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Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

december | january 2011-12 • vol. 17 no. 6 | www.wfbf.com

Farm Bureau Members Shine at

Annual Meeting Delegates Set 2012 Policy YFA Winners off to Hawaii Farm Bill Waits Until Next Year

Annual Meeting

Scrapbook Page 26

Fa


“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


contents

vol. 17 no. 6

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30

features

articles

departments

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BOB BOSOLD

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news

Well-known farm broadcaster saluted for work on and off the air.

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capitol watch

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member benefits

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opinion

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leadership

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ag in the classroom

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foundation

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Rural Mutual

YFA Winners off to hawaii Competition was fierce in three YFA contests.

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delegates set 2012 policy

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We interviewed WFBF’s District 9 Director Jim Holte from Dunn County.

Variety of grassroots resolutions passed during business session.

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farm bill waits until next year

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annual meeting scrapbook A visual reminder of a great gathering of Farm Bureau members.

MEMBER PROFILE We sat down with Jackson County dairy couple, Charlie and Katie Bue.

Super Committee failed to produce a farm bill.

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BOARD MEMBER PROFILE

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STRENGTH IN PARTNERSHIPS Successful Ag in the Classroom alliances are profiled.

Ag in the Classroom’s New Website december | january 2011-12

P. 33 www.wfbf.com

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Editor’s Note

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n many ways the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is like a family holiday gathering. It’s a time to reconnect with people that you might not have seen all year. Everyone is under one roof (even if the Kalahari Resort is bigger than a small town) and nobody leaves the table hungry. Finally, you’re surrounded by people with whom you share a bond, but might not necessarily agree with. Such is the case at our delegates’ resolution session and at family holiday gatherings. I don’t know about you, but given the politically stormy events of 2011, I know of a few relatives that I won’t be talking politics with over eggnog. It’s our hope that this issue of Rural Route recaptures the electric atmosphere at the Annual Meeting and Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference just a few weeks ago in Wisconsin Dells. Collectively there was a great sense of pride for award winners like farmers Kennard and Marie Wagner, farm broadcaster Bob Bosold and the

{from Casey Langan} YFA contest winners who will compete in Hawaii next month. Speaking of Christmas, even Ebenezer Scrooge’s faith in the next generation of farm leaders would have been renewed had he seen the activity and record attendance at the YFA conference. This issue also hits the road by taking you to the Dunn County grain and beef farm of WFBF board member Jim Holte, and to the unique Jackson County dairy farm of Farm Bureau members, Charlie and Katie Bue. Finally, as another year comes to a close I’m reminded of something that happened the other day at the office. I received two phone calls from reporters within a few minutes of each other. The first was from my hometown newspaper frantically looking for content to fill their farm page. The second call came from a television reporter from Japan with questions about trade policies and Wisconsin’s dairy industry. All in a day’s work I suppose, but symbolic of how we never know what’s next in our lives. As we prepare to turn the page on 2011, there’s no way of knowing what the year ahead holds for any of us. Yet, we can take comfort in those warm feelings from attending family gatherings or the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. They both leave you with the security that whatever lies ahead, we’re in it together. Happy New Year! 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 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 5550 Madison, WI 53705-0550

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276) www.wfbf.com info.demingway@wfbf.com

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

Women’s Committee Chair Kathleen Papcke, Elkhorn

Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Chair Josh Calaway, Vesper Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route (ISSN 39940) (USPS 1082-1368), the official publication of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, is published six times per year in February/March, April/May, June/ July, August/September, October/November and December/January. Subscription of $5 is included in Farm Bureau dues. Periodical postage is paid at Madison, Wisconsin. 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 amares@kennedyc.com.

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wisconsin farm bureau federation


news

By Casey Langan

Kathleen Papcke

Richard Gorder

Bruins Reelected WFBF President Gorder is VP, Calaway leads YFA, Papcke is Women’s Chair

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ill Bruins was reelected president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation by its board of directors at the close of the organization’s 92nd Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 5. Bruins, a dairy farmer from Waupun in Fond du Lac County, was first elected WFBF President in 2003. Richard Gorder, a dairy farmer from Mineral Point in Iowa County, was elected vice president. Nine of the 11 WFBF board members are farmers who

represent Farm Bureau’s nine districts. These nine individuals also make up the board of directors for the Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Rounding out the WFBF board are the chairs of WFBF’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist and Women’s Committees, both of which serve a one-year term on the board. Jerry Bradley, a corn and soybean grower from Sun Prairie in Dane County was reelected to a three-year term representing District 2 (Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Rock and Sauk counties).

Joe Bragger, a dairy farmer from Independence in Buffalo County, was reelected in District 4 (Buffalo, Eau Claire, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe and Trempealeau counties). Rosie Lisowe, a dairy farmer from Chilton in Calumet County, was elected to represent District 6 (Calumet, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Brown, Kewaunee and Door counties). Lisowe succeeds Lloyd DeRuyter of Cedar Grove. She formerly served as the chair of the state Women’s Committee. Kathleen Papcke of Elkhorn in Walworth County was elected as the new Women’s Committee chair. Josh Calaway of Vesper in Wood County was elected chair of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. Both will serve one-year terms on the WFBF board. Other current WFBF directors include Dave Daniels, Wayne Staidl, Don Radtke and Jim Holte.

december | january 2011-12

Josh Calaway

WFBF Board of Directors Bill Bruins, Waupun Richard Gorder, Mineral Point Dave Daniels, Union Grove Jerry Bradley, Sun Prairie Joe Bragger, Independence Rosie Lisowe, Chilton Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo Don Radtke, Merrill Jim Holte, Elk Mound

Women’s Committee Chair Kathleen Papcke, Elkhorn

Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Chair Josh Calaway, Vesper

www.wfbf.com

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news

Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award

Kennard and Marie Wagner

Serving on the local, state and national levels earned the Wagners the highest award Farm Bureau bestows on its members.

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anitowoc County dairy farmers, Kennard and Marie Wagner, have

received the highest award the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation bestows upon its

members. The Wagners were presented the Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award at the WFBF Annual Meeting on December 4 for providing exceptional leadership and support to Farm Bureau’s efforts. “I have been honored to serve with Ken on the state board of directors and with

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Marie when she served as chair of the state Women’s Committee,” said Bill Bruins, WFBF President. “The Wagners have both served the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and have supported each other in their years of service. I have valued their council as we have worked together to make this organization what it is today.” Kennard was named the Manitowoc County Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Boy in 1973, before serving as his county Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer chairman, vice president and president. He also chaired the WFBF’s

statewide Young Farmer Committee in 1987. In 1988, Kennard was elected to represent eastern Wisconsin’s District 6 as director on the WFBF and Rural Mutual Insurance boards, where he served until 2003. During his years of service he was a voting delegate on the county, state and national levels, as well as serving on committees of the American Farm Bureau. In addition to serving on the WFBF’s Young Farmer Committee with Kennard, Marie Wagner has been a member of the state Women’s

Committee and a state voting delegate. She also served as secretary-treasurer and Women’s Committee chair for Manitowoc County Farm Bureau. Together, the Wagners milk 150 Holstein cows and farm 420 acres of alfalfa, corn and soybeans on the family farm they purchased near Manitowoc in 1981. Married since 1975, the Wagners have four children (Shannon, Charlie, Rebecca and Jacob) and six grandchildren (Dakota, Delany, Madeline, Jonathan, Isabella and Mason).

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award:

Bob Bosold Farm broadcaster, Bob Bosold, was presented with WFBF’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture during the Awards Banquet at the Annual Meeting on December 4.

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ach year, the award goes to an individual for outstanding contributions to the success of Wisconsin’s agricultural industry. Bosold has been a trusted voice of agriculture over Western and Central Wisconsin airwaves for more than 30 years. “His career in radio broadcasting has been defined by a single focus: serving the rural, agricultural community with energy and dedication,” said Bill Bruins, WFBF President. “Bob is respected for his commitment to giving those in agriculture, with wide-ranging opinions, an opportunity to speak on important issues,” said Jim Holte, a Dunn County farmer who serves on the WFBF Board of Directors. “He has presented countless reports with 4-H and FFA members in a positive forum that benefits all of agriculture.”

“Bob is respected for his commitment to giving those in agriculture, with wide-ranging opinions, an opportunity to speak on important issues.” - Jim Holte, WFBF Board Director Bosold grew up in Madison and developed an appreciation for agriculture on his uncle’s farm in Iowa. His career began as a student intern and parttime host on Wisconsin Public Radio in 1974. He joined WAXX/WAYY in Eau Claire in 1976 as a farm reporter and became farm director in 1984. Since then, he has tirelessly traveled to all 30 counties within his listening area to observe, learn and broadcast

live to the agricultural community. Today, he appears on WEAU’s Channel 13 morning news show in Eau Claire, writes a column for The Country Today newspaper, and hosts ag-themed trips around the world to places like China, New Zealand and Alaska. Bosold has previously been honored with numerous other awards from UW-

december | january 2011-12

Madison and UW-River Falls Colleges of Agriculture, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wisconsin Soil & Water Conservation Society and the Federal Farm Services Agency. He received honorary degrees from both the state and national FFA organizations. In 2002, the National Association of Farm Broadcasters named him the National Farm Broadcaster of the Year. In 2007, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. “Bob has often said that while he was never a farmer, he always appreciated what they did,” said Bruins as he presented the award to Bosold. “On behalf of the 23,000 farm families that make up our organization, we just wanted to let you know the feeling is mutual.” Bob not only dedicated time to his career and Wisconsin agriculture, but he also raised two sons with his late wife, Dawn. Michael, now a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, is stationed in Germany after combat assignments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Matthew is a student at UWMadison pursing a degree in communications and journalism. www.wfbf.com

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news

By Sheri Sutton

YFA Members

Who Took Home the

Gold

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Rural Route

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ver 340 Young Farmers and Agriculturists attended this year’s YFA Conference and WFBF Annual Meeting. Some came to network, learn and for a short break from the farm, while others came to compete. Congratulations to the following state award winners who will be representing Wisconsin in the national contests at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii in January. They will also be guests at 2012’s WFBF YFA Conference and at GROWMARK, Inc’s annual meeting in August, and may also qualify to attend the YFA trip to Washington, D.C. in April.

graze 145 dairy cows. They started their farming business in 2003 and have since purchased their farm. Ryan focuses on pasture management, cattle health and nutrition, while Cheri focuses on calf health, milking and recordkeeping on the dairy. Cheri was recently chosen to serve as Taylor County Farm Bureau President. The couple, who first met while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course, has three sons. As a reward, FABCO Equipment Inc. will provide the Klussendorfs with 40 hours use of a FABCO skid-steer loader and Rural Mutual Insurance is providing a free financial plan.

Klussendorfs Receive Achievement Award

Chrisler Won Discussion Meet

Taylor County dairy farmers Ryan and Cheri Klussendorf were selected this year’s YFA Achievement Award winners. Ten statewide finalists were judged on the success of their farm business, their understanding of current issues affecting agriculture, and their leadership and involvement in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations. The Klussendorfs operate a 240 acre farm in Medford where they rotationally

Combining his understanding and knowledge of the agriculture industry with his ability to express his ideas and opinions to reach a solution on current agriculture issues, BJ Chrisler won the YFA Discussion Meet contest. Chrisler is a senior at UW-Madison where he studies community and environmental sociology. On campus, Chrisler is employed by University Housing as a supervisor for maintenance. He is a member of the UW-Madison

wisconsin farm bureau federation


collegiate Farm Bureau chapter and was a national finalist in 2011’s Collegiate Discussion Meet. After graduation he plans to work in public policy as an agricultural lobbyist. In 2009-2010, Chrisler served as the State FFA President. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Sauk County where they milk 100 Holstein cows. Midwest Stihl awarded Chrisler a chainsaw and Rural Mutual Insurance is providing him a free financial plan. Other state finalists in the Discussion Meet were Brad Gefvert of Columbia County, Tim Clark of Fond du Lac County and Angie Kringle of Shawano County.

Beaty Selected as Excellence in Agriculture Winner Shining in her knowledge of agriculture, leadership in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations, and understanding of current ag issues, Jillian Beaty of Rock County won this year’s Wisconsin YFA Excellence in Agriculture contest. Beaty is an agriculture education instructor in Oregon where she encourages her students to think critically about the future of agriculture as it relates to them, both as consumers and as future agriculturists. She grew up working on her parents’ vegetable farm in Ohio, where she still assists each summer. Beaty is a former state FFA officer and a recent graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Institute leadership class. She lives with her husband, Dale, and their family in Milton. She received a $250 FS Fast Stop gift card from GROWMARK, Inc.

Shining stars of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist program took home top honors in the three YFA Contest. Top photo: Dairy farmers Cheri and Ryan Klussendorf received the Achievement Award. Middle photo: College student and former Wisconsin FFA President BJ Chrisler won the Discussion Meet (along with a new chainsaw). Bottom photo: Agriculture instructor Jillian Beaty took home the Excellence in Agriculture Award. Each will compete in Hawaii this January for national honors. They are pictured with WFBF President Bill Bruins. december | january 2011-12

www.wfbf.com

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news

In 2011, Farm Bureau Had a Great ‘Growing Season’

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he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation saw its membership grow in 2011. WFBF ended its membership year in September with 44,123 members, an increase of 1,416, marking the fourth straight year of membership growth. WFBF membership is comprised of voting and associate members. Voting members are farmers, people with direct involvement in production agriculture and owners of agricultural property. Associate members are individuals and businesses who join Farm Bureau to utilize services and benefits and to support the work of the organization. WFBF experienced growth in voting members, ending the membership year at 23,221 with a gain of 495. Associate membership grew by 921 to 20,902. Fifty-two of the 61 county Farm Bureaus reported an increase in voting members. The largest increases came in Walworth, Dane and Taylor counties. The Farm Bureau achieved its increase in voting members for the seventh time in the last 10 years with a renewal rate of 93 percent combined with 1,944 new voting members. In terms of total membership, 49 county Farm Bureaus saw increases in 2011. “Wisconsin is an agriculturally diverse state and Wisconsin Farm Bureau membership represents the interests of farms of all sizes, commodities and management styles,” said Bob Leege, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Member Relations. “Wisconsin farmers understand how Farm Bureau membership pays for itself with a variety of valuable benefits.” Among the member benefits are a $500 private offer discount on eligible General Motors vehicles, a discount on AAA

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representation and leadership that Wisconsin’s diverse and dynamic agricultural community needs,” said Bill Bruins, WFBF President. “Each year we build on our record of legislation successes, as well as provide a needed voice for agriculture in arenas ranging from the classroom to the courtroom. Much of our growth is thanks to our member leaders who work every day to carry agriculture’s message to the media, consumers and lawmakers.”

membership as well as many other travel and equipment discounts. WFBF members work to develop grassroots policy that is lobbied in Madison and Washington on their behalf. A variety of programs provide networking and leadership development opportunities to members. In addition, WFBF assists farmers in sharing their stories with the non-farming public. “Farm Bureau continues to grow because it provides the kind of

2011

Farm Bureau Membership by County Bayfield Douglas Iron Ashland Sawyer Price

Polk

Rusk

Lincoln

Barron

St. Croix

Marinette

Langlade

Taylor Chippewa

Dunn

Oconto

Marathon Eau Claire

Pierce

Clark Portage

Trempealeau

Wood

Brown Waupaca

Jackson

Buffalo

Manitowoc Calumet

Adams Monroe

Kewaunee

Outagamie

Waushara La Crosse

Door

Shawano

Winnebago Marquette Green Lake

Juneau

Fond du Lac

Sheboygan

Vernon Crawford

Richland

Columbia

Sauk

Washington Dodge Ozaukee

Voting and Total Gain Iowa Voting Gain Only

Waukesha

Dane

Jefferson

Milwaukee

Grant

Total Gain Only Lafayette

Green

Rock

No Gain

Walworth

Racine Kenosha

wisconsin farm bureau federation


The Prestigious Producer Club

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ehind the successful membership growth this year were 233 Farm Bureau volunteers, including 69 members who earned Producer Club status. Farm Bureau created the Producer Club in the early 1980s to recognize members who sign at least five new Farm Bureau members during the membership year, which runs from October 1 through September 30. This year’s top membership worker, Trayton Greenfield from Fond du Lac County, signed 31 new members. Trayton has now signed a grand total of 1,952 members. When attempting to recruit new members, Trayton shares his membership philosophy. “One of the best investments I ever made was when I joined Farm Bureau over 50 years ago, and I am sure you will say the same thing years from now if you join Farm Bureau,” he says. Other top membership workers include: Al Klapoetke (18 new members), Jeff Ditzenberger (18), Maria McGinnis (17), Cy Heisner (15), Karyn Schauf (14), Darryll

Farm Bureau Podcasts

Bill Bruins congratulated Trayton Greenfield on his successful membership year. Olson (12), Steve Baxter (11), Randy Wokatsch (10), Valerie Pitterle (10), Merlin Sutter (10), Joe Bragger (10) and Brad Schulte (10). “Of all the activities that Farm Bureau volunteers conduct each year, none is more crucial than membership recruitment,” said Bob Leege, Executive Director of Member Relations. “Farm Bureau’s continued success depends on a strong and growing membership, and our volunteer membership workers help ensure that Farm Bureau will have the base of active members and the financial strength to carry out our mission in years to come.”

Counties Recognized at Annual Meeting Our state’s 61 county Farm Bureaus work hard to promote agriculture, build membership and strengthen our programs. To honor this outstanding work, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation presented the 2011 County Activities of Excellence Awards during the recent WFBF Annual Meeting. Chosen counties and their outstanding areas of work include: Columbia County for outstanding growth and achievement for its YFA program; Dane County for its social media campaign and its successful Family Farm Day at the Madison Children’s Museum; Dodge County for the rejuvenation of its YFA program; Green County for the successful Family Farm Adventure and Agriculture Embracing Media events; Rock County for its Focus on Agriculture event; Sauk County for its second grade ‘Discover Agriculture’ presentation series; and Taylor County for its Food Check-Out Week activities. These seven counties were given a complimentary exhibit space at the Annual Meeting to highlight their achievements. If your county is interested in applying for the 2012 awards, please visit www.WFBF.com.

Listen to all podcasts at WFBF.COM

“Well, it’s really severe. I was young during the drought in Texas in the 1950s, the so-called ‘drought of record,’ the worst period of drought we’d ever had, and this past year has broken those records. Worse yet, there are predictions for this coming year that the La Nina could pick up again and we could have a repeat in 2012 of what we experienced in 2011.”

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman, a cattle and rice grower from Columbus Texas, on the drought that has plagued the Lone Star State.

december | january 2011-12

www.wfbf.com

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news

By Casey Langan

Delegates Set Policy for 2012 From recall elections to raw milk, delegates at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 92nd Annual Meeting adopted a wide array of policies that will guide WFBF’s legislative agenda over the next year.

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wo high-profile state issues, recall elections and raw milk were addressed. Delegates supported changing state election laws to only allow recall elections in cases of criminal activity or willful neglect of duty. They also went on record opposing the sale of raw milk directly to consumers and eliminated previous policy language that allowed for ill-defined ‘incidental sales’ of raw milk to consumers.

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Delegates also called for the sweeping changes to two state programs, including the complete elimination of the Department of Natural Resources’ landpurchasing Stewardship program. They also sought a phase out of the Agricultural Chemical Clean-up program at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, but specified that approved, existing clean-up sites should be completed, but no additional sites should be entered into the program.

Other items delegates supported include: • County sheriffs and state troopers have animal handling training. • Expanded cellular and broad band telecommunication coverage for rural areas. • State pesticide and herbicide registrations and regulations not exceeding federal standards. • DATCP serving as the sole entity to

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Farm Bureau’s legislative policy is a result of the grassroots resolution process. It begins locally on the county level and culminates with nearly 250 statewide delegates discussing the issues on Monday morning of the WFBF Annual Meeting. At left: state Policy Development Committee member, Dan Craig of Waukesha County, makes a point. Below right: Green County delegate Jeff Ditzenberger. Below left: Eau Claire County delegate Lisa Pettis. Shawano County delegate Adam Kuczer is shown on page 12.

provide the health assessment for livestock siting operations. • Requiring a two-thirds majority vote by county boards to approve any bonding authority for new county projects. • Repeal of the minimum markup law as it relates to gasoline and diesel fuel. • Distributing more funding to the Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Fund, but maintaining the current tonnage fee on fertilizer. Farm Bureau delegates opposed the implementation of fees on farmers to pay for the state’s livestock premise registration program. A number of successful resolutions sought changes within the state DNR. Delegates supported eliminating all funding for predator animal reintroduction projects. They wish to eliminate the $10,000 cap that farmers can receive as part of the Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims program; and reduce the time it takes to get a bear hunting license or issue more damage abatement shooting permits. Wisconsin leads the nation in dairy goats. Delegates supported establishing separate milk quality regulations for dairy goats than dairy cows, and said any goat milk or curd that needs to be imported into the United States should meet those federal quality standards.

Wisconsin delegates also approved resolutions pertaining to federal policy. These resolutions will be forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which hosts its Annual Meeting this January in Honolulu, Hawaii. Delegates will decide whether or not to adopt these resolutions from Wisconsin. They include: • Oppose any government regulation that conflicts with parents using their judgment in regards to the participation of their children on farming operations. • Encourage school districts to offer students the choice of white and flavored milk.

on the web For an extended version of this story and to view WFBF’s 2012 Policy Book, visit www.wfbf.com.

december | january 2011-12

www.wfbf.com

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news

By Casey Langan

In Wake of ‘Super Committee’

2012 Farm Bill Process Goes Back to Normal “It got very close.”

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hat’s how Mary Kay Thatcher described the progress that federal lawmakers made on drafting a 2012 farm bill as part of an overall budget-cutting proposal. When the so-called “Super Committee” failed to come up with a plan to cut $1.2 trillion, the farm bill process formally went back to square one. Thatcher is the senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau and was a featured speaker at the WFBF Annual Meeting on December 4. She told attendees that the Super Committee farm bill discussions were not for nothing. She expects the lion’s share of what was in that proposal to cut $23 billion over a decade to resurface in 2012. She expects it will be ready for a vote in October or rolled into some other spending package. Only in 2012, the creation of the next farm bill will take a more normal route with legislative hearings and roll call votes. What happened in 2011 was anything but normal. Farm bill spending was the only recommendation made to the Super Committee that was

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both bipartisan and bicameral. From the onset of the Super Committee’s charge to cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years, the American Farm Bureau has said agriculture would do its fair share. Thatcher said if you crunch the numbers, that’s about $6.7 billion in cuts to the farm bill. Yet the proposed $23 billion in cuts was probably more politically realistic as officials from President Barack Obama to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan called for cuts between $30 and $50 billion. With deceiving media reports painting the farm bill as “welfare for farmers,” Thatcher said most lawmakers view reducing farm subsidies as “easy budget cutting.” What can farmers do about it? Thatcher said the general public should be reminded that 76 percent of the farm bill’s spending goes to nutrition, food stamps and school lunch programs. With one in seven Americans on food stamps, she said not to look for big cuts to the nutrition side of the farm bill. A proposal to cut $4 billion from the $700 billion nutrition budget met stiff resistance. Just seven percent of the farm bill goes to commodity

programs like counter-cyclical direct payments and the Milk Income Loss Contract. Conservation programs make up another seven percent. Crop insurance currently accounts for nine percent but is expected to be a larger component of the farm safety net in the future. Thatcher described how different crop insurance programs could work under different scenarios. She said the “shallow loss” proposal (which would pay out frequently for crop losses, but at relatively lower amount) has been embraced by corn and soybean growers, but is opposed by many Southern farmers. Coming up with a workable safety net program that would work for all crops has proved challenging, she said. Thatcher only noted that talks of dairy policy reform have been “positive.” “You don’t write farm bills for good years, but for bad years; and not for one year in mind, but several,” was another key message farmers should note about the farm bill. While the Super Committee’s work was criticized for being done in

secret, Thatcher said there was “plenty of input into the process, but not a lot of transparency of what was in it. It certainly wasn’t a pretty way to make a farm bill, but given the timeframe, there might not have been a better way.” Thatcher warned of a looming push to require participation in conservation programs in order to be eligible for crop insurance. She said even if direct payments are erased, it won’t stop the attacks on farm spending on editorial pages. In early 2012, she predicts many university studies to appear on what would have happened had the Super Committee passed a farm bill. With federal debt growing by the minute, she predicts, “It’s going to be an ugly farm bill.”

wisconsin farm bureau federation


news

Rick Roden Named to American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee

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ick Roden of West Bend has been appointed to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. His two-year term will begin at the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 17-20. “I’m very excited about being a part of this national committee of my peers and I look forward to representing Wisconsin to the best of my abilities,” Roden said. Roden is a 27-year-old dairy farmer who served on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, he was chair of the committee for Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35. Roden is a graduate of West Bend High School and the University of WisconsinMadison’s Farm & Industry Short Course. In 2005, he formed a limited liability

corporation consisting of land and livestock with his parents Robert and Cindy Roden. He owns nearly one-fourth of the 400 cows that make up his family’s milking herd.

“You are among the nation’s best young farmers and ranchers. I am thoroughly impressed by the quality of your application and the dedication you have given to Farm Bureau and your communities,” AFBF President Bob Stallman wrote in a congratulatory letter to Roden. As a member of this 16-member committee for the nation’s largest general farm organization, Roden will help plan a national leadership conference and the competitive events that occur at the AFBF Annual Meeting for young Farm Bureau members. Roden, who is a member of the Ozaukee County Farm Bureau, is the first Wisconsin YFA member to serve on the national committee since Randi and Cecelia Brooks served in 2005-06.

december | january 2011-12

www.wfbf.com

15


Capitol

Watch During the fall session, four WFBF-supported transportation bills were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott Walker. By Casey Langan

Fall Harvest Weight Limits Previously, vehicles transporting agricultural crops from the field to the first point of delivery could exceed road weight limits by 15 percent from September 1 until November 30 without needing an overweight permit from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Corn, soybeans, potatoes, vegetables and cranberries are specifically covered by this provision. Act 52 extended this exemption by one month to December 31 of each year, including this year, 2011.

Weight Limits for Agricultural Products Act 56 allows the Department of Transportation to issue overweight permits for vehicle combinations that have six or more axels and that are transporting certain agricultural products to a farm or from a field or farm to a storage facility or processor. The agricultural products that may be transported under the permit include fruit, vegetables, grain, distillers’ grain and livestock, but exclude milk, animal waste and raw forest products. Overweight loads cannot exceed 90,000 pounds. DOT can start issuing these permits in July, 2012.

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Containers for International Shipment International trade requires containers to be inspected and sealed at the place where they are filled. This sealed container cannot be opened until it is delivered to its export point of delivery. Wisconsin law prohibits overweight vehicles from operating on highways without a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Wisconsin law also prohibited the DOT from issuing overweight permits for divisible loads. Act 55 allows the DOT to issue overweight permits for vehicle combinations that have six or more axels and that are transporting sealed containers for international shipment. These overweight loads cannot exceed 90,000 pounds. DOT can start issuing these permits in July, 2012.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


federal watch

Farm Bureau, FFA Foundation Oppose Drastic Changes to Youth Farm Labor Rules

T Transporting Hay or Straw State law previously prohibited the Department of Transportation from issuing permits for oversized or overweight loads that can reasonably be divided. Act 58 allows the DOT to issue oversize load permits for the transportation of hay or straw. These loads cannot exceed 15 feet in height, except in urban areas, where the limit is 14 feet six inches. DOT can begin issuing these permits in February, 2012. “Moving agricultural products from Wisconsin farms to markets for domestic consumption or global export is vitally important for fueling the $59 billion agricultural economy,” said Bill Bruins, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President. “Farm Bureau thanks the state legislature and governor for addressing these transportation and trade concerns that will ultimately make Wisconsin a more reliable provider of ag products.”

on the web For additional information on these rules and other legislative and regulatory issues check out our website at www.wfbf.com/legislation.

he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin FFA Foundation oppose proposed regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor that would greatly limit the ability of youth to work on farms. “These changes threaten to dramatically change the face of the family farm,” said Bill Bruins, WFBF President. The regulations would change existing “hazardous occupation” categories and prohibit youth from performing certain tasks unless they are working solely under the control of their parent or guardian. “The proposal exhibits a lack of acknowledgement of the many benefits and merits of youth working in agriculture,” said Karen Gefvert, WFBF Director of Governmental Relations. “From actual handson learning, many youth develop advanced skills that lead to them becoming productive and engaged members of society.” “These proposed rules are a clear example of agency overreach and exhibit a lack of understanding for enhanced safety practices and equipment upgrades found in modern day agriculture,” Gefvert added. “We also note that the Department of Labor’s narrow definition of a family farm does not recognize multi-family partnerships and other modern farm business structures. Their omission would stop youth from working on farms that belong to their grandparents or any farm where there parent is not the sole owner or operator.” The Wisconsin FFA Foundation shares concerns with the Farm Bureau as to how the proposed changes could effectively eliminate “supervised agricultural experiences” that thousands of Wisconsin youth participate in annually through FFA projects. As a result,

both organizations sent official comments to the U.S. Department of Labor prior to a December 1 comment period deadline. The changes were reportedly proposed due to safety concerns and align a long-standing separation between youth labor standards in agriculture and non-agriculture. The newly defined hazardous occupations include operating tractors or other powerdriven equipment such as lawn mowers. The proposed regulations would also prohibit work with non-castrated animals older than six months, sows with suckling pigs or a cow with a newborn calf. An additional prohibition includes handling animals in a situation in which the animal’s behavior may be unpredictable, such as with giving vaccinations, dehorning or breeding. If the regulations are adopted, children under 16 will no longer be allowed to work inside any fruit, forage, or grain storage silo or bin. “The proposal also aims to end working at heights that are more than six feet above another elevation,” Gefvert added. “This restriction is both unreasonable and unfounded. What does this mean for working in hay lofts, on ladders, and for simple tasks such as changing a light bulb or checking fill levels in bins?” “We support the rights of parents to have discretion when it comes to the capabilities and limitations of their child’s activities on farms,” Gefvert said. “These proposals will not only deny invaluable real world experiences for youth interested in agriculture, but they also set up one more barrier to a laborintensive industry that struggles to attract a trained workforce.”

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news

By Casey Langan

Meet Board Member:

Jim Holte Jim Holte knows that part of being a leader is having the ability to make decisions. The Dunn County farmer has made many that positively influenced his life and career paths.

Jim’s farm is located just down the road from the farm his father bought upon returning home from World War II. The Holtes have farmed in the Town of Spring Brook since the 1880s.

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fter graduating from the UWRiver Falls, he began renting his grandfather’s farm and married his wife Gayle in 1976. Jim’s roots run deep in the area south of Elk Mound where his great-grandfather settled from Norway in 1884. In the 1990s, Jim faced a big decision regarding his dairy herd. He suffered from feet and knee problems and his children did not wish to milk cows after him. He decided against expanding and retrofitting his barn. “It was a 20-year commitment I wasn’t

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willing to make,” he recalls. “I’m totally convinced it was the right decision for me. I really enjoyed the dairy business, but haven’t missed it since.” Instead, he converted the farm to a cash grain and beef cattle operation. He now grows a corn and soybean rotation and raises 350 to 400 beef cattle annually, most of which are brought in as 400 pound Holstein steers. He also raises a herd of colored beef cattle on pastures converted from 50 acres of odd-shaped fields and wooded areas. Although he is a third generation Farm Bureau member, Jim credits Carl Casper

for getting him involved in his county’s Young Farmer program. It led to serving on his county board of directors before a five-year stint as the county president. In 1994, he decided to back off of many community and church committees to make the two-year commitment to be in the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program (WRLP). “I didn’t have a clear understanding of how broad it was or how much I’d enjoy it,” he said. “I think the greatest thing the whole experience did for me was help me understand different styles of leadership in different people.” Today, he serves on the board of directors for the program renamed Leadership Wisconsin overseen by University of Wisconsin-Extension. But it was near the end of his WRLP experience when he faced another big decision; he had been asked to run for his local school board and to represent Northwestern Wisconsin (District 9) on

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land for generations did not want it on the DNR’s wish list, so they appealed to Farm Bureau to get the word out about the misguided plan. Their advocacy led to a special hearing in Madison where they dissected the DNR’s document.

the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors. The timing did not allow him to see if he was elected to one position before trying for the other; so he made the commitment to run for both, and was successful on both fronts. On the state WFBF board, he has experienced firsthand the emphasis that WFBF presidents, Bill Bruins and Dan Paulson, placed on building relationships with members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. “We may not always agree, but they know we will be involved and will be in their D.C. offices twice a year,” he said. “I think that’s important and that it will continue to pay dividends.” When asked to recall memorable

“We may not always agree, but they know we will be involved and will be in their D.C. offices twice a year,” he said. “I think that’s important and that it will continue to pay dividends.”

Farm Bureau moments, Jim immediately remembered moderating a legislative forum in the early 1980s. A discussion between a candidate and a Farm Bureau member got so heated that the legislator stormed out of the room. “It almost blew the whole thing up,” Jim said with a laugh. “I was standing there not knowing what to do next.” Secondly, the Department of Natural Resources devised a plan in the 1980s to buy farmland around a Dunn County wetland. The farmers who had owned the

“They didn’t think we would read the fine print,” Jim said. “We ripped that thing from stem to stern. We stopped it, and it was never brought up again.” Jim’s wife Gayle is a former teacher and principal, who now works as a clinical supervisor in speech and language for UW-Eau Claire. They have two daughters. Erin works in public relations in Madison. Jennifer (a middle school teacher in Eau Claire) and her husband, Adam, have two children and another on the way.

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Meet Farm Bureau Members:

Katie and Charlie

Bue By Casey Langan

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n some ways Charlie and Katie Bue are your traditional dairy farm couple. They’ve known each other since they were young 4-H members showing calves. Both graduated with ag-related degrees from the University of WisconsinRiver Falls. Both worked on other people’s farms before buying their own scenic spread called Wide Open Acres, outside of Hixton in the hills of Jackson County in 2001. In other ways this dairy duo is nontraditional. He works off of the farm while she farms full-time. For the last eight years, Charlie has been a district sales rep for

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Semex, a cattle genetics company. Katie milks their herd every morning and they split chores every evening. Their dairy herd is also non-traditional, not just because it’s made up of black and white Holsteins and red and while Milking Shorthorns. The Bues have carved out a niche by providing exceptional care for other people’s high-end show cattle. For half a stake in their ownership and a monthly charge, the cattle are being kept in a separate pasture, fed a special ration based on their individual needs, and washed and led regularly. One of the Milking Shorthorns on the farm was named best of her breed at the 2011 World Dairy Expo in Madison.

“I never dreamed I’d have a good herd of cattle,” said Katie, who first became active in the cattle showing circuit with her family’s Milking Shorthorns. Her soft spot for the relatively rare dairy breed comes partly from family tradition and growing up around other enthusiasts; most of her childhood family vacations were trips to Shorthorn conventions. Katie credits her father, Vince Ruzic, with driving her wherever she wanted to show her cattle, but says she and her siblings’ showing skills literally started from scratch. “We learned through watching others. It was trial and error,” she recalls.

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bers Charlie and Farm Bureau mem Jackson County rm outside of ughter, Kyra, 2, fa Katie Bue, and da Valley. en rd n of Ga Hixton in the Tow

Seeking more show ring competition, Katie bought her own Holstein as a teen. She married Charlie (a Holstein fan) and began milking their blended herd in 2002. “I have a quota,” she said with a laugh, referring to how many red cows Charlie wants to see in the milking string. These days, leading the pack of “shorties” (as Katie affectionately calls them) is a temper-mental five-year-old named Lady. She came to the farm from California in July 2010 with some health problems following a calving. “She was a beast,” Katie said of the cow’s behavior on the halter. “I put a lot of time into getting her to chill out.”

With Katie’s sister, Carla Stetzer, on the halter, Lady paraded herself into being named grand champion of the International Milking Shorthorn Show in Madison. “It was fun for me to watch her develop,” Katie said of the somewhatsurprise champion. “After all of that work, it was an indescribable feeling to see her win.” As for future goals, Katie says she would like to have an Expo winner bred on their farm. With just over 100 acres, the Bues may add more land in the future, but do not intend to add more cows. Katie said their motto is to “get

better and become more profitable from within.” World Dairy Expo is one of the four or five cattle shows the Bues exhibit at annually. Upon returning home from this year’s Expo on an early Sunday morning, Katie said her thoughts turned back to getting into the routine of her family and farm. When asked what kind of homecoming a world champion cow receives, Katie said she simply turned Lady out to pasture with her herd mates and said, “You can go out and be a regular cow for a while.”

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

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

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.

Farm Bureau Bank Take advantage of Farm Bureau Bank’s FDIC insured checking and

savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans. To get started, call 800.492. FARM (3276), or look online at www.farmbureaubank.com.

FB Apparel 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.

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

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

GM Private Offer Eligible members may now receive a $500 discount on qualifying 2011 or 2012 model year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles they purchase or

Stroke Detection Plus

lease. Please see the “Benefits & Membership” tab at wfbf.com.

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 http://ces.landsend.com/WIFB.

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 www.ruralins.com 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 32% with potential savings up to 50% on brand name and generic medications (based on national program savings data). Call 1.800.700.3957 and reference Group #703A.

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

The Country Today Newspaper Here’s a way to save money, get informed on ag issues, AND help support a popular Farm Bureau program. Members now receive $7.50 off yearly subscriptions (and $15 off two-year subscriptions) and The Country Today then donates $5 to the Ag in the Classroom program.

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

on the web View additional WFBF Member Benefits and more details on our website at www.wfbf.com/benefits-membership.

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

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wisconsin farm bureau federation


| GMC ACADiA

| CheVROLeT SiLVeRADO

| BuiCk ReGAL

GM is proud to partner with FarM Bureau速 to BrinG you this valuaBle oFFer. 1

Farm Bureau members can get a $5001 private offer toward the purchase or lease of most new GM vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado 2500hD and 3500hD lineup. Visit fbverify.com for more details. They get tough jobs done with a maximum payload of up to 6,635 lbs.2 and a conventional towing capacity of up to 17,000 lbs.3 And through the GM Business Choice Program,4 business owners receive even more when purchasing or leasing an eligible Chevrolet or GMC truck or van for business use. Visit gmbusinesschoice.com for details.

Offer valid toward the purchase of new 2011 and 2012 Buick, Chevrolet and GMC models, excluding Chevrolet Volt. Requires Regular Cab model and gas engine. Maximum payload capacity includes weight of driver, passengers, optional equipment and cargo. 3 Requires available 6.6L Duramax速 diesel engine. Maximum trailer ratings assume a properly-equipped base vehicle plus driver. See dealer for details. 4 To qualify, vehicles must be used in the day-to-day operation of the business and not solely for transportation purposes. Must provide proof of business. This program may not be compatible with other offers or incentive programs. Consult your local Chevrolet or GMC dealer or visit gmbusinesschoice.com for program compatibility and other restrictions. Take delivery by 9/30/2012. Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation速 are registered service marks owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, and are used herein (or by GM) under license. 息2011 General Motors LLC 1 2

Place your Farm Bureau Logo here.

Place your Dealer Logo here.


opinion

A Little Good News

A Message from WFBF President Bill Bruins

B “In 1960 the average American farmer produced enough to feed 26 people, today that figure is 155 people.”

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ack in 1983, Anne Murray sang, “We sure could use a little good news today.” The song’s message still resonates nearly three decades later, as there’s no shortage of bad news about the sluggish economy or political gridlock that is fed to us on a daily basis. Yet this holiday season I want to share some great news that gets very little attention. It’s the amazing past success of the American agriculture and what it means for our future. In 1960 the average American farmer produced enough to feed 26 people, today that figure is 155 people. While the United States represents just 6.1 percent of the world’s land area, in 2010 it produced 41.5 percent of the world’s corn, 18.7 percent of the world’s grains, 22.4 percent of global oil seeds, and leads in beef and poultry production. In addition to feeding our own people, in fiscal year 2011 the U.S. exported farm products equaling $137.4 billion in trade to the rest of the globe. The number of jobs supported by U.S. farmers

equals 24 million. That’s more than the entire population of Australia (21 million). In the midst of 2011’s political turmoil and economic uncertainty fueled by an entitlement dependency mindset, American farmers quietly went out and cared for their livestock, milked their cows and harvested their crops. The fruits of their labor continue to provide a bounty for our nation. A nation that no longer remembers what empty grocery shelves look like; a nation with the luxury of throwing away a shameful amount of leftovers from holiday feasts. Yes, we as farmers are more productive than ever, but something else even more profound has happened in the last 50 years. Global demand for farm products has caught up with supply. The extended seasons of overproduction are simply gone. Chronic farm surpluses are history. Given this new reality, this year’s projected record U.S. farm income not only seems sustainable, but looks like the new normal.

It should also be noted that while the amount of arable land is not growing, the world’s population certainly is. In the last two minutes the world’s population has increased by more than 300 people. By tomorrow, 200,000 people, and by the year 2050, 2.5 billion more people. That’s eight-times the current population of the United States. To adapt to this changing landscape, our land grant universities will need to be focused like a laser to meet this looming challenge. The chronic farm surpluses of the past were once characterized as a curse. Reality is quite the opposite. The American farmer’s ability to embrace technological advances and grow food for an increasingly hungry planet is a blessing. Given all of these dramatic changes that are underway, we likely find ourselves at the dawn of a golden age for American farmers. That’s not only good news, that’s great news that many of us have been waiting a long time to hear!

wisconsin farm bureau federation


opinion

Brazil. China. India. Oh my!

Guest Column from WEDC Vice President Lora Klenke “There’s no place like home.” Except when it comes to growing our state’s economy. Sao Paulo is in a building boom leading up to the 2014 World Cup, as is Rio for the 2016 Olympics. Beijing has a continuing demand for American-made machinery. Mumbai is seeking solar technology to fuel its energy needs. And, that is just the beginning. New trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will add an additional $2.3 billion a year to the U.S. farm economy. Hanoi wants telecom equipment. Jakarta sees a geothermal future. In fact, Indonesia has a five-year plan to invest $150 billion to develop its infrastructure. With 96 percent of the world’s population consuming products outside the U.S. and one billion people expected to join the global middle class in the next decade, Wisconsin businesses and farmers need to aggressively seek opportunities outside of the U.S. borders. The world’s population recently surpassed 7 billion and the United Nations predicts that by 2050 it could reach 9 billion. Where is this growth and associated opportunity occurring? China remains the world’s most populous country with just over 1.3 billion people,. One in every five people on the planet is a resident of China. India is now home to 1.21 billion people, or 17 percent of the world’s population. In the past decade, India’s population grew by 181 million. That represents an increase nearly equal to the

entire population of Brazil. By 2030, India is predicted to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation. Brazil is the sixth most populous country in the world after China, India, the United States, Indonesia and the Russian Federation. Its population is approximately 185 million; the country’s growing middle class is predominantly young with 62 percent of Brazilians under 29 years of age. Last year, Wisconsin exported $19.8 billion worth of products to more than one hundred other countries. These products range from industrial and electrical machinery to medical and scientific equipment to a wide variety of agricultural products. Leading agricultural exports included cereals, dairy and bakery related products, grains and seeds, raw hides, preserved foods, and beverages. These agricultural products accounted for $2.4 billion of our state’s total exports with a 36 percent increase over 2009, the highest value ever recorded for Wisconsin. Sustaining this growth in agricultural exports is especially important to our rural communities. Every dollar of Wisconsin exports creates another $1.40 in supporting activities to process, package, finance, and ship agricultural products. When compared to Wisconsin’s overall economy, agriculture is twice as dependent on overseas markets due to 27 percent of Wisconsin’s 2010 farm cash receipts coming from exports. The Wisconsin Economic Development

Corporation (WEDC), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), has helped thousands of Wisconsin companies and farmers grow their export business. With access to over 22 international offices, WEDC and DATCP can help your company access these opportunities and in the next six months we can take you and your products to the world’s most dynamic regions and countries such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, China and India. Act now. Contact us. Grow with us. No yellow brick road or red ruby slippers required. Lora Klenke is the Vice President for International Business Development at WEDC. She has developed more than 20 markets and helped Wisconsin agricultural companies export millions of dollars worth of products. She has been known to wear ruby slippers on farm visits. Contact her and Wisconsin’s international team on the web at www.wedc.org, by email at international@wisconsin.gov or by phone at 800.462.5237.

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leadership

Photos by Sheri Sutton

Annual Meeting

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Scrapbook 2

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1. Over 1,000 people attended the 92nd Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and YFA Conference December 2-5 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. 2. Heather Cotterill was one of 13 Farm Bureau members who graduated from the Farm Bureau Institute leadership class this year. 3. Kudos went to Columbia and Dodge counties for their outstanding YFA programs and activities. 4. YFA members competed in a variety of ice breaker challenges.

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5. Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch addressed the Annual Meeting attendees and also served as a YFA Discussion Meet final round judge. 6. YFA members danced to the tunes of Tuscan Road. 7. Toilet paper was used to decorate someone during an icebreaker.

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8. Arlaina Meyer, Barron County, was one of the YFA Excellence in Ag award finalists. 9. Keynote speaker, Dick Wittman, spoke about positioning farm businesses for successful transitions. 10. The Wisconsin State FFA Officer team had a booth in the trade show and also served as time keepers for the YFA Discussion Meet. 11. Brad Gefvert and BJ Chrisler competed in one of the most talented YFA Discussion Meet finals yet.

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12. Delegates held district caucus meetings to discuss proposed resolutions to Farm Bureau policy. 13. Merlin Sutter, Buffalo County, a member of the 2011 Producer Club was among the 69 Farm Bureau volunteers recognized for signing new members. 14. YFA members appreciated Badgerland Financial’s support for Friday night’s entertainment and reception where members were able to enjoy music, beverages and network with friends from across the state. Scrapbook cont’d on page 28

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15. The state YFA Committee greeted new conference attendees. 16. WFBF Board member Joe Bragger learned how to juggle with Saturday’s featured entertainer Jeff Civillico. 17. The silent auction raised over $14,000 for the WFB Foundation. 18. Josh (the new state YFA chair) and Ashleigh Calaway were active participants at this year’s Annual Meeting.

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Save the Date! April 27-28, 2012 Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells *Go to ‘Events’ on www.WFBF.com

Wisconsin

Presented by:

Ag SWomen’s U M M I T 28

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Wisconsin

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

University of Wisconsin–Extension

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Three Appointed to YFA Committee Pictured left to right: Tim Clark, Brian Maliszewski and Nichole Rabitz.

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operations at Clark Family Ag Services and Beef-Feedlot operations. He has a degree in agricultural economics and agricultural journalism from UW– Madison. Maliszewski completed his agronomy degree at UW-River Falls and started his own custom harvesting operation, doing planting, round baling, chopping, hay grinding, trucking and combining. Additionally, he runs 1,600 acres of owned and leased land and is a partner in his family’s beef and crop farm. Nichole and Chuck Rabitz are cash grain farmers of corn, barley and hay.

hree young agricultural leaders have been appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Committee. Tim Clark of Fond du Lac County, Brian Maliszewski of Trempealeau County and Nichole Rabitz of Manitowoc County were appointed to their new leadership roles by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Board of Directors. Their terms begin at the WFBF’s Annual Meeting, December 2-5, in Wisconsin Dells. Clark is a District Sales Manager with Dairyland Seed. He also assists with

Nichole has an elementary education degree from UW-Green Bay and Chuck has degrees in dairy science and agriculture journalism from UW-Madison. He works at Denmark State Bank as an agricultural lender. The YFA Committee is made of one couple or individual (ages 18-35) from each of WFBF’s nine districts. Their goal is to get more young farmers and agriculturists acquainted with and involved in Farm Bureau by carrying out a variety of statewide conferences, contests and award programs.

Ag Day at the Capitol

February 8, 2012

Madison, WI • Monona Terrace Convention Center

Thank you sponsors:

Invites you to attend Schedule of Events 11:00 11:45 12:45 3:00

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

a.m. Registration a.m. Lunch p.m. Legislative Briefing p.m. Capitol Visits

Registration Deadline: January 31, 2012. See ‘Events’ at www.WFBF.com. Cost: $20 per person by registration deadline. $25 after deadline and at the door. december | january 2011-12

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

Ag in the Classroom’s

Strength in Partnerships W

isconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program builds its strength through partnerships with commodity groups, farm organizations, and a network of volunteers and teachers. With the support of grants and funding by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and other partners, the program provides educational resources for pre-kindergarten through high school teachers and students, home school families, 4-H and FFA members, and others interested in enhancing agricultural education. During a panel discussion at the recent WFBF Annual Meeting, Farm Bureau members, Alison Kepner and Don Meyer, shared the secrets of their successful local efforts to bolster agricultural literacy.

Left: Sauk County’s Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Don Meyer, enjoys making classroom visits. He has helped organize a volunteer-teacher network with all of his county’s school districts.

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In Sauk County, Meyer said the county Farm Bureau has provided training at the county fair for select volunteers and a teacher from each school district. He said this approach provides a direct communication link to promote activities, such as the annual essay contest and awards programs. Kepner said Dane County Farm Bureau identified existing activities in the county and examined how Ag in the Classroom could complement current programs. A Family Farm Day with agricultural exhibits and farm animals was held at the Madison Children’s Museum. The group partnered with the Stoughton FFA Alumni and fair organizers to organize a scavenger hunt for kids at the Dane County Fair. Commodity and farm group partnerships provide key financial and educational resources. Tammy Vaassen of the Wisconsin Pork Association shared the many educational resources that the state and national Pork Associations offer. She frequently presents at

Ag in the Classroom’s teacher and volunteer training workshops. Ferron Havens, of the Wisconsin Agribusiness Council, highlighted three booklets: The ABC’s of Agriculture, This Business Called Agriculture and An Agricultural Career for You. The publications are distributed by the county and state Ag in the Classroom programs and featured in several lesson plan projects widely used by teachers and students. “Just as Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom relies on its partners to help make the program successful, county programs are encouraged to explore the potential partners they have in 4-H and FFA programs, agribusinesses, commodity and promotion groups, and volunteers with an interest in agricultural literacy,” said Darlene Arneson, Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Coordinator. To learn more about Ag in the

The Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board sponsors the printing and postage to distribute Amazing Corn, an activity booklet for elementary-aged students to help them learn about how corn is grown and its uses.

Classroom, visit www. wisagclassroom.org and www.agclassroom.org

The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board has sponsored 59 soybean science kits that offer 21 lessons for students to learn more about science and agriculture. Last year, over 6,100 youth and adults used the kits.

Ag in the Classroom is organized under the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is operated differently in each state. Some state programs are housed in Farm Bureau offices, state departments of agriculture or extension offices, independent foundations, or as volunteer networks.

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&

news resources for teachers

educational resources to explore Winter vacation is a great time for students and teachers to check out these educational resources: Wisconsin Christmas Tree Growers Association – www.christmastrees-wi.org – See how are trees are grown and be sure to follow the links to the Real Trees 4 Kids website that offers lesson plans for grades K-12. USDA Ag in the Classroom – www.agclassroom.org – This site is the go-to for extensive resource directories, lesson plans, state profiles that help students learn about agriculture in all 50 states, and links to individual state and commodity websites. Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board – www.wicornpro.org – The sponsors of our Amazing Corn booklets offer many educational resources, YouTube videos, ethanol facts and great links to other ag sites. Wisconsin Apple Growers Association – www.waga.org – Visit the education materials under the General Information tab. The educational kit called “A Bushel of Facts About Wisconsin Apples” has activity sheets, field trip ideas and other apple info. For more on Ag in the Classroom, visit www.wisagclassroom.org.

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Ag in the Classroom Grant Opportunities Funding can be an obstacle for teachers and volunteers in carrying out educational programs. Here are two sources of funds that are offered by Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom: Teacher Mini-Grants Due in January Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom offers grants up to $100 for pre-school through high school teachers to fund agricultural literacy projects in the classroom. Grants can be used for innovative lessons, activities, presentations, school fairs and other projects that integrate ag into a variety of curriculum areas. Priority will be given to applicants for resources that will last more than one school year as opposed to funds for field trips and consumables. A judging committee will review all funding requests that are properly completed and postmarked by the January 15, 2012 deadline. Forms can be downloaded from wisagclassroom.org. Matching Grants Due in April The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is offering matching grants of up to $500 to groups sponsoring programs or projects that promote agricultural literacy. Successful applicants must secure or provide equal matching funds. The proposed projects must be targeted to grades pre-K through 12 and should enhance student knowledge of agriculture. Grant applications are due April 1, 2012. Download the application form at www.wisagclassroom.org.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


ag in the classroom

Ag in the Classroom Website – Visit www.wisagclassroom.org!

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isconsin Ag in the Classroom’s revamped website offers many new features for teachers, volunteers, students and others to find educational resources, links to other websites, order forms, activities and more.

Essay Contest All resources, handouts and templates for the Essay Contest--including reporting forms--are in the essay section.

Lesson Plans You can download the entire lesson plans for Fun Faces of Wisconsin Agriculture (grades 4-6), World Dairy Expo Tours (grade 4) and Incorporating Agriculture into Academia (middle and high school).

Report Forms All report forms for matching grants, teacher mini-grants, county reports, soybean reports and essay contest are downloadable!

Hands-On Activities Need a quick activity? Visit the hands-on activity section to find the instructions and information to make that presentation a success!

Children’s Books All activity/lesson plan booklets are online. If you bought a book and can’t find the activity booklet, you can just download the pages you want!

Coming soon! Watch for fun facts, agricultural trivia and other information on the home page. County summaries will be added to the County AITC section for teachers and volunteers to learn what’s happening with AITC in your county and an online Wisconsin AITC Resource Directory will be added later in 2012.

december | january 2011-12

www.wfbf.com

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foundation Silent Auction

Photos T

he 2011 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation offered over 240 items for attendees to bid on. Thanks to the generous support of auction donators, members were able to bid on Packer jerseys, a variety of baskets with Wisconsin products, handmade woodcraft items, crafts, hotel packages and farm related products. All the proceeds (over $14,000) went to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation which supports agricultural education and leadership programs. The Farm Bureau Institute leadership program continued its support of the auction by offering a friendly competition between classes. The breakdown for donations included: Class I $733.50, Class II - $292, Class III - $1,120, Class IV - $307 and Class V - $1,165. Tim Clark, Class V, was recognized for the highest single lot of alfalfa seed, a coat and rain gauge valued at $235. The highest total dollar value for multiple lots came from Arch Morton’s six Green Bay Packer Jerseys that sold for a total of $747. Jennifer Digman donated the most lots (17). Thank you to everyone who donated, bid and purchased items at this year’s auction!

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Dear Mrs. Arneson ,

Thank you for your Ag in the Classroom presentati on. You presented us with great infor mation that I have already passe d on to my chapter for element ary FFA days. The resources you ga ve us will last throughout the year!

Abbie Baker, State Vice President Wisconsin Association of FFA

Darlene,

Note cards featuring a new painting called “Blessed Morning” by artist and Farm Bureau member Betty Engel, of Calumet County, are available from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. The original artwork was sold to the highest bidder earlier this month at the WFB Foundation’s Silent Auction during the 2011 Annual Meeting. Note cards featuring three other designs are also available at the WFB Foundation website: wfbf.com/about-wfbf/foundation. Packages of 20 note cards and envelopes are available for $10, plus $3 for shipping.

End of Year

Giving Opportunities

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hank you to everyone who has supported the WFB Foundation this past year. As the year draws to a close, Farm Bureau members and supporters are encouraged to consider the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation in their charitable contributions. The WFB Foundation offers several opportunities for giving donations including annual contributions, memorial and “In Honor of” gifts and estate planning - gifts of stocks, bonds or real estate. Visit www.wfbf.com/aboutwfbf/foundation/ to download contribution forms or contact Foundation Director Darlene Arneson at 608.828.5719 or darneson@wfbf.com.

and brochures for Thank you for the bookmarks sin Sta te Fair. the DATCP display at the Wiscon great news They were a hit and sprea d theappreciate the Ag about Wisconsin agriculture. We terials and hope in the Classroom sharing the maure! we can work together in the fut Lawrence Ashley Hui tbregtse and Laurie and Consumer de Department of Agriculture, Tra Protection

Dear Mrs. Arneson, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with myself and the Wisconsin Association of FFA State Off icer Team during the WAAE Conference. In your message, you expressed the importance of agriculture, and gave us many resources to use to develop an Ag in the Classroom program in FFA chapters. You r passion for agriculture is amazing. Sincerely, Stacey Kunde State FFA Parliamentarian

Wisconsin Farm Bureau, ty to create, 4-H has given me the opportuni h as an individual, communicate, lea d, and grow, bot Thank you for and as a part of my community. Wisconsin 4-H the sponsoring and contributing to eive the 4-H Key to Founda tion. It was an honor rec to using the skills Award this year. I look forward oughout my adult life. tha t I have developed in 4-H thr Caitlin Callahan Burlington

december | january 2011-12

www.wfbf.com

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Shouldn’t we expect better from the “Humane Society”?

ars donated every 200 doll of ar ll do 1 Only e United States e Society of th an m Hu e th to rs. on Pet shelte goes to hands-

The Humane Society of the United States is NOT your local animal shelter. In fact, it gives less than one-half of one percent of its $100 million budget to hands-on pet shelters.* Meanwhile, this wealthy animal rights group socked away over $2.5 million of Americans’ donations in its own pension plans.**

Surprised? So were we. The dog-watchers need a watchdog. Join the discussion at:

HUMANEWATCH.ORG

HUMANEWATCH.ORG Keeping a watchful eye on the Humane Society of the United States

Keeping a watchful eye on the Humane Society of the United States

* **

HSUS gave just $452,371 to hands-on pet shelters in 2008, out of a $99,664,400 budget. HSUS made $2,532,167 in pension contributions in 2008.


rural mutual

{Insurance}

Ready or Not

HERE COMES WINTER W

inters can be pretty tough – especially on buildings. Most people take for granted the tremendous stress their houses, businesses, barns and storage facilities must endure throughout the winter months. These structures must support snow and ice, technically known as snow load, which falls during the winter. Sometimes, buildings collapse under the weight that can accumulate in a large storm. The simple fact is, while all buildings are designed to carry some snow load, there’s no guarantee that they will carry the same amount of snow load. And while most homes are required to be built well enough to survive winter’s onslaught, snow load capacity requirements for non-dwelling businesses and agricultural buildings vary greatly. Where your building is located matters too. Buildings near larger structures, such as other buildings, trees or silos are more likely to collect drift which increases snow loads. A load is defined as something borne, carried or supported by a building structure. • “Dead” loads are the gravity loads caused by the weight of the structure itself. • “Live” load is the load superimposed by the use and occupancy of the building. • “Collateral” loads include objects placed on or hanging from the roof of a

Service. Here are some examples from around Wisconsin: • • • • • •

building such as an air conditioning or ventilation system, or special lighting. • “Environmental” loads include snow, wind and earthquakes. Dead, live and collateral loads are known entities that can be accounted for in the building design process. But environmental loads, such as snow, are variable. Snow load capacities depend on the building type, location, occupancy and primary use. For non-commercial, agricultural buildings, snow loads can range from 12 to 40 pounds per square foot depending on the region. A cubic foot of water weighs about 62 pounds. Generally speaking, one cubic foot of snow weighs approximately 10 pounds. However, this weight can vary greatly depending on moisture content of the snow, wind and other environmental factors. Average annual snowfall (in inches) can be obtained from the National Weather

Milwaukee 47.5” Madison 44.1” Green Bay 49.1” La Crosse 42.2” Eau Claire 48.6” Wausau 52.0” Excessive snow accumulation is one of the biggest threats to structures. If you need to remove snow from a roof, use caution. Falls from roofs or from ladders going to a roof can easily occur. Removing snow can allow the snow up slope to suddenly slide down, burying people or animals below. Using a roof rake from a safe distance away can reduce some of this risk to the person removing snow. Most hardware and farm implement stores carry snow rakes, but you will want to purchase one early in the season while supplies last. Rural Mutual has two coverage forms available to insure agricultural buildings. Our basic form provides named perils coverage (fire and lightening, wind or hail, explosion, riot, vehicles, vandalism, smoke and aircraft) and our comprehensive form (includes coverage for collapse of a building due to the weight of ice and snow). Consideration will be given to the age and condition of the agricultural building when determining which coverage form to use. Contact your Rural Mutual agent to obtain additional information.

december | january 2011-12

www.wfbf.com

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rural mutual

Rural Mutual Insurance Company goes LIVE on Facebook and Twitter

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acebook has 750 million users and Twitter has 200 million users, and Rural Mutual has staked its claim in the sphere of social media. These channels will act as a brand new way to tell the Rural Mutual story, build a community and jump start conversations with new clients. As we continue to grow and evolve, we need to keep up with consumer demand and expectations. While we have 150 agents in 100 locations, our message will now be felt more powerfully in every town, village, city and farm in the state. Premiums paid here, stay here. Our customers love our service and products - now it’s time to “Like” and “Follow” us as well.

Award Scholarships presented to Wisconsin Teens

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ristin Kniech, of Lincoln in Wood County, and Luke Menges, of Kossuth in Manitowoc County, were awarded $1,000 Wisconsin Towns Association scholarships sponsored by Rural Mutual Insurance Company. The announcement was made at the Wisconsin Towns Association annual convention held on October 25 in Green Bay. Kniech is a 2011 graduate of Marshfield High School and is attending St. Norbert’s College, while Menges is a graduate of Manitowoc Lutheran High School and is attending UW-Eau Claire. Scholarships were awarded based on applicant essays in response to the question:

“How can towns and villages best protect their infrastructure and still provide other needed services such as fire and emergency services in tough economic times?” To apply for the scholarship, participants must live in a municipality that has Rural Mutual Insurance coverage as of May 1, 2011; be a 2011 graduate of a Wisconsin public or private high school; and plan on enrolling in a Wisconsin public or private college or vocationaltechnical school in 2011. The Wisconsin Towns Association is a non-profit association of town and village officials promoting education for local government officials throughout the state. Rural Mutual Insurance is the Wisconsin Towns Association’s endorsed insurance carrier.

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.

To visit our Facebook page, visitfacebook.com/RuralMutual. To follow us on Twitter, go to twitter.com/RuralMutual.

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Enjoy Retirement On your Terms As you plan for your future years,

it’s wise to consider your options, outline your goals and fine-tune your expectations. Your Rural Mutual Insurance agent can help make it simple to: v Continue your standard of living. v Remain in control of your finances. v Maintain your independence.

Make the most of your future years by staying in control. Contact your Rural Mutual Insurance agent today.

Visit www.fbfs.com to sign up for our free e-newsletter. It’s filled with useful tips to help you protect your family and save time and money.

Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company/West Des Moines, IA. © 2011 FBL Financial Group, Inc. A131-WI (2-11)

Rural Mutual

december | january 2011-12

Insurance Company www.wfbf.com

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Premiums Paid Here, Stay Here To Keep Wisconsin Strong.

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

We value 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 farms in the state offering the best coverage for Wisconsin’s $60 billion agriculture industry. Premiums paid here, stay here to keep Wisconsin strong. Locate one of our 150 agents today at www.ruralins.com.

www.ruralins.com


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