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june | july 2016 • vol. 22 no. 3 |

UW-Extension Working For You Member Benefits That Save Cash Meet Grant County’s Peter and Christina Winch

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


©2014 GROWMARK, Inc. A14173C

contents vol. 22 no. 3


Barn Quilts Wisconsin’s patchwork of barn quilts shows off heritage.




Ag Day on Campus Ag Day on Campus events held in Madison, Platteville and River Falls this spring.

Betting on ‘Belts’ Meet Grant County leaders Peter and Christina Winch.


Farmers to Follow Six dairy farm Facebook pages worth following.



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10 stay connected

34 WIFarmBureau



Membership Q & A Got questions? We have answers.

YFA Program Young Farmer and Agriculturist program is growing the next crop of leaders.

Opinion section Columns by Holte, Walmsley, Marshall and Holterman.

Weight Loss Read about Steve Boe’s inspiring weight loss journey.

UW-Extension Supporting, empowering and engaging the people of Wisconsin.

Farm Bureau Flavor Summer grilling recipes from the Wisconsin Beef Council.

Rural Mutual Protect yourself from distracted driving, identity theft, unexpected household expenses and more.

Leadership Institute Apply by August 15 for your chance to participate. On the cover: Ken and Cheri Borzick’s barn quilt in Marquette County. Photo by Amy Eckelberg.

June | July 2016


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Editor’s Note


don’t look at magazines the same way as most people do. I find myself admiring (or critiquing) their choices of content, layouts and fonts. I’ve always been a hoarder of paper and magazines are no different. I rip out pages and squirrel them away in a folder of inspiration for future editions of the Rural Route. I’ve noticed that magazines geared toward the young, hip, athletic or wealthy can make the rest of us feel like underachievers. On a recent day off, as I leisurely flipped through such magazines, I started to wonder how many of their readers actually cook the gourmet recipes shared, travel to the exotic places profiled or wear the designer clothes featured? Perhaps there was a time I aspired to be part of their target demographic, but those days are past. Let’s be honest… • I’m never going to drive a motorcycle across Cuba, surf in Hawaii or go rock climbing in Peru.

• I’ll be fine with clothes from the outlet mall instead of the runways of Paris. • I love to eat as much as the next guy, but I will never have a ‘coast-to-coast culinary bucket list.’ Speaking of my love for food, I have to admit, I am a little intrigued by the ‘weird way Jimmy Kimmel lost weight.’ Regardless, you won’t find these topics in the magazine you are reading. This annual Rural Route issue (which is mailed to voting and associate members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau) offers news that all Wisconsinites can use. There is a four-page spread about the good work accomplished by the UW-Extension. Our friends at Rural Mutual Insurance provided practical tips on things like identity theft, distracted driving and protecting items around the house. You know, things that impact all of us. Not just people who spend $300 on a pair of jeans and travel the country looking for the best barbecue joints. You don’t have to be part of high society’s art scene to appreciate the quilt designs that adorn barns across our state (see page 6). As for what else you will find in this issue, aside from Peter and Christina Winch’s exotic taste in dairy cattle, you’ll find them to be a nice, normal farm family. There you have it, 48 pages of what brings us together as Farm Bureau members, plain and simple. 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 (Promotion and Education Committee Chair) Derek Orth, Stitzer (YFA Committee Chair) Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route (ISSN 39940) (USPS 1082-1368), the official publication of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, is published six times per year in February/March, April/May, June/July, August/ September, October/November and December/ January. Subscription of $5 is included in Farm Bureau dues. Periodical postage is paid at Madison, Wisconsin. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. For advertising rates and information: Wisconsin accounts contact Slack Attack at 608.222.7630 or National accounts and co-op ads contact Casey McNeal at 800.798.2691 ext. 334 or For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Wisconsin’s Heritage Stitched Together

By Amy Eckelberg


ou may have seen them while driving Wisconsin’s rural roads. Some are hidden in backroad nooks, while some are seen clearly from the highway. Much like Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural economy, Wisconsin’s barn quilts paint many different colors along the landscape. In recent years, Wisconsin has seen the barn quilt initiative become popular for not just rural landowners, but also tourists. With a mission to beautify the landscape and celebrate the history and heritage of agriculture, barn quilts can be found blanketing communities all around Wisconsin. Each one symbolizes something different and instantly brings perspective to the already stunning countryside. The quilt blocks are not always on barns but can also be found on other historic places such as fairgrounds. While many barn quilt programs are established through each county, the quilts vary in size and material. When the quilt block destinations start accumulating in a county a formal trail is formed. Whether you have some down time in your car, or enjoy spending the day biking, seeking out these iconic art pieces has become a favorable hobby. A quilt trail typically will include a map of the locations so travelers can locate the quilts easily. It’s easy to see why many communities greatly support and promote these quilt blocks. Not only does it bring the community together on a positive project but it also brings visitors to rural areas in Wisconsin while providing insight into the local history. Whether it’s a bus tour or a bike ride, these events help boost the local economy. Shawano County calls itself the ‘Barn Quilt Capitol’ for good reasons. With 314 quilts in just that county, it’s easy to cross paths with one. Jim Leuenberger, coordinator of the barn quilt project in Shawano County, shared that there are currently five more eight by eight foot squares just waiting to be hung and another nine on the waiting list to be worked on. It’s an ongoing initiative that involves many volunteers. Shawano County Farm Bureau members Richard and JudyAnn


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Farm Bureau members Gary and Jennifer Hoffman have one of the more than 300 barn quilts in Shawano County on their barn. The family chose the quilt because of the apple trees that line the front yards of both farmsteads the family owns.

Pahlow have a quilt block named ‘LeMoyne Star’ that was sponsored by the Rotary Club displayed on their barn in Shawano. “We were asked by Jim to have (the barn quilt block) placed on our barn,” Judy Pahlow said. “We were happy to have it put on our place as we had previously talked about having one anyway.” Their profile on the Shawano County barn quilt website (see page 8) says the Pahlows live on the farm that was homesteaded by Richard’s great grandfather in 1865. Richard purchased the farm from his father, in 1970. Their quilt piece was the fifteenth in Shawano County and was hung on Richard's birthday, March 25, 2011, to commemorate their farm’s heritage. While the Pahlows were asked to host a barn quilt on their property, others volunteer or request them. Some more established county programs even have an application process. Marquette County Farm Bureau members Ken and Cheri

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Green County has a well-established barn quilt program. The Green County Barn Quilt Committee works closely with the barn owner and volunteers which many times include 4-H and FFA members.

Borzick said it was their daughter’s idea to have their barn sewn with a quilt piece. More than 30 barn quilt blocks can be found throughout Marquette County including the Borzick’s. “Our daughter works in Extension, which is who hosts the project in our county, so she volunteered us,” Ken said with a chuckle. Cheri added, “It was a family effort though to get it done and on the barn. We chose the design, colors and the name.” All the painting for their quilt piece, titled ‘Country Farm’ was done by family members as a winter project throughout 2009 and 2010.

“The hard part was getting it up there,” said Ken. Stories. That is truly what these quilt blocks do, is tell stories. While the family history behind the quilt blocks is fascinating, the story of how it was created is sometimes just as good. Maybe you don’t have a barn, but like to channel your inner Van Gogh. Maybe you do have a barn, but would rather not paint. Regardless of your skills you can be involved in the barn quilt initiative. What a fantastic way to showcase Wisconsin’s rural history and celebrate our uniqueness.

June | July 2016

(More information on page 8)


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Check out these resources for more information about Wisconsin’s barn quilts and how to get involved: Wisconsin Barn Quilt Trails by County: Marquette County Barn Quilts and Murals: Shawano County Barn Quilts:

Oconto County Barn Quilts: Green County Barn Quilts: Walworth County Barn Quilts: barn-quilts Kewaunee County Area Barn Quilts Tour:


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Falls, Apr il 19

Ag Day

ison, W-Mad


Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s three collegiate chapters held ‘Ag Day on Campus’ events this spring to inform their fellow classmates 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.

0 April 2


le, April 21

June | July 2016


Placing Their Bets on ‘Belts’

Winches Favor Unique Dairy Breed

By Casey Langan


lack (or sometimes red) with a white belt around their middle. It was these unique markings that led circus showman P.T. Barnum to be among the first to bring Dutch Belted cattle to the U.S. from the Netherlands in 1840. Peter Winch found them about 150 years later when his parents sought to begin rotationally grazing their dairy herd. Smaller in stature than a Holstein, Dutch Belted are known as efficient grazers with a good disposition. The Winches bred all of their cows to Dutch Belted bulls for the next decade. Today, more than half of the herd, which also is made up of Holstein and Milking Shorthorn cattle, still carries Dutch Belted genetics. “It’s a somewhat dominant trait,” Winch said when describing the belted markings that often draws the attention of photographers traveling along nearby U.S. Highway 18 in Grant County. Not just the breed of cattle, but the timing of their breeding, is another way Peter and his wife, Christina, do things different

from the norm. Their herd of 200 cows give birth to calves in the spring and fall. The Winches say its better on the cows, calves and their owners to avoid calving during the hottest and coldest months of the year. While this seasonal calving schedule means that there are days when four or more calves arrive, it allows the calves to be raised in groups. In 2014, an airy calf barn was built to accommodate this approach. It features two large pens that each comfortably hold 25 calves. A smaller third pen is for calves that are less than two weeks of age. The barn also provides cover to hutches that house newborn calves that are fed with bottles for the first few days. At the center of the calf barn is an office that contains automatic calf feeders. Letting technology feed and track the nutritional intake of each calf is better for everyone involved. Instead of being tied to feeding calves twice per day, they can spend time cleaning barns and focusing on the health of the entire herd. The computer in the barn office is connected to

“I kinda like them because they’re different,” Peter Winch said of the Dutch Belted cattle in his dairy herd.


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Peter and Christina with Matthew, 9; Wesley, 10; and Randy, 13. Right now their sons have career aspirations of being an agricultural engineer, a crop duster and a farmer. The boys help with calf and milking chores, show cattle at the Grant County Fair and create farm scene dioramas. In addition to Farm Bureau, the Winches are involved in the Fennimore FFA Alumni and the Plum Valley Boosters 4-H Club.

video cameras monitoring the calf and maternity pens. The footage also is available on the iPad in the couple’s home. “Our farm is more automated than we are personally,” joked Peter and Christina, neither of whom own a smartphone. They are forward-thinking when it comes to the farm’s future. With their eldest son now a teenager, and two more sons close behind, the calf barn was built to easily accommodate an expansion of pen space someday. As for the farm’s past, Peter’s link goes back more than 140 years to when his mother’s greatgreat uncle, William Marsden, owned it. A couple of country doctors are part of his lineage. Both of his parents grew up in Madison, but his father worked on an uncle’s farm in Rock County. When another uncle was preparing to sell the farm near Fennimore in the 1960s, Peter’s parents, who were helping clean, decided to start farming. Peter graduated from Fennimore High School in 1991. He helped his parents while earning degrees in agribusiness and dairy herd management at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College where he later taught on a substitute basis. He also was involved in a small equipment and fencing business. Peter started farming full-time with his mother after his father died unexpectedly in the fall of 2001. That same year he married Christina (Silberhorn), who grew up on a 50-acre fresh market fruit and vegetable farm, in aptly named Garden Prairie, Illinois. Much of her youth was

The Winches farm in southwest Wisconsin is 450 acres of alfalfa, corn and pasture. Their cattle are milked twice daily in a ‘swing-12’ milking parlor. The farm has two full-time employees. Above: A bird’s eye view of Christina observing calves. Below: The farm has 100 acres of pasture where the herd of Dutch Belted and Holstein cows graze and relax.

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spent selling produce from the back of a truck in Chicago and Rockford. Her mother and sister continue the business today. Christina and Peter met through friends while she attended Illinois State University in Bloomington. Upon graduation she was open to taking a job in southern Wisconsin. As fate would have it, a job for an agricultural instructor was available at Fennimore High School. “I was getting the message,” she said with a smile. She taught at Fennimore until deciding to be a stay-at-home mom to their three sons. Low milk prices in 2009 prompted Christina to revive her career. Today, she teaches agricultural courses at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. Last year, Peter was elected president of the Grant County Farm Bureau, after serving more than five years as secretary and treasurer. Grant County’s young board members and strong Young Farmer and Agriculturist committee has him encouraged about its future. Peter credits a neighbor, George Porter, who he bought a farm from for asking him to become a Farm Bureau member. Christina grew up in a Farm Bureau family and was an intern with the Illinois Farm Bureau during college and insisted that they get involved at the local level after they were married.

Hosted by Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, WI

July 19-21, 2016 9am - 4pm Daily • More than 600 Exhibitors • New Innovation Square • Field Demonstrations

The Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is the largest agricultural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation. The threeday outdoor event showcases the latest improvements in production agriculture, including many practical applications of recent research findings and technological developments.



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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Farmers to Follow on Facebook By Amy Eckelberg


une is known nationally as Dairy Month. Why not celebrate by following these six Wisconsin dairy farmers on Facebook to learn more about what goes into making your favorite dairy products? ‘Like’ these farming pages to ask them questions about their products, methods and professions.


Modern-Day Farm Chick – Annaliese Wegner keeps it classy and sassy on her Facebook page ‘Modern-Day Farm Chick.’ This dairy farmer from Trempealeau County keeps her followers involved in the farm life by sharing photos and blog posts. She posts about farm life, animal care and more to give a glimpse into the world of farming.


Dairy Carrie – Carrie Mess tells it like it is on her farm in Jefferson County. Not only does she share photos, videos and blog posts but she hosts live-video streams on the ‘Dairy Carrie’ page. With the help of her husband and family, she shares stories from her dairy farm on numerous topics including crops, milk and animal care.


LaClare Farms – Did you know that Wisconsin has more milk goats than any other state? On the ‘LaClare Farms’ Facebook page you’ll find photos of the delicious food made with goat milk and cheese. You’ll learn more about special tours and events that take place on this farm, creamery and restaurant in Calumet County. This page gives you a look inside the world of goat farming.


Roden Echo Valley, LLC – This farming family from West Bend shares daily happenings on their Facebook page, ‘Roden Echo Valley, LLC.’ Follow along for chores whether it’s behind the steering wheel of a tractor or bottle feeding a calf. Not only do they share friendly-farm animal faces, but also lots of informational tidbits about milk production.


Douglas Behnke Farms – Located in Waupaca County, you will love the photos shared on the ‘Douglas Behnke Farms’ Facebook page. Colorful sunsets, calves, cows and crops are just some of the photos you will see. This page keeps you in the loop on what is happening on the dairy no matter the time of year.


Rosy-Lane Holsteins LLC – Followers of the ‘Rosy-Lane Holsteins LLC’ Facebook page see the up-close and insand-outs of this 825-cow dairy near Watertown. This farm page highlights the many visitors they host (from international guests to kindergartners). You’ll quickly learn the importance placed on animal and environmental care at this farm. June | July 2016


Farm Bureau Membership

Questions and Answers 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 older 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. 14

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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.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Bureau Membership Doesn’t Cost... ...It Pays 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.



General Motors - Receive a $500 discount on qualified 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models (excludes Corvette) they purchase or lease. This exclusive Farm Bureau member benefit is offered for vehicles purchased or leased through Farm Bureau’s Bonus Cash program at participating GM dealerships. The Bonus Cash program is available with most other offers, it excludes discounted pricing (employee, dealership employee and supplier pricing). To qualify for $500 Bonus Cash, individuals must be a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member for at least 30 days prior to the date of delivery of the vehicle selected and the purchaser’s driver’s license must match the address on record for their Farm Bureau membership. Members must present their Farm Bureau Bonus Cash Certificate to the dealer to take advantage of the Bonus Cash program. Print your Bonus Cash certificate at The $500 Bonus Cash program can be used more than once. A separate certificate is needed for each vehicle purchased or leased. Call 800.261.3276 for questions on eligibility guidelines. Contact dealership for full details.

AgriVisor - Wisconsin Farm Bureau members can receive a 35% discount on daily grain, livestock and feed input marketing advice, as well as current market quotes and updates. Members go to and click on E-Visor to sign up or call 800.676.5799 to learn more. The Country Today - The Country Today will donate $5 to the Ag in the Classroom Program with every new subscription or renewal purchased by a Farm Bureau member. Please call 715.830.5885 during regular business hours and let The Country Today customer service representative know you are a Farm Bureau member.



Rural Mutual Insurance Company - Rural Mutual Insurance Company offers a full line of insurance products sold exclusively in Wisconsin, including home, auto, farm, business and financial products. As a Wisconsin-based company, Rural prides itself with knowing premiums that are paid here, stay here to keep Wisconsin strong. With Rural Mutual you get personalized service from people in more than 100 local offices statewide who live and work in your community and who understand your needs. To find a Rural Mutual Insurance Company agent, visit or call 877.219.9550. You can also follow them on Facebook at 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

AAA - Farm Bureau members save up to 20% on AAA membership and the enrollment fee to join AAA is waived. Farm Bureau members who already belong to AAA can receive the discount on their next renewal. In both instances, 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 or call Avis at 800.331.1212. Choice Hotels International, Inc. - Members save an average of 20% off published rates at almost 5,000 Choice Hotels worldwide! Call 800.258.2847 or go to and use Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation ID #00209870 to book in advance. Wyndham Hotel Group - Members save 20% off the best available rate on their overnight hotel accommodations at more than 5,000 participating locations throughout North America. Advance reservations are required. Blackout dates may apply. Discounts cannot be used with other programs. Call: 877.670.7088 and choose the name of the hotel you want and be sure to mention Farm Bureau ID # 8000004288. You also can visit

On the web

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


AAA Save up to 20% on AAA membership and the enrollment fee to join AAA is waived. 877.731.3315; Group code: WI07

AVIS Car Rental Discount Program Save 5%-25% A  vis Worldwide Discount number: A298849. To Rent: A or 800.331.1212

Wyndham Hotel Group Save 20% off the best available rate at more than 5,000 participating locations. Ramada® Days Inn® Super 8® Baymont Inn & Suites® Microtel® Wingate® Hawthorn® Howard Johnson® Travelodge® Knights Inn® Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® Wyndham Grand® Wyndham Garden®

Choice Hotels International, Inc. Save an average of 20% at participating Choice Brand Hotels. A  scend Hotel Collection® Cambria® Comfort Inn® Comfort Suites® Sleep Inn® Quality® Clarion® MainStay Suites® Suburban® EconoLodge® Rodeway Inn®

Farm Bureau ID#: 8000004288 For reservations: 877.670.7088.

WFBF member ID#: 00209870 Advance reservations required 8 00.258.2847 or; select ‘special rate/CORPID


General Motors Receive a $500 discount on qualifying Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles. Individuals must be members for at least 30 days. Print your certificate at


ScriptSave® Prescription savings card 800.700.3957; Group number: 703A Life Line Screening Vascular screening 877.591.7159


AgriVisor 35% discount on marketing advice 800.676.5799. The Country Today $5 donation to the Ag in the Classroom program per subscription 715.830.5885

Member Benefits 2016 Wallet Guide Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 5550 Madison, WI 53705 800.261.FARM


Supplies & Products

AgriPlan Medical Reimbursement Program - Wisconsin Farm Bureau has teamed up with TASC (Total Administrative Services Corporation) to bring you AgriPlanNOW! AgriPlanNOW is based on Section 105 of the IRS code and can allow farmers and other self-employed individuals to deduct 100% of their family’s medical expenses through their farm or business. AgriPlanNOW clients save an average of $5,000 a year on their medical expenses. Deductible expenses include all health and qualified long-term care insurance premiums, as well as out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision costs. In addition, Farm Bureau members will receive a 15% discount off the cost of AgriPlanNOW! Be sure to mention discount code WIFA. To learn more about AgriPlanNOW and/or sign up, go to or call one of TASC’s friendly AgriPlanNOW specialists at 888.595.2261.

Farm Bureau Bank - Take advantage of Farm Bureau Bank’s FDICinsured checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans. Call 800.492.3276 or go to

Health ScriptSave® - ScriptSave® is a prescription savings card. Your entire household can use the card for instant savings that average more than 44% with potential savings up to 75% on brand name and generic medications. The card also offers discounts on diabetic supplies, hearing care and active living supplies. You can signup by calling ScriptSave directly at 800.700.3957. Mention Group #703 to identify yourself as a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member. You can also sign up online at Login using Group #703. This is a discount only, it is not an insurance policy and does not provide insurance coverage. Discounts are available exclusively through participating pharmacies. Life Line Screening - The Wisconsin Farm Bureau has partnered with Life Line Screening to offer their state-of-the-art vascular screenings to all members at a discounted price. These ultrasound screenings help detect blockages that can lead to stroke, aortic aneurysms and other artery diseases. Farm Bureau members also get a free osteoporosis risk assessment. For more information, call 877.591.7159 or go to

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 is stackable, meaning it can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. A current Farm Bureau membership verification certificate must be presented to the Case IH dealer in advance of product delivery to receive the incentive discount. Go to to see the eligible models and print your certificate. Caterpillar - Members qualify for a variety of discounts on new purchases. Members must provide a valid member verification certificate to the Caterpillar dealer at the time of quote to receive the discount. Visit to print your certificate and for details on models and discounts. The discount can be combined with any current retail discounts, promotions, rebates or offers available through Caterpillar or its dealers with the exception of other membership purchase incentives (such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association discount). Grainger Industrial Supply - Save at least 10% on all Grainger catalog items, and shipping is free for orders placed online at For a free catalog call 608.221.3861. When ordering use the Farm Bureau account #855922019 and a credit card. Grainger now has a toll free order number for Farm Bureau members only: 877.202.2594. Contact your Grainger account manager if you have questions or need assistance. Insight FS Patronage - Farm Bureau members who are agricultural producers and patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage when patronage is paid. FS and GROWMARK have valued their relationship with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation going back to the days when Farm Bureau first helped form these cooperatives.

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 more than $50 and terrific copy and print pricing. You can print off a free discount card online and have it laminated for free at your local Office Depot store. You can also use your card when ordering online. To learn more about this member benefit, visit

Polaris - 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. Individuals must be members for at least 30 days to qualify. Visit to print your certificate and for details on models and discounts.

Protection $500 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. Contact your county Farm Bureau office to request a sign or auto sticker and a complete list of requirements.

Accidental Death Policy - Members receive $1,500 in accidental death insurance for themselves and their spouse, and $500 for minor children. The policy increases in value $200 for each consecutive year of membership up to $3,500. The policy covers any accident, except those on a public road or highway occurring or arising out of occupancy or use of a vehicle required to be licensed under state laws. *WFBF member benefits may be changed or discontinued at anytime without notice.*


Rural Mutual Insurance Company Offering a full line of insurance and financial products for your personal, farm and business needs. Farm Bureau Financial Services Multi-state insurance and investment organization serving individuals and families. Contact your local Rural Insurance agent or visit


AgriPlan Medical Reimbursement Program Farmers and other self-employed individuals deduct 100% of their family’s medical expenses through their farm or business. or 888.595.2261 Farm Bureau Bank FDIC insured checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans.

Supplies & Products

Caterpillar Save up to $2,000 on Cat agricultural construction equipment. Provide a valid Member Verification Certificate to the Cat dealer at the time of quote to receive the discount. - Polaris R  eceive a manufacturer’s incentive discount of $200-$300. Individuals must be members for at least 30 days. Print certificate: w  ww.fbadvantage. com/Deals/polaris

Insight FS Patronage P  atrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage dividends when patronage is paid. Office Depot S  ave up to 80% on Office Depot Preferred Products. Members get free next-day delivery with free shipping on orders more than $50 and terrific copy and print pricing. Visit

Case IH Incentive discount ($300 to $500) on qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers. View models and print your certificate: - Grainger Industrial Supply Receive at least a 10% discount on all Grainger catalog items. Free catalog: 608.221.3861 Farm Bureau account: #855922019

Protection Reward Protection Program Post a reward sign or sticker to earn a $500 reward for providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals for arson, theft or criminal damage to a member’s property. Accidental Death Policy Receive $1,500 - $3,500 in accidental death insurance for themselves and their spouse, and $500 for minors.

My Farm Bureau member number:

My county’s contact information:


How to Use Your General Motors $500 Discount Which GM vehicles are included in the discount program? This exclusive Farm Bureau member benefit is offered on most 2015 and 2016 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 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.

How do I obtain my certificate? You can go online to print your Bonus Cash Certificate at Printing is easy - just enter your six-digit 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.

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.

$500 Farm Bureau Private Offer *See Salesperson For Details


5,CPGUXKNNG 9JKVGYCVGT9+ June | July 2016


Wisconsin’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program:

Growing the Next Crop of Leaders What is YFA? The Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) program is for Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35. It provides members with an opportunity to hone their leadership skills while networking with their peers. Many of the young farmers and

agriculturists who have participated in the program have gone on to become active county, state and national Farm Bureau leaders, as well as respected leaders in their communities.

Why Should I Get Involved? County and District YFA Opportunities

Each county offers opportunities for young farmers and agriculturists to become involved. District meetings and social activities are held throughout the year to actively engage YFA members with social and networking events, personal and professional development opportunities along with advocacy training and leadership experience.

Examples include: S  ocial Outings, Bus Tours and Educational Workshops

YFA Conference

The YFA Conference is held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in December. This is an opportunity for YFA members from around the state to gather for social sharing and networking, personal growth, leadership development and increased knowledge of current and future agriculture issues through quality speakers and workshop presenters, and to celebrate the accomplishments of individual YFA contest winners and county YFA programs.

YFA Washington, D.C. Trip

Young farmers and agriculturists are chosen for this trip based on their participation in YFA contests, events and activities. This five-day trip to our nation’s capital introduces YFA members to the important role our national government has in establishing agricultural policy and regulations. Participants receive briefings at American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), USDA and a foreign embassy. They also tour the U.S. Capitol, memorials and monuments, meet with Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation and have a day for sightseeing. Each participant pays a fee, with the remaining costs picked up by Wisconsin Farm Bureau and their county Farm Bureau.

YFA Contests

• Discussion Meet • Achievement Award • Excellence in Agriculture To learn more visit:

Find out more on Facebook

Join Farm Bureau 18

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Want to support YFA?

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

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

June | July 2016

wausau | eau claire visit our blogs at



Diversity Makes Us Strong A Message from Jim Holte


t never fails to amaze me when I sit at a table with Farm Bureau members. I am reminded quickly that we are a diverse crowd. Depending on the day and the group we could be discussing road rules for corn planters, Wisconsin ginseng’s appeal overseas or the price of beef in the grocery store. Farm Bureau members are crop farmers, orchard owners, ag journalists and milk truck drivers. They are behind the wheels of tractors driving down the road. They own the winery or community supported agriculture (CSA) farm that you purchase product from. They also are the teachers, bankers, veterinarians, mechanics, processors, marketers, communicators, nutritionists


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and agronomists who have a hand in farming’s successes. In Wisconsin, we are blessed with a diverse agricultural economy, so there’s plenty of roles to fill. Large farms or small, organic or conventional, they all find their place in Farm Bureau and Wisconsin’s agricultural community. Diversity is Wisconsin agriculture’s most valuable commodity. It provides a smorgasbord of choices both in Wisconsin’s grocery stores and restaurants and in the export market abroad. Yet sometimes debates over food divide us in ways that I thought only politics and religion could. Some people forget that no matter the request, there’s a farmer somewhere to assist with that customer demand. It’s that type of diversity the makes America’s advanced food system the envy of the world. In Wisconsin, we are especially proud of our wide-array of farms. You might think America’s Dairyland is all about cheese, but we also lead in production of cranberries and snap beans. These diverse items are just part of a long list of what is grown, raised and produced within Wisconsin’s borders. You might ask what specifically is Farm Bureau’s role is in the agricultural community. While we work on various projects and programs for our members, we are mostly known for helping farmers have a voice at local, state and national levels.

Some of you might be unfamiliar with our grassroots work, but for more than 90 years our members have organized their efforts on the local level. Over time, Farm Bureau became the leading voice for Wisconsin agriculture. Members serve as delegates who debate policies that aim to best serve the agricultural community. The leaders of our 61 county Farm Bureaus take on this challenge with pride. It can be a challenge to reach solutions that please every member, but as a grassroots coalition our members consider all angles and solutions. Many times, no matter the discussion, our differences seem small when we consider our mutual deep appreciation for land, animals, water and air. Each of us wants the best for our families and customers. We all eat and we all have a vested interest in the success of our state’s $88 billion agricultural economy. I guess we are not so different after all. I appreciate that everyone has a seat at the table in Farm Bureau and within Wisconsin agriculture. Whether you regularly find yourself pushing a grocery cart or driving a tractor, it’s important to see Wisconsin agriculture’s diversity for the blessing it is. Holte, a farmer from Dunn County, has been the

President of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Rural Mutual Insurance Company since 2012.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Keep Biotech Crops in Farmers’ Toolboxes A Message From Andrew Walmsley


n a world consumed by daily deadlines, social media and a myriad of other distractions, it’s natural to seek out things that can help us feel more grounded, to find a sense of place. Many people feel like they have lost their connection to the land and are looking to establish or restore a connection with their food. So they gravitate to labels and taglines that make them feel good—labels that create a ‘story’ but don’t offer much information in return. This is where it’s up to farmers to help bridge the gap with consumers looking to understand where their food comes from. They have a unique perspective because of their connection to the land and soil every day, and while agriculture today looks far different than it did for past generations, the passion and care today’s farmers have for the land has not changed. They just have better tools. Thanks to new innovations, farmers are making great strides in reducing their environmental impact while producing more food than ever before. Biotech crops alone have made it possible for farmers to cut back pesticide use by more than 36 percent compared to non-biotech crops and increase yields by more than 21 percent. This has a positive ripple effect as machine and fuel use is cut down as well. Farmers rely on science and must be grounded in it to provide the abundance that they do. Unfortunately, there are those who misunderstand and misrepresent agricultural innovation. But a few vocal opponents shouldn’t be allowed to dictate what farmers can and cannot grow on their farmland or scare

consumers without justification. Yet, that is just what we’re seeing with state mandates like Vermont’s GMO labeling law. The first of its kind, this law from a small state will have a big impact on farmers, ranchers, businesses and food manufacturers across the nation when it takes effect July 1, unless preempted by a new, federal law. Two years ago, a Cornell University study estimated the cost of a patchwork of state GMO labeling laws to be an additional $500 per year for a family of four. A more recent study doubled the estimate to more than $1,000 a year for a family of four. The cost could easily be much higher than that when product reformulation and lost agricultural productivity are considered. The cost will be higher still for farmers and ranchers, and the land, if mandatory labeling prompts companies to stop using GM ingredients altogether. Farm Bureau is not opposed to voluntary GMO labeling. We are opposed to mandatory and state-by-state labeling laws. We believe the market and consumers should decide. If a company wants to put a nonGMO label on its product, as long as that label is truthful and not misleading, that company should be free to do so. Since the nutritional makeup of food products from GMO crops is the same as traditional food, the Food and Drug Administration does not require labeling of GMO foods. But consumers already have easy access to non-GMO foods if that’s their wish: They can buy food certified as organic by the Agriculture

June | July 2016

Department. We’ve grown so accustomed to having an abundance of food options that it’s easy to lose sight of how fortunate we are to have such variety. But we lose all that and more if we shut down agricultural innovation: farmers and consumers will all feel the loss. It is time for agriculture to take a stand and protect tools that are critical to the future of farming. Farmers must take charge of telling their story. If not, there are plenty of other people out there who are more than willing to craft a story for agriculture. And they are more than willing to tell you how to run your farm. Walmsley is Director of Congressional Relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Photo Credit: Sarah Hardie, North Dakota Farm Bureau member



The Nutrition of Backyard Farming Guest Column by Kelly Marshall


recently found myself making small talk with the guy mixing my paint color at Lowe’s. We talked about the weather, which led to talking about our farm, which led to him asking if we grow our own food. Well, we feed the world, but no, we don’t grow everything our family eats. He seemed surprised to learn that we had chickens and a garden but get our food from the grocery store. Then he said he wanted to live on a farm and grow his own food someday. He’d heard it was healthier. Healthier? Than what? So I told him about my experience butchering chickens. I cleaned my ‘allnatural’ chickens on a not-so-sterile table covering I purchased in a cardboard box


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from Sam’s Club after loosening their feathers in the largest canning pot I own. (I’ll need that same pot to make applesauce again this fall, because I don’t have a designated chicken-harvesting pot.) There were flies in my back yard and the plastic gloves I wore did all the work from plucking to freezing. I’ve been in a meat processing plant and let me tell you, it was so much cleaner. The process was organized by messier to cleaner so the meat wasn’t near the dirt. There were no flies. There were no plastic table clothes. My chicken tastes great, and no one in my family has gotten food poisoning yet, but again I’ll ask; raising your own food is healthier than what? My chickens ate local farm-store brand food and whatever scraps we fed them. It’s very photogenic, but why would the food my children refused be more nutritious than the food created by a veterinarian and a team of scientists like I saw at the animal nutrition company in St. Louis, Missouri? Why would a grasshopper diet resulting in orange yolks be better than perfectly balanced pellets that make yellow yolks? Orange is more nutritious than yellow? Is the soil in my garden full of more vitamins than the carefully tended, even tested, soil in my husband’s field three feet away? Why would his background in construction help him grow healthier

food than my family who have dedicated themselves to understanding plant science? What I’m really saying is the ‘good old days’ are a combination of romanticized feelings and a misunderstanding of health and nutrition. We have grocery stores today because our grandparents understood there were better options than killing your own Sunday dinner. Sure, there are bad farmers with poor farming practices out there. But that’s not really what you’re getting at the grocery store. You’re usually getting the labors of a farm family because 97 percent of America’s farms are family owned. And those families, just like mine, are buying their food from the grocery store. You’re getting the crops grown by people who love their work enough to dedicate their lives to what they do. You’re getting food grown with the highest level of technology so your food is nutritious and your grandchildren’s food is plentiful. So smile and wave at me next time you see me at the grocery store. Kelly Marshall’s family raises waxy corn, soybeans, and wheat in Missouri where she and her husband

are active in their county, state and American Farm Bureau programs. They are raising three future farmers: Brett, Anna and Dylan. You can read

more of their efforts to advocate on Kelly’s blog,

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Saying Goodbye

Guest Column by Daphne Holterman


took one last glance over my shoulder into the living room, through the dining room and out the large windows facing south to the beloved view of the fields and forest. Then, a few steps out the front door (that we rarely used) and the wooden door latched behind me. I turned, put the key in the lock and with one click, it was done. That chapter in my life was over. I sighed lightly and smiled a bit. Then I resolutely walked across the front porch, down the steps and continued down the long sidewalk to my car. Glancing around one last time, I saw the sandstone cliffs, the green pastures, the red barns, the well-worn cement feed bunks and the white fence. The grey machine shed and silver grain bins sparkled in the late afternoon sun. As I drove over the trickling creek tucked under the driveway and down the long path (the same one we used to dread traversing in mud after the school bus dropped us off ) and pulled out onto the road, I said a silent good bye to the weathered mailbox and ‘Johnson Angus Farms’ sign that has guarded the homestead for 57-plus years. This was the end but also the beginning. This is what led me to a farm of my own, with my own family, putting down roots for another generation to learn many of the same life lessons I did here. This place gave me roots, here in the Midwest where common sense prevails. Farms and families surrounded us, literally and figuratively. Memories

bubble up inside me: sledding down the back hill; 4-H hayrides; chasing fireflies and watching them glow inside glass jars with holes punched in the top; picking up sticks in the yard after a windstorm blew through; lying on the grass looking at fluffy clouds in the bluest sky; discovering a new batch of kittens nestled in the haymow in early spring, which meant a summer of fun; riding bikes with my sisters up and down the sidewalk and driveway… I remember skinning a few knees and shedding a few tears; washing cattle for the county fair and practicing showmanship in our front yard; napping with my dad on a scratchy green army blanket on the grass on a Sunday afternoon; helping my mom harvest raspberries (ouch!) and asparagus (yum!). How I treasure these thoughts as they now live in the big city surrounded by four walls, yet content to be free of the farm’s duties. Memories swirl. Good times. Trying times. Family times together. The house is white and square. It sits half way up the hill, trees peeking out behind it, the farm spreading out below it. On the landscape sits barns, sheds, a cattle yard, pastures, fields and more fields. The house is a subject I’ve painted and photographed through the years. Those will stay with me, for now. This place matters. And it doesn’t. ‘Going home’ is now a place in my mind, secure and safe there. I crave that sense of place. Belonging somewhere and

knowing the house and farm will always be there. That feeling can overcome me in other places at any time. The base it laid was strong and solid and compelling. It bubbles to the surface later in life when I’m searching for inner strength. Saying goodbye to my childhood home and the farm that raised me is bittersweet yet hopeful. I see that others will soon put down roots that will sprout again, to nourish and grow a family all on this piece of land I once called home. A member of the Jefferson County Farm Bureau, Holterman and her husband, Lloyd, farm in

partnership with Tim Strobel and Jordan Matthews at Rosy-Lane Holsteins near Watertown.

June | July 2016


Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg


ne tractor does not a farmer make. I’m no farmer, but after buying a place in the country nearly 40 years ago, I soon discovered it was hard to live on the land without owning a tractor. To be a good steward of the land, one must maintain and protect its woods, waters and soils. My shovel, hoe and rake just didn’t cut it. So when the time was right, I became the proud owner of a Ford 9N. A late 1940s model, it’s still running, but like its owner has seen better days. I remember the day that neighbor and farmer Grandpa Bronk stopped by to admire my recent ‘new’ purchase. “When I bought my family farm back in the early 1960s, I was working at the local Ford dealership,” he recalled. “I bought an 8N and that’s all I had to work my whole farm. You got yourself a fine machine there.” My wife’s great-great grandfather Robert was a farmer. In the 1920s and beyond he farmed the sand country along


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the White River in Waushara County providing for his family. Tractors were a luxury for many at that time in history when horse drawn equipment was still commonplace. Grandfather Robert did however own a marsh tractor. Family wisdom recalls the day that Grandfather Robert proudly drove a new Model T Ford home from the dealership in Wautoma. He circled the barnyard yelling, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” When the vehicle refused to stop, he used the side of the barn as the brakes. Words about the car were never uttered as he pushed it into the barn and threw away the keys. Until of course, when the 1930s drought arrived and the need for a marsh tractor came to pass. Local farmers were buying swampland along Lunch Creek for the watershed’s grassy marsh hay. Grandfather bought 20 acres and pulled his dusty Model T out of the barn. Halftracks were installed and he and his neighbors used it to harvest and haul marsh hay to their hungry livestock. Over the years, our Ford 9N has graded gravel driveways, plowed snow, mowed trails, cultivated and disced gardens and food plots, dug post holes, pulled fencing and skidded logs. Last week, I plowed a portion of a food plot destined for planting sunflower seeds and realized it was time to say goodbye to my old friend. You see, it needs mechanical work beyond my capabilities. In the hands of another, it will live on to see better days. I could have paid to have it restored to its former self, but the boss and I decided an upgrade was in order. The decision became easier when a shiny, brand new compact utility tractor caught our eyes the other day at the local implement dealer. Hydrostatic drive, a front end loader and backhoe are included and more than 200 hard-working attachments and accessories also are available. Indeed, a new tractor is on our horizon. So I dedicate this column to my trusty Ford 9N, an ode to an old tractor, so to speak. May you soon be plowing and discing once again. Blomberg is a freelance writer and a member of the Portage County Farm Bureau.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Visit to read more blogs! Don’t Ever Give Up!

By Steve Boe, WFBF District 4 Coordinator


e all have our struggles; we all have our personal demons that we fight. People all around us, and sometimes even ourselves, deal with drug dependency, depression, gambling, selfimage issues and different types of addictions. Some struggle with issues in private, while others fight their demons more publicly. For me, my struggle with weight and addiction to food were visibly public; but my emotional struggles were extremely private. Opening up about my fight with obesity is, quite frankly, one of the scariest things I’ve done; however, on the chance that it can help someone overcome their own issues, it is worth the anxiety. So this is my story of a life-long battle with obesity, and the journey that I’ve been on to lose more than 300 pounds... There are those who (for one reason or another) put on weight in high school, college, after pregnancy or a major life event. Then there are those (like me) who have just been big their entire life. I can honestly say that I do not remember a time when I wasn’t the ‘biggest’ person in class or in a group... The truth is that while the numbers on the scale showed that I was changing, I couldn’t see the change physically. Mentally I had changed the way in which I thought about food and exercise, but I hadn’t changed the way I thought about myself. When I looked in the mirror I still saw the 542-pound self. Honest to God, I really didn’t think that I looked that much different. I could put on a pair of pants and see the change, I could put on a shirt and literally be swimming in it, yet when I looked in the mirror it was like none of those changes existed. As my journey progressed, it became much more apparent to people that I had lost a good amount of weight. I can’t tell you the number of people that told me, “You need to change your Facebook profile picture.” My Facebook profile picture had been my headshot of when I was hired at Farm Bureau. It’s actually a really nice photo of me, and I liked it a lot. I couldn’t understand why in the world people would tell me to change my profile picture. I would think to myself, “Sure, I’ve lost a few, but that is still me, that’s who I am.” The reality was, that wasn’t who I was, but I couldn’t recognize it. For a while, I quite frankly became very defensive of the question. I knew that people weren’t intending it to come off in a negative way and that they were just happy for me; however, there was a time where I felt like it was a dig. Like I should have been ashamed of who that person was. I remember thinking to myself that I will never be ashamed of that person. “That’s the guy that walked the halls of the U.S. and Wisconsin Capitols trying to make a difference. That’s the guy that has worked hard in his community. That’s the guy that decided to take a chance. That’s the guy that decided dreams were worth chasing. That’s the guy that took the very first step to where I am today!” I felt as though people were viewing me solely for my weight, and not for what I had accomplished in life... I felt like I was losing my identity. I didn’t quite know who I was. For everything that I had ever known was changing. It was scary because people saw me differently, but I didn’t see or feel different at all. I was still Steve Boe. It was a serious struggle, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I just kept telling myself, “Yes, I’ve lost a few pounds, but this is still a work in progress. I’ve just got to keep going.” To read Steve’s three-part weight loss story visit

Ag in the classroom

Waupaca Student Wins Ag in the Classroom Essay Contest E lwood Riley, a fourth grade student from Waupaca, 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, ‘Tell us about producing maple syrup in Wisconsin.’ Elwood is the son of Tom and Kari Riley. Linda Easland is his fourth grade teacher at the Waupaca Learning Center. A total of 3,027 Wisconsin students wrote essays for the competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Insight FS and We Energies. The finalist from each of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s nine districts across the state received a certificate, educational resources for their teacher and a classroom presentation about Wisconsin agriculture. This year’s finalists include: • Chloe Kelm, Trinity Lutheran-Freistadt, Mequon, Ozaukee County (District 1) • J osie Ebert, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Northside, Iron Ridge, Dodge County (District 2) •C  heyenne Johnson, Jefferson Elementary, Richland Center, Richland County (District 3) • Bennett Kohlhepp, Manz Elementary, Eau Claire, Eau Claire County (District 4) •B  rianna Buechner, Tri-County, Plainfield, Waushara County (District 5) • Christopher Gallego, Sheridan Elementary School, Sheboygan, Sheboygan County (District 6) • Elwood Riley, Waupaca Learning Center, Waupaca, Waupaca County (District 7) • Marcus Huehnerfuss, Edgar Elementary, Edgar, Marathon County (District 8) • Lauren Garnett, Elk Mound Middle School, Elk Mound, Dunn County (District 9)


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Elwood proudly held his award with his teacher, Linda Easland.

The Winning Essay:

Sweet Secret By Elwood Riley, Waupaca Learning Center

Do you know a food product that’s hidden in the woods? When it’s cooked down you often eat it in the morning. It is maple syrup! In our family it’s a family tradition. Every spring we go to my grandparent’s farm to tap maple trees. Everyone helps, my cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles too! We start to tap sap when it’s three weeks before spring. Snow is still on the ground. First we look for 10-inch or larger maple trees. We drill the hole with an electric drill 2-inches deep. We insert the spile into the hole, hand the bucket on the hook, and put on the lid. We tap about 266 maple trees, 800 spiles. Then we wait until the nights are below freezing and the days are mild and sunny. We use a tractor to pull a wagon and us through the woods to collect sap. The wagon has a covered stock tank with a hole on top and screen to filter the sap from bark, moths and mosquitoes; so you won’t eat them. Once the stock tank is full, we dump it into holding tanks at the sugar shack. Everyone helps collect sap because we need to carry and empty many 5-gallon buckets. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. In the sugar shack we have an evaporator. The sap flows in and boils down to maple syrup under a very hot wood fire. When the sap reaches 219°F we draw off and filter the hot syrup. We blend all the sample season syrup and bottle the syrup in new Mason jars. We label it Eisentraut Farms Pure Maple Syrup. The year our family made 70 gallons of maple syrup. All that syrup was hidden in the woods. SWEET!!!

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Rural Mutual

Rural Mutual Invests in the Future of Farming

Mobile app connects young farmers and students across Wisconsin


Star Mission Partner for three years, Rural Mutual Insurance Company collaborates with the Wisconsin FFA to encourage and support the next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders. Through this partnership, Rural Mutual sponsors the Wisconsin FFA’s mobile app. Available to anyone through the Guidebook app platform, the FFA mobile app updates current and past members about the latest happenings in FFA. It provides users with access to a schedule of upcoming events, social media integration, a Wisconsin FFA Foundation donation submission, fun photos and other useful tools to keep members engaged.

“As a proud partner of FFA, Rural Mutual is committed to helping young men and women prepare for a future in agriculture,” says Peter Pelizza, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Mutual. “Through FFA’s tremendous contributions to the industry, there is no doubt that agriculture will be strengthened tomorrow because of the leaders cultivated today.” The Wisconsin FFA mobile app will be an integral part of this year’s Wisconsin State FFA Convention on June 13-16 at the Alliant Energy Center. Attendees can visit the Rural Mutual Photo Booth to take fun pictures with their friends, which will instantly upload to the app. To learn more about Rural Mutual, its support for Wisconsin FFA or insurance service offerings, contact your local Rural Mutual agent or visit






Thereafter, the standard APR (Either 12.99%-22.99% or variable 15.24%–23.24%) applies.


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June | July 2016


Supporting, Empowering and Engaging the People of Wisconsin SUPPORTING SAFE AND HEALTHY FOOD SUPPLY

HELPING FAMILIES EAT WELL In 2014, UW-Extension Family Living programs reached more than 120,000 people with nutrition education in schools and at community sites. These successful programs helped families eat more fruits and vegetables and choose whole grains and healthier fats. Family Living nutrition education programs make it possible for low-income families to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at local farmers markets, where they can access seasonal, local and healthy produce. Working with partners, UW-Extension contributed to a 46 percent increase in SNAP benefits redeemed at farmers markets in 2014, as compared to 2012. There are clear economic benefits for local farmers as well: SNAP redemptions at farmers



The Bad River Band of Lake Superior

$26 billion to the state’s economy each

Chippewa Tribe in Ashland County

Wisconsin’s meat industry contributes year and provides more than 166,000

worked with UW-Extension 4-H to apply

jobs, placing it in the state’s top five

on the reservation. The resulting Bad

Wisconsin, many are small. The Master

for a federal grant to address the growing manufacturing industries. Of the nearly problem of obesity and juvenile diabetes 500 licensed meat processing facilities in River Food Sovereignty program reconnects tribal youth to traditional diets and harvesting activities, exploring how traditional food systems relate to overall health. So far, 120 youth and eight tribal elders have participated in the food sovereignty program. Throughout the year, Bad River youth can learn how to tap for maple sugar, plant and restore gardens, harvest wild rice and press apples into cider.

Meat Crafter program provides small meat processors the opportunity to become experts in their field through advanced training in food safety and meat processing principles. Graduates can apply and share their skills to improve safety, consistency, quality and profitability of specialty meats – pleasing customers while expanding sales. Their communities gain good jobs and other economic benefits, and industry viability is ensured as plants

markets in Wisconsin in 2014 totaled

grow, add on, and pass along the


business for future generations.

University of Wisconsin-Extension programs improve Wisconsin by supporting youth, individuals, families,

the environment, agriculture, businesses and communities. UW-Extension offers timely access to University of Wisconsin research and knowledge through colleagues in 72 county offices, on five 4-year campuses and within three tribal nations. Each year we make more than one million teaching contacts through meetings, workshops, personal consultations and publications. Educational programs are funded by local, state and federal partners.



Animal care begins on the farm.


Proper care and well-being of cattle

Current projections show the global

preservation—and the growing

in Wisconsin is important to farmers

population will reach 9 billion by 2050,

awareness and concern about food

and consumers. Today’s consumers

and Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development

safety—is drawing increased numbers

have heightened interest in—but

is preparing young people to feed the

of Wisconsin residents to Family Living

sometimes lack knowledge about—

growing population. In 2014 and 2015,

food safety and preservation classes and

acceptable state-of-the-art animal

Wisconsin 4-H received an Ag Innovators

resources. In 2013 and 2014, 53 Family

husbandry practices. Wisconsin

Experience grant from the National

Living educators reached more than

livestock farmers continue to seek

4-H Council and Monsanto to connect

11,000 individuals across the state with

new information regarding improved

youth to agricultural careers and raise

educational programs on how to

animal husbandry practices which

awareness of future food security issues.

preserve food safely.

benefit their cattle and overall

The program reached more than 1,200

productivity. UW-Extension specialists

youth in two years.

The resurgence of home food

and county agents work as teams to help farmers and their employees take excellent care of their animals.


Agriculture and Natural Resources programs have a positive impact on nearly every Wisconsin cow, gallon of milk, quart of specialty ice cream, wedge of cheese, bratwurst, bag of potato chips and dish of cranberry sauce.

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) has a successful 40-year history and saves states and families money. For every dollar invested in EFNEP, health care costs were reduced by $8.82 in a group of Midwestern states.


Supporting, Empowering and Engaging the People of Wisconsin EMPOWERING YOUTH, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES




In order to maintain a healthy democracy,

The 4-H Tech Wizards program connects

has increased at a rapid rate, leaving

young people need to be educated and

youth in economically distressed areas

many parents scrambling to keep up.

encouraged to become part of active

with adult mentors. The mentoring pairs

While many valuable programs for

civic culture, but they are often excluded

work together weekly in structured

parents focus on protecting children

from authentic community decision-

Science, Technology, Engineering and

from the potential harms of digital

making opportunities. Local governments

Math (STEM) activities while discussing

media, few address digital media’s

in several Wisconsin cities and counties

the importance of educational

usefulness as a parenting tool. Family

are partnering with UW-Extension to

attainment, higher education and

Living programs help parents better

create opportunities for youth

job skills. 82 percent of youth

understand how to use digital media

representation and learning via

participants agreed that what they

to carry out their parenting responsibilities

appointments to boards, committees

learn in Tech Wizards is useful for the

more effectively. Educational programs

and commissions. More than 60 youth

future, and 65 percent agreed that

offered by Family Living include

in 11 counties served in local government

going to school every day is important.

eParenting® High Tech Kids and

in 2014.

Adult mentors also reaped a benefit

Parenthetical. In 2014, more than

from participating: 86 percent reported

3,100 parents participated in

that their mentoring role has helped

UW-Extension’s digital parenting

them professionally. In 2014, 4-H Tech

programs. Participating parents

Wizards participants included youth

indicated that their parenting skills

and adults in five counties.



The role of technology in children’s lives

UW-Extension programs support Wisconsin’s agricultural and horticultural businesses, which generate $88.3 billion annually in economic activity and provide 413,500 jobs. The dairy industry comprises nearly half of the total agriculture contribution at $43.4 billion annually.

To learn more about our educational priorities and state wide impacts visit us at: Find us on Facebook and Twitter



Over 16,000 Wisconsin children live

Wisconsin Master Gardeners are


through their parents’ divorce each

UW-Extension trained volunteers

For decades and even generations, Iron

year, and many others experience the

who teach about horticulture and

County has been declining in population

separation of never-married parents.

environmental stewardship and help

and losing its young people. In an effort

Exposure to parental conflict is one of

their communities become better

to reverse this trend, UW-Extension

the major ways a break-up affects

places to live. Master Gardener

Iron County Community Resource

children. For the past 20 years,

Volunteers (MGV) do more than grow

Development Agent Will Andresen

UW-Extension Family Living has worked

flowers or maintain landscapes. They

surveyed 668 high school students,

with family court commissioners and

also teach members of the public

college students and young adults to

judges to Conduct research-based

about horticulture in a variety of ways—

better understand their perspectives

educational programs for divorcing and

by answering questions and providing

of the community. Based on his findings,

separating parents to help them

research-based information at local

Andresen created and managed the

co-parent effectively. From 2013-2014,

gardening events, through special

Gogebic Range Next Generation initiative,

Family Living provided 268 co-parenting

workshops, on UW-Extension-supported

comprised of 120 local residents working

programs reaching 3,000 parents (with

garden hotlines, or through other means.

in four work groups each designed to

over 2,400 children) in 19 Wisconsin

There are more than 2,844 trained MGVs

attract and retain young people.

counties. As a result of participating

in Wisconsin. In 2015, they contributed

in the class, parents reported a reduction

201,615 hours to UW-Extension and their

in inter-parental conflict and increased

communities. The value of their service is

cooperation with the other parent.

worth more than $4.4 million throughout the state.


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% 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 providing their 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 wfbf. com and select the Travel tab.


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Rural Route

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

County Kernels Farm and Garden Show – Superior Shores

‘Wauna’ Two-Step – Dane County

The Bay Area Farm and Garden Show and Dairy Breakfast was on April 2. Superior Shores Farm Bureau and Rural Mutual Insurance sponsored ‘Snacking Around Wisconsin.’ This was a fun way for attendees to learn about Wisconsin agriculture and products that are raised or grown here.

On March 12, Dane County Farm Bureau members kicked off their winter boots and put on their dancing shoes at a new event, ‘Wauna’ Two-Step. More than 30 members of all ages and dance experience warmed up their toes with twostep dance lessons followed by the Soggy Prairie Boys band at Rex’s Innkeeper in Waunakee. Event proceeds went to the Dane County scholarship fund.

Food for America – Langlade County

On May 13, the Antigo FFA chapter hosted a Food for America event at Schuessler Dairy Farm. The Langlade County Farm Bureau co-sponsored the event where FFA members taught fourth grade students about agricultural topics at eight stations throughout the farm.

Maple Syrup Harvest – Rock County

Celebrate Families Event – Washington County

On February 14, Farm Bureau brought Ag in the Classroom programs to Celebrate Families, a UW-Extension event. Children and adults felt corn, soybeans and wheat, and learned which grocery store product came from which crop. Celebrate Families of Washington County provided information and resources to about 1,500 attendees. Ag in the Classroom volunteers partnered with Welty Environmental Center staff and volunteers to offer Rock County students a half-day of learning about maple sugar at Big Hill Park. The event included classroom writers’ workshops in preparation for the 2016 essay contest ‘Tell us about producing maple syrup in Wisconsin.’ Rock County Farm Bureau members and partners shared the importance of agriculture in Rock County. Sheila Everhart and Rock County Ag Ambassador Erin Daluge partnered with the Welty Environmental Center to teach approximately 665 students.

June | July 2016


Farm Bureau Recipes and photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Beef Council

Chipotle-Marinated Beef Flank Steak Ingredients:

1 beef flank steak (about 11/2-2 lb) salt Marinade: 1 /3 c. fresh lime juice 1 /4 c. chopped fresh cilantro 1 T packed brown sugar 2 tsp. minced chipotle chilies in adobo sauce 2 T adobo sauce (from chilies) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. freshly grated lime peel


1. Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight. 2. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11-16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 16-21 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Carve steak across the grain into thin slices. Season with salt, as desired.

Calypso Beef Burgers Ingredients:


1 lb ground beef 1. Combine ground beef, chutney and jerk seasoning in 1 /4 c. mango chutney large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape 2 tsp. Caribbean jerk seasoning into four 1/2-inch thick patties. 2. P  lace patties in center of grid over medium, ash4 slices sharp cheddar cheese covered coals; arrange pineapple slices around patties. 4 fresh or canned pineapple Grill, uncovered, 8-10 minutes (over medium heat on slices, cut 1/2 inch thick preheated gas grill, 7-9 minutes) until instant-read 4 Kaiser rolls or hamburger thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers buns, split 160°F, turning occasionally. Grill pineapple, uncovered, 8 minutes or until heated through. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place rolls, cut sides down, on grid until lightly toasted. During last minute of grilling, top each burger with cheese. 3. Place 1 burger and pineapple slice on bottom of each bun. Close sandwiches.

Greek-Seasoned T-Bone Steaks with Cucumber and Tomato Salad Ingredients:

2 beef t-bone or porterhouse steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 lb each) 1 medium lemon 1 T Greek seasoning 1 medium cucumber, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into thin slices (about 2 c.) 2 c. halved grape tomatoes 1 /3 c. crumbled feta cheese salt and pepper


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1. Grate peel and squeeze 1 T juice from lemon. Combine Greek seasoning and lemon peel. Reserve 2 tsps mixture for salad. Press remaining mixture evenly onto beef steaks. 2.Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11-16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 15-19 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. 3. Meanwhile, combine reserved 2 tsps seasoning mixture, lemon juice, cucumber, tomatoes and cheese in medium bowl, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. 4. Remove bones; carve steaks into slices. Season with salt, as desired. Serve beef with cucumber and tomato salad.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Rural Mutual

Distracted Driving Deaths on the Rise in Wisconsin A

hairbrush, a hamburger and While many actions are distractions a cellphone are harmless – while driving, significant public and In 2015, distracted driving unless you’re behind the wheel of a legislative attention has been focused resulted in 94 deaths and 10,615 vehicle. on talking and texting on cell phones. injuries in Wisconsin. Compared Wisconsin law prohibits texting while “When drivers comb their hair while looking in the rearview driving, and drivers with an instruction with 2014, distracted driving mirror, eat a meal or text message permit or probationary license, which deaths increased 31 percent and while driving, they are distracted includes many teenagers, are prohibited and in danger of causing a crash from using a cell phone while driving injuries increased 9 percent. or failing to avoid one,” says except in an emergency. David Pabst, director of the “Life is busy, but it’s time to put Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau a stop to distracted driving habits,” said Peter Pelizza, Chief of Transportation Safety. “Trying to multi-task while driving is Executive Officer of Rural Mutual. “Multi-tasking behind the a recipe for disaster.” wheel puts your life and the lives of others in grave danger.” “The dangers of distracted driving, also known as inattentive Rural Mutual encourage drivers to prioritize safety by driving, are not exaggerated,” Pabst said. “It’s a growing threat eliminating all distractions while on the road. The company to everyone on the road.” also provides comprehensive auto, health and life insurance In an effort to spread awareness, WisDOT has produced new to safeguard families against the damage caused by distracted TV, radio and online messages that creatively highlight how driving and other accidents on the road. distracted driving is entirely preventable. The video messages, For more information, contact your local Rural Mutual also available on WisDOT’s Facebook and Twitter, feature Insurance agent or visit a new super-villain known as the ‘Distractor,’ and encourage people to pay attention behind the wheel. To help local communities combat distracted driving, WisDOT has allocated federal funding to support law enforcement task forces in Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Juneau, La Crosse, Sauk, Waupaca, Portage and Wood counties. NEW! WisDOT also will continue to display messages warning about the dangers of distracted driving on electronic signs on major highways.

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June | July 2016


Rural Mutual

Six Basic Tips to Protect Your Identity R

ural Mutual Insurance 6. Call Rural Mutual. Don’t wait until you’re a victim. Talk Company understands to an agent, and rest assured that they have you covered in that your identity is one of the worst-case scenario. Their identity protection services your most valuable assets, are comprehensive and adaptive to changing times. so it has partnered with Rural Mutual has partnered with IDT911 to offer up to IDT911 to provide identity protection services. $15,000 in expenses for a loss arising out of identity fraud. This Identity thieves steal mail, skim credit cards, hack into ATMs endorsement is available through Rural Mutual homeowners and rummage through garbage in search of victims. Criminals insurance, the limit applies as the direct result of any one can misuse personal information to obtain fraudulent credit and identity fraud first discovered or realized during the policy make unauthorized purchases. period. The endorsement carries a $500 per loss deductible. Safeguard your identity with these six simple steps: With Rural Mutual, you’ll receive the identity theft 1. Shred it. Buy a quality crosscut shredder. Shred everything protection you and your family needs, including assistance with with your name and address, such as statements and trending threats such as: invoices, receipts, return address stickers, envelopes and • Email compromise assist catalogs. Most importantly, shred pre-approved credit • Social media compromise assist offers, credit card checks and insurance-related materials. • Phish assist 2. Guard it. Encrypt emails and computer files that contain • Device compromise assist personal or account information. Keep technology • Breach assist current with the latest security updates, and protect your • Assisted living fraud support smartphone as you would a computer. Employ strong Don’t wait until you’re a victim. Call a Rural Mutual passwords that contain numbers, symbols and characters, Insurance agent today to help protect your identity. change them often, and never use the same one for online banking that you use for shopping or social sites. 3. Lock it up. Keep doors and drawers secure. Keep any documents with personal identifying information HUNTING & FARMLAND PROPERTIES behind locked doors, or in locked drawers. Always be aware of who Your Rural Property has access, such as household Specialists! employees or work crews. 4. Check your credit reports early and often. Review your credit reports twice a year. Visit, the government-mandated source for free credit reports. Investigate suspicious activity and stay on top of it until the matter is resolved. 5. Keep your Social Security number (SSN) to yourself. Never carry your SSN or card in your wallet or purse unless absolutely necessary, and never give out your number to anyone you don’t know or trust. Provide your SSN only when required, and, if any organization, company or medical provider Since 1958 attempts to use your SSN as an identifier, ask them not to (many Suburban . Commercial . Agricultural . Horse Barns & Arenas laws prevent this). Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 .


Quality Builders for Quality Buildings.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Tame the Market

Lock-in gains in a low interest rate environment


t’s no secret the stock market is a volatile place. The highs are high, and the lows can have you feeling pretty low. It’s not for everyone. So when you’re trying to accumulate wealth for later in life, how do you grow your funds with a respectable rate of return and still protect yourself from loss? A bank savings account isn’t going to cut it! The answer is surprisingly simple: choose an indexed annuity. Indexed annuities contain all of the benefits of traditional fixed annuities (tax advantages, lifetime income, guarantees, etc.), and add two distinct advantages. First, they provide potential growth opportunities tied to market gains, and second, they provide protection from market losses. The AccumuLock Indexed Annuity™ from Farm Bureau Financial Services offers these benefits and more. How Does It Work? AccumuLock does not participate in the market1 as a traditional variable annuity, but rather via credits interest-based on the annual performance of a designated market index. When you purchase an AccumuLock Indexed Annuity, your premium is allocated among two potential index-crediting strategies and/or a fixed rate account. The funds you place in the index-crediting strategies earn index credits based on the performance of the designated market index. In years when the market is up, the annuity’s accumulated value can earn a competitive interest rate (subject to a cap) – and those gains are locked in for life! And in years when the market is down, the product’s zero percent interest floor protects you from losses. Income for Life An added benefit of the AccumuLock Indexed Annuity is the opportunity to earn income for life with the Simple7 Income Rider™ 2.

Included automatically on all AccumuLock policies, this rider offers the chance to lock in a guaranteed3 income stream and even includes added protection in the event of a long-term illness. Learn More If you’re an investor who wants the potential to earn more than the current low fixed rates, but are not willing to accept the potential loss of principal that comes with investing in the stock market, AccumuLock might be right for you. By nature, products tied to market returns can be complicated, but your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent will help you understand how the AccumuLock Indexed Annuity could fit into your retirement strategy. When you’re ready to grab the market – and your retirement – by the horns, contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent or Jared Nelson, Senior Regional Financial Consultant for Farm Bureau Financial Services at 608.250.0404 or This policy does not directly participate in any stock, bond or equity investments. There is a charge for the Simple7 Income Rider once it is activated. 3 The guarantees expressed here are based on the claims-paying ability of Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. Surrender of the contract may be subject to surrender charges. Withdrawals before age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Not FDIC insured. Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, West Des Moines, IA 1 2

GO paperless Simple. Convenient. Secure.

E-Delivery Service Now Available!

Our E-Delivery Service will allow you to be notified with an email message when you have new insurance documents to review in the Customer Self Service Center:

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Contact your Rural Mutual Insurance Agent or send an email to to become an E-Delivery customer today!

June | July 2016


Rural Mutual

A.M. Best Awards Rural Mutual with Excellent Ratings A .M. Best, the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating source, honors Rural Mutual Insurance Company, a Wisconsin leader in property and casualty protection, with a positive outlook on their current ‘Excellent’ ratings. The Wisconsin insurance company increases from Stable to Positive Outlook, an upgrade in their rating by A.M. Best standards. According to A.M. Best, the upgrade reflects Rural Mutual’s solid capitalization, consistent operating profitability, local market expertise and sound risk management skills. Furthermore, the rating recognizes the company’s strict adherence to underwriting disciplines, pricing adequacy and their conservative investment portfolio. “This recognition by A.M. Best bolsters our confidence that our company continues to do many of the right things,” said CEO Peter Pelizza. “Most importantly, it assures our financial ability to live up to our promise as an insurer of many Wisconsin farms, businesses and families.” The newly-designated positive outlook affirms two ‘Excellent’ ratings. A.M. Best awarded Rural Mutual an ‘A’ (Excellent) financial strength rating (FSR) and an ‘A+’ (Excellent) issuer

credit rating (ICR). FSR indicates the company’s financial strength and ability to meet ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations, while ICR reflects on the company’s credit risk, or lack thereof. According to Pelizza, the positive outlook puts Rural’s already strong rating on a path to be moved to an ‘A+’ on the FSR. “Only a handful of single state companies can make that claim,” he said. “It certainly would be an honor.” He notes it is important for all of Rural’s policyholders, members, employees and agents to understand that the day-today decisions are going to be made in their best interest, and not in the interest of getting a better rating. Pelizza recognizes this achievement couldn’t have happened without the hard work and loyal support of Rural Mutual’s agents and their assistants, employees, Board of Directors and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. “Thank you for your tremendous support,” said Pelizza. “And, congratulations! This is quite a milestone, and exemplifies what can happen when the right people work together.” For more information about the quality services provided by Rural Mutual, contact your local insurance agent or visit

June | July 2016


Rural Mutual

Visit the Safety Zone at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days R ural Mutual is launching a threeyear ‘Elite Sustaining Sponsorship’ of the largest, most innovative agricultural show in Wisconsin. The 2016 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, July 19-21, at Snudden Farms in Walworth County, will showcase the latest improvements in production ag. “We’re honored to be a part of this rich state tradition,” said Peter Pelizza, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Mutual. “Rural Mutual recognizes that farm safety is a critical part of agricultural innovation. We’ve been protecting farms across the state for more than 82 years, so we know how important it is

to protect the families and children in our farming communities.” Visit the ‘Rural Mutual Insurance Safety Zone’ tent on ‘Rural Mutual Insurance Street’ to participate in demonstrations such as the ‘Distracted Driving Simulator’. Shared with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, this tent will contain many fun and educational activities for the entire family. Rural Mutual also will be giving away five rebate coupons for up to $300 to install a ROPS (Rollover Protective Structure) on your tractor. Stop by to learn more about this great opportunity to improve safety on your farm!

Enter to Win a Rollover Protective Structure


yle Danzinger hadn’t considered retrofitting a rollbar onto his family’s John Deere 4230 tractor until he saw an ad for a rebate -- and thought about his wife’s safety. Danzinger is the ag and commercial relationship manager at Security Financial Bank, and his wife, Taliah, is an education and marketing support specialist with AgSource Cooperative Services. They are active members of Buffalo County Farm Bureau, and raise steers, chickens and horses on a hobby farm. “I never considered getting a rollbar for my dad or myself,” said Danzinger, 26, of Durand. “But now that Taliah is starting to drive the tractor more, and as I think about hired help, it seemed like the right thing to do.” Tractor overturns are the leading cause of farm-related deaths, and 80 percent of deaths caused by rollovers happen to experienced farmers. Yet, half the tractors in operation do not have rollover protection. Danzinger recently had a rollbar installed through the Wisconsin Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) Rebate Program run by the National Farm Medicine Center, which is part of the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. The program reimburses tractor owners up to 70 percent (maximum of $865) toward the total cost of purchasing, shipping and installing individual ROPS. ROPS did not become standard on U.S.-manufactured tractors until 1985. When used with a seatbelt, a ROPS is 99 percent effective in preventing injury or death from overturns. Jerry Minor will take those odds. As chief of Pittsville Fire Company in central Wisconsin, he has responded to multiple


Rural Route

tractor overturns. “In my opinion there is no better public safety intervention than a rollover protection system on a tractor,” he said. Clarence Boerboom, who farms near Pittsville, installed a ROPS through the National Farm Medicine Center program after a neighbor was killed while driving his tractor. “I’ve lived this long, and I don’t want it to end earlier than it has to,” said Boerboom, a 74-year-old Wood County Farm Bureau member. As a younger farmer, Kyle Danzinger sees his new ROPS as insurance for him and his family. He won a drawing at the 2015 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, for a 100 percent-covered retrofit. You too can make your family’s safety a priority at little to no cost. Rural Mutual Insurance Company will be giving away one 30 percent rebate (up to $300) toward a ROPS retrofit. This 30 percent rebate, combined with National Farm Medicine Center’s 70 percent rebate, could allow one lucky winner to get their tractor completely retrofitted at no cost (depending on year, make and model). To enter, visit Nearly 140 ROPS have been installed in Wisconsin during the first three years of the rebate program. No tax dollars are used. Retrofits are made possible through donor support from the National Farm Medicine Center’s Auction of Champions. Wisconsin tractor owners can apply for the program via the ROPS hotline, 877.767.7748 (877.ROPSR4U), or the website, To learn more about tractor safety, visit farmsafety/tractor-safety.

Rural Mutual

Insurance Company

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

June | July 2016


Institute prepares you for experiences that you never thought you would encounter in life but do. Not only did I learn about myself, in ways that were good and not so good, but I learned techniques to improve my self-awareness so I can be a better person and leader. - Jill Uhe

My participation in the Institute strengthened my public speaking and media skills, and got me thinking on a level that I didn’t know I could reach. If I can find the time to implement a lot of my new skills and ideas, then the opportunities to ‘advocate’ and make a difference could be endless. - Tammy Wiedenbeck

The Institute will take your strengths and polish them. It molds you into a much more aware, wellrounded and strong leader. Not to mention it introduces you to people from around the state who are passionate about the same thing you are! - Kristy Erickson


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For anyone thinking about applying for the Institute, I would say, "don't hesitate!" Not only is it a great way to meet other people who are passionate about what they do in agriculture, but the program really helps to shape each participant into a more confident leader. You get a chance to find your strengths and weaknesses, and through the support of your classmates, guest speakers and WFBF staff, you learn what it takes develop your personal skills and become the best version of yourself. - Derek Husmoen

The Institute is amazing for several reasons. First, you meet fellow Farm Bureau members from around the state and they quickly become your friends. Second, each class is an opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone and grow as a leader in different ways in a safe space. You learn from excellent trainers who are experts in their fields. I leave each class inspired to be a better leader and to implement new skills. - Lauren Brey

Farm Bureau Institute

Providing Opportunities to Learn and Grow

The Farm Bureau Institute is a year-long leadership training course whose mission is to produce strong and effective rural leaders. The training focuses on personal growth and development, public speaking, working effectively with all forms of media, creativity training, understanding the role and functions of WFBF and Rural Mutual Insurance Company and working with government at the local, state and national levels. It’s more than leadership training. It helps build skills that you can use the rest of your life and build friendships that will last just as long. - Ken Levzow

Take advantage of this opportunity. Apply by August 15 at WFBFInstitute

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 program, Promotion and Education program, Farm Bureau leadership Institute and the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters at UWMadison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls.

Thank you for your contribution and your commitment to Farm Bureau. 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.

Your Contribution Matters

83,812 Students reached through Ag in the Classroom in 2015.

Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom


Grant money awarded for agriculture literacy projects


Members demonstrated leadership skills through YFA contests


Collegiate Farm Bureau members

125 Institute Graduates

The Foundation is our vehicle to make these things happen.

June | July 2016



Thank You to the Following Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation Donors: (Donations were made between March 1 and May 5, 2016.)

• David Kruschke in memory of Beverly Ausman • David Kruschke in memory of Don Krueger • Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau in memory of Elaine Greenfield • David Kruschke in memory of Eve Peterson • Darci Meili in memory of Gloria Holte • Jill Bennwitz in memory of Gloria Holte • Peter Pelizza in memory of Gloria Holte • Tracy Pape in memory of Gloria Holte • Langlade County Farm Bureau in memory of Gordon Raddatz • Marinette County Farm Bureau in memory of Gordon Raddatz


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•O  utagamie County Farm Bureau in memory of Gordon Raddatz •D  avid Kruschke in memory of Jim Stephans •G  reen Lake County Farm Bureau in memory of Mark Burk •G  reen Lake County Farm Bureau in memory of Marlin Abel •C  asey Langan in memory of Norman Manske • L ynn Siekmann in memory of Norman Manske •H  oward Poulson in memory of Selma Mathwig • J efferson County Farm Bureau in memory of Selma Mathwig •D  avid Kruschke in memory of Wilfred Kuhl

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

ggie nswers

Carley Blado

District 6

I enjoy a weekend getaway in Lakewood. My brideto-be has a family cottage on Madden Lake where we enjoy fishing, swimming and four-wheeling. On a lake or on the dusty trails is a perfect getaway!

We asked members of the State Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee: What is your favorite summer event/activity to do in Wisconsin?

Derek Husmoen Brian Preder

District 4

West-central Wisconsin has many winding roads through hills and valleys. There’s nothing more relaxing than a backroads drive with the windows down, the music up and enjoying the fresh country air!

District 7

I start in May by throwing darts at a state map. I make a list of towns and their summer events where the darts land. I meet new people, hear crazy stories, taste amazing food, and discover what makes Wisconsin great.

Cindy Bourget

District 9

Local festivals like Pickle Fest in Boyceville and Pepper Fest in Hudson. These festivals are a great way to reconnect with friends and neighbors while celebrating our agricultural heritage.

June | July 2016

Amanda Knoch

District 5

In June we have our county Farm Bureau Dairy Breakfast that I have only missed one year in my whole life and the only reason I missed it was because Josh and I had just brought our first baby home the day before.

Beth Schaefer

District 8

The best kept secret in central Wisconsin is the Dells of the Eau Claire Park. This is one of my favorite places to picnic, hike and swim. The huge boulders in the river provide for great fishing, diving and climbing.


Each year Rural Mutual Insurance Company and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau hold a photo contest for staff. The follow photos were some of the winners.

Photo by Craig and Kristen Salewski, Sun Prairie

Photo by Mitch Deprey, Prairie du Sac

Photo by Bret Anderson, DeForest

Photo by Patti Roden, West Bend

Photo by Candy Flynn, Middleton

Send us YOUR Photos 46

Rural Route

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

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Lock in gains and never lose money



1 Surrender of the contract may be subject to surrender charges. Withdrawals before age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Additionally, there is a charge for the Simple7 Income Rider once it is activated. Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company/West Des Moines, IA. A144 (6-16)

Rural Route  

Wisconsin Farm Bureau June | July Volume 22 Issue 3

Rural Route  

Wisconsin Farm Bureau June | July Volume 22 Issue 3