the museum and Clydesdale gift shop. Find out more at or on their Facebook page.

it’s hard not to want to visit their farm: Soren's Valhalla Orchards. Their farm, located in southern Door County, consists of three acres of early, mid- and late season strawberries, an orchard of 2,500 dwarf apple trees, 75 acres of tart cherry orchards and a few acres of sweet and Montmorency tart cherries. They also farm 300 acres of wheat, corn, peas and beans. To find out more about the orchard visit

Kerrigan Brothers Winery

N2797 State Highway 55, Freedom This fruit winery has a little something for everyone plus you can relax on their stone patio while you try their wine. While tasting it they will share with you how they start with just fruit, water, sugar and yeast and walk you through how they end with the delicious and refreshing beverage. Their shop features wine and gifts that make great presents for you or someone else. Regular business hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. June | july 2015

to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It can be rented after-hours. Find out more at or on their Facebook page.


Altenburg Country Gardens 7020 Plover Road, Wisconsin Rapids

Altenburg Country Gardens is in their 51st season. They have plenty of strawberries for the picking in the summer, a farm market and allaround fun. In the fall you can enjoy fun daily activities and special weekend events. There is no admission fee to this farm but there is a $5 weekday activity package. Altenburgs have been farming in central Wisconsin since

Govin’s Meats & Berries

N6134 670th Street, Menomonie Govin’s Meats & Berries is a small family farm with education and entertainment for every season. Each spring during the last two weekends in March and first two weekends in April, they open their barn for visitors to see and hold baby farm animals. Their motto is “if it fits in your lap, we will help you hold it.” There are lambs, goats, pigs, chicks and more for visitors to hold and it is not uncommon to see a birth happen while you are there. In mid-June they start their strawberry season. They have five acres of strawberries to be picked. This is a great time to bring the kids out and show them hands-on how their food is grown. The season lasts about three weeks. Each fall an 11-acre corn maze offers twists, turns and games to navigate your way

Wisconsin State Fair 640 South 84th Street, West Allis

The Wisconsin State Fair is the state’s largest agricultural showcase, offering endless family entertainment at an exceptional value. The State Fair features the exciting SpinCity Amusement ride and


Rural Route

the late 1800s. In the last 40-plus years, they’ve raised a family, numerous crops of fruits and vegetables and many memories on their farm and they invite you to come and make some too. “When you visit our farm, it is our hope that you will bring along the whole family, young and young at heart,” Harold Altenburg said. “We offer a fun, family farm experience with activities for kids of all ages. Whether it’s a visit to pick just the right pumpkin, to choose from the farm produce at our market, to pick-your-own strawberries or to enjoy fun fall activities, we welcome you and thank you for allowing us to be part of fun times that you share together as a family.” Visit for more information or find them on Facebook.

out. They promise they haven’t lost anyone yet! They also have a pumpkin patch, pumpkin cannon, apple blasters, corn box, jumping pillow, mini golf and more. For more information and dates of their events, visit, find them on Facebook or call 715.231.2377.

game area, 30 free stages, numerous educational exhibits, plenty of shopping and hundreds of food and beverage options. This year’s event runs August 6-16. While there, take in a show or participate in a one-day deep fried diet. Also, don’t forget to check out the Discovery Barnyard where you can see lots of baby animals and learn about farming from the experts. To get all the details and to order tickets visit

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Bureau members receive a savings of more than $12 off the normal ticket price.

Visit and click the Buy Now button at the bottom of the custom page to purchase your tickets. Valid during 2015 season except September 2-4.

Because no food should go to waste...

June | july 2015


More Milkweed Needed for

Monarch Butterflies By Jim Hebbe


ike most of us, I remember finding monarch butterflies in the summers of my youth. I marvelled at their bright orange patterned wings and black speckled bodies. But I had no idea that every monarch is part of an amazing annual migration, from wintering grounds in central Mexico up through the southern and Midwestern United States and even into Canada, and back again. No single butterfly ever completes this migration itself. It’s a fascinating, multi‐ generation relay race where adults pass the baton by laying eggs which become caterpillars, and new adult butterflies make the next leg of the journey. The monarch you find in Wisconsin this summer is already the third or fourth generation compared with one who departed the forests of Mexico in late winter. Monarchs are still found today, but in much smaller numbers. The population has dropped by 90 percent in the past 20 years. Causes of this include loss of crucial overwintering sites in Mexico, expanding urban development and the modernization of agricultural practices in the United States. It turns out monarch caterpillars feed on only one type of plant: milkweed. They don’t mind the toxins in the plant (the reason livestock avoid it), but their predators do. Historically, milkweed has been considered a weed, and we‘ve become very adept at keeping it out of our fields. I used to use a weed wiper in no‐till soybean fields to specifically address milkweeds. Now, with the advent of Roundup Ready crops, we have cleaned up many of the tough weeds that used to exist in no‐till farming systems, and milkweed rarely is seen


Rural Route

in a crop field anymore. Less milkweed means fewer opportunities for monarchs to pass the baton and continue their migration. It is unlikely that milkweed will return to fields of corn and soybeans, but there are opportunities to restore monarch habitat elsewhere on the agricultural landscape. Farm buffers, fence rows, pastures, and farmsteads are all potential sites not only for milkweed, but also flowering forbs and shrubs for bees and other pollinators that are important to many crops. There is also a tremendous opportunity in utility right‐of‐ways,

which can serve as migratory pathways for pollinators. Monarchs share habitat with many other pollinators, which makes monarch population size a useful indicator for the presence of other pollinators. The importance of this cannot be overstated because we rely on pollinators for food stability. Many stakeholders are stepping up to address this complex issue. The agricultural industry is funding new projects; university researchers are refining techniques; and the Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering assistance. Recently, I added pollinator and beneficial habitat as an enhancement practice to my Conservation

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Stewardship Program contract. A small impact overall but a step in the right direction. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is joining Wisconsin‐based Sand County Foundation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other agricultural interests to encourage practical steps that farmers can take to create habitat while maintaining productivity. As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers listing the monarch under the Endangered Species Act in the coming year, our efforts should focus on the voluntary, proactive steps we all can take to reverse the decline in monarchs and pre‐empt the possible regulatory approach. Jim Hebbe is a director of the Green Lake County Farm Bureau. Jim and his wife, Val, were the 2012 recipients of the Leopold Conservation Award.

Find resources for monarch butterflies and important pollinators: On your farm: In your community:

June | july 2015

Val and Jim Hebbe


Little Warrens hosts

Big Event

Fruity fun for the whole family By Amy Eckelberg


he nearly 400 residents of Warrens have their work cut out for them when they host more than 120,000 visitors each fall at the world’s largest cranberry festival.

The Warrens Cranberry Festival annually takes place the last weekend in September. This year’s September 25-27 event features more than three miles of shopping, a variety of contests, a parade, ample helpings of delicious food to suit every taste and lots of cranberries. What began in 1973 as a community fundraiser with 75 booths and 3,500 attendees has grown to more than 1,300 booths and 120,000 visitors. Over the past 43 years, the


The cranberry has been Wisconsin’s official state fruit since 2004; however, cranberries’ roots date back to pre-statehood, in the 1830s.

festival has donated more than $2 million to area fire departments, schools, youth groups and more. This fruitful celebration contributes an economic boost of around $4 million in revenue to Monroe County’s communities and businesses. Fourteen people serve on the internationallyknown festival's board of directors and advisory board. Not only does business boom in the area but so does the visitors’ knowledge of cranberries. On Friday and Saturday, tours are available through a working cranberry marsh. Buses take visitors from the Wetherby Stone Building to the marsh from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $6 a person (adults and children 12 years and older), $4 per child (ages 4-11) and toddlers 3 and younger are free. While on the tour which lasts just over an hour, visitors will learn about the cranberry industry and will also be able to purchase fresh cranberries and other products. It is suggested that visitors purchase tickets early, as the tours often sell out quickly. All tickets for the marsh tours also include admission to the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, where cranberry history comes to life through videos, storyboards and historic

exhibits. The Cranberry Discovery Center includes a Taste Test Kitchen and ice cream parlor to satisfy your taste buds. A parade takes place on Sunday at noon. It is one of the largest marching band parades in the area. There are a variety of units in the parade, including various royalty, classic automobiles, horses, tractors and floats. This year the parade marshalls are the Henry and Sandy Knoepker Family who will lead the parade in honor of their contributions to the festival. Make plans now to attend the 2015 Warrens Cranberry Festival by visiting You will leave with a new-found connection to cranberries and a bumper crop of memories. Bottom left and Below Photos courtesy of Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association

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Cran You Believe It? • The little red berry is Wisconsin’s top fruit crop, both in size and economic value. • W isconsin harvests 60 percent of our nation’s cranberry crop. • The cranberry industry provides an estimated 7,200 jobs and contributes approximately $330 million to the state's economy. • The cranberry, once called “crane berry” by settlers because of its blossom’s resemblance to the sandhill crane, was first harvested in Wisconsin around 1860 by Edward Sacket in Berlin. • W isconsin cranberry growers annually harvest enough cranberries to supply every man, woman and child in the world with approximately 26 cranberries. • Cranberries are grown on 21,000 acres across 20 counties in Wisconsin. The sand and peat marshes in central and northern Wisconsin create the perfect growing conditions for cranberries. • Cranberry marshes help control erosion, filter water, slow the runoff of heavy rains and replenish underground aquifers.

• Various types of wildlife can be found on cranberry marshes. • Cranberries are cholesterol free, fat free and low in sodium and help maintain a healthy heart. • Studies demonstrate cranberry juice helps protect urinary tract health. • The National Kidney Foundation recommends one 8-ounce glass of cranberry juice daily to support good kidney health. • Cranberry juice contains antioxidants and other compounds, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. • Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. A perennial plant, cranberries grow on low running vines in sandy bogs and marshes. In Wisconsin, cranberry marshes are flooded with water to aid in harvesting. Because the tart, tiny berries contain a pocket of air, when the marsh is flooded, the berries float to the surface to be picked up by harvesting equipment. Cranberries are harvested each year from late September through October.

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association

Meet Trenton Bemis, a Wisconsin Cranberry Grower W

e caught up with Trenton Bemis, a 23-year-old cranberry grower from Jackson County. Bemis grew up at Edlen Cranberries near Humbird, which is owned by Diane Kirkman and Sandy Johnston, both of Wisconsin Rapids. The Bemis family has a long history of working on the farm. Bemis' grandfather, Harlan Bemis, and father, Mike, both have spent their entire working careers at Edlen Cranberries, including as the farm managers. His late great-grandfather, Mike Bemis, also worked on the farm. Like most farm kids, Bemis grew into his responsibilities on the farm, where he hopes to continue growing cranberries until he retires. He serves as the chair of the Jackson County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee.


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Why do you enjoy working in the cranberry industry? “I grew up with cranberries. My dad has worked at Humbird's Edlen Cranberries for more than 20 years and I have been engaged with it my whole life. It’s a different kind of farming but like most farmers I enjoy being outside. I just don’t think I could have a behind-the-desk job, it’s not for me. I am the third generation of management and am proud to continue the work here.” What are the challenges of growing cranberries? “Things are always changing in the fresh fruit industry. Our cranberries go to Ocean Spray and there are always improvements to be made it seems. We do everything from the growing to the packaging here and make the whole process the best it can be.” What is your favorite part of cranberry season or your job? “I would have to say the harvesting. I enjoy fall and also seeing the end product, just like every other farmer.” What is your favorite product or recipe made with cranberries? “I do like cranberry juice but I also like the cranberry apple crisp that my grandma makes. It’s really good.”

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Bureau Recipes and photos courtesy of U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee. Find more at

Spinach & Cranberry Salad with Avocado

Cranberry Smoothie

Dressing Ingredients: 4 T cranberry juice 2 T dried cranberries 2 T white wine vinegar or rice vinegar 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 6 T canola oil Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients: 2 cups frozen cranberries 2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt (try different yogurts, such as Greek yogurt) 2 cups 1% milk or almond milk 2 T honey 2 tsp. vanilla

Salad Ingredients: 3 1/3 cups fresh spinach leaves 1 small head of frisée lettuce 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Directions: Dressing 1. P  lace cranberry juice and dried cranberries in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Stir in vinegar and Dijon mustard. Gradually whisk in canola oil so that the mixture becomes a dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Salad 2. R  inse spinach and frisée; spin dry. Remove thick stems and cut larger leaves into bite-size pieces. Add avocado and onion slices. 3. G  ently toss salad ingredients with the dressing and serve. Tip: If preparing in advance, sprinkle avocado slices with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Mix the salad ingredients with the dressing just before serving to keep the leaves fresh and crisp.

Yield: 4 servings

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Directions: Mix in blender until smooth. Yield: 6 servings

Cranberry, Potato & Cucumber Salad

Ingredients: 8 oz. small red or yellowskinned potatoes ½ cup non-fat plain Greekstyle yogurt 2 T reduced-fat mayonnaise

Directions: 1. Wash potatoes and boil with skin on for 15-20 minutes or until almost tender. Remove from heat and drain. Cool. Cut into cubes and set aside. 2. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper sauce. Stir in cranberries and let stand 20 minutes to soften cranberries slightly.

1 T white balsamic or cider vinegar ½ tsp. hot red pepper sauce 1/3 cup dried cranberries 1 cup diced seedless cucumber ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

3. Stir potatoes, cucumber and scallions into yogurtcranberry mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Variations: Diced apple or pear may be substituted for cucumber. Sprinkle with chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts to garnish, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings


County Kernels Pierce and St. Croix Counties

Rusk County

Rusk County Farm Bureau participated in the Rusk County Farm, Home, Garden and Sports Show on March 21 at Ladysmith High School. Farm Bureau members talked to attendees about opportunities in Farm Bureau and promoted Wisconsin’s dairy industry. Kids attending were treated to Amazing Corn coloring books and My American Farm kiosks sponsored by Eva Curtis of Rural Mutual Insurance.

Washington County

Pierce and St. Croix County Farm Bureaus promoted agriculture at Hudson’s Hot Air Affair on February 7. The Hot Air Affair is an annual event where 35 hot air balloons from throughout the country launch three times during the weekend. The theme for this year was “Field to Farm E-I-E-I-O.” The hit of the day was the “My American Farm” kiosk. Kids played a variety of games to learn more about agriculture.

Eau Claire County

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin is Milwaukee’s “home away from home” for families whose lives have been disrupted as a result of their child’s illness or injury. Nine Washington County volunteers prepared fruit, sandwiches, salads, snacks and other items for healthy brown bag lunches on Tuesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 19 as an “Our Food Link” project.

Eau Claire County Farm Bureau President Steve Strey (center) presented the 4-H Key Award to Damin Hadorn Papke (right) and Desyre Klindworth (left).

Dane County Dane County members had good weather and a great time teaching and sharing agriculture with families at the 5th annual Dane County Farm Bureau’s Farm Day at the Madison Children’s Museum on April 11. Families got to see, taste and experience what Wisconsin agriculture has to offer. A calf named Bucky was the star of the event. Visitors also learned where their food comes from by making butter and making soybean “beanie babies” and discussed the nine essential nutrients in milk. This hands-on event had attendees ‘moo’ing with delight and ‘grow’ing their agriculture knowledge!


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Photo by Melissa Eron, Stevens Point

Photo by Sherri Yager, Hollandale

Photo by Karrie LeBotte, Algoma

Photo by Kate Griswold, Madison

Photo by Matt Graff, Waupun

Send us YOUR Photos June | july 2015

Wisconsin Farm Bureau members live and work on some of the most beautiful pieces of land. On this page we highlight those sights and special moments. Please email your best photos (high resolution jpgs, 4x6 inches at 300 dpi) to Due to the high volume of photos we receive, we are unable to publish every photo.


Rural Mutual

Eighty Years for Rural Mutual T

he early 1930s were not a great time to be a farmer. After suffering through low prices through the 1920s, things worsened once the stock market crashed in 1929. Over-production, low demand and the infamous Dust Bowl devastated the market. Because of their high-risk status to insurance companies, farmers were often unable to find affordable insurance. In order to provide automobile coverage to members, Wisconsin Farm Bureau leaders incorporated the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Wisconsin on January 29, 1934. In June 1935, the company opened its doors for the first time at 744 Williamson Street in Madison. Almost 400 policies were issued immediately. Two years later, that number had grown to 2,200 policies. Eighty years, a name change and a lot of ups and downs have happened since those humble beginnings. In 2015, Rural Mutual is positioned well according to Peter Pelizza, the company’s CEO.


“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,” Pelizza said. Rural Mutual has received the recognition as a Ward’s 50® Top Performer for six consecutive years, making it one of the top 50 Property and Casualty companies in the U.S. “I am very proud to be associated with such a fine group of employees and agents who are the compelling reason for this ongoing success,” Pelizza said. “Of course, Rural Mutual would never have survived without all of its policyholders. Awards and accolades are a great honor, but they pale in comparison to all of the wonderful relationships the company has forged during the years,” he added. As the next 80 years progress, Rural Mutual will continue to serve Wisconsin residents and protect what they value most. Remember, “Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here to Keep Wisconsin Strong.”


Your phone is always in your pocket. Now your proof of insurance is, too. Multiple payment options are available depending on your preferences. All of your policy information, right at your fingertips. Have a question? Your agent can answer it!

Report your claims immediately, right from your phone!


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

ATV Safety Tips for Your Child F rom backyards to farm fields to forest lands, youth are operating all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). They go fast and can travel in forests and over fields. ATV use by youth is mainly for recreation but older youth use ATVs for chores such as pulling a cart to haul firewood, feeding calves or moving snow. A recent National Safe Kids Campaign report stated that more than 30,000 children age 14 and younger were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries (fractured bones, head and facial injuries) and 44 children in this age group died as a result of ATVrelated injuries (head and neck injury). Children ages 10-14 accounted for more than 75 percent of the deaths. Nearly 90 percent of ATV-related injuries suffered by children younger than age 16 were caused by adult-sized ATVs (ATVs that are 90 cc or larger). Additionally, reports show that males account for 60 percent of the ATV-related deaths among children ages 14 and younger. “If your children will be using your ATV for farm use, have you taken the time to make sure they are capable of safely operating it before sending them on their way?” asked Peter Pelizza, CEO of Rural Mutual Insurance Company. “Measuring your child’s ability to react quickly, assuring they’re strong enough to operate the controls and simply trusting their capabilities are just a few considerations.” It’s tough to calculate the exact age a child is ready to operate an ATV for use on

the farm, but there are ways to test whether it’s a responsibility that your child is ready for. Cultivate Safety has provided a list of questions to help determine the answer to one simple question, can your child do the job? Think about the children on your farm and answer honestly. • Can the child reach and operate all controls while comfortably seated? • Is the child strong enough to operate the controls without straining? • Does the child have good peripheral vision? • Can the child use hands and feet at the same time? • Can the child understand and repeat from memory a fivestep process? • Can the child recognize a hazard and solve the problem without getting upset? • Can the child react quickly? • Do you trust the child to do what is expected without anyone checking? Did you answer NO to any of these questions? Then it’s time to really consider whether your child is ready to take on the ATV responsibilities on the farm. Give it time, give it some training and give your child opportunities to grow into the responsibility. “One thing better than having your child’s helping hand on the farm is having it done safely,” Pelizza said.

E-Delivery Service Available


ural Mutual Insurance Company is pleased to announce the availability of our new E-Delivery service. This service will allow you to receive your important insurance

June | july 2015

documents and billings electronically. You may review your information when it is convenient for you, anywhere and anytime. You will be notified with an email message when you have new insurance documents to review. Documents may be reviewed in your account at Rural’s customer self service center at For more information about our new online E-Delivery service or to sign up, contact your Rural Mutual Insurance agent or our customer service department at 877.219.9550.


Rural Mutual

Fifty Years of Sportsmanship

Rural Mutual Celebrates 50 Years with the WIAA-Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award


ifty years ago, the WIAA-Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award was created to reward high school student athletes and communities for their positivity, enthusiasm and character. This award was given to Brookfield Central High School at the 1965 Boys State Basketball tournament. Since that inaugural year, the award has evolved to be given at each of the WIAA state team tournaments including football, soccer, team tennis, volleyball, girls and boys basketball, gymnastics, hockey, team wrestling, baseball and softball. Honorable mention recognition also is given to reward schools demonstrating high character. The selection process has grown into an extensive analysis of community support. It includes input from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers and WIAA staff members. These observers judge the conduct and sportsmanship of coaches and athletes, cheer and support groups, mascots, bands, student groups and adult spectators. Also, measured is the effort by school administrators and chaperones during the tournament to keep the support for their teams and student athletes positive and enthusiastic. WIAA also solicits input from hotels, restaurants and business people in the city where WIAA state events take

place in order to make appropriate measurements relative to the sportsmanship of communities and teams as they attend state tournament competition. Sportsmanship by coaches and fans at regional and sectional contests prior to the state tournament also is taken into consideration. The selection process demonstrates the prestige of the award in the eyes of the WIAA and Rural Mutual Insurance. It also demonstrates the importance of community support to these high school student athletes. Every one of the 325 high school teams honored with the award during the past 50 years has had an outstanding, supportive community rallying behind them, creating positive experiences that the student athletes will cherish for the rest of their lives. In addition to the WIAA-Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award, Rural Mutual has grown into a major sponsor with the WIAA for telecasts in football, hockey and basketball and also sponsors the WIAA-Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Summit, held every two years. The company values its relationship with the WIAA, student athletes and supporting communities, and it will continue to encourage and support sportsmanship for the next 50 years and beyond.

Summer vacation plans? Think Choice Hotels!


t’s time to soak up the sun. Head out this summer and save money with a Farm Bureau discount through Choice Hotels at great destinations throughout the country. Members receive 20 percent off the published rates at Choice Hotels including Comfort Inn & Suites, Quality Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites and more. There are more than 6,000 properties worldwide. Save even more by signing up for the Choice Privileges rewards program to start earning points toward free nights or flights in addition to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau benefit. Farm Bureau members can take advantage of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau benefit by calling 800.258.2847 and giving their


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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Special Rate ID number (00209870) or book online at For full details, locations and the Special Rate ID, visit the “Benefits & Membership” section at and select the Travel tab.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Tornado Tips T

ornadoes are violent by nature. They are capable of completely destroying well-built structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air like missiles. A tornado is a rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornado intensities are classified on the Fujita Scale with ratings between F0 (weakest) to F5 (strongest). Know the Difference Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or if you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives. Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom). How to Prepare for a Tornado •D  uring any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings. •K  now your community's warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornados, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes. •P  ick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. •P  ractice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching. •P  repare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees. •M  ove or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile. What to Do During a Tornado • The safest place to be is in an underground shelter, basement or safe room. • I f no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the next safest alternative. oM  obile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds. oD  o not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home. • Do not wait until you see the tornado. • I f flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have the following options as a last resort: June | july 2015

oStay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket if possible. o If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. What to Do After a Tornado • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. • If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage. • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately. • Stay out of damaged buildings. • Use battery-powered flashlights when examining buildings, do NOT use candles. • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly and call the gas company or fire department. • Keep all of your animals under control. • Clean up spilled medications, bleach, gasoline or other flammable liquids that could become a fire hazard. • Check for injuries. If you are trained provide first aid to persons in need until emergency responders arrive. If you are impacted by severe weather damage start documenting your claim by taking inventory and photographs of your damaged belongings and buildings. You also can contact your Rural Mutual agent or our claims department at 800.255.2150 or visit



Using Your General Motors $500 Discount Which GM vehicles are included in the discount program? This exclusive Farm Bureau member benefit is offered on all 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models (except for Corvettes).

What is it and how do I qualify? If you have been a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member for at least 30 days, you are eligible to receive a $500 discount on the lease or purchase of your next GM vehicle. Members must present a Farm Bureau Bonus Cash Certificate to the dealer to take advantage of this offer. How do I obtain my certificate? You can go online to print your Bonus Cash Certificate at Printing is easy - just enter your Farm Bureau membership number and zip code. The certificate should appear after you click 'submit'. If you do not see the message "Download your certificate," you may not have reached your 30-day membership mark. If you don’t know your Farm Bureau membership number or if you need help, call 800.261.3276 for assistance. The purchaser’s drivers license must match the address on record for their Farm Bureau membership.

How does the discount work? The discount is offered for vehicles purchased or leased through Farm Bureau’s Bonus Cash program at participating GM dealerships. The Bonus Cash Program can be combined with most other offers. It cannot be combined with discounted pricing programs (employee, dealership employee and supplier pricing). The $500 Bonus Cash program can be used more than once. A separate certificate is needed for each vehicle purchased or leased. For additional info... Call 800.261.3276 for questions on eligibility guidelines. For full details on the Farm Bureau Bonus Cash Program, contact your local GM dealer.

Give Back. Give Dairy. When you “adopt” a dairy cow at you will be providing a rarely donated, nutrient-rich product to your neighbors who struggle with hunger. Giving is easy, just visit and donate a day’s ($36), week’s ($252) or month’s ($1,080) worth of milk production. And, to make it official, you’ll even receive an adoption certificate—a fun and perfect way to let everyone know about your new bovine addition!

Give the Gift of Dairy Today! Partners


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Get your copy of FARMLAND Now! A

June | july 2015

Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster OnDemand, Sony PlayStation,, Xbox and YouTube. Not only is FARMLAND a great pick for a Friday night but it’s also a useful tool for sharing agriculture’s story. Donate a copy to your local library and schools. Produced by Moll’s Allentown Productions, FARMLAND was made with the generous support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance®. Check out the official trailer and more information about the feature length documentary at and on Facebook.

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88049X © 2015

farmer’s story is hard to tell. The ups, downs, curveballs and rewards are sometimes not easily shared in text or photos. FARMLAND shares the ups and downs of six young farmers’ lives. If you haven’t taken time to watch it out, you are missing out. Academy Award®winning filmmaker James Moll’s featurelength documentary, FARMLAND, is now available on DVD at Walmart and The availability of the documentary at retail locations across the country and online, provides another opportunity for viewers to experience the film, which offers a firsthand glimpse inside the world of farming by showcasing the lives of six young farmers and ranchers in their twenties. FARMLAND premiered in theaters across the country in spring 2014. DVDs of FARMLAND are for sale at select Walmart locations and on The documentary is now available on Netflix and can be rented and purchased via digital download on iTunes,

The ONLY Trimmer Guaranteed Not To Wrap!


Call for FREE DVD and Catalog!

877-201-5003 TOLL FREE


on the web

Member Benefits

View additional WFBF member benefits and more details on our website at

Savings for your Family or Business

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.

Special Summer Benefit: Member Appreciation Days at the Ballpark For more information, visit member-benefits/member-appreciation-days.

Auto General Motors - Eligible members may receive a $500 discount on qualifying Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles they purchase or lease. Individuals must be members for at least 30 days to qualify.

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

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



Supplies & Products Case 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. FS-Growmark Patronage - Members who are patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage dividends when patronage is paid. Grainger Industrial Supply - Grainger Industrial Supply is the nation’s leading maintenance, repair and operational supplies distributor. Receive at least a 10% discount on all Grainger catalog items. For a free catalog call 608.221.3861. When ordering use the Farm Bureau account #855922019. Office 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 Polaris - Farm Bureau members will receive a manufacturer’s incentive discount of $200-$300 depending on the vehicle acquired. There is no limit to the number of incentive discounts that a Farm Bureau member may use so long as it’s no more than one per unit acquired and the acquisition(s) is/are made for their personal and/or business use.

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

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

AgriVisor - 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.

Wyndham 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.

The Country Today - With every new subscription or renewal, The Country Today will give a discounted rate and donate $5 to the Ag in the Classroom program. Write “Farm Bureau member” on your renewal or mention it when calling 1.800.236.4004.

*WFBF member benefits may be changed or discontinued at anytime without notice.*

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Farming is a business of uncertainty, but here’s something you can count on. Chevrolet presents this exclusive $500 private offer 1 toward the purchase or lease of an all-new Chevy Silverado — the 2014 North American Truck of the Year. From the family of the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups 2 in America, rest assured your Silverado will keep you working without skipping a beat. 1 Offer available through 4/1/17. Available on qualified 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet vehicles. This offer is not available with some other offers. Only customers who have been active members of an eligible Farm Bureau for a minimum of 30 days will be eligible to receive a certificate. Customers can obtain certificates at 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 Dependability based on longevity: 1987–April 2013 full-size pickup registrations.

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8/21/14 4:51 PM


Are Introductions in Order? A Message from Jim Holte


f you’re receiving the Rural Route for the first time, you might be asking what Farm Bureau is. I’ll answer by telling you, not what, but who Farm Bureau is. Farm Bureau is 4-H leaders and FFA Alumni. It is the families serving pancakes at the county dairy breakfast. The people promoting beef in the grocery store. You might have seen us in the 4th of July parade or a food stand at the county fair. We’re behind the wheel of that tractor driving down the road. We’re the dairy farm or cranberry marsh you’ve driven by. We’re the strawberry or pumpkin patch you visit. We’re the winery or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm that you purchase from.


We all consider ourselves farmers no matter our size or what we’re growing. We’re also the teachers, bankers, veterinarians, mechanics, processors, marketers, communicators, nutritionists and agronomists who all have a hand in farming’s success. That’s who Farm Bureau is. We’re civic-minded volunteers who see the value in working together on a grassroots level. Collectively for more than 90 years we’ve organized our efforts on the county level. During the process we became the most active force for farming on rural Wisconsin’s landscape. Most of Farm Bureau’s history has been intertwined with an insurance company started more than 80 years ago by a group of farmers seeking auto insurance. From those humble beginnings grew a nationally-recognized business that has never forgotten the priority it shares with Farm Bureau, keeping Wisconsin strong. That’s who Farm Bureau is. Farm Bureau members are conservationists. Deeply-rooted in our communities, we drink the water, breathe the air and want the soil to sustain future generations of consumers and farmers. We support proactive research and pragmatic efforts that protect the environment. As a result we can produce more with less in order to feed people from Beloit to Beijing. Whether a Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, Generation X or Millennial we are excited about the resurgence of

young people who see agriculture’s many opportunities on the farm and off. That’s who Farm Bureau is. I know the other pages in this magazine will give additional insight into the people and efforts that make up Farm Bureau. Whether you are a new policy holder at Rural Mutual, or come from a family that chartered one of our 61 county Farm Bureaus, it’s important for all of us to reintroduce ourselves to each other sometimes. During a time when our society has great interest in farmers and food, it’s important for farmers and agriculturists not to be shy about talking to others about what they do. In essence, we need to reintroduce ourselves to our customers. So here it goes…My name is Jim. I raise beef cattle and grow corn and soybeans on a farm near Elk Mound in Dunn County. For those of you who don’t know a farmer, now you do. I invite you to meet more Farm Bureau members in this magazine, on our social media channels and in your local communities. After all, we all share a few things in common: we’re all Farm Bureau members, we all call Wisconsin home and we all eat. Holte has been the President of the Wisconsin Farm

Bureau Federation and Rural Mutual Insurance

Company since 2012.

Rural Mutual Wisely Invests in the Young A Message from Peter Pelizza


lthough some have said that “youth is wasted on the young,” I find that the furthest thing from the truth. Believe it or not, I was young once too. I’m thankful for those who gave me opportunities to grow. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders and that means we have a responsibility to identify them and then support their leadership development. Rural Mutual Insurance Company puts that belief into action. Being entrenched in protecting Wisconsin’s businesses, farms and families goes beyond insurance for us. We see great things for this state for years to come. We recognize that it is people that

truly succeed, not companies. Therefore it’s people that we must invest in. That begins with our farm safety initiatives. It is vitally important that today’s youth today grow up with an appreciation of safety. They need to do the right things to allow them every

opportunity to avoid injuries which could limit their productivity. As a major sponsor of FFA and 4-H in Wisconsin, we recognize the value that these young leaders can bring into our communities. Likewise, our sponsorship of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Conference that coincides with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting each December is another way we help grow and groom future leaders. The YFA Conference attracts nearly 500 young people who are there to network, attend workshops and compete in contests for farmers and agriculturists. This bucks a theory that we will someday run out of people actively engaged in farming. I’m invigorated when I attend the YFA Conference because I’m surrounded by the future leaders for Farm Bureau and Wisconsin agriculture. Not only is Rural Mutual proud to be the major sponsor of the event, but it fits with how we conduct business. We’re unique in that we only do business in Wisconsin. That means premiums paid here stay here. Premium dollars received are used to pay claims in Wisconsin, pay vendors and providers who operate within our state, pay the employees of Rural Mutual and provide support to the Wisconsin Farm

This year’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference takes place December 4-6 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Kansas farmers-turned-YouTube sensations, The Peterson Brothers, will keynote the conference on Saturday. Rural Mutual will sponsor 100 Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and

June | july 2015

Bureau Federation. Not many insurance companies of our size can claim that virtually all of their revenue goes back to the communities they live in. Rural Mutual is 100-percent invested in and dedicated to the people of Wisconsin. Whether you are a business owner, farmer or employed by either, our commitment to be there in your time of need is evidenced not only by our tagline, but also in what we do. The bottom line: Rural Mutual is invested in Wisconsin and its people, especially our future leaders. Pelizza is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Mutual Insurance Company.

35 who are first-time attendees. To receive the registration, four meals and two nights lodging at the Kalahari Resort, submit an application for sponsorship by August 15. Visit or call 800.261.FARM for the application form. You will be notified in September if you are selected with additional details and a registration form to complete.



Learning is a Two-Way Street at County Fairs A Message from Amy Eckelberg


s a kid, the county fair was by far the highlight of my summer. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed working with my animals to get them ready for the show, meeting new friends who were from other towns and seeing what ribbons I received for not just my animal projects but for all my projects. I was having so much fun that I didn’t realize I was learning. Fairs teach kids life skills that help them later in life. The obvious one is winning and losing. Life is always handing out ribbons… sometimes you get the top-blue and sometimes you get the dead-last pink. Either way, you learn something in the process.


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Another lesson learned at the fair? Hard work pays off. You can always tell the kids who work with their animals versus the ones who don’t. The ones who do usually do well in the show ring. It teaches the value of being a team player (which most organized sports do as well), but also the value in individualized effort. Working with animals teaches patience. Those tame, clean, sleek cattle in the show ring were once wild, wooly creatures. It didn’t happen overnight. It takes hours of washing, primping and practicing to really make them shine and walk smooth. It all takes time and patience. Fairs teach you responsibility. Caring for animals is a huge undertaking. Anyone out there with pets can understand that. Pride and ownership goes hand in hand with showing. Many farmers were once kids at the fair, crying as their hog, lamb or steer was loaded on a truck for market (the fate of most farm animals). Therefore, it bothers me when livestock farmers are viewed as uncaring. Many learned at the tender age of ten the hard reality of life and death. I’m not an emotional person but I cried like a baby when my favorite show cow took her last trailer ride. While the animals come and go, the memories and lessons learned with them stay well through adult life. Now with a job in agricultural communication, I’m still all about the

fun at a fair, but I also see this annual community event for the educational opportunity it is and not just for the kids there with animals. It’s hard for ‘fair kids’ to put themselves in the shoes of the people walking through the barns who have never touched a farm animal, but they need to. Those kids who are learning (without realizing it) need to make themselves available for questions. Today’s consumer has all kinds of questions about animal care, farming and food. While fair kids are not the experts on any given subject, their sincerity and enthusiasm can go a long way to easing the public’s concerns about how their food is grown and raised. As an adult looking back at the fair scene and now going back to help as a leader, I see it. Too many times exhibitors are too busy with other things to acknowledge fair-goers. Too many times visitors are too shy to ask the things they don’t understand. Too many times conversations are not initiated. Fairs are packed full of fun for both the exhibitors and the visitors, but there HAS to be more dialogue. Whether you are the exhibitor, the parent or the family pushing the stroller I challenge you to do one thing this year: start the conversation. Eckelberg is WFBF’s Director of Communications and

a dairy 4-H leader in Waupaca County.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg


onservation means harmony between men and land. When land does well for its owner, and the owner does well by his land; when both end up better by reason of their partnership, we have conservation. When one or the other grows poorer, we do not.” Those words, penned by Aldo Leopold in 1939, initiated an essay he called The Farmer as a Conservationist and was published in American Forests magazine. He went on to say, “Land, they say, is like a bank account: If you draw more than the interest, the principle dwindles…When our grandfathers first broke this land, did it melt away with every rain that happened to fall on a thawed frost pan? Or in a furrow not exactly on contour? It did not; the newly broken soil was tough, resistant, elastic to strain…Fertility in 1840 did not go downriver faster than up into crops.” You ask, “Who is this fellow Aldo Leopold I keep hearing about?” Was he a farmer? And what did he know about the land? Perhaps you haven’t met the gentleman whose name graces the Leopold Conservation Award Program – an annual award presented by the Sand County Foundation in partnership with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association. June | july 2015

To know the man, one need only read between the covers of his classic book, A Sand County Almanac. Published in 1949, one year following his untimely death, more than two million copies have been printed and translated into 12 languages. Or, if you have already read the Almanac, look for a copy of Round River, a collection from his journals and essays. Edited by his son Luna, it was published in 1953. The definitive biography, Aldo Leopold, His Life and Work, was written by Curt Meine and will more than answer all your questions about this remarkable man - a man as comfortable in the woods or barnyard as in a Madison lecture hall. The deadline for the annual conservation award program that bears his name is rapidly approaching. Do you, your family or someone you know have a strong land ethic? Do the words Leopold left for us reflect your mindset? A farmer he wrote, was anyone “who determines the plants and animals with which he lives…Can a farmer afford to devote land to woods, marsh, pond, windbreaks? These are semi-economic land-uses - that is, they have utility but they also yield non-economic benefits.” According to the Sand County Foundation, “The Leopold Conservation Award Program recognizes agricultural landowners actively committed to a land ethic. Working with prominent state conservation partners, Sand County Foundation presents the prestigious honor, which consists of $10,000 and a crystal award, in settings that showcase the landowners’ achievements among their peers. “The Leopold Conservation Award is a productive investment in private lands conservation. It recognizes and celebrates extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation by private landowners, inspires countless other landowners by example and provides a prominent platform by which agricultural community leaders are recognized as conservation ambassadors to citizens outside of agriculture. Finally, the program builds bridges between agriculture, government, environmental organizations, industry and academia to advance the cause of private lands conservation.” Blomberg is a freelance writer and a member of the Portage County Farm Bureau.

The application deadline for the Wisconsin award is August 7, 2015. Visit the-award/application-info.


Get Your Farm Bureau Bucket


1. Send your name, county and email address to by August 1. 2. A bucket coupon will drop in your inbox on August 17. 3. Be among the first 100 to present the printed coupon (or show it on your smartphone screen) at the Farm Bureau/Rural Mutual Insurance tent (lot #691) each day of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (August 25-27) in Dane County.

Farm Technology Days

Follow these easy steps

Save the Date March 4-5, 2016 Middleton, WI

Quality Builders for Quality Buildings.


Since 1958 Suburban . Commercial . Agricultural . Horse Barns & Arenas

University of Wisconsin–Extension


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Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 .

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WISCONSIN University of Wisconsin-Extension

programs improve the lives of Wisconsin families, businesses and communities by supporting Wisconsin’s $88.3 billion agricultural and horticultural industries; providing education on health and nutrition, parenting and financial security; helping youth develop the leadership, communications and critical thinking skills necessary for career success; and working with communities to enhance economic and business development, increase civic engagement and strategically plan for the future. UW-Extension integrates university research with community-based knowledge to explore new solutions and their practical application. Each year we make more than one million teaching contacts through meetings, workshops and personal consultations.



UW-Extension apps, videos and software bring campus-based research and expertise to farmers, consultants and agronomists on the farm and in the field to address time-sensitive issues. > The Wisconsin Corn N Rate Calculator app helps farmers select a nitrogen (N) rate that improves profitability when N and corn prices fluctuate. Available in iTunes and at the Google Store. > The Pricing High Moisture Shelled Corn app provides farmers with a simple way to help estimate the market value of HMSC based on three main variables – dry corn moisture, current corn moisture and price per bushel. Available at the Google Store.

“Unmanned aerial vehicles can increase efficiency by allowing farmers to scout more acres in a shorter amount of time.”

> Dairy herd management decision support tools help dairy farmers improve their economic performance along with environmental stewardship: > The Hay Pricing app helps farmers and landowners easily determine the price of hay, as well as negotiate the sale or purchase of standing hay. Available at the Google Store. > Nutrient Pest Management program videos provide farmers, consultants and agronomists with tools for pest management decisions:

Photo: Sevie Kenyon, UW-Madison, CALS

During the growing season, scouting crops to identify issues that might impact crop growth or yield can be time-consuming and costly. Research conducted by Brian Luck, UW-Extension precision agriculture specialist at UW-Madison, will help farmers use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) effectively to gather the data they need to produce healthier crops.




Photo: Sevie Kenyon, UW-Madison, CALS

Improving dairy reproductive performance and profitability requires farmers and their advisors who manage animal health, nutrition, housing and breeding to work as a team. Jennifer Blazek, UW-Extension Dane County dairy and livestock educator, worked with campus-based researchers through the Repro Money program to help dairy farmers identify and remove barriers to reproductive success. Repro Money workshops reached more than 850 dairy farmers, agricultural service providers and educational partners. Of the first 13 farms that finished the program, 85% achieved their goals, including increasing 21-day pregnancy and conception rates, improving treatments and the timing of artificial insemination relative to ovulation – yielding an estimated $55 economic gain per cow per year with a total economic gain of $177,185 per year for the participating farms.

Modern Parenting On the farm or in the city, digital technology is becoming a more important part of daily life. UW-Extension programs focus on ways that parents can use technology to enhance their own parenting skills and strengthen family r e l a t i o n s h i p s . F i n d o u t m o r e o n t h e e Pa r e n t i n g ® w e b s i t e a t :

Photo: Patrick Goggin

People understand the importance of lakeshore habitat to lake health and water quality. In fact, loss of lakeshore habitat is the number one stressor of Wisconsin’s lakes. That’s why UW-Extension and the state


Creating a robust economy by supporting local food sources

Photo: Sevie Kenyon, UW-Madison, CALS

Department of Natural Resources have piloted a new program to train public and private-sector professionals how to develop and install effective lakeshore habitat restoration projects.

Nav Ghimire, UW-Extension Green Lake County agriculture agent, and other UW-Extension agents and specialists provide potato and vegetable production education and technical assistance to farmers, including Amish farm families, in Green Lake and surrounding counties. Some of these farmers sell their produce at the Tri-County Produce Auction, one of the largest fresh market vegetable sales outlets in Wisconsin. A recent study found that Amish families using Extension education to grow better crops produced 10% more vegetables per acre, leading to an average increase in grower’s annual net income of $468 per acre.

better health through better nutrition A healthy diet and physical activity contribute to good health. For families on a budget, local farmers’ markets offer an affordable way to access fresh, local produce that can be the foundation of a healthier diet. In 2014, Family Living programs reached more than 120,000 people with nutrition education in schools and at community sites, including farmers’ markets.

Preparing Youth for the Future


Economic impact


Many people have their first connection to UW-Extension as youth in 4-H clubs. These clubs can be found across Wisconsin in both rural and urban communities. In addition to helping youth to develop the leadership, communications and critical thinking skills necessary for career success, Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development promotes agricultural literacy. Through National 4-H co-sponsored p ro g ra m s l i ke t h e 4 - H A g Innovators Experience and the

Commodity Carnival, youth prepare to solve the world’s emerging food security problems and learn hands-on about where food comes from. More than 18,000 Wisconsin 4-H youth participated in agriculture-related projects in 2014. Youth in agriculture and animal science projects learn the intricacies of bringing an animal to market, and they also learn how to teach others about food production and agriculture issues.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter Search for #BecauseofUWEX for more stories about UW-Extension improving the lives of Wisconsin families, businesses and communities. Connect to your county agent by visiting:

Five things everyone should know about ...

Gluten By Beth Olson



What is it?

Should you cut gluten from your diet even if you don’t have these conditions?

Gluten is a substance composed of two proteins—gliadin and glutenin—that are found in the endosperm (inner part of a grain) of wheat, rye, barley and foods made with those grains, meaning that gluten is widespread in a typical American diet.


Is it harmful?

People who suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive disorder, are unable to tolerate gluten. Even a small amount of it (50 milligrams) can trigger an immune response that damages the small intestine, preventing absorption of vital nutrients and potentially leading to other problems such as osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage and seizures.


Probably not. Restriction of wheat in the diet often results in a decrease in the intake of fiber at a time when most Americans consume significantly less than the recommended amount. Low- fiber diets are associated with increased risk of several acute gastrointestinal diseases (examples: constipation, diverticulosis) and chronic diseases such as heart disease and colon cancer. If not done carefully, gluten-free diets also tend to be low in a number of vitamins and minerals.

How widespread is celiac disease?

An estimated 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease; as many as 83 percent of those suffering from it remain undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed with other conditions. Another 18 million (about 6 percent of the population) do not have celiac disease but suffer from gluten sensitivity. They report such symptoms as diarrhea, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain—which also are symptoms of celiac disease—but do not experience the same intestinal damage. For those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, a gluten-free diet is beneficial.

June | july 2015


Don’t diagnose yourself.

The broad range of symptoms associated with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity may be due to other causes; self-diagnosis and treatment of perceived gluten intolerance may delay someone from seeking more appropriate medical care. The only way to know for certain if you have celiac disease is from a blood test for the presence of specific antibodies followed by a biopsy of the small intestine. If you are experiencing the symptoms described above, please seek medical care. Olson is a professor of nutritional sciences. Her principal research areas concern breastfeeding support and improving infant feeding practices in low-income families. Reprinted with permission from UW-Madison College

of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Grow magazine



Falls, Apr il 21

Ag Day

ison, W-Mad


UW-Plattevil 40

Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s three collegiate chapters held ‘Ag Day on Campus’ events this spring to inform their fellow coeds about modern agriculture. Students at University of Wisconsin campuses in Madison, Platteville and River Falls formed collegiate Farm Bureaus to build their social network, develop leadership skills and increase knowledge of agricultural issues and policies. The collegiate chapters are one way Farm Bureau is cultivating a new generation of rural and agricultural leaders.

2 April 2

le, April 29

Ag in the classroom

Barron Student Wins Ag in the Classroom Essay Contest B ryce Henning, a fifth grade student from Barron, 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, “Why are bees important to Wisconsin agriculture?” Bryce is the son of Patrick and Amanda Henning and Stephanie Henning. Lindsey Bell is his fifth grade teacher at Riverview Middle School. A total of 2,853 Wisconsin students wrote essays for the competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, FrontierServco FS and We Energies. 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: •M  atthew Wanta, Rockfield Elementary School, Germantown, Washington County (District 1) • Hayden Wrolstad, Northside Intermediate School, Milton, Rock County (District 2) • Madilynn Mundt, Kickapoo Elementary School, Viola, Vernon County (District 3) • Emma Paris, LaGrange Elementary School, Tomah, Monroe County (District 4) • Alexis Ullenberg, St. Mary Springs Academy, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County (District 5) • Ruby Jesion, Christ Child Academy, Sheboygan, Sheboygan County (District 6) • Molly Haines, St. Anthony School, Oconto Falls, Oconto County (District 7) • Sam Nitzke, South Mountain Elementary School, Wausau, Marathon County (District 8) •B  ryce Henning, Riverview Middle School, Barron, Barron County (District 9) June | july 2015

Bryce proudly held his award with his teacher, Lindsey Bell (left) and Barron County Farm Bureau President and Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Karyn Schuaf.

The Winning Essay:

Why are bees important to Wisconsin agriculture? By Bryce Henning, Riverview Middle School

There are more 25,000 kinds of bees in the world but there is one kind that really stands out. It is called the honeybee and it is important to Wisconsin’s agriculture because of the honey it produces as well as the job it does pollinating plants. The honeybee produces honey which supports Wisconsin’s agriculture and economy. In 2012, the state’s honey crop was valued at nearly 9 million dollars. Who would think those little bees could create something worth so much? They are also responsible for more than just creating honey because their beeswax is often used to create candles and other products. To create honey and beeswax, the bee has to fly from flower to flower collecting pollen and this process is crucial to the flowers. The spreading of pollen, called pollination, is needed for plants to create the food we eat. If we had not honeybees there would be fewer beautiful flowers. Crops such as apples, cranberries, and cherries would also suffer. The cranberry industry alone employs 7,000 people in the state of Wisconsin. Without bees, many people would be without jobs. It is also estimated that nearly one-third of the food we eat is created by the work the bees do. So the next time you see a little honey bee, think about how it impacts the agriculture in the state of Wisconsin. This amazing insect is important in creating jobs, honey, and pollinating many of our crops.


Make Sure You Dial 811 Before You Dig W

ant to avoid spending a day in the dark? Or being without heat for your home? What about not being able to connect to the internet, email or social media? Preventing these issues may be as simple as 8-1-1. Excavations can damage the underground utilities we all rely on every day. Avoid excavation related utility damages by calling 811 from anywhere in the country. Any type of digging requires a call to 811 a few days prior to your digging project whether it is a large or small project. Your call to 811 will be routed to your local One Call center. The center’s customer service representative will take down vital information about your project such as where you're planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing. Then they will notify the local underground utility operators to come mark their facilities. Within a few days a locate representative will have marked the approximate location of the underground lines, pipes and cables so you'll know what's below and you will be able to dig safely. The call and the service are FREE! Besides normal farming operations, farmers and ranchers are not exempt in making notifications to the One Call center while conducting a variety of farm related excavations. Farmers and their contractors are required to call 811 prior to digging projects, examples include: installing drain tile, building terraces, chisel plowing, sub-soiling, deep ripping, building waterways, drilling wells, building holding ponds and installing fence posts to name a few. In fact, several states have laws that require notifying the One Call center whenever the digging project goes deeper than a specified number of inches. Be sure you know the requirements of your state law. Okay‌ so now you have called 811 before digging, by now locate representatives, possibly from multiple companies, have been to your dig site to mark the approximate location of the underground utility lines. Check the area before proceeding with your project. If an underground utility operator has not responded or if underground facilities are clearly present and not marked, call your state One Call center again to have the area marked properly. When digging, make sure to always carefully hand dig around the marks. Some utility lines may be buried at a shallow depth and even a misplaced shovel thrust can bring you right back to square one - facing potentially dangerous and/or costly consequences. For those bigger projects around large pipelines, make sure you have a pipeline representative present while you dig. Don't forget that erosion, land movement, root structure growth or other factors may affect the amount of dirt surrounding the underground utility. So remember to call each time you are planning a digging job. Safe digging is no accident. Now that you've made the smart call to 811 and protected yourself, your family and community, make sure to spread the word about 811.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Your Foundation Makes a Difference T

he agricultural community has always seen the importance of growing its future. In 1988 the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation was formed to support agriculture education and leadership development programs. Today, the mission remains the same, however, the Foundation now funds the Ag in the Classroom program, Young Farmer and Agriculturist, Women’s Program, Farm Bureau Leadership Institute and the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls. Aside from contributions from generous supporters, the Foundation has traditionally relied on two annual fundraisers: the Wisconsin Ag Open golf outing and a silent auction at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting. In addition, in early 2015, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation implemented a $5 voluntary contribution line-item on your dues renewal statement or Rural Mutual Insurance bill. We hope you’ll gladly see this as an investment in agriculture’s future. Moving forward, we want young students to know that farmers grow their food. We want college students from all backgrounds to see agriculture’s opportunities. We need to help grow the next crop of agricultural leaders and help Farm Bureau members find their voice. The Foundation is our vehicle to make these things happen.

Thank you for your contribution and your commitment to Farm Bureau. June | july 2015

Your Contribution Matters


Students reached through Ag in the Classroom in 2014.

Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom


Grant money awarded for agriculture literacy projects


Young Farmer and Agriculturist chairs in all county Farm Bureaus leading a group of individuals 18-35


Collegiate Farm Bureau members


Institute Graduates

The Foundation is our vehicle to make these things happen.





Hi, my name is Maddie! I love cranberries and fresh squeaky cheese curds. I’m a big fan of tailgating!


he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation and Steel Cow of Waukon, Iowa, have partnered to create "Maddie", a project to benefit the WFB Foundation and its Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) program. "We are so excited to partner with Steel Cow to support the WFB Foundation," said Andrea Brossard, WFBF State YFA Chair. "Maddie is a beautiful cow and a great representation of Wisconsin agriculture." Kicking-off June Dairy Month, various Maddie products, all of which are made in the USA by Steel Cow, are available for purchase through July 10. A portion of each product will go to benefit the WFB Foundation and the YFA program (ages 18-35). The YFA program offers opportunities for leadership, skill development and the chance for members to meet and network with their peers. To order your very own Maddie, complete the order form on the right and return with payment to the address listed at the bottom. Order forms also can be found at

“Maddie” 2015 Artist Valerie Miller. Copyright 2015 Steel Cow, LLC. All Rights Reserved

for Farming’s Future (WFB Foundation)

Thank you

A voluntary $5 contribution now appears on your dues notice. These funds support education and leadership development programs.


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Thank You to the Following WFB Foundation Donors: (Donations were made between March 6 and April 22, 2015.)

• Carl Casper in memory of Elmer Hanson • St. Croix County Farm Bureau in memory of Carl Oehlke • David Kruschke in memory of Elmer Hanson • Geri Wolfe in memory of Elmer Hanson • Dunn County Farm Bureau in memory of Elmer Hanson • Washington County Farm Bureau in memory of Katie Oestereich • Carl Casper in memory of Beverly Ausman • Dunn County Farm Bureau in memory of Beverly Ausman

• Geri Wolfe in memory of Beverly Ausman • David Kruschke in memory of Janet Bartholomew • David Kruschke in memory of Beverly Ausman • Waukesha County Farm Bureau in memory of Janet Bartholomew • St. Croix County Farm Bureau in memory of Lois Bradley • David Kruschke in memory of Nona Sullwold • David Kruschke in memory of Wilfred Kuhl • Roden Barnyard Adventures, LLC • Tracy Pape

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Event Code: 881001

10 Essential Tips for Protecting Your Identity While On Vacation Before you turn out the lights, lock the door, and depart for your vacation, be sure to take some basic steps to safeguard your identity. While you’re relaxing with friends and family, you can bet that identity thieves will be hard at work. Travelers are vulnerable because they’re eating out, shopping, and staying in hotels. Those are precisely the locations where hackers go to steal valuable consumer data by exploiting payment system vulnerabilities. According to Trustwave Global Security, about 64 percent of data breaches in 2013 targeted the food and beverage, retail, and hospitality industries.

“Remember that your hotel is not your castle,” said Adam Levin, chairman and co-founder of IDT911. “Many people you don’t know have access to your room.” Follow this helpful advice from our experts: BEFORE YOU LEAVE 1. Tell your banks and credit card companies about your travel plans. Avoid the hassle of a frozen account. Instruct them to contact your cell phone number if they notice suspicious activity. 2. Secure your mail. Hold your mail with the post office or have a friend pick it up daily. 3. Weed out your wallet. Outsmart pickpockets and leave behind your checkbook, Social Security card and other non-essentials. 4. Make digital copies of important travel documents. This allows for easier replacement if they are stolen or missing.

WHILE YOU’RE AWAY 5. Choose ATMs wisely. Withdraw cash only at major institutions after inspecting them for tampering. Use a PIN-based ATM card instead of a debit card. 6. Use secure Internet connections. Don’t access personal or financial information on public computers. 7. Use a hotel safe. Never leave out personal information, a laptop, or a smartphone in your hotel room or rental car. 8. Avoid oversharing. Never post specific vacation plans or pictures on social networking sites. It’s an open invitation to potential thieves. WHEN YOU RETURN 9. Check accounts regularly. Frequently check credit and bank account activity on a secure computer or by phone while you’re away and when you return. 10. Shred boarding passes, itineraries and other paperwork that contains valuable information. Never throw these documents away. If you suspect you're a victim of identity theft or wish to proactively manage your identity, call Rural Mutual Insurance Company at 877219-9550 for assistance. For news on the latest privacy and security trends and educational resources to help you better protect your identity, visit

Rural Mutual Insurance Company


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

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.


©2014 Growmark, Inc. a14175B

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here To Keep Wisconsin Strong. We value what’s important in life. That’s why we have been protecting families, farms and businesses exclusively in Wisconsin for over 80 years. To find a Rural Mutual Insurance agent, call us at 877-219-9550 or go to Life insurance and annuity products offered through Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.

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June | July 2015 Volume 21 Issue 3

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