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october | november 2013 • vol. 19 no. 5 |

Where the Rubber Meets the Road:

Changing Implements of Husbandry’s Rules and Definitions

Leopold Conservation Award Finalists Meet ‘Dairy Carrie’ and the Gleasons Members Press for Farm Bill in D.C.

ag in the classroom Make a Difference. Get Involved. Page 38


The lifeblood of America. They’re the humble heroes who rise before dawn and battle the elements. They put clothes on our backs and food on our tables. Their genuine values and tireless work ethic are an inspiration to us all. We appreciate all that America’s farmers do and invite you to join us in saying thanks at /SayThanksToAFarmer FB02-WI (7-13)







Implements of husbandry Recommended changes to Wisconsin’s size and weight limits discussed.


Dairy Carrie


Another group of members brought ag interests to Capitol Hill.




Leopold Award Four farm families honored for voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.

Learn how this Watertown woman tells her farm stories online.


FB in D.C.

Excellence in ag

vol. 19 no. 5

20 departments 6





member benefits






ag in the classroom




Rural Mutual

Four YFA members recognized for agricultural leadership and involvement.

These tech-savvy Shullsburg farmers invested in a new barn and automatic feeder.


AITC Variety Locally to nationally, Ag in the Classroom offers many opportunities to make a difference.

COVER photo by lynn siekmann

Make an Impact. Support WFB Foundation at Annual Meeting. october | november 2013



Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor’s Note


hanks to technology, whether you are 21 or 81, my guess is that your time spent in a combine this harvest season is much different than when you were a child. Technology is a thread that runs through this issue. Think about it, we profiled a couple of young members who are using computers and smart phones to reach consumers a world away…or plan their calves’ diet from virtually anywhere off their farm. Technological advances are at the root of the issues that impact your farm as well. This Rural Route contains an update on Wisconsin’s nonpoint pollution rules. These rules must now be updated every few years to reflect new technologies that farmers can use to conserve environmental resources. Our cover story is on transportation issues our state is grappling with. Technology has greatly changed farm machinery, but our road and bridge infrastructure has not kept pace. Rural Route readers need not wait every two months to hear from Farm Bureau. Technology allows us to stay in contact in other ways like Facebook, Twitter and email. Speaking of which, Farm Bureau

{from Casey Langan} needs your email address – and we promise not to give it away. Now, before you flip to another page, hear me out. If we have your email address, you can start receiving our weekly Ag Newswire email. It features a wealth of links to national and state ag headlines. It’s great content that you won’t find all in one spot anywhere else. In a perfect world we could contact all of our members instantaneously when it’s important for Wisconsin farmers and agriculturists to speak up on an issue. Agriculture’s detractors certainly get this point. We too need to be able to mobilize an army of ag advocates with the push of a button. Staying in touch via email allows you to stay informed on the member benefit offers that save you money. You’ll also be in the know when it comes to Farm Bureau events like the Annual Meeting, Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit and Ag Day at the Capitol. It’s as easy as sending us an email with your name (or farm name if it holds your Farm Bureau membership) to lsiekmann@ One last important note: We will not sell your email address to an outside party. Your email is safe with us and will only be used for our purposes to keep you up to date on everything you need to know as a member of the Wisconsin farm community. We value each of our members, and we hope that you’ll allow us to make sure we can continue to communicate with you the most efficient way possible. Thanks for reading, Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Assistant Editor/Designer Sheri Sutton 262.949.2418

Contributor Amy Manske 608.828.5706

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

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276) “Like” us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

WFBF Board of Directors Jim Holte, Elk Mound, (President) Richard Gorder, Mineral Point, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Jerry Bradley, Sun Prairie Joe Bragger, Independence Kevin Krentz, Berlin Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo Don Radtke, Merrill Jane Mueller, Fall Creek (Women’s Committee Chair) Teresa Hanson, Shell Lake (YFA Chair) Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route (ISSN 39940) (USPS 1082-1368), the official publication of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, is published six times per year in February/March, April/May, June/July, August/ September, October/November and December/ January. Subscription of $5 is included in Farm Bureau dues. Periodical postage is paid at Madison, Wisconsin. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. For advertising rates and information: Wisconsin accounts contact Slack Attack at 608.222.7630 or National accounts contact Hurst & Associates at 800.397.8908 or For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or


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Committed to


BOB MeyeR’s roots run deep in Wisconsin agriculture. He grew up on a dairy farm in Clark County, was active in 4-H and FFA, and served as a state FFA officer. Bob was manager of a feed mill and farm supply company for eight years before returning to radio in 1986. Today, four brothers, and 12 nieces and nephews are active farmers involved Bob Meyer in everything from a 1,600-cow dairy to Wisconsin farm organic egg production in the Badger Broadcaster State. Four nieces and nephews are high school agriculture teachers. With each generation, the Meyer family roots grow deeper and deeper in Wisconsin soil. For more than 25 years Bob Meyer has been a trusted voice for Wisconsin agriculture.

Committed to

Agriculture. BrowNfield, founded in 1972, includes Brownfield Ag News radio network, and Brownfield Mobile. We provide news, markets, weather, event coverage and feature and commentary programming relevant to those who live and work on farms and in rural communities in the United States, and to those with an interest in U.S. food and fiber production.

Bob is part of the Brownfield team of ten award-winning agricultural journalists, all Broadcast Council members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, who along with an ag meteorologist, Washington D.C. policy analyst and two market analysts are solely responsible for the creation of the Brownfield Ag News products.

Wisconsin AffiliAtes

• Adams WDKM-FM 106.1 • Amery WXCE-AM 1260 • Antigo WACD-FM 106.1 • Baraboo WBDL-FM 102.9 • Beloit WGEZ-AM 1490 • Berlin WISS-AM 1100 • Berlin WISS-FM 97.3 • Dodgeville WDMP-AM 810 • Dodgeville WDMP-FM 99.3 • ft. Atkinson WFAW-AM 940 • ft. Atkinson WSJY-FM 107.3 • Hartford WTKM-FM 104.9 • Janesville WCLO-AM 1230 • Janesville WJVL-FM 99.9 • la Crosse WLFN-AM 1490 • lancaster WGLR-AM 1280 • lancaster WGLR-FM 97.7 • Marshfield WDLB-AM 1450 • Marshfield WHTQ-FM 96.7 • Minocqua WLKD-AM 1570 • Minocqua WMQA-FM 95.9 • Monroe WEKZ-AM 1260 • Monroe WEKZ-FM 93.7 • Oconto WOCO-AM 1260

• Oconto WOCO-FM 107.1 • Platteville WPVL-AM 1590 • Prairie du Chien WQPC-FM 94.3 • Racine WRJN-AM 1400 • Reedsburg WRDB-AM 1400 • Reedsburg WNFM-FM 104.9 • Rhinelander WHDG-FM 97.3 • Rhinelander WOBT-AM 1240 • Rhinelander WRHN-FM 100.1 • Rhinelander WRLO-FM 105.3 • Rice lake WAQE-AM 1090 • Rice lake WJMC-AM 1240

• Richland Center WRCO-FM 100.9 • Ripon WRPN-AM 1600 • stevens Point WYTE-FM 106.5 • Viroqua WVRQ-AM 1360 • Waupaca WDUX-AM 800 • Waupun WFDL-AM 1170 • Wausau WBCV-FM 107.9 • Whitehall WHTL-FM 102.3 • Whitewater WKCH-FM 106.5 • Wisconsin Rapids WGLX-FM 103.3


FB in D.C.

Bringing Ag Interests to Capitol Hill By Casey Langan

In a town preoccupied with looming fiscal deadlines and potential military action against Syria, Farm Bureau members tried to make headway with lawmakers on agricultural issues, September 17-19.

ABOVE: Northern Wisconsin members met with Congressman Sean Duffy. From left: Jim Melin (Polk), Don Radtke (Marathon), Teresa Hanson (Superior Shores), Jack Johnson (Taylor), Congressman Duffy, Jim Holte (Dunn), Jennifer Mueller (St. Croix) and Randal Wokatsch (Marathon).

opping their to-do list was enacting a new farm bill this year. American Farm Bureau Federation lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher told members she was still optimistic it would happen in 2013, likely as an attachment to another, larger spending package. She said this farm bill process has been especially rife with politics and the debate was vicious when the House passed a farm bill without the nutrition component of the bill in July. Her comments came just two days before the House approved a $40 billion cut to nutrition programs. While a one-year extension of the last farm bill expired October 1, Thatcher predicts that if Congress decides to punt on passing a new farm bill in December, another would cover

the next two years. She added that another extension would likely strip $50 billion from direct payments, and instead of using that funding for a retooled crop insurance program, that money will simply be soaked up by the federal government’s sea of red ink. “We don’t write farm bills for the good years, we write them for the bad and we know the trend will be that we will need that safety net for commodities in the next five years,” Thatcher said while making the case for farm bill action. “The sooner the better as ag gets beat up in the press every day,” she said in reference to recent critiques of crop insurance. Another issue Farm Bureau members pressed the Wisconsin congressional delegation on was immigration reform. The



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Senate passed a bill earlier this year, while the House will address the topic in at least five different bills dealing with areas like border security, e-verify, highly skilled workers and agricultural guest workers. After the mammoth health care bill passed by the last Congress, the GOP-led House has an aversion to comprehensive bills, said American Farm Bureau lobbyist Kristi Boswell. “We support any vehicle that’s moving,” said Boswell, who noted AFBF’s priority is access to a legal and stable workforce for agriculture now and in the future. With 20 to 40 GOP House members not interested in passing immigration reform, the issue faces tough sledding in the House. Timing is everything, and with a limited legislative calendar and Syria, continuing resolutions to avoid a government shutdown, the so-called debt ceiling and the farm bill, Boswell acknowledged there’s already a lot on the plate of the House. The third issue Farm Bureau members lobbied on was a bill that addresses the deterioration of inland waterways and other harbor maintenance needs. Known as the Water Resource Development Act, the House has yet to approve the bill passed by the Senate that would provide funding to repair a severely outdated harbor and locks-and-dams infrastructure. Wisconsin farmers rely on the Mississippi River and Great Lakes to economically transport ag inputs and exports. Trade was also the main topic of discussion as members visited two foreign embassies while in Washington. Officials from the Netherlands and New Zealand both talked up their ag exports and the importance of free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. To read expanded coverage on the D.C. trip, go to

october | november 2013

Freshmen Congressman Mark Pocan met with constituents from southcentral Wisconsin. From left: Jim Haack (Dane), Richard Gorder (Iowa), Congressman Pocan, Jerry Bradley (Dane), Stephen Freese (Iowa) and Kirk Leach (Rock). West-central Wisconsin members were among the Farm Bureau group at the U.S. Capitol. From left: Todd Quarne (Trempealeau), Jane Mueller (Eau Claire), Steve Strey (Eau Claire) and Joe Bragger (Buffalo).

While at the American Farm Bureau Federation office, members heard an issues briefing on the farm bill, immigration, trade and needed improvements to our harbors and inland waterways.



Where the Rubber Meets the Road Implements of Husbandry the Subject of Town Hall Meetings It’s a case of farm machinery getting larger but roads not following suit, leaving farmers caught in the middle.


oday’s implements of husbandry are made larger in the name of efficiency. Wisconsin’s road and bridge infrastructure was not built to accommodate heavy farm equipment. Tight county and town budgets prohibit local leaders from making needed upgrades. Law enforcement action took place last winter against manure haulers driving equipment that might have been out of compliance both in weight and meeting the definition of an Implement of Husbandry (IOH). This situation prompted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) to convene a study group made up of transportation and farm organizations, equipment manufacturers, law enforcement, local government officials and the University of WisconsinExtension. They developed a series of recommended changes to Wisconsin’s size and weight limits for IOH. This proposal was the subject of town hall meetings this summer. Some of the group’s recommendations include: • Update the definition of IOH to reflect modern farm machinery. All IOH will be exempt from registration. • Maximum single axel limit of 23,000 pounds and maximum total vehicle weight of 92,000 pounds. This is a 15 percent increase from current law where IOH are


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• •

limited to 20,000 pounds per axel or 80,000 pounds for total vehicle weight. There currently are no statutory width limits for IOH when they are temporarily operated upon a highway. However, if an IOH is wide enough that it crosses over the center line of the roadway while traveling, then lights and reflective markings are required. Maximum width of 10 feet of IOH commercial motor vehicles. Maximum height of 13 feet, 6 inches. Equipment greater than this height would be allowed to operate without written authorization, although the operator would be responsible for ensuring there are no conflicts with overhead obstructions such as wires or structures. There are currently no statutory height limits for IOH when they are temporarily operated upon a highway. Maximum length of 60 feet for single IOH equipment; 100 feet for combinations of two IOH and 70 feet for a combination of three IOH. Under current law, there is no length limitation for implements of husbandry when they are temporarily operated upon a highway.

The DOT has forwarded these recommendations to the state legislature. State Senator Jerry Petrowski and State Representative Keith Ripp have indicated that they plan to draft legislation based upon these recommendations for legislative debate this fall and winter. Wisconsin Farm Bureau will continue working on this important issue.

on the web To review the complete IOH Study Group report or to provide comments and feedback online, go to

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Q&A with WFBF Lobbyist Karen Gefvert Q: What can I do about this issue? A: Visit the DOT website for the Phase II Report for the working group’s recommendations and then contact your member of the state senate and assembly and give them real-world examples of how these proposals will impact the way you farm. Q: What is the current legal Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and axel weight for an implement of husbandry? A: 80,000 lbs for GVW and 20,000 per axel with the appropriate spacing between axels. Q: What are the current width laws? A: IOH are unrestricted on width. However, tractors are limited to 12 feet in width between dusk and dawn, Monday through Thursday and after noon on Fridays until dusk on Sunday.

vehicle, is based on a standard equipment footprint and weight. IOH do not have the same axel spacing or load distribution as a five-axel semi which makes accurate estimations of weight loading on a bridge difficult. Q: What are some alternatives to alleviate the heavy and repetitive use of this equipment on our roadways? A: The DOT IOH Phase II report includes a host of best farm practices: piping manure through town right of ways to the field for application, precision spray irrigation, temporary one-way roads, off-site manure storage, transporting equipment and unloading at each field. Q: What was the written authorization discussed at the public hearings? A: If an IOH exceeds the proposed size or weight in the Phase II report, a farmer would need written authorization from each municipality in which the equipment would be operated.

Q: What are the safety concerns with width of equipment? A: IOH are not only getting heavier, but wider. Some equipment exceeds the width of some roads built at 22 feet. Safety concerns stem from drivers driving on rural roads, who do not know how to maneuver around IOH. Another concern is the danger to oncoming traffic when it meets wide equipment on winding and hilly roads.

Q: What about using floatation tires? Doesn’t that help distribute the weight on roads? A: The Minnesota Road Study analyzed the impact of floatation tires versus regular radial tires on four different pavement structures. It found no significant benefits to floatation tires. Engineers determined that although the pounds per square inch (PSI) of the floatation tires is less, the pavement does not respond the same way soil does in the field. Therefore the pressure on the pavement is based on weight per axel instead of PSI.

Q: Are IOH exempt from weight? A: IOH have never been exempt from weight laws. In many parts of the state, law enforcement has not enforced the weight laws on IOH. As equipment gets heavier, some roads have been damaged, triggering interest in the actual weight of some farm equipment. The Federal Bridge Formula, based on a five-axel semi as the test

Q: What are the clarifications of the definitions of IOH and IOH Commercial Motor Vehicles? A: The Phase II Report breaks down Implements of Husbandry into four categories: 1) Prime – tractor, 2) Self propelled implement – combine, 3) Custom built equipment for agriculture and 4) Vehicle trains (farm machinery that is towed).

Definitions … “Implement of Husbandry” The Phase II Report defines IOH as a self-propelled or towed vehicle manufactured, designed or reconstructed to be used exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operations and used primarily off the highway. An IOH includes a farm tractor, self-propelled application-type vehicles (such as a combine), farm wagon, farm trailer, trailer adapted to tow or pull another implement of husbandry or any substantially similar equipment used to transport agricultural products necessary for agricultural production.

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“Implement of Husbandry - Commercial Motor Vehicle” The report defines a “IOH-CMV” as a reconstructed or principally designed and manufactured vehicle similar to other highway-use vehicles to be used exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operations and used primarily off the highway is considered to be an implement of husbandry. The term “reconstructed” as used in this subsection means materially altered from the original construction by the removal, addition, or substitution of essential parts, new or used for agricultural purposes. A commercial motor vehicle – implement of husbandry designed for agricultural purposes and used, even temporarily, for non-agricultural purposes shall not be considered an implement of husbandry.



Watch Farm Bureau works for you. Raw Milk Assembly Bill 287 and Senate Bill 236 would allow farmers to register with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for the purpose of selling unpasteurized milk directly to consumers on the farm. A dairy farmer, if registered, would not be required to obtain a milk producer license or a Grade A permit as long as they do not ship any milk to a dairy plant and sell only unpasteurized milk and milk products on the farm. The following criteria must be met by the dairy farmer in order to sell unpasteurized milk and milk products from the farm: • The dairy farmer or consumer must provide a clean container. • The milk or milk product is labeled with the name of the milk producer and that the milk or milk product is not pasteurized. • The dairy farmer must post a sign stating “Raw milk products sold here. Raw milk products are not pasteurized.” • The unpasteurized milk complies with the DATCP rules for grade A milk concerning appearance and odor, bacterial count, drug residues, somatic cell count, temperature and pesticides and toxic substances. • The dairy farmer complies with the DATCP rules concerning the water supply for dairy operations. The State Senate Committee on Insurance and Rural Issues held public hearings on SB 236 in Madison and La Crosse in September. At the 2012 WFBF Annual Meeting, members adopted a policy that states, “We oppose the sale of raw milk directly to consumers.” As a result, WFBF registered opposition to the bills.


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High Capacity Wells Senate Bill 302 clarifies the permitting process for high capacity wells. Current law requires a person to obtain approval from the Department of Natural Resources before constructing a high capacity well, which is defined as a well and all other wells on the same property that together have the capacity to withdraw more than 100,000 gallons of water per day. Due to a 2011 State Supreme Court decision, the DNR is currently using an environmental review process for all high capacity well permit applications specified in regulations developed by the DNR. Prior to 2011, the DNR used the environmental review process for new high capacity wells that met one of the following conditions: • may impact the water supply of a public water utility. • may impact an outstanding resource water body or an exception resource water body. • is to be used to withdraw water for bottling purposes. • may impact larger scale springs. SB 302 clarifies state law to have DNR revert back to the way it was handling high capacity well permits prior to the 2011 State Supreme Court ruling. Specifically, SB 302 states that a high capacity well permit application that does not pertain to one of the four items listed above does not need to go through the environmental review process. Further, SB 302 states that replacing an existing well within 75 feet to the same depth and capacity or reconstructing an existing well does not invoke the environmental review process. SB 302 also allows the owner of land containing a high capacity well to transfer the well permit to another person when the land is also transferred to that person. WFBF and many commodity organizations support SB 302.

ATCP 50 In September, the DATCP Board unanimously approved final adoption of administrative rule ATCP 50, which is DATCP’s portion of the State’s nonpoint program. ATCP 50 needed to be updated to reflect changes DNR approved in 2010 to NR 151, DNR’s part of the nonpoint program. Specifically, DATCP develops technical standards in ATCP 50 for farmers to implement in order to meet the performance standards contained in NR 151. Updates to ATCP pertinent to farmers are as follows: • Expands soil erosion standard to require pastures to meet “T.” • Tillage setback of five feet initially (may go up to 20 feet) from streambank. Start with five feet. Use judgment to increase setback by smallest amount if needed to maintain streambank integrity. Utilize best management practices to protect bank integrity. No cost-sharing required to implement. • Implements phosphorous index (PI) standard. Applies to cropland, pasture and winter grazing areas. Two tiers for pastures. If stocking rates are less than one animal unit per acre for the pasturing season, the pasture does not need to calculate a PI. For stocking rates greater than one animal unit per acre, the PI needs to be calculated. • Implements processed wastewater performance standard by requiring feed leachate and milk house waste water to be contained if significant. Defines “significant” discharge based on volume, frequency, slope, etc. Adds feed storage runoff control as a cost-sharable practice and encourages less costly approaches to manage feed storage discharges.

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october | november 2013

Visit for farm news, markets, events, weather, videos, members’ blogs and benefits.


Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation 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.

Four Family Farms Vie for Prestigious Award G

iven 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 2013 Leopold Conservation Award will be presented Wednesday, November 13 at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection board meeting in Madison. Each finalist will be recognized at the event, and the award recipient will be presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, American Transmission Company, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, UWExtension, We Energies Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. Visit The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. In 2013, Sand County Foundation will also present Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

Hans Jr. and Katie Breitenmoser Merrill

Hans and Katie Breitenmoser own Breitenmoser Farm in northern Wisconsin where they manage 400 dairy cows and more than 1,000 acres of cropland.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

Dick and Kim Cates Spring Green

Dick and Kim Cates own Cates Family Farm, a grass-fed beef enterprise on 700 acres in southwest Wisconsin.

David and Angelita Heidel Random Lake

David and Angelita Heidel own an organic dairy farm in eastern Wisconsin.

Jack and Pat Herricks Cashton

Jack and Pat Herricks own a dairy farm in west central Wisconsin along with their three children and their families.

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Names in the

Farm Bureau members making headlines around the state

Grant County Farm Bureau members Derek and Charrise Orth’s Jersey cow, Ambition Hercules Jordan, represented her breed as Wisconsin’s 2013 Cow of the Year. ‘Jordan’ has continued to increase in her production and climb in her type appraisal score each year. Through the completion of her most recent lactation she has a lifetime production of more than 130,000 pounds of milk and is classified EX-94. The 2013 Cow of the Year proclamation was presented by DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel and the 66th Alice in Dairyland Kristin Olson during the International Jersey Show at the World Dairy Expo in Madison on October 2.

Farm Bureau members Dave and Mary Vander Velden of Whispering Pines Tree Farm in Oconto and Tom Happersett from Happ’s Homegrown Christmas Tree in Neshkoro were named co-champions of this year’s annual Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers tree contest. These members will present a tree to Governor Scott Walker for display in the Governor’s Conference Room at the State Capitol.

Cranberry growers elected Farm Bureau members Scott Schultz of Warrens and William Wolfe of Nekoosa to serve on their board. The state’s Cranberry Board has seven members and is responsible for managing the annual assessment used for research, education and marketing. The Soybean Marketing Board elected Farm Bureau members Irvin Osterloh of Arkdale to represent District 3 and Jonathan Gibbs of Fox Lake to represent District 4. The Soybean Marketing Board manages assessment funds use on research, product development, marketing and education.

Former WFBF President Dan Poulson was honored as the “Old Settler of 2013” by the Palmyra Historical Society as part of its 129th Old Settlers’ Day on July 28. Poulson, a Jefferson County Farm Bureau member, served as WFBF and Rural Mutual Insurance Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 1991 to 2003. He also served on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board until 2006. Shortly after graduating high school in 1954, he also served as the state FFA president.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

$1,000 Truck Incentive Available for FB Members


ffective immediately and continuing through April 1, Chevrolet and GMC are offering exclusively to Farm Bureau members in participating states an additional $1,000 incentive on the acquisition of any new 2013 or 2014 regular cab, heavy duty (2500/3500 series) truck. This is in addition to the standard $500 Farm Bureau incentive, which brings the total Farm Bureau incentive on Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra HD models to $1,500. The $1,500 Farm Bureau discount can be added to Chevrolet and GMC retail and Business Choice incentives that are available at time of purchase. “The end of one year and the beginning of the next is when farmers, ranchers and other business owners are managing their taxes,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “The timing of new equipment purchases—including trucks—can be an important tool in an effective tax management strategy,” he added.

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Farm Bureau members are eligible for the added discount if they have been members for at least 60 consecutive days in a state that participates in the FB Member Advantage! program with General Motors. Farm Bureau members in all but nine states are eligible when the 60-day membership requirement is met. To take advantage of the applicable Farm Bureau discount on these or any other new Chevrolet (except Volt), Buick or GMC vehicles, members should log onto and enter their membership number and zip code. If eligible, the information will be verified and a certificate will appear that must be printed and taken to the dealership of choice for presentation to the sales person. There is no limit to the number of certificates that a member may print or use, although certificates do expire after 60 days. General Motors is the official vehicle sponsor of the American Farm Bureau Federation.


y r i a D : e i r Car ’s in What ? e m a N a

By Amy Manske

C Terms you need to know to read this article: Twitter: Social media website where you get 140 characters to post a “tweet.” You use hashtags (#hashtags) to follow conversations and can quickly skim headlines, updates and news. Twitter handle: Your name or user name on Twitter. (All twitter handles have a @ before them.) Facebook: Social media website where you add friends and communicate with photos and statuses. You can also make pages for your business, farm or group for people to like and follow status updates. RumChata: “RumChata is a blend of rum and Horchata with a good dash of 100% pure awesome,” Dairy Carrie writes. RumChata was created by Tom Maas who worked on a dairy farm in Shawano County for several years. After retiring from Jim Beam in 2005, he created RumChata putting all his years of experience to good use. Blog: A place to store thoughts. An online journal. Ryan Gosling: Actor, Hollywood heartthrob.


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arrie Mess grew up knowing very little about cows. Nowadays she is ironically known as Dairy Carrie. “I liked milk and lived nearby to where the World Dairy Expo took place, but that was about it,” Carrie shrugged. After she married Pat, or “Hubs” as she calls him in her blog, she moved to rural Watertown, where they dairy farm with his parents on Mesa Farms. Like a fish out of water when she first got to the farm, she hit the gravel driveway running with her barn boots on. “I am actually totally new to this world,” Carrie confessed. Carrie is learning as she goes while she educates, informs and entertains readers with stories on her blog. She started her blog,, about two years ago as an addition to the “agvocating” she was doing on Twitter. Her blog was named after her Twitter handle @DairyCarrie. “I started (the blog) thinking, well it is something to do and free. I also thought I could use it as an outlet since my grandma was going through cancer at the time,” Carrie said. Shortly after the blog was created, the Dairy Carrie Facebook page was launched and in 18 months has grown to more than 4,000 likes. Carrie, a self-proclaimed cow-lover, describes herself in her blog biography like this, “I am honest, frank and have the smallest brain to mouth filter known to mankind.” Which if you read some of her posts or meet her in person you will find true. You would never believe she didn’t grow up on a farm considering how her hands fit the gloves. While she is known for telling it like it is in her blog, she doesn’t consider herself a journalist. “If you would have told me in high school I would be willingly writing, I would have thought you were nuts,” Carrie said. Carrie gets her ideas for her blog and social media from questions she is asked or interactions she has. However, her whims and random thoughts are her most successful posts. Such was the cases when she wrote about RumChata before it was a Wisconsin bar favorite.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

“When people Google RumChata, my page is one of the first results they get,” Carrie explained. Since people are directed to her blog from a variety of search topics, she draws an array of audiences. “As much as I love farmers and ranchers, I am trying to reach the people who grew up the same way I did and who didn’t somehow randomly end up on a dairy farm,” Carrie said. Carrie has tackled topics like corn pollination (or what she calls ‘corn sex’ to grab attention), why some dairy cows look skinny, spraying pesticides, ‘ag gag’ laws and aspartame in milk. She has also called out actor Ryan Gosling for pretending to know about dehorning cattle and squashed rumors that chocolate milk was made from bloody milk. “I didn’t know that chocolate milk being made from bloody milk was a thing until I sat next to a lady on a plane,” Carrie said. “She asked me straight out, ‘Is it?’ I couldn’t believe it.” Carrie isn’t afraid to address concerns of consumers and other farmers. She prides herself in having open, honest and truthful conversations with her readers and followers. “I allow people with different viewpoints to voice their opinions,” Carrie said. “I am truly respectful as to what people want to purchase and eat. If we are angry about people’s food choices because they are misinformed we should be looking at ourselves. Who isn’t getting the truth out there?” Even though her blog has more than 400,000 views, she stresses that it is not about the numbers but rather the

conversations. She encourages everyone involved in ag to share stories face-to-face and online. Her three jobs (Udder Comfort, Dairy Business Communications and the farm), her recent speaking engagements, blogging and social media duties keep her quite busy. However, she is never too busy to share what is going on at the farm with her followers. “It doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” Carrie encouraged. “Snap a photo of what you are doing and post it from your phone. I guarantee that your Facebook friends do not know all the things you do on the farm.” She stresses that farmers need to be online, commenting, posting, sharing, explaining and telling people their agriculture story. “I hope in five years, people are like ‘Dairy Carrie who?’ because there will be so many agricultural bloggers. I want the farmers to take back their industry’s reputation. But most of all I want people to feel safe eating their food.”

Follow her at: @DairyCarrie

Taking a Bite Out of Panera Carrie drew national attention when she wrote a post about her disappointment with Panera Bread restaurants for their advertising. After snapping a photo of their menu that advertised antibiotic-free chicken, she shared it with her Facebook fans. Another blogger shared with Carrie that Panera Bread had a new campaign: EZChicken, which said chicken raised with antibiotics was the easy way out. Carrie was offended. She did some research and spent time putting together a post, written as a letter to Panera Bread. “I took a full weekend to write the post (compared to the 20 minutes it usually takes) because I wanted to make sure I had all my facts straight,” she said. “I am not a chicken farmer and didn’t want to bash the poultry industry because that wasn’t the point. I strung my thoughts together and hit post.”

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After hitting “post,” Carrie’s phone soon blew up with online notifications. The phenomenal response had thousands of people commenting, sharing and tweeting about it. Panera Bread sent Carrie a tweet apologizing for offending her and indicated its chief marketing officer would be in touch. Carrie she said he seemed apologetic and said he offered to remove the EZChicken references. “He did tell me our response was the loudest he had ever heard,” Carrie smiled. More than 1,500 signatures were collected and attached to a letter that penned by Carrie and the Animal Agriculture Alliance. “It’s been pretty eye-opening,” Carrie said. “It reaffirmed how awesome people in agriculture are. Even though we come from different backgrounds and production styles, we all have something in common: we grow food and we can come together when the time is right.” Carrie was excited to share that a meeting between some national ag organizations and Panera Bread’s lead executives will be happening soon.



Farm Bureau

Photos and recipes courtesy of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association.

Chocolate Potato Cherry Cream Torte 4 eggs 3/4 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup warm mashed Wisconsin potatoes (nothing added) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1. Separate eggs into two medium size mixing bowls. Greese and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Combine flour, soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside. 2. Add 1/2 cup sugar and potatoes to egg yolks. Beat at high speed 2 to 3 minutes or until light. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond, and 1/4 cup water. Beat just until combined. 3. With clean beater, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold into egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour mixture.

4. Divide mixture equally in prepared pans. Bake for about 15 minutes or until firm when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes on cooling rack before removing from pans. Cool completely. 5. To prepare filling combine cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and remaining almond extract. Whip. Fold in cherry filling. Spread filling over one cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer. Chill while preparing glaze.

1/4 cup water 1/2 cup whipping cream 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 1 cup cherry pie filling (from 21 oz. can) 2 tablespoons butter 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate 3 tablespoons water 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 6. To prepare glaze, combine butter, chocolate, and remaining water in small heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Beat in remaining powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. 7. Spoon glaze over top of cake allowing some to run down the sides. Chill. Before serving garnish with additional whipped cream and cherries if desired.

Buffalo Wild Wing Stuffed Potato Skins 6 small to medium Wisconsin Baking potatoes 2 tb butter, softened sea salt 3 tablespoons butter, melted 4 oz cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup bottled ranch dressing 3 tb bottled hot pepper sauce 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded shredded cheddar cheese cayenne pepper, ground 1. Scrub potatoes clean. Rub outsides of potatoes with the softened butter and sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes on a shallow


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baking pan and bake in a 425º oven for 50-60 minutes or until tender. Allow potatoes to cool; split potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides leaving a scant 1/4� potato shell. The potato insides can be saved and used elsewhere. Brush the inside of each potato half with the melted butter and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt (or to taste); set aside. 2. In a medium size mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, hot pepper sauce and black

pepper until smooth and creamy; stir in chicken. Top each potato half with 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture. Bake potatoes on the shallow baking pan 10-15 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and heated through. Remove pan from oven and top potatoes with shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste. Bake an additional 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with celery sticks and bleu cheese or ranch dressing.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Photo submitted by Shelby Prince, Ladysmith, WI

Photo submitted by Keith Jacobson, Franksville, WI

Photo submitted by Mary Bruins, Waupun, WI

Photo submitted by Abby Schulte, Belmont, WI

Send in YOUR Photos Wisconsin Farm Bureau members live and work on some of the most beautiful pieces of land. On this page we would like to highlight those sights and special moments with your families and friends. Please email your photos (high resolution jpgs, 4x6 inches at 300 dpi) to ssutton@ Due to the high volume of photos we receive, we are unable to include every photo.

Work is never done, so take the time to play. #RuralWisdom For more inspiration see our “Rural Wisdom� each Friday at october | november 2013

Photo submitted by Patti Roden, West Bend, WI


Meet Farm Bureau Members:

Chad and Katrina Gleason By Casey Langan

While sitting through an extra-long Catholic wedding, his smartphone allowed him to check on his calves without leaving the pew. Such is the life for today’s tech-savvy farmers like Lafayette County Farm Bureau members, Chad and Katrina Gleason.


side from convenience, calf health is one of the reasons the Gleasons have invested in a new barn and automatic feeder for the nearly 300 dairy bull calves they purchase annually. “If you don’t like technology, don’t build one,” Chad advised with a chuckle as he explained the details of the automatic feeder that mixes the right diet and monitors the health of calves.


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Housing the feeder and two feeding stations is a new clear-span hoop barn with great natural light and comfortable conditions thanks to a side-wall curtain system. Completed in March, it’s the newest addition to a farm that has been in the Gleason family for four generations. Chad and Katrina bought it from his grandfather in 2006. All of the crops from the 80 acres located northwest of Shullsburg are used to feed the nearly 300 steers the Gleasons market annually. Some other land is rented to grow enough feed for the total mixed ration used to fatten the steers. After being weaned, their calves are housed at his father’s farm and a rented farm before returning home between 400 and 500 pounds. Prior to construction of the barn, the calves were raised in hutches and individual pens in an old dairy barn. For their first two weeks on the farm, they are kept in a nursery calf shed where they are bottle-fed and receive

wisconsin farm bureau federation

vaccinations. From there they’re moved into the new barn; where once a computerized tag is attached to their ear, they drink milk replacer from an automatic feeder. “They learn quick. In most cases, I show them how to drink three times the first day, and then most are off and running,” Chad said. “None have ever refused it.” Chad can individualize each calf’s diet from his computer screen. The machine then mixes the milk for the calf. Provided they drink their full allotment, they can drink up to four times. While standing in the feeding stall, the calf’s weight and daily rate of gain is recorded. As they grow older, the feeding system weans them by diluting the milk. While a smartphone app allows him to check if everybody’s drinking properly from church or the combine, Chad said he still finds himself around the calves quite often. “I’m just not mixing 60 bottles of milk several times per day,” he said. “This will feed them, so I can better manage them. It’s about working smarter, not harder.” Calf health has improved. Before, when they were weaned individually, the calves were initially scared of each other. “Their stress level is down,” he said. “The new setting allows them to learn social behavior sooner. They teach each other to eat.” Chad admits he is learning how to best use the barn with the passing of each season. His only regret since construction is that he didn’t order automatic curtains, as the manual ones need adjusting more often than he thought would be needed to block rain and moderate temperatures. The barn was built to easily add two more feeder stations but Chad said, “I want to walk before I run, and I need more land base.” The Gleasons hosted a barn tour in July for Lafayette and Grant County Farm Bureau members. They also participated in the Young Farmer and Agriculturist District 3 Discussion Meet in September. Their farm is insured by Rural Mutual Insurance

“I’m just not mixing 60 bottles of milk several times per day. This will feed them, so I can better manage them. It’s about working smarter, not harder.” - Chad Gleason

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Company and they credit their friend (and Farm Bureau district coordinator) Gretchen Kamps, with getting them more involved in Farm Bureau. The Gleasons have two children: Cassidy, 3, and Gage, 11 months. Chad is a 2001 Shullsburg High School graduate, who completed a welding apprenticeship from Southwest Technical College while in high school. Katrina is a 2004 Shullsburg graduate with a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. In addition to helping with afternoon chores, Katrina manages the farm’s bookwork, and works from home for the federal Women and Infant Children’s program. She is a 4-H leader who enjoys horseback riding and cooking. He collects farm toys. They are active in their church and the Shullsburg FFA Alumni chapter.


on the web

Member Benefits

Savings for your Family or Business

View additional WFBF Member Benefits and more details on our website at

Wisconsin Farm Bureau offers benefits and services to its members, covering a range of options that respond to the needs of farmers, families and businesses in Wisconsin.

Auto/General Motors Discount

Supplies & Products



ase IH - Eligible Farm Bureau members will receive an incentive discount ($300 to $500) when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers. The discount can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. Go to to see the eligible models and print your certificate.

eneral Motors - Eligible members may receive a $500 discount on qualifying Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles they purchase or lease.



S-Growmark Patronage - Members who are patrons of their local FS cooperative are eligible to receive patronage dividends when patronage is paid.


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


rainger Industrial Supply - Grainger Industrial Supply is the nation’s leading maintenance, repair and operational supplies distributor. Receive a 10% discount on all Grainger catalog items. For a free catalog call 608.221.3861. When ordering use the Farm Bureau account #855922019.


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



eward Protection Program - Farm Bureau pays a $500 reward to people providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals for arson, theft or criminal damage to a member’s property that is posted with a Farm Bureau reward sign or sticker.


ffice Depot - Save up to 80% on Office Depot Preferred Products along with reduced prices on ink, paper, office supplies, toner, stamps/daters, pens, pads, furniture and much more. Members get free next day delivery with free shipping on orders over $50 and terrific copy and print pricing. Visit



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


ccidental Death Policy - Members receive $1,500 in accidental death insurance for themselves and their spouse, and $500 for minors. The policy increases in value for consecutive years of membership up to $3,500.



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


arm Bureau Financial Services is a dynamic multi-state insurance and investment organization serving individuals and families in not only rural areas, but also suburban and metropolitan. You can get more information about the financial services from your local Rural Insurance agent. Learn more about Farm Bureau Financial Services at



griVisor - WFBF members can receive a 35% discount on daily grain, livestock and feed input marketing advice, as well as current market quotes and updates. Call 800.676.5799.


he Country Today - With every new subscription or renewal purchased by a Farm Bureau member, The Country Today will donate $5 to the Ag in the Classroom program. Call 888.833.9268. *WFBF member benefits may be changed or discontinued at anytime without notice.



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



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


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


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


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

Presenting a Private offer for farm Bureau memBers

$500 on top of most current offers1


Implements of Husbandry Debate is Size Neutral

A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte


e live in an agriculturally diverse state, where the machinery used is not identical on each farm. Yet, no matter where you farm, the tractors, combines and manure tankers are all built larger than a generation ago. Too often, the structure of rural roads that lead to our farms have not followed suit. Add in a lack of state funding for town roads and we’ve got a problem. This problem is real. There are safety concerns about the width of farm equipment on narrow roads with sub-par shoulders. There are infrastructural concerns from county and town officials asked to maintain roads and bridges weakened by heavy loads pulled by trucks and tractors. There is legal confusion as to whether some modified vehicles qualify as a legitimate agricultural implement of


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husbandry. Therefore the state’s current review of these issues is something Farm Bureau welcomed, not something the Department of Transportation (DOT) dreamed up to antagonize farmers. Quite the contrary, the Wisconsin DOT should be commended for its genuine and transparent effort to seek public input on how to sort out these complex issues. This public dialogue is about a lot of things, but what it’s not about is a big versus small farm debate. Big equipment is not synonymous with big farms, so those with smaller farms need not think this doesn’t concern them. Relatively small grain farms might contract with someone else (with large equipment) to plant, spray or harvest their crops. Fertilizer suppliers are not as commonplace on the landscape as they once were, that means longer road trips. Dairy farms with small herds still need a large milk hauler to travel down their rural road and some utilize tanker trucks to haul away a winter’s worth of manure. Liquid manure is not only a heavy product, but there’s more of it in Wisconsin than most other Midwestern states. Other issues add complexity to this debate for agriculture. Farm machinery is often shorter with fewer axels then other types of heavy vehicles on our roadways. I have genuine concern for our town and county road funding dilemmas. As a livestock farmer, I know that roads are better suited to handle manure hauling when the ground is frozen, but that’s not the preferred time from an environmental

standpoint. We need to be innovative in how we move manure and we should support giving town and county officials the authority and flexibility to make that happen. There’s no guarantee that every issue discussed at the well-attended DOT hearings this summer will eventually find their way into legislation. I would encourage you to let your legislators know that issues pertaining to weight limits and a clearer definition for implements of husbandry must be resolved. We have put this debate off for too long. This neglect stands in stark contrast to our state’s nonpoint pollution rules. In a nutshell, this complex set of rules that farmers must follow involves several state agencies and seems to be in a constant state of change. Technological advances require the rules to be updated every couple years. You might grow tired of the issue, but providing public input to make them practical on the farm is the new normal. Some farmers have complained that Wisconsin is at the forefront of discussing how today’s implements of husbandry fit on rural roadways, but it is long over due. Ignoring it another year or pointing fingers of blame only sets up Wisconsin agriculture (large and small) for more road blocks ahead.

President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation since 2012, Jim Holte is a grain and beef farmer from Elk Mound.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Chipotle, At It Again Guest Column by Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst


ast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle is at it again, posting a new Web ad contrasting the dangers of industrial farming with the moral beacon that is Chipotle. It showcases beautiful video, haunting music, a barren landscape scarred by industrial farming and a scarecrow as the hero. In many ways family farms in the Midwest are the industrial farms that serve as the evil foil in Chipotle’s marketing campaign. Many of today’s misguided food writers would no doubt agree. Here’s how one recently described a farm that is large but “not necessarily” evil: “Unlike many Midwestern farm operations, which grow corn and soy exclusively, here are diversity, crop rotation, cover crops and, for the most part, real food – not crops destined for junk food, animal feed or biofuel. That’s a good start.” Most farms in the Midwest hit every checkpoint on the way to evil according to that definition. Corn, soybeans, genetically modified seed, pesticides, commercial fertilizer, cows and pigs eating what they produce…and some of their corn likely goes to an alcohol plant! They’re so industrial that they are beyond redemption. On the other hand, most are family farms, using no hired labor. The largest Midwestern farm is about 1,000 times smaller than Chipotle. If size matters, and all Chipotle videos make it clear that it must, Midwestern farms are small businesses. In the latest video, the evil industrial food firm is called Crow Foods, Incorporated. It’s not clear what constitutes a large enough company to achieve “crow” status, but surely Chipotle’s corporate sales of $3

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billion come close. Even the largest of Midwestern farms will have gross annual sales comparable to only one of Chipotle’s 1,430 locations. And any of those farms would be pretty darned happy to equal Chipotle’s operating margins of 30 percent. As for the whole diversity thing, admittedly, most Midwestern farms aren’t very diverse. Although most farmers used to raise pigs and cattle, many have decided to concentrate on crop farming while other farms raise livestock. To put it in terms even a scarecrow might understand, they’ve decided to specialize in what they do really well. It’s like a restaurant concentrating on selling burritos and beans instead of offering a full menu. The owners of such a restaurant chain probably would consider it to be more efficient because it didn’t offer dozens of menu items. Restaurants used to offer more items, but many today have adopted what one might call an industrial model, preparing only one kind of food really well. Chipotle often posts signs letting customers know that the “proper” kind of pork or beef is temporarily unavailable. Why are these signs necessary? Conventional grocery stores never have empty meat counters. Shortages only occur when the market price won’t cover the farmers’ costs of production or the price offered by Chipotle is less than competitors are paying. The Chipotle video implies that conventional farmers won’t change because they’re somehow morally deficient or suppliers force them into the wrong production practices or they just lack imagination. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Chipotle would raise the prices paid

to family farmers, the meat promised to customers will become available. Pay farmers enough, and they’ll probably wear scarecrow costumes to deliver meat to Chipotle’s stores. According to Bloomberg News, in the last year, Chipotle has dropped from using 100 percent “naturally” raised beef to only 85 percent. There is a very simple solution. Pay more. Instead of spending millions on ad agencies and marketing campaigns damning conventional farms, Chipotle might better spend that money increasing the prices paid to farmers. Even scarecrows respond to incentives. Only 30 percent of Chipotle revenue goes to buy food that is sold. Increase that percentage and Chipotle would be able to operate with the kind of “integrity” it urges on the rest of the food industry. Blake Hurst is a farmer and president of the Missouri Farm Bureau.



Agriculture Feeds the World

Guest Column by DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel


here was a time when a farmer grew enough food to feed his family. Now each individual farmer can grow enough nutritious food to feed 155 people. This concept has changed agriculture from a means of providing for oneself to an international business. Predictions show the world population will grow to nine billion people by the year 2050. Agriculture will need to meet this challenge in order to produce and distribute a balanced diet to all of our customers worldwide. Wisconsin is in a strong position as an agricultural leader in this area. With 76,800 farms and about 15 million acres of farm land, Wisconsin can produce food for home while helping to meet those worldwide needs. Wisconsin’s agricultural exports continue to grow, benefitting our farms,


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businesses and local economies. Last year, Wisconsin exported more than $2.9 billion of agricultural products to 149 countries. That was a three percent increase over 2011. The state is known around the world as a source of abundant, safe and high-quality products. We’re a leading producer of dairy products, fruits and vegetables for processing. We produce grains and hay for animal feed, boasting a thriving livestock industry. Wisconsin is home to not only agricultural production but also technology and expertise. When our International Trade Team hosts delegations or travels abroad for trade missions, the discussion is not only about the products but the services the state can offer as well. We stress how you can buy equipment and manufactured goods from Wisconsin and continue to rely on Wisconsin businesses for technical assistance and follow-up. A thriving agricultural industry is also built on education and research and our universities can provide that too. For example, Wisconsin is sharing educational opportunities with China’s dairy industry from on-farm training with the University of Wisconsin’s Babcock Institute to improving specific products with assistance from the Center for Dairy Research. Many question why we work to share our knowledge and products with other countries. Building a relationship can be mutually beneficial. Other countries can use our expertise and quality products to feed their growing populations and we,

in turn, are developing trading partners that will help grow our agricultural industry here at home. The stronger their agricultural industry, the more it will strengthen ours.

“Last year, Wisconsin exported more than $2.9 billion of agricultural products to 149 countries.” I saw this firsthand while on a trade mission in Zambia. I was volunteering to train the people basic farming techniques. Unfortunately, they were so hungry that they would eat the chick before it could produce the eggs. Simply giving food to those who are starving would be a mistake. If we can teach others how to raise the livestock for their food products, they can begin to feed themselves. We can then continue to be a trading partner with them for years to come providing, seed, feed, genetics and equipment. All the things they need to grow and maintain a healthy food supply. In America we are very fortunate that a majority of us are not concerned about the abundance of our food supply, but there are many people around the world who worry where they will find their next meal. All of our next meals start with a strong agricultural industry and feeding the world starts on a Wisconsin farm.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Manure Memories

Guest Column from Peter Pelizza


hen asked to write on any topic, I considered insurance, or the great relationship between Farm Bureau and Rural Mutual, or the great agents, employees and vendors I work with. Then I thought about what I truly enjoy about living and working in Wisconsin: manure. Yep, manure. I grew up on the East Coast where my grandfather built a brick house for him and my grandmother when they immigrated from Italy. My aunt and father were born in that house, and as each got married my grandfather built them brick homes on either side. Growing up, I remember the cows, goats, chickens, rabbits and sizeable vegetable garden he kept not only fed all the Pelizzas, but also had enough to share with friends and neighbors. Mostly I remember his grape vines that sprawled across the back yards. Fall harvest was

As with most kids, life seemed simple. I would stop by my grandpa’s barn every day on my walk to school, smell his freshly lit cigar and watch him as he worked tirelessly to keep it all together. On the way home, I would again marvel at how he was still working diligently to make a better life for everyone else. Darn, I wanted to be like him when I grew up. Then something happened. I got older and what I thought was smarter. I went on to college, learned the arts and what urban life was like. Things were fast, time moved quickly and there was not time to think about planting or harvesting a crop. I got a job in the insurance business and followed a career by moving to different corners of the country. Prior to Wisconsin, I spent eight years in Chicago’s suburbs, where life was centered around traffic, construction, cement and what appeared to be a never-ending gray landscape. Which brings me to my love of manure. Let me be clear, it is not the manure itself that I like, but rather what it stands for and what it reminds me of. As I travel through Wisconsin’s countryside by car or motorcycle, I am thankful for the memories the smell of manure brings to me. It takes me back to my childhood days, where my dreams were to be like my grandpa, who was always working but did it for the love of farming and being a provider to many.

“Let me be clear, it is not the manure itself that I like, but rather what it stands for and what it reminds me of.” used to make 300 or more gallons of wine. I was too young to know where it all went or how much was consumed, but I do remember quite a bit of traffic in and out of his driveway when the bottles were finally corked.

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Today, I look forward to my regular visits with my mother and father, who are still in the house that grandpa built for them. My experience here makes those trips all the more memorable now. Having spent many of my years surrounded by cement, I have a deep appreciation for the priceless beauty of this great state. I am also thankful I found the Farm Bureau family to reintroduce me to what is truly important. I often preach that what you get for the few dollars in a Farm Bureau membership is what you smell. Having been separated from those scents since childhood, I am glad to be reunited. Peter Pelizza is the CEO and Executive Vice President of the Rural Mutual Insurance Company.



Tech Schools Meeting Local Labor Needs Guest Column from Becky Levzow


serve as agriculture’s representative on the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board. So it was with interest that I read the issues regarding technical colleges that were posed during Farm Bureau’s policy development process. The questions were relevant and often asked by many rural Wisconsinites. There are 48 technical college campuses that operate within the 16 districts of Wisconsin. These campuses provide more than 300 career programs to more than 360,000 residents. Just like the local school board I serve on, technical colleges receive funding from state and federal aid, foundations, and corporate funding for specific projects. The colleges also receive local property tax funding (including referendums voted on by district residents for capital projects on campuses). Building projects are developed for specific programming needs. Such proposals come before each district’s board and the WTCS board before going to public referendum. The line item on property tax bills for local technical colleges is a common question. Unlike the University of Wisconsin System, which are state


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agencies, the technical colleges are local units of government primarily funded by property taxes. The line item on your bill is largely in place of general state taxes to support your local college. The benefit of this structure is that the colleges are more closely tied to the communities they serve. Like farming, technical education is often capital-intensive, which can be costly. On a tour of the Madison campus, I observed many new advancements in health care. Life-like simulation models can cost $100,000 each, but are critical for training for the complex situations students will encounter in their jobs. Large ticket items ultimately determine the graduate’s career preparedness. They are costly, but well worth the investment. Other campuses have similar costs for the different needs of each department. If we do not make these major investments in education, Wisconsin’s skilled workforce will suffer. It has been asked if the colleges’ agriculture programs remain relevant. When evaluating programs, local employment needs and trends are considered. Each college and area of study involves a committee of local employers for input on the needs of their industry. For example, last year I served on a committee that looked at the current and future needs for agriculture at the Madison campus. The committee found a need for dedicated farm business programs that assist in developing the needed business, marketing and human resources for agriculture. Farms of any size can benefit from a hands-on project oriented approach. Madison College then developed a program based on successful business models in surrounding states. A

new program was offered at Madison this fall and if successful, will be replicated elsewhere. This leads into the next issue of whether to teach all programs at every campus. Agriculture programs are currently offered in 14 of the 16 districts. These programs vary according to employment opportunities unique to that district. Cost is one factor that determines the programs offered, along with student interest, and industryspecific needs. Each year every campus performs a program vitality study to assess these criteria. It is a challenging balancing act for the local district boards

to match the programming demands with economic realities. Like our own farms, budget assessments determine operational viability. A statistic to be proud of is that for the past 15 years, 86 percent of graduates are employed within six months of graduation, with 73 percent employed in fields related to their degree/ certification. Representing agriculture on the WTCS Board is important to me. Agriculture is in a fast forward mode that requires a highly skilled, educated workforce. I truly believe the technical college system can provide us with highly-trained graduates. Becky Levzow is a dairy farmer from Rio and member of the Columbia County Farm Bureau.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Share the Unedited Truth Guest Column from Gretchen Kamps


id you know that cattle that are raised by Diet Coke drinkers are likely to weigh eight percent more at weaning? Or that corn planted on days that end in ‘y’ will yield 100 percent more corn than corn planted on days that don’t end in ‘y’? Admit it, you’re going to start drinking Diet Coke and reviewing next year’s planting dates; but is there any truth to these statements? Well, you are reading them in a magazine, so they must be true. While paging through a few books in the bookstore’s Foods section I read that cattle possess a

it in a magazine, online, or hearing it on the news, it is the absolute, unedited truth. Most of the time the average consumer is getting the edited truth. Let’s examine just one of the facts I presented, to find the whole truth. Diet Coke drinkers have eight percent heavier calves at weaning. This is only the edited truth. The unedited truth would tell you that some studies have shown that beef calves that are creep fed can gain up to eight percent more weight by weaning. I just extrapolated that since we creep feed the calves on our farm and I drink Diet Coke, that my Diet Coke consumption impacts our calves’ weight gain. It’s quick and easy to suck people into a myth but it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to correct a misconception. What’s an agriculturalist to do? First, start reading more. Seek out food-related online posts, newspapers, magazines, books and blogs that you might not otherwise seek out. How can you begin to set the record straight without knowing what is being said? Second, explain (not defend) what you do. You have valid reasons for running your farm the way that you do. Make sure consumers understand why you use a certain type of bedding, pharmaceutical or corn hybrid. Third, stay calm. Take a day to digest what you want to say before you go public with comments. Send an email to yourself or a close friend and wait a day to see if you think your language is too strong.

“Seek out food-related online posts, newspapers, magazines, books and blogs that you might not otherwise seek out. How can you begin to set the record straight without knowing what is being said?” second stomach called a rumen and that soy is the next asbestos. Is your blood pressure up yet, because mine was. What I wanted to do was angrily fire back at those who twist information to paint agriculture in a poor light. The problem is that so many people who read this information have no connection to a farmer to help them understand what any of it means. They figure if they are reading

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After all, offending someone is a sure way to get them working against you. Reading an article or watching a video that slams farming can send your blood pressure up. The best way to bring your blood pressure down is to share the unedited truth about farming. Just to clarify, all corn is planted on days that end in ‘y,’ cows only have one stomach with four compartments and soy can be part of a healthy balanced diet. Finally, I know you are busy, everyone is, but make some time to read what others are saying about agriculture. You make an impact with consumers every time you share the unedited truth. Gretchen Kamps is WFBF’s District 3 Coordinator and a beef farmer from Lafayette County.



July Beef Month Promotions

Fresh Citrus, Orange Juice and Peanuts from Florida! Visit for county Farm Bureaus who are hosting fall sales.


Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Statement of Ownership





Shawano County Angie Schultz (left) and Renee Schmidt of the Shawano County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee prepared and distributed beef summer sausage samples at Charlie’s County Market in Shawano on July 5. Charlie’s put the product on a special sale that day and highlighted the Farm Bureau beef promotion event in their weekly flier.

Crawford County Craig Hromadka, Crawford County Farm Bureau Board Member, served over 50 samples of juicy Rib-eye steak samples at the Piggly Wiggly in Prairie du Chien in July.

Manitowoc County Rachel Bubolz, 2013-2014 Miss Manitowoc County Farm Bureau, promotes July Beef Month at Festival Foods in Manitowoc.

Washington County Melanie Gierach and Marcy Bishop reached more than 100 people at the West Bend Farmers Market with materials to increase consumer awareness of beef’s nutritional value.




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Pierce County Pierce County Farm Bureau members John and Monica Krings handed out beef samples and beef coupons at Nilssen’s Foods in Ellsworth.



wisconsin farm bureau federation

The Alamo City Hosts AFBF 95th Annual Convention


ake plans now to join your fellow Farm Bureau members in the Alamo City for the AFBF 95th Annual Convention January 1215, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. This year’s theme is Our Heritage, Our Future. During the convention, WFBF members will be staying at the headquarters hotel for the annual meeting, the Marriott San Antonio RiverCenter. The Marriott is located on the famous San Antonio Riverwalk, adjacent to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, site of the AFBF Annual Convention. The 2014 convention will feature a variety of issue conferences, top-notch speakers and the Farm Bureau Trade Show. The AFBF Annual Convention registration fee is $100 per person, which covers 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 Texas agriculture. Registration materials for the AFBF Annual Convention are available from the WFBF website at or by contacting Bob Leege, WFBF Executive Director of Member Relations, at 608.828.5710 or

Notice of Annual Meeting of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Cooperative

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Leading Gr o

w Gro s. wer

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 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Roger Cliff, Secretary

Notice of Annual Meeting of Rural Mutual Insurance Company

in g

Lea d e r s.

2013 Annual Meeting December 6-9

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 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Roger Cliff, Secretary




our individuals have been selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag finalists and will compete in December for the top honor. The Excellence in Ag award recognizes members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist program who excel in their involvement in agriculture, leadership abilities, involvement in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. “Four 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 the Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte. Excellence in Ag award applicants must derive a majority of their income from a nonproduction agribusiness enterprise for the past three years. Examples of occupations of past finalists include: agricultural education instructor, fertilizer salesperson, veterinarian, farm employee, agricultural writer and marketer. The Young Farmer and Agriculturist program is open to Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35. Each finalist must make a PowerPoint presentation and answer questions in front of a three-judge panel during the Farm Bureau’s 2013 Annual Meeting/Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, December 6-9. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) co-sponsors this contest with GROWMARK, Inc. and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Information and applications for all YFA contests may be downloaded from WFBF’s website, All applicants receive a $50 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. This year’s state winner will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2014 Annual Meeting January 11-14 in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, Rural Mutual Insurance Company provides a free financial plan for the state winner and GROWMARK, Inc. provides the state winner with a $250 FAST STOP gift card. Last year’s Excellence in Ag winner was Jenny Dierickx of Dane County.


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YFA Excellen Selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag finalists, they will compete in December for the top honor.

Christy Strobel Jefferson County

Christy Strobel is the owner and manager of AG Track, LLC in Watertown. In this position, she provides farm financial management and consulting for farms and agribusinesses. Until September 2012 when she left to take on more clients with her business, Christy was a district coordinator for Wisconsin Farm Bureau. She has served one year on the board of directors for Jefferson County Farm Bureau and is a past YFA chair. She is now the membership chair and serves on the Ag in the Classroom Committee.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

ence in Ag Final Four

Nicole Reese

Michael & Susan Brugger Beth Porior Schaefer Taylor County

Marathon County

Nicole Reese is an agri-science teacher at Milton High School. She was raised on her family’s 120-dairy farm and still regularly works there. As an agri-science teacher, she gives students experience and hands-on learning relatable to real world agricultural occupations. She is the FFA advisor for nearly 300 members. Nicole serves on both the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators Board and the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotion Board. Nicole is a past state FFA vice president and Alice in Dairyland.

Michael and Susan Brugger live in Rib Lake. He works for a machinery dealer as a parts manager and she is an agriculture lending officer. Michael and Susan are members of the FFA Alumni, the county dairy breakfast committee, Wisconsin Holstein Association and Brown Swiss Association. Susan is currently the District 8 representative on the WFBF Women’s Committee and has been her county’s Women’s committee chair since 2010. The couple volunteers at the local “Farm Fresh on the Fourth” event and helps organize their county annual meeting. They have two children, Bryanne and Mark.

Beth Porior Schaefer is a regional program manager for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s Wisconsin Dairy Council. Covering 18 counties in north-central Wisconsin, Beth works with K-12 schools to educate on the benefits of drinking milk. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm in northeastern Wisconsin. Beth can be found riding with her husband, Matt, a large animal vet, or helping out on neighboring dairy farms on the weekends. Previously, Beth was an agriculture instructor and FFA advisor in Merrill.

Rock County

Be sure to like “Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program” on Facebook. Image of Beth courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc. october | november 2013


Cream of the Crop

YFA Achievement Award Finalists


en finalists will vie for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Achievement Award this December. “This year’s crop of finalists are some of the best and brightest young farmers in Wisconsin,” said the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte. The YFA program is open to Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35. Achievement Award applicants must have derived a majority of their income from on-farm production over the past three years. The Achievement Award recognizes YFA members who excel in production farming, leadership ability, and involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Each finalist must fill out an application by October 1. A threejudge panel scores those applications and conducts an interview with the 10 finalists at Farm Bureau’s 2013 Annual Meeting/Young Farmer and Agriculturist

Conference at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells December 6-9. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation co-sponsors this contest with GROWMARK, Inc. and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Information and applications for all YFA contests may be downloaded from WFBF’s website, www. Each finalist receives a $50 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. This year’s state winner will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2014 Annual Conference January 11-14 in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, Rural Mutual Insurance Company provides a free financial plan for the state winner and FABCO Equipment Inc. provides the state winner with 40 hours use of a FABCO 226 skid-steer loader. Last year’s winner of the Achievement Award was Jeffrey McNeely, a dairy farmer from Brooklyn in Green County.

Mark Mayer

Ozaukee County Mark Mayer lives in Fredonia. After purchasing his first dairy cattle and utilizing rental facilities, Mark purchased his current farm in 2006 and currently farms 550 acres. He attended Lakeshore Technical College for dairy herd management. Mark is the vice president for Ozaukee County’s YFA committee and also serves on the policy development board and board of directors. Mark likes to spend time with his family, including his 12 nieces and nephews. He also serves on his local fire department.

Corey and Miranda Leis

Nathan and Michelle Bula

Chris Pollack

Corey and Miranda Leis of Cashton milk 300 cows and farm 1,300 acres. Owned jointly with Corey’s father, the farm was originally his grandfather’s. They also operate a small custom harvesting business. The couple has three children, is active in Farm Bureau and has previously represented District 4 on the state YFA committee. Miranda works off the farm at Organic Valley and serves on the state Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board. Corey is a director for the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

Nathan and Michelle live in Oxford where they grow corn and soybeans. Nathan grew up on a potato farm in Grand Marsh and earned an associate’s degree in ag business and science technology from Western Technical College. Michelle is earning a degree in business management from Mid-State Technical College. Aside from the 590 acres they farm, Nathan also works on his parents’ farm. Nathan is the YFA chair for Adams County and Michelle serves on the YFA, Women’s and Ag in the Classroom committees.

Chris Pollack grew up on a dairy farm near Ripon. He attended UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course and then returned to farm with his parents on Pollack-Vu Dairy LLC. They milk 150 cows and farm 700 acres. Chris also does some custom baling and markets straw to local farmers. He is involved with the Fond du Lac County YFA program, Ripon FFA Alumni and he coaches the Fond du Lac County dairy judging team.

Monroe County


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Adams County

Fond du Lac County

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Peter Muth

Patrick Maier

Joseph and Sarah Mumm

Peter Muth farms with his parents in Fredonia. After completing UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course, Peter bought 18 heifers and equipment to add to the farm’s equity. In 2012, Peter became a 20 percent partner in the farm. Peter is a past YFA Achievement Award finalist and a recent graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute. He is Washington County Farm Bureau’s YFA chair and serves on the policy development committee. Peter will be joining the WFBF YFA Committee in December.

Patrick Maier lives in Deforest and works on his family’s dairy farm. Since graduating from UWPlatteville with a degree in agri-business, he has been employed at the farm where he manages nutrient management and animal health. Patrick is active in the Food for America farm tours, Alpha Gamma Rho Alumni and St. John’s Catholic Church. He enjoys the events Dane County Farm Bureau YFA provides for youth, agricultural education and networking.

Joseph and Sarah Mumm, Lancaster, have 50 registered Holsteins and farm 240 acres. They work as a team to manage all the aspects of the dairy. Joseph attended the Northeast Community College in Iowa for construction management and Sarah attended UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course. They began farming in 2005. They have attended numerous YFA events and are members of many agricultural organizations. Joseph is currently a director on the Dairy Herd Improvement Co-op board.

Aaron Wachholz

Andy and Jessica Schuh Calumet County

Nathan and Karyn Eckert

Taylor County

Aaron Wachholz is a sixth-generation farmer from Montello. Since purchasing the family farm and assuming full management four years ago, he has expanded the dairy herd and improved its genetics. In addition, he has implemented soil conservation and corrective efforts that reduce erosion and increase soil life, health and fertility. Aaron is the secretary/treasurer of Marquette County Farm Bureau and serves on its dairy committee. He is also involved in his church.

Andy and Jessica Schuh of Brillion have been farming since 1999. Jessica works off the farm for Brillion Ambulance Service, Gold Cross Ambulance and Fox Valley Technical College as a CPR/AED Instructor and aide. They farm 750 acres and have a partnership for 200 cows. They also raise chickens and ducks. Andy and Jessica have six children and are active in the YFA program. Andy is a former Calumet County Farm Bureau president and Jessica is the county’s Women’s committee chair.

Nathan and Karyn Eckert have a 100-cow dairy farm near Medford with Nathan’s family. Since joining the farm in 2002, their combined efforts helped them expand and modernize in almost every way. Nathan currently shares management of the dairy herd and 500 acres of crops with his father as the farm transitions to the next generation. Karyn is currently the vice president of the Taylor County Farm Bureau and chairs the county’s Farm Fresh on the Fourth Breakfast.

Washington County

Dane County

Marquette County

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Grant County



Institute Practice Pays Off at Hearing


eadership Institute Class VII members participated in a mock legislative hearing at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Friday, September 6. Prior to meeting at the capitol, each class member was tasked with researching and writing a three to five minute testimony on either raw milk or unauthorized videotaping on livestock farms. Once at the capitol, they took turns filling the roles of being a state Assembly committee member hearing testimony from citizens and then being a citizen delivering testimony to the state Assembly committee. “We take the Institute class to the state capitol and to an actual committee hearing room to intentionally make the training experience of presenting testimony to a legislative committee hearing as close to the real thing as possible,� said Paul Zimmerman, Executive Director of Governmental Relations. This realistic training paid off in a hurry for two Class VII members, Doug Rebout and Chris Pollack, because they were called on to present testimony on raw milk before the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Rural Issues.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

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

The Discussion Meet contest gives YFA members a chance to demonstrate their speaking skills on agricultural-related topics. Contestants are judged on their problem-solving skills as they discuss timely topics with their colleagues.

District 1

District 4

District 7

Bob Nash, Ozaukee Lindsey Drought, Racine Emily Watson, Walworth

Adam Wehling, Buffalo Travis Klinkner, Monroe Dan Filla , Trempealeau

Patty Sellen, Oconto Katelin Haglund, Outagamie Christa Behnke, Shawano

District 2

District 5

District 8

Brad Gefvert, Columbia Ken Levzow, Columbia Jenny Martin, Dane

Chris Pollack, Fond du Lac Nate Zimdars, Fond du Lac Jennifer Rittenhouse, Juneau

Jill Niemann, Marathon Melissa Ploeckelman, Marathon MJ Zenner, Taylor

District 3

District 6

District 9

Andrea Stalsberg, Grant Abby Schulte, Lafayette Alex Bringe, Vernon

Tiffany Schneider, Calumet Nick Guilette, Kewaunee Becky Salm, Manitowoc

Julie Wadzinski, Barron Cindy Bourget, Dunn Kirsten Konder, St. Croix

Emerging Ag Leaders Picked for Next Farm Bureau Institute


development of leadership and speaking skills, interaction with ifteen Farm Bureau members from around the state will Farm Bureau and governmental leaders and staff at the state soon begin a yearlong life changing experience as members and national levels, and networking with other participants. The of Class VIII of the 2014 leadership Institute. “Because we first session begins in January and focuses on public speaking, are a grassroots organization, we need strong and effective etiquette, emotional intelligence and personality types. leaders at the county Farm Bureau level. The Institute provides Subsequent sessions focus on media and advocacy training, participants a safe environment to develop and test their running effective meetings, the structure and function of Farm leadership skills so they may become more effective leaders within their county Farm Bureau and their community,” said Dale Beaty, “The Institute provides participants a safe environment Farm Bureau’s Director of Training and Leadership Development. to develop and test their leadership skills so they may The Institute is a educational become more effective leaders within their county program of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Farm Bureau and their community,” said Dale Beaty. Foundation. Members of Class VIII of the 2014 Institute include: Dan Bureau, being a creative leader, the workings of local and state Adams, Montfort; Jaclyn Bevan, Platteville; Ryan Brueggemann, government, and future national and international ag issues. Muskego; Susan Brugger, Rib Lake; Lynn Dickman, Plover; Lori The class capstone event is a joint trip with the WFBF Board of Gardow, Eau Claire; Alena Graff, Waupun; Danielle Hammer, Directors to Washington, D.C. in June, 2015. Beaver Dam; Ed Hookham, Janesville; Brittany Kalscheur, Farm Bureau members interested in applying for the 2015 Clinton; Ronda Lehman, North Freedom; Rebecca Murkley, Institute Class IX may contact Dale Beaty at 608.828.5714 or McFarland; Jamie Propson, Denmark; Daniel Ripplinger, email him at Sarona; and Becky Roden, West Bend. For more information about the Institute, visit The Institute consists of five multi-day sessions which programsevents/leadership-training-institute. provide hands on learning on issues important to agriculture, october | november 2013


ag in the classroom

Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom

Offers Variety

Whether at the local, state or national level, Ag in the Classroom offers a variety of resources, activities, classroom presentations, funding and outreach programs for you to help educate youth about agriculture. National Level In 1981, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invited representatives of agricultural groups and educators to a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss agricultural literacy. A national task force was selected from this group. Representation came from agriculture, business, education, and governmental agencies, some of whom were already conducting educational programs in agriculture. Now, there is an Ag in the Classroom presence in every state and territory and one individual is identified in each area as a state contact. Each state organization addresses agriculture education in a way best suited to its own needs. In some cases, an all-volunteer network is responsible for teacher education and materials distribution. States vary in where they house the state contact, many are in Farm Bureau offices but others are in private foundations, Department of Agriculture offices, universities or extension. Once perceived as ‘farmer in the classroom’ with resources such as coloring books and fact sheets, today’s network of state programs has successfully become a key player in providing quality classroom resources and in the delivery of teacher professional development. In most states, key resources align with state academic standards and pre- and in-service programs have become an invaluable tool in helping teachers become more comfortable with the subject of agriculture. Requests for information about Ag in the Classroom come from many countries around the world and from other organizations wanting to learn how to deliver their programs with equal success.

WFBF Leads State Program Wisconsin Farm Bureau houses the Ag in the Classroom program and state contact Darlene Arneson who provides teachers and students K-12 with an understanding of how their food is produced. The program seeks to work within existing curricula to provide basic information about agriculture. Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program is carried out by a network of local educators, volunteers and representatives from agricultural organizations and businesses. The goal of the program is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies. Funding comes from a variety of resources including grants, sponsorships and member support.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

County Programs County AITC programs are led by a county volunteer coordinator. They are encouraged to organize a county committee made up of farmers, educators, volunteers and others interested in agricultural literacy. Funding may come from county Farm Bureau programs, commodity groups and sponsors. Each county offers unique programs, activities and support to their teachers and students. The programs vary depending on funds and volunteers available. A new feature on the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom website under County AITC Information, is a summary of each county and its activities. Under that same section are the current lists of county AITC coordinators, essay contest coordinators and Soybean Science Kit coordinators.

Essay Contest Organization Each county has identified a person who chairs their fourth and fifth grade essay contest and is the key contact for schools and students. This list can be found on the AITC website. During the school year, they promote the contest, develop activities to help teachers and students learn about the topic, receive all the entries for that county by the April 1 deadline and organize the judging of the contest.

Soybean Science Kits The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board has provided financial support to purchase kits and provide training and other resources for sixty-nine kits that are in Wisconsin. The Soybean Science Kit and curriculum, designed by researchers at Purdue University, uses soybeans to introduce students in grades fourth through nine to science and its fundamentals, highlighting the principles of using biological, renewable resources. The kit includes everything necessary for 30 students to participate in 21 hands-on experiments and exercises. It also includes two new biotechnology lessons, an interactive CD-ROM and an instructional video tape. All lessons are aligned to National Science Education Standards. Materials in the kit may be reordered using a convenient form in the lesson binder. More complete information is available online at

How Can You Get Involved? If you have an interest in agriculture literacy please contact your county AITC coordinator or the state contact Darlene Arneson to find out how you can be involved. On the website, there is an entire section of Volunteer Resources available. Trainings are offered throughout the year including a two-day summer bus trip to learn more about Wisconsin agriculture, resources and to network. Graduate credits are offered through the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Volunteers are encouraged to be a part of their county AITC program and to track their hours, student contact and other outreach so it can be included in the county’s annual report.

Need More Information? Contact Wisconsin AITC Coordinator Darlene Arneson at 608.828.5719 or Resources are also available at www.

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Be sure to like “Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Program” on Facebook.



news resources for teachers

ag in the classroom NEWS educational resources Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association ( – Your resource for information about real Christmas trees, where to purchase them, grower information, kid’s activities and links to other resources.

Have You “Liked” Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom? Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom is now on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, “like” our page in order to be alerted to new messages, programs, activities or to view photos of events. Teacher Mini-Grants Due January 15 Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program is offering grants up to $100 to pre-school through high school teachers, in a public or private school system, to fund projects that promote agricultural literacy in the classroom. Grants can be used for innovative lessons, activities, resources, presentations, school fairs and other

Real Trees 4 Kids! ( – The REAL TREES 4 Kids! project began early in 1999 in preparation for the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. Sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association, the project’s goal is to teach school-aged students the ins and outs of Christmas Tree production. The website has downloadable lesson plans for K-12 grade students. Environmental Education for Kids (EEK) ( – An educational online magazine brought to you by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. EEK! is designed for children in grades four through eight and provides accurate and current information on natural resources and career information. EEK! also offers students the opportunity to take part in activities, make seasonal observations and share stories and artwork.


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creative ideas. Projects should focus on integrating agriculture into a variety of curriculum areas. Funding requests need to be postmarked by the January 15 deadline. Applications can be downloaded from (Teachers Information tab) and must be typed. Five signed copies of the application must be submitted. The proposed project must be targeted to grades pre-K through 12 and should enhance student knowledge of the contribution made by agriculture.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Shining our spotlight on...

Wisconsin cranberry discovery center Leadership with cranberry experience Barbara Hendricks is the Director of the WCDC. She is dedicated to growing the mission of the center by educating the public about the state's top fruit crop in both acreage and value - the cranberry. Barb is the treasurer for Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association. She and her husband, Joe, have lived on the Habelman Bros. cranberry marsh for 33 years.

Growers involvement in the WCDC

Each year the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation sponsors the Wisconsin Cranberry Center (WCDC). With educational programs and displays that attract more than 20,000 visitors each year, support is used to develop and maintain exhibits in their exhibit hall. In 2012, they hosted 40 tour groups with educators and students.

What can one learn at the WCDC? Catch the aroma of cranberries at the WCDC as you see, touch and taste Wisconsin’s number one fruit crop. The Discovery Center’s 4,800-square foot exhibit hall details the history of the state’s cranberry industry from the days when Native Americans gathered fruit in the wild to today’s unique growing and harvesting methods. Items on display include a 150-year-old dugout canoe found on a nearby cranberry marsh, a log cabin used by a local carpenter for making cranberry hand rakes and one of the first cranberry harvesting machines. There are also interactive exhibits, including a cranberry corralling game where visitors can test their skills. After visiting the exhibit hall, treat yourself to a scoop of cranberry ice cream at the refurbished drugstore soda fountain or cranberry pie and oatmeal cranberry cookies baked in the Taste-Test Kitchen. Browse the gift shop, which features a large selection of Wisconsin-made gourmet cranberry food products. Cranberry wine, mustards, syrups, toppings, sweetened dried cranberries and a variety of other items are available. They also have cranberry soap, lotions and candles, as well as one of the most diverse collections of hand-blown cranberry glass in the area.

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Assisting with the Berry Best Tour and hosting public education days during the growing and harvest season, Farm Bureau members Jim and Nodji Van Wychen work closely with the WCDC and its staff. Nodji (pictured at left) currently serves as secretary of the WCDC Board of Directors. The Wetherby Cranberry Company is a family owned and operated cranberry marsh located in Warrens. Wetherby has been in business for over 100 years and specializes in high quality fresh fruit. Jim and Nodji operate the marsh together with son Henry and son-in-law Michael Gnewikow. Their eight grandchildren represent the fifth generation born on the Wetherby marsh.

Tours during Warrens Cranberry Festival: Be sure to schedule a trip to the Warrens Cranberry Festival, which is always held during the last full weekend of September. It features more than 1,500 booths. Self-guided museum tours are offered at a special rates during the festival.

Want to learn more or visit Warrens soon? Housed in a former cranberry warehouse, the WCDC is located in downtown Warrens. For more information, call 608.378.4878 or visit



Wisconsin Ag Open


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

The 16th annual Wisconsin Ag Open was held at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove. Proceeds go to the WFB Foundation which supports the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program along with other ag education and leadership programs.

Thank you october | november 2013

to all who made it a success.



End of the Year Giving Opportunities Supporting and strengthening Wisconsin agriculture for more than 20 years.


he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation would like to thank everyone who has supported the WFB Foundation this past year. As the year draws to a close, Farm Bureau members and supporters are encouraged to consider the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation in their charitable contributions. The WFB Foundation offers several opportunities for giving donations and contributions:

General Donations – A gift of any amount is welcomed to support the many activities and programs the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation supports. Contribution forms are on membership renewal envelope flaps or can be downloaded on the WFBF website.

40 by 40 Campaign – The 40 by 40 campaign is a way to continue the legacy Roger Cliff started. As a way to recognize Roger’s forty years of service, the campaign will run until the 2013 WFBF Annual Meeting with hopes to raise $40,000 to benefit the Wisconsin Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapters. To give to the

campaign you must give $40 (other donations will be taken but not as part of the 40 by 40 campaign). Suggested donations are $40, $400, $1,400 and $4,000. For any contribution you make, you will receive a lapel pin and be listed as a donor in publications and on the WFB Foundation webpage. You will also receive recognition at the 2013 WFBF Annual Meeting.

In Memory of / In Honor of Gifts – Honor someone special with a gift in their name. Special envelopes have been printed or you can download a donation form from the Foundation website. Acknowledgement is sent to the family or person being honored. Charitable Gift and Estate Planning – Keep this in mind as you update your will and estate planning. This type of gift will allow members to plan how to give lifetime gifts of cash, securities or real property, stocks, bonds and mutual funds to the Foundation. Consult your attorney or download the Charitable Gift and Planning brochure at

If you would like to learn more…

Every donation to the WFB Foundation makes an important difference to the educational and leadership programs we support in Wisconsin now and in to the future. We hope that this information has provided you with some ideas that may let you extend the reach of your generosity. If you would like to learn more about how these lifetime or planned giving ideas benefit the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation or if you would like to make a gift, please contact WFB Foundation Director Darlene Arneson at 608.828.5719 or General Counsel H. Dale Peterson of Stroud, Willink & Howard, LLC at 608.257.2281. This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax or legal advice. You should consult with your own legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

On the Web: 44

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wisconsin farm bureau federation

Support WFB Foundation at Annual Meeting


he 40 by 40 campaign’s goal is to raise $40,000 by the Sunday night Award Program at the WFBF Annual Meeting. To recognize Roger Cliff’s 40 years of service, the campaign will benefit the Wisconsin Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapters. To contribute to the campaign, you must give $40 (other donations will be taken but not as part of the 40 by 40 campaign). Get your items ready or be ready to bid at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting WFB Foundation Silent Auction. Due to the generosity of members, county Farm Bureau programs, businesses and sponsors, a large selection of items will be offered again this year. Bidding starts at noon on Saturday and will end Sunday night before the award’s program. If you wish to donate an item to the Silent Auction, forms can be downloaded at foundation. Betty Engel, Farm Bureau member from Calumet County, has graciously created a winter scene for the 2013 note cards. Cards will be sold for $10 per packet which include 20 cards (same image) and envelopes. This year’s image is Winds of Winter. Other images from past years will also be available. Children’s books will be available for sale in the trade show area. All children’s books are $15 each and the new Book of the Year, First Peas to the Table, will be available. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Committee will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets. The lucky person drawn will win half of the funds collected while proceeds go to WFB Foundation. YFA State Committee members will be selling tickets throughout the entire YFA Conference. It is $2/ticket, $20/arm length and $40/arm span.

40by 40 Wisconsin Farm Bureau

50/50 Raffle october | november 2013

Dear Friends, On behalf of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences 4,000 studen ts and 260 faculty members, we want to expres s our gratitude for your support. Thank you for the gift to the Wisconsin Rural Youth Scholarship Fund. We greatly appreciate your investment in the work we do. Thank you for your invest ment in our students. On Wisconsin! Andrea Engebretson, Barb McCarthy and Jodi Wickham

Dear Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Thank you very much for sponsoring the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award! As a long-time 4-H member, I appreciate your support of this award and the 4-H organizati on. I was privileged to recei ve the Key Award this year and hope to continue serving my community. Nathan Honeyager, Waukesha Dear Darlene, Thank you so much for tak ing time to talk to us during the Wisconsin En vironmental Education Board grant review. You cer tainly reenergized Patrick and I and both our heads are spinning with ideas! We appreciate all of your insights and look forward to talking wit h you soon! Cara Carver, Southwest Ba dger Resource Conservation & Development Council, Platteville

Dear Darlene,

Thank you for the donation of biodegradable plastic bags and the Amazing Corn books for the “Farmer for a Day” tent at the Lodi Agricultural Fair! Lodi Challengers 4-H Club


rural mutual

Rural Mutual Supports Wisconsin 4-H Foundation at Governor’s Meat Products Auction


ural Mutual Insurance Company was a successful bidder at the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation Governor’s Meat Products Auction. The auction was sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors. The company joined with other bidders to purchase the Grand Champion specialty cooked bratwurst made by Brandon Meats and Sausage, Brandon. Rural Mutual was also the winning bidder on the Reserve Grand Champion flavored summer sausage made by Olson’s Woodville Meats in Woodville.

Wisconsin Towns Association Scholarship Recipients


livia Blauert, from the town of Holland in Brown County, and Mitchell Giebel, from the town of Lyndon in Juneau County, are recipients of the Wisconsin Towns Association scholarship sponsored by Rural Mutual Insurance Company. The announcement was made at the Wisconsin Towns Association annual convention held October 28 in Madison. Olivia is a 2013 graduate of Wrightstown High School and will be attending UW-Madison. Mitchell is a 2013 graduate of Mauston High School and will be attending UW-Platteville. They received the scholarships based on their essays answering the topic: “Should state funds be used to assist in the maintenance and construction of local roads, and if so, from what types of funding sources?” To apply for the scholarship, applicants must live in a municipality that has Rural Mutual Insurance coverage as of May 1, 2013; be a 2013 graduate of a Wisconsin public or private high school; and, plan on enrolling in a Wisconsin public or private college or vocational-technical school in 2013. The Wisconsin Towns Association is a non-profit association of town and village officials promoting education for local government officials throughout the state. Rural Mutual Insurance is the Wisconsin Towns Association’s endorsed insurance carrier.


Rural Route

Earn Extra Cash with Rural Mutual


re you looking for some extra spending cash? As a Farm Bureau voting member, Rural Mutual is giving you an opportunity to earn $500. If you refer a candidate for Rural Mutual’s insurance sales agent position that is hired and within good standing after 30 days, you could earn $500. No prior insurance experience is required, but a background in sales or agriculture is preferred. We currently have opportunities available throughout Wisconsin. To refer someone for this position, please contact: Adam Ross, Agent Recruiting Specialist, 715.498.2688 or aross@ wisconsin farm bureau federation

“WHY DO I USE FS?” “What really sets FS apart

is what they know about farming, and our farm in particular. They really know our land and our operation, and we can trust that the recommendations they make are going to work for us.”


Stan & Willis Kelsey

Corn and soybean growers

©2011 GROWMARK, Inc. A12296E

Insurance plans designed exclusively for Wisconsin.

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here To Keep Wisconsin Strong. Rural Mutual Insurance values what’s important in life. That’s why we have been protecting families, businesses and farms exclusively in Wisconsin for over 75 years. And since Rural Mutual Insurance does business in only one state, premiums paid here, stay here to keep Wisconsin strong. Check out our competitive Town & Country Auto program, featuring a GOOD STUDENT DISCOUNT and MULTI-POLICY DISCOUNT. With Rural Mutual Insurance, you can rest a little easier knowing there are people nearby you can trust with your insurance. Call us at 877-219-9550 for a competitive insurance quote and see how our coverages and price compare. Or visit us on Facebook or on our website at to find an agent near you.


Earn as a voting F arm Bure au member for a refe rral to Rural M utual for an insurance sales age nt!*

*See article on previous page for more information.

Rural Route  

October | November, 2013 Volume 19 Issue 5.