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Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

october | november 2015 • vol. 21 no. 5 |

Farm Bureau Needs Every Farmer Every Farmer Needs Farm Bureau Frac Sand 101 New Member Benefit: Caterpillar Henrys Enter Bourbon Business

IOH Law Changes November 1 Page 8

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

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

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

contents vol. 21 no. 5



Bourbon Dane County members turn crops into award-winning bourbon.


IOH Changes to the IOH law come November 1.




Farm Bureau leaders from across Wisconsin gather in Washington.









17 stay connected

October | November 2015


Morton Meet District 2 Board Director Arch Morton Jr. of Rock County.

YFA Awards Meet the finalists for the Excellence in Ag and Achievement awards.

caterpillar Now members can save on Caterpillar products.

Frac Sand What and where is frac sand?

Opinion columns Commentary on immigration, advocacy and animals.

Fair Camp State Fair Day Camp offers learning opportunities to Wisconsin youth.

Rural Mutual Safety tips for harvest season from Rural Mutual Insurance.

40 WIFarmBureau COVER photo by Jacki Roden, Roden Barnyard Adventures, LLC.


Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor’s Note


love driving…despite a work commute of 35 miles of busy highways (each way). Annoying urban gridlock cannot dampen my enthusiasm for cruising country roads. I was reminded of this as I visited a farm near Lake Michigan on a warm September day. Life’s highways had never taken me to this scenic stretch of farmland and small towns straddling Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties. It doesn’t get much better than having the stereo cranked, sun-roof open and a camera nearby to snap a scenic herd of cows or farmer baling late season hay. More than a great day out of the office, such trips give me perspective about the enormity and diversity of Wisconsin agriculture. Along any rural route I could be driving past farmland owned by one of our members. To me these fields, barns and farmhouses might be anonymous, but I know that each one I pass is a sacred, center of the universe to someone else.

Wisconsin is home to 61 county Farm Bureaus with hard-working members who want to build the agricultural community stronger. Even if I’m somewhere on the map I’ve never been before, Farm Bureau makes each corner of our state feel familiar. Driving usually gives me time to think. It’s when the highways on my routine commute start to feel like a bubble from the outside the world that my mind shifts into auto-pilot. We all find ourselves in a rut sometimes. The next time you get the chance, take the road less traveled. As a life-long resident, there is always more to see and do in Wisconsin than I once thought. Likewise, I challenge you to explore everything that your Farm Bureau membership offers you. Call me old-fashioned, but I have an old road map where I like to retrace my road trips with a magic marker. I hope that you come to see Rural Route as your guide of what Farm Bureau offers. Each issue takes a look at the faces, issues and events from across our state that makes our organization and the farm community tick. My hope is that these pages drive home the point that every farmer needs Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau needs every farmer. After all, if you think about it, we’re all linked together, by roads and our passion for agriculture. Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Designer Lynn Siekmann 608.828.5707

Contributor Amy Eckelberg 608.828.5706

Address of Publication Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 5550 1241 John Q. Hammons Dr. Madison, WI 53705-0550 Postmaster: Send address changes to Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 5550 Madison, WI 53705-0550

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276)

WFBF Board of Directors Jim Holte, Elk Mound, (President) Richard Gorder, Mineral Point, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Arch Morton Jr., Janesville Joe Bragger, Independence Kevin Krentz, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo Don Radtke, Merrill Rosalie Geiger, Reedsville (Women’s Committee Chair) Andrea Brossard, Burnett (YFA Committee Chair) Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route (ISSN 39940) (USPS 1082-1368), the official publication of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, is published six times per year in February/March, April/May, June/July, August/ September, October/November and December/ January. Subscription of $5 is included in Farm Bureau dues. Periodical postage is paid at Madison, Wisconsin. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. For advertising rates and information: Wisconsin accounts contact Slack Attack at 608.222.7630 or For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Bureau Members Age Bourbon

the Wisconsin Way By Marian Viney

Earlier this year, Dane County Farm Bureau members Joe and Liz Henry introduced their award-winning, Wisconsin-made bourbon to the craft distillery industry. Already established in the seed corn business, their dream of adding a value-added product to the marketplace and agritourism opportunity comes true.


ith deep roots in Dane County’s agriculture history including a successful small grain seed and seed corn business started by Joe’s father Jerry in the 1940s, the Henrys along with their sons, Joe and Jack, decided to use the corn, rye and wheat that they grow to make Wisconsin straight bourbon. The idea sprouted when Joe and Liz toured the Kentucky Bourbon Trail several years ago to learn more about the bourbon industry. Liz recalls traveling around in a rickety school bus filled with people from all across the nation, “some brewers, some distillers, many wannabees just like us, thinking about it and considering a new direction.” “I started thinking about a value-added product because we already grew the corn, wheat and rye,” Joe said. “I thought that maybe this could come to fruition.” Liz, who grew up in Racine and served as the 39th Alice in Dairyland, explained that besides being distilled in the U.S., there are certain rules that must be followed when distilling bourbon

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that include the following. • It can only be aged in new, charred oak barrels. • The mash bill or recipe must include at least 51 percent corn. • It has to age for at least two years in order to call it bourbon. • It has to be distilled to 160 proof or less, barreled at 125 proof or less and bottled at 80 proof or more. The Henrys decided to use Wisconsin white oak for the barrels, which are made by a cooperage (barrel maker) in Louisville, KY. Because the barrels for the Henry’s bourbon can only be used once, they first shipped the used barrels to Scotland to be recycled for making Scotch but now they are aging proofing water in the used barrels. With this attention to details, a leap of faith, lots of patience and a taste for quality bourbon, the Henry family is producing an awardwinning, Wisconsin-made bourbon. Joe attributes their success to several factors


In February, just after being introduced but not yet for sale, J. Henry & Sons Bourbon Whiskey earned a gold medal in the Whiskey, certified craft blended and merchant bottled spirits category at the American Distilling Institute Craft Spirits Competition held in San Francisco. The former dairy barn was converted to age about 500 barrels. Each barrel fills about 300 bottles depending on the proof or alcohol content. Liz and Joe Henry must file reports with the Federal Tobacco Taxation Bureau, part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and account for each barrel of bourbon.

including a mash bill calling for about 60 percent corn. “We decided to go with a high corn mash bill for the sweetness and the smoothness that it lends, the wheat for sweetness and creamier tones and the rye for spicier notes,” Joe said. And not just any corn. “We choose a red variety developed in the 1930s by the University of Wisconsin,” Joe said. “I remember that my dad grew it at one time and sold it to farmers in New York for feed. I was in awe with how beautiful those big red ears were.” Joe explained that it took three years with help from staff with the Department of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association to propagate enough of the heirloom seed on about 20 acres for the first batch of bourbon that was released in April after being aged for five years. “The whole process takes time,” Joe said. “We wouldn’t have had the results like we did if we would have rushed the process.” In March, the family bottled the first batch of bourbon that was distilled in 2009. Joe explained that they decided to invest in the product rather than in a distillery and bottling facility. “We were able to age our bourbon longer, which produces a smoother product. We placed our bets and so far it’s paid off,” said Joe proudly. Another factor that makes their bourbon unique comes during the aging process. “We converted the former dairy barn into our aging warehouse and it’s not temperature controlled or insulated,” Joe said. “With Wisconsin weather being what it is, it has an effect on the aging process and how the spirits in the barrel move in and out of that wood. The cold makes the wood contract and the summer heat and humidity brings out the spices. We are unique in this respect because not many people age bourbon the way that we do and no two batches will be alike.” Liz added that they age their bourbon for at least five years and they “don’t bottle it until it is truly ‘ready’.” Also, during the aging process, the Henrys account for about a 10 to 15 percent loss, which they refer to as the ‘angel’s share.’ Besides the bourbon business, the Henrys also have entered the agritourism arena by converting the living room of the 1840s farmhouse where Joe grew up into a Tasting Room, which was a feat in of itself to comply with new construction codes.


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“We are filling requests for tours and tastings by appointment,” said Liz. “We plan to establish some fixed hours as the holiday season approaches but prefer to know who is coming and when so we can provide the best experience that we can for our customers, family and friends.” Son Jack works in the Tasting Room when he can and also attends Madison Area Technical College where he is working towards a degree in ag business management and plans to transfer to UW-Madison. “It’s fun to work with my family on this new business venture and it is a great learning opportunity,” Jack said. “We all contribute to the success and work well together.” The couple’s oldest son Joe graduated from the UW-Madison School of Business and recently moved to Chicago for a new job. Earlier this year, he helped with a marketing plan and built the initial website for J. Henry & Sons Bourbon and plans on returning home occasionally to help with the family business as it continues to grow. “After all, people will never stop drinking,” Joe, Jr., laughed. “Craft bourbon hasn’t been too prevalent in Wisconsin and J. Henry & Sons is well placed to fit into a great niche market.” The Henrys join other Wisconsin distillers including Yahara Bay Distillery, Wollersheim Winery, Great Lakes Distillery and 45th Parallel in New Richmond where Paul Werni also distills

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

bourbon for the Henrys. They are motivated by the fact that the craft distilling industry is expanding in Wisconsin. “What better place for this to happen?” asked Liz. “With our strong agriculture values and the Wisconsin work ethic, the craft brewing industry continues to grow and evolve and distilling will very likely follow suit so that Wisconsin will be a creative, food and beverage center.” The family has had a few months to get used to seeing the product of more than six years of dedicated work on the store shelves. Liz likens it to giving birth. “A very proud moment but also a little sobering considering its’ future, thinking what have we started? Will they like it? Will it sell? What will we do next and will it continue to be worthy of awards and recognition?” added Liz. “So much to think about.” For more information, visit

J. Henry & Sons Wisconsin Straight Bourbon Cocktails • J. Henry Old Fashioned

• Place 1 sugar cube in the bottom of a glass • Add 2-3 dashes of Angustura bitters on the sugar cube • Add 1 dash of cherry juice or grenadine • Add 2 oz. of J. Henry & Sons Bourbon on the sugar cube • Let sit for 2-5 minutes, then muddle the sugar cube until it is mixed well and mostly dissolved • Fill glass with ice and soda (7-Up, Sprite or other sweet soda for a regular Old Fashioned; half sweet soda/half club soda for an Old Fashioned Sour) • Press, stir and garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry

• Farmer’s Cocktail

• Muddle mint • Add 2 oz. J. Henry & Sons Bourbon • Fill glass with ice and lemonade • Garnish with fresh mint leaves

Visit the Farm Bureau Flavor page at to view food pairing recipes.

• Ginger Orange

• Squeeze orange slice into glass • Add 2 oz. J. Henry & Sons Bourbon •F  ill glass with ginger beer, ice and two shots of orange bitters •G  arnish with orange wedge or slice


Important November 1 IOH Deadline Looms W

hen Governor Walker signed bills pertaining to Implements of Husbandry (IOH) in 2014 and earlier this year, they were the most comprehensive rewrite of Wisconsin’s IOH law in decades. It helped pave the way for farmers to legally and safely operate and transport farm machinery on Wisconsin roadways. What’s so special about November 1? One of the main provisions in the law deals with what are statutorily defined as “wide” IOH. If not already installed on original equipment, additional lighting and marking features will be required for IOH that exceed 15 feet in width or operate over the centerline of a roadway when traveling. The legislature gave farmers 18 months after the first IOH bill was signed to come into compliance. That 18-month period ends November 1. Here is a brief overview of what the additional lighting and marking requirements are: • For self-propelled IOH, including farm tractors, in excess of 12 feet they must be equipped with a 360-degree yellow or amber rotating strobe or beacon mounted at the highest practicable point, or two flashing amber lights visible to the front and rear. • All “wide” IOH must have: 1) at least two amber flashing lights, visible from both the front and rear, mounted to mark the lateral extremities; 2) red retroreflective material, visible to the rear, placed to mark the lateral extremities; 3) yellow retroreflective material, visible to the front, placed to mark the lateral extremities; 4) at least two red tail lamps mounted to the rear (hardwiring is not required) and; 5) one slow moving vehicle (SMV) sign. At times other than hours


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of darkness, a wide IOH may be operated without additional lighting and marking if it has an escort vehicle with hazard lights activated and has two orange or red flags at the rear to mark the lateral extremities. • All IOH wider than 22 feet must meet the wide IOH lighting and marking requirements, in addition to having at least one escort vehicle with the hazard lights activated when traveling distances more than a half mile. • During hours of darkness each vehicle in an agricultural train (three-vehicle IOH combination) must have at least one red or amber light or one red or amber reflector on each side, and the rearmost vehicle should have an SMV sign. • An IOH of any width can be transported via a trailer or semitrailer during hours other than hours of darkness from farm-to-field, farm-to-farm or field-to-field. During hours of darkness the width is limited to 8.5 feet. An IOH that is being trailered must comply with the same lighting and marking requirements as if it were being operated on the road (excluding headlamps). Self-propelled IOH and farm tractors exceeding 12 feet must also have the beacon/strobe light or the flashing amber warning lights activated. This is a very brief overview. For more details, visit the Department of Transportation’s website: or the WFBF website: ioh/ or contact Rob Richard, WFBF Senior Director of Governmental Relations, at or 608.828.5703.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

WFBF Members Visit Capitol Hill A

far-reaching water rule and bills on the labeling of genetically modified food and country of origin labeling of beef, pork and poultry were on the collective minds of Farm Bureau members who met recently with Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. Each of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s nine district directors brought two members from their part of the state to Washington, D.C., September 15-17. Atop their list of bills to lobby lawmakers on were measures to halt the Environmental Protection Agency from further implementation of the Waters of the U.S. rule. The American Farm Bureau Federation has led the charge in Washington against an expansive new rule redefining “navigable waters” to cover millions of acres of farmed lowlands, ditches and other land features that only carry water when it rains. Despite warnings of its impact to farming through a comment period last year, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the final rule in May. Farm Bureau members thanked Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) for his support for the bipartisan S. 1140 (Federal Water Quality Protection Act) and urged Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) to support the bill. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin Congressmen Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble, have voted in favor of the House-version of the bill, H.R. 1732. Wisconsin’s two Senators were urged to support a bill to provide a national framework for the voluntary labeling of GMO foods based on consistent, national standards that are science-driven. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599) passed the House in July with Wisconsin Republicans supporting the bill and Democrats opposing it. A labeling bill of another sort also was a hot topic. In May, the World Trade October | November 2015

Organization Appellate Body provided its final decision by ruling against the U.S. in a case brought by Canada and Mexico against the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules on meat labeling. Since this ruling, H.R. 2393, a bipartisan bill that would repeal the mandatory country of origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken has passed the U.S. House. Without the legislation, many Wisconsin exports will likely face significant retaliatory tariffs. Farm Bureau members asked Senators Johnson and Baldwin to support a similar bill in the Senate. Member leaders joining the board in Washington, D.C., included: Keith Jacobson, Franksville; Ken Falk, West Bend; Roger Hildebrandt, Hustisford; Jeff Ditzenberger, New Glarus; Adam Heisner, Mineral Point; Leroy Peterson, Eastman; Ryan Sawyer, Melrose; Taliah Danzinger, Durand; Matt Graff, Waupun; Jade Buchholz, Neenah; Lauren Brey, Sturgeon Bay; Mark Schleicher, Sheboygan Falls; Michael Salter, Black Creek; Jon Bauer, Manawa; Greg Zwald, River Falls; Clark Turner, Withee; Melissa Yates, Merrill; and Melanie Peterson, Knapp. Chuck Spencer, a representative from GROWMARK Inc., also participated in the trip. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members also met with officials from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and visited the Embassy of Germany.


The D.C. Experience

In their own words... “They thanked us for coming. I didn’t expect that.” – Melissa Yates

Members from across the state took time out of the harvest season to visit their legislators in Washington, D.C.

The leaders in attendance reflected the diverse Farm Bureau membership well with members who were a variety of ages and occupations. Fruit, beef and organic dairy were just some of the farms that were represented.

“I saw firsthand just how respected Farm Bureau is.” – Clark Turner

Congressman Reid Ribble (left) met with his constituents from northeast Wisconsin during WFBF’s leader D.C. fly-in, September 15-17.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

“Taking time away from the farm isn’t an easy thing to do, but we know it’s very important to share our concerns with the people who make decisions.” – Mark Schleicher and Leroy Peterson

“Frankly the Waters of the U.S. rule issued by the EPA scares me because of what it could mean for the future generations of farmers.” – Lauren Brey

“It’s talking about the tough topics like food labeling that is going to make a difference.” – Ryan Sawyer

“We want our legislators to know the choices they make affect our families directly.” – Greg Zwald and Clark Turner

“Oh, I’ve been here many times.” – Mike Salter

“I’ve never been to D.C. before so I am thankful for this opportunity.”

“The first Farm Bureau meeting I ever attended I was elected to the board, so it’s been trial by fire, but a great experience.” – Taliah Danzinger

– Jade Buchholz

October | November 2015


Meet District 2 Board Director

Arch Morton Jr. By Casey Langan


earning from what life dishes out is a lesson Arch Morton, Jr., knows well. A barn fire and Farm Bureau’s Leadership Institute course are two starkly different events that helped shape his life. In 1976, Morton was a recent graduate of Clinton High School attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course. The day before final exams he got a call that his parents’ dairy barn had caught fire. Those on the scene were able to turn many of the 68 cows out of the burning barn, but the frightened herd’s natural instinct was to run back into the structure. All but five perished in the fire. “It was devastating,” Morton said. “For so many years I couldn’t even talk about it.” Looking back on the fire he says, “Bad things happen to everybody. When you go through those things, it’s not so much what happened, but what you do afterwards.” He had a decision to make. With no cows to return to that spring, he signed on for another year of Farm and Industry Short Course. About two years later, the Mortons rebuilt a barn for 50 cows and with his parents help, he began milking. Fast forward to 2008; Morton was 50, not married, without children and tired of being tied down. “It was time to sell the cows and do other things,” he recalled. Having already served as president of the Rock County Farm Bureau, he decided to apply for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s leadership Institute. “After that things just sort of took off,” he said. “My


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confidence increased as I went more places and did more things. It did a lot for me in terms of public speaking, relating to others and preparation skills.” “The people” was his quick answer when asked his favorite part of the Institute. “The one thing that surprised me was how much we learned from each other,” he said. “All 15 of us helped each other with positive feedback and constructive criticism. It was never competitive. It was always about helping each other. Everybody wanted everybody to be better. It was such a positive experience.” “It’s like going to camp,” he said with a laugh. “I’d do it again if I could.” Morton has remained close friends with his classmates from across the state and said, “They are the kind of people you can’t wait to see.” “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the Institute and my classmates,” he added. The Institute led to being elected to represent District 2 (Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Rock and Sauk counties) on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Board of Directors last December. He lists promoting the Institute to others among his priorities. Morton strongly agrees with the Institute’s mission of building leaders, not just for Farm Bureau, but for rural Wisconsin. “Farm Bureau members have to step up and be involved on town, county and school district boards as well,” he said. “If

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Arch’s Two Trucks and Other Farm Facts • Like a lot of farmers, Arch keeps two trucks; one for the farm and one for driving to town. • Morton farms 240 acres and lives on the land his grandfather and great-grandfather purchased in the 1920s. • His parents, Archie and the late Lila Morton, farmed there after they were married. Morton is one of their three children. His siblings, John and Ronna, are his neighbors. • John and his son, Alex, farm 500 acres of their own but we don’t have people with an appreciation for farming on these boards, we’re in trouble.” Morton is serving his 17th year on the La Prairie Town Board, where all five members are farmers and Farm Bureau members. He described La Prairie, located just southeast of Janesville with a population of more than 63,000, as a very rural town made up of residents who want to keep it that way and as a result have resisted development and annexation requests. A past member of WFBF’s statewide policy development committee and Volunteers for Agriculture political action committee, Morton said, “The more I got involved with Farm Bureau, the more good things I saw that it was doing. It works on things I believed in.” “Each county Farm Bureau is different with its own personality and unique events,” he said of the six he represents as the District 2 director. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be in a grassroots organization. It also keeps things interesting for me.” October | November 2015

the Mortons reduce expenses by sharing tractors, farm machinery, grain dryers and a machine shop. Though retired from farming, their father helps them with field work. • Morton farms 240 acres of mostly corn and soybeans. He grows 20 acres each of winter wheat and alfalfa. • “I like to do it,” he said of harvesting small bales of hay and straw that’s sold to other farmers. “With just 20 acres of hay, about the time you get tired of it, you’re done.”

Flashing three fingers in honor of WFBF’s third Institute class is Morton and three of his classmates (from left): Adam Kuczer, Brent Sinkula and Steve Boe.

To see who is participating in the 2016 leadership Institute, turn to for Farming’s Future page 44. To learn more about the (WFB Foundation) leadership Institute, visit programsevents/leadership-training-institute. Follow the Institute on Facebook to follow their sessions and the latest news for joining the 2017 Institute class: WisconsinFarmBureauInstitute The leaderhip Institute is sponsored by



our individuals have been selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag finalists. Each finalist will make a presentation at the 2015 WFBF Annual Meeting and Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Conference in Wisconsin Dells, December 4-7. The Excellence in Ag award recognizes members of Farm

Beth Schaefer, Marathon County

Beth is a regional program manager for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s Wisconsin Dairy Council. Covering 18 counties in north-central Wisconsin, Beth works with K-12 schools to explain the benefits of drinking milk and facilitate the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. She also works closely with local media to promote Wisconsin cheese. Beth lives in Hatley with her husband Matt and their son Henry. Beth is the treasurer for the Marathon County Farm Bureau and is actively involved in her church and the Marathon County Partnership for Progressive Agriculture. Leslie is the Leslie Svacina, St. Croix County executive director for the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators. Previously, she was an internship coordinator at the University of MinnesotaSt. Paul, working with students in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences. She earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural marketing communications from UW-River Falls, a master’s degree in agribusiness from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from UW-La Crosse. She is a past state FFA officer. She lives with her husband and son near Deer Park on their farm.


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Tammy is a field representative for Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association where she works closely with farmers on livestock marketing. She graduated from UW-Platteville with an animal science and communications degree. She is a former Grant County Pork Queen and is the secretary for the Grant County Cattlemen’s Association. Tammy is active in the Grant County YFA and a dedicated member of both the Lancaster FFA Alumni and UW-Platteville Alumni groups. As a hobby, she enjoys photography and raising beef cattle.

Tammy Wiedenbeck, Grant County


Mark and Tiffany live in Amherst with their son on a hobby farm. Both are graduates from UWRiver Falls. Mark has a degree in conservation, while Tiffany has hers in agricultural education. Mark works for Dairyland Laboratories, Inc. as a precision agriculture specialist. Tiffany is the agriculture education teacher and FFA advisor for Rosholt School District. Mark serves on the Portage County Farm Bureau board and they both assist with the county’s Ag in the Classroom program.

Mark & Tiffany Schaffner

Portage County

Excellence in Ag

Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program who excel in their leadership abilities, and involvement in agriculture, Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. Excellence in Ag award applicants must have derived a majority of their income from a non-production agribusiness enterprise for the past three years. Examples of occupations of past finalists include: agricultural education instructor, fertilizer salesperson, veterinarian, farm employee, agricultural writer and marketer. Last year’s Excellence in Ag award recipient was Dustin Williams from Green County. Farm Bureau’s YFA program is open to members between the ages of 18 and 35.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) co-sponsors these contests with GROWMARK, Inc., and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Information and applications for all YFA contests may be downloaded from WFBF’s website,

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Ryan and Lindsey are dairy farmers from Wausau. Ryan is a graduate of UWMadison’s Farm & Industry Short Course and in 2012 completed the Young Cooperative Leaders program. Lindsey graduated from UW- River Falls in 2005 with an agriculture education degree. Ryan is an active member of Foremost Farms and Genex cooperatives and serves as the vice president of the Marathon County Farm Bureau. Lindsey serves on the county’s Ag in the Classroom committee. Ryan and Lindsey have three children.

Marathon County

Ryan & Lindsey Prahl

Achievement Award F

our finalists will vie for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Achievement Award this December. Each finalist will conduct and interview at the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference in Wisconsin Dells, December 4-7. The Achievement Award recognizes YFA members who excel in production farming, leadership ability and involvement October | November 2015

Brad Kolpin, Marquette County

Brad is a beef and grain farmer from Westfield. He is a graduate of UW-Madison’s Farm & Industry Shortcourse. Brad owns about 600 irrigated acres and rents another 1,200. He does custom harvesting and trucking with his three semi-trucks and also some excavating. Brad is active on his county’s YFA committee and serves as the chair of the Marquette County Farm Bureau policy development committee. He also serves on the WFBF Policy Development Committee. He enjoys tractor pulling and is a volunteer firefighter.

Chris Chris & Kelly Pollack and Kelly are dairy farmers from Ripon. Chris attended UWMadison’s Farm and Industry Short Course and then returned to farm with his parents on PollackVu Dairy LLC where he is the herd and crop/equipment manager. Kelly is the calf manager and bookkeeper and also works at a local winery and produce farm. Chris was WFBF’s Discussion Meet winner in 2013 and a national Discussion Meet finalist in 2014. He is a member of AFBF’s Partners in Agricultural Leadership program. They are both involved with the Fond du Lac County YFA program and are graduates of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute leadership class.

Fond du Lac County

Alex Bringe, Vernon County

Alex is a beef and grain farmer from Viroqua. He graduated UWPlatteville with an animal science degree. He then continued his education at Western Technical College in its farm business management program. His lifelong interest in agriculture and politics led him to Farm Bureau. He is the YFA chair for Vernon County Farm Bureau and also serves as the pork chop fundraiser coordinator. He has attended the YFA leadership trip to Washington, D.C., and the WFBF Annual Meeting as a county delegate. He also is a graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute leadership class.

in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Achievement Award applicants must have derived a majority of their income from on-farm production during the past three years. Each finalist receives a $50 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. This year’s state winner will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando. In addition, Rural Mutual Insurance Company provides a free financial plan for the state winner and FABCO Equipment, Inc., provides the state winner with 40 hours use of a FABCO 226 skid-steer loader. Last year’s winner of the Achievement Award was Mark Mayer, a dairy farmer from Belgium in Ozaukee County.



Wisconsin Farm Bureau: Let’s Go Digital! D

id you know that you can receive your Rural Route in a digital version? Did you know that the Wisconsin Farm Bureau is on Instagram? What about Pinterest? In the digital age that we live in many are looking to have things at their fingertips, including their Rural Route magazine. You can now opt-in to receive your Rural Route via email! All you have to do is email Lynn Siekmann at and request to be put on the digital copy mailing list. When a new issue comes out we will simply email you a link to the online version of the magazine. Handy, right? Not only is it efficient for you to have your magazine sent to your electronic device but it is one way that we can save money on printing and postage. You also will receive it about a week earlier than your fellow Farm Bureau members. Want to stay connected with us in-between Rural Route issues? Check us out online. Not only will you find the latest blog posts and ag news on but you will find the latest list of your member benefits. We also are on Facebook. Are you one of our thousands of fans? If not, you better give us a like!

What about Twitter? We have that, too. Maybe you are more of an Instagram or Pinterest person. No worries! We are on that too. We share lots of photos and recipes that you often see in Rural Route. Connect with us. Communicate with us. Help us build our online community. If you do, it will help us serve you better.

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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Caterpillar, Inc., is a New Farm Bureau Member Benefit W

isconsin Farm Bureau and Caterpillar, Inc., announce a new partnership that will provide members up to $2,000 in purchase incentives on Cat machines. In addition, Caterpillar plans to support Farm Bureau programs in 2016 and coordinate with Farm Bureau on other efforts. “Our extensive product line, with more than 300 Cat machines, reflects our commitment to the ongoing success of American agriculture and rural businesses,” said Dustin Johansen, Caterpillar Agriculture Industry Manager. “We’re proud to partner with Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation and help members get their jobs done with the highest quality, best value equipment, attachments and integrated solutions in the industry.” Eligible equipment includes Cat skid steer loaders, compact and multi-terrain loaders, wheel loaders, telehandlers, backhoe loaders, hydraulic excavators and track-type tractors. A range of incentives are offered: • Small Wheel Loaders: $2,000 • Compact Wheel Loaders: $1,000 • Small Dozers: $1,000 • Backhoe Loaders: $500 - $1,000 • Compact Track Loaders: $500 - $1,000 • Multi Terrain Loaders: $500 - $1,000 • Skid Steer Loaders: $500 - $1,000 • Telehandlers: $500 - $1,000 • Mini Hydraulic Excavators: $250 - $500

Notice of Annual Meeting of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Cooperative In accordance with the bylaws and pursuant to the direction of the Board of Directors, the undersigned Secretary hereby gives notice that the Annual Meeting of members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Cooperative, will convene on Monday, December 7, at 10:30 a.m. at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Dale Beaty, Secretary October | November 2015

“Everyone at Wisconsin Farm Bureau is excited about this new member benefits offering,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “Caterpillar and agriculture have a shared history that goes back more than century, and our new partnership will make it easier for our members to improve productivity and efficiency to maintain profit margins.” In addition to providing reliable, fuel-efficient equipment that is more economical for farmers and rural business people to own and operate, Caterpillar also is committed to the safety of operators and to ongoing innovation in design and engineering. Along with providing unparalleled parts availability, Cat Dealer service helps ensure the long-term reliability of equipment. “Our product solutions are designed and built for maximum performance and safety,” said Johansen. “We are constantly developing and refining advanced power and hydraulic technologies to ensure that our products provide Farm Bureau members with the power, versatility, efficiency, ease of operations and reliability they have come to expect.” The Farm Bureau member benefit discount on Cat machines can be combined with any current retail discounts, promotions, rebates or offers available through Caterpillar or its dealers, with the exception of other membership purchase incentives. All Wisconsin Farm Bureau members are eligible. Discounts cannot be applied to past purchases. Members must provide a valid Member Verification Certificate to the Cat dealer at the time of purchase to receive the discount. Certificates may be obtained at For more information call Farm Bureau at 800.261.FARM (3276).


Annual Meeting & YFA Conference December 4-7, 2015

Notice of Annual Meeting of Rural Mutual Insurance Company In accordance with the bylaws and pursuant to the direction of the Board of Directors, the undersigned Secretary hereby gives notice that the Annual Meeting of members of the Rural Mutual Insurance Company will convene on Monday, December 7, at 10:30 a.m. at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Dale Beaty, Secretary


Thank You for

Visiting Us!


ed buckets were all the rage at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in August. Members who provided their email address received a bucket–but not before snapping a fun photo.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation


Kamps Hired as Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Foundation Director G

retchen Kamps has been named the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator and Director of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. Since 2012, Kamps has worked as a district coordinator for WFBF’s District 3 in southwest Wisconsin. In her new role, Kamps will oversee the Ag in the Classroom program, which provides Wisconsin teachers, volunteers and students with tools about how food travels from the farm to the fork. She will work with local Ag in the Classroom coordinators and educators. Kamps also will lead the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, which provides financial support to Ag in the Classroom, Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program, Women’s Program for Education and Leadership, Institute leadership course, collegiate Farm Bureaus, FFA and 4-H. “Gretchen has a strong background in education, agriculture and volunteer training and her excellent communication and networking skills make her a great choice to lead Ag in the

October | November 2015

Classroom and oversee our Foundation’s activities,” said Bob Leege, Executive Director of Member Relations. Kamps grew up on a Rock County farm and earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural education from UW-Platteville and a master of education degree in educational leadership from National Louis University in Illinois. She served as an agriculture instructor at Lake Geneva Badger High School and as an adjunct instructor at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and as a research coordinator at the UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm. Kamps and her husband, Josh, operate a beef farm with his family near Belmont. “I am excited to find ways to help our volunteers get into more classrooms, build relationships with K-12 teachers and develop additional resources for volunteers to use at dairy breakfasts, county fairs and other local events,” Kamps said.


Frac Sand in Wisconsin W

isconsin has abundant resources of sand that have been mined for more than 100 years. Our sand is used for glass manufacture, foundry molds, even golf course sand traps. It has also been mined for the petroleum industry

for many years. Recent advances in extracting oil and gas using a process called “fracking� (short for hydraulic fracturing) have greatly increased the demand for Wisconsin’s sand.

Where is frac sand found?

Frac sand is currently being mined from sandstone formations in much of western and central Wisconsin. The same formations are less well exposed and generally finer-grained in the eastern and southern parts of the state. Sand from younger glacial deposits as well as most beach and riverbank sand is too impure and too angular to be used as frac sand.

What is frac sand?

Frac sand is quartz sand of a specific grain size and shape that is suspended in water and chemicals and injected into oil and gas wells under very high pressure. The fluid pressure opens and enlarges fractures as well as creates new ones. Sand grains are carried into these fractures and prop them open after the fluid pressure is released. The type of sand used in this process must be made up almost entirely of quartz grains that are very round, extremely hard, and of a specific size range. Before shipment to the well site, frac sand is washed, sorted and dried. Wisconsin has some of the best frac sand in the country because several of our geologic formations meet these specifications, are near the surface, and are close to bulk transportation corridors such as rail or barge.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Where is fracking performed?

Fracking has been used by our domestic oil and gas industry for the past 75 years. The development of horizontal drilling technology coupled with hydraulic fracturing has allowed production of previously unrecoverable natural gas resources in the eastern, western and southern United States. In Wisconsin, a different kind of fracking is used to increase the productivity of water supply wells in relatively impermeable rocks, such as the granite in the central part of the state. In these cases, only pressurized water is injected into the well窶馬o sand or chemicals are added.

Permits and regulations

Concerns have been raised regarding environmental and nuisance problems as sand mines proliferate. Mine siting is regulated at the local zoning level. Mine reclamation plans, required by NR 135, must be in place before mining begins. The Department of Natural Resources provides technical assistance to county regulatory authorities for these plans. For a summary of regulations that apply to nonmetallic mining in Wisconsin, visit the DNR website at mines/nonmetallic.html.

For more information

Contact the following staff at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey for more details about frac sand in Wisconsin: Mike Parsen, hydrogeologist | 608.262.9419 Jay Zambito, geologist | 608.262.3385



Five things everyone Unmanned Aerial should know about ... Vehicles (aka “Drones”) in Agriculture By Brian Luck



Agriculture is poised to become the biggest market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Up to 80 percent of the commercial market for UAVs will eventually be for agricultural uses, predicts the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Industry analysts expect more than 100,000 jobs to be created and nearly half a billion dollars in tax revenue to be generated collectively by 2025, much of it from agriculture.

But simpler and less expensive models can be very helpful as well. Utilizing a UAV with a visible light camera (what we use for normal pictures and/or video) can give producers a bird’s-eye view of what is happening in their fields. Anomalies such as color variations in the crop canopy, winter kill areas and animal damage can be seen from the air. Once identified, these damaged areas can be verified on the ground more easily.


Wisconsin UAV interest is high. Most grower and commodity group presentations I have given with UW–Extension in the past year have been about UAVs and their UAVs have great uses. From the perspective of crop potential use in management and spatial variation monitoring crop management, our ability to collect Brian Luck demonstrates use of a UAV, something he’s health. During the growing data has been somewhat limited to doing a lot for farmers and other groups around the season, producers spend the beginning of the growing season state. Photo by Sevie Kenyon time and resources scouting (spring soil sampling, for example) and crops to identify issues that the end of the growing season (yield might impact growth or yield. Such monitoring is done mostly monitoring). Any further data collection would require walking through manned planes, satellites—or, very often, a good oldthe field or extra passes over the field with equipment. UAVs fashioned walk through the field. But data collected through have the potential to allow us to collect data about the health these methods can take a long time to process, making it hard of the crop over the entire growing season. for farmers to address problems in a timely, cost-effective Luck is a CALS assistant professor of biological systems engineering and a manner. UAVs can allow producers to cover and analyze a machinery systems/precision agriculture educator with UW–Extension. His greater area in more detail and in less time.



Ag UAVs can be loaded with game-changing technology. UAVs may be equipped with infrared cameras, vegetative indices sensors and other technology, collecting all manner of relevant data (presence of insects or disease, amount of water or dryness, location of livestock). Farmers also can use UAVs to tailor their use of such inputs as pesticides or fertilizer based on how much is needed at a specific point in a field, a process known as variable rate application. This practice can save the grower money while maintaining yield and also reducing the amount of potential runoff into nearby streams or lakes.


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UAV research focuses on applied uses of current UAV technology for production agriculture.

Build this winter and receive HUGE Savings! Call for further information.

Build this winter and receive HUGE Savings! Call for further information. 800-558-7800

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


GROWMARK Invests in Young Ag Leaders

Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Statement of Ownership


inners of WFBF’s 2014 Young Farmer and Agriculturist contests and state FFA officers were special guests at GROWMARK’s Annual Meeting in Chicago in August. "The GROWMARK System is committed to developing the next generation of agricultural leaders. We are proud supporters of programs like 4-H, FFA and Farm Bureau as the premier organizations for young people interested in agriculture, and have been for more than 85 years," said GROWMARK’s Karen Jones. GROWMARK is a sponsor of many Young Farmer and Agriculturist programs including the annual YFA Conference. The GROWMARK system began as a merger of farm supply companies controlled by the Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin Farm Bureaus to secure a reliable, affordable supply of fuel for their tractors. Today, GROWMARK does business in more than 40 states and Ontario. Joining WFBF board directors and staff at the GROWMARK Annual Meeting were: Andrea Brossard, state YFA chair; Ethan Giebel, Discussion Meet winner; Dustin (and Aimee) Williams, Excellence in Agriculture Award winner; Mark Mayer, Achievement Award winner. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members at the GROWMARK Annual Meeting. Front row: Andrea Brossard, Dale Beaty, Jim Holte and Rosie Lisowe. Back row: Casey and Amanda Langan, Ethan Giebel, Wendy Kannel, Arch Morton Jr., Kevin Krentz, Aimee Williams, Mark Mayer, Dustin Williams and Don Radtke. WFBF President Jim Holte is shown with five officers of the Wisconsin Association of FFA. The state officers participated in opening ceremonies of the GROWMARK Annual Meeting, where Wisconsin FFA President Sally Albers gave an outstanding speech on the evolution of technology in agriculture.

October | November 2015



Finalists Named in Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award® Program


and County Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association are proud to announce the finalists for the prestigious Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award®, which honors Wisconsin landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources. The finalists are: • Ronald Brooks, who owns and manages Brooks Dairy Farm, a crop and dairy farm in Waupaca. • David and Leslie Meuer, who own and manage Meuer Farm, LLC, a crop and beef cattle farm in Chilton. • Milk Source, LLC, of Freedom, which owns four dairy farms in Wisconsin and two others in Kansas and Michigan. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an David & Leslie Meuer

Milk Source, LLC ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.” The 2015 Leopold Conservation Award, which consists of $10,000 and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, will be presented at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in December. In Wisconsin, the Leopold Conservation Award is made


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Ronald Brooks Family possible through the generous support of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, Wisconsin Energy Foundation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Badgerland Financial, Alliant Energy Foundation, American Transmission Company, DuPont Pioneer, The Mosaic Company and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. For more information, visit About the Leopold Conservation Award The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of $10,000 and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold. Sand County Foundation presents Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. About Sand County Foundation Sand County Foundation ( is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to working with private landowners across North America to advance ethical and scientifically sound land management practices that benefit the environment. About the Wisconsin Land & Water Conservation Association The Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, is a membership organization that supports the efforts of 450 Land Conservation Committee supervisors and 350 conservation staff in 72 county Land Conservation Department offices through training, conservation standards development, youth education, grants, partnership building, and advocacy.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

S AV E T H E DAT E ! E A R LY S TA G E S Y M P O S I U M featured speakers Mike Splinter Former CEO/Chair, Applied Materials General Partner, WISC Partners


+ PeoPle



= O P P O R T U N I T Y

highlights include: • Additional speakers; to be announced soon! • Company presentations to angel and venture investors • 11th annual Elevator Pitch Olympics • SBIR/STTR awards luncheon recognizing grant recipients • “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation

Zach Halmstad Founder, JAMF Software 2014 EY ‘Trep of the Year

• “Office hours” sessions with subject matter experts • More than a dozen panel discussions • “First Look” forum for university-based discoveries • Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin companies. • Reception, lunches and other networking events

nov. 4-5, 2015 Madison, Wis.



IN THE FAMILY. IN THE BLOOD. When the second generation of Kaiser Family Farm approached Ruder Ware on leaving the farm to their sons, our experienced team of ag attorneys knew where to begin, and how much a smooth transition meant to them. We know that farms are highly specialized businesses requiring careful planning to minimize potential disagreements and “surprises.” But we also know that to some, a farm is more than just a business. It’s a treasure and a tradition.

October | November 2015

wausau | eau claire wausau | eau claire visit our blogs at


County Kernels Winnebago County - July Beef Promotion

The Winnebago County Farm Bureau held its July Beef Promotion event at the Festival Foods in Oshkosh. The promotion was held outside with live grilling, beef samples, recipes and a question display. More than 1,000 customers saw the display.

Shawano County - Dairy Dash

The annual Dairy Dash and Stroll 5K run/walk was held in conjunction with the Shawano County Brunch on the Farm at Beran’s Dairy Farm. More than 100 people participated in the event, ranging from children to the young at heart. The scenic route took participants through the farm and around the farm fields. After finishing the race they received free milk and cheese curds.

Barron County - Ag Showcase Bus Tour

On July 29, the Barron County Farm Bureau hosted its second Barron Ag Showcase, a bus tour for the teachers highlighting the diversity of Barron County agriculture. The tour visited Vermillion Produce, Dragsmith Farms, Indianhead Holsteins, Louie’s Finer Meats and Green Whey Energy. The purpose was to educate, encourage and inspire teachers to increase the incorporation of agriculture into their teaching, no matter the course or students’ age. It attracted 12 teachers from five school districts.

Dane County - Scavenger Hunt

On July 18, the Dane County Farm Bureau Scavenger Hunt was held at the Dane County Fair. Fair goers of all ages strolled through the new Learning Lane sponsored by Dane County Farm Bureau to learn answers to questions about the animals in the barns. Finishers redeemed a coupon for a cream puff, compliments of the Stoughton FFA Alumni.

Waupaca County - Ag in the Classroom Last spring, Waupaca County Farm Bureau organized farm tours for more than 400 students. Kindergarteners from Waupaca and students from the Tomorrow River Charter School from Amherst visited Eisentraut Farms and Riley Crest Farm. While touring the dairy farms the students also visited chickens, ducks, rabbits, hogs, sheep, goats and tractors. Farm tours are better than a book or video because the animals, sounds and smells are real.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Farm Bureau Recipes provided by Dane County Farm Bureau member Liz Henry

Cheesy Potatoes

• 1, 32-ounce package of shredded hash browns • 1 c. of butter • 1 c. of heavy whipping cream • 1, 16-ounce container of sour cream • 1 can of cream of chicken soup • 1 can of cream of cheese soup • 1 pound of shredded cheddar cheese • dried onions, salt and pepper to taste • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt • 2 to 3 c. of crushed corn flakes 1. Break the shredded hashed browns apart in a large bowl, add 1 c. of the cheese and mix. Pour half this mixture into a buttered deep dish, 9’ by 13” disposable, and aluminum pan. 2. Sprinkle dried onions liberally over this layer and shake Lawry’s Seasoned Salt over this layer. 3. Cut ½ c. of butter into small cubes or pats of butter and place these evenly over the layer of potatoes. 4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the whipping cream, sour cream, cream of soups and mix well; add remaining cheese and pour this mixture into the other half of potatoes and cheese mixture, stir and then layer on top of the first layer of potatoes and cheese. Sprinkle another layer of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. 5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 70 minutes at 350 degrees. 6. Remove from oven, remove foil cover and stir. 7. Melt ½ c. of butter and pour over the crushed corn flakes; pour corn flake mix over the potatoes and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy. 8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

October | November 2015

Bourbon Bundt Cake

• 1 box yellow cake or spice cake mix • 1/4 c. of brown sugar • 1/4 c. of white sugar • 1 box vanilla or coconut cream pudding instant mix • 2 teaspoons cinnamon • 4 eggs • 3/4 c. of water • 3/4 c. of oil • 1 /2 c. of J. Henry & Sons Bourbon 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Mix the above ingredients by hand or with mixer. 3. Butter a Bundt pan. Pour mixture into pan. 4. Bake for one hour or until browned and released from edges. 5. W hen the cake is out of the oven, melt ½ c. of butter into 1 c. sugar and ¼ to 1/2 c. of J. Henry & Sons Bourbon. Pour over hot cake. 6. Cool. Flip out of pan onto plate and serve. Enjoy! Liz Henry served as Wisconsin’s 39th Alice in Dairyland traveling to six states, Canada and Puerto Rico to promote Wisconsin agricultural products. Earlier this year, Liz and her husband, Joe, and their sons, Joe and Jack, introduced Wisconsin-made J. Henry & Sons Bourbon and established an agritourism destination at their farm in Dane. Read more about J. Henry & Sons Bourbon on page 5.


Photo by Bill Gaastra, Randolph

Photo by Ingrid Husmoen, Durand

#FBBucketBonus Photo Contest

Photo by Becky Wellnitz, Brodhead

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos for the #FBBucketBonus photo contest with the buckets they received at Farm Technology Days! Congratulations to Alissa Grenawalt for being selected as our winner. She received a $75 gift certificate from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

Send us YOUR Photos 28

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Photo by Jamie Propson, Mishicot

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

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg


hile pheasant hunting in Eau Claire County with friends back in 1982, we came across several large coveys of wild bobwhite quail. Following bird dogs along fence line hedgerows was the ticket to success. I recall having trouble bagging a single bird but shooting slump aside, that weekend I became foreverhooked on quail hunting. In the 1970s and 80s, we found quail, Hungarian partridge and prairie chickens in large numbers on the Buena Vista grasslands of Portage County. Back then woody vegetation like dogwood, willow and aspen was allowed to grow and prosper, as the state’s master plan allowed for 10 percent woody vegetation. For some strange reason, since then the plan must have been altered to allow for an all-out war on trees and woody vegetation. Prairie chicken numbers have fallen dramatically. Quail and partridge have disappeared. In the 1960s, DNR wildlife biologists C. Kabat and D. R. Thompson told us, “The statewide population of bobwhite quail declined from an estimated high of one bird per acre in the 1850s to a low of less than one bird per 40 acres in 1960.” They directly correlated October | November 2015

this to the loss of hedgerow cover. The biologists noted that during the peak years of 1853 and 1854, quail densities were to the point that “it ceased to be sport to shoot them.” Bobwhites were so abundant in the southern counties that farmers trapped and shipped carloads to the big cities. When the DNR has conducted roadside whistling bobwhite quail surveys in Wisconsin’s primary quail range in 1949, about 1.4 whistles were heard per stop. This year that statistic fell to 0.016 whistling males per stop. According to the DNR, “the continued declines of bobwhite quail in Wisconsin and nationwide reflect factors beyond weather conditions. Such causative factors are thought to include habitat deterioration, predation, and possibly pesticides. Continued losses of grasslands and changes in land use threaten the future of quail populations in Wisconsin.” Simply put, bobwhite quail populations in Wisconsin need help. In a 1941 issue of Wisconsin Agriculturist and Farmer, Aldo Leopold wrote, “Summer without bobwhites whistling in the fence rows is not really summer, but only an imitation of it. Yet many a southern Wisconsin farmer, fond of his quail, has himself evicted this bird from his acres without being aware of how or why… Two changes in the land are, I think, responsible for the decline of quail: smaller and fewer weeds due to declining fertility, and smaller and fewer thickets due to the elimination of fence rows and pasturing of woodlots. The

tall weeds were winter food, and the thickets winter cover.” Ever since the 1963 KabatThompson report came out, we know the solution to restoring quail populations across its range is improving habitat. A direct correlation between hedgerow cover and quail populations has been well-documented. “Quail can be maintained in Wisconsin but only with a concerted effort to preserve existing hedgerows and restoration of this habitat feature so large blocks of land contain a minimum of one mile of hedgerow to 450 acres of land,” read the report. “Fortunately, hedgerows have multiple values to other game, songbirds, beneficial insects and also soil and water conservation values.” A recent trip to Portage County’s Buena Vista grasslands was an eyeopener. The mile after mile of windbreak hedgerows that have been planted on private land in cooperation with the Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership are bearing fruit: namely songbirds, beneficial insects and also soil and water conservation values. Can whistling bobwhites be far behind? One can only hope. Blomberg is a freelance writer and a

member of the Portage County Farm Bureau.

The Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership provides tree planting services, including windbreak design, fabric and a three-year maintenance program. Wildlife habitat development, seeder rental, custom spraying, chemical burndowns and public information and education are also offered. For more information, contact the Hancock Agricultural Research Station at 888.249.5424 or


Farm Bureau Membership Doesn’t Cost... ...It Pays Wisconsin Farm Bureau offers benefits and services to its members, covering a range of options that respond to the needs of farmers, families and businesses in Wisconsin.


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

Supplies & Products Case IH - Eligible Farm Bureau members will receive an incentive discount ($300 to $500) when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers. The discount can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. Go to to see the eligible models and print your certificate. Caterpillar - Members qualify for a variety of discounts on new purchases. Members must provide a valid Member Verification Certificate to the Cat dealer at the time of quote to receive the discount. Visit to print your certificate and for details on models and discounts. The discount can be combined with any current retail discounts, promotions, rebates or offers available through Caterpillar or its dealers with the exception of other membership purchase incentives (such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association discount). FS-GROWMARK Patronage - Members who are patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage dividends when patronage is paid. Grainger Industrial Supply - Grainger Industrial Supply is the nation’s leading maintenance, repair and operational supplies distributor. Receive at least a 10% discount on all Grainger catalog items. For a free catalog call 608.221.3861. When ordering use the Farm Bureau account #855922019. Office Depot - Save up to 80% on Office Depot Preferred Products along with reduced prices on ink, paper, office supplies, toner, stamps/daters, pens, pads, furniture and much more. Members get free next day delivery with free shipping on orders over $50 and terrific copy and print pricing. Visit Polaris - Farm Bureau members will receive a manufacturer’s incentive discount of $200-$300 depending on the vehicle acquired. There is no limit to the number of incentive discounts that a Farm Bureau member may use so long as it’s no more than one per unit acquired and the acquisition(s) is/are made for their personal and/or business use. Individuals must be members for at least 30 days to qualify.


Stroke Detection Plus - Stroke Detection Plus offers preventative medical screenings at a discounted price to Farm Bureau members. These ultrasound screenings help detect blockages that can lead to stroke, aortic aneurysms and other artery diseases. For more information, call 1.877.732.8258.

Protection Reward Protection Program - Farm Bureau pays a $500 reward to people providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals for arson, theft or criminal damage to a member’s property that is posted with a Farm Bureau reward sign or sticker. Accidental Death Policy - Members receive $1,500 in accidental death insurance for themselves and their spouse, and $500 for minors. The policy increases in value for consecutive years of membership up to $3,500.

Insurance Rural Mutual Insurance Company - Offering a full line of insurance and financial products for your personal, farm and business needs exclusively for Wisconsin Farm Bureau members. Our rural Wisconsin heritage assures that you’ll find in us the strong values you expect and deserve. Visit us on the web at to find your nearest Rural Mutual agent. Farm Bureau Financial Services is a dynamic multi-state insurance and investment organization serving individuals and families in not only rural areas, but also suburban and metropolitan. You can get more information about the financial services from your local Rural Insurance agent. Learn more about Farm Bureau Financial Services at

Travel AAA - Members can save up to 20% on AAA membership and the enrollment fee to join AAA is waived. Farm Bureau members who already belong to AAA can receive the discount by calling before their next renewal. To enroll or to add the benefit to your existing account, call 877.731.3315 and give them the group code “WI07.”

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

AVIS Car Rental Discount Program - You can save 5%-25% on Avis’ daily and weekly rates. To receive these discounted rates, all you need to do is use the Avis Worldwide Discount number: A298849. To rent a car and enjoy benefits visit or call Avis at 1.800.331.1212.

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

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

Communication AgriVisor - WFBF members can receive a 35% discount on daily grain, livestock and feed input marketing advice, as well as current market quotes and updates. Call 800.676.5799. The Country Today - With every new subscription or renewal, The Country Today will give a discounted rate and donate $5 to the Ag in the Classroom program. Write “Farm Bureau member” on your renewal or mention it when calling 1.800.236.4004.

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


ScriptSave® - ScriptSave is a prescription drug savings card available to you at NO COST as an added feature of your membership. Call 800.700.3957 or go to and login with group number 703A.

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Wyndham Hotel Group - Members save 20% off the best available rate at more than 5,000 participating locations throughout North America. Mention Farm Bureau ID# 8000004288 when making your reservations. Call 877.670.7088.

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

Wisconsin farm bureau federation


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

October | November 2015

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8/21/14 4:51 PM


Labor’s Two-Headed Monster A Message from Jim Holte


epending on what you read and who you listen to, your opinion of our nation’s workforce’s most pressing problem probably focuses on either worker shortages or immigration. Could these two issues (which on the surface look like comparing apples and oranges) go together like peas and carrots? A shortage of high school agricultural instructors made headlines this fall. Yet nationally there’s an impending lack of most types of educators. In agriculture, large animal veterinarians, agronomists and most jobs that service farmers also are in short supply. These talent shortages are a troubling trend for education and farming’s futures, but hardly unique. Pick an industry: nurses and doctors, accounting and finance, carpenters, engineers and manufacturing, or those who fix computers or cars. There’s hardly a skilled trade that doesn’t face shortages. Just in manufacturing it’s forecasted that


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more than 2 million jobs will go unfilled during the next decade. One thing there’s not a shortage of are candidates seeking the presidency; which leads us to the thorny issue of immigration. I could give our aspiring presidents a pass for not prioritizing on the workforce skills gap. After all, last summer disaster seemed to lurk around every corner, from ISIS in the Middle East to a jittery Wall Street to violent unrest from Baltimore to Ferguson to Milwaukee. Yet a different labor issue (immigration) caught fire. Despite the over-the-top rhetoric on the presidential campaign trail, several trips to Washington, D.C., tell me that immigration reform is a hot potato that few politicians will touch. “They’ve got to go” statements about the 11 million or more illegal immigrants in our country are bumper sticker politics if ever there was such a thing. Aside from the huge price tag for sending undocumented workers home, the American Farm Bureau Federation estimated this would deepen agriculture’s chronic labor shortages resulting in losses of up to $9 billion for farmers. AFBF’s estimate came during 2012’s presidential campaign (ironically the last time the send-them-home solution was being discussed). I know this issue deeply divides farmers. For every farmer without hired labor who thinks everyone should farm as they do, there’s another who has hired immigrants and worries that granting legal status to these workers would bring them out of the rural shadows of society and send them off to town to look for other jobs. Both farmers and consumers

ought to recognize this type of labor for what it is: a critical component in America’s affordable food system. Some people may make the argument that expanding legal immigration is not a viable solution to cure agriculture’s labor shortages. I agree that today’s illegal immigrant probably won’t be tomorrow’s agriculture instructor or veterinarian. But consider this: we live in a nation where Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, where the numbers of those receiving disability payments has ballooned and where the millions who’ve quit looking for work don’t even show up in the unemployment rate anymore. In contrast, immigrant laborers often share the values that rural Americans do: hard work and commitment to family. Is anyone clamoring for the jobs in farming and the food sector that these people do? Who is going to pick the fruits and vegetables or slaughter the livestock? Most dairy farmers I know struggle to find and keep help. Nearly every fast food restaurant I drive past seems to be hiring. Our nation risks its own fate by not grappling with the complex issues of labor shortages and immigration reform. I have hope that the solutions to both are intertwined. Those who think the two issues are independent of one another and can be fixed with slogans are ignoring the two-headed monster at our doorstep. WFBF President since 2012, Holte is a grain and beef farmer from Elk Mound in Dunn County.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Good Times, Bad Times A Message from Bob Stallman


he last decade will almost certainly be remembered as a golden age of agriculture in the United States. High global demand, a cheap dollar and bumper crops meant farming and ranching did better than many other parts of the economy. It was a welcome rebound for farmers and ranchers, who have worked through a lot of tough times. Those record highs in farm income may have tempted folks to spend money instead of socking it away. If farmers and ranchers were like many other Americans, they probably would have done just that. But that’s not how most of us reacted. Sure, we may have bought some new iron, but much of that was a reinvestment in the business and was replacing some very well-used equipment. As farmers, we know that lean times always come back. USDA census numbers illustrate how farmers and ranchers have built our balance sheets. The department projects total U.S. farm equity will reach nearly $2.7 trillion by year’s end, up more than 20 percent from just $2.2 trillion in 2010. Debt as a percentage of farm assets should fall from 11.8 percent to 10.9 percent, while total assets likely will top $3 trillion, up from $2.5 trillion five years ago. These are some of the best financial ratios for agriculture. Ever. On the row crop side, we are bracing for what will clearly be tougher times. We know the sector as a whole will register a significant drop in income this year and, if the past is any indicator, very possibly in the next year or two. USDA projects the nation’s net farm cash income will fall to $87.4 billion by year’s end, down more than a third from

October | November 2015

2012’s $137.1 billion. Corn, once $7.63, is just over $3 a bushel now. Wheat, $9.50 a bushel a few years back, is now about $4.50. And the dollar? It’s stronger than it’s been in years, which makes exports a lot harder to sell. Even so, our ranching members who survived the worst of the western drought and fought through some of that $7 corn benefitted a couple of ways this past year. Not only were beef supplies tighter, but low prices for grain and alfalfa meant feeding those cattle was a lot easier than before. Calves that were going for $150 per hundredweight five or so years ago were touching $300 this summer. Yet even here, clouds are gathering: Forecasters say this fall will likely see the biggest herd expansion we’ve seen in 25 years. Prices are bound to fall as a result. We’ve no one and nothing to blame for any of this but our own success. Bumper crop on bumper crop makes for a challenging oversupply. The rest of the world, too, has increased production thanks in no small part to the genius of American agronomy. The bright side is most of us with row crops have insurance to help us manage. And unlike in decades past, the government no longer holds on to those huge mountains of grain. Given a weather event here or somewhere else around the world, grain prices can adjust rather than have us just watch tons of grain come back on the market and kill any price improvement. We at Farm Bureau have celebrated successes with you and are prepared to face lean times as well. We are working on trying to contain unnecessary

regulatory creep. We are working to lower barriers to trade of our products. We are working to promote the story of how good a job farmers and ranchers are doing in being good stewards of our land and our animals. We are working to help keep our members on the cutting edge of technology, as well as at the cutting edge of what the consumer wants. From a financial standpoint, the next few years are probably going to be a lot different than things were over the past few. But Farm Bureau’s mission remains the same: “…to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.” President of the American Farm Bureau Federation since 2000, Bob Stallman is a cattle and rice farmer from Columbus, Texas.



How to Survive Another 150 Years A Message from Amy Eckelberg


urvivors. That’s how Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary, described the multi-generational audience of calloused hands and humble smiles before him. I was honored to be sitting among the hard-working families being recognized at the Wisconsin State Fair in August. Brancel reminded all in attendance of the obstacles each family faced to make a living at farming. He thanked them for not giving up. I was proud to celebrating my own family’s history: our sesquicentennial. It was 1865 when my great-great-greatgrandpa Manske bought a farm from a Civil War widow, just south of New London in Waupaca County. I’ve heard stories from my grandpa about shucking corn by hand and milking six cows stool-side. I’ve listened to stories from my grandmother about how tough times were during the Great Depression.


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I’ve watched the dedication my mom gives to a sick calf and I’ve seen the long hours my dad puts in during planting and harvesting. In other words, I’ve seen firsthand the obstacles that Secretary Brancel spoke of. What gives me a sense of hope is seeing the same look of determination in the eyes of my younger brother as he prepares to carry on our family farm’s legacy. No two farms are the same and that held true amongst the group of farmers that had gathered here, but each family shared a special trait: at least 100 years of farm ownership. During the event’s breakfast, I overheard bits and pieces of conversations of where farms are located and what is grown and raised on them. You could see young farmers soaking in the experience of being around elders whose stories soared about how they first got into farming. In this farm-friendly crowd, everyone wore pride on their shoulders and comfort on their faces. I will admit, there’s something refreshing and consoling about being at a gathering that’s exclusively farmers. In this safe and comfortable zone, you can talk about fresh cows and third crop without having to explain what you mean. Much has changed about farming over

150 years, and not just the efficiency of equipment, crops and livestock. Farmers are now a minority in society, a point that was very clear later as we walked around the state fair that afternoon. With matching, bright orange shirts with our farm logo, fairgoers couldn’t help but identify us as farmers. Many asked us questions. One woman even said she had never met a farmer before. That stuck with me. If we’re not willing to serve as a walking billboard for agriculture where non-rural folks gather, then agriculture’s struggle to connect with its customers will continue. Overcoming this doesn’t require wearing orange shirts. Consider visiting a library or an urban grocery store to answer questions and connect with someone who has never met a farmer. Better yet, partner with a school or daycare to coordinate tours. I know this may be uncomfortable for the typically humble farmer, but consider this: It took guts for our ancestors to settle farms on Wisconsin’s wooded and wild landscape several generations ago. Today’s farmer faces a different landscape, but one just as daunting. Leaving our comfort zones is now a requirement if we expect our farms to be around another 150 years. Eckelberg is WFBF’s Director of Communications.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Will Cecil and Cecily Serve As Wake-up Calls? A Message from Casey Langan


e live in a society where people see little difference between pampered pets and livestock; where social media can generate a firestorm of public outrage about the death of an animal; where people seem more concerned about animals than their fellow man. Would it sound crazy if I said Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are partially to blame? Think about it, small children are given the impression that animals are not that different than people. Cartoon animals talk, wear clothes and drive cars. This personification of animals is an idea I often speak about to Farm Bureau and FFA audiences. When the average American child’s only exposure to farm animals is their Old McDonald had a Farm book can we wonder why they grow up to be adults who don’t understand or wish to accept how cattle, hogs and poultry fit into the food chain? Do livestock exhibitors at state and county fairs realize what’s at stake? Do they realize bridging this gap with the non-farm public is more important than any trophy? I can tell you it’s not happening nearly enough. As I walked through fair livestock barns last summer, few offered to answer questions, have my child pet their animal or even say hello. Instead, I saw two distinct worlds. There’s the farm folks talking only to each other and then there’s everyone else. They have no idea what makes one steer better than the next, why the lambs don’t have tails or why canes are used to move hogs, but I bet they could be convinced that fairs are a bad thing. Need proof ? Two recent headlines show how fanatical some people are

October | November 2015

about their four-legged and feathered friends. Millions jumped on social media’s bandwagon about a lion from Zimbabwe named Cecil. What a dentist from Minnesota did was wrong, but it didn’t warrant death threats. It’s troubling that a segment of our society (most of whom cannot find Zimbabwe on a map) can get that worked up over a dead lion during an especially deadly year for police officers and other innocent (human) victims in the United States. After Cecil came Cecily. That’s the name that Andrea Martin of Massachusetts gave a chicken born with a torn tendon in its right leg. Martin forked over $2,500 for a prosthetic limb. “It was a no-brainer,” Martin told one reporter. “She needs to be able to live a normal life.” Martin, who performs “chicken rehabilitation,” has splurged before on surgery. Last year one of her hens had a $3,000 hysterectomy. It gets more ridiculous, but first let me ask a question: How many times have you heard someone say that farmers need to “tell their story” to others? Martin hopes to write a children’s book about Cicely’s experience. “She needs to tell her story,” Martin said. What?!?! Well I guess I’m going to make that plea again to livestock exhibitors. Let Cecil the lion and Cecily the chicken serve as a warning of the growing divide between those who say that they care for livestock and those who actually provide the care. After all, what would happen if an

animal rights activist decided to pull on society’s heartstrings by pointing out that the sheep, hogs and steers at fairs are not going home again? It seems like a real possibility given our society’s shift in attitudes about animal care. It’ll do no good to blame Mickey, Donald, Cecil or Cecily if livestock shows go away. Today’s 4-H and FFA members ought to be concerned whether their own children will have the same opportunity to show animals. Next year, I’m hoping more livestock exhibitors seize the opportunity to speak with the public, before it’s too late. Langan is the WFBF’s Executive Director of Public Relations.



Farmers Make the Best Lobbyists A Message from Karen Gefvert


hile they may have wished to be farming back in Wisconsin, the three days in Washington, D.C., that I spent with a group of Farm Bureau members in September produced great yields. Every time I see our members working the halls of Congress I’m reminded that when they’re not growing crops and livestock, farmers make great lobbyists, too. I don’t have to tell you the baggage that comes with the word lobbyist. Don’t get me wrong, advocating on behalf of farmers is a dream job, but some of agriculture’s critics write me off as a mouthpiece for polluters, corporate and big money special interests. The reality is Farm Bureau’s lobbyists work to


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bring the farmer common sense of our members to Madison and Washington, D.C. Yet we lobbyists cannot accomplish this alone. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is a well-respected organization among lawmakers because our members take the time to talk to advocate on their own behalf. Lawmakers know that farmers have their boots on the ground every day. Farmers have firsthand knowledge of the implications that governmental rules and regulations will have in the real world. Farmers bear the costs and burdens of additional training, licensure and inspection of the regulations they must follow. Who better to get feedback from? During our time in D.C., it was clear that Wisconsin’s members of Congress wanted to hear how the Waters of the United States rule is going to negatively impact farming practices for generations to come. They wanted to hear how vital a strong dairy-focused agreement within the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations will impact our state’s signature industry from people who actually milk cows every day. Nobody is better equipped to deliver these messages than the farmers and agriculturists whose livelihoods depend on them. Those real life stories from rural Wisconsin are what a lawmaker remembers as they cast their votes. Farm Bureau members are busy people. Busy with their farms; busy serving

on school, town and county boards; busy with civic, community and church groups, busy raising families, livestock and crops. While your own plate may seem overflowing at times, never for a second doubt the impact that you have with lawmakers and the public when advocating for agriculture. Statistically speaking, farmers are among the most trusted demographics by the public, and yet they make up less than 2 percent of the population. That’s a lot of ground to cover with those farm boots. Whether it be at Ag Day at the Capitol, a breakfast on the farm, county fair or within the U.S. Capitol, your voice carries weight with elected officials. The bottom line is no one can advocate for farming better than a farmer. Cultivating relationships with elected officials and advancing wise agricultural policy takes time, just like raising crops or livestock. Farm Bureau’s local policy development meetings, Ag Day at the Capitol, Institute leadership course and trips to D.C. all set the stage for farmers to shine. On those days when you’re up to your ears in farming, trust that Farm Bureau’s governmental relations team is somewhere advocating on your behalf; however, never forget the impact you have when you take a turn doing our jobs. Gefvert is WFBF’s Director of Governmental Relations.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Harvest Brings Focus Shift from Supply to Demand Guest Column by AgriVisor’s Joe Camp


here remain many uncertainties as to where the final production tallies will end up for the U.S. row crop harvest after a split of weather fortunes created sharp dichotomy between the western and eastern halves of the Corn Belt. Even so, we know large crops were grown in 2015 and the primary focus soon shifts to how the harvest will be used. Strong demand took over as a focus early in the 2014 harvest and allowed grain prices to climb higher into the end of the calendar year. The market has not enjoyed similar support from demand influences this time around. In fact, the outlook for demand has limited upside for the grains lately. Weak exports are at the center of arguments from the bear camp. Shipments and sales fall behind last year’s levels by a wide margin and they are failing to make pace with the trajectory needed to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s current export targets. Granted, exports have been disappointing so far in the 2015-16 marketing year. However, the bulls can still make a strong case for improved trade demand. The dollar is seen coming off multi-year highs to help facilitate better terms of trade for U.S. exports. Grain surpluses in the hands of our competitors are becoming lighter; and China continues to have a voracious appetite for soybeans. Traders are not overly excited about current projections for feed use. The bears have been quick to point out the obvious reasons against a price-friendly outlook for feed demand, namely a slow-growing

October | November 2015

cattle herd, sluggish pork exports, and a poultry sector decimated by the avian influenza. Not so fast on feed demand, say the bulls. While rebuilding the cattle herd is a slow process, it is a process that has begun nonetheless and one that has accelerated on the fuel of cheap corn and wheat. Pork exports can pick up as currency terms shift back toward the country’s favor. Poultry numbers are projected to grow quickly and will need corn and soybeans to do so. Market participants will take note if the United States continues to crush soybeans at a similar pace as in recent months. It is not just solid meal consumption in the U.S. that will support crush demand, but also countries across Europe and Asia that look to feed growing herds of livestock. Investment demand for the agricultural commodities could improve in the coming months. As traders begin to price in higher U.S. interest rates and stabilizing economies abroad, volatility in outside markets will spread into the commodity space less often. After another U.S. harvest is put in the books, markets will move less in the shadow of supply-side considerations and will find more guidance from influences related to demand. The shift of attentions away from supply is likely to unveil an improving outlook for demand that can also help shift attitudes about price.

AgriVisor, LLC continues to develop new products to help you improve your marketing. Call our office 800.676.5799 or visit www.agrivisor. com for information on these products. Follow @AgriVisor or @AgriVisorJoe on Twitter or AgriVisor on Facebook. Analysis and marketing strategies are available through an online E-Visor subscription. Annual membership in E-Visor Premium is $235. For less than 65 cents a day, you’ll receive vital information that impacts your farm. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members receive a 35 percent discount. You can register for a free seven-day trial or enroll by visiting No Internet? No problem. AgriVisor's advice is still available on FarmDayta/ DTN for $235 per year.

Camp is the Risk Management Specialist for AgriVisor, one of WFBF’s member benefits.



District Discussion Meet Qualifiers YFA members will compete at state in December

The Discussion Meet contest gives YFA members a chance to demonstrate their speaking skills on agricultural-related topics. Contestants are judged on their problem-solving skills as they discuss timely topics with their colleagues. Each of WFBF’s nine districts held a competition where the following contestants were chosen to advance to the state competition held at the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference in December.

District 1

Bob Nash, Ozaukee County Scott Davel, Racine County Sean Beres, Waukesha County

District 4

Trenton Bemis, Jackson County Rosli Bragger, Buffalo County Kyle Danzinger, Buffalo County

District 7

Christa Hoffman, Shawano County Peter Schmidt, Shawano County


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District 2

District 3

Josh Schenk, Green County Jayne Dalton, Columbia County Julie Martin, Dodge County

Becky Hasburgh, Iowa County Kory Stalsberg, Grant County Trent Erickson, Vernon County

District 5

District 6

Nate Zimdars, Fond du Lac County Lynn Dickman, Waushara County Michael Leahy, Fond du Lac County

District 9

District 8

William Litzer, Marathon County Ryan Klussendorf, Taylor County Cheri Klussendorf, Taylor County

Stephanie Nagel, Manitowoc County Kelly Wilfert, Manitowoc County

Nathan Kringle, Sawyer County Peter Kimball, Pierce County Julie Wadzinski, Barron County

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Ag in the classroom

Agribusiness Council Books Now Available Through Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom W

isconsin Ag in the Classroom is pleased to announce that it has added three publications to its resources list. The publications include The ABC’s and 123’s of Agriculture, a workbook geared toward pre-K and kindergarteners, This Business Called Agriculture, a workbook for fourth graders and An Agricultural Career for You, a magazine highlighting the hundreds of career opportunities in agriculture. “We are thankful that the Wisconsin Agribusiness Council has asked us to continue these publications and add them to our lineup of resources

Corn Facts In 2014,

Dane County was the top corn producing county in Wisconsin with 32.1 million bushels followed by Rock, Grant, Lafayette and Dodge.

for educators in Wisconsin,” said Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Wendy Kannel. “In the future, the books will be updated with Wisconsin learning standards and will be offered online.” The books are available on the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom resource order form which can be found at

• Wisconsin ranks 1st in corn for silage.

• Wisconsin ranks 9th in corn for grain.

• Wisconsin ranks 3rd in sweet corn for processing. • One ear of corn has about 16 rows and 800 kernels. • There is one silk for every kernel that grows in an ear of corn.

Corn Products - Baby food, cake mixes, chewing gum, condiments, antibiotics, ethanol, glue, paint, plastics and fabrics just to name a few.

Sources:, USDA’s 2014 Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics October | November 2015


Ag in the classroom

State Fair

Day Camp N

early 300 kids from the Milwaukee area explored agriculture during the Wisconsin State Fair Day Camp thanks in part to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. Fair Camp is a day-long experience for young students, ranging from second to fifth grade, to visit the fair and learn more about agriculture. Throughout the day, campers participated in many interactive activities including: •B  adgerland Financial’s Discovery Barnyard • House of Moo •D  ATCP’s Farm and Family Building •H  ands-on workshops at the Natural Resources Park • Wisconsin agricultural products tasting • Ride down the Giant Slide Whitney Rathke, Fair Camp cocoordinator, stated, “Wisconsin State


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Fair Day Camp is a unique way for urban youth to experience the State Fair and all that it has to offer. It blends interactive educational areas focused on Wisconsin’s thriving agricultural industry and the State Fair atmosphere for a fun filled experience.” She added, “My favorite part is in the final moments of the program when the campers reflect and share their excitement and the knowledge they attained. It makes all the time and effort put into planning worth it from every camper’s smile. We wouldn’t be able to do it without our youth counsellors, volunteers and program partners who help make it such a huge success.” Along with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, the camp also is sponsored by Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation and Wisconsin Women for Agriculture.

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

State Fair Day Camp is sponsored by


October | November 2015

for Farming’s Future (WFB Foundation)



Wisconsin Ag Open T

wenty-six foursomes took to the course at Christmas Mountain Village in Wisconsin Dells on September 14 for the 18th Annual Wisconsin Ag Open. The event raises money for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, which funds: Ag in the Classroom, Young Farmer and Agriculturists, Women’s Program, Farm Bureau Leadership Institute and Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter’s at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls. Mastering the course with the low score of the scramble was the M3 team made up of Jerry Wirth, Mark Schuster, Brad Niebur and Ed Rapee. The event also featured hole contests, a marshmallow pitch, ladder golf, bucket raffle and mulligan sales. To see pictures from the event, visit the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Flickr page and look for the 2015 Wisconsin Ag Open album. If you are interested in supporting the Foundation at next year’s event, mark your calendar for September 12, 2016. We will once again be at Christmas Mountain Village in Wisconsin Dells.


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Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Thank You Sponsors Club House Sponsors • Stroud, Willink & Howard, LLC • M3 Insurance • BMO Harris Bank • American Agricultural Insurance Company

Door Prize, Raffle and Registration Donors • American Agricultural Insurance Company • Wisconsin Beef Council • One Touch Point – CCI • Rural Mutual Insurance Company • Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation • Ho-Chuck Casino • Homeland Dairy, LLP • CDW • I-39 Supply • Investors Community Bank • Badgerland Financial

Hole Sponsors •Rural Mutual Insurance Company • Kennedy Communications • Strohm Ballweg, LLP Registration Refreshments • Farm Bureau Financial Services • Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield • Insight FS/GROWMARK, Inc. • Investors Community Bank Box Lunch Sponsor • SASID, Inc. • Aon Benfield October | November 2015



Farm Bureau Foundation’s Leadership Institute Names New Class


ifteen emerging agricultural and staff at the state and national levels, leaders have been selected to and networking with other participants. “Today’s farmers and agriculturists participate in the Farm Bureau The first session begins in January and must take the lead and be advocates Institute. The year-long leadership focuses on public speaking, etiquette, for their farms and agribusinesses. training program’s mission is to emotional intelligence and personality The Institute gives participants the develop strong and effective leaders types. Subsequent sessions focus on skills and confidence necessary to lead for agriculture and rural Wisconsin. advocacy training, running effective the future of farming and agriculture “Today’s farmers and agriculturists meetings, the structure and function of in their county Farm Bureau, local must take the lead and be advocates Farm Bureau, being a creative leader, the community, and beyond.” for their farms and agribusinesses. workings of local and state government, The Institute gives participants and future national and international ag – Wendy Kannel. the skills and confidence necessary issues. to lead the future of farming and The class capstone event is a joint trip agriculture in their county Farm Bureau, local community, with the WFBF Board of Directors to Washington, D.C., in and beyond,” said Wendy Kannel, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s June, 2017. Director of Training and Leadership Development. Farm Bureau members interested in applying for 2017 Members of the 2016 Farm Bureau Institute class include: Institute class may contact Wendy Kannel at 608.828.5719 Lauren Brey, Sturgeon Bay; Taliah Danzinger, Durand; Brianna or email her at Ditzenberger, Dane; Kristy Erickson, Clintonville; Trent wkannel@wfbf. Erickson, Viroqua; Matt Graff, Waupun; Derek Husmoen, com. The Institute Arcadia; Emily Rose Johnson, Janesville; Ryan Klussendorf, is funded by Medford; Kenneth Levzow, Rio; Derek Sedlacek, Mishicot; the Wisconsin Leslie Svacina, Deer Park; Jill Uhe, Janesville; Tammy Farm Bureau Wiedenbeck, Lancaster; Melissa Yates, Merrill. Foundation. March 4-5, 2016 The Institute consists of five multi-day sessions which provide hands on learning on issues important to agriculture, Middleton, WI development of leadership and speaking skills, The leaderhip Institute for Farming’s Future interaction with Farm Bureau is sponsored by (WFB Foundation) and governmental leaders

Save the Date


March 4-5, 2016

Thank You to the Following WFB Foundation Donors:

Madison Marriott West, Middleton

(Donations were made between July 1 and September 1, 2015.)

• Jim and Gayle Holte in memory of Dale Merrill • Jerry Bradley in memory of Walter Meinholz • John and Darlene Arneson in memory of Dan Karlen • John and Darlene Arneson in memory of Walter Meinholz • Howard Poulson in memory of Dale Merrill • Chris and Kelly Pollack • Superior Shores Farm Bureau 44

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#WAWS16 Registration Now Open!

University of Wisconsin–Extension

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

Fun’d the Foundation



Q1: F  irst-ever woman to chair the WFBF Young Farmers Committee (from Polk County).

Q2: Number of county Farm Q3: W hat is Wisconsin’s state Bureaus in Wisconsin. bird?

Gather up to six of your closest (or smartest) friends for a Farm Bureau trivia contest on Saturday, December 5, following the Farm Bureau Extravaganza during the WFBF Annual Meeting at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Categories will include current events, history, geography, music, movies, sports, Farm Bureau and more! Teams of up to six people $10 per person/$60 per team Three (15 minute) rounds of 25 questions Register at Teams can register up until noon on Saturday, December 5, at the Annual Meeting registration desk.

Space is limited so register early!

A1: Pam Garvey; A2: 61; A3: Robin

• • • • •

Ready! Set! Bid! J

oin us during the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting for the annual silent auction to benefit the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. The Foundation funds Ag in the Classroom, Young Farmer and Agriculturist, Women’s Program, Farm Bureau Institute and the collegiate Farm Bureau chapters. From hotel stays to homemade goods, paintings and more, the silent auction will have what you are looking for! Bidding will begin on Saturday at 2 p.m. and will end on Sunday evening at 5 p.m. prior to the awards program. Donation forms are now being accepted and can be found at October | November 2015


rural mutual

Harvest Safety Tips With a good crop expected, farmers are encouraged to think about grain bin safety and communicate safety rules and procedures to anyone who may be helping load and unload grain. “There is a real chance of entrapment in a grain bin; it only takes grain up to your knees to be trapped, and the situation can deteriorate rapidly,” said Peter Pelizza, CEO of Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Rural Mutual also encourages farmers to pay special attention to their equipment’s safety features. In a typical year, 551 U.S. workers die while doing agricultural work. According to the National Farm Medicine Center every 3.8 days a child dies in a farm-related incident. Examples of farm activities that raise the risk factor and deserve special attention include: • Power take offs need to be well protected to avoid any contact with clothing or people during operation. • Make sure safety shields are in place on all equipment everyday – they are there for a reason and are important. • Always be aware of power lines that can come in contact with moving equipment and augers around grain bins.

•Grain bins deserve special attention and caution when grain is being loaded and removed. Safety measures should be put in place to avoid any risk of entrapment and suffocation. • Take periodic breaks to help avoid fatigue. • Stay focused on the equipment and void distractions from all the electronic equipment and screens in the cab – or mobile phone. • Use extra caution when backing equipment. It is easy to overlook something or, more importantly someone – especially a child. • Protective eye and ear wear is important in many situations. • Dusty conditions may limit visibility, as can sun glare. Standing crops may also block a clear view of oncoming traffic. “The excitement and joy of harvest can be lost in the blink of an eye when a farmer, family member or friend is injured,” Pelizza said. “Be careful out there so you or someone you know doesn’t become a statistic.”

Rural Mutual Voted One of Madison’s Best Places to Work R ural Mutual Insurance Company is thrilled to be named to Madison Magazine's 2015 list of Madison's Best Places to Work. The only way to be named to this list is by a vote of confidence from its employees in the form of an anonymous survey. Survey results revealed many things that set Rural Mutual apart in the minds and hearts of its employees: • “Our CEO sends personalized birthday and employment anniversary cards to employees—a handwritten message is a nice touch.” • “A fine organization whose management sets high standards for work product while being open to, appreciative of and caring toward employees.”


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“I am extremely proud to be associated with such a fine group of committed individuals,” said Peter Pelizza, CEO of Rural Mutual. “I always say that companies don’t succeed, people do, but even more so at Rural Mutual. Everyone counts!” The Best Places to Work survey was done by an independent third party that considered 10 key factors. The 26 businesses profiled in the Madison Magazine story ranked the highest in those categories. To learn about Rural Mutual Insurance Company go to

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Wisconsin farm bureau federation

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


©2014 Growmark, Inc. a14175B

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

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

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau October | November Volume 21 Issue 5

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