Page 1


june | july 2017 • vol. 23 no. 3 |

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. •

©2016 GROWMARK, Inc. A14173D

contents vol. 23 no. 3
















36 stay connected


Meet some of your fellow Farm Bureau members.


Get to know the state Young Farmer and Agriculturist Chair.


Learn about some of the ways you can benefit from UW-Extension.


This summer and fall, check out some of Wisconsin's treasures.


Columns from Holte, Eckelberg, Koss Roth and O'Rourke.


Mineral Point fourth grade students get cheese added as state symbol.


Recipes and tips to try on the grill this summer.


Winner chosen for the fourth and fifth grade essay contest.


Learn more about the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.


Learn more about password protection and saving for retirement.




JUNE | JULY 2017

Read our previous issues at





ver feel like you are going in circles? I do. I’ll be the first to admit summer is a hectic time around our household. My husband races stock cars with his family so every weekend May through August we travel. Every Friday night through Sunday we are on the road between our home and the track. While we are new homeowners, we joke that we live out of a bag more than our home. Vacations, family time, campfires and weddings. Summer truly is a busy time for most families. It can seem like all you’re doing is going in circles. While growing up on a farm, summer for me consisted of more chores than normal and lots of stacking hay. For a farm kid, it was hard to know where summer started or ended. Some of my fondest summer memories on the farm were tracking down the newest kitten litter or walking the cows from the pasture to be milked while

admiring the black-eyed Susans. My most important task was training my fair animals. Throughout the summer, I cared for my calf or heifer that I was going to take to the county fair. As many youth gear up for showing season, I am reminded of the work that was done during fair week, and throughout the summer. Many of us will stay busy this summer no matter if we live on a farm or off. Whether you are taking care of business or leisure, be sure to take advantage of your member benefits. Whether it’s supplies from Grainger or a discount on a hotel stay, you can find out the details on page 21. In this issue of Rural Route you will see a variety of Farm Bureau faces featured. I hope you enjoy their stories of what makes their wheels turn. Experienced, driven and passionate, these leaders show what Farm Bureau is through their stories. If you are looking for an adventure that will surely include some memories, visit one of the spots on the treasure map on page 24. Wisconsin has some treasured events and places so check them out as you make plans for the summer. Whether you are doing circles with the tractor, race car or family vehicle, I wish you a happy and fun-filled summer. Take time for you and enjoy moments with family and friends. Thanks for reading, Amy Eckelberg Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Amy Eckelberg 608.828.5706 Designer Lynn Siekmann 608.828.5707 Contributors Sarah Marketon - 608.828.5711 Marian Viney - 608.828.5721

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) Don Radtke, Merrill, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Arch Morton Jr., Janesville Richard Gorder, Mineral Point Joe Bragger, Independence Kevin Krentz, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Adam Kuczer, Pulaski Rosalie Geiger, Reedsville (Promotion and Education Committee Chair) Derek Husmoen, Galesville (YFA Committee Chair) Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route (ISSN 1082-1368) (USPS 39940), the official publication of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, is published six times per year in February|March, April|May, June|July, August|September, October|November and December|January. Subscription of $5 is included in Farm Bureau dues. Periodical postage is paid at Madison, Wisconsin. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. For advertising rates and information: Wisconsin accounts contact Slack Attack at 608.222.7630 or National accounts contact Casey McNeal at 800.798.2691 ext. 334 or For general inquiries, contact Amy Eckelberg at 608.828.5706 or


Rural Route


Farm Bureau Membership

Questions and Answers Can my spouse and I share a membership?

What is Farm Bureau?

Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization of more than 46,000 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 Federation consists 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, based on resolutions that are proposed at the county level by voting members.

Why pay dues to be a Farm Bureau member?

Farm Bureau is a membership organization that relies on 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 21) while helping to support Wisconsin’s #1 industry. Members are classified at the county 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 maintain 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 keeping Wisconsin’s economy strong.

Yes! A Farm Bureau membership is a family membership. It applies to the member, member’s spouse and any children younger than 21. A family member 21 or older requires his or her own membership.

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

In 1934, Wisconsin Farm Bureau members created the Rural Mutual Insurance Company 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.

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 the due date.

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 $47 to $55 depending on where you live.

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:

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.

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.

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.

County Farm Bureau The remaining portion of your dues ($6-$14 depending on the county) is used to fund local events and activities. This may include county meetings, scholarships and other programs for youth, consumer education activities and member service programs in that county.

JUNE | JULY 2017


FACES of FARM BUREAU By Amy Eckelberg and Sarah Marketon

no surprise that agriculture is Wisconsin’s bread and when it comes to economic impact, but what many Idon’tt’sbutter realize is how diverse it really is. As the state’s largest

general agricultural organization, that diversity shines through Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s membership. Our members live and work throughout the state. Some wear dress shoes every day, while others wear boots. Some drive tractors while others are more comfortable in a car. There are Farm Bureau members who have been involved in


Rural Route

the organization for more than 40 years, while some joined recently. As an organization, our diversity makes us strong. You don’t have to look much further than your local Farm Bureau to learn more about farming and food production. In the next few pages, you will have a chance to meet some Farm Bureau members. While they might be different in age and what they do every day, you’ll find a similarity between them: their passion for agriculture.


PersonProduce:Lindsay Knoebel The


Behind the

ne of Lindsay Knoebel’s favorite things is watching the sun set over the fields after a long day of hard work. The 26-year-old farmer and seed saleswoman keeps busy to say the least, so she uses this time to reflect. For Knoebel farming has always been her way of life. She welcomes the challenge it brings and enjoys that each day is different. She gets her motivation to work hard from her family and fellow farmers. “Agriculture is in my blood; it’s who I am,” Knoebel said. For the past five years, she has held a job full-time selling seed to farmers, but has been actively involved with her family’s livestock and crop farm her entire life. In 2001, she was part of her family’s decision to begin growing produce. Farming is indeed a family business for Knoebel as she works alongside her parents, Steve and Jody, who farm full-time raising cattle and managing Jelli’s Market. Jelli’s Market is a produce farm located in Jefferson County. They allow consumers to pick a variety of fruits such as pears, peaches, plums, apples, strawberries and blueberries. The market also sells fresh cut asparagus, beef, pork, chicken and home décor. The Knoebels also have a greenhouse where they grow flowers and vegetable plants that are sold in the spring for

landscaping and gardening. From planting crops to caring for animals, farmers must take care of all natural resources. Knoebel says she tries to combat the myth that farmers are not responsible caretakers of the land by simply sharing all farming practices they do to ensure a future generation can work the same land. “Agriculture is a very consumer driven market and as consumers become further removed from agriculture, conversations about farming practices are becoming crucial to ensure everyone understands the path from farm gate to dinner plate,” Knoebel stated. Knoebel became a Farm Bureau member in 2013 when a friend asked her to join. She now serves in a leadership role as the Jefferson County Young Farmer and Agriculturist chair where she helps plan events for young people in the organization. “I have to believe in the future of agriculture because it is the core of my existence,” Knoebel said. Outside of farming and Farm Bureau, Knoebel jokes there is no time for hobbies, but when she does find a spare moment, she enjoys running and downhill skiing in addition to showing livestock.

JUNE | JULY 2017


Dean, Dad, Farmer and Husband: A

dam Wehling identifies with many titles: dad, husband, farmer and Dean of Agriculture, Energy and Transportation at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Wehling grew up on a dairy farm where he helped his parents milk 50 Holstein cows and raise steers. To this day, agriculture is still the dinner conversation topic any time his family gets together. After doing some genealogy work, the Wehling family discovered farming has been a part of both sides of the family since the 1600s. Today, Adam and his wife, Katie, are co-owners of Cedar Bee Farm where they raise and sell pastured pork, free-range chicken, strawberries, asparagus and honey. The couple has two sons Easton, 5 and Owen, 8 months. The family has made a point to identify niche markets in the Chippewa Valley and capitalize on those areas of consumer demand. They differentiate themselves by selling direct to consumers, grocery stores and restaurants. Some of their most popular pork items are breakfast sausage links and bacon made with their own honey and a specialty beer, bacon and cheese brat made with Wisconsin products. In order to plant and harvest earlier, the Wehlings built a 30 by 96-foot-high tunnel to grow strawberries and asparagus.


Rural Route

Adam Wehling

This past year, they started harvesting asparagus in late April and the strawberries were available in mid to late May. Before the vision of Cedar Bee Farm, Wehling remembers entering high school as a “shy farm kid searching for direction in life.” After joining FFA, his FFA advisor provided him guidance and his future took shape. After serving as the Wisconsin State FFA Parliamentarian and graduating from UW-River Falls, Wehling taught high school agricultural education for 12 years, which lead him into his current role as Dean of Agriculture, Energy and Transportation at Chippewa Valley Technical College. A true teacher at heart, he says his favorite part of serving as dean is “seeing a student’s face light up at graduation when they tell me about a dream job they just landed.” Growing food, raising a family and nurturing the next generation of leaders takes dedication, but Wehling credits the impact farming has on his family as the driving force behind each day. “I get to provide my sons with opportunities to take pride in what they do, responsibility for other living creatures and hope they can pay it forward to others in the future,” Wehling said.



Dedication: Marv and Mary Prestrud


fter completing 27 mission trips to numerous locations in Mexico and South America, Marv and Mary Prestrud have taken servant leadership to a whole new level. While abroad, the couple helped build churches, homes and schools for those who are in desperate need. Additionally, Marv has also completed many medical missions. While Marv and Mary often travel far from the farmyard, they are fortunate enough to have five children, Chad, Wade, April, Joy and Ginger; 14 grandchildren and a small handful of employees who help keep the farm running while they are away. There is no shortage of challenging decisions to make on the farm, but for the Prestruds it is a family business and they rely on each other to help make the best decisions for their cows, their employees and the environment. While the couple used to be found doing day-to-day labor on the farm, they have now transitioned much of that work to the next generation. Their oldest son Chad has entered into partnership with his father, which established Prestrud Dairy, LLC. While their roles have changes, their passion of providing quality care to their 500 cows hasn’t flinched. “We treat our animals, land and employees well,” said Mary. “You don’t get very far in this business without doing that.” Mary helps with the farm’s paperwork, bills and ordering supplies while Marv serves as an advisor to the farm while working through the transition to their children. A recent project for the couple included helping coordinate the Dunn County Dairy Breakfast at their farm on May 20. “My favorite part of being a dairy farmer is when I am challenged to make a tough decision and it all works out in the end,” said Marv. A true optimist, Marv has had challenges besides farmrelated decisions since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Keeping his limitations in mind he stays as active as he can on the farm and off. The couple joined Farm Bureau 17 years ago to become more involved with grassroots policy development. They believe that being engaged in policy is one of the biggest benefits to their membership, however, they also enjoy building friendships with farmers and agriculturists from across the state. Marv serves as the Dunn County Farm Bureau president. Mary serves on the Dunn County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education committee and was formally on the state Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. Whether on the farm, in the community or out of the country, Marv and Mary will continue to lead by example. JUNE | JULY 2017



Finding Their


ineral Point is home to Heisner Family Dairy, Adam and Amanda Heisner’s organic dairy farm. They have about 100 cows and farm in partnership with Adam’s brother. Amanda also is a coordinator and teacher for the Mineral Point Unified School District. For Adam, his interest in farming started when he was young growing up on his parent’s dairy farm in northern Illinois. In 1983, Adam’s dad moved to a farm in southwest Wisconsin, where the farm is today. Amanda had a similar experience, being raised on different types of farms in the Midwest and East Coast. Like other business owners, farmers must decide how to best market their products to their consumers. For the Heisners, this means targeting a niche market of consumers who purchase organic milk. “When we began organic farming in 2000, we were becoming part of a niche market we were certain would reach maturity within a few years,” said Adam. “The last 17 years have taught us that there continues to be demand from a small but valid portion of consumers.” It’s important to Adam and Amanda that all sectors of agriculture do well.“I know that all production models have a place in agriculture,” Adam said. “We too often condemn one model to promote our own. I have always believed that agriculture needs to work together to better strengthen our connection to the consumer.” Communication is something that the Heisners value and


Rural Route

Adam and Amanda Heisner have used Farm Bureau’s programs to become more effective leaders and communicators. “Becoming involved with the Young Farmer and Agriculturist program allowed us to improve our leadership and communication skills while networking with fellow young farmers from across the state and nation,” said Amanda. “One of the greatest opportunities this involvement offered me was participating in American Farm Bureau’s first Partners in Advocacy Leadership class.” Amanda is a previous winner of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag award, which judges participants on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. She also was a state winner and national semifinalist in the Discussion Meet, a contest for members to demonstrate their problem solving and speaking skills. She also is a member of a national farmer and rancher social media action group. Adam serves as the Iowa County Farm Bureau president and was active in the Young Farmer and Agriculturist program, serving as state YFA Chair. Continuous improvement is important to the couple for the farm and themselves. Their personal growth in Farm Bureau alone proves they always want to excel. “In the next five years, I want to become involved in local government, either school board or town board, in addition to leadership in Farm Bureau,” Adam said.


Pass the

Potato Chips: Lynn Dickman W

aushara County Farm Bureau member Lynn Dickman works hard to provide a staple for backyard cookouts. Not the brats, hamburgers or steaks, but rather the potato chips. Dickman grew up milking cows on her parents’ farm before pursuing a degree in dairy science from UW-Madison. “I never thought I would be working with potatoes,” joked Dickman while talking about her journey to Heartland Farms as a research agronomist. She began working for the Central Wisconsin potato farm in 2010 after graduating with her bachelor’s degree. Two short years later, she began pursuing her master’s degree in horticulture at UW-Madison while also balancing her daily duties at Heartland Farms. In the spring of 2016, she completed her master’s degree and returned to the farm full-time, working to stay on the cutting edge of new potato varieties, growing technology and field practices. Much of Dickman’s spring involves hand planting approximately 5.5 miles of potato research plots. She uses these plots to evaluate ways in which the company can more efficiently grow and store potatoes to minimize inputs such as water and fertilizer, while maximizing the amount of potatoes grown. One of the biggest challenges she is faced with is to find varieties of potatoes along with handling and storage

practices that reduce bruising. Bruised potatoes have a greater potential to develop bacterial or fungal infections that can compromise an entire bin of potatoes and ultimately decrease the sustainability and efficiency of the farm. As a researcher, Dickman identifies ways to better care for natural resources so the company can stay viable for future generations. During the winter, when Dickman is not planting or harvesting potatoes she stays busy testing the fry quality of the potatoes. Since the potatoes from Heartland Farms are used to make potato chips, they must be low in sugar to be fried into light colored chips and free from discoloration or other imperfections. This time of year also allows Dickman to study the data collected from the previous growing season’s trials. When she is not walking potato fields or analyzing data, Dickman is likely to be found training for an upcoming run. She has been an avid runner for 10 years and enjoys biking, hiking and playing volleyball. As a previous member of the UW- Madison marching band, she also plays French horn in a city band and volunteers her time with various community groups including the Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee.

JUNE | JULY 2017


Growing Crops, Cultivating Leaders By Amy Eckelberg


farmer by night and on the weekends, Derek Husmoen’s day job also revolves around dirt. It was a project on his family’s, then dairy, farm that first got him interested in soil. The local Department of Land Management worked with the family to build a barnyard for their cows. What probably seemed like a simple project to them, was life-changing for Husmoen. “I enjoyed seeing the project from start to finish and the consideration they had for the soil,” Husmoen said. “Prior to that our cows would sink but after completion they had a nice foundation to stand on.” Though the family’s cows were sold, the neighbor’s organic youngstock now reap the benefits as they now use the facility in the summertime. While farming has always been Husmoen’s first love, his interest in soil and science blossomed with land judging through his high school’s FFA chapter and led him to major in ag engineering technology and minor in soil science at UW-River Falls. After earning a bachelor's degree, Husmoen decided to attend Texas A&M University when he learned about a graduate research assistantship from his adviser at UW-River Falls. “I have always loved science, and this gave me the opportunity to conduct soil and water quality research,” Husmoen explained. After two years of research, his master’s degree in soil


Rural Route

science was complete but another opportunity arose. This time to travel abroad. “I spent June through August in Belgium working on a water quality research project,” Husmoen said. “I’ve always been interested in travel but never really had time.” During the three months abroad, Husmoen traveled on his own and met graduate students from around the world in addition to working on a research project. “One of the things I found interesting was there are farmers (in Belgium) who have to pay to export their manure,” Husmoen said. “That’s something you don’t see in the U.S.” There was no doubt working with soil and doing nutrient management work was a career Husmoen wanted to pursue. After returning to the U.S., he started his first job in Kansas as a soil conservation technician for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. “I liked working there but, it just wasn’t home,” Husmoen said. “I like being in dairy country.” After about three years in Kansas, he found a job closer to home. For the past three years Husmoen has worked for the Winona County NRCS office in Minnesota as a soil conservationist. “I work with farmers to keep soil in place and reduce water quality issues,” Husmoen explained. “We work together to solve any issues they might be having. They usually know what they need help with and we work with them to find a solution. We are helping farmers get conservation on the ground.” Husmoen knows it’s not a common job to be a soil


conservationist. When he shares what he does with someone not familiar with agriculture he usually gets a lot of questions. “I think the average person just sees equipment and doesn’t really know there are so many practices to go along with it,” Husmoen said. “It’s not just planting a crop, there’s so much more involved.” Husmoen said he enjoys working with newer farmers the most. “We had one young farmer who came in and had soil erosion problems,” Husmoen shared. “We took a look at his fields last fall after harvest and found there were ditches, so we came up with a plan to build some waterways. Now, he has showed interest in cover crops so we are working with him on that.” Husmoen said he enjoys working with young farmers because of their eagerness to learn. Leading the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee When Husmoen moved back to Wisconsin, Farm Bureau staff member Steve Boe, reached out to him and asked if he wanted to fill a vacant spot on the state Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. Knowing a little about Farm Bureau and having a few other leadership roles from college under his belt, he stepped up to the challenge. “I wasn’t completely new to Farm Bureau,” Husmoen explained. “My parents have been members for years and I worked in the shake stand at the county fair when I was younger. I think the biggest learning curve has been getting to know our area’s YFA members. Each area in the state is different when it comes to their YFA involvement. It’s getting to know the members and encouraging them to get involved.” Since becoming more involved in Farm Bureau, Husmoen has enhanced his communication skills, learned about policy development, met with lawmakers and participated in the one-year, Farm Bureau-focused leadership training course, the Leadership Institute. Husmoen appreciates Farm Bureau’s diversity among its members. “Farmers can get together and talk about their specific niche, but it’s nice in Farm Bureau because you have a variety of roles in agriculture and can learn from each other,” Husmoen explained. “It’s a broad agriculture organization and that allows you to learn a lot from others.” This year as chair of the state YFA committee, Husmoen sits on the WFBF Board of Directors, which is made up of nine directors, one from each of Farm Bureau’s nine districts, and a representative from the state Promotion and Education and YFA committees. “At first it was almost intimating because there are a lot of years of experience in that board room,” Husmoen said. “Being a part of the Board is a great privilege and seeing the positive direction the organization is moving is exciting.” Husmoen said support for the YFA program across the organization is why the program has grown in recent years. “We want to make the YFA program the best it can be,” Husmoen said. “We want to keep making positive strides. Without support from the Board and other leaders we wouldn’t be able to grow the program."

Learn more about the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program The YFA program is for young farmers and agriculturists between the ages of 18 and 35. The YFA program allows members to hone their leadership skills while networking with their peers. 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 through social sharing and networking, personal growth and leadership development and increased knowledge of current and future agricultural issues. At the state level, a committee of young farmers and agriculturists comprised of one individual or couple from each of the nine districts, work together to plan, organize and conduct activities to get young farmers and agriculturists acquainted with and actively engaged in Farm Bureau at all levels of the organization. This year, Derek Husmoen is chair of the committee. To meet the other committee members and learn more about the YFA program, visit programsevents/young-farmer-and-agriculturist-program.

JUNE | JULY 2017



Falls, Apr il 18

Ag Day

ison, W-Mad


5 ls, April 2 eir event on two days, l a F r e v i R th UWl 25. er Falls held iv on Apri ther, UW-R tdoor event u o an D ue to wea d an April 18 a speaker on

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.

9 April 1

UW-Plattevil 14

Rural Route

le, April 20

UW-Madison, Apr il 19

, April 20

ille UW-Plattev


Got Email? Are your membership records current?

If you’ve moved, acquired a new telephone number or changed your name or email address, it’s important that your new information is reflected in your membership records. Email addresses and cell phone numbers help Farm Bureau reach you in instances where prompt communication is important. If you need to update your records, email your current contact information to, and our staff will make the update.







RANGER XP® 1000:


THE HARDEST WORKING, SMOOTHEST RIDING AUTHORITY ON GETTING EVERY JOB DONE. The all-new Polaris RANGER XP® 1000, the world’s most powerful and most comfortable utility side-by-side featuring a class dominating BOHP ProStar® engine, an all-new industry-exclusive 3-mode throttle control for ideal power and control for every situation, and best-in-class payload and towing capacity. See your dealer for more information or visit to see the full RANGER® lineup.



0000 Street Name .Town Name 000.000.0000 * Payment is for tractor with loader and is calculated at 20% down and 84 months nths financing. financing Mower, Mower additional attachments and implements, dealer fees and delivery charges may affect price. With approved credit. Program restrictions may apply. See dealer for details. All offers expire June, 30 2017.


WARNING: The Polaris RANGER® can be hazardous to operate and is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speed and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. All drivers should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails. ©2016 Polaris Industries Inc.

JUNE | JULY 2017


Farm Bureau Leaders Give Milk

In May, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee decided to 'adopt a cow' through Second Harvest’s Adopt-a-Cow program. Milk is a protein-rich product that is rarely donated to food banks. According to Second Harvest’s website, it can only on average, provide approximately onethird of the milk that is requested by their partner agencies. The committee is challenging you to adopt a cow too. Each person who adopts gets a certificate. Find out how to participate at The Promotion and Education Committee is a group of leaders who develop, implement and promote projects and programs which build awareness and understanding of agriculture. These committee members represent the nine Wisconsin Farm Bureau districts.


Rural Route


Watch for

#WFBFTakeOverTuesday Have you ever wanted to get a glimpse into the daily life of a fellow Farm Bureau member? Find Wisconsin Farm Bureau on Instagram to follow along for #WFBFTakeoverTuesday! Instagram is a photo and video sharing app for smart devices. Wisconsin Farm Bureau uses Instagram to share updates about programs and activities. This platform is used to highlight what Farm Bureau members are up to on their farms and at their jobs. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members have the chance to take over the WFBF account for a day to give an insider’s view into their daily duties. If you are interested in getting involved, contact All members are invited to participate!

JUNE | JULY 2017


Supporting Wisconsin Agriculture

Dairy Modernization


Educational Meetings

University of Wisconsin-Extension programs support Wisconsin’s $88.3 billion agricultural, horticultural, food and bioenergy sectors. County-based educators and campus-based specialists teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities.


One UW-Extension meeting series saves Wisconsin growers more than $11 million each year on nearly one million acres. The agricultural calendar can often be described as a season for planting, growing and harvesting; and a season for educational update meetings. Two of the bigger series of UW-Extension meetings are the Agronomy Update Meetings and the Pest Management Update Meetings; both take place during a week’s time with meetings throughout the state and present the latest research on these topics. Attendees at the Agronomy Update

Meetings report average savings/earnings of $11.22 per acre on nearly one million acres. Attendees at the Pest Management Meetings report average savings/earnings of $10.9 per acre for a total of $38.7 million because of information learned at this meeting. The recently renamed Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic, geared toward ag service providers in crop management, provides another opportunity for UW-Extension specialists to share the latest research and recommendations.

Making UW-Extension resources digital and accessible. UW-Extension apps, videos and software bring campus-based research and expertise to farmers, consultants and agronomists on the farm and in the field to address time-sensitive issues. From calculating nutrient credits to pricing corn, UWExtension mobile apps help farmers reap bountiful harvests, earn more money and allow people to eat the best food the earth can grow sustainably. Apps include: Wisconsin’s Corn N Rate Calculator, N Price Calculator, Crop Calculators for Corn, NPK Credits – Manure and Legume Nutrient Credit Calculator, Soybean Replant Calculator and an IPM toolkit. The apps are available for Apple and Android devices. Keeping Wisconsin’s dairy industry vital and productive. Wisconsin’s dairy industry contributes $43.4 billion to the state’s economy each year. UW-Extension coordinates educational programs to help dairy farm businesses modernize their facilities to remain profitable and competitive. A recent study found farmers who utilized modern technology had increases in cow productivity, reduced labor per cow, improvement in cow comfort, improvement in employee ergonomic conditions and increased annual milk sales by $411,177 per farm. Rural Route





Farm Succession Ag Plastic Recycling Recycling agricultural plastics helps Wisconsin farmers and the environment. An ag plastics collection program that started in 2014 as two pilot projects in Green County has expanded and is now keeping about 125 tons of agriculture plastic out of landfills every week. Mark Mayer, UW-Extension Green County agriculture agent, collaborated with Revolution Plastics in 2014 to find a solution to the challenge of recycling agricultural plastics; there are now dumpsters for ag plastic on 2,500 farms in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. The free dumpsters save each farmer an average of more than $1,000 per year in disposal costs and divert more than 125 tons of used ag plastic out of landfills and illegal burn piles every week. The program has added more than $130,000 in revenues to the Green County Landfill for baling during the last eight months and created eight new jobs around the state. Many UW-Extension county agriculture agents have assisted Revolution Plastics in securing places for distributing the dumpsters and promoting the program.


UW-Extension Connections

Smooth farm transitions are essential to the future of Wisconsin agriculture. According to 2012 USDA Ag Census data, the average age of Wisconsin farmers is 56 years old. Estimating that one-third of the 8,400 Wisconsin dairy farms with owners between the ages of 45 and 64 have business succession plans, that leaves 5,600 farms needing some type of business succession. This is a considerable amount of change the industry will face in the next few years. Farm succession is a complex, multi-faceted process that can take years to implement and complete. Because each farm and each family is different, group meetings and workshops can provide general education and information, but individual meetings are often necessary to start the planning process. UW-Extension farm succession facilitation helps farm families organize their goals so their time with ag professionals is more efficient.


Food Safety and Quality Assurance Programs Building consumer confidence in the livestock industry. Consumers are increasing their demand for more information, and placing more scrutiny on knowing where their food comes from and how it is being produced. Participation in Beef Quality Assurance, Dairy-Beef Quality Assurance and Pork Quality AssuranceÂŽ Plus programs delivered by UW-Extension agents provide a way to demonstrate to consumers that beef, dairy and pork farmers are committed to producing a high quality, safe and wholesome food product. Another example of UWExtension responsiveness can be seen in the programming around the new USDA Food and Drug Administration regulation pertaining to antibiotics in feed, and to a resulting Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). UW-Extension educational programs were developed and delivered to 481 veterinarians, farmers and agricultural service providers across the state in time to meet the January 1, 2017, VFD implementation date.


Find us on Facebook and Twitter by searching for @UWExtensionANRE. Connect to your county agent by visiting Do you have your own story to share about how you partnered with UW-Extension? Please share it at

JUNE | JULY 2017


Ellen Schutt, Darien Shannon Boschma, Athens

Tasha Zimmerman, Brodhead Kelly Pollack, Ripon

Send us YOUR Photos

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. Photos sent in may be used in other WFBF publications.


Rural Route

Jillian Beaty, Milton


Explore Wisconsin with these great

Find a place to stay!

Need transportation?

As a Farm Bureau member, you will save 20% off published rates at participating Choice and Wyndham Hotels.

No worries! Farm Bureau members can save up to 25% on their vehicle rentals from AVIS and Budget.

Don't get stranded!

Be in the know.

Wyndham Hotel Group Save money on a your AAA membership.


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

Wyndham Hotel Group

 ave 20% off the best available rate S 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® Farm Bureau ID#: 8000004288 For reservations: 877.670.7088.

Budget Rental Discount Program

Save up to 25% B  udget Customer Discount number: Y775749. To Rent: b or 800.527.0700

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

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

Stay up-to-date with current events from Wisconsin with a subscription to one of Wisconsin's leading rural newspapers.

AVIS Car Rental Discount Program

Save 5%-25% Avis Worldwide Discount number: A298849. To Rent: or 800.331.1212


Prescription savings card 800.700.3957; Group number: 703A

Life Line Screening

Vascular screening 877.591.7159


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 2017 Wallet Guide Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 5550 Madison, WI 53705 800.261.FARM

Additional money-saving benefits! Rural Mutual Insurance Company

To find a Rural Mutual Insurance Company agent, visit or call 877.219.9550.

Farm Bureau members who are agricultural producers and patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage when patronage is paid.

Members qualify for a variety of discounts on new purchases. Visit to print your certificate and for details on models and discounts.

You can get more information about the services Farm Bureau Financial offers from your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent. Learn more at

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

Save up to 30% at Grainger and get free shipping. To order, call 608.221.3861 or visit

Members receive an incentive discount ($300 to $500) when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers.

Visit to find out more about your membership benefits! *WFBF member benefits may be changed or discontinued at anytime without notice.*

Rural Mutual Insurance Company  ffering a full line of insurance and O financial products for your personal, farm and business needs.

AgriPlan Medical Reimbursement Program


S  ave 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.

 armers and other self-employed F individuals deduct 100% of their family’s medical expenses through their farm or business. or 888.595.2261

Case IH

 ost a reward sign or sticker to earn a P $500 reward for providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals for arson, theft or criminal damage to a member’s property.

Insight FS Patronage

Reward Protection Program

Accidental Death Policy

 eceive $1,500 to $3,500 in accidental R death insurance for themselves and their spouse, and $500 for minors.

I ncentive discount ($300 to $500) on qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers. View models and print your certificate.

P  atrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage dividends when patronage is paid.

Grainger Industrial Supply

S  ave up to 30% at Grainger and get free shipping. Free catalog: 608.221.3861 Farm Bureau account: #855922019

Farm Bureau Bank

FDIC insured checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans.

My Farm Bureau member number:

Farm Bureau Financial Services

Multi-state insurance and investment organization serving individuals and families. Contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent.

Office Depot

Save 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.

My county’s contact information:

General Motors Discount Terminated The General Motors Farm Bureau discount expired May 31. Previously, eligible Farm Bureau members in participating states received a $500 rebate toward the purchase or lease of most new Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles with a Farm Bureau discount certificate. American Farm Bureau had been in negotiations with GM for the past few months attempting to reach an agreement. Unfortunately, GM decided to end this member benefit discount program with American Farm Bureau as of May 31, 2017. In May, a postcard was mailed to Farm Bureau members notifying them of the change. Any discount certificate that was printed for this member benefit is invalid for any vehicle delivered after May 31, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience the termination of this member discount may cause you. For more information or if you have questions, please contact Dale Beaty at 608.828.5714 or JUNE | JULY 2017


Unlock Wisconsin's

Agricultural Treasures Ahoy, Matey!

Load up the car with the lads and lassies because Wisconsin Farm Bureau members are part of some greats things to see and do around Wisconsin. No need to find 'yur' sea legs in this quest for treasure. This is sure to be fun for true pirates and land 'lubbers' alike!

Spring Valley, August 19 Ogema, July 8 Marion, June 25



Ettrick, June 24 Grand Marsh, August 20

Dodgeville, July 8-9


Rural Route

Janesville, Early June - October 31

Malone, All-Year


Legend Family Farm Weekend at the Milwaukee County Zoo

The September 9-10 event offers fun for all ages and will feature food demonstrations, milking parlor demonstrations, a children’s pedal tractor-pull exhibition and a local farmers' market.

Skelly's Farm Market

Since 1989, Skelly produce has been a name on dinner tables across southern Wisconsin. They bring top quality produce and wholesome family entertainment while continuing to support local agriculture. Visit the farm from June through October.

Iowa County Farmers Appreciation Day

The event recognizes local farmers and agribusinesses and promotes and educates the public about agriculture. There are several activities for the youngsters and plenty of fun for people of all ages!

Moo-vin' With Milk 5k and Dairy Day

In addition to a 5K and 1 mile run/walk attendees can enjoy meeting calves, milk shakes, games, milk tasting and dairygood fun for the whole family! Join the fun on June 24 at Game Time Park in Ettrick from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Moo-vin' with Milk 5K

Grand Marsh Corn ‘n Tater Festival

LaClare Farms

Visit this one of a kind shoppe on the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Our Cafe prepares its menu using seasonal, locally raised fresh ingredients whenever possible. The Retail Shoppe includes Wisconsin artisan and farmstead cheeses, most of which are made on site. Also available are many varieties of ice creams, wines and craft beers. Visit the state-of -the-art facility where 700 goats are milked daily. Come between the hours of 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily to see the milking process. Tours available seasonally.

Shawano County Brunch on the Farm and Dairy Dash and Stroll 5K Run/ Walk

This year's brunch is hosted by the Mielke family of Mielke's S-Curve Dairy LLC near Marion on June 25. This event features the Dairy Dash and Stroll 5K Run/Walk, a worship service and a delicious brunch consisting of scrambled eggs with diced ham, sausages, hash browns, cheese, cinnamon bread with butter, milk, juice and ice cream with strawberries or maple syrup. They will also have children’s games, a bouncy house, wagon rides and farm tours, music and much more. Shawano County Brunch on the Farm

Price County Horse Pull and Beef Cookoff

Join us on July 8 and enjoy a beef sandwich with all the fixin's while you watch the sanctioned horse pull. This event is sponsored by the Price County Farm Bureau. horse-pull-beef-cookout-43199

St. Croix County Farm City Day

Head out Join the fun to Trim-bel on August Valley Dairy Farm near 20 from 11 Spring Valley on August a.m. to 4 19 for lunch on the farm. p.m. at the Grand Marsh Everyone, young and old, Development Park. Enjoy is invited for a free lunch roast beef sandwiches, rain or shine. There will be sweet corn and baked guided farm tours, petting barnyard, machinery exhibit, Schottler potatoes. Activities include Milk Buds and more. Event sponsors are St. Croix County farmers, bingo, kids' games, crafts, flea market, live music and other events. businesses and St. Croix County UW-Extension. Corn 'N Tater Festival JUNE | JULY 2017 25


We are Farm Bureau

A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte


here is no doubt that Farm Bureau’s roots run deep in agriculture. Farm Bureau has been a long-standing tradition in rural communities and farming families but just as agriculture has changed, our organization has changed and adapted. Farm Bureau is proud to be the voice of agriculture, but because we are an agricultural-based group doesn’t mean that we are just farmers. Today, we are more than 46,000 members strong. Some members are farmers, just like me, who you see in the fields, but others are small business owners, teachers, community volunteers,


Rural Route

doctors, engineers or nurses. No matter your profession, together we make up the membership of Wisconsin Farm Bureau. Each of our stories on what motivated us to join is different. I had just graduated from college when a man by the name of Carl Casper called me. He told me about Farm Bureau and why he thought I should join the organization. I signed up that year and things haven’t been the same since. When I first joined the organization, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a young farmer, I quickly started using the tools that Farm Bureau had to offer. My interests turned to networking events and leadership contests and I became more involved. Some members, like myself, were asked to join Farm Bureau by a friend. Some joined through their Rural Mutual Insurance policy. Regardless of how your journey started, all of us are part of the Farm Bureau family now. As members, we each have a wealth of resources to take advantage of. Some members enjoy networking with farmers and agriculturists from across the state and even the nation. Other members use their member benefits to their full potential, which include discounts on Wyndham and Choice hotels AAA membership; or a Rural Mutual Insurance policy.

Speaking of Rural Mutual Insurance, did you know the company was formed in 1934 by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation to provide low cost auto insurance to Farm Bureau members? As a Wisconsin-based company, the agents serve farmers and non-farmers alike. Their motto, “Premiums paid here, stay here,” sums up their dedication to rural communities. They are great supporters of 4-H, FFA and WFBF’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist program, which help develop future agricultural leaders. I’m proud of the relationship we have with them and the encouragement they give to young leaders. Whether it’s the benefits in the form of leadership opportunities, discounts or networking there is so much to gain from being a Farm Bureau member. I hope you value your membership like I do and appreciate the diversity of our members. It takes all of us to keep this organization strong. Thank you for being a part of the Farm Bureau family. Together, we are Wisconsin Farm Bureau. President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

since 2012, Holte is a grain and beef farmer from Elk Mound.


Gather Around the Table with No Fear A Message from WFBF's Amy Eckelberg


centerpiece in nearly every home: the table. Whether it’s small, large, cluttered or clear, it’s quite possibly a place where memories were made. For my family, the table was where we played cards with grandma, listened to grandpa’s stories, celebrated birthdays and did our homework. It’s where my husband asked my dad for my hand in marriage and where we wrote grandpa’s obituary. It’s where we duke out family feuds. But mostly, it’s the place we eat good food together. Growing up on our dairy farm, it was common to gather around the table after all the chores were completed for a big meal in the early afternoon. Our family, and usually any workers who were helping that day, sat down, said grace and enjoyed delicious food and each other’s company. When I think about those meals I think about how concerned we were about making sure everyone was fed and that we had a variety of food options. Not once did we second guess what we were preparing for our family and employees. I’d say the tides have turned. Recently, a food and health survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation found that 78 percent of consumers say they encounter a lot of conflicting information about what to eat or avoid. Almost 96 percent say they seek out health benefits from what they eat and drink (such as weight loss, cardiovascular health, etc), but out of those only 45 percent could identify a single food or nutrient associated with those benefits. Overall, the survey showed Americans care about nutrition but don’t know much about it.

Messages. I know how easy it is to be bombarded by messages at the store recently. NonGMO, organic, all-natural, antibiotic free, the list goes on and on. As a person involved in agriculture, I know what labels truly mean, but still feel overwhelmed when grabbing an item off the shelf. The choices we have as American consumers are incredible. Tell me you haven’t walked into a big grocery store and felt overwhelmed. Labels and fear-based marketing gimmicks have invaded the grocery aisles. The last thing you need to fear is that farmers and grocery stores aren’t providing safe products. It frustrates me. I know meat is antibiotic free because of a mandatory withdrawal period for animals given antibiotics. As a shopper, I know that organic food is an option for my cart, but I also understand the practices that allow food to be listed as organic. I understand there are only nine genetically-modified organisms sold commercially in the U.S.: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash and sugar beets (with apples coming soon). So, when a tomato is marketed as non-GMO, I know it is a marketing gimmick because there are no GMO tomatoes. The most frustrating food label to me is all-natural. On the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website it states it’s difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. The FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term ‘natural’ or its derivatives; however, the agency does not object to the use of

JUNE | JULY 2017

the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances. Complicated. These terms are just plain complicated. There are 870 million people around the world who do not have access to a sufficient supply of nutritious and safe food according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We’re blessed in this country to have a strong, stable and safe food supply. Of course, there is always room for improvement. I know plenty of farmers who are continuously improving how they do things. Farmers care about providing safe food to their family and yours. You shouldn’t fear your food, because there are far better things to focus your time and energy on like making memories at the table. Eckelberg is WFBF’s Executive Director of Public Relations.



Thank You Farmers

Guest Column from Culver's President and CEO Joe Koss


ince 2011, Culver’s guests have had the opportunity to learn more about our menu offerings through our 'Welcome to Delicious' campaign, which ties our restaurants back to our suppliers and where our food comes from. It showcases the honest-to-goodness spirit of Culver’s food, people and service. In 30-second television spots, our co-founder Craig Culver is seen teaming up with a cattle rancher, dairy farmer or a cheese maker to illustrate Culver’s strong connection to farmers who produce the high-quality food that Culver’s guests enjoy. In 2013, we decided to take our appreciation for agriculture to a new and different level. We know that Culver’s would not have the success it has today without American agriculture. My predecessor, Phil Keiser, who passed away last year, recognized that before just about anyone in the restaurant industry. Our 'Thank You Farmers' initiative is designed to extend that appreciation and provide financial support to young people wishing


Rural Route

to pursue careers in agriculture. As the initiative enters its fifth year, Thank You Farmers has raised more than $1 million for the national FFA Foundation, its local chapters and other agriculture related organizations. Culver’s actively engages with the FFA through an annual Essay Contest which helps fund chapter trips to the National FFA Convention. Another way to provide support is the Blue Jacket Program which over the past two years Culver’s sponsored nearly 400 blue jackets for deserving FFA members who aren’t able to afford their own jacket. Culver’s restaurants work together with local FFA chapters and other agriculture groups on fundraising including donation canisters, sale of wall decals that say Thank You Farmers, kids' coloring contests, even petting zoos and custard eating contests. Culver’s guests have embraced participating in furthering the education of future leaders in agriculture. Whether in-restaurant or online, guests have written thousands of thank you notes to farmers. In 2016, the promotion called Seeds of Gratitude allowed guests to plant a seed in their area to represent their gratitude for agriculture and over 111,000 seeds were planted. This tied directly to Culver’s working with 18 different corn maze owners and one sunflower maze to grow the Thank You Farmer message. Other symbols of these larger than life thank yous are the Culver’s blue barns that showcase the Thank You Farmer message. From blue barns to our packaging the Culver’s Thank You Farmer message is integral to our Welcome to Delicious campaign. Taking that one step further, Culver’s is also working with members of the agriculture community

on #FarmingFridays which provides a platform for advocacy and giving guests a sense of what a day in the life is like through Culver’s social media channels. I invite you to learn more about our program at our website and I’d like to call out a video we produced I think you’ll enjoy. We followed a Wisconsin farm family for the day to show our guests what it’s like to be a dairy farmer. This third- and fourth-generation family is one of the many families that produce the dairy used in our Fresh Frozen Custard. I hope you’ll agree it’s a great educational tool and dispels some myths about farming: behind-every-bite/it-starts-here-a-dayon-a-dairy-farm. Our commitment to agriculture runs deep and we’re pleased to be making a big investment in agricultural education by pledging $250,000 to a capital campaign to build the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center (WAEC). The WAEC will be a state-of-the-art agricultural education center located in Manitowoc County in eastern Wisconsin between Milwaukee and Green Bay. It will provide visitors with the opportunity to connect to the industry by better understanding where their food comes from, and why agriculture is so important. It’s scheduled to open in 2018. Again, thanks to everyone in agriculture who has made Culver’s what it is today and a favorite of guests across the country. Koss is the President and CEO for Culver Franchising System, Inc.


Misconceptions Addressed from A Dairy Farmer Guest Column from WFBF Member Katie Roth


omeone once told me, “agriculture is a mystery.” As a girl inundated in dairy farming for the past 20 plus years of my life, it’s all I have ever known and has served as poignant reminder that I am part of the minority in America. What seems so natural to me conjures up curiosity serving as impetus for rampant stereotypes and misconceptions. A few of my favorites include: farmers have limited use of technology, expanding farms are the demise of rural life, animals are housed on factory farms and antibiotics are used haphazardly. Allow me to address these. Technology Technology is something we couldn’t live without on our farm. It’s hard to imagine life before the useful tools we have grown accustomed to using every day. Our technology toolbox includes things like a smart phone, GPS equipment and a tablet. My husband TJ uses his phone to check weather and markets multiple times a day. I use mine to show consumers life on the farm by posting videos and photos. The GPS equipment we installed in our planting and harvesting equipment allowed us to become more efficient and precise in the fields. The tablet I carry with me in the barn allows me to have every cows’ health history at the touch of my fingertips. Those are just a few examples of how we use technology on our farm. I can only imagine the use of technology will continue to rise in the coming years for farmers and nonfarmers. Farm Size The phrase, 'factory farm,' insults me and quite often carries a negative

connotation. Even though factories are known for consistency and efficiency, which is a good thing, the term gives a cold and heartless meaning to a rather emotional and heartfelt job. Along the same lines, I believe the public views farms growing in size as negative. I see it as a sign of success. We milk 275 cows and our barn is at maximum capacity. We have done a good job of our raising youngstock through genetics and other tools and ultimately have grown internally. Now, we need more room to keep our cows clean, comfortable and content so we are in the process of expanding by building another barn. Now, you might understand how I see this as a positive. Since there are family members interested in joining the farm we also need to be sure that we are keeping our farm financially healthy, so that gave us an extra reason to grow. Regardless of farm size, consistently making high-quality and nutritious milk is important to farmers along with giving cows the consistent and a comfortable climate they crave. Whether you have 50 cows or 5,000 cows, the goal stays the same: keeping cows healthy to provide a high-quality product. Animal Health My job on the farm is animal health specialist. It’s my goal prevent disease and illness. Just as people get sick, cows getting sick is a reality as well. Yes, I use antibiotics to help the sick from becoming sicker. I take great pride in working with our veterinarian to diagnose sick cows quickly and nursing them back to health while using antibiotics judiciously and prudently. I have farmer friends who chose to be organic, where

JUNE | JULY 2017

they do not use antibiotics, and this is fine with me. That is the beauty of farming; you can pick the management style that suites you best. On our farm antibiotics play a small role in keeping cows healthy. Vaccinations, supportive therapies and high levels of nutrition are an integral part of this. Dairy farming is a business but we do it because we love it. Just like most consumers, we depend on technology, efficiency and health care to increase our quality of life on our farm for us and our cows. My family is extremely proud to provide milk for your table. I encourage you to visit if you have questions about food and farming. Roth farms with her husband and two other partners, John and Luann Shea, on Banner Ridge Farms, LLC in Lafayette County. She serves as a Face of Farming and Ranching for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.



Youth Program Benefits Food Quality, Consumers Guest Column from UW-Extension's Bernie O'Rourke


griculture and animal science is, not surprisingly, one of the leading project areas in Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development. Nearly 19,000 youth are enrolled in 4-H animal science and plant and soil sciences projects each year. This represents 60 percent of youth enrollments in our state and includes youth from rural farms, as well as urban and suburban locales. These 4-Hers are supported by 3,750 adult volunteers. Through 4-H, many young people are learning and serving as ambassadors for an agriculture industry that’s tasked with feeding the world. Our youth livestock producers raise thousands of animals each year that contribute to the food supply. It’s imperative that young people be welleducated on how to produce a safe, wholesome product through the proper care and welfare of animals. For the past 15 years, Wisconsin 4-H and FFA youth who exhibit beef, sheep, swine and


meat goats at state and county fairs have taken part in the Meat Animal Quality Assurance (MAQA) program, an annual in-person training. Starting in late 2017, Wisconsin 4-H and FFA youth will have access to a new online training tool that caters to their learning level by age and types of animal care. The program, Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA), was developed with national livestock industry professionals and extension specialists - including myself - as well as national livestock show managers. The result is an accurate, current and relevant experience that meets the needs of the animal industry, exhibitions and youth. YQCA also adds dairy, poultry and rabbits to the beef, sheep, goats and swine education previously covered. Face-to-face, trainerled programs and a test-out option within each age bracket will also be available. States have the flexibility to adopt the program as it meets their needs. YQCA consists of training modules that educate youth in four age categories: junior (8-11), intermediate (12-14), senior (15-18) and young adult (19-21). Each year, youth complete one new module in each the following categories: animal welfare (basic needs, proper animal handling, biosecurity, etc.), food safety (medications, medicated feeds, withdrawal times, avoiding residue, etc.) and character education (ethics, goal setting, career exploration, etc.). Youth who successfully complete a quiz at the end of each module will receive certification in YQCA. YQCA gives ag families more flexibility in gaining this required certification, which is more convenient

to accommodate busy seasonal schedules. It’s estimated that youth will spend roughly 60 minutes completing modules each year. Participating in the online program also saves money on fuel and food costs that can come with attending trainings. A nominal fee will provide for the online delivery option and keeping the curriculum current. Wisconsin 4-H and FFA leaders are pleased to share their joint support of this program that will be implemented in Wisconsin starting in the fall of 2017. In addition, Wisconsin State Fair and other national exhibitions will require certification in YQCA for participation in 2018 events. The YQCA program illustrates the next generation of learning that youth development organizations offer. Within and outside of agriculture, youth are our future. It’s our responsibility to educate them in ways that will help them benefit generations to come. You can keep up with Wisconsin’s preparation for YQCA by going to or by following the Wisconsin Youth Livestock Program Facebook page. Find out more about your local 4-H program by contacting your county’s UW-Extension office. O’Rourke is the UW-Extension Youth Livestock

Specialist at UW-Madison in the Animal Sciences Department. O’Rourke has contributed to youth

animal education programs through the National

Pork Board since 2000. She is a 4-H project leader in Iowa County, where she operates a small farm with her family.

Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg

shows the bird’s summer and winter ranges meeting in the middle of the state. So, with luck, these recent arrivals will nest nearby and be with us until fall. For almost four decades, our family has enjoyed the presence of red-headed woodpeckers at our place along the creek. We enjoy their antics as they dine by the feeders, in the back yard and across the grassland fields bordering the woods. They fly to catch insects in the air or land on the ground to snatch them up. They feed on trees or gather and store nuts. They are omnivorous - meaning they eat both plants and animals - eating insects, seeds, fruits, berries, nuts and occasionally even the eggs of other birds. And they love the suet cakes we offer at our birdfeeders and during the nesting period can be seen carrying off large chunks of fat to waiting nesting chicks in the nearby woods. Red-headed woodpeckers are cavity nesters. They reside high in dead trees and utility poles, typically 8 to hey’re back! After a two-year hiatus, 80 feet above ground. They lay four to seven eggs in early a red-headed woodpecker has May and have an extremely short incubation period of returned to our suet feeders. At least one two weeks. While looking up these facts, I was surprised has. Maybe two. Until we see them sideto learn they may raise two broods in a single nesting by-side, we won’t know for sure if we have season. That is quite prolific – but then why has the a pair. Because, don’t you know, male and species been listed as near threatened by the International female red-heads look exactly alike. And Union for Conservation of Nature? good lookers they are. A once common but declining bird Red-headed woodpeckers species, its long-term population declines are strikingly beautiful. have resulted in threatened status in Canada Tri-colored, with a black and several states in the U.S. Possible back and tail and a red head reasons include habitat that has been and neck, with underparts heavily altered by humans – removal of mainly white. Their wings standing dead wood required for nest sites, are black. Secondary limitations to their food supply and nestfeathers are white. Adult site competition with other cavity nesters males and females are such as European starlings or red-bellied identical in plumage. woodpeckers. The Wisconsin DNR states, Thus, our dilemma in “Red-headed Woodpeckers are notably PHOTO BY ERIK J. BLOMBERG determining if we have a declining in Wisconsin, but they remain pair at our feeders. Or, is it The Blomberg family common in the southern and central part of recently welcomed back only one bird, and for that the state and fairly common in the north. a favorite woodpecker matter a migrant? This species is an uncommon winter resident Their breeding habitat is to their place along the in southern and central Wisconsin.” creek. across southern Canada and So perhaps their recent absence along east-central U.S., including Wisconsin. the creek was short-lived and more of a migratory issue. According to the experts, northern Regardless, we are thrilled they have returned this spring birds migrate to the southern parts of and will keep the feeders full for their immediate needs their range, with most arriving on their and leave some dead trees along the creek for future breeding grounds by late April and leave nesting purposes. for winter quarters by late October. Southern birds are often permanent Blomberg is a freelance writer and a member of the Portage County Farm residents. So where do Wisconsin redBureau. heads fall in place? The official maps


JUNE | JULY 2017

Blomberg’s book, “Up the Creek”, is available for purchase at or His book contains seasonal essays about outdoor life in rural Wisconsin.


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.


Rural Route

wausau | eau claire visit our blogs at



Rural Route



Staying Alive and Keeping Your Team Alive By Lane Heins, Monroe Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief


n February, instructors from the MERIT Center participated in the hands-on classes at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin conference at the Alliant Energy Center. Our instructor team taught a class titled, ‘Staying Alive and Keeping Your Team Alive.' Our focus was on four safety measures that should be taken on the farm in different applications. The four safety measures included gas monitoring, ropes and harnesses, tourniquet application and lock out/tag out. It was well attended and received a lot of great feedback. In the tourniquet application portion of the class, participants applied tourniquets to themselves as well as on others in class. Valuable lessons were learned on how the application of a tourniquet may save the life of a family member or a worker prior to first responders arriving on the scene. What was intriguing was that during every session the question was asked about first-aid kits or bags. What do we need? Where should we place them? Many of the people indicated that they had adhesive bandages but not much else. Listed are some items that should be in a first-aid kit or bag. • Variety of adhesive bandages • 2x2 or 4x4 gauze pads • Hoof wrap • Tourniquets

• A few wash cloths or hand towels • Latex gloves • Scissors

I am not going to get into the application of rendering first aid and how to treat injuries on the farm. There are many classes that are available. If you want to teach your team basic first aid, contact your local fire department, EMS organization or medical facility for a basic first aid class. The days of slapping duct tape or electrical tape over a cut or wound are gone. We need to get it cleaned up and protected properly. In July, the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will be at the Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. The MERIT Center has been asked to participate with Rural Mutual Insurance to provide educational sessions in their tent. These sessions will include, but are not limited to, gas monitoring, lock out/tag out, storage of house hold chemicals and pesticides, tourniquet application, grain bin safety and harness and rope application. These sessions will be at various times and will last roughly 20 minutes. Rural Mutual Insurance will have other great demonstrations, safety information and educational opportunities for everyone to learn. I appreciate the continued support that Rural Mutual Insurance provides to the MERIT Center in its mission to promote farm safety to the first responders, farmers and others who work in agriculture. In July, I look forward to seeing you at the Rural Mutual Insurance tent at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Until then, stay safe and keep American strong.

Visit the Safety Zone at Farm Technology Days! R ural Mutual is in the third year of a three-year ‘Elite Sustaining Sponsorship’ of the largest, most innovative agricultural show in Wisconsin. The 2017 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, July 11-13, at Ebert Enterprises in Kewaunee County, will showcase the latest improvements in production agriculture. “We’re honored to be a part of this rich state tradition,” says 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 since 1934, 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 educational activities for the whole family.

Make sure to stop by and register for the daily give away and on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Fabulous Farm Babe Pam Jahnke will be doing a live remote broadcast from our tent. See you at this year’s Wisconsin Farm Technology Days!

JUNE | JULY 2017


Mineral Point Fourth Grade Students

Make History with Cheese By Marian Viney

Wisconsin has a state dance, a state fruit and a state pastry so why not a state dairy product? After all, we are the dairy state.

That is exactly what the fourth-grade students and teachers at Mineral Point Elementary thought. “Last September, as part of the fourth-grade social studies curriculum, we started learning about Wisconsin’s state symbols,” explained one of the teachers Livia Doyle, who is an Iowa County Farm Bureau member and Ag in the Classroom coordinator. “As inquisitive as fourth grade students can be, after hearing that other students had ‘lobbied’ for state symbols, they wondered what it would take to propose a new state symbol.” For example, Wisconsin’s state fruit, the cranberry, was the result of a class project at Trevor Grade School in Kenosha. Teacher Lynn Ross added that the students did more research and initially thought about a state snack or state food but since “we are the dairy state, the students decided by popular vote that the new state symbol should be cheese.” By January, the students were collaborating on a Google


Rural Route

slide presentation that they presented to Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) when they visited Mineral Point Elementary. “I’m very proud of the 57 students at Mineral Point Elementary School and I’m grateful for the enthusiasm of their teachers who guided the students in making the ‘cheese bill’ a reality,” said Senator Marklein. “The overwhelming support for cheese being the new state symbol further supports how proud we are of our dairy heritage.” Three days later, Senator Marklein and Representative Novak circulated a co-sponsorship memo amongst their colleagues asking them to sign onto the idea. Subsequently, the student’s proposal was officially introduced as Assembly Bill 73 and Senate Bill 44. “This was a tremendous effort by the students and their teachers,” added Representative Novak. “Passing a new state symbol is not easy. The students’ enthusiasm and knowledge impressed the legislature and the cheese bill gathered full support in both houses.” Less than two weeks later, the cheese bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology


and Consumer Protection and to the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. Teacher Paige Grimm said that for the next week, the students wrote “very convincing” letters to the state’s 99 representatives and 33 senators. “Some students have even continued writing letters to the legislators about other topics and are getting letters back,” said Grimm proudly and added that the entire process has been a highlight of their teaching careers. On March 23, a joint hearing with both committees was scheduled and all 57 fourth grade students and their teachers traveled to the Capitol to take part in the hearing. Several of the students testified. “After touring the Governor’s office, we came home with 100 percent support from both committees in favor of advancing our cheese bill to the Assembly,” said Ross. On April 4, the Assembly voted unanimously in favor of cheese becoming the official state dairy product. Assembly Bill 73 was now on its way to the Senate. The Senate scheduled the bill on May 2 and voted in favor of the cheese bill. The next stop was Governor Scott Walker’s

desk. Without hesitation, Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill 73, or the cheese bill, into law on June 1. Fourth grade students Grady Mulligan, Bryce Roelli, Jadyn Swinehart and Hallie Brant are extremely excited about the process and can recite every detail. “We did this, the class of 2025 made cheese the state dairy product,” they exclaimed. “We will be in the history books.” On the gymnasium wall the timeline of the cheese bill is proudly displayed as a reminder of what has been accomplished since last fall. One of the four--Jadyn wants to be a social studies teacher. All agreed that they will tell their children about the incredible process and how fourth grade students at Mineral Point Elementary School made history by helping cheese become the state dairy product symbol. “The stars were aligned,” said Doyle as she summed up the process. “These fourth grade students have made a connection to the real world and this went farther than we ever imagined that it would. We made a difference.”

Ag Education Program Offers Training and Free Resources W

isconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program provides teachers and K-12 students with an understanding of how their food is grown and raised. The program seeks to work within existing curricula to provide basic information on our nation’s largest industry: agriculture. This program is carried out by a network of local educators, volunteers and representatives from agricultural organizations and businesses. The goal of the program is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society. Two summer training opportunities are being offered for those interested in learning about agriculture and how it can fit into curriculum and learning activities. Special thanks to the Jeanette Poulson Fund of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, which offers financial support to offset the cost of training.

the Classroom. Attendees will then travel to the O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Education Facility where presentations by soils and turn professors will highlight soil science and related careers in those industries.

Bus Tour

Tuesday, July 18 – Wednesday, July 19 Registration closes on June 25. The bus is headed to Jefferson County this year! Stops on the tour include Jelli’s Market, McKay Nursery Company, Mid-State Equipment, Rock River Laboratory, Inc., Tyranena Brewing Company, Cambridge School District-Severson Learning Center, Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters, Jones Market, Hoard Historical Museum and Hinchley’s Dairy Farm Tours. Find out more about these events, register and find other educational resources at

Summer Training Day

Thursday, July 6 Registration closes on June 20. This one-day class begins at the West Madison Research Station. There will be a tour of the gardens and presentation by researchers to help enhance school garden curriculum. A series of presentations will be given by the Wisconsin Pork Association, Wisconsin Dairy Council, Wisconsin Beef Council, Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers and Wisconsin Ag in

Quality Builders for Quality Buildings.

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

Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 .

JUNE | JULY 2017


Farm Bureau

It's grilling season!

Dad’s Grilled Pork Chops with Savory Steak Butter Garden Herb Strip Steaks Recipe and photo courtesy of the National Pork Board.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Beef Council, the beef checkoff.



For more information about pork, visit

• 6 bone-in ribeye (rib) pork chops, 1-inch thick • black peper to taste, freshly ground

Savory Steak Butter • 1 stick butter • 2 Tbsp. steak sauce • 1 Tbsp. garlic, crushed • 1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce


Pork Chops: Season chops with pepper to taste. Grill over medium-hot coals until just done, about 9-10 minutes until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145°F, followed by a 3-minute rest time. Serve with Savory Steak Butter. Savory Steak Butter: In a small bowl, beat together butter, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, liquid smoke, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Cover and refrigerate.

Pork Grilling Tips

Internal Temp: 145°F with 3-minutes rest • Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, be sure not to touch any bone. • Insert meat thermometer through side of pork chop, not from the top straight down. (see photo)

Select Quality Pork

• Pork that is a pinkish-red color. Avoid choosing meat that is pale in color and has liquid in the package. • Look for pork that has marbling, or small flecks of fat. Marbling is what adds flavor. • Avoid choosing any meat that has dark colored bone. • The fat of the pork should be white with no dark spots. • Select thicker cuts (1.5-2 inches thick) as they won't dry out as easily during cooking.

For more information about beef, visit


1. Combine seasoning ingredients in small bowl; reserve 2 tsp. for garnish. Press remaining seasoning evenly onto beef steaks. 2. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, Seasoning 11 to 14 minutes (over medium • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped heat on preheated gas grill, 11 to 15 • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to • 2 tsp. lemon peel, freshly medium (160°F) doneness, turning grated occasionally. • 3 cloves garlic, chopped 3. Carve steaks into slices. Sprinkle with 1 • /4 tsp. pepper reserved seasoning and salt, as desired. • 2 beef strip steaks, boneless, cut 1-inch thick (about 10 ounces each) • salt


Wood County Student Wins Essay Contest

This year’s finalists include:

(From left) "Time for Cranberries" author Lisl Detlefsen, Wood County essay contest coordinator Lauren McCann, teacher Rochelle Grossbier, Max Hetze and District 8 Coordinator Ashleigh Calaway.


ach year the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program hosts an essay contest revolving around food and agriculture. This contest is open to Wisconsin fourth and fifth grade students. This year students were asked to write a 100- to 300-word essay with the theme, “Tell us about cranberry production in Wisconsin during one of the four seasons.” This year’s state winner is Max Hetze, a fifthgrade student from Rudolph. Max is the son of David and Teri Hetze. Rochelle Grossbier is his teacher at THINK Academy, part of the Wisconsin Rapids School District. A total of 2,818 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 presentation about Wisconsin agriculture for their class. The Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program provides teachers and K-12 students with an understanding of how their food is produced. Learn more at

Thank you sponsors:

The Winning Essay:

• I sabel Kuchta, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson County (District 1) •K  atie Gollon, Rio Elementary, Rio, Columbia County (District 2) • Bryce Roelli, Mineral Point Elementary, Mineral Point, Iowa County (District 3) • Amanda Isakson, Cochrane-Fountain City Elementary, Fountain City, Buffalo County (District 4) • V ivian Lucas, St. Mary Springs Academy, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County (District 5) •T  rinity Halseth, Random Lake Elementary, Random Lake, Sheboygan County (District 6) •H  ailyn S. Louis, St. Anthony School, Oconto Falls, Oconto County (District 7) •H  eather Nelson, Ladysmith Elementary, Ladysmith, Rusk County (District 9)

Growing Cranberries in Wisconsin in the Spring Cranberries are small, red, tangy fruits. They can be made into a lot of different things, including sauce, dried cranberries, juice, just eaten fresh and much more. But there is a long process to making cranberries. In the spring, cranberry harvesters have to remove the winter flood. In April, May and June, vines come out of dormancy and they can start the growing season. The bog is flooded in mid May to practice managing insects, weeds, and disease. A cranberry bog might need to be planted again because it’s not level, or weeds like, briar, poison ivy, or brambles have taken over the cranberry vines. If that happens, big construction equipment needs to move soil, and level the bog to prepare to plant new vines. Growers might also square off the beds to make the operations more efficient. In April, May, and June, berries come out of dormancy letting the buds change to uprights containing fruit, and flowers. Berries have a temperature tolerance, in which the plant can take damage from frost. The temperature tolerance changes when the plant matures every week during a spring growth spurt. Cranberry farms can lose a whole two years income if cranberries have severe frost damage. Automated irrigation systems allow growers to automatically turn on or off irrigation pumps. Sensors are placed among the vines, to monitor temperature or other weather conditions. They can be fully controlled via the internet. These systems can save growers 9,000+ gallons of water per acre on a frost night. Growing cranberries is a very hard and long process. Cranberry growing isn’t just in the spring. It is a process that continues through all of the seasons. It may be long, but it is definitely worth it in the end.

JUNE | JULY 2017


ggie nswers


Hog Farmer, Black Creek My favorite part of farming is planting crops, watching them grow, harvesting them in the fall and then watching the animals enjoy your summer work.


Rural Route


Dairy Farmer, Dodgeville My favorite part about being a farmer is that it's not your ordinary job. No two days are the same, and everyday is a new challenge. And that I can take those challenges and use them to promote agriculture and farming.

We asked Farm Bureau members: What is your favorite part about farming?


Dairy Beef Farmer, Shullsburg I enjoy watching the animals. How they all line up at the bunk when feed is dumped, push in to the feeder when they hear your voice or when you come out of the house and the horses whinny.


Dairy Farmer, Brandon

The part of farming that I love is the variety that poses constant challenges that are sometimes mental sometimes physical and sometimes emotional. These challenges are what keep farm life fresh and exciting!


Apple Orchard, Bayfield

An apple orchard is a very tough and competitive business. We also have weather, insect and disease challenges to deal with, along with marketing. It is very gratifying at the end of each season to know we did the best we could with the challenges we were given.


County Kernels Education Edition Farm Visit – Sheboygan County

National Ag Day Classroom Visit – Marquette County

During two days this spring, 1,000 students from Sheboygan County schools visited Hanke Farms to learn about milk production. This was the 10th year that classrooms have visited Hanke Farms.

Cheri Borzick of Borzick Farms and Ashley Henke visited St. Johns Lutheran School in Montello for National Ag Day. They presented to 38 students in preschool (3K-4K), kindergarten and first grade. They read "A Farm of Many Colors," shared ice cream sundaes, met a baby calf and sent home some goodies. Cheri and Ashley represented both Borzick Farms and Marquette County Farm Bureau.

Hee-Haw Challenge - Green County

Classroom Visit – Ozaukee County

Albrecht Elementary School in Brodhead used Green County Farm Bureau's Ag in the Classroom cutout animals to promote agriculture during a month-long ‘Hee-Haw’ reading challenge. The students, kindergarten through fifth grade, read for a total of 237,000 minutes.

Ozaukee County Ag in the Classroom volunteers visited classrooms to teach students about dairy farming. Topics included the life of a cow from birth to milking, what cows eat and how farmers produce their food. They also made butter and sampled cheese.

Classroom Presentation – Jackson County Jackson County Farm Bureau board director, Cassie Olson, and members of the Black River Falls FFA presented activities on the Ag in the Classroom essay topic during Red Creek Elementary's Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematic (STEAM) night. They read the book "Time For Cranberries" by Lisl Detlefson, sampled cranberry products, conducted experiments with cranberries and created art using a cranberry-based paint. Following the event, Jackson County Farm Bureau and Black River Falls each donated copies of the book for the Red Creek Elementary library. JUNE | JULY 2017



YOUR Support Makes a Difference What is the Foundation?

What does the Foundation support?

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 tax deductible entity that supports agricultural education and leadership programs. Established in 1988, the Foundation continues to significantly invest in the next generation of agriculturists.

The WFB Foundation funds a variety of agricultural education and leadership programs including Agriculture in the Classroom, Young Farmer and Agriculturist, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Promotion and Education, Leadership Institute, 4-H, FFA and more. For more information, visit aboutwfbf/foundation.

BY THE NUMBERS: schools were awarded in the 2016-17


school year

More than

for ag literacy programs. leaders are participating in the Farm Bureau Institute

entries in this year's Ag in the Classroom essay contest.

members have graduated from this leadership program.

members demonstrated leadership skills through Young Farmer and Agriculturist contests.


copies of agricultural literature were sent to schools free of charge.

There are

annual Wisconsin Ag Open golf outing will be on September 11, in Wisconsin Dells. This event raises money for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.

collegiate Farm Bureau members between the three chapters in Wisconsin. is what you can voluntarily donate to these programs when you renew your dues.

Thank You to the Following WFB Foundation Donors: (Donations were made between January 13 and May 12, 2017)

• Carl Casper • Don and Jilayne Radtke • David Kruschke • Dan Poulson in memory of Debbie Diederich • Don and Jilayne Radtke in memory of Diane Gorder • Bob Leege in memory of Brian Kindschi • Chippewa County Farm Bureau in memory of Thomas Larson • David Kruschke in memory of Doris Peterson 42

Rural Route

• Dane County Farm Bureau in memory of Gladys Roden • Marian Viney in memory of Gladys Roden • Marian Viney in memory of Julie Salm • Carl Casper in memory of Dallas Schaefer • David Kruschke in memory of Dallas Schaefer • Dodge County Farm Bureau in memory of Lester Schwartz • David Kruschke in memory of Arlen Strate


JUNE | JULY 2017



Just One Click to Save Lives W

hat is one of the easiest things to do to ensure your safety on the roadways? Motorists and passengers can reduce their chances of injury or death with one little click by buckling up every trip, every seat, every time. Seat belt use in Wisconsin reached an all-time high of more than 88 percent. Last year’s annual seat belt observational survey found that 88.4 percent of passenger vehicle occupants were buckled up, compared with 85.8 percent the previous year. Although this is trending in the right direction, Wisconsin still lags behind the national average of 90.1 percent and the rates of our neighboring states of more than 90 percent. Even though almost nine out of 10 Wisconsinites fasten their seat belt, almost one-half of all passenger vehicle fatalities were unbelted. In 2015, 327 people were killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes involving passenger vehicles and light trucks. Of those 151 people, 46 percent were not wearing their seat belts. These individuals had the opportunity to possibly change the outcome of their fate by simply buckling up. Most car crashes occur within 25 miles of home, reinforcing the importance of buckling up every trip, every time – including the youngest passengers on the road. Double check the safety seat that children are riding in to ensure optimal protection for their age, height and development by visiting The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is helping to address traffic fatalities by using a combined strategy of engineering, education, enforcement and emergency response to help prevent traffic fatalities. In 2015, there were nearly 55,000 Suburban . Commercial . Agricultural . Horse Barns & Arenas convictions in Wisconsin for failure to Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 . fasten a safety belt. “Whether you’re a vehicle driver or passenger, wearing a safety belt remains the single most important thing you can do to avoid being injured or killed in a crash,” said David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety. WisDOT will continue to spread the word about buckling up, day and night, every trip, every seat, every time as we strive for zero traffic fatalities in Wisconsin.


Rural Route

Quality Builders for Quality Buildings.

Since 1958


Six Steps for Making Your Passwords More Secure I dentity theft is one of the hardesthitting crimes that consumers face, largely because it’s easy to pull off. Think identity theft mostly happens to older people? Or to higher income earners? Or college students? The truth is that identity thieves focus their efforts wherever the opportunities are, and there are plenty of opportunities. Rural Mutual Insurance Company understands that prevention is the key to keeping your identity and data safe and has partnered with CyberScout to provide identity protection services. CyberScout, a leader in identity theft protection and data defense services, recently rebranded from IDT911. While their name changed to better reflect the global services they provide, their commitment to providing the same high-level protection and outstanding personal service has not. Because education is the path to identity theft prevention, take the time to follow these six tips to protect yourself from cyber risk: 1. C  reate ‘strong’ passwords for debit cards, credit cards, online retailers and personal email accounts. The passwords should have numbers, upper- and lowercase letters and symbols. For example, 3Dogz$$! is better than 1006. 2. U  se different passwords for work and personal email accounts, bank accounts and online retailers. If a hacker cracks one password, he won’t have access to others. 3. F  or a password never use the last four digits of your Social Security number, your maiden name, date of birth, middle name, child’s name, pet’s name or anything else easily discovered or guessed. 4. D  iscourage your bank from using the last four digits of your Social Security number as a default PIN. If they do, change it. 5. Change your passwords regularly.

6. Memorize passwords or store them in a secure location. Don’t record them on anything you carry with you, including your cell phone. Call Rural Mutual and talk to your agent about our comprehensive identity protection services. Don’t wait until you are a victim. Rural Mutual has partnered with CyberScout to offer up to $15,000 in expenses for a loss arising out of identity fraud. This endorsement is available through Rural Mutual homeowners insurance, the limit applies as the direct result of any one identity fraud first discovered or realized during the policy period. The endorsement carries a $500 per loss deductible. With Rural Mutual, you have peace of mind knowing you will receive the identity theft protection that you and your family needs, including assistance with trending threats. Rely on CyberScout’s experienced fraud specialists who work behind the scenes to guide you through the process until the problem is fully resolved. Protect your identity, call your Rural Mutual Insurance agent today.

JUNE | JULY 2017



Tips for Saving in Every Decade of Life W

hile everyone’s situation is different due to factors like income, expenses, location and goals, we should be thinking about our personal finances. By thinking strategically about your investments during each stage of life, you can hopefully retire comfortably. Discover the top ways to save money and start preparing for the future today.

Saving Money as a Young Adult Age 25-35: Now that you’ve graduated from college, hopefully landed your first real job and maybe even got married, personal finance should be high on your list of priorities. Your goals might be paying off debt, saving for a down payment on a home or even establishing a college fund for your children or putting away funds for retirement. If you don’t start saving for retirement today, when will you? Tomorrow sounds like a reasonable plan, but then the unexpected strikes and you are in a poor financial situation. Saving for Retirement: 401(k)s, Annuities and Mutual Funds You should start saving for retirement as soon as possible. A good investment goal at this stage of life is to put approximately 10 percent of your income toward retirement, and to even increase the amount you save whenever you receive a raise. Now is the time to take advantage of your employer-sponsored 401(k) or start an individual Retirement Account (IRA). Investing in your 20s can give you greater peace of mind in your 30s and beyond because more time in the market means investment returns compound longer. If you only put a small amount of money into these accounts, you will get into the habit of saving and may potentially benefit from compounded interest. If you’re a young parent at this age, it’s never too early to start instilling monetary values in your children, too. While small children might not grasp the idea of budgeting and savings, they can benefit from practicing the habits of self-control. Here are some quick tips for children and teenagers: Children: Make your children think about the idea of buying now versus saving for later. Consider the situation of buying something small today, or wait until they have enough money for the larger item they want in the future. Teens and young adults: This is the stage that teenagers and young adults start making their first ‘real’ financial decisions – what to do with money from a first job or how to choose a first car? These are great opportunities for them to learn ways to save money, and a reminder for parents to ‘walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.’


Rural Route

Saving Money at Middle Age Age 35-55: These are the peak earning years when you should be ramping up your retirement savings. While saving for your children’s college education becomes a higher priority or wanting to buy a bigger house, this is the time when your nest egg can really grow. By this age, you will probably be bringing home a larger paycheck and may even benefit from bonuses or inheritance that can contribute to the size of your investments. You should be saving 10 to 20 percent of your income and still have 10 to 15 more years of earnings. Consider downsizing to save money and get you on track for retirement. While a bigger house seems ideal, downsizing might be your best move. Your housing cost might be one of the largest expenses for those in retirement. A condo or townhome might be much more affordable than the fivebedroom house where you raised your children but now is empty. This goes for your vehicle, too. You may not need the gas guzzler anymore, but rather something smaller and more efficient. Age 55 – retirement: If you’re in your 50s and 60s, your thoughts are probably turning toward retirement. You may be asking yourself, when should I retire? How much money do I need to retire? According to a report by the World Health Organization, life expectancy increased by five years in 2000. That means those in their 60s have a 50 percent chance of living until their late 80s and those in their 50s, into their early 90s. Your retirement planning needs to factor in the possibility of a substantially longer life than past generations. Now is the perfect time to create a spreadsheet for what you’ve got and what you need. Draw up an ideal budget of everything that you spend now, and then do the same for your retired self. Consider the expenses you won’t incur when you’re not working, but also think about what you might want to spend more on such as traveling. Whether retirement is near or far away, few of us head into retirement expecting the worst but sometimes it happens. Prepare for the unexpected now, and you won’t get caught off guard later. Discuss the big financial issues with your family or those closest to you. Now is the time to be financially intelligent. Discover the top ways to save money and start preparing for the future today by contacting your local Rural Mutual agent or Jared D Nelson, Sr., Regional Financial Consultant at 608.250.0404 or jared. or David McNurlen, ChFC, CASL, CLU, RICP, LTCP Regional Financial Consultant at 920.301.0109 or


You juggle a lot in your world.

We know life can be a balancing act. That’s why we’re here to help you protect what matters most, your todays and your tomorrows. Contact your Rural Mutual Insurance agent to discuss what’s been happening in your world.

Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company/West Des Moines, IA. M176 (5-17)


Rural Route


Rural Route June-July 2017  
Rural Route June-July 2017