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Rural Route


wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

august | september 2011 • vol. 17 no. 4 |

A Variety of

Issues Impacting Rural Wisconsin 201


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Policy Development: From the Ground Up Capitol Watch: Three Issues We Face Growing Memories, Harvesting Fun


annual report Page 19


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Farm Bureau F E D E R A T I O N



“Why do I use Fs?” “My dad started off with a farm and a tandem axle grain truck that he used to haul a little bit for hire. And over the years… well, one thing kind of led to another. Today, my son Corey runs the trucking business – and my son Ty, he runs the farming business. Why do we use FS? Service and dependability. We’ve been working with FS on the farm for over 40 years, for everything from seed to fuel to fertilizer. And as for the trucking business, since we deliver just-in-time freight, we have to be able to depend on our suppliers. So it’s nice to know that with FS, we can count on the fact that our fuel barrel is always full. That service and dependability is why we stick with FS”

The local ansWer To your World oF needs.

Ty, ron and corey neumann

Farm and trucking operators

©2011 GROWMARK, Inc. A11539E



vol. 17 no. 4













member benefits


ag in the classroom

board Profile



We sit down with Board Member Lloyd DeRuyter from Cedar Grove, Wisconsin.


rural mutual

from the ground up Farm Bureau members set to mull a wide variety of issues impacting rural Wisconsin.


capitol watch The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is currently monitoring three state regulations that impact Wisconsin farmers.


Farm Bureau members urged to support local ag ed programs.



member profile

annual report Highlights of the successful past year for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

National AITC Conference Four WFBF members were among the participants at the National AITC Conference.

Meet Farm Bureau Member Mariah Hadler: Growing Memories, Harvesting Fun.


lending a helping hand


Cranberry center An inside look at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center and how sponsorships and donations made it possible.

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august | september 2011


Editor’s Note


t’s funny how my experiences as a kid on the farm often relate to my adult work life. The satisfaction of finishing a big job (like putting together this magazine every other month) is something I first learned on the farm. I’ll admit that with each issue there is a day or two where I secretly doubt that it will all get completed in time. Then I remind myself that I’ve faced bigger challenges before. Like every spring when I was younger, I would wonder how a furry and feisty heifer was ever going to be transformed into a sleek animal calmly parading around a show ring. Yet, somehow it happened. Every August, my Grandpa seemed to pick the hottest day to hand harvest our largest field of tobacco. Let me tell you, an unharvested five-acre field of tobacco can look the size of the Atlantic Ocean on a steamy summer day. Yet, somehow — one stalk, lathe and wagon at a time — the crop was harvested.

{from Casey Langan} As farmers and agriculturists with long to-do lists, Farm Bureau members know the satisfaction of a completed task. This issue of the Rural Route captures that sense of challenge and accomplishment. We feature stories on the tasks of planning a large event like Farm Technology Days and advocating for local agriculture education programs. The policy development process that takes place each fall at county Farm Bureau Annual Meetings across the state require a commitment to advocating for changes that won’t happen overnight. This issue also features an important look back at what your Farm Bureau has accomplished in the last year. You will notice we have inserted our 2011 Annual Report into this issue of the Rural Route. By doing this, we will let even more Farm Bureau members know what their organization has been working on for the past 12 months. It’s my hope this issue will do two things: inspire you for the challenges ahead and give you a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. It’s a feeling that we as farmers and agriculturists know well. I certainly know that I do. Because just as we always seemed to get the hay harvested before a big storm rolled in when I was a teenager, another issue of Rural Route is (somehow) now in your hands. Enjoy! Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Assistant Editor Sheri Sutton 608.828.5706

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

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276)

WFBF Board of Directors Bill Bruins, Waupun, (President) Jerry Bradley, Sun Prairie, (Vice President) Dave Daniels, Union Grove Richard Gorder, Mineral Point Joe Bragger, Independence Lloyd DeRuyter, Cedar Grove Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo Don Radtke, Merrill Jim Holte, Elk Mound

Women’s Committee Chair Rosie Lisowe, Chilton

Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Chair Maria McGinnis, Portage Farm Bureau’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. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route is produced for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation by Kennedy Communications, LTD., 9 Odana Court, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53711, 608.288.9000. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. For advertising rates and information, please contact Annie Mares at 608.443.0956 or


Rural Route

wisconsin farm bureau federation


By Taylor Fritsch

Lend Students a Helping Hand Farm Bureau members urged to support local ag ed programs


isconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Bill Bruins is urging Farm Bureau members to mobilize in support of agricultural education and FFA chapters in their communities. In light of struggling economies and declining state revenue, many Wisconsin school districts are considering reducing or eliminating funding for agricultural education programs. “Many times, ag educators are so focused on student success that they do not have the time or resources to reach out to community members for support,” Bruins said in a letter to county Farm Bureau leaders. “Now is the time that agricultural education and FFA chapters need your support.” Bruins suggested several ways that you, as Farm Bureau members, can become involved in ensuring that your local agricultural education program remains intact:

• Attend school board meetings to voice your support for agricultural education. Let your school board members know that agricultural education is important to the success of this $60 billion Wisconsin industry and that you value their longtime support. • Assist your local program with recruitment into the agriculture program and FFA. Talk to your agriculture educator to learn how you might become involved in maintaining or growing student involvement in FFA. • Provide scholarships to FFA members and advisors to attend Farm Bureau’s annual Farm Forum. This event, approaching its 40th anniversary, educates FFA members on issues relevant to the future of agriculture.

• Reach out and become involved in your local FFA alumni chapter. Alumni chapters consistently provide great support to local programs. Consider fostering a closer relationship between your county Farm Bureau and these groups. • Utilize concepts from Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program with local administrators and faculty. Consider hosting a hands-on farm tour with FFA members and other speakers. Raising awareness of agriculture as a whole can help build support to preserve agricultural education programs. • Contribute financial support for the FFA chapter and agriculture program. “Agriculture needs as many people involved and informed as possible,” Bruins noted. “Its future success hinges on farmers and agribusiness leaders to become the spokespersons for the importance of agriculture in their local community.” Taylor Fritsch was selected for an internship with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. He is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-

Kudos A Jackson County group has stepped up to preserve its local agricultural education program. The Lincoln Ag Youth Supporters, or LAYS, have embarked on a fundraising campaign to fund the Lincoln High School agriculture program in Alma Center half-time for the next two school years. This represents a $70,000 minimum commitment. The FFA chapter at Lincoln boasts that 35 percent of the high school student body are involved as members with numerous achievements and awards.

Madison majoring in agricultural economics and journalism.

august | september 2011


From the

Ground Up

Farm Bureau members set to mull a variety of issues impacting rural Wisconsin By Paul Zimmerman


s a member, you know well that the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots organization that

works on behalf of farm families and others that support agriculture. A vital WFBF activity is policy development and implementation. Wisconsin Farm Bureau got its start in 1920 with farmers meeting to discuss issues of concern in order to devise ways, or policies, to resolve these issues. Every year since, county Farm Bureau members have met and discussed pertinent issues as part of Farm Bureau’s policy development process. This local involvement culminates


Rural Route

with voting on the proposed policies at county Farm Bureau annual meetings. Those resolutions are then sent on for discussion at the state Annual Meeting in December. There is not a Farm Bureau activity that is more important than policy development and implementation. We encourage you to become involved in your county’s policy development process this summer and fall, and make sure your voice is heard. In order to help with this discussion, WFBF’s Policy Development Committee and the American Farm Bureau Federation surface issues for county Farm Bureaus to consider during their

policy development process. This year’s state issues suggested by the PD Committee are: 1 Health care is not only a federal issue, but a state one as well. Members are encouraged to discuss state medical assistance programs such as BadgerCare, Family Care and Senior Care. 2 Current Wisconsin law requires the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to oversee the financial condition of dairy processors, grain dealers and some vegetable processors in order

wisconsin farm bureau federation

to better guarantee payment to producers. This Producer Security Program is funded by assessments paid by processors based upon their financial condition. How important is this program and what changes are needed to make it more efficient? 3 Our state’s Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program is funded by a surcharge on fertilizer and pesticide purchased by farmers. The ACCP utilizes these funds to offer cost sharing for the clean up of contaminated sites. What should be the future direction and scope of this program?

4 There is controversy and misunderstanding developing in rural Wisconsin regarding the application of manure via irrigation, whether it is by center pivot systems or the use of a traveling gun. The PD committee encourages discussion about this manure application technology. In addition, the American Farm Bureau suggests discussion on the ability to opt out early from the Conservation Reserve Program, antibiotics, food traceability, futures contract regulation, funding infrastructure projects, rural health care, and tax reform.

There is not a Farm Bureau activity that is more important than policy development and implementation. More Online Additional information on these issues can be found at

august | september 2011



Watch The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is currently monitoring three state regulations that impact Wisconsin farmers. This is a snapshot of the issues being considered by the DNR and DATCP. By Paul Zimmerman

State Standards for Siting Livestock Operations At recent DATCP board meetings, citizens spoke on Wisconsin’s livestock regulations, officially known as ATCP 51. The discussion focused on updating the technical standards contained within ATCP 51. The Wisconsin law that established state standards for the siting of livestock operations requires DATCP to review the technical standards contained in ATCP 51 every four years. This review took place in 2010 with four public listening sessions about livestock siting. Some environmental organizations are requesting that DATCP update ATCP 51 to reflect comments the agency received at these public listening sessions. WFBF supports updating ATCP 51, but only after the ATCP 50 technical standard revisions are completed. This will ensure consistency between DNR and DATCP regulations.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Program Last year, the Department of Natural Resources updated administrative rule NR 151, which establishes performance standards for agricultural practices, to address nonpoint source pollution. The NR 151 update included three new performance standards: a tillage setback from rivers and streams, allowing the phosphorous index as part of nutrient management and criteria for processed wastewater handling. As part of Wisconsin’s nonpoint source pollution prevention program and once the DNR has established performance standards, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is directed to adopt technical standards that farmers can use to meet DNR’s performance standards. Regulations pertaining to this are in an administrative rule titled ATCP 50. The DATCP has begun the process to update ATCP 50. WFBF will continue to be extensively involved in the nonpoint redesign process.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

federal watch Wolf Delisting WFBF has submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in support of delisting gray wolves from the Endangered Species list. Since 1999, when the Wisconsin DNR set a goal of delisting the wolf when their numbers reached 250, wolf numbers have swelled past 800. Last year there were more than 119 confirmed accounts of livestock and pets that were either killed or injured by wolves in Wisconsin.

Agricultural Air Emissions The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources administrative rule NR 445, titled Control of Hazardous Air Pollutants, establishes ambient air standards for specific contaminants from a variety of stationary sources. For livestock farmers, NR 445 sets acceptable concentrations for ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in the air to be measured at the property line. NR 445 pertains to air emissions, but does not regulate odors. Agriculture was not included in NR 445 when established to address air quality in the 1980s. In 2003, a group of citizens threatened to sue a Wisconsin dairy farm under the federal Clean Air Act, stating that the farm needed an air permit. The DNR modified NR 445 in 2004 to include ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from livestock farms. However, the DNR was not ready to determine how or if it needed to regulate these air emission from farms, so NR 445 contained a three-year exemption for ag until June 2007. A second exemption was adopted until July 2011. These exemptions were granted to give DNR time to create models to see if air permits may be needed for certain livestock farms based upon size and type of livestock. This work has not yet been completed. As a result, the legislative Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules voted to suspend the agricultural provisions contained in NR 445. This suspension gives DNR until 2012 to address the issue.

More Online

Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Funding WFBF recently asked U.S. Senator Herb Kohl to support $5 million in funding as part of a competitive grant program for non-land grant colleges of agriculture. In Wisconsin, campuses in Platteville, River Falls and Stevens Point all apply. Farm Bureau’s letter stated the financial need these colleges have to provide research, extension and education for a more skilled and knowledgeable agricultural work force. Authorization for this program was included in the last U.S. farm bill, but it is still unfunded.

Department of Transportation Regulations WFBF submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding the following three items: •• Should operation of commercial motor vehicles within a state’s boundaries be subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations? The DOT is suggesting that all farm commodities transported to a commercial entity should be done by a person with a Commercial Driver’s License because the commodities could be shipped across state lines. WFBF expressed opposition. •• Should drivers of farm vehicles transporting agricultural commodities, supplies and equipment as part of crop share agreements be subject to CDL regulations? The DOT is suggesting that all farmers who are in crop share agreements need a CDL because they are transporting items not only for themselves but for the other person in the crop share agreement. WFBF expressed opposition. •• Should off-road farm equipment or implements of husbandry operated on public roads for limited distances be considered commercial motor vehicles? The DOT is suggesting that the definition of implements of husbandry be narrowed to exclude vehicles that can travel at normal highway speeds. WFBF submitted comments supporting these determinations be made by individual states.

For additional information on these rules and other legislative and regulatory issues check out our website at

august | september 2011


Family Affair: Mariah Hadler (bottom right), along with her husband, Paul (sitting), her parents Gary and Mary Telfer (standing), and children, Tawney and Trace, all play host at Busy Barns in Jefferson County.

Meet Farm Bureau Member Mariah Hadler:

Growing Memories, Harvesting Fun By Casey Langan


ariah Hadler’s eyes glisten when she recalls the friends she’s made and the experiences she’s had thanks to agriculture. With the opening of Busy Barns Adventure Farm, she hopes to replicate those good times and teachable moments for others. Her family’s neat and tidy farm is conveniently located along U.S. Highway 12, west of Fort Atkinson in Jefferson County. Over the past two years Mariah, her husband Paul, and her parents Gary and Mary Telfer, have transformed their 35 acres into an agri-tourism mecca. “We want people to have a great time,” she said of the fledging business billed as ‘an educational adventure for the whole family.’ She brims with enthusiasm at the prospect of teaching her guests about farming and motivating and encouraging the FFA students. Her work at Busy Barns allows her to draw on her farm roots, knack for public relations, and educational and corporate work experiences. “This is what I was meant to do,” she said.

About Mariah Mariah, 33, grew up on the 35-acre spread that is now Busy Barns. Her parents worked off the farm, but also raised hay, corn, soybeans and steers. As a 4-H and FFA member, Mariah grew up showing the beef raised on their farm and dairy cattle from her grandparents’ farm. After an unsuccessful bid to become Wisconsin’s Alice in Dairyland, she moved to Wyoming County in western New York State. “The county had more cows than people,” she said. It was there that she worked with dairy farmers on

vaccination, breeding and employee protocols on dairy farms. When that job changed from an education to a sales role, she switched gears and pursued a master’s degree in education from Roberts College in Rochester, New York. She also married Paul Hadler, a dairy nutritionist. After the birth of their second child, the young family moved back to Wisconsin into the house next to Mariah’s parents’ farm.

Evolution of Busy Barns “I’ve always wanted to grow mums,” Mariah said of their initial plan in 2008 to raise 500 mums of various colors for resale at farmers’ markets and their farm’s roadside stand. That August, from an idea she read about, they hosted a tour of their mum field, along with a small petting farm and a handful of local vendors. They sold half the mums in two days. A customer suggested hosting the same type of event a few weeks later for pumpkins and fall décor they had grown. The family added a straw bale maze, a western area and a sand box filled with corn kernels. They sold out of the pumpkins and had just a few mums left. An idea was born. Plans took shape to charge admission to the farm during selected times in the spring and fall, and to host prescheduled tours. They’ve erected three barns. Two are used as handson learning classrooms and the other for their growing menagerie of farm animals. More than just providing children with the chance to touch a farm animal, Mariah wants to make sure they learn the realities of livestock. So while their three pigs might be housed in straw, stick and brick homes, they are named for the food products they will become: Ham, Bacon and Sausage. >> cont. on page 13

august | september 2011


busy barns

Growing Memories, Harvesting Fun

Rave Reviews So far, all of the Hadler family’s work has been appreciated. “Amazing,” was the word that Jessica Mueller, director for the Janesville YWCA’s child care program used to describe the time her group spent at Busy Barns in June. “Her set-up is marvelous,” Mueller added. “Mariah is excellent. She made the entire day fun for everyone. She had great explanations for all of their questions, and at their level.”

Giving Back Just as Busy Barns has evolved over time, so has a partnership that Mariah’s family has developed with local FFA chapters. It began with Mariah asking her former FFA advisor, Jeff Agnew of Fort Atkinson, if some of his students would be interested in helping. “It’s beneficial to us to have extra eyes,” Mariah said of the more than 20 students needed on a busy fall afternoon. “We empower them to do what’s right as tour guides and I tell them that they already know more about agriculture than many of our guests.” The students from five area schools get extra credit or volunteer hours for their efforts, as well as a food voucher for the Fort Atkinson FFA Alumni’s ‘Feed Bag’ concession trailer. After working a couple four-hour shifts they can apply for $1,000 in scholarships that can be used for college, an FFA trip or an FFA jacket.


Rural Route

“We’re learning as we go and always looking to tweak and improve how we educate.” - Mariah Hadler, Co-Owner of Busy Barns Mariah takes the greatest satisfaction in knowing that the FFA students’ experiences at Busy Barns build their public speaking skills and expands their network of ag-minded friends. She beams with pride when giving examples of quiet students who shined when given the chance to lead a tour.

Ag in the Classroom While living in New York state, Mariah got involved with a strong Ag in the Classroom program. She brought ideas back to Wisconsin. Mariah now co-chairs the Jefferson County Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program with her friend, Tracy Brandel. She credits Christy Strobel, a Farm Bureau District Coordinator, with getting her started and giving new life to their county program. The Jefferson County Farm Bureau members that Mariah describes as “a passionate bunch,” focus on three projects: promoting the statewide

wisconsin farm bureau federation

>> cont. from page 11

essay contest for fourth and fifth graders, hosting a fourth-grade farm tour for hundreds of students each spring, and providing teacher resource kits that show the process that food takes from farm to fork. In addition, the volunteers present “A Day Without Agriculture” to second-grade classrooms across the county. Mariah enjoys working with teachers through the Ag in the Classroom program, helping fellow volunteers expand their leadership capabilities and recruiting new members in order to multiply their efforts. She also tweaks Ag in the Classroom curriculums to be used before, during and after visits to her farm. She also shows children how to grow a ‘garden in a glove.’ With just seeds, cotton balls and water, she can recreate a mini-greenhouse in a surgical glove. “I hope to have an impact,” she said. She certainly is, one visitor at a time. For fall hours and cost of admission, go to or email

This coming fall, you can view Mariah as the ‘big bad wolf’ as she educates visitors on the pork industry with this season’s ‘Once Upon a Swine’ puppet show. The trivia corn maze will be sprinkled with educational questions; the animal barn will soon have more signage for self-guided tours. “Whatever we do here, I’m always hammering home what they are learning,” she said. In addition to a photo contest, they’ve also hosted sheep shearing demonstrations and given 4-H members another opportunity to show off their animals to the public. Some things work, some don’t. “We’re learning as we go and always looking to tweak and improve how we educate,” Mariah said as she pulled a grass sprinkler to another patch of freshly seeded lawn. “Many of these are the things I did as a kid growing up on the farm,” Mariah said of the opportunity the farm offers its guests to feed the farm animals, climb in the hay mow, sit on an antique tractor and play in the corn. Mariah’s the first to point out that Busy Barns has been a labor of love for her entire family. Her “super creative” mother designs many of the displays and her “worker bee” father built nearly everything with her brother Greg. Siblings Jared and Kori help out when they can.

august | september 2011



By Casey Langan

Putting on a Show

Farm Bureau members learn leadership skills while coordinating Farm Technology Days

mark your calendars Farm Technology Days moves to Outagamie County next year, Barron County in 2013 and Portage County in 2014.

“Ag is important, and to promote it with a show like this is good for the county.” - Jilayne Radtke


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or some Farm Bureau members, this year’s Farm Technology Days involved a lot more than three days in July. Farm Bureau members were among the nearly 1,000 volunteers needed to successfully host

the annual three-day farm show, held this year on the Marathon County

dairy farm of Ken and Karen Seehafer. When talking with Farm Bureau members about the experience, they note the challenges, like a tricky business climate and downed tents from high winds less than two weeks before the show. However, they also say they found the journey both interesting and fun. “Ag is important, and to promote it with a show like this is good for the county,” said Jilayne Radtke, who was one of the area farmers and Farm Bureau members who first discussed the prospect of Marathon County hosting the show for a third time (the others were in 1996 and 1974). Radtke served on the show’s food committee in 1996. This time, she opted for the publicity committee. She liked brainstorming with others to adapt the annual show to Marathon County. Radtke also enjoyed the juggling act of attracting the type of visitors that the show’s exhibitors want to do business with, along with bringing in and educating a nonfarm audience.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

reach 22,000




Radtke credited her training in the Farm Bureau Institute leadership class for such out-of-the-box thinking. “This helps people network with others,” said Melissa Klein, a Farm Bureau member who also served on the publicity committee and works as the Agriculture Coordinator at Northcentral Technical College. “It’s a way to give back, and I enjoy meeting different people,” agreed Gary Utech, a dairy and crop farmer from Marathon, who oversaw ground operations at both the 1996 and 2011 shows. “Every show’s a little different,” Utech said regarding the landscape of the host farm and the weather. It stormed on the last day in 1996, while it merely sprinkled one day of the recent July 12-14 show. Utech said the big requirements of the show foster cooperation and delegation. While in the past he says he’d be more likely to take everything on himself, that’s not really an option at Farm Tech Days. He said it’s important to align people with their own area of expertise

and for them to get the most out of the experience. The man power required for the show, from parking to food stands, also involves non-farm people and retired farmers. Long after the 1996 show, Utech said he met a retired farmer who fondly remembered his volunteer experience. “These shows bring a community together,” he said. Ben Brancel, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection agreed. He called Farm Technology Days, “a great opportunity to build leadership for the future as the host counties learn how to cooperate and work together. The benefits will be forthcoming for years afterward.”

did you know? Ken and Karen Seehafer were once Marathon County’s candidates for the Young Farmer Achievement Award and served on the state Young Farmer Committee for three years.

advertise in rural route Reader response to the new design of Rural Route has been great. For rates on how you can advertise your product or services to Farm Bureau members contact: Beth Vander Grinten Sales & Marketing Manager 608-235-2882

august | september 2011


Meet Board Member:

Lloyd DeRuyter T

oday, more and more people want to know where their food comes from. Lloyd DeRuyter and his family have started bridging the gap between the farm and fork by selling beef from their farm directly to consumers. “Consumers are looking for quality and convenience,” Lloyd said. Since the DeRuyters began farming in 1888, they have focused on producing quality products. What began in Cedar Grove with three dairy cows and 30 acres has grown to 210 Angus cows and steers and 500 acres. In partnership with his son Jeffrey, the DeRuyters are now giving consumers convenience by delivering beef —that is cut, wrapped and frozen—right to their home. While the majority of their beef are still


Rural Route

sold to market, their direct sales are increasing with 40 repeat customers throughout the year. Along with the meat, Lloyd delivers a message that educates consumers and helps clear up any misconceptions they may have about agriculture. “It’s important to get to know your customers, to get acquainted with them one on one so they grow to trust and appreciate farming,” Lloyd said. “Farming is all I ever did, and I really enjoy doing it,” Lloyd mentioned as he reminisced. Lloyd says his favorite part is watching the cattle and crops grow, and now he gets to see it continue even farther. Ever since he started delivering beef to consumer’s doors, he gets to follow his quality work to the actual people he and his family are feeding.

Farming and Farm Bureau go hand-in-hand “My dad helped start the Sheboygan County Farm Bureau,” Lloyd said. “He was the county president and would drag me around to all the meetings when I was younger.” After Lloyd graduated high school and started working with his father on the farm, he joined Farm Bureau like his father had done because

wisconsin farm bureau federation

board member profile

By Sheri Sutton

it was a natural fit. He started as an active Young Farmer member before joining the Sheboygan County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, where he has served for the last 20 years. “I had been involved in the county level for a long time, and I thought it was about time to be more active on the state level,” Lloyd said. For the last nine years Lloyd served as a director on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. He represents the six counties that make up District 6 – Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Lloyd estimates that he travels 60 or more days a year with Farm Bureau whether it is attending county or state board meetings, county annual meetings, state events, or trips to Washington D.C. “Farm Bureau is the best farming organization and it gets the most done,” Lloyd said. “I like the involvement that I have politically and legislatively.” He says among his favorite memories was the board trip to Australia to discuss dairy policy and government involvement and being part of the statewide decision making process on the WFBF Board of Directors. Lloyd has also served on the Cedar GroveBelgium School Board, as a church elder and deacon, on the Cattleman’s state and national board and as a member of the Eastern Wisconsin Beef Producers. Lloyd and his wife Carol have three children, Jeffrey, Cari and Jill, and five grandchildren. To all young farmers, Lloyd’s piece of advice for the ups and downs of farming is, “if your heart is in it, stick with it.”

Farm Bureau Podcasts

“It’s important to get to know your customers, to get acquainted with them one-on-one so they grow to trust and appreciate farming.” – Lloyd DeRuyter

Listen to all of them at WFBF.COM

“(In) the southern part of the state in particular, we’ve seen a large number of our dairy people who have either left or will be leaving in the next couple of years. So we’ll have to work hard with our local county members, with our local county boards, with our local dairy and crop producers to make sure that we’re hiring and replacing people so they can continue to be responsive to local needs.”

Associate Dean John Shutske of UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and UW-Extension on changes coming to the UW System.

august | september 2011



Guest Column from DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel

Balanced Budget Today = Prosperous Tomorrow


“This budget preserves DATCP’s core missions to ensure fair business practices, guarantee a safe food supply, maintain animal health and preserve our natural resources.”


Rural Route

s farmers, we had a challenging wet and cool spring to plant our crops. Even so, we are overcoming our late planting and forecasting a successful growing season. Just like us, Governor Walker faced a difficult budget situation with a $3.6 billion deficit this spring. Governor Walker met this daunting task and signed a biennial budget we all will benefit from in the next two years. This budget preserves the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection’s core missions to ensure fair business practices, guarantee a safe food supply, maintain animal health and preserve our natural resources. In this budget, DATCP will not increase fees or eliminate programming. The budget Governor Walker signed did not raise taxes or raid segregated fees. Segregated fees will be used for their intended purposes. DATCP will continue to protect consumers and support producers. Critical components of the farmland preservation program were maintained. Counties will have grant money available to fulfill their requirement to update their farmland preservation plans. This budget provides $27 million in farmland preservation tax credits to farmers when they meet their conservation responsibilities. Farmers and landowners will continue to have the opportunity to create Agricultural Enterprise

Areas to protect land use and encourage the agricultural economy’s growth. Our state’s dairy industry will now have a one-stop shop in DATCP for assistance in starting, modernizing or expanding their operations. In the budget, Dairy 2020 transfers from the Department of Commerce to DATCP, including the early planning grants and Milk Volume Production loans. Dairy 2020 complements existing business development programs at DATCP. The budget maintains investment tax credits for dairy manufacturers and food processors. Grants, tax credits and technical assistance have the potential to leverage private investment and job creation. Wisconsin is recognized for its meat industry. Wisconsin boosts 289 state-inspected meat plants, and this budget allows DATCP to hire 10 additional meat inspector positions over the biennium. Five positions will be funded by the state, and five will be funded federally. With these new meat inspectors, Wisconsin will be in position to meet federal requirements to implement the new interstate meat shipment program. Wisconsin’s meat processors will be able to expand their market, increase sales and add jobs with interstate meat shipment. Whenever meat is being processed in Wisconsin, an inspector is there to ensure public health and food safety requirements are being met. Wisconsin’s products are in

demand globally and locally. Wisconsin agricultural exports hit a record high in 2010; with a total value of $2.4 billion, a 36-percent growth over 2009, it continues to grow. This budget also maintains the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program, allowing DATCP to partner with farmers and public and private entities to build local food networks and distribution models others can replicate. DATCP will continue to provide technical assistance to farmers and organizations on marketing, business planning and production systems. With this support, global and local food sales can expand. Our budget challenges at DATCP are not completed as we face large reductions in funding from loss of federal earmarks. It will be more important than ever to collaborate with those in the industry to guarantee necessary services continue. DATCP will continue to cooperate with our partners like Farm Bureau to discover new ways to be efficient and effective. A balanced budget today sets up Wisconsin for a prosperous future with more jobs and economic growth. Wisconsin agriculture is a $59 billion industry, employing 354,000 people and providing food, biofuels, and fiber to our customers around the world. Agriculture will be a key economic driver as Wisconsin moves forward. Remember — agriculture is a part of everyone’s life. Four out of four people eat.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

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Farm Bureau F E D E R A T I O N


Farm Bureau F E D E R A T I O N

A Message from President Bill Bruins

Don’t Just Raise Crops. Raise Your Voice. I recently heard it said that the most cherished possession on many farms is no longer the combine, but the smart phone. That’s not the case for me personally, but it certainly goes to show how things continue to evolve on the farm. As farmers have changed, the public’s perception of us has changed too. Research says that while consumers still hold farmers in high esteem, they are increasingly skeptical about how we do things on our farms. Most consumers don’t see the need for farmers to implement more technology because U.S. grocery store shelves have rarely been empty. That’s not the case in the developing world where hunger kills 25,000 people daily. Nevermind the fact that by 2050 the world’s population will require 100 percent more food than we produce today. It’s been said that 70 percent of that additional food must come from technology, rather than trends. With all that said, I’m not suggesting a “feed the world” mantra will endear agriculture to the American public. It won’t. The American consumer is most concerned with their own family’s nutrition and food safety. Despite the old adage, it seems that many people DO want to see how sausage is made. There were over 277,000 online conversations about food issues in the month of April, and few were flattering of mainstream agriculture. What can you do about it? Well, we’ve successfully changed the way we farm, now we have to change the way we talk to others about it. Let’s start by dropping the technological jargon. Don’t just call them GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), but describe them as seeds that will grow stronger plants and require fewer pesticides. That’s something a consumer can embrace.


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We need not be ashamed to boast of the good work we do on the farm. Nobody else is going to do it for us. If we’re open and honest about what we do, then we’ll win the hearts and minds of consumers. Farm Bureau is leading the charge to do just that with a wide coalition of groups through the recently formed U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Its goal is not to win a war against agriculture’s detractors with millions in slick advertising. Instead it will engage that segment of the population that influences others with a frank conversation about the challenges of food production. That’s because consumers don’t see the safety of their food as a war, it’s simply a conversation they want to be part of. So we as farmers must get more comfortable having that conversation. If we don’t, we will lose what’s called our ‘social license’ to operate our farms. In layman’s terms, a detached public will see to it that we cannot grow our crops and livestock. With such challenges before us, your membership in Farm Bureau has never been more important. Together we can help amplify our message. For that reason we’ve inserted this year’s Annual Report into the Rural Route magazine so that every voting member can enjoy this annual look at how Farm Bureau is advocating for you in governmental and public relations, promoting agricultural literacy, and providing leadership opportunities for its members. I am humbled to serve as president of such a great organization that provides a voice for farmers and a vision for agriculture.

Bill Bruins President, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

wisconsin farm bureau federation



Providing Leadership Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program

Farm Bureau Women’s Program

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute

Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) program offers leadership development experiences for members between ages 18 and 35. A total of 281 YFA members attended last December’s YFA Conference portion of the WFBF Annual Meeting at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. To help build the next generation of rural leaders, the Rural Mutual Insurance Company sponsored 100 first-time attendees to the informational, educational and fun event.

Members of Farm Bureau Women’s Committees promote agriculture through a number of channels. Over the past year the state Women’s Committee advanced ag literacy among Wisconsin youth by assisting with the annual Ag in the Classroom essay contest and purchasing a set of Ag in the Classroom children’s books for a school or daycare facility. Women’s committees in 29 counties worked to engage consumers by promoting Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week and helping with 28 beef promotion events across the state.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute is a yearlong leadership experience which provides premier personal growth and leadership training to develop our next crop of county Farm Bureau leaders.

The program also recognizes young members for their agricultural knowledge, farming accomplishments and leadership skills through three leadership contests. Last year, 28 members completed the Achievement Award application, 25 competed in the state Discussion Meet contest, and seven completed the Excellence in Agriculture application. Wisconsin’s winners of those three contests represented their peers at the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Andrea Brossard Martin of Dodge County participated in the national Excellence in Agriculture contest, while Jackson County dairy farmers, Nathan and Karen Kling competed in the national Achievement Award contest. Troy Sellen, a dairy farmer from Oconto County, was a semi-finalist in the national Discussion Meet contest. Maria McGinnis, Director of Career Services for UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences from Columbia County, leads the ninemember state YFA Committee.

In addition to holding district meetings where local members develop their leadership skills, network and socialize, over 350 women attended the 2011 Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The Summit is a joint venture of WFBF, Badgerland Financial, and UW-Extension. Next year’s Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit will be held April 27-28 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Rosie Lisowe, a dairy farmer from rural Chilton leads the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s nine-member state Women’s Committee.

The 15 members of Institute Class V have completed sessions on personal leadership development, media training and how the Wisconsin Farm Bureau functions. Their remaining sessions include studying local and state government in Madison and examining national and international ag issues at the offices of the Indiana Farm Bureau. They will graduate at the WFBF Annual Meeting in December before taking a capstone trip to Washington D.C. in June to impact agricultural policy with their newfound leadership skills. That’s exactly what members of the Institute Class IV did when they traveled with the WFBF Board of Directors to Washington D.C. in April. Prior to their visits with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation they met with officials at the American Farm Bureau, Environmental Protection Agency and the Brazilian Embassy. Their capstone trip also included participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and touring Mount Vernon. This year a total of 72 Farm Bureau members from across the state will have graduated from the program, and more importantly, grown from their Institute experience.

A Voice for Farmers. A Vision for Agriculture. august | september 2011



Farm Bureau F E D E R A T I O N

Public Relations

A Voice for Farmers.

As the voice of agriculture, the Farm Bureau continues to be who the media calls when they need information about farm and food news. Over the past year the Farm Bureau received well over 300 media requests from print, radio, television and web-based reporters from local, state, national and international media outlets. Many of these press contacts were generated by the over 200 press releases and weekly radio reports that are generated by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau annually. In addition, the Farm Bureau’s public relations division delivers its messages to members and the consuming public through a number of other channels.

Rural Route

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Rural Route is published six times annually for voting Farm Bureau members. The publication focuses on Farm Bureau’s legislative work, events, educational efforts, sponsorships and exclusive member benefits. Last summer the publication was changed from a newspaper to a magazine format.


The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s newly revamped website ( serves as an interactive resource for members, agricultural leaders and media. Information about farm markets, weather, legislative issues, Farm Bureau programs and applications for various events are just a click away. Radio reports are available for listening and on-farm videos and interviews are available for watching. Back issues of the Rural Route and Farm Bureau Annual Report are also available digitally.


Farm Bureau’s retail food price survey remains a popular item with media outlets statewide. The information about the average price of a set of predetermined food items is collected by Farm Bureau members across the state. The Marketbasket’s findings show trends in prices paid by consumers and their correlation to trade, weather and the supply and demand issues that factor into food prices.

County Newsletters

Over 40 of our 61 county Farm Bureaus now have their newsletters published by the state Farm Bureau office. This is a feature of the County Farm Bureau Services Program. The quarterly newsletters promote local events, provide information on what county Farm Bureaus are doing on the grassroots level, as well as highlight individual members.

Ag Newswire

Social Media

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is part of the fastest-growing social networking site on the planet. To connect with other Farm Bureau members and receive up to the minute updates on events and news, just click ‘like’ on the ‘Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’ page. In addition, members of the Farm Bureau’s Institute, Women’s and YFA programs all have Facebook pages as well. Farm Bureau also gets its message out through the use of Twitter @WIFarmBureau.

This “subscription only” email is sent to Farm Bureau members and to Wisconsin media. It provides an easy to read snapshot of farm, food and rural news on the state and national levels. It also highlights Farm Bureau activities and the organization’s involvement with key legislative issues. The Ag Newswire is sent to nearly 2,200 Farm Bureau members and over 330 reporters for print, radio, television and web-based news outlets.

2nd Quarter 2011

WFBF Marketbasket Survey


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$49.49 for 16 items


The 16-item marketbasket includes bagged salad, orange juice, apples, potatoes, chicken breasts, sliced deli ham, bacon, ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, eggs, milk, shredded cheddar cheese, bread, flour, toasted oat cereal and vegetable oil.

3.1 % increase from last quarter

wisconsin farm bureau federation



Governmental Relations

A Vision for Agriculture.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has been working tirelessly on behalf of Wisconsin’s farm families, providing key representation on a variety of state and federal issues. The organization’s true strength is the grassroots network of informed and politically active members who contact their legislators on important issues, attend Ag Day at the Capitol in Madison, and travel on Farm Bureau sponsored trips to our nation’s capital.

In Madison

In Washington D.C.

State Budget

Farm Bill and Dairy Reform

The state legislature finalized the 2011-13 biennial budget in June. The final budget featured several key provisions aligning with Farm Bureau policy. Notably, Wisconsin’s leaders passed the first balanced budget in recent years without tax increases and segregated fund raids. While state government will live within its means, several budget items critical for Wisconsin farmers were preserved, including the addition of five state-funded meat inspectors, with matching funding for five more inspectors coming from the federal level. The state’s non-point source pollution programs (NR 151 and ATCP 50) were funded, which means cost-sharing will be available to farmers who need to implement nutrient management changes on their farms. Discovery Farms, a UW-Extension program conducting environmental research, was also funded in the budget. Core functions of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) were preserved. The budget also maintained use-value assessment of farmland, a critical element in ensuring the viability of Wisconsin agriculture.


The Wisconsin Legislature enacted policies extending the Dairy and Livestock Tax Credit through 2017. These income tax credits benefit farmers who complete expansion and modernization projects of dairy and livestock facilities. The legislation was otherwise set to expire at the end of 2011. Another key piece of legislation passed this session provides state income tax deductions for contributions made to health savings accounts (HSAs). The law provides for a state income tax credit calculated on 6.5% of the total amount of HSA contributions reported on a federal tax return. This act will result in lower healthcare costs for Wisconsinites making HSA contributions, as well as stimulate the economy by freeing up these dollars for spending elsewhere.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau continues to monitor several pieces of federal legislation important to Wisconsin farmers. A legislative priority that will come into focus over the next year will be the 2012 Farm Bill. A different political atmosphere and public attitude toward farm subsidies could lead to a bill that looks substantially different from the 2008 edition. Wisconsin Farm Bureau will continue to advocate for policies that benefit agriculture, especially crop insurance based on producer revenue. Of course, as the Dairy State, we will continue to be a leader in dairy policy reform issues. We support movement to a margin-protection safety net that factors in cost of production as well as milk price when determining if payments are needed by farmers.

Promoting Trade

Farm Bureau continues to work toward creating trade agreements that open up U.S. commodities to global markets. Realizing the huge boost that new exports bring to Wisconsin agriculture, we continue to advocate for bilateral trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.

Weighing in on Regulations

Wisconsin Farm Bureau is also standing up for farmers on key regulatory issues impacting agriculture. We have submitted comments to federal agencies supporting proposed delisting of the gray wolf, a move that would allow state and local authorities to deal with problem wolves that plague farmers. Wisconsin Farm Bureau also weighed in on a series of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposals to reclassify farm implements as commercial motor vehicles, an unnecessary regulatory move that could endanger the ability of Wisconsin farmers to operate their business and move product to market.

A Voice for Farmers. A Vision for Agriculture. august | september 2011



Farm Bureau F E D E R A T I O N

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation Building on a Strong Foundation Supporting agricultural education programs and developing agricultural leaders is the guiding principle of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. The Foundation accomplishes this by providing vital financial support to the Ag in the Classroom program, Farm Bureau Institute, and the Wisconsin 4-H and FFA organizations. Major fundraising accomplishments of the Foundation include: • The 2010 Wisconsin Ag Open raised over $11,628. • A silent auction at the 2010 WFBF Annual Meeting raised over $13,600. The fun name badge ribbon sales conducted by WFBF’s YFA Committee raised $1,021 for the Foundation. • The Learn and Lead campaigns, memorial and “in honor of” gifts, and individual, county Farm Bureau and corporate donations continue to support the Foundation. • GROWMARK, Inc. provides this support through FS Brand Seed Corn, FS HiSoy® soybean seed, and FS WL alfalfa seed sold in Wisconsin. Frontier FS, Conserv FS, Servco FS, and GROWMARK, Inc. cooperatives presented $3,263 to use for local and state Agriculture in the Classroom and ag literacy programs.

In 2010, the combined efforts of more than 200 Farm Bureau volunteers resulted in 783 new members joining the organization. Rural Mutual Insurance agents signed an additional 576 new voting members and 2,037 new associate members. Thirty-three county Farm Bureaus achieved membership growth in 2010, and Wisconsin Farm Bureau was one of 36 states that posted a membership gain.


Member Relations

Bill Bruins, WFBF President 608.828.5700 Roger Cliff, Chief Administrative Officer 608.828.5703 Becky Schollian, Executive Assistant 608.828.5701

Bob Leege, Executive Director 608.828.5710 Deb Raemisch, Director 608.828.5712

Public Relations

Training and Leadership Development

Casey Langan, Executive Director 608.828.5711 Sheri Sutton, Communications 608.828.5706 Lynn Siekmann, Administrative Assistant 608.828.5707

Governmental Relations Paul Zimmerman, Executive Director 608.828.5708 Karen Gefvert, Director 608.828.5713

Operations Jeff Fuller, Executive Director 608.828.5715 Jill Bennwitz, Administrative Assistant 608.828.5705


Rural Route

Farm Bureau relies on a growing and actively participating membership base to provide financial stability and leadership at the county, state and national levels. Through the efforts of Farm Bureau volunteers and Rural Mutual Insurance agents across Wisconsin, Farm Bureau membership grew to 42,734 members in 2010, marking a third successive year of membership growth.

The Foundation’s support over the last year included: • Sponsoring the 4-H Key Awards for Wisconsin youth for the 37th year. • Providing financial support for the Wisconsin FFA’s discussion meet awards and Food for America program. • Contributing to the University of Wisconsin’s Rural Youth Scholarship. • Co-sponsoring the Farm Bureau’s annual FFA Farm Forum which provides leadership training experience for FFA members. • Providing scholarships to four Farm Bureau members enrolled in the two-year Leadership Wisconsin Program. • Offering continued support for the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center’s educational displays and tours.

Farm Bureau Staff


Dale Beaty


Darlene Arneson


Christy Strobel, District 1 Coordinator


Becky Anding, District 2 Coordinator


Foundation Director, AITC Coordinator

Paul Peterson, District 3 Field Supervisor 866.355.7343 Steve Boe, District 4 Coordinator


Becky Hibicki, District 5 Coordinator


The 2011 membership year ends on September 30, and thanks to another year of outstanding cooperation between Farm Bureau and its affiliate companies, WFBF is on pace to post its largest voting and associate membership gains in nearly two decades.

Kimberly Rusch, District 6 Coordinator 866.355.7345 Wes Raddatz, District 7 Coordinator


Lindsey Prahl, District 8 Coordinator


Wendy Kannel, District 9 Coordinator


Darci Meili, Administrative Assistant


wisconsin farm bureau federation




Ag in the Classroom Planting Seeds of Ag Literacy The Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program provides Wisconsin teachers and their students with the tools to teach and learn how their next meal travels from the farm to the fork. Currently, there are 71 local Ag in the Classroom (AITC) coordinators in 61 Wisconsin counties with organized AITC programs.

Local Efforts

Local Agriculture in the Classroom efforts are carried out by the county’s AITC Committee. The 61 counties utilized volunteers for farm tours, classroom presentations, and other events. The expenditures for those county AITC programs were $123,345 in 2010. Approximately 10,340 volunteer hours were contributed to conduct a variety of local activities.

Teachers Recognized

Sheila Burris, a second grade teacher in Spring Green, was the recipient of the Ag in the Classroom’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Burris is the teacher coordinator for the Sauk County Ag in the Classroom program at her school. Betty Krcma, agri-science teacher in Green Bay, was an American Farm Bureau White Reinhardt Educator Scholarship recipient. Krcma traveled to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Florida and participated in workshops, traveling tours, and general sessions.

Project Funding

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation awarded 15 matching grants totaling $5,610 to Wisconsin schools and organizations to use for agricultural literacy lessons and activities. There were 16 teacher mini-grants in the amount of $100 awarded to fund agricultural literacy projects or purchase materials or equipment needed to teach students about agriculture.

Wisconsin was very successful in American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture White Reinhardt Funds. All five applications submitted in two categories were awarded funding. The Mini-Grant recipients include: Brown County Farm Bureau - Red Barn Learning Center kits for elementary students; Jackson County Farm Bureau - ag activity kits on apples, bees, cranberries, corn, soybeans, dairy, sunflowers, forestry and nutrition; Manitowoc County Farm Bureau Traveling agriculture presentation and materials kit; and Wisconsin Farm Bureau - Ag in the Classroom- Bringing Music to our Lives Project which takes ag-related songs and incorporates them into lesson plans for elementary students. Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Program was also recently awarded a $10,000 grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture for an agricultural literacy project called Telling Our Agricultural Story. The resource will help address misinformation being taught in some classrooms, movies, books or other events related to our food supply and methods of production. The project will put together a set of resources and lesson plans that can be used in a classroom setting, with youth groups such as 4-H and FFA, and in educational displays. The lesson plans will be targeted for middle and high school students.

Essay Contest

Brenna Nowak of River Falls was the winner of the Agriculture in the Classroom’s essay contest. Wisconsin fourth and fifth graders were asked to write a 100 to 300 word essay with sthe of e ” Fac sin s theme, “If I lived on n act “Fu con of s” ace n F onsin cts u F “ Fa sc Wi ture ul ric Ag in

a dairy farm, I’d want people to know that…” A total of 1,953 Wisconsin students wrote essays for the competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board/Wisconsin Dairy Council, Foremost Farms USA and We Energies.

Other AITC Activities •

Clarabelle was selected as the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 2011 Book of the Year. The book is authored by dairy farmer and WFBF member Cris Peterson.

31 participants attended the Soybean Science Kit and Ag in the Classroom training held last April in Portage for teachers and volunteers. Two full day options of soybean kit training were offered with AITC workshops running opposite them. The training was partially sponsored by the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation - Jeannette Poulson Fund.

54 Soybean Science Kits were utilized by 6,156 students. Funding for five additional kits by the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board increased the total sponsored kits to 59 in the state.

F s Wi ture ul ric


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A Voice for Farmers. A Vision for Agriculture.


2011 Board of Directors


Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board of Directors: (first row, left to right) District 2 - Vice President Jerry Bradley, Women’s Committee Chair - Rosie Lisowe, District 5 - President Bill Bruins, Young Farmer and Agriculturist Chair - Maria McGinnis, District 1 Director - Dave Daniels, (back row, left to right) District 4 Director - Joe Bragger, District 6 Director - Lloyd DeRuyter, District 9 Director - James Holte, District 3 Director - Richard Gorder, District 8 Director - Donald Radtke and District 7 Director - Wayne Staidl.


Farm Bureau F E D E R A T I O N




Bragger District 1: Dave Daniels, Union Grove district 2: Vice President Jerry Bradley, Sun Prairie district 3: Richard Gorder, Mineral Point district 4: Joe Bragger, Independence district 5: President Bill Bruins, Waupun district 6: Lloyd DeRuyter, Cedar Grove district 7: Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo district 8: Donald Radtke, Merrill district 9: James Holte, Elk Mound Women’s Committee Chair: Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Young Farmer and Agriculturist Chair: Maria McGinnis, Portage


Rural Route

Lisowe McGinnis



Bradley Gorder Daniels

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Member Benefits

A Voice Land Use




Farm Bureau Institute

Ag in the Classroom YFA



Ag in the Classroom




Marketing Energy

for farmers.Member Benefit



Use Value Assessment





Livestock Leadership





Natural Resources

Eduation Hunting


Women’s Program

Farm Bureau Foundat


A Vision

for agriculture.

2011 December 2-5 Annual Meeting

Kalahari Resort and Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells 92nd Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting 77th Rural Mutual Insurance Company Annual Meeting Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference

Land Use


Hunting Women’s Program Legislation Labor Energy


Agenda nd




Use Value Assessment




Farm Bureau Foundation




Land Use


92 WFBF & 77th RMIC Annual Meetings

Friday, December 2 Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Conference Begins 2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m.

YFA Committee Meeting – Acacia Registration Opens – Registration Booth 3 First-timer’s Orientation Session – Crown Palm YFA Welcome Dinner – Ballrooms A, B, G, H District YFA Meetings Musical Entertainment – Ballrooms C, D, E, F

Saturday, December 3 7:00 a.m. Registration Opens – Registration Booth 3 7:00 a.m. YFA Committee Reorganization Meeting – Empress 8:00 a.m. YFA Breakfast & Program – Ballrooms A, B, G, H 10:00 a.m. Workshops (10:00 and 11:00, see next page) 12:00 p.m. YFA Luncheon – Ballrooms A, B, G, H 12:00 p.m. Discussion Meet Judges Luncheon and Orientation - Cypress WI Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) Annual Meeting Begins 12:30 p.m. Producer Club Luncheon – Suites I, VIII 1:30 p.m. Discussion Meet Quarterfinals I – Acacia, Bamboo, Crown Palm, Ironwood, Banyan 1:30 p.m. Excellence in Ag Practice Session – Portia 1:30 p.m. Achievement Award Interviews – Desert Rose/Mahogany 2:00 p.m. Trade Show Opens – Suites II, III, IV, V, VI, VII 2:30 p.m. Discussion Meet Quarterfinals II – Acacia, Bamboo, Crown Palm, Ironwood, Banyan 3:00 p.m. Excellence in Ag Presentations – Portia 4:00 p.m. Discussion Meet Semifinals – Banyan, Ironwood 4:00 p.m. Farm Bureau Reception – Suites II, III, IV, V, VI, VII 5:00 p.m. Trade Show Closes 5:30 p.m. Farm Bureau Extravaganza! Featured Entertainment: Jeff Civillico – Ballrooms A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H 8:30 p.m. Trade Show & Silent Auction Open (until 10:00 p.m.)


Rural Route

Sunday, December 4 7:00 a.m. WFBF Women’s Committee Meeting and Reorganization – Empress 8:00 a.m. Registration Open – Registration Booth 3 8:00 a.m. Morning Devotional – Tamarind/Guava 9:00 a.m. Resolutions Processing – Empress 9:00 a.m. Discussion Meet Finals – Suite I & VIII 10:00 a.m. Buffet Brunch & General Session – Ballrooms A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H Featured Speaker: Dick Wittman Positioning Your Farm Business for Successful Transition YFA Conference Ends 12:30 p.m. Trade Show & Silent Auction Opens (closes following halftime of the Packer game) 1:00 p.m. Workshops • 2012 Farm Bill: An Insider’s View - Guava/Tamarind • Educating Others with AITC Resources - Portia • OSHA’s Role in Dairy Safety - Wisteria 2:30 p.m. Policy Development Committee Meeting – Empress 3:00 p.m. Reception & Green Bay Packer Game – Ballrooms A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H 4:15 p.m. Packer Tailgate Party Buffet 6:30 p.m. Farm Bureau Awards Program – Ballrooms A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H

Monday, December 5 7:00 a.m. Registration Open – Registration Booth 3 7:00 a.m. Breakfast & General Session – Ballrooms A, B, C, F, G, H District Caucuses: 9:00 a.m. District 1: Wisteria District 6: Aralia District 2: Portia District 7: Marula District 3: Tamarind District 8: Aloeswood District 4: Guava District 9: Tamboti District 5: Mangrove 10:30 a.m. Resolutions & Business Meeting - Ballrooms A, B, C, F, G, H


wisconsin farm bureau federation

Capitol Member Benefits Ag in the Classroom Health Safety Eduation Marketing Transportation Dairy Governme Benefits YFA Workshops Energy


Farm Bureau Institute



Ag in the Classroom

and Entertainment

Saturday, December 3, 10:00 a.m.

Knowing Your Audience and Speaking in Their Terms Johnna Miller Director of Media Development American Farm Bureau Federation

If You Build it, They Will Come: Keys to a Successful County YFA Program Maria McGinnis 2011 Chair WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee

OSHA’s Role in Dairy Safety Mary Bauer Compliance Assistant Specialist Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Land Use


Keynote Presentation Sunday, December 4, 10:00 a.m.

Positioning Your Farm Business for Successful Transition R.L. (Dick) Wittman Wittman Farms/Consulting

Afternoon Breakout Sessions Sunday, December 4, 1:00 p.m. 2012 Farm Bill: An Insider’s View Mary Kay Thatcher Director of Public Policy American Farm Bureau Federation

Educating Others with Ag in the Classroom Resources

Case Study Workshop “Strategies for Implementing Effective Business Management Systems and Transitions”

Darlene Arneson Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Coordinator

R.L. (Dick) Wittman Wittman Farms/Consulting

OSHA’s Role in Dairy Safety

Farm Bureau Extravaganza! Featured Entertainment Saturday, December 3, 5:30 p.m. Jeff Civillico Jeff Civillico has developed his own unique brand of entertainment he calls “Comedy in Action” which blends comedy, juggling, balancing, athleticism, and audience participation to produce an unforgettable experience.

Mary Bauer Compliance Assistant Specialist Occupational Safety & Health Administration

WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference 2011 Sponsors:

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Registration Information Don’t miss this exciting chance to network with Farm Bureau members from across Wisconsin. Registration packets for the events are available at county Farm Bureau offices or by calling WFBF at 800.261.FARM.

august | september 2011


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 Bank

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.”

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. To get started, call 800.492.FARM (3276), or look online at

Accidental Death Policy

FB Apparel

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.

FB Apparel offers you more than 700 apparel items to choose from, including products from your favorite brands like Cutter & Buck, Columbia, GEAR for Sports, and Dickies, to name a few. Contact your FBApparel representative at 866.859.7005.

AVIS-Budget Car Rental


With 4,800 locations in over 140 countries, there’s always an Avis nearby to help you with your car rental needs. And whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, your membership in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau entitles you to special discounts.,

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

Budget Truck Rental Farm Bureau members receive a 15% discount on Budget Truck rentals. To use the discount call 800.566.8422 or visit www.budgettruck. com/wfbf. Use the Wisconsin Farm Bureau account number 56000133165 to get your 15% discount.

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# 0058419.

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

Lands End Business Outfitters Save 10% on product and logo fees when using the preferred Farm Bureau phone number and website to place orders. To purchase items call 800.916.2255 or go online at

Rural Mutual Insurance Offering a full line of insurance and financial products for your personal, farm and business

needs exclusively for Wisconsin Farm Bureau members. Our rural Wisconsin heritage assures that you’ll find in us the strong values you expect and deserve. Visit us on the web at to find your nearest Rural Mutual agent.

ScriptSave® Prescription Drug Savings Card ScriptSave is a prescription drug savings card available to all Wisconsin Farm Bureau members. The card is available to you at NO COST as an added feature of your membership. Your entire household can use the card for instant savings that average over 22% with potential savings up to 50% on brand name and generic medications (based on national program savings data).

The Country Today Newspaper Here’s a way to save money, get informed on ag issues, AND help support a popular Farm Bureau program. Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau now receive $7.50 off a yearly subscription (and $15 off a two-year subscription) to The Country Today newspaper.

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# 62775 when making your reservations.

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

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


Rural Route

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Steve Boe is New Coordinator in District 4

Staff Changes There’s been no shortage of good news on the staffing front for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation…

Deb Raemisch Deb has been named the new Director of Member Relations where she will oversee Farm Bureau’s Women’s Program and meeting planning. She most recently worked as the District Coordinator for District 5.


teve Boe has been hired by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation as the new district coordinator in westcentral Wisconsin. Boe will be responsible for working with county Farm Bureaus to develop and implement programs to serve Farm Bureau members and to coordinate membership recruitment and retention efforts. “I am honored to be working for Farm Bureau in western Wisconsin and am eager to work with farmers and agriculturists,” Boe said. Boe will serve Farm Bureau’s District 4, which includes the counties of Buffalo, Eau Claire, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe and Trempealeau. He began his duties on July 11. “Steve’s background in agricultural education and public policy and his farm ties in Jackson County will be very helpful as he works with county Farm Bureaus in District 4,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Member Relations. Boe grew up on a farm near Taylor in Jackson County. The UW-River Falls graduate has degrees in agricultural education and political science. He has worked as an agri-science teacher at Independence High School, a congressional intern for Congressman Ron Kind in Washington, D.C. and, most recently, as a research assistant for State Rep. Mark Radcliffe in the Wisconsin State Assembly in Madison. Boe is a member of the Jackson County Farm Bureau and a 2009 graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute leadership course.

Lynn Siekmann Lynn was hired in May as the new Administrative Assistant for WFBF’s Public Relations Division. She succeeds Tracy Pape who is now the Executive Assistant for Rural Mutual Insurance Company’s Executive Vice President and CEO Peter Pelizza.

Becky Hibicki Becky rejoins the WFBF staff this month as the District 5 Coordinator. It’s a position she’s held before. She was the first District Coordinator in WFBF’s County Services Program. Hibicki recently filled in on an interim basis during the maternity leaves for District Coordinators Lindsey Prahl (District 8) and Kimberly Rusch (District 6), both of whom gave birth to daughters.

It takes a special roof to hold up the sky. We’ve built 67,000 so far.

We’ll make your hard-earned buck last a long, long time.

august | september 2011



By Casey Langan

Farm Bureau Member Receives $500 Reward Meet Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Interns: Taylor Fritsch, Ann Larson


“We’ve been very fortunate to work with these two talented and energetic individuals.”

Fritsch is also a charter ollege students Taylor member of the UW-Madison Fritsch and Ann Larson Collegiate Farm Bureau. were both selected for He grew up on his family’s internships with the Wisconsin dairy farm near Dodgeville, Farm Bureau Federation’s where he served as the Public Relations Division this student manager of the summer. “We’ve been very fortunate Iowa-Grant High School FFA to work with these two talented Greenhouse. He is currently and energetic individuals,” said a member of the Alpha Casey Langan, Wisconsin Farm - Casey Langan, WFBF’s Gamma Rho Fraternity. Bureau’s Executive Director of Larson is a junior at the Executive Director of PR Public Relations. “Wisconsin University of WisconsinFarm Bureau members have Platteville where she majors been served well by these fine individuals in agricultural business with a minor in who bring a passion for agriculture and toppublic relations. A former state officer of the notch work ethic to everything they do.” Illinois Association of FFA, Larson grew up Fritsch and Larson assisted with on her family’s crop farm near Shabbona, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s website, print Ill. She is a member of Alpha Seta sorority publications and social media presence on and the Sigma Alpha Professional Women in Twitter and Facebook. Agriculture. Larson has also had internships Fritsch is a sophomore at the University with the Cook County Farm Bureau and of Wisconsin-Madison, where he majors in agricultural economics and journalism. National FFA Alumni Association.


Rural Route

Marquette County Farm Bureau Vice President Al Klapoetke (above) presented Greg Kemnitz a check for $500. Farm Bureau pays a $500 reward to persons providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals for arson, theft or criminal damage to a member’s property that is posted with a Farm Bureau reward sign or sticker. Long time Farm Bureau member Greg Kemnitz was able to take advantage of this member service this past spring after the information he provided lead to the arrest and conviction of a perpetrator for theft on his property.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Deadline Approaches for WFBF Hawaiian Cruise


ime is running out to make plans to escape the Wisconsin winter and explore Hawaii’s tropical paradise

this January. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members traveling to Hawaii for the American Farm Bureau’s 93rd Annual Meeting will have the opportunity to participate in an optional seven-day, pre-convention “island-hopping” Hawaiian cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Pride of America.

Sailing round-trip from Honolulu, site of the AFBF Annual Meeting, the cruise will take place from December 31, 2011 to January 7, 2012 and will visit five ports of call on four islands: Oahu, Maui, Hawaii’s Big Island and Kauai. For those wishing to experience the beauty of Hawaii while avoiding the lost time and considerable cost associated with inter-island airline flights, this one-of-a-kind cruise will provide your “floating hotel room” as

you travel from island to island and experience the best of Hawaii. WFBF has a limited number of cabins blocked for this cruise, and the deadline to register is September 30. To request a flyer with complete details on this cruise and current fares, contact Bob Leege, WFBF Executive Director of Member Relations at 608.828.5710 or e-mail

Save the Date! April 27-28, 2012 Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells


Ag SWomen’s U M M I T august | september 2011

Presented by:


Farm Bureau F E D E R A T I O N

University of Wisconsin–Extension


ag in the classroom


Helping students gain a greater awareness of agriculture’s role in our economy and society.

Wisconsin Represented at:

National AITC Conference


our Wisconsin Farm Bureau members were among the participants at the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., June 22-25. Betty Krcma, Green Bay agri-science instructor; Lisa Condon, American Agri-Women from Dodge County; and Wisconsin AITC Coordinator Darlene Arneson and her husband John saw Florida agriculture firsthand and participated in interactive workshops that showed them how to incorporate real-life agricultural applications into language arts, math, nutrition, science and social studies classroom lessons. Themed “Discover Education’s Hidden Treasure: Agriculture,” the conference hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom and the Southern Region Agriculture in the Classroom states, included tours of a tropical fruit packing house, school gardens, tropical plant nurseries, dairy farms and ranches and other stops in South Florida. Krcma was the recipient of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s White Reinhardt Educator Scholarship to attend the conference. Arneson received an ACE Grant for the agricultural literacy project,“Telling Our Agricultural Story.” Condon staffed an exhibit for the American Agri-Women on their educational resources. Information about the 2011 conference and the 2012 conference which will be in Loveland, Colo., can be found at


Rural Route

Dane County Farm Bureau member John Arneson toured the J.M. Larson Dairy which milks 6,000 cows at various locations. As you can see, calf hutches are constructed a bit differently than in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin delegation to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Fort Lauderdale June 22-25 included Betty Krcma, John and Darlene Arneson, and Lisa Condon.

wisconsin farm bureau federation



isconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Darlene Arneson was recently recognized by the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators with the Outstanding Cooperation Award. Arneson was also named as the Region III Winner of this award and will travel to St. Louis in November for the National Association of Agricultural Educators Conference competition. Arneson is a former State FFA Officer and agricultural education instructor. She has been active in the local, state and national FFA Alumni. Darlene has served on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board, as the Wisconsin FFA Alumni President and is currently serving on the Wisconsin Ag Education and Workforce Development Council and Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. She provides agricultural educational resources to FFA chapters, agricultural education instructors and FFA Alumni through workshops, presentations, ag ed Listserv support

Darlene Arneson accepts the Outstanding Cooperation Award from WAAE Section 6 Board Member, Paul Zuelke of Westfield. Arneson regularly participates in the annual WAAE Professional Development Conference as an exhibitor and workshop presenter. and chapter training. Arneson also presented a workshop at the WAAE Conference, had an AITC exhibit, met with the new State FFA Officer team and participated in the Wisconsin Ag Education and Workforce Development Council while at the conference.

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ag in the classroom

River Falls Student Wins Ag in the Classroom Essay Contest


he Agriculture in the Classroom’s essay contest asked Wisconsin fourth and fifth graders to write 100 to 300 words on the prompt: “If I lived on a dairy farm, I’d want people to know that…” Brenna Nowak, a fourth grade student from River Falls and daughter of Dale Nowak and Michelle Rivard, topped 1,952 other students in the annual competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board/Wisconsin Dairy Council, Foremost Farms USA and We Energies. Finalists from each of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s nine districts received a classroom presentation on Wisconsin agriculture and educational resources. Those finalists included: • Macayla Church, Williams Bay (Walworth County) • Matthew Ryherd, Reedsburg (Sauk County) • Devon Schmitz, Richland Center (Richland County) • Morgan Becker, Independence (Trempealeau County) • Kayla Doll, Mt. Calvary (Fond du Lac County) • Owen Simonar, Luxemburg (Kewaunee County) • Benjamin Schmidt, Bonduel (Shawano County) • Christy Nutt, Phillips (Price County)

the winning essay

If I lived on a dairy farm, I’d want people to know that… By Brenna Nowak St. Bridget School, River Falls


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Out of 1,952 students, Brenna Nowak from River Falls, was selected as the State Essay Contest winner. Here she is with her fourth-grade teacher, Gina Holter.

f I lived on a dairy farm, I’d want people to know that there are many things to consider to properly run a successful farm. It’s a lot of work, but it can be fun. Proper care for the animals is the most important. Good food, such as ground feed, haylage, baled hay and silage, is the basis of the cows’ diet. When feeding them, they must get the right amount of food throughout the day. Young calves get milk from a bottle. As they get older, they eat hay and corn and drink water. Caring for the animals also means that you must tend to them when they get sick. Sometimes you call the vet to get medicine to make them feel better. To keep the cows healthy, you must keep them

clean. You clean out the stalls each day and you need to clean out the old feed and manure. This can be put out into the field for nutrients for the crops. Cows are usually milked in the morning and at night. The milk goes through a pipeline to a big tank. You must keep the pipeline and the tank clean so bacteria doesn’t grow. The main reason for a dairy farm is to provide milk. You sell the milk and it goes to a plant to be pasteurized and then people can buy it in stores. The milk also is used in foods like cheese, butter and ice cream. I would like people to know that dairy farms are very important and can be a great place to live.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


news resources for teachers

back-to-school items educational resources to explore

As you pack your child’s backpack and lunches for the start of school, be sure to pack along these resources so their teachers are aware of the agricultural education resources available.

Have your children check out these educational resources:

Ag in the Classroom Info –

My Cranberry Lesson Plans — Offers a Wisconsin-specific set of lesson plans based entirely on the cranberry industry in our state. The curriculum is targeted for third– through fifth-grade students and it explores the social heritage, science and technology of Wisconsin’s biggest fruit crop.

•• County Ag in the Classroom Coordinators provide resources that may range from classroom presentations to farm tours. •• Soybean Science Kits connect agriculture and science. The 59 kits in Wisconsin can be borrowed by your school, 4-H club, FFA chapter or home-school group. •• Encourage your teacher to fill out the Outstanding Teacher Award Program application to recognize their efforts to teach about agriculture. •• Apply for the White Reinhardt Educator Scholarships that send teachers to the 2012 National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Colorado. •• Information about the 2011-12 Essay Contest for fourth and fifth graders will be posted in early September.

American Farm Bureau Food & Farm Facts — Educator guides go along with the 2011 Food & Farm Facts booklet and America the Bountiful Map. The guides are subject-matter focused, standards-aligned, ready-to-use with reproducible activities handouts and more. Other products available include pencils, pocket guides and fair kit bundles. World Dairy Expo — Check out the ‘tour’ section as World Dairy Expo offers fourth grade classroom tours during the Expo. Lesson plans on the Wisconsin Ag in Classroom website supplement the tours. Wisconsin Fairs Association — Offers a set of lessons and activities for fourth grade students covering the history of fairs, the Ferris wheel and an explanation of youth groups.

Check Out These Websites Too: •• National Ag in the Classroom - •• Wisconsin Environmental Education Website •• American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture •• USDA Science for Kids -

august | september 2011




In support of…

Leadership Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center

Tour the Exhibit hall and experience the history of our state’s cranberry industry.


he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s mission is “supporting agricultural education and leadership development.” Sponsorships, donations and other contributions to the Foundation have made it possible to give annual support to two very strong Wisconsin programs: Leadership Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center. The Leadership Wisconsin program is a two-year, life-changing event for emerging leaders from across Wisconsin. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation offers scholarships to Farm Bureau members that are selected for the program. Scholarships for the current group were awarded to Jason Kollwelter of Fort Atkinson and Howard Roth of Wauzeka. Kollwelter is the Agriculture Program Manager for We Energies. Roth is a pork producer with a 3,000 sow herd in Crawford County. The Leadership Wisconsin experience increases participants’ knowledge and understanding of the economic and social changes affecting Wisconsin through the practical application of leadership skills and development of expertise in addressing critical problems facing Wisconsin communities. It’s a hands-on and demanding experience composed of 55 days conducted over a two-year period. It involves a combination of eight, three-day seminars held in various locations throughout Wisconsin, a oneweek national seminar in Washington, D.C., a one-week regional seminar held somewhere in the United States, and a two-week international seminar. For more information, see or call 608.263.0817. The Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, located in Warrens, is the ultimate guide to cranberries and a must-see destination in the Midwest. The recently redesigned museum features interactive information all about the cranberry industry and history of Wisconsin cranberries.


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Step back in time and see how a local carpenter made a cranberry hand rake.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

The museum tour includes: • Albert’s workshop – an exhibit full of fascinating woodworking equipment custom made by growers to harvest the unique fruit, including the infamous hand rake. • On permanent loan from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the “cranberry canoe” is nearly 11 feet long and a classic dugout shape. • Interactive & Educational Displaysproviding a fun, hands-on way to test your knowledge about cranberries. • Taste Test Kitchen & Ice Cream Parlorwhere you can try some cranberry ice cream or a bakery treat. • Throughout the year, the Taste Test Kitchen also hosts cooking demonstrations featuring delicious cranberry recipes.

leadership wisconsin

Group at the USDA building prior to meeting with Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

The Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center is located at 204 Main Street in Warrens. Visit their newly designed website at

Small group presentation during National Seminar focused on Domestic Agriculture Policy. Howard “AV” Roth is speaking, center.

Browse their gift shop either in person or online. They feature a large selection of Wisconsin made gourmet cranberry products.

The entire group touring the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Jason Kollwelter is on the left with the green beads. AV is wearing the Packers hat.

august | september 2011



Waupaca FFA Shines at Ag Outreach Chapter took home the ‘Food for America’ gold at the State FFA Convention


he Waupaca FFA chapter’s Food for America project educates students, teachers and community residents about agriculture at six annual events ranging from farm tours to eighth-grade career days. To accomplish this, chapter leaders log more than 3,200 volunteer hours, hold 18 committee meetings and involve FFA Alumni members and school administrators in the planning. For their efforts, members of the Waupaca FFA chapter were honored at the Wisconsin FFA Convention as winners of the 2011 Food for America Award. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation sponsors the contest that selects the chapter with the strongest Food for America outreach program to educate others about agriculture and where their food comes from. In conducting their programs, many FFA chapters utilize materials from Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program. In all, 27 FFA chapters submitted applications for the Food for America contest this year.

did you know? The Wisconsin Farm Bureau has supported Food for America and other FFA programs at the State FFA Convention since 1987.


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Nearly 375 local volunteers helped with a two-acre garden, from gathering seed and tool donations to harvesting and distributing the 3,000 pound bounty to nearly 400 families. Waupaca FFA members have also earned a grant to acquire a greenhouse.

Let’s be honest… you don’t have time to sit at the local coffee shop talking to your farm neighbors about the weather like your grandpa did. In today’s world operations are bigger and productivity is higher. And you’re busy! cropNAtion is the place for busy, progressive farmers and ranchers like you. It’s the mobile coffee shop of the 21st century. The topics are the same: pests and diseases, markets, weather, and pictures of your crops. The difference? The conversation comes to you, whether you’re in the tractor cab, the milking parlor, or in the shed waiting out a big rain. Coming this summer.

Your connection to a growing world

wisconsin farm bureau federation


DeLong Wins FFA Discussion Meet

Dear Ag in the Cla ssroom Matching Grant Program,

Thank you for your generous support of Cows on the Concou rse 2011. The event was a smashin g success as we educated thousands of consumers about modern dairy farmi ng and dairy products’ nutritious qualities.

Thanks again for hel ping make this event possible!

Andrea Bloom and Planning Committ ee

Jordan DeLong of Clinton topped the Wisconsin FFA Discussion Meet during the State FFA Convention in June. The contest that tests the ability to exchange ideas on ag issues is modeled after Farm Bureau’s Discussion Meet. The Foundation sponsors the contest. WFBF President Bill Bruins is shown congratulating DeLong. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Ag Connection.

Help the WFB Foundation Help Agriculture To find out how you can help support the Foundation’s efforts to provide opportunities for agricultural education and literacy and leadership development, visit the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation page at •• Donate to the WFBF Annual Meeting Silent Auction. Donations like gift baskets, tickets, hotel packages, sports and farm products are being accepted. •• Make a memorial or “In Honor Of” contribution. It’s a fitting way to remember those who are important to you and had a passion for agriculture. •• With a minimum commitment of $250 annually, you can be part of the Learn and Lead Phase II Program. Sign up now for this important five-year commitment to the Foundation. •• Through planned giving and estate planning you can give gifts of stocks, bonds and real estate. •• General contributions of any monetary amount are always appreciated.

Dear Darlene, Founda tion, On behalf of the Wisconsin 4-H sin Farm Bureau thank you to you and the Wiscon ati on for the Founda tion for your generous donResearch sho ws 2011 Wisconsin 4-H Key Awards. sin 4-H program tha t youth involved in the Wiscon d agricultural an learn responsibility, confidence, 4-H also learn career skills. Youth involved in ati on, and nic and practice lea dershi p, commu ed in their 4-H ag eng ile citizenship activities wh work. support, We are very gra teful for your Pa tricia Harrington, Director Wisconsin 4-H Founda tion

Dear Wisconsin Farm Burea


Thank you for sponsoring a grant to Badger FFA for a worm composting bin and project. We just received a shipment wit h our bin in which the students are excited to sta rt composting with! Thank you so much for sponso ring this program! Sincerely, Candice Olson, Agriculture Instructor Badger High School, Lake Gen eva

august | september 2011


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OSHA Workshop

Sponsored by Rural Mutual


ural Mutual Insurance Company sponsored an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Workshop in Eau Claire on May 25 and 39 people attended. Speakers included Mary Bauer, Compliance Assistance Specialist from OSHA, Cheryl Skjolass, Interim Director of UW Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, and Lee Columbus, Safety and Loss Control Consultant for Rural Mutual Insurance Company. OSHA plans to begin random inspections of dairy operations in Wisconsin for the first time. Safety isn’t new for farmers, but OSHA compliance is. “It’s probably something they’ve never addressed in the management of their farm,” Mary Bauer said. “Now they realize they need some time, and they need some money, to be compliant and to do it right the first time rather than trying to put a Band-Aid onto it.” OSHA inspections will happen once a Local Emphasis Program is in place. While OSHA has had authority to inspect farms when there has been an incident or complaint, the LEP differs because it is randomly conducted. Bauer expects no more than 20 random inspections to be conducted. An LEP is put in place when an accident or a pattern of accidents creates cause for concern within an industry. The 2009 death of a dairy farm worker in Dunn County who drowned after driving a skid steer into a manure pit was the


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incident that triggered the LEP that is being drafted now. Risks continue to evolve, Skjolaas said. Horizontal bunker silos present new hazards such as equipment rollovers or falls from the bunker wall. Skjolaas said she saw a decrease in bull-related fatalities after farmers began using artificial insemination. But, in the down economy, some farmers stopped artificial insemination and brought bulls — and the risks associated with them — back to their farms. The power takeoff on machinery continues to be a danger for clothing or limbs to become entangled in moving parts. “We’re still dealing with machines that are designed to chop, slice, shell corn and move waste products out,” Skjolaas said. Lee Columbus, Safety and Loss Control Consultant for Rural Mutual, wrapped up the workshop by highlighting some of the safety programs offered to Rural Mutual insureds. Annual safety visits include discussion of operations, review of reported claims, and inspection of facilities as well as recommendations to help prevent losses. Rural Mutual will continue to offer OSHA workshops in the future so watch for invitations in your area coming later in the fall and winter. Contributions to this story were from Jane Burns, jburns@madison. com and reprinted with permission.

WIAA Sportsmanship Award Winners


he WIAA announced the winners of the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Company Sportsmanship Award for the 2011 Winter State Championships. The winners of the prestigious award are New Richmond for boy’s hockey, River Falls Co-op in girl’s hockey, Mineral Point in wrestling, Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster in gymnastics, Marathon in boy’s basketball and Black Hawk in girl’s basketball. Rural Mutual has sponsored the WIAA Sportsmanship Award since 1964. 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. Additional consideration is given for the effort of school administrators and chaperones to ensure support for their teams are positive and that the highest ideals of sportsmanship are upheld. Award winners receive a plaque and banner in recognition of the honor. The selection process includes contributions and evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers, WIAA staff members, area hotels and restaurants.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

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here aren’t many guarantees in life. But Universal Life Insurance with Secondary Guarantee is an affordable way to provide long-term financial security for your loved ones. Contact your Rural Mutual Insurance agent to see how ULSG can help provide a safety net for your future.

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august | september 2011

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Why A CAreer In InsurAnCe? As the population ages and wealth grows, the demand for insurance professionals will increase dramatically. This is great news for you if you’re thinking of going into insurance. You will help clients understand their insurance needs, explain their options to them and hopefully help them purchase appropriate insurance policies.

Why rurAl MutuAl InsurAnCe? Rural Mutual Insurance values what’s important in life. That’s why we have been protecting families, businesses and farms exclusively in Wisconsin for over 75 years. In fact, we are the number one insurer of farm families in the state. That’s important because Wisconsin’s $60 billion agriculture industry accounts for one in ten jobs in Wisconsin. And since Rural Mutual Insurance does business in only one state, premiums paid here, stay here to keep Wisconsin strong. But our mission goes beyond farms to provide a full line of personal and business insurance. This combination of policy types and our strong financial position—Rural Mutual has been recognized for the second consecutive year as one of the Top 50 Property and Casualty Insurers in America—means we have the stability you can count on in building your career. Our agents are motivated, want to control their financial growth, and strive to be respected professionals in their communities. Right now, we are looking to grow the Rural Mutual family with dedicated agents who understand the diverse landscape of Wisconsin, have a passion for agriculture and know the importance of building relationships with their customers.

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August | September, 2011 Volume 17 Issue 4