Page 1


october | november 2017 • vol. 23 no. 5 |

Page 16

Fuel isn’t the only thing driving your success. Businesses that are driven to succeed partner with FS. Our energy experts stay focused on what’s ahead, providing next generation fuel management tools and state-of-the-art software, along with a breadth of essential, quality products that point the way forward. FS is always discovering new ways to help customers optimize their operations and ensure they’re ready for what’s next. •

©2016 GROWMARK, Inc. A14174D

contents vol. 23 no. 5






6 9










36 stay connected

42 WIFarmBureau


Perdue's 'Back to Our Roots' tour makes stops in Wisconsin


Farm Bureau member leaders visit with lawmakers in D.C.


John Deere GreenFleet added to member benefits.


Columbia County members give back to their community.


County president shares stories about farming and Farm Bureau.


Columns from Holte, Eckelberg, Duvall, Svacina, Krotz and Camp.


Finalists named for state YFA contests.


Members share their favorite fair photos.


See highlights from this year's golf outing.


Learn how to avoid respiratory and auditory health issues on the farm.



Read our previous issues at






here is something about the colors, smells and festivities that make fall my favorite season. It’s the time of year when farmers are making long strides in fields reaping what they sowed in the spring. I envy the sights farmers view as they harvest crops throughout Wisconsin. It’s the time of the year when families visit pumpkin patches where there are so many things to look forward to including hay rides, apple cider donuts and making memories as a family. It’s also time for the coveted, or dreaded, pumpkin spice latte. I admit that I am a fan of those ‘fall in a cup’ drinks. The flavor puts me in the right mood for fall. When I look at what’s really behind this season, it’s gratitude. During fall, I stop to think how thankful I am. At the base of my blessings and probably yours, you’ll find people. People make the difference in our lives. People also make Wisconsin Farm

Bureau what it is, not only in the fall, but throughout the year. We completed another membership year and another issue of Rural Route within a matter of days of each other. While that wasn’t planned, it makes our ‘cup overflow’ even more with thankfulness. We are grateful for you, our members, and the time you dedicate to our organization. Whether you serve on a committee, your county board or volunteer for events, you make the difference. Through the years, I have met many Farm Bureau members and you will meet a few of them in this issue. You will meet a family who hosts an annual blood drive on their farm, a farmer from Osseo who overcame challenges and scholarship recipients who will soon enter the workforce. You’ll read about the great work happening at the county level on our County Kernels page. There is a recap of the trip to Washington, D.C., when members took time away from their farms and families to talk with lawmakers about the 2018 Farm Bill and other agricultural concerns. It’s the season for gratitude. Thank you for what you bring to this organization and thank you for taking the time to read Rural Route. Take time to count life’s blessings this fall. Happy harvesting. Amy Eckelberg Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

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

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

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276)

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


Rural Route



US Secretary of Ag Visits Wisconsin I n July, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue held a five-state RV tour, titled 'Back to Our Roots,' to gather input on the 2018 Farm Bill and increasing rural prosperity. Along the way, Perdue met with farmers, ranchers, foresters, producers, students, governors, members of Congress, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees and other stakeholders. “The ‘Back to our Roots’ farm bill and rural prosperity RV listening tour will allow us to hear directly from people in agriculture across the country, as well as our consumers – they are the ones on the front lines of American agriculture and they know best what the current issues are,” Secretary Perdue said in a statement prior to the RV tour. “USDA will be intimately involved as Congress deliberates and formulates the 2018 Farm Bill. We are committed to making the resources and the research available so that Congress can make good facts-based, data-driven decisions. It’s important to look at past practices to see what has worked and what has not worked, so that we create a farm bill for the future that will be embraced by American agriculture in 2018.” Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte hosted Secretary Perdue on his farm on August 4. In attendance were more than 40 Farm Bureau members, Senator Ron Johnson, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy and representatives from various commodity groups. “Thank you to Secretary Perdue for taking time to talk with the people who are impacted most by Washington’s decisions,” Holte said. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members welcomed Secretary Perdue at various other events during his time spent in Wisconsin.

Rob Richard, Leslie Svacina, Jack Johnson and Don Radtke took part in a broadband roundtable with Secretary Perdue in Wausau.


Secretary Sonny Perdue shook hands with WFBF Board Director Dave Daniels during a meeting at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Farm Bureau members from southern Wisconsin were invited to a discussion with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and Secretary Perdue at the Management Offices for Blain's Farm and Fleet in Janesville.

Leslie Svacina expressed her concerns with the lack of rural broadband access to Secretary Perdue.

More than 40 Farm Bureau members and commodity representatives met with Secretary Perdue at WFBF President Jim Holte's farm.

Secretary Perdue took questions from agricultural media at the Holte Farm event.



Farm Bureau Leaders

Shed Light on


in D.C. By Lynn Siekmann


embers of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Dairy and Farm Bill Committees and WFBF’s Board of Directors visited Washington, D.C., September 12-14. Farm Bureau leaders became lobbyists for a day while meeting with the following U.S. Congressional Representatives in D.C.; Ron Kind, Mike Gallagher, Paul Ryan, Mark Pocan, James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Glenn Grothman and Sean Duffy. Members also met with Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Tammy Baldwin. The issues discussed were the 2018 Farm Bill, dairy policy and immigration reform. “Wisconsin Farm Bureau members took the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the leaders who make decisions on their behalf,” Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte

said. “These committee members have spent time studying and researching, in-depth, what the future should look like for a 2018 Farm Bill and specifically the Margin Protection Program program. The group was highly impressive on the Hill with their questions, concerns and asks.” While commodity programs, specifically the MPP, was a key item for farm bill discussions, members brought up other key items. Conservation, trade, rural development, crop insurance and increased funding for animal health and biosecurity were other priority recommendations. Discussions around conservation were focused on the Conservaton Stewardship Program and the Conservation Reserve Program acreage cap. Trade concerns emphasized the need for the Market Access Program and rural development focused on rural broadband expansion (read more on this topic on pages 22 and 23). Crop insurance discussions centered around Adjusted Gross Income caps, payment limitations and subsidy rates. Foot-and-mouth disease was the focus of conversations regarding animal health and biosecurity. During the trip, attendees also met with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Canadian Embassy and the U.S. Trade Representative office.

Farm Bureau leaders met with Senator Ron Johnson (top) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (bottom) during their visit to D.C. in September.


Rural Route


WFBF President Jim Holte and YFA Committee Chair Derek Husmoen discussed concerns with Rep. Ron Kind.

During the trip to the Canadian Embassy, members visited with Counsellor of Economic and Trade Policy Michael Hawkins and then gathered on the steps for a photo. WFBF members from Rep. Mike Gallagher's district posed for a quick photo after their meeting. From left, Mike Salter, Adam Kuczer, Rep. Mike Gallagher, Kristy Erickson, Rosie Lisowe, Lyle Ott and Dan Vandertie. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB SMITH, OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER

Above: Before heading to the Hill to meet members of Congress, attendees were briefed by AFBF's farm bill policy specialist Mary Kay Thatcher (pictured), National Milk Producers Federation's Paul Bleiberg, AFBF director of environment and energy policy Paul Schlegel and AFBF director of market intelligence John Newton. Below: Members met with House Minority Agriculture Committee staff member Mary Knigge.

WFBF members from Rep. Paul Ryan's Congressional District met briefly on his balcony in the Capitol. From left, Bill Barlass, Arch Morton, Jr., Dave Daniels, Rep. Paul Ryan, Dale Beaty and Renee Schaal.

Members on the trip included: Peter Badtke, Ripon; Bill Barlass, Janesville; Joe Bragger, Independence; Dave Daniels, Union Grove; Lynn Dickman, Plover; Kristy Erickson, Clintonville; Rosalie Geiger, Reedsville; Tim Geiger, Whitehall; Dick Gorder, Mineral Point; James Hebbe, Green Lake; John Herricks, Cashton; Roger Hildebrandt, Hustisford; Jim Holte, Elk Mound; Lloyd Holterman, Watertown; Derek Husmoen, Arcadia; Peter Kimball, River Falls; Kevin Krentz, Berlin; Adam Kuczer, Pulaski; Dan Meyer, Kiel; Arch Morton, Jr., Janesville; Rosie Lisowe, Chilton; Lyle Ott, Hilbert; Don Radtke, Merrill; Bob Roden, West Bend; Michael Salter, Black Creek; Renee Schaal, Burlington; Dan Vandertie, Brussels; Rick Wester, Centuria; and Sam Zimmermann, Ringle.




New Member Benefit Announced F

arm Bureau and John Deere are excited to announce a new partnership that will give Farm Bureau members special access to John Deere’s GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards program, providing members with a free two-year Platinum membership. This new member discount program will strengthen the existing partnership between John Deere and Farm Bureau, and continue to grow John Deere’s dedication to strengthening their support of America’s farmers and ranchers. “John Deere is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land. Together with Farm Bureau, we are strengthening our agricultural communities and building for the future,” said Steve Geick, John Deere director of ag industry relations, U.S./Canada. “The GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards program for Farm Bureau members is John Deere’s way of rewarding those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land.” Along with valuable equipment discounts, GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards Platinum members are eligible for special parts savings, Home and Workshop Products discounts and other member-only promotions. Normally, a customer must initially purchase two pieces of qualifying equipment within 12 months to reach Platinum status. Farm Bureau members will automatically qualify by signing up through FarmBureau for these benefits: •• Equipment Discounts – Savings on everything from mowers to tractors to Gator Utility Vehicles purchased at your authorized John Deere dealer. •• Special Parts Savings – Money-saving parts coupons and offers to help keep your equipment at its best. •• Home and Workshop Product Discounts – A 10 percent discount off MSRP on eligible John Deere tools and workshop equipment – air compressors, generators, pressure washers and more. •• Exclusive Member Promotions – New exclusive offers and promotions delivered to your inbox, along with insider tips and great ideas for enhancing your equipment experience. Farm Bureau members in participating states are eligible.


Rural Route

To participate, Farm Bureau members can visit or Once the registration is complete, the member will receive their GreenFleet member number and can instantly access program benefits. Members can simply purchase online at or by visiting a local John Deere dealer. To find out more about GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards, visit


Farm Bureau Members Host Annual Blood Drive

By Amy Eckelberg

ou might have looked twice if you were driving on County Road A on September 13 as an American Red Cross van was next to a IH 1066 in front of Ron and Jean Minick’s shed and grain bins. The Columbia County Farm Bureau members have hosted a blood drive at their farm for seven years and have a longstanding tradition of giving blood. “We started really giving (blood) after one of our daughters

was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease,” said Jean. Each year the family participates in the annual American Red Cross Holiday Blood Drive at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. “One year when we were there they had sign-up sheets to host a blood drive,” said Dan, one of Ron and Jean’s sons. “We put our name down thinking they would never call. We had just built our shed, so we really did have a place to offer.” The blood drive is well-known around the area according to Jody Weyers, American Red Cross’ donor recruitment account manager for the BadgerHawkeye blood services region. “They put up quite the spread of food, that brings in the crowd, plus it’s a great environment,” Weyers said. “Some people specifically ask about this drive and when it is so they can put it on their calendar.” The event brought in 61 units, or a potential of 183 lives saved. “It’s a way to see the neighbors and give back,” said Dan. The couple’s other son Michael added, “I’m fortunate enough to be healthy but there’s plenty of people who need blood. Giving is easy and it’s a tangible item you can give that feels good.” Jean, who does most of the organization for the event, says the family hopes to host the event for as long as they are able. To find a nearby blood donation site visit

Ron and Jean along with sons Michael (left) and Dan (right), have been hosting a blood drive on their farm for seven years. The couple also has two daughters Jennifer and Jody.

On September 13, John Gutzman donated blood in the Minick’s shed.

An American Red Cross van sat outside of the Minick’s shed.





It also requires DATCP to prioritize the allocation of cost-sharing grants for nutrient management planning in impaired waters or agricultural enterprise areas.

State Budget


ix months after the state budget was introduced by Governor Scott Walker, the $76 billion spending package was signed into law on September 21. Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Governmental Relations team followed the entire process and worked to ensure the interest of farmers and rural landowners were protected to the best extent possible. Some of the priority issues WFBF worked on include:

Land and Water Resource Management

The budget maintains funding of $500,000 nonpoint segregated funds or SEG during the biennium for producer-led watershed grants. It also increases the maximum grant from $20,000 to $40,000 for any single producer-led group. This program was created last budget and 14 producer-led watershed protection grants were issued in 2016. The program is widely accepted as an early success among farmers, county conservationists and environmental groups as they continue to research and implement best management practices. It provides the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection an additional $7 million in SEGsupported general obligation bonds for grants to county land conservation departments to provide cost sharing to landowners to comply with nonpoint regulations. It provides an additional $6.15 million in bonding to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the targeted runoff management program for nonpoint source pollution and $3.7 million in bonding for urban nonpoint cost-sharing. The budget provides an additional $1.65 million SEG during the biennium for cost-sharing nonpoint source abatement projects and other land and water conservation activities performed by counties. Total funding for the program is set at $6.65 million SEG during the biennium.


Rural Route

Working with the Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, we were successful in getting County Land and Water Conservation staffing grants increased by $900,000 annually to help restore cuts made several years ago. These grants allow county conservation staff to help farmers achieve state goals for soil conservation and water quality. Total funding is now $8,964,100 per year.

Agrichemical Management Fund and Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program

The budget restructures the agrichemical management fund and agricultural chemical cleanup program to modernize the fee and license structure for pesticides, fertilizers, soil or plant additives and inspections. The restructuring will reduce fees for license and permit holders, and provide opportunities for fee holidays when the fund balance in the program reaches a certain threshold. It also increases the limit on the lifetime reimbursement for cleanup awards under ACCP from $400,000 to $650,000. As committed to in past budgets, this restructuring will help prevent raids of the programs’ revenues to fund other programs.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

The budget directs an additional two positions and $230,000 in segregated funds be transferred from the environmental improvement fund to the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of External Services to support water quality management activities, particularly waste water permitting of concentrated animal feeding operations.

Implements of Husbandry

The original Implements of Husbandry law (Act 377) increased weight limits for IOH and agricultural commercial motor vehicles from 20,000 to 23,000 pounds per axle and 80,000 to 92,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. It also created a permitting system to legally allow overweight IOH and Ag-CMVs on Wisconsin roads. There was a provision in Act 377 that would have repealed the new weight limits and the permitting system as of January 1, 2020, therefore severely hindering farmers’ abilities to legally operate their machinery. This ‘sunset provision’ was repealed so the new weights and permitting system are now permanent.


Education and Broadband

The budget will allocate an additional $639 million for K-12 education during the next two years. This will mean an increase over current base-year funding of $200 per student in the 201718 school year and $404 per student in 2018-19 school year. The Joint Committee on Finance supported the Governor’s $5.2 million annual increase to high cost transportation aid, but unfortunately, they declined an additional $18.2 million proposed for sparsity aid payments to help rural school districts. The budget includes many changes to the Broadband Expansion Grant Program as recommended by the 2016 Joint Legislative Council Study Committee on Rural Broadband. Along with some key statutory changes to better focus resources on areas of the state that are truly unserved and underserved by broadband, the budget allocates $14 million for grants in 2017-18, as opposed to $1.5 million under previous law. This is an incredibly important expanse of broadband resources for farmers and rural residents.

County and District Fair Aids

The budget increases aids by $25,000 annually, totaling $862,800 during the biennium.


The budget puts more money into rural roads, but alternatively, there is still no long-term, sustainable transportation funding solution. No tax or fee increases are offered to increase transportation fund revenues, except $75 and $100 fees on hybrid-electric vehicles and electric vehicles, respectively. The budget authorizes $402 million in bonding resulting in debt service payments reaching 21 percent of the transportation fund by the end of fiscal year 2019. $252 million in general fund supported, general obligation bonds, is reserved for the I-94 North South Corridor in southeast Wisconsin. For the 2017-19 biennium, local governments will receive a total increase of $86,935,200 in state aid and assistance compared with the 2015-17 biennium from the combined increases in general transportation aids, local road improvement program payments and state-funded local bridge improvement assistance program payments. This biennial increase is composed of $56,935,200 of general transportation aids, $10 million of local road improvement program payments and $20 million of state-funded local bridge improvement assistance program payments.

Farm-to-School Program and Farm-toSchool Advisory Council

The Farm-to-School program was slated to end under the Governor’s original budget proposal. The Farm-to-School program “encompasses efforts that bring local or regionally produced foods into school cafeterias and classrooms; hands on learning activities such as school gardening, farm visits and culinary classes; and the integration of food-related education into classroom curriculum.” The Legislature reversed this decision and the program remains in place.

Livestock Premise Registration

The budget allocates $250,000 per year for livestock premise registration. The law requires anyone who keeps, houses or co-mingles livestock to register his or her premises. The non-profit Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium was established to develop and maintain a livestock premise registration system to protect animal health and market access.

High Capacity Well Hydrology Study

High capacity well legislation was signed on June 1 to address the permitting process for the repair, replacement and transferability of existing wells. It also requires the DNR to study the hydrology of specific water bodies in central Wisconsin and report those findings to the Legislature within three years. Because farmers are committed to understanding the science behind surface and groundwater movement, a $400,000 budget provision funds this important hydrology study.

Sales Tax on Beekeeping and Farm-Raised Fish

Previously, to take advantage of the sales and use tax exemption on goods and services used for beekeeping, a beekeeper needed to have 50 or more hives. Under the budget provision all beekeepers can take advantage of the exemption, not just those with 50 or more hives. Also, the sales of farm-raised fish to a fish farm registered with DATCP are now exempt from the sales tax.



RANGER XP® 1000:


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

HOWARDS GROVE FELDMANN SALES & SERVICE 920-565-3939 WARNING: The Polaris RANGER® can be hazardous to operate and is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speed and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. All drivers should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails. ©2016 Polaris Industries Inc.


Rural Route



Wisconsin Farm Bureau Staff Changes M egan Rebout has been hired as the director of member relations. Rebout will serve as staff advisor to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Promotion and Education Committee. She will assist with volunteer training functions, plan and conduct a variety of Farm Bureau meetings and events and will provide staff support to WFBF’s nine district coordinators with functions of the county Farm Bureau services program. “I look forward to working with Farm Bureau members across the state to help support their leadership in the agriculture community,” Rebout said. Rebout grew up on a 400-head dairy, beef and crop farm near Janesville in Rock County.  She earned a bachelor's degree in recreation management and business administration from UW-La Crosse. Since 2012, she served as the 4-H youth development educator for Rock County UW-Extension. “Megan has solid experience working with groups of volunteers of all ages and coordinating a variety of events and conferences,” said Bob Leege, WFBF’s executive director of member relations. “We look forward to giving her the opportunity to apply those skills in her work at Farm Bureau.” She began her duties on September 20. Rebout will train with director of member relations, Deb Raemisch, until her retirement on December 31. Caroline O’Brien has been O'Brien hired as bookkeeper II for the operations division.  “I am proud to be part of a non-profit that promotes and supports our state’s hardworking farmers,” O’Brien said.  In this role, she will provide bookkeeping support to county Farm Bureaus that are part of the county financial services program. She and her husband Christopher live in Madison and have two children, Grace and John. She earned a diploma in bookkeeping from Pitman Institute in Dublin, Ireland. Most recently, O’Brien served in the Internal Accounting Department at SVA Certified Public Accountants. Rebout

Steve Mason has been Mason promoted to comptroller. In this role, Mason is responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and other financial records. “Shortly after Steve joined the team, I realized that he was a perfect fit for Farm Bureau’s culture,” said Jeff Fuller, WFBF’s treasurer and executive director of operations. “During his time here, he has taken on additional job duties and has gained more decision-making authority.” Mason grew up in La Crosse. He and his wife Marie live in Verona with their two children, Hannah and Noah. Most recently Mason was WFBF’s general accountant. “I am excited about this new chapter in my career and look forward to getting more involved with serving Wisconsin Farm Bureau members,” said Mason. Mason began his new duties on August 17. Sonya Huebner has been Huebner promoted to executive assistant.  Most recently, Huebner has served as an administrative assistant in the operations division. Prior to joining WFBF, she held positions at the Wisconsin FFA Foundation and AgSource Cooperative Services/CRI. "I'm pleased to have Sonya move into the executive assistant position because she is a committed and passionate leader who finds creative solutions to work challenges,” said Dale Beaty, WFBF’s chief administrative officer. As executive assistant, her responsibilities will include providing direct support for WFBF’s President and chief administrative officer, administrative support for the 11-member WFBF Board of Directors and assist with preparations for the WFBF Annual Meeting. “I am humbled and excited for this opportunity to assist the Wisconsin Farm Bureau leadership team in providing valuable services to our Farm Bureau members,” Huebner said. She and her husband, Randy, live in Madison and have two children, Benjamin and Rachel. A native of Hillsboro in Vernon County, Huebner grew up on her parents’ farm with one brother.  Huebner begins her new duties on September 25. She succeeds Jill Bennwitz who will retire on December 31.




Finalists Named for Leopold Conservation Award® S and County Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board 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: • Dan Brick, owner and manager of Brickstead Dairy in Greenleaf. • Glen and Susan Wohlk, who own and manage Rainbow Valley Farm, a dairy farm based in Almena. • Richard and Victoria Allemann, who own and manage Allemann Acres, a dairy farm located in Montana. 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 ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.” The 2017 Leopold Conservation Award, which consists of $10,000 and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, will be presented at the WFBF Annual Meeting in December. Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Patrick Geoghegan is proud of the efforts of Wisconsin dairy farmers. “Preserving the land for future generations is a mission of every Wisconsin dairy farmer. WMMB is proud to have three outstanding examples of resource stewardship as finalists for the Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award,” said Geoghegan. “These finalists are extremely deserving,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “They lead by example and inspire others to continue the search for better methods of protecting our resources.” The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of American Transmission Company, Compeer, WE Energies Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, USDA NRCS, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association. Visit for more information.


Rural Route

Dan Brick Family

Glen and Susan Wohlk Family

Richard and Victoria Allemann Family


Meet the 2016-17 WFBF Scholarship Recipients F

or more than 30 years, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has invested in UW School of Veterinary Medicine students by contributing to a WFBF Scholarship Fund. The 2016-17 scholarship recipients were Kendra Wells and Jennifer Ziemer.

Kendra Wells

Family: Joe and Kalen Wells (parents) Emily and Sarah (sisters) Bachelor’s degree: UW-La Crosse (biology)

About: Wells grew up in Frederic. She spent summers helping on her Aunt Kim and Uncle Joel Olstad’s Grandview Dairy farm in Westby. During high school, she spent time with friends at Knauber Dairy Farms and rode along with Rough Fields Custom Harvesting in Frederic. Wells knew that working for a dairy during veterinary school would increase her knowledge of the industry and provide hands-on experience. She worked for Blue Star Dairy in Middleton.

Interests in veterinary medicine: Large animals emphasizing in dairy medicine including milk quality and employee education. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Membership: Member since May 2017. I am excited about Ag in the Classroom, and I will be involved with the organization after I graduate.

What interests you most about veterinary medicine: Whoever says they go into veterinary medicine because they can’t stand people – they’re wrong. Every animal comes with a person from dogs to dairy cows, and that is my favorite part. I love building relationships with clients by being supportive yet offering knowledge to increase education on a specific subject. A part of veterinary medicine is education, too. Vets are there to help educate their clients on husbandry, changing regulations, diseases or disease prevention. Practice plans: I plan to work in Wisconsin.

Additional comments: I thank my parents, the farmers who took a chance on me - especially Blue Star Dairy, the Food Animal Department at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Bob Rowe. I also look forward to continuing my Farm Bureau membership by becoming more involved. Thank you, Farm Bureau! In one year, I will be working for your members.

Jennifer Ziemer Family: James and Sharon Ziemer (parents) Rebecca (sister), Paul (brother) Bachelor’s degree: UW-River Falls (dairy science)

About: Ziemer grew up on a dairy farm near Cedarburg. While at UW-River Falls, she took part in the 3+1 program that allowed her to start veterinary school after three years of undergraduate study and earn her bachelor’s degree after her first year of veterinary school.

Interests in veterinary medicine: Bovine veterinary medicine. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Membership: Joined March 2016.

What interests you most about veterinary medicine: I’m interested in food supply animal medicine, specifically dairy and advanced reproductive technologies. I also want to focus on calf health and small ruminant medicine. Practice plans: I have been practicing at ST genetics in DeForest as a center veterinarian since graduation in May.

Additional comments: It is an honor to be recognized for the work you put into education. I focused on learning as much as possible and I hope to become the best veterinarian I can. Scholarships allowed me to focus more on schooling and not worrying about working while in school. It also allowed me to do extracurricular activities such as attending professional conferences and traveling to clinics.




By Amy Eckelberg

Shane Goplin is an optimist, as most farmers are. During 2013, he faced many challenges that tested his optimism.


ith his dad, Nolan, wanting to slow down and knowing that he and his brother, Jamie, wanted a more flexible lifestyle than dairy farming, it was put up for sale. There were certain requirements the Goplin family was looking for in a buyer. “We wanted it to stay a dairy and wanted to have a relationship with the owners,” Shane said. “We were hoping to still do the cropping for them, so they needed to be the right fit.” After transitioning away from the dairy, Shane was hoping to grow crops full-time while his brother planned to get more involved in the show pig business. When the for sale sign went up, losing their dad wasn’t part of the plan. “I had talked to him around 7 the night before and told him I’d see him in the morning,” Shane said. Less than 20 minutes later he suffered a lifethreatening heart attack and died a few days later on April 19. “2013 was the worst year of my life,” Shane said. “It was just tough.” Amid the chaos, Shane was serving as the Trempealeau County Farm Bureau president. With the cows slated to be sold and his dad’s death, Shane knew the time wasn’t right to serve his fellow members. His focus needed to be on family and the farm, and so he stepped down. In August, the Goplins found their match and sold the dairy to a family relocating from California. “They were the right fit we were hoping for,” Shane said. The next phase was learning how to farm on his own after having done so for years with his dad and brother at his side. The future is something that is always on Shane’s mind, a trait he shared with his father. In honor of his dad, his slogan for the business is “His dreams, our goals.” Fast forward to 2017, Shane crops 3,200 acres with the help of two full-time employees and several seasonal helpers, including his brother. He grows alfalfa, soybeans, corn and rye for cash crops and sells forages and corn to his family’s former dairy. He also does manure application.


Rural Route


This year brought its own struggles as Shane had to replant after severe flooding drowned crops in western Wisconsin during May. He says the weather conditions they faced this year are nothing to complain about compared with some in other areas of the U.S. “You have to be an optimist,” Shane said. “Someone always has it worse than you.” Through the ups and downs of life and farming he credits his strong support system. “I have outstanding people around me,” Shane said. His wife Melinda being one of them. He first met Melinda when she moved to the area when she was 12 years old. While they showed cows against each other and knew each other in high school and college they never dated until later. “I don’t mean to brag but she’s a pretty impressive person,” Shane said after explaining his wife rejuvenated the agricultural program in the Whitehall School District. Shane couldn’t move his farm so she decided to teach locally. This fall, Melinda started her 20th year in the school district. “It takes heart and soul to be an ag teacher and I’m so proud of her,” added Shane. Melinda and Shane have three daughters, Kendra, 15; Vaida,12; and Brinna, 10, who stay busy with FFA, 4-H sports and showing animals at shows around the state. So far, Shane’s commitment to Farm Bureau has spanned as long as his marriage. He has been a member for about 20 years. While the organization has played a role in growing him as a leader, it also provided a blanket of support. “I have been so fortunate in my 20-plus years of being active in Farm Bureau, to have built a special bond with a number of other members throughout the state.” His first leadership experience in Farm Bureau was when he became the Young Farmer and Agriculturist chair in Trempealeau County. Not long after, Melinda and Shane found

themselves serving on the state YFA Committee representing District 4. In 2004, they were honored as the state Achievement Award winners. Shane also served on the Volunteers for Agriculture Committee and state transportation committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Farm Bureau Proud club. More recently, Shane participated in the WFBF Leadership Institute. While he applied because of a recommendation from a friend, he admits it’s been worth while. “It’s a rock star program, but mostly it’s a humbling experience that others have the confidence in us and think we would be good candidates for this leadership experience,” he said. He is also back serving as Trempealeau County Farm Bureau president. “Serving as president is a way I enjoy giving back,” Shane said. “It’s rewarding to know that out of all the great Farm Bureau members we have in our county, they have chosen me to lead them.” Shane has had his fair share of unique experiences through Farm Bureau and no doubt will have more. “Farm Bureau is what you make of it. The opportunities are huge,” he said. “You can take it as far as you want.”

Right: The Goplin family took a photo with YouTube parody stars The Peterson Farm Bros. after last year’s visit to Whitehall High School. From left, Shane, Kendra, Kendal Peterson, Brinna, Greg Peterson, Vaida, Nathan Peterson and Melinda. OCTOBER | NOVEMBER 2017


Reap the benefits of

your Farm Bureau membership For complete details, visit

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

To find a Rural Mutual Insurance Company agent, visit or call 877.219.9550. Farm Bureau members who are agricultural producers and patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage when patronage is paid. You can get more information about the services Farm Bureau Financial offers from your local Rural Insurance agent. Learn more at f

Deep discounts and free shipping.

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

Take advantage of Farm Bureau Bank’s FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans. Visit Wisconsin Farm Bureau members save 20% off published rates at participating Choice and Wyndham Hotels.

Wyndham Hotel Group

Members qualify for a variety of discounts on new purchases. Visit wf to print your certificate and for details on models and discounts. Travel safely. Save money on a your AAA membership.

Accidental Death Policy • AgriVisor • LifeLine Screening • Office Depot • Avis • Budget • The Country Today • ScriptSave • $500 Reward Protection Program • AgriPlan Medical Reimbursement Program • John Deere

**New code** W017

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


Rural Route





A Visit to Remember A Message from Jim Holte


t took a moment for it to sink it when I was asked to host U.S. Secretary Sonny Perdue on my farm. It didn’t take long for me to accept this once-in-alifetime request. As we learned more of the Secretary’s visit, we learned that he would make multiple stops during his five-state RV tour. His initiative was called the ‘Back to Our Roots’ tour and the goal was to gather input on the 2018 Farm Bill and learn how USDA can increase rural prosperity. The RV tour stopped in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana with multiple stops in Wisconsin. On August 3, the Secretary had a full day. He opened the Wisconsin State Fair with Governor Scott Walker, held a farm bill listening session at Wisconsin State Fair Park with farmers and (now former)


Rural Route

Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel and took a tour of Hunger Task Force Farm, which administers USDA commodity programs and services area food pantries and food banks. In the evening, he visited the Management Offices for Blain's Farm and Fleet where he met with store managers from across the country and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. The next day kicked off with a Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Listening Session with elected officials, broadband industry leaders, Farm Bureau members, students and farmers at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau followed by a lunch at my farm in Elk Mound before traveling to Minnesota for more stops. Many Farm Bureau members attended his Wisconsin visits. I was honored that many of our members were invited to these events because of their various connections around the state. My farm was the Secretary’s final visit in Wisconsin. More than 40 farmers and agriculturists of all ages shared a meal, visited and asked the Secretary questions. Senator Ron Johnson, Congressman Sean Duffy and representatives from commodity groups also attended. After the Secretary’s RV arrived on my farm and a quick photo by my grain bins we sat for a brief introduction and prayer before we headed for our lunch. On the way to the lunch line Sonny commented on my IH 656 gas tractor sitting in the shed. I couldn’t help but smile when he recalled the hours he spent driving an IH 656 on his father’s farm.

It was apparent right away that his roots run deep in agriculture. I found Sonny and his wife, Mary, to be very personable and easy to talk with. It felt like I was like talking to a farmer neighbor. There’s something to admire about a man who takes time to gather input from others before making decisions that impact them. The questions varied during the visit, were frank, and represented the talk on the countryside. The group discussed Wisconsin’s overall agricultural economy, dairy, trade, farm succession planning, immigration and rural broadband. Overall, the ask was for more certainty for the agricultural community. I was impressed by Sonny’s directness. He did not avoid the tough questions and was interested in listening to the policy concerns directly from the folks in attendance. It was clear that the people in the room felt comfortable to voice their concerns freely. At the end of the visit I felt as though I was waving goodbye to a new friend. A man who knows his tractors and thanks God and the people who grew his food before he eats is someone I can appreciate. What an honor it was to host the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. It’s a visit that won’t be forgotten. President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

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


Relationships Matter

A Message from WFBF’s Amy Eckelberg


his isn’t your typical column about relationships. I won’t be discussing how to get out of the dog house or 10 date ideas to try this winter. Rather, I am going to talk about the complicated relationship between farmers and consumers. My curiosity got the best of me after reading many times that the farmers’ market was the place where people learn about agriculture. It just so happens that my dad’s cousin has sold produce at the nearest downtown farmers’ market for more than 20 years so I decided to help at his stand one Saturday morning in August. I’ve worked a lot of booths in my life, from college organization fairs to the Farm Bureau booth at Farm Technology Days, so interacting with people in this setting is natural. I also have been to my share of farmers’ markets, however, never on the selling side of the table. As people walked by and looked at the corn, red potatoes, beets, carrots, onions and zucchini, I smiled and said hello when I made eye contact. Not long after the farmers’ market opened I talked with an elderly man who said he and his wife lived in a nearby retirement home. He enjoys the farmers’ market because it’s close enough to walk to and they get fresh air and produce at the same time. When we started the conversation, I don’t think he had any intentions of buying corn but as we wrapped up our conversation, he purchased six ears. As the morning went, the crowd grew but the interactions stayed the same. A woman stopped to purchase some red potatoes. As I weighed them, I

asked how she liked to make them. We swapped recipes and she went on her way excited for the evening’s meal. I too, couldn’t wait to try the new potato recipe. Not long after there was a man who stopped abruptly and asked if our corn was a genetically modified organism. While I explained that only 10 percent of sweet corn sold in Canada and the U.S. is GMO, it didn’t matter. He was looking for a specific answer. We gave him what we thought was the answer he was searching for but he walked away. Out of all the interactions, only one person asked about GMOs, a topic I thought would be talked about more frequently. To my surprise, not one person asked about pesticide or fertilizer use. Most people who stopped wanted to know where the produce was grown and if we grew it ourselves. When I mentioned the location, and explained it was about a 20-minute drive, the sale was almost always a done deal. What does this tell me? Even though you can’t make assumptions based on a one-day experience, this was proof that people are craving to know the local farmer. They want to see the faces and interact with the people growing or raising their food. If you can build a relationship with someone the challenging conversations will come easier. Before you talk about what you do, you need to build a level of trust. Doesn’t that happen with most relationships? Your relationship building doesn’t have to start at the farmers’ market. There are plenty of community fairs and festivals that showcase food and would be a perfect place to talk about what you do.

As the population gets more removed from the farm, the relationships you build are going to be more critical to the future of agriculture. It was Maya Angelou who said, “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” If farmers can make people feel good about who they are and the love they put into what they do, the level of trust we have as a farming community will only continue to grow. I challenge you to attend a farmers’ market or food festival. Maybe go one step further and visit with a chef or a food blogger. These are the unique relationships we need to foster to maintain and grow the level of trust with consumers. Eckelberg is WFBF’s executive director of public relations.




Time to Get all of Rural America up to Speed A Message from Zippy Duvall


hen we start talking about infrastructure improvements, most Americans can easily think of a local highway they’d like to see widened and smoothed out or a nearby bridge that needs upgrading. Farmers and ranchers are no exception when it comes to taking an interest in better roads, railways and waterways: We depend on safe and reliable infrastructure to get our products to market. But in today’s fast-paced global economy, high-speed internet has become just as critical a pathway to customers near and far. That’s why Farm Bureau is urging the administration to address rural America’s broadband needs as it develops its infrastructure improvement plan. Too often, rural America has been left in the dust when it comes down to actual spending on infrastructure. Communications infrastructure is no different. We’re working to make sure that the administration brings rural America up to speed. Rural communities connect our farmers and ranchers to the rest of the world. The speed and bandwidth of those connections play a part in the efficiency of our nation’s food, fuel and fiber production. It’s hard to believe in today’s digital age, but 39 percent of rural Americans today still lack access to the Federal Communications Commission’s defined broadband speed of at least 25Mbps/3Mbps. Without those respective download and upload speeds, rural Americans are left behind, unable to stream and share real-time data, images and videos. By comparison, only 4 percent of urban Americans are without that same access. A lack of access shouldn’t be confused with a lack of demand either. Research shows that the rural broadband industry has boosted our nation’s economy by


Rural Route

$24.1 billion and has led to the creation of nearly 70,000 jobs. I recently visited several farms in Maine, where an organic potato seed grower told me that he depends on the internet for 75 percent of his sales. However, he lacks high-speed internet and the cost to bring it to his farm is too high. His ability to benefit from e-commerce is limited. High-speed internet shouldn’t be a luxury. It has become as basic to daily life and business in the 21st century as electricity became early on in the last century. For most urban and suburban Americans, it’s a given that they can fire up their phones and computers to instantly connect to the world around them. Today, online tools bring educational programs, health services and business resources right to our doorsteps. This kind of access is especially critical in rural America where folks can be far removed from resources that can improve their way of life and help boost their local economy. A rural entrepreneur in North Carolina can get training to improve her business and reach clients hundreds— even thousands—of miles away. A family living 50 miles from the nearest town in southwestern Idaho can receive a virtual house call from a doctor via video chat. And a farmer on the Kansas prairie can upload field data straight from his farm equipment to analyze his crops and apply just the right amount of fertilizer exactly where it’s needed. Modern farming has made great strides in the last several decades thanks to developments in precision ag tools and technology. Yet, in the same way a smartphone is nothing more than a mobile phone when it’s not connected to a high-speed wireless network, precision

ag equipment cannot reach its full potential without access to broadband in the fields. If we’re going to continue reducing our environmental impact and growing more with less, we must be able to optimize the latest technology to analyze our inputs and yields and connect to resources and services that help make our farms smarter and more sustainable. Broadband is not a luxury for a farmer who wants to stay competitive in today’s marketplace; it’s a necessity. An urban business wouldn’t go hours, much less a day, without access to high-speed internet. Why are business owners across rural America expected to get by with far less? Getting all of rural America connected to high-speed internet, and the services and opportunities that brings, can strengthen our rural communities and help farmers produce more of the American-grown products we all enjoy. President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Duvall raises beef cattle, hay and poultry in Greshamville, Georgia.


Investment Needed to Improve State's Broadband A Guest Column from Leslie Svacina


igh-speed internet, or broadband, has become a vital utility in our lives. One that could arguably be grouped with electricity, water and sewer; however, if you live in a rural area, this near necessity isn’t available. I raise goats for meat for cultural and local foods markets. Most of my sales, direct and wholesale, are made through the internet. In today’s world, almost all products and software are internetbased. Poor internet makes it hard to do business even at a basic level. It’s a challenge to send emails, use my accounting program or manage my farm website. It takes an excessive amount of time and sometimes doesn’t happen due to service issues. My husband, who works from home, can’t access a company server or use web conference calling because of low speed and inconsistent internet. We are rural, but nothing extreme. We are 13 miles from the closest town and an hour from a major metro area. We’ve tried different options for providers, even multiple services at one time, including satellite internet and cell phones. Nothing worked well. Now we use DSL through our telephone provider because I refuse to pay for services that don’t work. Others who don’t live far from us pay half the price for speeds that are at least 50 times the speed of what we use, which is 2 megabits per second, but only after pleading that 1Mbps wasn’t sufficient. In August, I discussed rural broadband challenges with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue while he was in Wisconsin. I explained our situation in western Wisconsin but also shared other frustrations that I’ve heard of such as paying a $100-plus a month and speeds of 0.2Mbps. For example, a friend who has a robotic milk system can’t update her software. The system service tech downloads the update at his shop and creates the updates via hard drive on the farm. Pretty

impressive technology, right? Talk about a disadvantage. A fellow Farm Bureau member discussed another point during the round table with Secretary Perdue. Some school districts provide students with iPads so they can do homework, but some rural students can’t use them at home because they lack broadband availability. In the 2017-19 state budget, $9,187,500 was allocated for schools to apply for specifically designated broadband for personal electronic computing devices. This will be useless without adequate broadband. Rural areas are suffering to keep up. We’re talking about basic access to useable internet for our businesses and students to learn, not for entertainment. The keyword in that last sentence is 'useable.' Simply having internet doesn’t cut it. It’s about having access to useable, reliable service at a reasonable price. Have you tested your internet speed? Visit, then click the blue box ‘Run Speed Test’ to find your download speed. For reference the Federal Communications Commission calls 10 mbps basic speed, but has set 25Mbps as its benchmark. I highly recommend you test your internet speed. While there’s still a long way to go, broadband expansion is at least growing. The Broadband Expansion Grant Program provides funds for equipment and construction expenses to expand or improve broadband service in underserved areas of Wisconsin. Created by Governor Scott Walker in the 2013-15 budget, the Legislature initially invested $500,000 per year for the program, but it was increased to $1.5 million annually in the next budget. Understanding the critical and timely need for broadband infrastructure investment in the 2017-19 budget, Governor Walker proposed a significant

expansion of the program: approximately $14 million. At the same time, the Legislature approved bills to dramatically increase funding, in response to the recommendations that came in 2016 from the Joint Legislative Council’s Study Committee on Rural Broadband. Wisconsin will see $570 million invested in broadband infrastructure through 2020 via the Federal Communication Commission’s Connect American Fund Phase II project. Three major telecommunications providers in the state are participating in this program with many projects under construction. This may seem like a significant amount of money to invest in broadband infrastructure, and don’t get me wrong, it is, but the need in rural Wisconsin more reliable and useable service so farmers, and students, can do what they need to do is significant. It’s a wise investment in the people and businesses in rural Wisconsin and one that I believe is long overdue. Svacina is a goat farmer from Deer Park in St. Croix County.




Can American Agriculture Stand Together? Guest Column by USFRA's Randy Krotz


here are real threats to farming and ranching in America. Many well-funded forces want to drive as much animal agriculture out of business as possible - and with it, row crop production throughout our heartland. There are those who want consumers to turn their backs on the science and technology that improves food production because they are afraid of the unfamiliar, because "it isn't the way our grandparents farmed." This jaded view of agriculture, this unacquainted and cynical view of our farms and ranches has become mainstream. Perpetual and growing voices accuse farmers of harming the environment, and use half-truths and sensationalism to spread fear. Notably, there are food companies making decisions counter to what is best for our land, our animals, our society because of activist pressures. And yet, our strong and independent farming and ranching families work


Rural Route

hard every day to evolve. We adapt and strive for improvement, especially when it comes to sustainability and animal care. We put science first and look to the future, not the past. Yet, as the backbone of our rural communities, we are often misunderstood, stereotyped and disadvantaged by distance from food concerned populations and urban media. American farmers are fiercely independent. It is what makes us competitive and strong. We are entrepreneurs and small business owners who manage through thin profit margins and unpredictability. Our land, and in some cases our farm animals, are vulnerable to Mother Nature and we oftentimes find ourselves at her mercy. Our hearts and prayers are with those in Texas and Florida who are currently experiencing such catastrophic effects from the weather. But is it possible that this independent spirit also has a downside when it comes to telling our story? Do we splinter because we want to 'do it our way' even when that means fewer resources to defend our practices and fight for the right to use technology?  We seem hesitant to raise our voices together, as one. There are currently dozens of separate efforts to 'inform and educate' the public about farming and build trust in American agriculture. Many of these programs are smart. But most struggle to be properly funded, especially during a downturn in commodity prices. However, those organizations that demonize modern agricultural practices are not splintered in their well-organized efforts. Agriculture would be well-served to join

arms and combine our resources. U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)® was created by farm, commodity and agri-business groups with the purpose of rebuilding consumer trust in American agriculture. Trust is the cornerstone of consumer purchase decisions, and trust allows farmers and ranchers to produce food in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, while utilizing SMART and modern production practices. We speak to consumers through the voice of our farmers and ranchers from across the country. Duplicating this effort as a partner enhances our core program's effectiveness; duplicating it as a separate entity may drastically diminish it.   USFRA strives to represent all aspects of farming and ranching. We don't promote one commodity over another. We believe in diversity of production methods - but also science and technology. Our goal is to earn the trust of the American public for all of agriculture. In many ways, we are defending the rights of farmers and ranchers to exist in America. Again, those out to destroy American agriculture are well coordinated, well resourced and close to urban populations and media. As Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success." Let us work to combine resources.  Let us stand as one to tell our story. Krotz is the CEO of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.


Harvest Not the Only Guide for Grain Prices Guest Column by AgriVisor’s Joe Camp


raders were shocked to see two consecutive bearish USDA reports in August and September. Industry estimates fell considerably short on corn and soybean yields in both instances, causing further pressure on a grain market that was already trending lower from July highs. There is still much to be sorted out regarding the disconnect between earlier trade estimates and the government numbers, namely the sharp divergence between crop condition ratings and the USDA’s survey-based yield predictions. Whether the future USDA estimates come down toward industry consensus is yet to be seen; however, changes to yield will probably not be thought large enough to take away from the fact that U.S. farmers will together haul in a big pair of corn and soybean crops. The price direction going forward may quickly shift away from projections for supply and toward the prospects for demand. Grain export programs are performing well as of late. China is an active buyer of U.S. soybeans at a time when most business was expected to go to Brazil. A softening dollar and the resulting shift for terms of trade between U.S. and Brazil help the bean trade business. U.S. corn is not priced competitively relative to most other major sources, but the dollar’s decrease against the Mexican peso has

turned our neighbor south of the border into a large buyer. The importance of South America’s market influence will only grow into the winter. Traders are watching dry weather in Brazil and wet weather in Argentina because of some worries early in the planting season. Worsening conditions have the potential to spark significant market rallies while improving weather would help the bears remain in control. The adage that ‘low prices are the cure for low prices’ will possibly be invoked during the coming months as end users step in to take advantage of a down market. Outside of increased export activity, corn ethanol and feed use can improve in response to low prices, as can soybean crush demand. U.S. politics exert frequent influence on the market and should be considered. The verdict is out on whether grains will benefit from President Trump’s promise to rebuild the country’s trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. North Korea remains a wildcard after several tests of the country’s nuclear missile capabilities leave investors fearful of a war that would potentially diminish participation across the global financial markets. Traders also may shift capital among

the stocks, bonds and commodities classes depending on the outcome of the White House’s tax and budget reform efforts. The Midwest harvest is in full swing and most will enjoy the bounty of large corn and soybean crops; however, traders will be expected to turn their eyes toward the prospects for demand and the potential shocks that may come from other influences outside of supply. Camp is the risk management specialist for AgriVisor, one of WFBF’s member benefits.



Up the Creek A column by Ken M. Blomberg

towns and landowners to treat areas of noxious weeds and assured the committee he will not enter private property without talking with landowners first. The committee was informed that state statutes authorize counties to appoint a weed commissioner. The committee then approved a resolution to designate John as county weed commissioner. Then on June 20, the county board made it official by unanimously passing the resolution. John is now Portage County’s official Weed Commissioner. Invasive plants are defined as plants that invade native plant communities and impact those native communities by displacing or replacing native vegetation. The Invasive Plant Association of Wisconsin has a list of 66 invasive plants in Wisconsin. Arguably, wild parsnip may be one of the most noxious and dangerous weeds invading the state and Portage County. Everyone knows here’s a new sheriff in town. No, not about poison ivy, right? Imagine a plant that can grow over five feet tall, and contain oils many times our law enforcement sheriff. Our stronger than poison ivy. When sap contacts skin county sheriff and his deputies, by all in the presence of sunlight, it can cause severe accounts, are doing an outstanding job rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin - called at fighting crime and keeping the peace. phytophotodermatitis. Wild parsnip handling I’m talking about the new, recentlyrequires wearing gloves, long sleeves and long pants appointed Portage County Weed when and if you should need to come in contact. Commissioner, Mr. John Eron. Beware, their pretty yellow flowers in season attract I’ve had the pleasure of knowing John children along roadside ditches. That alone should for a few years, visiting his farm several raise our eyebrows. times and watching his innovative Weed Commissioner John, the Portage and groundbreaking land County Land and Water Conservation stewardship and conservation Division ( practices. He’s a leader in and Portage County UW-Extension environmentally-friendly ( know this plant well. farming practices ensuring Their mission is to stop the spread of wild clean water and healthy soils parsnip ( by working with for future generations. He, towns, landowners and citizens to identify, along with other members of locate, map ( and eradicate the Farmers of Mill Creek wild parsnip before it spreads throughout Watershed Council are truly Eradicating wild Portage County. What’s going on in stewards of the land and water parsnip in our your county? in their watershed. All that, and county is now a Knowing John as I do - the new weed now invasive weed control. high priority. control sheriff in town - he will see to it In June, the Portage the job will get done right. We can all help out by County Land and Water Conservation identifying, locating and reporting wild parsnip in Committee met with John - a farmer our neighborhoods and reporting it to the proper in the Town of Carson, the Friends of authorities. Mill Creek Environmental Coordinator and leader of the Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council. John encouraged the committee to pass a resolution Blomberg is a freelance writer and a member of the Portage County identifying wild parsnip as a noxious Farm Bureau. weed. His interested is in working with



Rural Route


Farm Bureau

Recipes courtesy of Brandi Bell, St. Croix County Farm Bureau member.

Slow Cooker Apple Crisp Ingredients

For the apple mixture: • 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch thick slices • ½ c. packed light brown sugar • 2 T. granulated sugar • 2 tsp. cinnamon • ¼ tsp. nutmeg • ¼ tsp. salt


For the crisp topping: • 1 c. old-fashioned oats • ¾ c. flour • ¼ c. packed light brown sugar • 1 tsp. cinnamon • ¼ tsp. salt • ½ c. cold unsalted butter, cubed • ice cream, for serving (optional)

Make the apple mixture: the butter into the oat mixture until the 1. Place sliced apples in the slow mixture starts to clump together. cooker. Add brown sugar, 2. Stir the apple mixture one more time and granulated sugar, cinnamon, then spread apples out into an even layer. nutmeg and salt. Stir. Let Sprinkle on the crisp topping. sit while preparing the crisp Cook the apple crisp: topping. 1. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3-3½ Make the crisp topping: hours, until apples are soft. Turn off heat 1. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, and let stand for at least 30 minutes and cinnamon and salt in a large up to 1 hour before serving (keeping the bowl. Stir until well combined. lid on). Serve with vanilla ice cream, if Using your fingertips, work desired.

Comforting Chicken and Noodles Ingredients

• 24 oz. frozen egg • 1 stick butter - cut into • chicken bullion to taste noodles pieces • 6 small (or 4 large) boneless, • 2 - 14.7 oz. cans • 1 - 32 oz. chicken broth skinless chicken breasts cream of chicken soup • mixed vegetables • salt and pepper to taste


1. Salt and pepper chicken breasts and place in the bottom of crock pot. Spoon soup over the chicken. Cut butter into several pats and place pieces evenly over soup. Whisk the bouillon with the broth and pour over soup. Place lid on pot and turn to low. Cook for 6 hours.

2. Remove chicken and tear into pieces. Return to pot. 3. Add noodles and vegetables. Cook for another 2 hours or until noodles are desired tenderness. Stir occasionally during last 2 hours. (May add more broth to thin out at the end of cooking.) 4. S  alt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup Ingredients

• 4 tsp. unsalted butter • 1 lb. ground beef • 1 c. onion, diced • ¾ c. celery, diced • ½ c. carrots, diced


• 1 tsp. garlic, minced • ¼ c. flour • 2 c. russet potatoes, peeled and diced • 1½ c. milk

• 3 c. low sodium chicken broth • 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Melt butter in saute pan over medium 4. Transfer soup to a 3 to 4 quart slow heat. Add ground beef; cook until meat cooker. Stir in broth and potatoes. begins to brown. 5. C  over soup; cook until potatoes 2. Stir in onion, celery, carrot and garlic. are tender, on low setting for 3 to Cook 5 minutes. Add flour, stirring to 4 hours. coat meat; cook 1 minute. 6. A  dd cheddar just before serving, 3. Stir in milk until mixture is smooth. stirring until cheese melts. Season Bring mixture to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. soup with salt and pepper.

Annual Meeting AND YFA Conference


Notice of Annual Meeting of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Cooperative

Farm Bureau

Family Rooted in

December 1-4, 2017 Kalahari Resorts and Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells


Rural Route

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 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. - Dale Beaty, Secretary

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 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. - Dale Beaty, Secretary



District Discussion Meet Qualifiers

27 YFA members to 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.

Bob Nash, Ozaukee County Kallie Jo Kastenson, Racine County Sean Beres, Waukesha County

Becky Wellnitz, Rock County Josh Schenk, Green County Julie Sweney, Dodge County

Josh Bailie, Grant County TJ Roth, Grant County Andrew DalSanto, Grant County

Rosli Bragger, Buffalo County Emily Herness, Trempealeau County Jody Wilhelm, Eau Claire County

Derek Pluim, Fond du Lac County Natasha Paris,Green Lake County Jenny Leahy, Fond du Lac County

Jamie Propson, Manitowoc County David Propson, Manitowoc County Kelly Wilfert, Manitowoc County

Brian Fiedler, Shawano County Jake Hoewisch, Waupaca County Kyle Much,Waupaca County

Katie Zoromski, Marathon County Ryan Klussendorf, Taylor County Jill Niemann, Marathon County

Laura Benitz, Pierce County Isaac Christenson, Polk County Nate Kringle, Barron County



Young Farm Bureau Members Selected as State Contest Finalists Excellence in Ag

Four finalists will vie for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Achievement Award this December. The YFA program is open to Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35. The finalists are Hank and Shannon Boschma, Chad and Katrina Gleason, Ryan and Lindsey Prahl and Alex Bringe. “This year’s finalists are some of the best and brightest young farmers in Wisconsin,” said WFBF President, Jim Holte. The Achievement Award recognizes YFA members who excel in production farming, leadership ability and involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Achievement Award applicants must have derived a majority of their income from on-farm production over the past three years. Last year’s winners of the Achievement Award were Andrea Brossard and Mason Rens, dairy farmers from Dodge County. Each finalist must fill out an application by October 1. A three-judge panel will score those applications and conduct an interview with the four finalists at the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference at the Kalahari Resorts and Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, December 1-4, 2017.

Four applicants have been selected as WFBF’s Excellence in Ag finalists and will compete in December for the top honor. The finalists are Justin and Livia Doyle, Lynn Dickman, Kristi Fiedler and Kelly Oudenhoven. “Five outstanding agriculture advocates are finalists in this year’s state competition. This contest highlights how these fine individuals have positively impacted Wisconsin agriculture and inspire others to do the same,” said WFBF President Jim Holte. The Excellence in Ag award recognizes members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program who excel in their leadership abilities, involvement in agriculture, Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. Excellence in Ag award applicants are agriculturists who have not derived a majority of their income from a farm (that they own) for the past three years. Examples of occupations of past finalists include: agricultural education instructor, fertilizer salesperson, veterinarian, farm employee, agricultural writer and marketer. Each finalist must make a presentation and answer questions in front of a three-judge panel during the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference at the Kalahari Resorts and Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, December 1-4, 2017. This year’s state winners will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Conference in Nashville.

Achievement Award

Achievement Award


Hank and Shannon Boschma

Chad and Katrina Gleason

Hank and Shannon have a registered Holstein dairy farm in Milan. They have two boys, Gabe and Jonah. Their farm consists of 150 acres of owned and rented land for their 120 cows, heifers and calves. The couple is involved with milking cows, breeding cattle, feed rationing, raising youngstock and bookkeeping. Since 2009, the Boschmas have improved facilities and operations as well as breeding for top genetics in their growing herd of black/ white and red/white holsteins. Hank is overseeing an expansion project to house youngstock. They continue to volunteer and participate in Marathon County Farm Bureau events, after having served three years as the county YFA chair. Shannon is employed with a local bank.

Chad and his wife, Katrina, are fourth generation farmers, north of Shullsburg, in Lafayette County. They have three children Cassidy, Gage and Kinsey. On their farm they specialize in dairy beef, where they raise bottle fed calves to finished steers. The family raises about 400 calves per year from local dairy farms. The family grows and harvests their own feed on 80 acres of owned and 60 acres of rented land. He enjoys farm-related activities and spending time with others who share his passion for agriculture. Katrina home schools their children and does the books for the farm. She enjoys spending time with the family’s horses, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

District 8, Marathon County

Rural Route

District 3, Lafayette County


Alex Bringe

Ryan and Lindsey Prahl

Alex is a grain and beef farmer from Viroqua. He graduated from UW-Platteville with an animal science degree. He 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 serves as the pork chop fundraiser coordinator. He has attended the YFA leaders trip to Washington, D.C., and the WFBF Annual Meeting as a county delegate. Alex is also a graduate of the WFBF Leadership Institute.

Ryan and Lindsey farm in rural Wausau on a 150-cow dairy. Ryan is the fifth generation on their family farm, and together the couple juggle the dairy and an emerging custom business. They have three children; Lydia, Warren and Audrey. In their spare time, both Ryan and Lindsey enjoy volunteering for various agricultural organizations.

Excellence in Ag

District 3, Vernon County

District 8, Marathon County

Justin and Livia Doyle

Lynn Dickman

Along with their family, Justin and Livia farm outside of Mineral Point in Iowa County. Together they raise 50 head of Red and Black Angus beef cow/calf pairs, 150 acres and co-own On Point Auction Service. They are the proud parents of two boys; Quayde and Gentry. In addition to farming, auctioneering, and raising a family, they are both beginning their eighth year in education. Justin is an agriculture/technology teacher at Darlington High School and Livia teaches fourth grade in the Mineral Point School District.

Lynn is the research agronomist at Heartland Farms, Inc., an 8,000-acre potato farm in Hancock in central Wisconsin. She earned a bachelor's degree in dairy science and a master's degree in horticulture from UWMadison. Lynn grew up on a 77-cow dairy farm in Argyle and was active in 4-H and FFA. She is the District 5 representative on WFBF's Promotion and Education Committee and the Waushara County Farm Bureau YFA chair. She was a member of WFBF Leadership Institute Class VIII. Outside of Farm Bureau, she is president of the Tri-County FFA Alumni, a member of the Stevens Point Curling Club and City Band and Meals on Wheels board member in Stevens Point.

District 3, Iowa County

District 5, Waushara County

Kelly Oudenhoven

Kristi Fiedler

Kelly grew up on her family’s farm raising replacement heifers for a nearby dairy. After working for seven years at a veterinary hospital, Kelly knew she wanted to be back on the farm. She began working full-time on her husband’s family’s 380-cow dairy. Kelly now manages her father-in-law’s dairy and, with her husband Keith, is in the process of creating a succession plan to make them the fourth generation to own the farm. Kelly and her husband have three children, Josephine, Jack and Allison, who she hopes will one day take over the farm. She is an active Farm Bureau member and serves as the Young Farmer and Agriculturist chair for Outagamie County.

Kristi grew up on her family's dairy farm in Dodge County where she developed her passion for dairy and agriculture. She earned a bachelor's degree in animal science from UWPlatteville and a master's degree in management from University of Phoenix. Her career with GENEX started as an intern in 2005 and after succeeding in many positions within the organization Kristi is now the vice president of production and distribution. She is a Class V WFBF Leadership Institute graduate, District 7 YFA Committee representative, and after participating several years in the Discussion Meet; Kristi was the 2016 State Discussion Meet winner.

District 7, Outagamie County

District 7, Shawano County




Participants Selected for 2018 Leadership Institute F ifteen emerging agricultural leaders have been selected to participate in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute. The year-long training program’s mission is to develop strong and effective agricultural leaders. “Today’s farmers and agriculturists must take the lead to be advocates for their farms and agribusinesses," said Wendy Kannel, WFBF director of training and leadership development. "The Institute gives participants the skills and confidence necessary to lead the future of farming and agriculture in their county Farm Bureau, local community and beyond.” Members of the 2018 WFBF Leadership Institute Class XII are: Savannah Brown, Black River Falls; Neil Christianson, Shawano; Andrew DalSanto, Platteville; Pam Debele, Brookfield; Scott Eastwood, Sun Prairie; Jeff Huber, Wisconsin Dells; Rob Klussendorf, Medford; Corey Kuchta, Coleman; Jamie Marx, Wausau; Erica Olson, Black River Falls; Kayla Pagenkopf, Elk Mound; Jennifer Riederer, Reedsville; Amanda Sandmire, Omro; Nate Zimdars, Ripon and Amanda Zuehls-Kuchar, Montello. The Leadership Institute consists of five, multi-day sessions which provide hands-on learning on agriculture issues, leadership development and speaking skills, interaction with

Leadership Institute Class XI.

Farm Bureau and government leaders and staff at the state and national levels and networking with other participants. The class capstone event will be a trip, with the WFBF Board of Directors, to Washington, D.C., in June 2019. Farm Bureau members interested in applying for the 2019 WFBF Leadership Institute class may contact Wendy Kannel at 608.828.5719 or email

Service Directory Greg Cook Law Offices, S.C. Free initial consultation Personal Injury - Property Loss Serving Farmers - Individuals & Businesses across WI. Call Today: 888-499-4129 414-224-5100

To Advertise Here Please Call



Rural Route


GROWMARK Invests in Young Ag Leaders W

Young Producer programs in conjunction with FS cooperatives, inners of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federations’ 2016 to offer information and opportunities specifically for those Young Farmer and Agriculturist contests and state joining the family farm or beginning their own operations.” FFA officers were special guests at GROWMARK’s Annual GROWMARK Meeting in is a sponsor of Chicago in August. “The many Young GROWMARK Farmer and Agriculturist System is proud programs including to support the annual YFA programs like 4-H, Conference. The FFA and Farm GROWMARK Bureau, because system began as we know these a merger of farm are the premier supply companies organizations controlled by the for young people Illinois, Iowa interested in and Wisconsin agriculture," said Farm Bureaus to Karen Jones, youth secure a reliable, and cooperative affordable supply education specialist of fuel for their at GROWMARK. tractors. Today, "We’ve also From left, Ciera Ballmer, State FFA President; Brooke Brantner, State FFA Vice President GROWMARK increased our from Section 2; Derek Husmoen, State YFA Chair; Kristi Fiedler, 2016 Discussion Meet does business in investment in the winner; Morgan Fitzsimmons, State FFA Vice President from Section 4 and Meikah more than 40 states next generation of Dado, State FFA Reporter from Section 1. and Ontario. farmers through our Joining some WFBF board directors and staff at the GROWMARK Annual Meeting were: Derek Husmoen, WFBF YFA Chair; Kristi Fiedler, 2016 Discussion Meet winner and members of the Wisconsin State FFA Officer Team.

YFA members participated in the Next Generation programming for young producers where they heard from Dr. Mike Boehlje who is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University. The session focused on being a successful producer in agriculture.

“The GROWMARK System is proud to support programs like 4-H, FFA and Farm Bureau, because we know these are the premier organizations for young people interested in agriculture.”

- Karen Jones




Wisconsin Farm Bureau Programming Changes New Member-Engagement Conference Scheduled for April Wisconsin Farm Bureau will host a new member-engagement conference in April 5-6, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point. The IGNITE conference will give attendees the opportunity to build leadership skills and strengthen county Farm Bureaus. “We are excited to host this new member-focused conference in 2018,” executive director of member relations Bob Leege said. “The IGNITE Conference is exclusively for Wisconsin Farm Bureau members and will give them the tools to build their leadership skills and Farm Bureau involvement.” The conference will be broken into four tracks:

Communicating for Agriculture and Farm Bureau, Issues, Legislation and Farm Bureau Policy, Governance and Organization and Building Farm Bureau. Registration for this event is open to current Farm Bureau members. Registration information, hotel accommodations and a preview of the sessions are available on Rural Mutual Insurance Company is co-sponsor of the IGNITE conference. The conference is scheduled to take place on a biennial basis. 

Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit Discontinued The Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit presenting partners – Compeer Financial (formerly Badgerland Financial), Wisconsin Farm Bureau and UW-Extension – have announced a decision to discontinue the event, effective immediately. The partners enjoyed working together on the event since 2012, providing the opportunity for women to learn, network

and build friendships through peer-to-peer interaction. Each organization is independently exploring new and different opportunities to serve and support women in agriculture. The event partners are committed to providing educational opportunities to their clients, members and communities they serve.

Compiled by county Farm Bureaus, use this book to find ideas for promotion and education activities to implement in your county.

Find it at: promotion-and-education/playbook


Rural Route


Nashville Hosts AFBF 99th Annual Convention W isconsin Farm Bureau members will travel to Music City, USA, for the 99th AFBF Annual Convention on January 10-15, 2018. During the convention, members will stay at the headquarters hotel for the convention, the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The 2018 AFBF Annual Convention will feature a variety of issue conferences, top-notch speakers and the IDEAg Trade Show. The annual meeting registration fee is $100 per person and will cover entrance to all sessions. Farm Bureau members will have the opportunity to

participate in a variety of optional pre- and post-convention tours, including several that highlight the diversity of Tennessee agriculture. Registration materials for the AFBF Annual Convention will be available soon on the WFBF website at or by contacting WFBF executive director of member relations Bob Leege at 608.828.5710 or Iconic entertainer Reba McEntire will join AFBF President Zippy Duvall during the Closing General Session of the 2018 AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show on Monday, January 8, 2018, for a question and answer keynote touching on her rural roots, family, career and, of course, country music.

Promotion and Education Committee Members Volunteer at Wisconsin State Fair's House of Moo





1. District 1 Promotion and Education Committee representative George Mroch asked dairy trivia questions to House of Moo visitors.

Quality Builders for Quality Buildings.

2. Lynn Dickmann, District 5 Promotion and Education Committee representative, and Michael Leahy, Fond du Lac County YFA chair demonstrated how to milk a cow. 3. District 3 Promotion and Education Committee representative Katie Roth asked a young fair-goer a dairy trivia question. 4. Rosalie Geiger, WFBF Promotion and Education Committee Chair, talked to fairgoers about dairy goats.

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

Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 .



Alissa Grenawalt, Beloit

Becky Hibicki, Ripon

Liz Gartman, Sheboygan

Christine Gerbitz, Milton

Sandra Cordes, Waupaca

Sarah Halverson, Taylor

Terri Hamm, Waupaca

Laura Meyer, Watertown

Bernie O'Rourke, Dodgeville

Send us YOUR Photos

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


Rural Route


Back to School Means New Resources New Food and Farm Facts Available


he American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Food and Farm Facts booklet features facts about food, how it is grown and who produces it. The 34-page booklet contains photos and infographic style illustrations. The booklet comes with an America the Bountiful Map that shows the top commodities in each state. AFBFA offers the full booklet, a smaller pocket guide, pencils with farm facts and lesson plans as part of this educational resource. The images in these pieces are copyrighted and can only be used as is. It cannot be printed, reproduced or edited. Consider using this piece in your classroom or student leadership organizations, at fairs and community events, for farmer development or on social media. Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom sells the booklets through its resource form but the other items need to be ordered directly from the store on

ggie nswers


Mishicot I teach agricultural education because I love helping excite the next generation of consumers of agricultural choices and empowering them to find their fit in the agriculture community.



Whether adults or students know it, agriculture plays a pivotal role in everyone's life. What better opportunity than the classroom to inspire and teach young minds about the many different avenues a career in agriculture can take you. I enjoy creating hands-on lessons in which students can apply meaningful skills in a real world setting.

Elementary Students Benefit from Ag Today Readers


g Today Readers are a great reading supplement for third to fifth grade students to learn about agriculture. The issues of Ag Today Readers touch on the six themes of the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes that can be integrated into science, social studies and language arts curriculum. Each reader provides real-world connections to STEM and makes learning relevant for students in becoming agriculturally literate. The issues include: 1. Agriculture is Everywhere 2. Food, Health and Lifestyle 3. Agriculture and the Environment 4. Culture, Society, Economy and Geography 5. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) 6. Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber and Energy Ag Today Readers come in a set with one Educator Guide and 25 student guides. They are $5 per hard copy packet or can be downloaded for free from

September 21 was National Teach Ag Day We asked these teachers why they were ‘tagged’ to teach ag?


Waupun Working with learners brings me a sense of satisfaction and pure joy! Agriculture, with all its diversity and rich heritage, is another passion of mine. I'm in awe of all the dynamic stories embedded within the agriculture industry and feel blessed to be able to share those stories with my learners in grades kindergarten to sixth grade.


Black River Falls

I want to serve others. Teaching agriculture allows me to help others become contributing and compassionate members of our community. It enables me to help students discover the challenges and opportunities in the agricultural world that surrounds them. Teaching agriculture allows me the privilege of helping others find their vocations.



Blackhawk Technical College I teach agriculture because I find a great deal of comfort in knowing I'm educating the next generation of farmers and agriculturists. I enjoy seeing young people grow just as much as farmers enjoy watching their crops or livestock grow.


DATCP’s Farm Center is Here to Help T

he Wisconsin Farm Center, which is part of the Department of Ag Trade and Consumer Protection’s Division of Agricultural Development, is dedicated to growing Wisconsin agriculture. Its mission, simply stated, is to help farmers. The center’s agricultural economic development consultants help farmers deal with the critical economic, business and social needs of farm families. Services include financial and business consultation, farm succession planning, conflict mediation, production challenges and other assistance. Many of the calls for advice or assistance come in to the center’s telephone Helpline and are directed to staff agricultural consultants with expertise in a wide variety of areas. The center provides information and support to farmers, often by partnering with industry groups, the University of Wisconsin and other stakeholders in the agriculture business.


Statement of Ownership

Services include: •• Financial Planning: Assist with cash flow analysis, complete a farm feasibility or debt analysis, create a business plan or help with debt restructuring. •• Farm Transitions: Receive assistance for all aspects of farm Contact the Wisconsin succession including business plans, Farm Center viable entry and exit strategies, The Wisconsin Farm Center support during the transfer process serves the state’s farmers and and identifying options. agribusinesses in sustaining and •• Conflict Management: Assist with growing Wisconsin agricultural dispute resolution with creditors, family members, neighbors or economy and rural communities. other agencies by assigning trained Started as the Farmers Assistance mediators. Program in 1984, the Wisconsin •• Herd-Based Diagnostics: Provide Farm Center provides trained program veterinarian services and professionals and resources that related lab work to address issues are offered at no cost to those impacting overall herd health. requesting assistance. •• Minority Farmer Outreach: Minimize the language and The Wisconsin Farm Center is cultural barriers to accessing accessible weekdays from 7:45 resources for farm investments, a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through office business planning and risk visits or calling the toll-free management. line at 800.942.2474. For more •• Counseling Services: Identify low information, visit or no-cost counseling for farmers and their families. FarmCenterOverview.aspx.


Rural Route


County Kernels Fair Food Stand Ribbon Cutting – Calumet County

The Calumet County Farm Bureau and the Calumet County Fair boards of directors participated in a ribbon cutting for their new fair food stand on September 1. The ribbon was cut by Calumet County Farm Bureau Princess Macey Pingel and Carley Blado, Calumet County Farm Bureau board member.

Ag Safety Day - Buffalo County

One hundred twenty-four students participated in the 2017 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day sponsored by Buffalo County Farm Bureau.

Rural Safety Day - Green County

Conservation Day - Green Lake County

Green Lake County Farm Bureau partnered with the Green Lake Association, NRCS and the county Land Conservation Department to host a Conservation Field Day event on August 26 at Green Lake County Farm Bureau president Dave Wilke’s Farm. Sixty farmers and lakeshore owners attended the event. The event included a water runoff simulator, soil pit demonstration, water filtration demonstration and side-by-side cover crop test plot. After lunch, attendees took a bus tour of 12 different roadside conservation practices.

On September 20, the Green County Farm Bureau hosted a Rural Safety Day for fifth grade students. More than 70 students learned about staying safe in rural areas. The students visited nine different stations at the Merit Center in Monroe, including a grain bin, tractor rollover, seat belt safety, ATV, animal handling, power take off and electrical safety. Additionally, each student learned how to use a fire extinguisher. Thank you to the sponsors who made this event possible.

Family Farm Weekend at Milwaukee County Zoo - District 1 District 1 Promotion and Education members volunteered at the Milwaukee County Zoo Family Farm Weekend on September 9-10. Volunteers educated hundreds of attendees about agriculture and the importance of knowing where their food comes from. Throughout the day attendees could participate in the milk chugging contest, pickle eating, ask a farmer booth or spin the wheel to win fun prizes that were donated by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Kids and adults all learned about the importance of agriculture and enjoyed a fun day at the zoo. OCTOBER | NOVEMBER 2017



Book of the Year and Essay Contest Announced T

he 2018 Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Book of the Year is written by Wisconsin native Tracy Nelson Maurer. “John Deere, That’s Who!” educates students about agricultural advancements in technology, efficiency and productivity. Each year, the Ag in the Classroom program holds an essay contest in conjunction with the book of the year for fourth and fifth grade students throughout the Tracy Nelson Maurer state. This year’s essay contest topic is, 'Inventions that have made agriculture great.' Accompanying lessons aligned to state standards and various Wisconsin educational resources are available online for teachers, students and volunteers to use in promoting and preparing essays. “Technology is something that many students don’t associate with agriculture,” said Darlene Arneson, Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Coordinator. “This year’s book and essay contest will give students the opportunity to explore how technology is

helping produce food, fuel and fiber and for teachers to incorporate ag into their STEM curriculum.” Essay submissions must be 100- to 300-words in length and will be judged on content, grammar, spelling and neatness. The essay contest rules, lesson plans and sample classroom activities are located at Essays are due on April 2. Nine district winners will be selected with one being chosen as the state winner in May by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Promotion and Education Committee. Each district winner will receive a classroom presentation for their class. The essay contest is sponsored by We Energies and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. Last year, more than 2,800 students participated in the contest. Questions about the book or how to place an order can be directed to Ag in the Classroom is designed to help students in kindergarten through high school to understand the importance of agriculture. It is coordinated by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Thank You to the Following WFB Foundation Donors: (Donations were made between July 18 and September 27, 2017.)

•• Waukesha County Farm Bureau •• Dane County Farm Bureau in memory of Shirley Kohlwey •• Mark Holl in memory of Marion Holl •• Washington County Farm Bureau in memory of Les Gundrum •• Ermanelda Franke in memory of Marion Holl •• Dodge County Farm Bureau in memory of Marion Holl •• Stan Kaczmarek in memory of Warren Beebout •• Robert Bartholomew in memory of Randy Craig •• Judith Porter in memory of Randy Craig


Rural Route


Bringing the Classroom to the Wisconsin State Fair E ach year, plenty of lessons are taught at the Wisconsin State Fair in and out of the show ring. The Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom is present at this event in multiple ways to help teach attendees about agriculture. Each year the program is a sponsor and an active participant in State Fair Camp. This one-day camp is for elementary students to attend the fair, visit exhibits and learn about agriculture. Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom volunteers serve as adult counselors during the two days the camp is offered and helps coordinate the schedule. Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom provides learning tablets for

the Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard. The tablets allow kids to play My American Farm games that provide a fun way to learn about agriculture, energy, farm markets and more. FFA members who staff the Discovery Barnyard oversee the use of the tablets. The program also sponsors a culinary contest requiring participants to use Wisconsin products in their ingredient list and write about how those products are grown, produced or raised. This year’s contest was titled 'Wisconsin Cultivating Taco Happiness.'

The youth counselors are 4-H and FFA members who are trained how to work with youth, safety at the fair and how to do interactive activities with groups.

Cynthia Paul of Menomonie Falls was the winner of the culinary contest with a fish taco dish. Some of the ingredients included Rushing Waters trout, Wisconsin lemon pepper, Leinenkugel's® Honey Weiss®, cranberry juice and Historic Third Ward Seasoning.

Entries in the culinary contest are judged on their appearance and taste. Additionally the entrants are required to write a paper on how the ingredients were grown, raised or produced in Wisconsin.

State Fair Camp participants visited Energy Park and learned about forestry, wildlife, raptors, energy usage and safety equipment.

Kids attending the Wisconsin State Fair had the chance to play My American Farm games on tablets in the Discovery Barnyard provided by the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program.

The 4-H Activity Building is one of the stops during State Fair Day Camp. Campers visited various activity stations where they learn about agriculture and food and make crafts.



Perfect weather for the

Wisconsin Ag Open!


ighty-four golfers enjoyed perfect playing conditions at the 2017 Wisconsin Ag Open held at Christmas Mountain in Wisconsin Dells on September 11. The event supports the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s efforts to expand agricultural leadership, 4-H and FFA programs, agricultural

literacy efforts and other education, youth and leadership programs. This was the 20th year for the event. The winning team was the C & D Professional Insurance Services team of Chuck McDaniel, David P. Loken, David M. Loken and Chuck Rafferty.

Aon Benfield sponsored a delicious boxed lunch for golfers and volunteers to enjoy on the course.

Golfers played a dice roll game on hole 10 to get more chances to win prizes and raise additional funds for the foundation.

These golfers were all smiles on the 10th hole as they posed for a group photo.

Attendees purchased bucket raffle tickets for the chance to win one of several great prize packs. Some of the items from this year’s bucket raffle included a Badger tailgating pack, beef and pork grilling items, local wines and beers and Packers gear.

Golfers got in some early putting practice before the competition began.

Thank you to the 2017 sponsors Box Lunch Sponsor •• Aon Benfield Club House Sponsors •• BMO Harris Bank •• M3 Insurance •• Rural Mutual Insurance Company •• Stroud, Willink and Howard, LLC

Hole Sponsors •• American Agricultural Insurance Company •• Dairy Business Association •• Investors Community Bank •• Mighty Grand Dairy, LLC- Dave and Kim Daniels •• Strohm Ballweg, LLP •• Wisconsin Soybean Association •• Wisconsin State Cranberry Association

Save the date! 2018 Wisconsin Ag Open is September 10, 2018, Christmas Mountain Village inRoute Wisconsin Dells. 42 Rural

Bucket Raffle and Door Prize Donors •• Capital Planning, Inc. •• Dairy Business Association •• Homeland Dairy, LLP •• Jim’s Cheese, LLC •• John and Darlene Arneson •• Rural Mutual Insurance Company •• Wisconsin Beef Council •• Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation •• Wisconsin Pork Producers Association


Three ways to support the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation at the WFBF Annual Meeting

Farm Bureau

Family Rooted in

Fun’d the Foundation

Space is limited so register early!

Contest Q1: What is Wisconsin’s official state grain?

Q2: What city is home to the world’s largest letter ‘M’?

Q3: N  umerically, Wisconsin was admitted as the _____ state in the Union.

Gather up to six of your closest (or smartest) friends for a Farm Bureau trivia contest on Saturday, December 2, following the Farm Bureau Proud Banquet during the WFBF Annual Meeting at the Kalahari Resorts 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 • Register before November 25 or on Saturday, December 2, in the trade show area from 2 to 4 p.m.

A1: Corn; A2: Platteville; A3: 30

Ready! Set! Bid! The Farm Bureau silent auction is a huge success each year because of dedicated donors and bidders. Anyone can donate so rally your fellow members, county Farm Bureaus and local businesses to contribute. Visit wfbf. com/aboutwfbf/foundation/silentauction to download a donation form. Need ideas? •• Themed baskets (kids, family fun night, food, date night, etc.) •• Products from your county •• Gift certificates for hotels, golf courses, stores and spas

•• Handmade items (wooden, craft, sewn, crocheted) •• Sports related items- signed balls, jerseys, memorabilia •• Prints •• Toy farm machinery •• Jewelry •• Tools and accessories needed on the farm •• Safety equipment •• Beer, wine or cheese baskets •• Travel items •• Book sets

All items donated must be new. If the donation form is sent to the WFBF office by November 29, bidding sheets will be made in advance and will save you time checking in. Items can be brought to the Kalahari to save postage and chance of damage in shipment. Bidding starts at noon on Saturday, December 2 and will end Sunday night before the Award’s Program.

Tournament Details:

December 2 • 8:45 p.m.

How to Register:

•• The tournament will be for the first 40 teams to register and pay. •• It will be a single elimination bracket with the exception of the first round. •• In the first round there will be three games. Best of three will advance to Round 2. After each match teams will switch sides. •• Each team member must attend the competitor meeting (or be disqualified), which will be prior to the start of the tournament on Saturday, December 2, at 8:30 p.m. with the tournament starting at 8:45 p.m. •• If your team fails to show up or start your game within 5 minutes of start time you will be disqualified.

Complete registration below and return with payment to WFBF, PO Box 5550, Madison, WI 53705 by Monday, November 20, or register in the Foundation booth at the WFBF Annual meeting from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, December 2.

place team will receive $100 and second place Prizes: First will receive $50. Cost: $20 per team.



Save today using code

W017 **note, this is a new code

Don't get stuck with a flat tire!

Wisconsin Farm Bureau members are eligible to save up to 20% on membership to AAA. They also do not have to pay an enrollment fee when joining. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members who are already AAA members can receive the 20% discount on their next renewal. In either instance, be prepared to give them group code “W017� when placing the call to 877.731.3315.


Rural Route



Respiratory Health with Dusty and Moldy Grain W

isconsin farmers working feverishly to get crops harvested before the snow flies may find themselves exposed to a variety of dust. Breathing grain dust can affect your comfort and is a health concern for all in the grain industry. Grain dust is a complex soup of particles. The smallest dust particles are easily inhaled and find their way deep into the respiratory system. Grain dust is biologically active. It’s made up of plant material, mold, insect parts and excreta (bug poop), bacteria, endotoxins (toxins contained in the cell walls of some bacteria) and soil particles including silica. Most people will have some reaction to dusty harvest conditions. Often, this will be a nuisance reaction (like a runny nose) or throat irritation. In some cases, bigger health problems occur. Even inside a combine’s cab, there is some dust. Endotoxins associated with some types of bacteria (even with a sealed cab and proper air filtration) can cause problems for some individuals. At low dust levels during prolonged and busy harvest operations, a cough is common. This might be an intermittent cough, producing more phlegm when you’re working near dust. Other symptoms are chest tightness/ wheezing, sore/irritated throat, nasal and eye irritation and feeling stuffed-up and congested. Chronic and acute bronchitis is also common for those who handle grain. Bronchitis occurs as lung passages get inflamed. Grain dust can also be quite a debilitating concern for those with asthma. A massive exposure to a thick cloud of dust is something to avoid. Though, total avoidance is not always possible. Massive exposures to moldy, dusty grain even for a short period of time can result in two distinct medical conditions having symptoms that include cough, chest tightness, malaise (a general feeling of discomfort, illness or feeling 'ill-at-ease'), headache, muscle aches and fever. People exposed often begin to feel sick a few hours after their exposure, and may feel quite sick as they go to bed at night. The two conditions are 'Farmer’s Lung' or Farmer’s Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome. 'Farmer’s Lung' or Farmer’s Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis is less common and affects about 1 in 20 exposed individuals (5 percent or slightly more). Often, farmers get sick and tell their health provider about their symptoms and their illness sometimes gets misdiagnosed as FHP. However, FHP is a delayed allergic reaction caused when sensitive people inhale dusts causing their bodies to produce antibodies. Since FHP is an allergic reaction and involves the immune system, each new FHP bout gets worse. With repeated exposure, some people become unable to work in dusty areas and can develop permanent lung damage. FHP is caused by dust that contains mold, mold spores and bacteria that developed in warm storage conditions. Heat-loving

molds are more likely to grow in stored hay or top layers of silage. FHP molds can also occur in stored grain. If you’ve been diagnosed with FHP before, and get sick again while working around grain (or hay/silage), you should visit your local clinic. Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome, the second type of illness is a toxic reaction. With ODTS, your respiratory system becomes inflamed from the dust, molds, bacteria and endotoxins in dust. Symptoms look like FHP. But, the body’s reaction causing symptoms is different. People who develop ODTS usually recover in a few days. Permanent lung damage from ODTS is rare. Again, your local health professional should be consulted if you develop this type of reaction. Agricultural health experts face a difficult problem, as Farmer’s Lung and Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome look almost identical. At times, even rural health professionals can have a hard time recognizing these illnesses and knowing the difference. Medical testing is often needed to truly tell the two apart. Medical treatment is also different. References found on the website cited at the end of this article might be helpful if you visit a clinic.  Grain dust exposure and related health symptoms are complex. Here are specific things to reduce risk: •• Have a clean air filter in place when operating a combine. Use correct settings on the cab blower when the heater or air conditioner is being used to create a positive pressure. When replacing cab filters, ensure gaskets are installed and sealing correctly. •• Avoid exposures to dust whenever possible, regardless of your sensitivity. When combining, stay in the cab with the door closed when unloading. •• Properly adjust your combine to minimize grain damage and dust generated. Properly harvested grain will store better with fewer mold (and insect) issues. •• Wear a NIOSH-approved 'N-95' dust mask that fits properly in conditions where dust is unavoidable.  Caution: Wear a respirator only if you are free of health problems, particularly with your heart and lungs. If you need extra protection, a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) or 'air helmet' can be used in these situations. There are other regulatory requirements in commercial grain storage facilities. Consult experts before requiring employees to use respirators. •• If you feel sick, call your health care provider. This is especially important if you know you are allergic to these dusts, or if your symptoms continue to get worse. •• Smoking makes grain dust exposure symptoms much worse. By John Shutske, Ph.D., agricultural engineering specialist for UW-Madison and UW-Extension.




Can You Hear Me Now?

It’s easy to suffer permanent hearing loss, even easier to prevent it.


oisy tractors, ATVs and power mowers – producing an average of 100 decibels (dB) of sound – are a few noise pollution sources farmers are exposed to. Some hearing loss is associated with aging. Noise-induced hearing loss generally occurs over time due to exposure to sound exceeding 90 dB. With the average age of farmers at 58.3 years (2012 USDA Census report) or older, some 60 to 70 percent of that group already has age-related and noise-induced hearing loss in either one or both ears. “The best way to reduce the risk of hearing loss from loud noise is to avoid loud noise whenever possible,” said University of Nebraska Medical Center Associate Professor Chandran Achutan. “If you’re exposed to noise loud enough that you shout to talk to someone, you know it’s too loud. Move to a quieter place.” Hearing protectors, such as ear plugs and ear muffs, reduce the level of sound reaching hair cells in the inner ear. They don’t block sound 100 percent, but make noises sound less. The Noise Reduction Rating provides a value for the level of hearing protection offered by earplugs and ear muffs. The higher the NRR value, the greater the noise reduction. On the farm, tractor engine noises are typically at 100 dB. To keep noise decibel levels below 87, select hearing protection with ratings as high as 33 dB. When properly fitted, this type of hearing protection will keep tractor engine decibel levels at approximately 77, a safe level of sound. Earplugs are soft foam or harder plastic inserts that fit into the ear canal. Earplugs are cheaper than earmuffs, and are available in disposable and reusable types. The size of earplugs makes them convenient to carry in pocket or purse. Some come with a neck strap to make them readily available. Earmuffs are rigid cups with soft cushions that seal around the ear to block noise and look like wireless headphones. Earmuffs with greater NRR values are generally large, bulky cups with more sound-reducing insulation than earmuffs with a lower NRR. Earmuffs cost more than earplugs, but they’re easier to use correctly, although individuals wearing glasses may have trouble properly fitting earmuffs. “There is no research that shows either ear plugs or ear muffs to be a superior protection,” Achutan said. “The most important thing about these protective devices is using them properly.” To properly insert ear plugs, the plug should be rolled between the thumb and finger to create a cylindrical shape. Once that shape is formed, using the opposite hand to grasp and press it into the ear until it begins to expand will provide the intended noise protection. “Don’t squash the ear plug and insert it,” Achutan said. “The


Rural Route

cylindrical shape allows for getting it into the proper position to provide noise protection.” Because equipment operators need to listen to an engine to ensure it is operating properly, recommendations are that ear plugs are inserted once equipment is on. Maintaining ear plug integrity is key to effectiveness. Once they’re used, ear plugs should be thrown away. Ear plugs also should be free of any tears. Disposable ear plugs are the least expensive ear protection, with average costs around 15 cents per plug. When used around a tractor generating 100 dB, ear plugs can reduce the decibel level to less than 80. Threatening noises on the farm are often associated with equipment, but livestock producers are exposed to animalgenerated noise. “Pigs create a lot of noise,” Achutan said. “Anytime a noise is so loud you need to shout to be heard, it’s affecting your hearing.” Limiting exposure to loud noise throughout the day is important to anyone wanting to protect his or her hearing. While it may be tempting to dismiss the need for hearing protection if loud noise exposure is brief, it’s important to understand that damage from loud noise accumulates throughout the day. “That five minutes you spend around the tractor, the 20 minutes you are exposed to livestock noise and the two hours you listen to loud noise from a television or music, can add up to hours of noise exposure by the end of the day,” Achutan said. “In my own hearing loss studies, I find that farmers are exposed to about 600 percent more noise on a daily-basis than what is allowed.” Noise exposure on the farm can happen at any age. Explosions, target shooting or hunting generate levels of noise that can be harmful to hearing. Hearing tests conducted by an audiologist reveal where hearing loss is occurring and can help in reducing noise exposure risks. “Farmers should have their hearing tested at least once a year to detect hearing loss,” Achutan said. “High frequency sound is typically the first area where hearing loss occurs. Audiologists can determine if that loss is due to noise or other factors.” “Hearing loss is so different from other types of farm-related injury,” Achutan added. “If you get something in your eye, you know it right away and you take steps to correct it. Hearing loss is subtle, but serious. Once noise-induced hearing damage occurs, the loss is permanent.” By Ellen G. Duysen, Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health.



Rural Route


Rural Route October-November 2017  
Rural Route October-November 2017