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april | may 2013 • vol. 19 no. 2 | www.wfbf.com

Ag Day at the Capitol

Farm Bureau

Food Check-Out Wee k

Ag Women’s S ummit

Members in Action

AgrAbility Helps Farmers Overcome Obstacles Meet Collegiate Member: Taylor Schuetz New Recipe Section - Farm Bureau Flavor

Stories behind Alice’s Photos Page 22


“WHY DO I USE FS?” “I think of myself as a progressive farmer. Someone who understands that using business analysis and paying close attention to details is probably more important than it ever has been. Why do I use FS? FS gives me everything I need.

Brian Hora

Corn and soybean grower

It starts with the seed. It’s a complete system from start to finish with the inputs I buy from FS. From fuel, fertilizer and crop protection, to new technologies and new ways to become more efficient. Do we think we’re all the way there yet? No. There’s more potential for bigger yields. And with FS, we’re going to find ways to get there.”

T H E LO THE TH L LOCAL O CA A L AN A ANSWER N SW W ER E T TO O Y OUR YO UR R WORLD W OR O R LD D OF O F NEEDS. N E ED NEED NE D S. YOUR

©2011 GROWMARK, Inc. A11538E


contents

vol. 19 no. 2

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features

articles

departments

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AG DAY

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news

Farmers make their case to lawmakers at annual event.

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Members

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member benefits

NONPOINT

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Opinion

Farm Bureau supports changes to new environmental rules.

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Leadership

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ag in the classroom

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foundation

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Rural Mutual

AGRABILITY Innovative program helps disabled farmers keep farming.

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New charter school features an agricultural and environmental focus.

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SCHUETZ

Lawmakers are fine-tuning the state’s two-year spending plan.

Meet Platteville’s collegiate Farm Bureau president.

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BUDGET

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ALICE State’s ag ambassador shares stories behind the photos.

FLAVOR A new Rural Route feature from the kitchens of our members.

Save money with new Case IH member benefit April | may 2013

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Editor’s Note

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his issue’s column from WFBF President Jim Holte explores how spring warms the Earth and our attitudes. I couldn’t agree more. It has been a long winter and much has happened since I last penned an editor’s note. December’s blizzard brought us a baby. Since Eli’s big debut, I’ve had my hands full changing diapers and shoveling the driveway. Farm Bureau’s members and staff have also been busy. The great gatherings featured on our cover helped bring farmers and agriculturists together. It is impossible to predict the eventual yield from the seeds planted by connections made at those networking events. This Rural Route also looks at innovative work of AgrAbility of Wisconsin, an ag-focused charter school near Waupun, and Rochelle, a Dane County Farm Bureau member who lately goes by the name of ‘Alice.’

{from Casey Langan} The weather aside, this winter has been long for another reason. I’ve often wrote about how the diverse roads my career has taken me down all originated on my grandpa’s farm. Mentors, employers, friends and family can claim credit for any success I’ve had, but none more than my grandpa. Growing up on a farm teaches us lessons about life and death like few things can. Like all farmers, grandpa’s life was guided by the changing of seasons. He produced a bounty of children and grandchildren in the summer and fall of his life. How fitting he would leave us on a frigid night in January. The timing of his passing was uncanny for another reason. He held on long enough to meet my son. The circle of life seemed complete as Eli’s arrival filled and strengthened my heart just weeks before grandpa’s death would leave the biggest hole it has ever known. Yeah, you might say this winter was especially harsh, but spring’s thaw always has a healing effect. Like all of you, my grandpa faced each spring with a renewed vigor and commitment to growing another crop. I know he would tell me to shake off the chill of last winter and get to work at growing the most important thing of all… my son. 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) www.wfbf.com info.demingway@wfbf.com “Like” us on Facebook facebook.com/WIFarmBureau Follow us on Twitter twitter.com/WIFarmBureau

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 barbara@slackattack.com. National accounts contact Hurst & Associates at 800.397.8908 or hurstp19@comcast.net. For general inquiries, contact Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or clangan@wfbf.com.

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news

Talking Policy: 400 Attend Ag Day at the Capitol By Sheri Sutton

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armers flooded the capitol on March 6 to speak to their state representatives and senators about current issues affecting agriculture. “The information that you give to legislators today will impact the young people of tomorrow,” DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel said to the 400 agriculturists in attendance at the Ag Day at the Capitol briefing and luncheon. “It is your responsibility to give them a message that helps them understand your issues. Fifty-eight legislators are brand new in the last two years – and those new members do not know about use value, the Farmland Preservation Program and many of our environmental regulations.” From raw milk to ground water and from infrastructure needs to the state budget, attendees heard from WFBF President Jim Holte, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, Capitol Consultants Senior Associate Shawn Pfaff, attorney Jordan Lamb and WFBF Executive Director of Governmental Relations Paul Zimmerman. “You can’t possibly get through everything we went through here today with them,” Zimmerman informed attendees before their legislative meetings. “This is your chance to start

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Farm Bureau members met with State Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) to talk about agriculture issues such as raw milk, agricultural economic development, use value assessment of farmland, animal welfare, transportation and environmental issues during Ag Day at the Capitol on March 6. Pictured left to right: Mel Pittman, Rodney Knuth, Rep. Ed Brooks, George Weber and John Mitchell.

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1 1. Members from southeastern Wisconsin shared concerns with State Reps. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and Samantha Kerkman (R-Genoa City). 2. State Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) chatted with State FFA Vice President Emily Watson (right) of Elkhorn. 3. DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel spoke to attendees about the state budget, exporting agricultural products, expansion and upgrade for Babcock Hall and new Meat and Muscle Biology Lab at UW-Madison. developing the relationship. You’ve got to continue to cultivate the relationship and network with these new legislators.” “More than half the members of the Assembly do not know what a normal legislative session is,” he said. “It is the most inexperienced Assembly that we have had at the State Capitol, as far as legislative experience since our statehood began.” “We need to make sure we educate our state representatives and senators about agriculture in their district and about your farming operation and about how important agriculture is from agribusiness and farming within the state of Wisconsin, because they don’t know,” Zimmerman said. Rural Mutual Insurance Company and GROWMARK Inc. were major sponsors of the event. Wisconsin Farm Bureau co-sponsors Ag Day at the Capitol with a variety of other dairy, beef, pork, horse, corn, soybean, cranberry, potato and vegetable groups.

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2 4. After enjoying lunch, Ag Day attendees listened to issue briefings before heading over to speak with their elected leaders. 5. State Rep. Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) met with his constituents from east-central Wisconsin. 6. State Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) spoke with Farm Bureau members from Shawano County.

on the web Check out more Ag Day at the Captiol photos on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WIFarmBureau.

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Farm Bureau Weighs in on Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Rules By Paul Zimmerman

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isconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has proposed revisions to its nonpoint source pollution prevention program. Officially known as ATCP 50, the extensive rule package aims to implement the new and modified performance standards that were adopted by Department of Natural Resources in 2011 (known as NR 151). In addition, DATCP has proposed other changes to ATCP 50 to improve the administration of the Soil and Water Resource Management (SWRM) program. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation supported the DNR’s changes in 2011, and backs major components of DATCP’s revision of ATCP 50. Some of the major changes include: • Tillage Setbacks: DNR established a five foot tillage setback from the top of channel. In situations where this distance is not adequate, it can be increased to up to 20 feet. ATCP 50 provides the details on how to determine when 20 feet is appropriate. • Process Wastewater Handling: DNR prohibits the discharge of significant amounts of processed wastewater from livestock production areas to waters of the state. This includes milk house waste and leachate from feed storage areas. ATCP 50 clarifies that costly secondary containment systems are not required in all situations. • Phosphorous Index (PI): DNR requires fields to be managed so that they have a PI of six over an eight year accounting period that begins at the time a farmer is required to comply. The maximum PI in any given year is 12 to accommodate various cropping rotations and nutrient applications. Farm Bureau also supports the application of the PI to pastures and supports a phase-in period of this requirement. • Nutrient Management: Farm Bureau supports increased flexibility in nutrient management planning requirements. Given the yearly changing conditions on farms due to drought, excess precipitation, or winterkill, more flexibility is needed. • The sheet, rill and wind erosion standard would be expanded to include pastures as well as cropland.

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• Farmland Preservation Compliance Requirements: Farm Bureau supports the concept of separating a farm into separate parcels for compliance purposes. It also supports the increased frequency of farm inspections by counties and support the additional inspection and recordkeeping requirements by DATCP and the counties. At a series of public hearings held throughout the state in March and April, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and individual farmers have gone on record in support of these and other changes as proposed by DATCP. Your written comments can be sent by April 30 to: Lisa Schultz DATCP-DARM P.O. Box 8911 Madison, WI 53718-8911 Email: lisaj.schultz@wi.gov

on the web A complete description of ATCP 50 and its supported changes can be found on the ‘Regulations’ page at www.WFBF.com.

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau is Now ‘

inning’

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hat does that mean? Pinterest.com is a social media tool used by individuals, organizations and businesses. As an online pin board, it serves as a place to stick your ideas. Things to put on your boards could be anything from recipes, household tips, designing ideas, books and articles to read later, favorite quotes or cute animal photos. You put these items on your “boards,” and then others can view them online and “repin” them on their own boards. Wisconsin Farm Bureau will be using Pinterest to share recipes, photos, news and ideas. Check us out at pinterest.com/ wifarmbureau. Do you have photos, recipes or Ag in the Classroom ideas? Share them with us and we will pin them to our boards to share with everyone. Send photos, links or information to amanske@wfbf.com.

While you are there, check out the American Farm Bureau board on Pinterest. Many other state Farm Bureaus have accounts too.

Farm Bureau Seedlings Check out the recent baby boom by Farm Bureau staff:

Warren 3.12.13

Mom: District 8 Coordinator Lindsey Prahl April | may 2013

Rose 3.2.13

Mom: District 5 Coordinator Becky Hibicki

Pyper 1.4.13

Mom: Director of Governmental Relations Karen Gefvert

Eli

12.20.12 Dad: Executive Director of Public Relations Casey Langan

Carter 8.28.12

Mom: Director of Communications Sheri Sutton www.wfbf.com

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State Budget Process Underway By Paul Zimmerman

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he primary focus of the Wisconsin Legislature this spring is crafting a state budget that outlines $69 billion in spending over the next years. Lawmakers are working off of the more than 1,100 page framework proposed by Governor Scott Walker in February. Provided their work is completed by sometime in June, the budget biennium covers the period between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015. Some general highlights of Governor Walker’s proposal were no increases in taxes or fees and no raids of segregated funds. Program fees were aligned with program activities. The spending package also maintains a cap on property tax collections by local units of government (except for new construction or by referendum). An income tax rate reduction for the lowest three tax brackets was also proposed.

Where the money goes:

Revenue: The funds to cover the state budget’s $69 billion price tag comes from five sources... • General Purpose Revenue: 44.2 percent of the budget comes from what capitol insiders call ‘GPR’ (funds generated by the sales tax and state income taxes). • Federal Revenue: Funds from the federal government accounts for 28.3% of the budget. • Segregated Revenue: User fees, excise taxes and licenses that fund specific state programs account for 11.6% of the budget. • Program Revenue: User fees that fund a variety of state activities make up another 14.4% of the budget. • Bonding: The money borrowed for construction projects is 1.5% of the budget.

29.1% Local Assistance

39.4% State Operations

31.5% Aids to Individuals and Organizations

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s proposed piece of the budget pie: • $250,000 annually for the livestock premise registration program. • $7 million in new bonding authority for DATCP to administer to county land conservation departments to provide cost sharing for farmers to implement best management practices. • $248,400 annually to the UW Extension Discovery Farms Program. These funds would come from the agrichemical management fund instead of the previous source, the agricultural chemical cleanup program fund. • $2.5 million annually in cost-sharing for farmers to implement nutrient management planning.

on the web

Committed to Our Customers’ Success Valders, WI www.cpfeeds.com

Nutritional Forage Management Manufacturing Services Programs 10

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Feed Delivery

cpfeeds@cpfeeds.com

800-277-4465 920-775-9600

Whether in the capitol or the courts, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau works hard to promote policies on the local, state and national levels that lead to profitability for Wisconsin agriculture. To accomplish this the Wisconsin Farm Bureau understands the importance and power of its members and staff working together to accomplish the organization’s legislative and regulatory goals. For more information visit the legislation and regulation page at wfbf.com/legislation-regulations. wisconsin farm bureau federation


Names in the

Farm Bureau members making headlines around the state

Barron County Farm Bureau President Karyn Schauf has been selected as Dairy Woman of the Year by the World Dairy Expo. She will receive the recognition at the 2013 Dinner with the Stars banquet on Wednesday, October 2 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Schauf, and her husband, Bob, own and operate Indianhead Holsteins, were they milk about 85 cows and market registered Holstein genetics worldwide. The couple bought Karyn’s grandfather’s farm near Barron in 1981.

Crawford County Farm Bureau member Howard ‘A.V.’ Roth was elected to the National Pork Producers Council Board of Directors at the 2013 National Pork Industry Forum, held in Orlando, Fla. Roth is the owner and manager of Roth Feeder Pig, Inc. Established in 2001, the enterprise includes 3,000 sows producing over 65,000 head of feeder pigs annually. His farm business also includes 850 acres of corn, oats, and alfalfa along with a Black Angus herd. Roth is the Wisconsin Pork Association President.

Green County Farm Bureau member Joylene Reavis from Brodhead has been reappointed as National Emu Week Chair. Reavis was instrumental in the initial creation and promotion of the American Emu Association sponsored event that started in 1999. During National Emu Week, May 4 - May 12, many emu farms will be offering tours, sponsoring contests, giving discounts or guest speaking. Besides being the 2013 N.E.W. Chair, Reavis is currently the president of the Wisconsin Emu Association and serves on the American Emu Association Board of Directors as board secretary, region 3 director and ag-legislative chair.

Three Farm Bureau members were re-elected to the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board, Inc. this year. Cal Dalton of Endeavor will represent District 4 of Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Waushara, Marquette and Columbia counties. District 8’s David Adams of Lake Geneva will serve Jefferson, Walworth, Racine and Kenosha counties. Randy Hughes of Janesville will represent Green and Rock counties in District 9. These board members will serve another three year term, which will expire on January 31, 2016.

April | may 2013

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AgrAbility of Wisconsin Helps Farmers Overcome Obstacles By Hannah Gerbitz, AbrAbility of Wisconsin Program Assistant

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very farmer is driven by a challenge, and physical disabilities make life even more challenging. Farmers experiencing such limitations do not have to face them alone. Working together with the University of Wisconsin Extension and Easter Seals of Wisconsin, AgrAbility of Wisconsin helps farmers to address these challenges. Together, AgrAbility provides practical education and assistance, promoting independence in agricultural production and rural living. Three farmers from the Green Bay area: Jim Cornette, Larry Dufek and Jerome Gaedtke are examples of dedicated, independent and patient individuals who sought help from AgrAbility to assist them in continuing in their passion. As long-time Farm Bureau members, these farmers have not only overcome their physical obstacles, but they have also gone above and beyond to be involved in their communities. Dufek serves as a county board member and helps with events such as breakfast on the farm. Cornette and Gaedtke have been involved for many years at various levels.

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im Cornette is a Luxemburg dairy farmer who was diagnosed with Pompe’s disease at age 46 after dealing with symptoms since his early twenties. Pompe’s is a debilitating condition which damages muscle and nerve cells throughout the body. This diagnosis came shortly before a tragic barn fire at the Cornette farm. With the encouragement of a UW hospital doctor, Cornette and his family made the decision to rebuild and continue to farm. Cornette had lost the function of many muscles by the age of 46, so an employee made the initial contact with AgrAbility on his behalf. “It was a good thing that AgrAbility came along, because otherwise we would have been doing it without [Jim],” said Cornette’s wife, Barb. “It kept him active, it kept him involved in agriculture, and kept him wanting to get up in the morning and keep going.”

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AgrAbility recommended lifts for multiple tractors, a Polaris Ranger, steps for a skidsteer and a powered wheelchair. Cornette’s passion to continue to work as much as possible has quite possibly lessened the effects of Pompe’s disease. Climbing the steps to that skidsteer on a regular basis preserved some of the function of his muscles, while other Pompe’s patients have lost muscle strength earlier in life. “No matter how much money I would have made doing something else, I would not have gotten as much satisfaction out of any other job as I did farming,” Cornette said. “For the last eight years, AgrAbility has allowed me to continue to do what I love.”

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arry Dufek manages his 2,000-plus cow dairy farm in New Franken. In 2001, Dufek lost one of his legs below the knee in a farm accident. AgrAbility was contacted within two months of the accident. AgrAbility recommended hand controls, extra steps and railings for tractors, but more importantly, guided Dufek through the process of easing back into farm life. “They helped me through that process of training me how to be

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more mobile and safe on the equipment and still accomplish the same tasks and goals,” Dufek said. Through the process of the accident, recovery and working with AgrAbility, Dufek “changed his mental thoughts by about 30 years.” He said, “When I was young I was more worried about working hard. Now I just enjoy the kids and family and have a lot more respect for people who have gone through challenges in their life. It gives me a new outlook on life.” Since going through the program, Dufek has been paying forward the encouragement he received from AgrAbility. Having been shown many examples of individuals who had overcome the limitations of an amputation, he now visits other amputees to show how his prosthesis works. “It’s a lot of reassurance to them as they go through a tragedy.”

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erome Gaedtke is another Luxemburg farmer who has a condition limiting him to mobility via scooter. Paul Leverenz, the Easter Seals Specialist who also worked with Cornette and Dufek, stopped by to inform Gaedtke of the services available through AgrAbility. At the time, Gaedtke was still able to get around without a scooter, but not easily. Leverenz recommended a utility vehicle to assist him in maneuvering around the farm as well as modifications to his feeding system. “The ability to keep doing what I was doing was nice,” said Gaedtke. “If you’re a farmer, you just love farming. I wasn’t going to an office job or anything like that; I wanted to do what I liked to do.” Gaedtke was able to continue to farm for another 13 years. His farm is now run by his children and, it is hoped, will someday be transitioned to the next generation. “When I was a kid, we had 17 cows. Now we’re up to 1,200,” he said. “You’ve always got challenges when you’re farming. I think the challenges make you better. If everything was easy, everybody would do it.”

needed. DVR supports employment and independent living for individuals with disabilities through services, training and economic opportunities to maximize their employability, independence and integration into the workplace and the community. The gratitude that these three farmers have for the services of AgrAbility has inspired them not only to continue farming but also to find a way to give back to the program. As neighbors, they worked with area agribusinesses to raise steers and donated the proceeds to Easter Seals Wisconsin, a partner of AgrAbility. AgrAbility services come highly recommended by each of these farmers. “I think the success story of how many people AgrAbility has helped shows the importance of the program,” says Dufek. “I know three success stories myself - all have challenges and all are running profitable operations with their families.” For more information on AgrAbility of Wisconsin or to enroll in the program, please call 608.262.9336 or email aaw@mailplus.wisc.edu.

On all three farms, AgrAbility worked with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to provide the accommodations April | may 2013

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Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

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and County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation are accepting applications for the $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award, which honors Wisconsin farmers who demonstrate responsible stewardship and management of natural resources. Applications are due by August 9, 2013. Finalists and winner will be announced in late 2013. For complete application information, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org. “Through this outstanding partnership, we have been able to recognize the conservation efforts of the Hebbe, Koepke and Bragger families who have built a strong tradition of sustainable

Applications are due by August 9, 2013. Finalists and winner will be announced in late 2013. For complete application information, visit www. leopoldconservationaward.org. agriculture, but they are not the only farming families doing exceptional work for natural resources in Wisconsin,” said Brent Haglund, president of Sand County Foundation. “We look forward to honoring more innovative farmers who are committed to the enhancement of Wisconsin’s landscape.” Given in honor of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, inspires other landowners in their

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communities through these examples and provides a visible forum where leaders from the agricultural community are recognized as conservation leaders outside of the industry. “The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is proud to join Sand County Foundation in saluting the innovative conservation practices and work that Wisconsin farmers do each day to enhance our environment,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, American Transmission Company, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, UW-Extension, Farm Credit, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Alliant Energy Foundation, We Energies and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

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.

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Offers New Case IH Tractor and Equipment Incentive Program

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isconsin Farm Bureau Federation members will receive a greater value when they purchase or lease an eligible tractor or implement from a Case IH Agriculture dealer. “This is benefit that will save our members money,” said Jeff Fuller, WFBF Executive Director of Operations. “Farm Bureau members will receive the manufacturer’s incentive discount of $300 to $500 depending on the tractor or implement acquired.” Members should negotiate their best deal with their preferred Case IH dealer and then add the manufacturer’s incentive discount to the bottom line. There is no limit to the number of incentive discounts that a Farm Bureau member may use; however, you can only use one certificate on each piece of equipment you buy. The incentive discounts are shown on the invoice as a subtraction from the best negotiated price of the acquired unit(s). If you have questions, please contact 1.800.261.FARM, ext. 1.

ELIGIBLE PRODUCTS Eligible individual, family or business members will receive the following manufacturer discounts on purchases of the listed products: Farmall Compact tractors (A & B): $300 per unit Farmall Utilities – C, U and J series: $500 per unit Maxxum Series and Farmall 100A series: $500 per unit Self-propelled windrowers: $500 per unit Large square balers: $500 per unit Round balers: $300 per unit

Small square balers: $300 per unit Disc mower conditioners: $300 per unit Sickle mower conditioners: $300 per unit Case IH Scout: $300 per unit A current Member Verification Certificate must be presented to the Case IH dealer IN ADVANCE of product delivery to receive the incentive discount. Incentive discounts cannot be awarded after the product has been delivered.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q: Is the Farm Bureau incentive stackable with other offers? A: Yes, the Farm Bureau incentive discount is stackable with any other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers as may be provided from time-to-time by Case IH or a Case IH dealer. Q: Does membership in Farm Bureau need to be verified? A: Yes, membership in Farm Bureau must be current and must be verified using the American Farm Bureau Membership Verification System. Eligible members will print an authorization certificate that must be presented to the Case IH dealer IN ADVANCE of the delivery of the acquired tractor or implement to receive the incentive discount.

HOW TO GET YOUR CERTIFICATE To get your certificate please go to fbverfiy.com and click on the Case IH logo. If you need help printing your certificate, call 1.800.261.FARM, ext. 1.

April | may 2013

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‘SAGES’ Plows New Ground Wisconsin’s first ag-themed charter school grows ag literacy By Casey Langan

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ts mission statement sounds lofty: Produce responsible, productive citizens who have both a local and global perspective and are committed to preserving and sustaining national and world environments, food sources and other natural resources. Yet, thanks to a committed coalition of educators, parents, students, community members and businesses, it’s actually happening Monday through Friday in a once-shuttered school in rural Dodge County. Last fall, the Waupun School District opened up the School for Agricultural and Environmental Studies (SAGES), a charter school located in the former Fox SAGES is a charter school for agricultural and environmental studies. The students adopted this calf named Lake Elementary School. NoNo soon after the school year began. Students shown with NoNo are Jacob Wallendal, Cole Panzer and “Awareness of Nathan Wallendal. Photo by Gloria Hafemeister. agriculture cannot wait until the high school The school’s 125 students (kindergarten through sixth grade) years. It has to be made at the lower grade levels,” said Bill spend morning in traditional classes like math and English Bruins, former WFBF President, who had a hand in the while afternoons are spent engaging in project-based learning creation of SAGES as a member of the Waupun Area Board of and digging deeper into the study of the natural environment. Education. Using core skills they conduct research, create projects and “SAGES offers a unique gain a rich understanding of the agricultural history, biological and interactive educational diversity and the future potential of the local environment. experience that focuses on “Project-based learning requires students use 21st century excellence in core subject skills like technology, collaboration, creative thinking, areas like math, English, communication and critical thinking in preparation for our social studies while immersing changing world,” Grosz said. studies in the study of the SAGES is governed by a diverse nine-member board of area’s rich environmental community members. Students are required to take the same resources and agricultural standardized tests as the rest of the Waupun district’s students. heritage,” said Lisa Grosz, The school is funded like any other school in the district with SAGES principal and lead per-pupil allocation. It was awarded a grant from the Wisconsin teacher.

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Department of Public Instruction for additional staff trainings, technology and materials to enhance the environmental and agricultural themes.

The Bruins Connection Bill Bruins admits he initially knew little about how charter schools operate and that he first ran for the Waupun Board of Education on the platform of reopening the Fox Lake Elementary School. It was at a CALS Board of Visitors meeting that Bruins heard of how UWCALS was heaving success recruiting students to the agricultural college from an ag-themed charter school in Chicago. “I thought, there’s something wrong with this picture,” Bruins recalls. “CALS was having a hard time recruiting students and was looking at this ag charter school from Chicago. Why not do it here in Waupun?” His seed of an idea took root with the small governance board and grew until it blossomed with the opening of SAGES’ doors at the start of the 2012-13 school year. A large group

of supporters worked behind the scenes to make the school student-ready by painting walls, donating ‘museum’ items, gathering supplies, and marketing the school to potential students. Beyond Waupun and Fox Lake, SAGES Bill Bruins, has drawn Waupun Board children from nearby of Education Beaver Dam, member and Oshkosh and former WFBF Randolph. President “Already, the SAGES project is a shining example of what true community service looks like,” Grosz said. “I think this is the beginning of something that could be significant for agriculture,” Bruins added.

“I think this is the beginning of something that could be significant for agriculture.” -

Cole Panzer is one of 125 students attending the new agricultural charter school that opened in Fox Lake in September. He served as one of the tour guides when the school hosted an open house on February 23. Photo by Gloria Hafemeister. April | may 2013

Follow SAGES on Facebook: Search for ‘School for Agricultural and Environmental Studies.’

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Rural Landowners, Check 2013 Tax Assessments

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he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation urges rural landowners to check their property tax assessments this spring. “It’s especially important for landowners to review the classifications for their woodlots and undeveloped land,” said Paul Zimmerman, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations. “State law defines wetlands, swamp and wasteland as undeveloped land. These areas are to be assessed at 50 percent of the market value.” Further, the same law classifies woodlots on a parcel also containing agricultural land to be considered an “agricultural forest” which also is assessed at 50 percent of its market value. Assessments for agricultural land (both cropland and pastureland) are determined by the use value assessment of farmland formula set by Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue for each municipality. “Farmers need to be aware of how the various types of land they own are classified in order to determine which assessments apply,” Zimmerman said. “Tax assessment statements for municipalities are typically issued in April and May to notify landowners of changes in

property assessments,” Zimmerman said. “If farmers have questions about their assessments, they should first talk with their assessor. They should also be aware of the appeals process available through their local Board of Review.” The Department of Revenue’s Agricultural Assessment Guide and use value assessment of farmland rate for each municipality can be downloaded at http://www.revenue.wi.gov/ slf/useval/13useval.pdf.

Land on Wisconsin farms generally falls into one of five classifications...

Steps for checking property tax assessments:

1. Agricultural Land: Agricultural land is subject to the use value assessment law, and is further classified as Grades 1, 2 or 3, or pastureland. 2. Agricultural Forest: Assessed at 50 percent of market value, this is a woodlot located on a parcel also containing Agricultural Land, or wooded land contiguous to a parcel entirely classified as Agricultural Land under the same ownership. 3. Productive Forest Land: Assessed at market value, these are wooded areas that do not meet qualifications as Agricultural Forest. 4. Undeveloped Land: A classification that encompasses wetlands, swamps and wasteland, all of which are assessed at 50 percent of market value. 5. Other: The farmstead and farm buildings are assessed at market value.

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• Check with the local assessor to make sure land is accurately classified. • Verify that assessments for the property have been accurately applied from the Department of Revenue guidelines. • Compare any market value assessments of property (buildings, woodlots and wasteland) with comparable property in the municipality. • Talk with the assessor over any questions or disagreements. • Go to local board of review if there are disagreements with the assessor. The property taxpayer must notify the board clerk at least 48 hours before the first scheduled meeting of the board. A property owner must go to the board of review if they want to keep their options open to appeal their assessment. By law, the board of review is to meet on the second Monday in May or during the 30-day period following.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Photo submitted by Andrea Vignali, Wausau, WI

Photo submitted by Laura Daniels, Cobb, 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@wfbf.com. Due to the high volume of photos we receive, we are unable to include every photo.

Photo submitted by Caroline Peterson, Amherst, WI

Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted. #RuralWisdom For more inspiration see our “Rural Wisdom” each Friday at twitter.com/WIFarmBureau.

April | may 2013

Photo submitted by Judy Gill, Seneca, WI

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wisconsin farm bureau federation


Meet UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau Member:

Taylor Schuetz By Amy Manske

I

t was as a little girl flipping through the pages of her father’s 4-H record books that Taylor Schuetz decided that she was going to be involved in agriculture. As an agriculture business major preparing to graduate from the UW-Platteville next month, she also is turning over the reins as president of one of Wisconsin’s three collegiate Farm Bureaus. With more than 20 ag-related student organizations on campus, Taylor says they stand out by being a general agriculture organization that welcomes everyone curious about agriculture. “We’ve had to do some promoting of Farm Bureau since it is new to campus,” Taylor said. “We have come along way since Dale Beaty (WFBF Director of Training and Leadership Development) and Becky Hurley (WFBF District 2 Coordinator) first came to campus with the idea of a collegiate Farm Bureau.” “We try to focus on ag policy and current issues so that students have an idea of what is going on right now and how it will effect their futures,” she said. “We also know that education is key. That is why we have speakers come to almost every meeting.” The officer team (entirely made up of females) and the other 25 members of the chapter have planned a variety of activities. “Last semester we focused on Ag in the Classroom projects,” Taylor said. “We went to Cuba City schools and read the Ag in the Classroom’s Book of the Year, How Did That Get In My Lunchbox? and made Wisconsin trail mix with the students.” This spring, along with other student agriculture organizations they will co-host “Brag About Ag” which brings ag communicators to campus to discuss ag trends with members, and “Ag Day on Campus” to raise awareness across the entire student body with the help of food and farm animals. “This (Collegiate) Farm Bureau wouldn’t be what it is without the great officer team we have,” said Taylor, who checks the chapter’s Facebook page and oversees their organization bulletin board in UW-Platteville’s Russell Hall. A new officer team will be elected in May. Before serving as the chapter’s second-ever president, Taylor served as the secretary-treasurer while Ryan Ripp was president. The ag business major hopes to get a job this coming spring involving her two emphasizes of communication and marketing. “Farm Bureau just has great resources, and it covers everything,” Taylor said. “It’s a general organization where people can collaborate on ag and network.” “Everything starts and ends with ag,” Taylor said. “And that’s where I like to be.”

April | may 2013

Her Roots Taylor grew up on a hobby farm near Evansville and showed hogs and beef cattle at the Rock County Fair as a 4-H and FFA member.

Her Influence “My dad taught me everything I know about agriculture,” she said. “He grew up with a little bit of everything on his farm and passed on his love for ag to me.”

Her Connections At UW-Platteville, Taylor was an ag ambassador and a member of Block and Bridal and Sigma Alpha (Sisters in Agriculture).

Her Achievements She considers her Champion Hampshire barrow in 2007 and Champion Semimetal steer in 2010 at the Wisconsin State Fair as her top personal achievements.

Taylor stands by the organization’s bulletin board in UW-Platteville’s Russell Hall. The group uses the board to promote Farm Bureau, one of the campus’s many agriculture-related student organizations. UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau is one of three Collegiate Farm Bureaus in Wisconsin that promote agriculture on and off their campuses with a variety of events and activities.

www.wfbf.com

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’ e c i l in the Life of ‘A A Year

Her stories behind the photos

R

ochelle Ripp has served as Wisconsin’s 65th Alice in Dairyland since last June. For the Lodi native and active Dane County Farm Bureau member, it has meant traveling to every corner of the state. The once-in-a-lifetime job with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

requires her to educate others about the impact that agriculture has to our daily lives and its $59 billion economic boost to Wisconsin’s economy. As Rochelle/Alice prepares to wrap up her whirlwind year, the Rural Route asked her to share some of her favorite candid photos and tell us the stories behind the photos.

a girls that think I’m A members or little FF s, ure. I er ult 4-H ric et ag me of I rk vels, rding field of wo wa re Throughout my tra s thi in n joi t the more than to inspire to e them to think abou ag princess who I hope ur co en d an l gir am a farm assure them that I le in agriculture. ab ail av s 300 career

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I’ve had so man y new experienc es as our state’ ambassador, in s agriculture cluding feeding mink. I work w Moraine Mink ith the Kettle Breeders to pr oudly display an their fine pelts d discuss – Wisconsin co ntinues to be ra both productio nked #1 for n and sales of mink and pelts beautiful fur be . Our mink have cause their diet s are supplemen calcium from W ted with isconsin cheese !

wisconsin farm bureau federation


During my ye ar, I anticipat e educating students on about 10,000 the importan ce of agricultu lives. I engage re in our daily youth in fun activities to appreciate th help them e hard work of Wisconsin provide us w farmers, who ith food, fuel and fiber ever y day.

I’ve had the grea t honor of worki ng with some of agriculture’s fin Wisconsin est people, one being Orion Sa Orion reminds muelson. us that “You Ca n’t Dream Big En because when ough” you dream big and achieve yo you need to drea ur dreams, m bigger. Orion has known alm “Alice” and I am ost every proud to have ta ught him somet new when I tra hing veled to WGN to talk about So Special from W mething isconsin™ food and gift ideas. Wisconsin is ho I shared that me to the larges t pheasant farm America, MacFa in North rlane Pheasant s in Janesville.

joy digging As a farm girl, I en nds dirty ha my in and getting d better an e nc rie pe to gain ex ess. It understand the proc lking mi doesn’t matter if it’s ing igh we a cow or goat, g a sturgeon, or pickin at I wh t jus s at’ Th . es grap ds for ar ey did at Botham Vin st. I gu Au s thi grape harvest s of es oc pr the t ou ab learned m fro , ne wi making Wisconsin ing go e lov grape to glass. I rs and on agribusiness tou ersity of div the t ou ab learning e ur and the Wisconsin agricult mer! far story behind the

April | may 2013

ck a bowl of orange and bla sconsin State Fair, I saw Wi the of ine day t sw firs ng the rris, a you ine barn on done in honor of Noah Mo When I walked into the sw t as the rest of the barn had jus friends and family re, his atti as my us h to wit pin s ety wa ribbons to saf nty Fair. I knew Noah Cou k Roc the e. As I awarded ing don dur e d die Noah would hav showman who tragically h all their hearts, just as wit or walk out with hon nds his in frie s se hog tho when I saw one of oat prepped and showed his thr my ’s in w gre p lum went on to the Governor show ring, a plaques and ribbons in the tribute to Noah that his hog ng fitti a s wa ily, It . fam , hog nds na frie Poland Chi as Noah’s Noah’s Grand Champion in the coliseum that night than n. There wasn’t a dry eye ctio Au sed Noah’s pig for more cha ock est pur t Liv tha bon ney mo of Blue Rib pot , the to d sta ute y that night at the te fair er bidders, contrib mory of a great kid not onl community, along with oth me the fair t r’s por yea sup s to Thi . ied olarships community rall lives of others through sch $18,000. The agriculture will continue to impact the nation. ney and mo te the sta as our e t com hou to oug but for years sts in agriculture thr exi t tha nity mu com of se reinforced the strong sen

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Members

Farm Bureau

From the kitchen of St. Croix Farm Bureau member Amy Shafer

1 loaf (1 pound) frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed 1 pound ground beef 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese 3/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg white, beaten Pizza sauce, optional

Whoopie Pies

1. Roll dough into a 12-in. x 9 in. rectangle. Transfer to a 15-in x 10-in. x 1 in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add the spinach, cheeses, garlic, fennel seed, oregano and salt. 3. Spread beef mixture lengthwise down the center of dough. On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips 3 in. into center. 4. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal. Brush with egg white. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe from Taste of Home

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wisconsin farm bureau federation

Ingredients

Ingredients

Italian Spinach Braid


Photos by Wendy Kannel

Ingredients

Stuffed Mushrooms 1 package mushrooms (cleaned & stemmed) 8 oz package of cream cheese or 1 cup Greek yogurt 3/4 cup bacon bits

1. Mix cream cheese and bacon bits. 2. By spoonful, put onto mushrooms. 3. Broil for 10 minutes.

For the cakes: 2 cups flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup softened butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg For the filling: 1/2 cup softened butter 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 cup marshmallow crème 1 teaspoon vanilla April | may 2013

1. Heat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla extract. 3. In a large bowl with a hand mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until evenly blended, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg, increase the speed to high, and beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute more. 4. Pour half the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture and continue beating until just blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat again. 5. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to place a heaping tablespoon of batter on a prepared cookie sheet. Add more mounds of batter, evenly spacing them, until there are nine on each sheet. Slightly flatten each mound with a spoon. 6. Bake the cakes one sheet at a time for 10 minutes (they should be moist and spongy). Let them cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Reline the sheets and scoop, shape, and bake the remaining batter. 7. Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl until evenly blended, about 2 minutes. 8. To make each pie, spoon and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of a cake, then gently press another cake on top.

Recipe from Family Fun

Amy Shafer lives on a 40-acre beef farm in Baldwin with her husband Josh and children Toby (5), Milo (3), and Cora (2 months). They have 25 black angus cows, feed Holstein steers and rent 70 acres of cropland. A Farm Bureau member since 2011, Amy is the Spring Valley varsity softball coach and enjoys cooking. She blogs about her family at shaferfamilyhighlights.blogspot.com.

www.wfbf.com

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Member Benefits Savings for your Family or Business The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation offers benefits and services to its members, covering a range of options that respond to the needs of farmers, families and businesses in Wisconsin. AAA Farm Bureau members save 20% on AAA membership and the enrollment fee to join AAA is waived. Farm Bureau members who already belong to AAA can receive the discount on their next renewal. In both instances, call 877.731.3315 and be prepared to give them the group code “WI07.”

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

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

AVIS Car Rental Discount 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 Avis.com or call Avis at 1.800.331.1212.

Case IH Eligible Farm Bureau members will receive an incentive discount ($300 to $500) when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers. The discount is stackable, meaning it can be used with

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other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. Go to www. fbverify.com/case to see the eligible models and print your certificate.

Choice Hotels Members save an average of 20% at participating Choice Brand Hotels. Call 800.258.2847 to make the required advance reservation. Request Wisconsin Farm Bureau member rate using ID# 00209870.

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

Farm Bureau Financial Services

catalog items. For a free catalog call 608.221.3861. When ordering use the Farm Bureau account #855922019.

GM Private Offer Eligible members may now receive a $500 discount on qualifying Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles they purchase or lease. Please see the “Benefits & Membership” tab at wfbf.com.

Office Depot Save up to 80% on Office Depot Preferred Products along with reduced prices on ink, paper, office supplies, toner, stamps/daters, pens, pads, furniture and much more. Members get free next day delivery with free shipping on orders over $50 and terrific copy and print pricing. To learn more about this member benefit, visit wfbf.com/officedepot.

Rural Mutual Insurance

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 www.fbfs.com.

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 www.ruralins.com to find your nearest Rural Mutual agent.

FS-GROWMARK Patronage

ScriptSave Prescription Drug Savings Card

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

Grainger Grainger Industrial Supply is the nation’s leading maintenance, repair and operational supplies distributor. Receive a 10% discount on all Grainger

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

The Country Today Newspaper Members receive $5 off one-year and two-year subscriptions and The Country Today then donates $5 to the Ag in the Classroom program. Call 888.833.9268.

Wyndham Hotel Group Members save 20% off the best available rate at more than 5,000 participating locations throughout North America. Mention Farm Bureau ID# 8000004288 when making your reservations. Call 877.670.7088 for information. Country Connect (formerly FB Connect) is no longer a part of the WFBF member discount program. If you have been having service problems with Country Connect, WFBF suggests that you change providers for your long distance service.

ScriptSave is a prescription drug savings card available to you at NO COST as an *WFBF member benefits may be changed added feature of your membership. Your or discontinued at anytime without notice. entire household can use the card for instant savings that average over 32% on the web with potential savings up to 50% on View additional WFBF Member Benefits brand name and generic medications and more details on our website at (based on national program savings www.wfbf.com/benefits-membership. data). Call 1.800.700.3957.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Presenting a Private offer for farm Bureau memBers

$500 on top of most current offers1


opinion

Carry Spring’s Optimism All Year A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte

M

ost Wisconsinites look forward to the spring after a long, cold and snowy winter. In no profession is that feeling more pronounced than with farmers. As the skies brighten and the soils warm, so do our attitudes and hearts. I like to describe it as “the optimism of spring.” As I drafted this column in March, the forecast called for more snow. Having lived through too many times with dry soil conditions, you might say I strongly resist the urge to be critical of any form of moisture, at any time of the year. Regardless of the actual daily weather forecast, most of my conversations lately with friends and neighbors are clearly focused on the upcoming planting and growing seasons. When it comes to

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planting a crop each year, farmers are the eternal optimists. We all should be thankful for this optimism and the overall positive attitude that a little spring sun brings each year. Just imagine if we carried this optimism with us all year long in our personal lives, on our farms, as well as with our farm organization. I find that optimism and personal responsibility are closely linked. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to visit with a wide range of people and I find that optimistic individuals are also frequently those who chart their own course. They face difficult problems just like everyone else. Upon reflection and actually listening to possible solutions, they then use their own resources and personal initiative to craft a method and process that solves the problem. They also avoid the pitfalls of waiting for someone else or a program to solve the problem. I know that statement may gain some criticism for bashing the role of government in our lives, and this is exactly the point I wish to raise for discussion. I accept the reality that government plays an important part in shaping the world we live in. I also am convinced that most proposed laws and regulations are put forward by sincere people who are trying to fix a problem they see. What I do not accept is the theory that government is the solution to every problem.

The culture of entitlement created by decades of government ‘solutions’ can dilute our confidence and trust in our own ability to solve each challenge we face. Like living in a winter that never ends; some people’s personal optimism has been drained away and replaced with an unending reliance on government programs. This loss is one of the most important issues we face as a society. I sincerely hope that thought does not darken your day, because there are a number of opportunities for each of us to grow our natural sense of optimism. Unlike other corners of the world, the very structure of our town, county, state and federal governments allows us to talk to those we elect to represent us. Likewise, conversation and cooperation between farmers and agriculturists with conservation-minded groups has nearly unlimited potential to improve our state’s natural environment. Finally, the countybased structure of Farm Bureau remains a great tool to use in identifying and solving the problems we face. Yes, I am thankful that another Wisconsin winter is behind us, but it’s for these reasons that I continue to be optimistic each day.

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

wisconsin farm bureau federation


opinion

April Showers Bring…Taxes

Guest Column from AFBF President Bob Stallman

I

t’s that time of year again—tax time. Boston threw a tea party to protest it; Shakespeare and Mark Twain have prattled off quotes about it; the Beatles even dedicated a song to it. Nothing brings people together more than rallying against a tax. While taxes are necessary for a functioning government and society (where would we be without public schools, roads and firemen or police officers), if not reigned in, they can become too much for American families and businesses.

There’s one for you Taxes should never impede job creation, higher wages and economic investment. But, unfortunately, complex and unjust tax laws have been doing just that. To get the country back on track, Congress is working to reform the tax code and Congressional leaders say that nothing is off the table, which is good news for farmers and ranchers. Farm Bureau supports an overhaul of the current federal income tax system. The new tax code should encourage, not penalize, success and promote savings, investment and entrepreneurship. Importantly, it should be fair to farmers and ranchers and other family and small business owners. The tax system should be transparent and simple for Americans to understand.

Nineteen for me Farmers and ranchers work in a world of uncertainty. From volatile global markets to fluctuating operating expenses, from Mother Nature’s many moods to disease outbreaks, it makes running a farm or ranch challenging under the best of circumstances. Add a complex and burdensome tax code, and the challenge becomes even greater. To provide a fairer tax system, Farm Bureau supports lowering tax rates for individuals and providing additional relief from the capital gains tax for farmers since they are hit especially hard by the tax. We also advocate repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. This tax no longer serves its original purpose of preventing tax avoidance by higher income Americans, but instead creates a burden on the middle class. While these measures would significantly help farmers and ranchers, it would benefit many other Americans and small family businesses. Other tax provisions, like the Health Insurance Tax and the Medicare Contribution Tax, also need repealed. The HIT tax will raise insurance costs for farmers and ranchers, making it harder to purchase coverage for themselves, their families and their employees. The Medicare Contribution Tax, which is a tax on unearned income, will especially

burden farmers and ranchers since theirs is such a capital-intensive business. Benjamin Franklin once said that nothing in this world is more certain than death and taxes. While both are inevitable, the federal tax code should be the lesser of the two evils. Making our tax system fair, simple, understandable and non-burdensome is imperative for all Americans.

President of the American Farm Bureau Federation since 2000, Bob Stallman is a cattle and rice farmer from Columbus, Texas.

April | may 2013 april www.wfbf.com www.wfbf.com

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opinion

Hot Iowa Land Market Catches Investors’ Eyes Guest Column from Iowa Farm Bureau’s Dirck Steimel But one has to wonder if it’s really a good thing that the state’s farmland prices are so red hot that America’s top business publication highlights them as an alternative investment attracting a lot of attention. Does it foretell a flood of outside money flowing into the farmland market in the coming months or years? There would be definite downsides if that happens, economists say. First, it could overheat the land market and create a bubble situation that would end in a sudden and devastating collapse when it ends. Second, continued gains in land prices makes it even more difficult for younger people to get a foothold in farming and can send cash rents up to unsustainable levels.

S

kimming over a recent Wall Street Journal on my lunch break, a chart caught my eye. To my surprise, in an article on Federal Reserve interest rate policies and filled with graphics barely understandable to anyone but an economist, there was a chart of Iowa farmland prices over the past decade. The article highlighted Iowa farmland prices as the type of investment that is catching the attention of investors who are looking for better returns in the current ultra-low interest rate climate. And, you have to admit, the trajectory of the land price gains looks pretty impressive, shooting up and up like a rocket ship.

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They cite as evidence the fact that land prices actually fell back slightly in 2009, when big harvests caused crop prices to dip.

“Continued gains in land prices makes it even more difficult for younger people to get a foothold in farming and can send cash rents up to unsustainable levels.”

Keeping vigilant The agricultural economists that I’ve visited are being very vigilant about watching the land price market in Iowa and other Corn Belt states for signs that a bubble is forming. So far, most don’t see it. Iowa State University’s Mike Duffy, whose annual survey was the basis for the Wall Street Journal chart, said he still sees discipline in the market for farmland, even with the recent steep price gains. The land price gains have paralleled the sharp gains in corn and soybean prices over the past several years, Duffy and other economists noted.

But that doesn’t mean the farmland market is immune from a bubble, especially if more outside money starts chasing land. As any economist will tell you, in a hot market like the one today for farmland, extreme vigilance is warranted.

Dirck Steimel is the News Services Manager for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. This article was reprinted with permission from the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


opinion

State Budget Maintains Core Missions Guest Column from DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel

A

growing agriculture industry helps grow our state’s economy. The Governor’s budget recommendations for the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) allow us to maintain our core missions for the benefit of our farmers, agricultural businesses and consumers. While difficult decisions needed to be made, this budget ensures that DATCP can be fair, efficient and effective while working for Wisconsin’s future.

Fair For years, the Agrichemical Management (ACM) fund and the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup (ACCP) fund were used to fulfill budget needs. The Governor’s budget recommendations will allow DATCP to move in the right direction to reduce the impact on these funds and make sure fees generated by farmers will be used as they were intended. The Clean Sweep Program was established over two decades ago to provide financial assistance to counties and municipalities to collect and properly dispose of unwanted pesticides. This budget makes a one-time increase in funding for Clean Sweep grants to realign the timing of the contracts to ensure funds are available for counties and municipalities when contracts are made.

Efficient This budget will transfer positions and funding from the Tank and Petroleum Testing program at the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to DATCP. Currently, DSPS inspectors look at the quality of the fuel stored in tanks around the state

April | may 2013

while the DATCP weights and measures team inspects gas pumps for accuracy, making sure you get what you pay for. After the transfer to DATCP, all the inspectors will be crossed trained to do both jobs, enhancing their efficiency. This summer, construction of DATCP’s Bureau of Lab Services facility will be completed creating increased efficiency with the state’s regulatory and forensic testing. This budget provides funding for the increased rent costs for the new facility, which will ultimately benefit agriculture statewide.

Effective Wisconsin has a thriving dairy industry with a strong infrastructure of farmers and processors. In the Governor’s biennium budget recommendation, he provides $200,000 annually for a Dairy Processor Grant Program to provide technical services to the state’s dairy processors. If realized, DATCP will collaborate with the entire diary industry to determine how to get the biggest benefit out of each dollar spent. This program will complement the existing Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 grants for dairy farmers. This budget also maintains funding for our contract with the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium to maintain the computer system and data for the premises registration program. For Wisconsin to be effective in the case of an animal health emergency, we need to have access to information on our state’s livestock. In the capital budget, Governor Walker requested half of the funding needed to upgrade the facilities used by World Dairy Expo, Midwest Horse Fair and other agricultural events at the Alliant Energy

Center in Madison. Making those upgrades will ensure that World Dairy Expo remains strong in our state and maintains its status as the premier place for the world’s dairy buyers to do business each year. Governor Walker also requested half of the funding for renovation of Babcock Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, which will allow the Center for Dairy Research to expand its ability to provide research, technical support and outreach to the state’s dairy industry.

Moving Forward The Governor understands that agriculture is more than just a business in Wisconsin; it is a way of life. This budget reflects his commitment to the industry’s future. These budget recommendations will help our agency continue to keep food safe, protect animal and plant health, meet our environmental obligations and protect consumers. These are DATCP’s core responsibilities. This is our mission.

www.wfbf.com

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leadership

YFA Holds Three Contests for Members

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isconsin Farm Bureau Federation is again holding contests for Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) members. Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 are eligible for the Discussion Meet Contest, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Achievement Award. Farm Bureau co-sponsors these contests with GROWMARK Inc. and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Information and applications for the contests can be downloaded from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s website, www.wfbf.com, or members can call Dale Beaty, Director of Training and Leadership Development at 608.828.5714. The winners of these contests on the state level will compete at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, January 11-14, 2014. They will also be guests at the GROWMARK, Inc. Annual Meeting and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau 2014 YFA Conference/ Annual Meeting, December 5-8. They will also have the opportunity to take part in the YFA Washington, D.C., trip. Achievement Award contestants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. Applicants must have derived a majority of

their income from on farm production for the past three years. Rural Mutual Insurance Company will provide a free financial plan for the state winner. The Top 10 finalists receive a $50 FAST STOP gift card. FABCO Equipment Inc. provides the state winner with 40 hours use of a FABCO 226 skidsteer loader. Excellence in Agriculture contestants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. Applicants must have derived a majority of their income from a non-production agribusiness enterprise for the past three years. Examples would be an agriculture teacher, fertilizer salesperson, veterinarian, farm employee, agricultural writer or marketer. All applicants receive a $50 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK Inc. The state winner receives a $250 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. towards FS products. Applications for the 2013 Achievement Award and the Excellence in Agriculture Award are due postmarked by July 1, 2013. Finally, the Discussion Meet contest gives young members a chance to demonstrate their speaking skills on agriculturalrelated topics. Contestants are judged on their problem-solving skills as they discuss timely topics with their colleagues. Each of WFBF’s nine districts will hold a district Discussion Meet competition this fall. The three finalists in each district receive a $50 FAST STOP gift card from GROWMARK Inc. The statewide winner will also receive a chain saw from Midwest Stihl, Inc.

on the web Check out more information about the YFA program and YFA contests at wfbf.com/programs-event/young-farmer-and-agriculturist-program.

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Milonczyk Makes Discussion Meet Sweet 16

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lissa Milonczyk, a UW-Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau member made the Sweet 16 in the national collegiate Discussion Meet. The event was held February 10 at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference in Phoenix. “Making the Sweet 16 is a fantastic accomplishment for Alissa, and even more so; considering she lost out to the eventual national champion,’’ said Dale Beaty, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Director of Training and Leadership Development. “This was the first year Alissa participated in this contest. She worked so hard to prepare for the national contest and her efforts paid off.” Alissa qualified for the national competition by first winning the UW-Madison contest and then the Wisconsin Collegiate

Discussion Meet on the UW-Platteville campus last fall. The Discussion Meet contest is a representation of a local Farm Bureau policy development committee meeting. The contest is a collaborative discussion on current issues in agriculture, and the judges are looking for the contestant who stands out as the committee chair. One of 46 contestants, Alissa participated in two preliminary rounds before advancing to the Sweet 16. The topic discussed during the Sweet 16 round was: How do we reach out to associate members to provide value to their membership? “The national collegiate Farm Bureau competition was an amazing experience,” Alissa said. “Even though this was a competition, to me, winning is not the most important aspect. Discussion Meet is a practical skill that teaches you to lead a conversation to achieve a common goal. The ideas and personal experiences I heard from collegiate students from around the country were so diverse and unique. An experience like this really motivates you to take it back home to implement it among your own peers. I was honored to represent UW-Madison and bring back strong ideas to make our collegiate Farm Bureau chapter stronger.” Alissa has always loved animals, which led her to her passion of training canines and equines. Her love of agriculture flourished when she joined FFA in seventh grade. Last year, she was a Wisconsin State FFA Officer and joined collegiate Farm Bureau. Alissa is a junior majoring in animal science with a career aspiration of becoming a large and small animal veterinarian.

We’re planning for the next

WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference.

So should you!

December 6-9 Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells

April | may 2013

www.wfbf.com

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Farm Bureau’s FFA Farm Forum

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early 200 high school juniors from across Wisconsin attended the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s FFA Farm Forum in Wisconsin Rapids, February 15-16. “Farm Bureau is very proud to host this special event with the FFA to help grow our next crop of agricultural leaders,” said Casey Langan, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spokesman. During the two-day event at Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids, FFA members attended workshops that covered topics including post-high school agricultural opportunities, current legislative issues and misconceptions about agriculture, biotechnology and animal genetics. Speakers at the forum included Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President, Tim Clark, Wisconsin Farm Bureau YFA Committee Chair-Elect and Rochelle Ripp, 65th Alice in Dairyland. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation sponsored the FFA Farm Forum in cooperation with the Wisconsin Association of FFA. This year’s FFA Farm Forum marked the 41st year the Farm Bureau family of affiliates has sponsored the event for Wisconsin youth.

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on the web Check out more pictures of FFA Farm Forum at www.facebook.com/WIFarmBureau.

April | may 2013

www.wfbf.com

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Ag Women’s Summit Attracts AgVocates Wisconsin

Ag SWomen’s U M M I T

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o connect, be inspired and get energized, more than 325 women in agriculture came together for the 2013 Ag Women’s Summit, March 15-16 at the Madison Marriott West. “Now in its third year, the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit continues to show that women from diverse sectors of Wisconsin agriculture are eager to learn and network with others,” said Deb Raemisch, WFBF Director of Member Relations. “The attendees left refreshed and inspired with new ideas for their farms, for ag advocacy and for themselves.” The workshops dove into topics including technology in daily life, photography, dairy policy, state government, advocating for agriculture, health and wellness. The keynote speakers, Jolene Brown and Jackie Bredl-Dietrich, talked about blazing new trails for agriculture and living a life of gratitude and meaning. Mark your calendars for next year’s summit March 14-15, 2014 at the Madison Marriott West.

on the web Check out more Ag Women’s Summit photos at www.facebook.com/Wisconsin.ag.womens.summit.

April | may 2013

AgVocate of the Year

For being an innovati ve leader, a role mode l and all her contribu agriculture, Daphne Ho tions to Wisconsin lterman (center) was awarded the first AgVo award sponsored by cate of the Year Wisconsin Farm Burea u, Badgerland Financia Daphne was nominated l and UW-Extension. by her daughters Taylo r and Lauren who de professional, articulat scribed her as e and motivated with a passion for agricult ure that is contagious .

www.wfbf.com

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Members Give to Ronald McDonald Houses

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Susan Brugger organized the Ronald McDonald event in Marshfield which was held on February 23. This year’s emphasis of Food Check-Out Week was that America’s farmers and ranchers share a common concern with consumers when it comes to putting nutritious meals on the table while sticking to a tight budget. Fruits and vegetables – along with whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, beans, eggs and nuts – are an important part of a healthy diet. Buying fresh produce when it’s in season and costs less, while buying frozen fruits and vegetables when they’re not in season, is a smart way to stretch that dollar. Despite slightly higher retail food prices over the past few years, the cost of eating healthy hasn’t changed as much as some less-healthy alternatives. In fact, a recent Agriculture Department report favorably supports the economics of healthier eating. Food price data shows that prices for unprepared, readily available fresh fruits and vegetables have remained stable relative to dessert and snack foods, such as chips, ice cream and cola. Therefore, as defined by foods in the study, the price of a “healthier” diet has not changed compared to an “unhealthy” diet.

embers of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Women’s Committee organized donations of nutritious food, cleaned and prepared dinner to the state’s three Ronald McDonald Houses located in Madison, Milwaukee and Marshfield. Approximately 60 Farm Bureau volunteers from Districts 1, 2 and 8 helped to prepare meals at the three houses. County Farm Bureaus in these districts made financial contributions to the effort, volunteers prepared dinner for each house, activities for children were held and copies of American Farm Bureau Foundation Books for Agriculture’s were donated to the Marshfield Ronald McDonald House. Thirty-three county Farm Bureaus hosted a number of Food CheckOut Week activities. Several county Farm Bureaus held food drives, many Wisconsin counties held events at grocery stores. These events included handing out flyers and giving away free groceries or gift certificates for grocery items. District 1 WFBF Women’s Chair, Kathleen Papcke organized the Ronald McDonald event in Milwaukee which was held on March 2. District 2 WFBF Women’s Chair, Barron County Farm Bureau promoted Food Check-Out Week by handing out dollar bills with Brianna Ditzenberger organized the wrappers about where their food dollar goes. They also surprised an unsuspecting shopper Ronald McDonald event in Madison by paying for their groceries. Pictured at right: Barron County Farm Bureau President Karyn which was held on March 2. Schauf helps educate shoppers about how to cut costs while putting nutritious meals on the District 8 WFBF Women’s Chair, table for their families.

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District 2 ladies were busy making crafts for the Madison Ronald McDonald House on March 2. In addition to hanging handmade animal craft pieces around the house, the ladies made an Italian lunch with desserts for the families. Pictured left to right: Sara Hendrickson, Trisha Barman and Connie Eibergen.

Washington County Farm Bureau donated $300 worth of perishable food to the West Bend Full Shelf Food Pantry. This pantry serves around 620 families per month, a 7% increase in families from last year. Pictured left to right: Marcy Bishop, Melanie Gierach, Theresa Bruckert, Mariann Gundrum, George Fassbinder and Judy Kasten.

Ruth Molling of the La Crosse County Farm Bureau promoted Food Check-Out Week at the IGA Store in West Salem on February 18. Shoppers received food samples and informational hand-outs regarding food labeling.

District 8 women from Taylor and Wood Counties and WFBF Women’s Chair Jane Mueller joined together to cook lunch for families staying at the Marshfield Ronald McDonald House on February 23. Susan Brugger, District 8 Women’s Chair, organized the event and the donation of Ag in the Classroom books for the Ronald McDonald House library. Pictured left to right: Karyn Eckert of Taylor County, Susan Brugger of Taylor County, Melissa Hanke of Wood County, Ginger the House Coordinator, Cheri Klussendorf of Taylor County and Jane Maciejewski of Wood County.

Left: Eighteen volunteers from eight counties in District 1 prepared and served 35 residents at the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee on March 2. Pictured left to right: Jeanne Poulson from Jefferson County and Connie Meirs from Kenosha County.

on the web For more information on Food Check-Out Week and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Women’s Committee visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WisconsinFarmBureauWomensProgram. April | may 2013

www.wfbf.com

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news resources for teachers

ag in the classroom NEWS educational resources to explore Family & Consumer Science Teacher Resource from Wisconsin Pork Association (www.wppa.org) – Wisconsin pork farmers have ready to use lesson plans now available for Family & Consumer Science Teachers. These downloadable plans include teacher and student files, PowerPoint slides, game simulations, lab plans, project assessments and more. You can visit www.wppa. org and click on “All About Pork.” Contact Tammy Vaassen at 608.723.7551 or tvaassen@wppa.org for more information. USDA Ag Research Service (ars.usda.gov/is/kids) – The work of Agricultural Research Service scientists reaches far beyond the crop field and barnyard. Visit this interactive website featuring Science Spotlights, Science Fair Project ideas, Teachers Desk (full of lessons and activities!), Cool Careers, Podcasts and Ask Dr. Watts. Fun for all ages - you’ll learn so much about agricultural research! Gear up for June Dairy Month with Wisconsin Dairy Council (wmmb.com/wdc/overview.aspx) – The Wisconsin Dairy Council WDC), the nutrition education arm of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, has six regional program managers throughout Wisconsin who work with school foodservice staff and teachers to encourage Wisconsin students to drink milk with every school meal. WDC staff also works with Wisconsin’s Alice in Dairyland and state media outlets to educate Wisconsin residents about the role of dairy products in a healthy diet. Teachers, producers and AITC volunteers should visit this website for downloadable resources, online videos, WMMB catalog and many other resources.

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Teachers Will “Board the Bus” this Summer Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom is offering a two-day opportunity for teachers, home school parents, 4-H leaders and volunteers working with agricultural literacy to “board the bus.” The bus tour, June 19-20 based out of the Green Bay area, will visit farms, agri-businesses, processors and natural resource sites to help them learn about the variety of agricultural production and resources our state has to offer. Registration forms and details will be posted at wisagclassroom.org. It’s Time for Classroom Presentations and Bus Tours to Begin Spring often brings an increase in requests for producers to make classroom presentations or host farm tours about farming and agriculture. Don’t forget about a wealth of resources to assist you. Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board – Farm Tour Resources Found at www.wmmb.com/producers/ farm_tour.aspx, WMMB has developed the Wisconsin Dairy Farm Tour Booklet to be a quick reference for helping you give a successful farm tour. The booklet was originally developed with school groups in mind, but the information it offers can be easily adapted to fit any touring audience. We hope you find the information and ideas, as well as the other resources we’ve listed below, helpful in making your tour a positive experience. Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Resources Found at www.wisagclassroom.org, producers and volunteers can use the hands-on activities, lesson plans and downloadable Wisconsin Farm Facts and Fun Facts about Wisconsin agriculture for their presentations. Don’t forget to utilize the Soybean Science Kits for a fun way to connect agriculture and science. Look under the “County AITC Information” to find your county AITC coordinators and Soybean Science Kit coordinators who can assist you with local resources.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


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Three Wisconsin Ag Teachers Earn Kohl Fellowship Awards

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everal Wisconsin agriculture instructors are being honored with Herb Kohl Fellowships for their efforts to improve their communities while helping students grow personally and academically. Lori Berget, Black Hawk; Crystal Retzlaff, Oconto Falls; and Glen Schraufenagel, Thorp are among the 100 teachers in the state chosen for the award this year. Each of the teachers and their schools will receive $1,000 as a part of the recognition. Over 35 agricultural education teachers in the state have earned the honor since its inception. The fellowship program is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, Cooperative Educational Service Agencies, and Herb Kohl Foundation.

April | may 2013

Glen Schraufenagel, agriculture instructor at Thorp, has been honored with one of the Kohl Fellowship Awards. Both Schraufenagel and his school will receive $1,000 as a part of the recognition.

www.wfbf.com

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Two Wisconsin Schools Selected for American Farm Bureau Education Programs

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griculture Education programs and FFA members from Wisconsin Dells High School and Washington Middle School in Oconto Falls were both chosen by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA) programs during the 2012-13 school year. Wisconsin Dells High School was selected as an “Agriculture in a Growing World” grant recipient. They received a class set of The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser, an educator’s guide full of turn-key lesson plans, as well as important information about the upcoming essay contest. Grants are made possible by Nutrients for Life. The Agriculture in a Growing World Essay Contest is a national competition, open to ninth through twelfth grade students who have explored the book The Man Who Fed the World. As the students discovered, this book brings to life the story of Norman Borlaug – a man who came from a oneroom schoolhouse in Iowa and became one of the hundred most influential persons of the twentieth century. Student reactions have shown how these resources have educated them about the Borlaug story: • “I thought the book was very interesting and to be honest I did not expect it to be so. I really like the story and it was fun learning about something new, since I’d never heard of him before.” • “The assignments took the whole class period, but I liked reading the questions because some of them were really challenging. I like learning at my own pace in the class and the essay is challenging so it is keeping me interested in the material. Trying to fix the world’s problems in five pages or less is proving to be more challenging than I anticipated.” FFA advisor Amanda (Levzow) Seichter explained, “I am very impressed by the materials that came along with the book. The assignments have kept students engaged in the project and brought up a lot of thought provoking discussions. I was surprised at how interested my students were in the book, once they got going. This is a great way to get students interested in reading about historical events in agriculture and a way to bring literacy into my classroom.” At Washington Middle School in Oconto Falls, students will be part of the Feeding Minds Cultivating Growth Program. This

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new educator guide teaches young people to care for others, build healthy relationships and learn from their elders while living vicariously through the narratives of young farmers and ranchers. The guide supports classroom reading of one or more of the following Farm Bureau-designated accurate ag books: “The Beef Princess of Practical County” by Michelle Houts, “Heart of a Shepherd” by Rosanne Perry and “Little Joe” by Sandra Neil Wallace. The educator guide is a turn-key resource for middle school teachers, including standards-based lesson plans, take-home enrichment activities, supporting handouts, summarizing information about each text, a suggested implementation plan and a scoring rubric for a final project. The seventh grade agriscience classes will team up with the reading class to read Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry. Mr. Bret Iverson and Mrs. Cindy Cho are teaming up to allow students to expand their core values, learn about agriculture, partnership with core and encore subject areas, and improve test scores in reading and writing. This veteran team of teachers is working together to use resources developed for the middle school reading program Feeding Minds Cultivating Growth sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. In 2013, students will read the book for both classes and discuss the issues raised in each chapter. Set on a ranch in Oregon, Heart of a Shepherd is a coming of age story about Brother, a middle school boy whose dad is being called to active duty in Iraq. When the father leaves, Brother must assume greater responsibility to help his Grandfather and brothers work the ranch. Although his heart is not into ranching like the rest of the family, Brother has a sense of duty to help his father while he is gone. The hardships that he faces help him grow into a man. The overall goal is to encourage reading across the curriculum and help students improve reading and writing scores. Students need to know that bridges from core classes to the encore classes are a vital link in life long learning. Mr. Iverson says, “I was so excited to receive the books and work with Mrs. Cho because she a great teacher. She has such a passion for books and said the author of Heart of a Shepherd; Rosanne Perry is one she was excited to include in her class.”

wisconsin farm bureau federation


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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation Supports Wisconsin FFA

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isconsin Farm Bureau Foundation has generously made a donation to the Wisconsin FFA Foundation that will benefit over 19,000 Wisconsin FFA student members across the state. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s 2013 donation will help support the Discussion Meet Contest and annual Wisconsin FFA Convention. Their long-standing contributions have benefited thousands of FFA student members over the past 19 years. Thanks to support from Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, FFA members are able to prepare for successful careers in the science, business and technological aspects of the agriculture, food and natural resources industry. They take what they learn in the classroom and combine it with hands-on experience and leadership skills. As FFA members, their future careers in agriculture, food and natural resources will be a part of some of the biggest issues our world faces.

The Wisconsin FFA Foundation unites individuals, organizations and companies who share a common interest in the advancement of agriculture and community leadership through FFA. You can step up and help today’s FFA members by supporting the programs that have been core tenets of the FFA - proficiency awards, career development events, state FFA degrees, sectional leadership workshops, scholarships, chapter awards, agri-science fair, state FFA convention programs and state officer support. The Wisconsin FFA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. You can get involved by supporting Wisconsin’s FFA members and their future by contacting the Wisconsin FFA Foundation at 608.831.5058, info@wisconsinffafoundation.org, or 1241 John Q. Hammons Drive, Madison, WI 53717. Visit www. wisconsinffafoundation.org for more information. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation (www.wfbf.com) supports agricultural education programs and developing agricultural leaders. The WFB Foundation accomplishes this by providing vital financial support to the Ag in the Classroom program, Leadership Wisconsin, Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, Wisconsin Ag Education and Workforce Development Council, Wisconsin Agribusiness Foundation’s educational resources, Farm Bureau Institute, Wisconsin 4-H and FFA organizations and other leadership development programs.

FARM BUREAU® SPONSORED

AGRICULTURE IN A GROWING WORLD

ESSAY CONTEST For more information visit http://bit.ly/rfXlj2 or e-mail foundation@fb.org or call 1-800-443-8456.


foundation

Shining our spotlight on... Teacher Mini-Grants

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ometimes just $100 can go a long way for a classroom teacher that wants to do an agricultural project, lesson, or take students to a farm. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, through the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program, has awarded 12 Teacher Mini-Grants to Wisconsin teachers to use in agricultural literacy lessons and activities. The grants provide opportunities for teachers to obtain funding that may not be available through their local school budgets.

Andrea Waski, grades 9-12 agriculture, Brodhead High School: Awarded $100 for “Teaching the Next Generation.” This project will allow FFA members the opportunity to assemble resource bags they can use to teach younger students about agriculture. The resources will include a variety of agricultural book titles and related activities.

Cheri Oglesby, pre-K, St. Rose, Cuba City: Awarded $100

Kathy Field, first grade, Manawa Elementary School: Awarded $100 for “From Wheat to Bread in First Grade” project. One of the first grade reading lessons is a nonfiction article that tells the timeline of wheat. It follows from the time wheat is planted until it reaches the bakery that crushes in into bits that are used to make food with. The grant will allow them to purchase a bread maker and ingredients to make bread.

for “Let’s Feed the Cows” project. Funds will purchase farm toy equipment for students will enhance their play and knowledge about hay, including the sequence of growth, preparation and the final product fed to cattle. Students will take a field trip to Oglesby’s farm, where they will see how the equipment works.

Kimberly Forrester, grades 9-12 agriculture, Waterloo High School: Awarded $100 for “Food Preservation 101” project. Waterloo High School is offering a food science course for the first time. This project will help students learn the convenience and ease of preserving food. Classes will discuss canning, freezing, dehydration, food safety and careers.

Dana Westedt, fourth grade, Pineview Elementary School, Reedsburg: Awarded $100 for “Let’s Get Growing” project. Students will start seeds indoors in their classroom in late February. In early May the flowers will be sent home or given to the local veterans’ memorial. The students will also grow vegetables in a class that will be taken home or placed in an outdoor classroom garden.

Kirstin Thompson, fifth grade, Viking Middle School, Woodville: Awarded $100 for “Rural Life Respected” project. This project will allow students to use texts to research a rural life skill (like farming, gardening or mechanical skills), conduct interviews of real-life local experts and give an oral presentation on what they learned.

Glenda Crook, grades 9-12 agriculture and grades K-2, Lodi Schools: Awarded $100 for an ag and water conservation project in conjunction with National Agriculture Week. National Agriculture Week is an opportunity to educate both elementary and high school students about agriculture and natural resources. Lodi FFA members will present activities and lessons to elementary students.

Jeanna James, grades 7-12 agri-science, Southern Door, Brussels: Awarded $100 for “Plant Tissue Culture” project. Students will expand their scientific knowledge and understand how agri-science has evolved. The grant will help fund basic kitchen culture kits and other equipment needed to conduct tissue cultures.

John Slipek, grades 6-12, Abbotsford Middle and High Schools: Awarded $100 for “Garden Project 2012”. Abbotsford has had a school garden for three years. This grant will allow them to purchase a variety of seeds and plant materials needed for the garden. The garden allows students to learn where their food comes from, how to grow plants, and puts an emphasis on eating more fruits and vegetables.

Mark Strohschein, grades 9-12 agriculture, Green Bay East High School: Awarded $100 for “Ag in a Bag” project. Agriculture resource kits are being developed for local fourth grade teachers and students. The activity kit will also include a copy of Seed Soil Sun by Wisconsin farm author, Cris Peterson. Richard Henningfeld, grades 9-12 agriculture, Big Foot High School, Walworth: Awarded $100 for “One Tree at a Time” project. The project for elementary students will have lessons on the planting and propagation of trees, photosynthesis, and how a single tree effects the environment. Agri-science students will teach the lessons to elementary students. Yvonne Ziegler, four-year-old kindergarten, St. John School, Waunakee: Awarded $100 to purchase toy farm machinery and other materials to create an agriculture reading corner in Ziegler’s classroom. It will be part of a new “Agriculture Center” in the classroom that will answer questions by preschool students on how living things get food, what plants and animals need to grow.

on the web Read more about these grants by searching “teacher mini grants” at www.wisagclassroom.org.

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Struggling for Gift Ideas? Consider the WFB Foundation.

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s we near Mother’s and Father’s Day, graduation and birthdays, sometimes it’s hard to find special gifts for mom and dad, teacher yearend gifts, and other special occasions. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation offers a variety of items that you may find just the right gift for that someone special! • Betty Engel Note Cards: There are two styles of note cards available. The set of 20 cards (all identical) and envelopes are $10 plus shipping. • Children’s Books: The hard cover children’s books about agriculture make wonderful teacher gifts or elementary “graduation” at the end of the school year. The books are $15 each plus shipping. • Farm Bureau Member Signs: The signs are singlesided aluminum and offer a great way to spruce up a yard or driveway. • Wisconsin Ag Open: Surprise that golfer a registration for the 2013 Wisconsin Ag Open which will be held on September 9 at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove. • A Monetary Gift to Honor Someone: The WFB Foundation offers a special envelope (or online form) to give a monetary donation to the Foundation in “honor of” or in “memory of” someone special.

Thank you for the recent donation to the Wisconsin Agriculture Ed ucation Foundation , Inc . Your support helps us con duct our work with the Wisconsin Agriculture Ed ucation and Workforce Development Council . The Foundation and Council have been working on sev eral projects as we start 2013. We have seen contin ued interest and success in the career website: ww w.whyag.com .... Paul Larson , WAEF Chair man

Meet. Thank you for sponsoring the plaque for the FFA Discussion and me for Discussion Meet was a very educational experi ence I’m thrilled to represent my District at the Section 6 Speaking of Contest. Your continued support for the Wisconsin Association across rs membe and FFA is so greatly appreciated by myself to the state. Because of your generous contributions, we are able grow as leaders and advoca tes for agriculture. Kadi Walsh, Mauston FFA President Thank you for your sponsorship of the Wisconsin 4-H Key Awards program. I ha ve been trying to give ba ck to 4-H by helping the younger members in our club. It has been fun so far! John Klossner, Mt. Horeb

We appreciate your donation to the Wisconsin FFA Alumni 2013 Convention. Thank you for your support so we can continue to advocate for agriculture educa tion across Wisconsin. Without support like yours and others, our grassroots efforts would be impossible. Wisconsin FFA Alumni 2013 Convention Committee

Save the date! We hope you can join us for the... 15th Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser Monday, September 9, 2013

For registration and sponsorship information, please visit:

www.wfbf.com/wfbfoundation

April | may 2013

4740 Pierceville Rd, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin 53527 www.GolfTheOaks.com

Darlene Arneson, Foundation Director darneson@wfbf.com 608.828.5719

www.wfbf.com

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rural mutual

Rural Mutual Recognizes Top Agents

Tom Hebert

Jennifer Zinda

David Meihak

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ural Mutual agent Tom Hebert is the company’s 2012 Agent of the Year. Hebert, a member of the Lake & Woods District, has his office in Black River Falls. The 2012 Rookie of the Year was Jennifer Zinda. Zinda is also a member of the Lake & Woods District and her office is in Plover. The 2012 District of the Year honors went to the Lake & Woods District and District Manager, David Meihak. Rural Mutual held its 2012 Honors and Awards program recognizing the top producing agents on February 19 at the Marriott Madison West Hotel in Middleton.

WTA Scholarships

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ural Mutual Insurance Company is once again partnering with the Wisconsin Towns Association and Scott Construction, Inc., of Lake Delton, to offer $7,000 in scholarships to Wisconsin high school students. Seven scholarships will be awarded based on an essay 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 enter, 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. Applicants should contact their local town office to determine if they have coverage through Rural Mutual Insurance. Entries must be between 500 and 1,000 words and received by the WTA by May 31, 2013. Essays can be mailed to the Wisconsin Towns Association, W7686 County Road MMM, Shawano, WI 54166-6086. Winners will be announced by August 15, 2013 and they will receive their scholarship award at the WTA annual convention in Madison.

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Mike Immel

Daryl Pulsfus

Mike Immel, Fond du Lac, was the Company Top Performer in personal, and life lines as well as the Farm Bureau Financial Services Overall Life Agent of the Year. Daryl Pulsfus, Reedsburg and Prairie du Sac, was the Company Top Performer in Farm Lines and the Farm Bureau Financial Services Base Life Agent of the Year and Tom Hebert was the Company Top Performer in commercial lines.

WIAA Winter Sportsmanship Awards

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he Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance, has selected the Sportsmanship Awards for 2012 fall State Tournaments. Winners of this prestigious award are Waupaca in football, Manitowoc Roncalli in girl’s tennis, Oconto in girl’s volleyball, Marquette in boy’s volleyball, and Mount Horeb in boy’s soccer. The WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school and community in each of the State team tournaments. The award winners are determined by the conduct and sportsmanship displayed by athletes, coaches, cheer and support groups, mascots, bands and spectators. Award winners receive a trophy and banner in recognition of the honor.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


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 www.fbfs.com/SayThanksToAFarmer.


Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Don’t Get Caught With Your CROPS Down! Rural Mutual Insurance Company’s Crop Hail insurance covers more than just hail damage. It also covers crop losses caused by fire, lightning, transportation, vandalism and damage caused by non-owned vehicles. In addition, if your crops are destroyed early in the growing season, our policy offers financial assistance for replanting expenses... with no reduction in coverage. To protect your livelihood, visit us on Facebook or on our website at www.ruralins.com to find an agent near you. www.ruralins.com

CROP HAIL INSURANCE

Rural Route  

April | May, 2013 Volume 19 Issue 2

Rural Route  

April | May, 2013 Volume 19 Issue 2