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dec | jan 2012-13 • vol. 18 no. 6 |

Cat Annual nnec Meeting Members

Jim Holte Elected WFBF President Hebbes Receive Leopold Award Delegates Set 2013 Legislative Policy

Every acre tells a story.

Turn to us when it’s time to turn the page. When you’re ready to transition the family farm or business it’s taken a lifetime to build, we’re here to help. As part of your team of advisers, your Rural Mutual Insurance agent can work with you to create a succession plan that fits your unique needs. Call your Rural Mutual Insurance agent today and visit for ideas and information.

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Life insurance & annuity products offered through Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company/West Des Moines, IA. BT-003-WI (11-12)


vol. 18 no. 6

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Jim holte



Dunn County farmer elected WFBF President.


Opinion member benefits

harvey kamps

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ag in the classroom




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NEW POLICY Delegates take action on member resolutions.




Take a look at some of the photos we snapped at the Kalahari.



WORDS AND DIRT Meet Milwaukee County members, Hintz and Percy.


Marinette County man receives top member award.

COLLECTOR Meet Outagamie County member, LeRoy Van Asten.

daryl buss Former vet school dean saluted for service.


yfa winners Contest winners shine at Annual Meeting.

cover Photos by AMY MANSKE

Dane, Walworth Counties Take National Honors december | january 2012-13

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Editor’s Note


t was a guy by the name of Nicholas Sparks who wrote, “Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work’s important, family’s important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You’re cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what’s coming.” Well if that’s the case, then my cup runneth over in 2012. 2012 was a year of anticipation for all of us. We waited for it to rain during the sultry summer. 2012 was a year of deadlines where we waited for circled days on the calendar to arrive. For example, here in Wisconsin about every other month we waited for another election day to arrive. 2012’s anticipation and deadlines for me personally did not just have to do with being a magazine editor. At the beginning of the year the milestone birthday that awaited me in the waning days of December loomed large on

{from Casey Langan} my calendar. However, its significance was soon dwarfed by other events. In August, my wife and I found a house to our liking in my hometown. Soon a closing date and moving day became dates on the calendar with circles around them. Then there is something else I have yet to write about publicly (other than Facebook) up until now. Our first child is expected to make his big debut in late December. Sometimes change can be scary, but there is also something comforting about knowing when a big change is going to happen. It is the unforeseen things that happen in life that often leave us feeling unsettled. As I write this, another successful WFBF Annual Meeting is in the books and I will take a leap of faith and assume this Rural Route has made its voyage from my computer to the printing press and then on to your mailbox. It’s also a safe bet that when I blow out all of those candles just before year’s end, it is actually me exhaling a sigh of relief. As my wife and I quietly celebrate the New Year with a newborn and our ‘new’ 107-year-old house, I will be especially thankful for my work, thankful for my family and thankful for all the anticipation that 2012 brought me. Happy New Year! Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Assistant Editor Sheri Sutton 262.949.2418

Contributor Amy Manske 608.828.5706

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

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276)

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

Women’s Committee Chair Jane Mueller, Fall Creek

Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Chair Teresa Hanson, Shell Lake 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 Casey Langan at 608.828.5711 or


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wisconsin farm bureau federation


Kevin Krentz

Jim Holte Elected WFBF President Krentz leads Dist. 5, Mueller is Women’s Chair, Hanson leads YFA


im Holte has been elected president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Holte raises beef cattle, and grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa on 460 acres of land near Elk Mound in Dunn County. He succeeds Bill Bruins of Waupun who has served as president of the state’s largest general farm organization since 2003. Holte was first elected to the WFBF Board of Directors in 1995 to represent District 9 on the board. District 9 represents the Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St.

Croix and Superior Shores county Farm Bureaus. Holte has served as WFBF’s representative to the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) board. He chairs the Wisconsin Livestock Siting Review board. He is a graduate of the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program (WRLP) and currently serves as a board member for Leadership Wisconsin (formerly WRLP). Locally, Holte serves as vice-president of the Elk Mound School Board and served on several

Jane Mueller

committees at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He is also a former board member for GROWMARK, Inc. and citizen board for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. He is the past president of the Wisconsin Beef Council. A 1975 graduate of UWRiver Falls, Jim and his wife, Gayle, have two children. Richard Gorder, a dairy farmer from Mineral Point in Iowa County, was reelected as vice president and to a three-year term representing District 3 (Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland and Vernon counties). Nine of the 11 members of the WFBF board of directors are farmers elected in each of 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 Committee and WFBF’s Women’s Committee, both of which serve a oneyear term on the board. Kevin Krentz, a dairy farmer from Berlin in Waushara County, was elected to represent District 5 (Adams, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Waushara and Winnebago counties).

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Teresa Hanson

He succeeds retiring WFBF President Bill Bruins of Waupun who had represented District 5 on the WFBF Board of Directors since 1988. Dave Daniels, a dairy farmer from Union Grove in Racine County was reelected to a three-year term representing District 1 (Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Walworth counties). Jane Mueller, a dairy farmer from Fall Creek in Eau Claire County, was elected to a oneyear term as the new Women’s Committee chair. She succeeds Kathleen Papcke of Elkhorn in Walworth County. Teresa Hanson of Shell Lake in Washburn County was elected to a one-year term as chair of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. She is a member of the Superior Shores County Farm Bureau and works as a dairy nutritionist at Crystal Creek in Spooner. She succeeds Josh Calaway of Vesper in Wood County. Other Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board Directors who were not up for reelection included: Jerry Bradley of Sun Prairie, Joe Bragger of Independence, Rosie Lisowe of Chilton, Wayne Staidl of Peshtigo, and Don Radtke of Merrill.



Farm Bureau’s legislative policy is a result of the grassroots resolution process. It begins locally on the county level and culminates with statewide delegates discussing the issues on Monday morning of the WFBF Annual Meeting. Left: Vice President Richard Gorder ran the business meeting of the statewide delegates. Below: Dave Turba from Sheboygan County brought a topic to the floor.

Grassroots in Action:

Members Set Legislative Policy for 2013 Delegates at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells established new policy directives for the organization on Monday, December 3.


arm Bureau delegates adopted the policies that will guide the legislative agenda for the state’s largest general farm organization over the next year. Resolutions were submitted by farmers from across the state through Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process. Delegates gave directives on several state laws and programs. They support creating an opt-out provision for municipalities within the Smart Growth planning law, and continued state funding for the livestock premise registration program. Regarding environmental issues, farmers want simplification to the state’s nutrient


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management planning process. They support grandfathering in existing high capacity water wells under the laws in which they were installed or upgraded. Delegates also support maintaining base funding for County Land Conservation Departments in order for them to implement programs of local importance. On transportation, delegates want to limit the state’s debt service for the transportation fund to 15 percent of expenditures, with any additional revenues designated for local infrastructure repairs. A resolution calling for the simplification of the definition of implements of husbandry was passed, as did increasing road weight limits to 98,000 wisconsin farm bureau federation

Regarding environmental issues, farmers want simplification to the state’s nutrient management planning process.

pounds for implements of husbandry with six axels. Other items delegates support include: • Support establishing a general hunting season and nuisance permits for turkey. • Support starting Wisconsin’s bear hunting season earlier (to August 15) and do not want the Department of Natural Resource to trap and relocate bear. • Support allowing audio and/or visual recordings on private property (including farms and livestock handling facilities) only if approved by the facility owners. • Support maintaining state funding to school districts with declining enrollment with special consideration for rural schools. Wisconsin delegates also approved resolutions pertaining to federal policy. These resolutions will be forwarded to the

Left: Randy Wokatsch, District 8 representative on the Policy Development Committee, makes a point. Above: Beth Porior Schafer explains her concern on a resolution.

American Farm Bureau Federation, which hosts its Annual Meeting and resolutions session next month in Nashville: • Support making permanent the emergency rule allowing winter cover crops to be harvested in the spring without jeopardizing crop insurance eligibility for the primary crop planted after the winter cover crop is harvested. • Support requiring cross compliance to tolerable soil loss of no more than two-T for crop insurance eligibility like other cross compliance provisions in the U.S. farm bill. • Support funding to repair and upgrade the nation’s lock and dam system to maintain current commodity trade channels. • Support amending the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 so that the calorie criteria and proportions of each food group are adequate.

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‘Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau’ Award Goes to Harvey Kamps


arinette County’s Harvey Kamps has received the highest award the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation bestows upon its members. Kamps was presented the ‘Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award’ at the WFBF Annual Meeting on December 2 for providing exceptional leadership and support to Farm Bureau’s efforts. Kamps, a former dairy farmer, served as president of the Marinette County Farm Bureau for 32 years and remains an active member today. During his tenure as president he led the county to 16 consecutive years of membership growth. He was instrumental in operating the Marinette County Fair Farm Bureau ice cream stand to raise funds and promote dairy products. Pulling floats in parades, membership drives and volunteering at the Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm were other local projects he participated in. On the state level, Kamps served on WFBF’s Policy Development Committee and was a strong supporter of the School Taxes Off Property (STOP) campaign and the efforts for implementing use value assessment of farmland. He also attended numerous Ag Day at the Capitol events and WFBF Annual Meetings. Throughout his involvement, Kamps

“His positive attitude inspired others to become active on various state and national Farm Bureau committees.” - Ryan Staidl, Marinette County Farm Bureau President

Committed to Our Customers’ Success Valders, WI

Nutritional Forage Management Manufacturing Services Programs 8

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Feed Delivery

800-277-4465 920-775-9600

has encouraged young people to become involved in Farm Bureau and to create successful committee programs. “His positive attitude inspired others to become active on various state and national Farm Bureau committees,” said Ryan Staidl, the current president of the Marinette County Farm Bureau, who nominated Kamps for the award. Harvey Kamps and his wife, Sharon, have nine children, 22 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Kamps, who lives in Coleman, has also served on his church council and as the town chairman for Marinette County’s Town of Pound for eight years. wisconsin farm bureau federation

Veterinarian School Dean Receives Farm Bureau’s “Distinguished Service to Agriculture” Award Daryl Buss was presented the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s “Distinguished Service to Agriculture” award during the organization’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 2.


he Distinguished Service to Agriculture is awarded to an individual for outstanding contributions to the success of Wisconsin’s agricultural industry. Daryl D. Buss, DVM, PhD, served as dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1994 until he retired in June of 2012. “Wisconsin is fortunate to have experienced the leadership of Daryl Buss,” said WFBF President Jim Holte, who nominated Buss for the award. “As Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, he helped provide the livestock industry with talented and well prepared professionals.” “Dean Buss was instrumental throughout his career in enhancing the school’s excellence and national stature, building upon the legacy of our founding Dean Easterday,” said current dean, Mark Markel. “Dean Buss helped create and advance the strength of our food animal production medicine group which is a prominent supporter of the dairy industry in the state, both in service to farm owners and toward the education of future dairy focused veterinarians.” During his tenure, Buss built a program valued by Wisconsin and widely recognized nationally as a premier place to learn and conduct research. He helped shape national policy through service as president of the Association of American Veterinary Colleges. He also served on the board of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Research and the association’s committee to update standards for veterinary school accreditation. As the School of Veterinary Medicine’s second dean, he was instrumental in facilitating considerable growth in both

research expenditures and clinical activities. One of the milestones of his career was the return of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to campus in 2006 after a 40 year absence. The laboratory allows for a tremendous amount of collaboration between pathologists and students, who will be future users of the facility during their careers. Buss received the Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association in 2004. He was previously recognized as Teacher of the Year at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where he served for 18 years, with 15 of those as chairman of the Department of Physiological Sciences. At the time of his retirement, he was awarded the ranks of Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus at the UW-Madison. He received his DVM degree from the University of Minnesota, and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the UW-Madison. Buss grew up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota that remains in his family today. He and wife, Sharon, live in Madison. They have one daughter, Jennifer.

“Wisconsin is fortunate to have experienced the leadership of Daryl Buss.” - WFBF President, Jim Holte

You Lost Your Barn! We know where it is. Over 200,000 Wisconsin aerial farm photos as early as the 1960s.

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Award Winners Are... And The YFA

Among the 425 Young Farmers and Agriculturists who gathered at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells for the 2012 YFA Conference and WFBF Annual Meeting were members who competed in Farm Bureau’s three contests.


ongratulations to the following state award winners who will be representing Wisconsin in the national contests at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee in January. They will be guests at the next 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.

Dierickx Earns Excellence in Agriculture Award In recognition of her knowledge of agriculture, leadership in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations, and active engagement in agriculture, Jenny Dierickx of Dane County was selected as the winner of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Excellence in Agriculture contest. Dierickx, 30, works as a marketing executive for Filament marketing, an agricultural marketing and strategic planning firm in Madison. She grew up on her family’s Holstein dairy farm near Monticello and showed dairy cattle at the Green County Fair. She is a graduate of the University of WisconsinMadison with a degree in agricultural journalism. Dierickx is an active member of the Dane County Farm Bureau and just completed a three-year term representing south central Wisconsin’s District 2 on the state Wisconsin Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. She received a $250 FS Fast Stop gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. Other state finalists in the Excellence in Agriculture Award were Nicole Reese of Rock County, Beth Porior Schafer of Marathon County and Arlaina Meyer of Barron County.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

Reichling Tops Discussion Meet For her ability to express her ideas and opinions on current agriculture issues and her knowledge of the agriculture industry, Katie Reichling of Lafayette County was selected winner of the 2012 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet contest. Reichling, 30, works as a student recruiter and coordinator for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Agriculture. She also works part-time in administration for the UW-Platteville’s Pioneer Farm and is a dairy herd manager for Rick Althaus near Cuba City. She is currently the Lafayette County Young Farmer and Agriculturist chairperson, secretary and treasurer. Midwest Stihl awarded her a chainsaw and Rural Mutual Insurance provided a free financial plan. Other state finalists in the Discussion Meet were: Brad Gefvert of Columbia County, Ethan Giebel of Juneau County and Jeff Pionek of Manitowoc County.

McNeely Receives Achievement Award Green County dairy farmer Jeffrey McNeely was selected as the winner of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Achievement Award. It is a contest that awards farmers who excel in their farming career, understand current issues affecting agriculture, and show leadership and involvement in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations. McNeely, 27, farms in partnership with his father, Jim, and brother, Jameson. He manages the dairy herd, while the others focus on the cropping and mechanical duties. The McNeelys milk 165 Holstein cows, raise a herd of beef steers, and grow 1,700 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat. McNeely is a 2003 graduate of Albany High School and a 2007 graduate of UW-River Falls where he majored in dairy science and minored in agronomy. He is the Green County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Chairman, serves as president of the Albany FFA Alumni and is active at his church. FABCO Equipment Inc. provided 40 hours use of a FABCO skid-steer loader, and Rural Mutual Insurance provided a free financial plan. december | january 2012-13



Annual Meeting


Scrapbook 2



1) Dane County Farm Bureau members waited to meet Bryan White after the Farm Bureau Extravaganza. 2) Scot and Becky Hammann from Barron County were presented with a plaque from Bill Bruins for being named a finalist for the Achievement Award. 3) The WFBF staff gathered for a photo with Bill Bruins. 4) The Scott Thompson Band fired things up at the YFA Conference. 5) Jim Hodge, Rock County Farm Bureau member, was one of the Institute class graduates recognized at the WFBF Annual Meeting.



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6) The Silent Auction had numerous donations and bidders this year at the WFBF Annual Meeting. 7) YFA members competed to be in the Discussion Meet Finals on Saturday of the WFBF Annual Meeting.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


9 8) Peter Pelizza, CEO of Rural Mutual Insurance, spoke to Farm Bureau members. 9) The Scott Thompson Band kicked off the YFA Conference, Friday, November 30. 10) Bill Bruins and Kathleen Papcke present Shawano County Women’s Program with an award. 11) Bidders look around at the items for sale at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation Silent Auction.






12) Vice President Richard Gorder shook Bill Bruins’ hand as Bill headed to the stage to give his last words as WFBF President. 13) Jim Holte addressed District 9 in a caucus meeting. 14) Peter Muth, Washington County Farm Bureau member, made a point in the Discussion Meet quarterfinals.

Scrapbook cont’d on page 14

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news Scrapbook cont’d from page 13


15) These baskets were among the great items for sale at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Silent Auction. 16) Krista Dolan led District 3 in a session on policy development. 17) Santa talked with Nicholas Kuczer about tractors at WFBF Annual Meeting. 18) Carl Casper, Dunn County Farm Bureau member, reads about policy during the resolutions and business meeting.





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19) The Hebbe Family was presented with a $10,000 check and a Leopold crystal for winning the Leopold Conservation Award. 20) Katie Reichling from Lafayette County posed with her chainsaw she received for winning the Discussion Meet competition and the UWPlatteville Collegiate Farm Bureau. 21) Waupaca County Farm Bureau members enjoyed the trade show. 22) District 2 Farm Bureau members listened in a caucus meeting. wisconsin farm bureau federation

Hebbes Receive

Leopold Conservation Award G

reen Lake County farmers Jim and Val Hebbe have been chosen to receive the Leopold Conservation Award from Sand County Foundation and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. The award announcement was first made during the November 14 meeting of the state Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board. The Hebbe family, from Green Lake, received the $10,000 award and a Leopold crystal on December 2 at the WFBF Annual Meeting. “Jim and Val Hebbe’s commitment to no-till and other conservation efforts that benefit soil and water is exemplary,” said Dr. Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. “Their onthe-farm practices and off-the-farm leadership make them shining examples of Wisconsin’s agricultural community.” Jim Hebbe has been implementing conservation practices for 25 years and has shared his ideas with other farmers as the Green Lake County Conservationist since 1984. He and his wife, Valerie, raise 1,100 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa in central Wisconsin. In addition to no-till planting all of the crops, he has worked to develop numerous conservation systems that complement

each other, and lead to less erosion and more residue cover on the land. The farm includes land with a significant slope draining into a Class 1 Trout Stream. A water and sediment basin was constructed to help control and reduce field runoff into the stream. Native prairie grasses were planted in a field that borders the creek. Twenty-five acres of evergreen trees were planted on a farm with light and sandy soil. In 1985, he helped develop conservation standards for the Farmland Preservation Program and encouraged participants to control soil erosion at sustainable levels. The Leopold Conservation Award, named in honor of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is comprised of $10,000 and a Leopold crystal. The award is now presented annually in eight states to private landowners who practice responsible land stewardship and management. The other finalists included Justin and Lynn Isherwood of Portage County, Steve and Pat Kling of Jackson County, and Mark and Jan Riechers of Lafayette County. Each received $500 for their conservation efforts. The first two recipients of the

Leopold Conservation Award under the Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation partnership were the Bragger family from Buffalo County and the Koepke family from Waukesha County. The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, American Transmission Company (ATC), Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Rural Mutual Insurance Company and Farm Credit. In 2012, Sand County Foundation also presented Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The Sand County Foundation is a private, non-profit conservation group based in Madison, dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. Sand County’s mission is to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and their rural landscapes.

on the web For more information, please visit

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WFBF Grows in 2012 The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s membership grew again in 2012. WFBF ended its membership year in September with 44,169 members, an increase of 46 members, marking the fifth straight year of membership growth.


FBF 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 ended the 2012 membership year with 23,721 voting members and 20,448 associate members. Fifty-one of the 61 county Farm Bureaus reported an increase in voting members. The largest increases came in Grant, St. Croix and Dane counties. With a renewal rate of 94 percent for voting members, combined with 1,672 new voting members, the Farm Bureau achieved an increase in voting members for the eighth time in the last 11 years. In terms of total membership, 32 county Farm Bureaus saw increases in 2012. “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 membership and many other travel and equipment discounts. WFBF members work to develop


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Wisconsin’s diverse and dynamic agricultural community needs,” Leege added. “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.”

grassroots policy that is lobbied in Madison and Washington, D.C. 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 representation and leadership that


Superior Shores (Douglas, Bayfield, Iron, Ashland)


Iron Ashland Sawyer Price Polk




St. Croix



Taylor Chippewa



Marathon Eau Claire


Clark Portage



Brown Waupaca



Manitowoc Calumet

Adams Monroe

Total Gain Voting Gain Both Voting and Total Gain



Waushara La Crosse



Winnebago Marquette Green Lake


Fond du Lac


Vernon Crawford




Washington Dodge Ozaukee

No Gains Iowa










Racine Kenosha

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Membership Volunteers Make Up Producer Club


arm Bureau’s fifth consecutive year of membership growth was made possible, in large part, due to the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteer membership workers who take pride in recruiting new members every year. For three decades, the Farm Bureau Producer Club has recognized members who sign at least five new Farm Bureau members during the membership year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. In 2012, 69 Farm Bureau volunteers from 38 counties earned Producer Club status. Producer Club member Karyn Schauf from Barron County summed up her philosophy on the importance

Counties Recognized at Annual Meeting

“Our forefathers created a government by the people, making great effort to insure each person’s voice was heard, their opinion considered, their vote be counted.“ - Karyn Schauf, Barron County of membership recruitment by saying, “Our forefathers created a government by the people, making great effort to insure each person’s voice was heard, their opinion considered, their vote be counted. Farm Bureau creates that avenue within the ag community allowing our conversations and concerns at the local level to truly affect the decisions made at our state and national levels. That is very important to me and should be to every person out there who wants to make their livelihood from agriculture!” Once again, Fond du Lac County Membership Chairman, Trayton Greenfield, led the way among all volunteers with 36 new members signed.

Other top membership workers included Randy Wokatsch (22 new members), Karyn Schauf (12), Jim Meng (12), Andrea Brossard (11), Al Klapoetke (11), David Henselin (11), Richard Roth (10), Mike Strupp (10), Maria McGinnis (9), Jeff Ditzenberger (9), Lyle Weden (9) and George Blomberg (9). “Farm Bureau membership work is the foundation that all other programs and activities are built upon,” 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.”

County Farm Bureaus across Wisconsin work hard to promote agriculture, build membership and strengthen our programs. To honor this outstanding work, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation presented the 2012 County Activities of Excellence Awards during the recent WFBF Annual Meeting. Chosen counties and their outstanding areas of work include: Dane County for its successful membership campaign to reach 1,000 voting members and its Social Media Mondays project; Dunn County for its outreach and fundraising efforts on behalf of a local high school agriculture program; Washington County for its Farmer in the Classroom program; Rock County for its Farm Truck and Tractor Safety event; Outagamie County for its outreach efforts to state legislators; Waupaca County for its Spring Fling Planting Party, an event sponsored by the county Farm Bureau Women’s Committee for high school agri-science students; Green County for its innovative county annual meeting that attracted 150 members and guests; and Taylor County for its Farm Fresh on the Fourth consumer education event. These nine counties were awarded complimentary exhibit space at the WFBF Annual Meeting to highlight their achievements.

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Dirt By Amy Manske

Meet Farm Bureau Members:

Martin Hintz and Pam Percy “Some of these kids have never seen a pig or a chicken before or know how warm an egg is when it is first laid.” - Martin Hintz


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ords and dirt are what Martin Hintz does best. The author of more than 100 books and articles enjoys writing the story of Wisconsin’s agriculture while farming on Milwaukee’s urban edge. “I enjoy words,” Martin said. “My dad was a poet and my sister is a librarian. Words are in my blood. Well, that and dirt.” He was raised by his mother and grandmother, in rural Chickasaw County, Iowa, after his father died serving in World War II. “A lot of my pals were farm kids,” Martin said. “I have an affinity for farmers and what they go through.” Aside from the one summer he traveled with a carnival, Martin spent most summers working on a road crew for Chickasaw County and occasionally visiting his uncle’s farm. After earning his master’s degree

in journalism from Northwestern University in Illinois, he wrote for a Milwaukee newspaper in the 1960s and 70s before becoming selfemployed as an author of articles, guidebooks and columns. Martin’s wife, Pam Percy, is also an author. The twosome have a column called “Boris and Doris On the Town” in Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express where they write reviews of events, artists, authors and exhibits. Among the books they have written together are the “Off the Beaten Path Wisconsin” guidebook and “Wisconsin Cheese: A Cookbook and Guide to Wisconsin Cheese.” “I think we gained a couple of extra pounds that year,” Pam joked since each recipe for the cheesy cookbook had to be tested several times. As a self-proclaimed chicken lover, Pam has raised chickens and traveled the nation to speak about them for 25 years. The couple usually has between 100-125 laying chickens and some

wisconsin farm bureau federation

broilers. Among her best known books is the 144-page “The Complete Chicken.”

Farming on the Fringe Martin and Pam also operate Pampered Produce, a small farm whose crops are sold through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Their home is a former dairy farm, located just 13 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee. What started as a small garden aside from their house has turned into more garden then grass. “People are fascinated,” Martin said. “They cannot believe we are doing this. I think everyone thinks it is quite quaint.” They spend a lot of time educating those who stop to buy eggs or pick up their weekly supply of produce. Their community outreach includes taking chickens to the public library and inviting culinary arts students to the farm. “Some of these kids have never seen a pig or a chicken before,” Martin said, “or know how warm an egg is when it is first laid.” The members of the Milwaukee County Farm Bureau agreed that such education is

Wisconsin Farm Lore

Martin’s recent book, “Wisconsin Farm Lore” is broken up into short excerpts on Wisconsin’s unique and diverse agricultural history. It is organized into sections on landscape, people, animals, crops and products. “It is important to know where we came from, where we are now and where we are going,” Martin said in reference to agriculture. Martin strived to have the book include jokes, poems, photos and stories directly from other farmers and agriculturists. A light-hearted conversation from a farmer named Tom Heath and his father from the 1940s can be found in the book. ‘My dad said if you’re a farmer there is three things. He says, “You’ll never go hungry. You’ll never get rich. You’ll never run out of a job.” And I said, “Why the hell can’t a farmer be rich as well as anybody else? “ He said, “If they did, who would do all the work?”’ “People in the (agriculture) industry are so helpful, and you try to tell the story the best you can and with their words,” Martin said. “Every time you talk to someone you learn something new.” Martin has written two other books for The History Press; “Forgotten Tales From Wisconsin” and “The Spirited History of Milwaukee Brews and Booze.” According to Martin, the latter had a lot of research involved. However, his smirk indicated he did not mind the hardship.

december | january 2012-13


news Martin Hintz and Pam Percy have members of their CSA program pick up produce weekly at their Milwaukee County farm. Its popularity means they are looking for more land to grow their produce.

important in our state’s largest city. “I like what (Farm Bureau) offers with the agriculture education program. In this area it is especially crucial,” Pam said. Their CSA is in a growth mode. With 24 members, they are looking for new plots to grow more food and have plans to more than double that number in 2013. Pam prides herself on the fact that they provide a wide variety of herbs, unique vegetables and at least 10 varieties of tomatoes. She sends out weekly emails to the CSA members with recipes, cooking tips and surveys of what they want grown each season. In 2013, Martin and Pam look forward to growing food year-round with a high-tower greenhouse, thanks to a grant, and possibly hire someone to help during the busy part of spring and summer. As for future writing plans, the authors never know what idea they might come up or what they might be approached with. Martin summed up their balancing act of being farmers and authors in one sentence: “Each day it’s a toss up. Do I work in there or do I work out there.”

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Listen to all podcasts at WFBF.COM

“Buying Wisconsin products not only supports our farmers, our food processors and agribusinesses, but it also keeps that money in our communities and economies which is especially important during the holiday season.” Rochelle Ripp, Wisconsin’s 65th Alice in Dairyland, on the goals of our state’s Something Special from Wisconsin program.


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Working Groups Formed to Tackle Ag Transportation Troubles As agricultural equipment becomes larger, road weight limits have become a hot topic in rural Wisconsin.


tate laws say in order to operate on roads, farm implements of husbandry must abide by the 80,000 lbs. maximum road weight limits. Fiscallystrapped counties and towns have limited funds to update and repair local roads. In 2012, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s transportation task force identified three areas to research: transportation funding, implements of husbandry and infrastructure conditions. The panel of Farm Bureau members made recommendations regarding revenue sources for transportation, prioritization of

efficient and target-specific road projects, new and revised implements of husbandry standards, and how to best share this information with local governments. Recommendations approved by the WFBF Board of Directors and state Policy Development Committee were a topic of discussion for voting delegates at the WFBF Annual Meeting’s delegate session. Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation has also created a working group to evaluate ag equipment and transportation issues. Their recommendations could be introduced as

state legislation in 2013. “Agriculture contributes over $59 billion to Wisconsin’s economy,” said Karen Gefvert, WFBF’s Director of Governmental Relations. “We need to maintain an infrastructure system that provides adequate transportation of commodities and processed goods throughout the state.” “The goal of both of these working groups is to address pressing issues facing agricultural equipment, provide regulatory relief and provide a process to evaluate long term agricultural transportation issues.”

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Outagamie County Farm Bureau director LeRoy Van Asten stands with his self-made watermill in his backyard. His basement stores an impressive collection of antique tools, irons and milk bottles.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

A Collector of

OLD THINGS By Amy Manske

Meet LeRoy Van Asten

“These things got us to where we are,” LeRoy Van Asten says of the extensive antique collection at his Kaukauna home. From pitch forks to table forks: “It’s all history,” says the former dairy farmer whose retirement hobbies let him dabble as a collector, historian and artist. A Historian’s Collectibles “An antique collection is like a poor man’s museum,” LeRoy said with a smile. His museum of sorts consumes three rooms in his basement. Walking down the steps takes you back in time when butter churns, cream cans and milk bottles were not just novelties. One room is dedicated to farm antiques like hay knives, animal clippers, bullleads and an assortment of pitch forks. Each item has its own place on shelves or on the wall. Most still function as if they were still in their prime. Another room contains household items and tools, including a collection of more than 40 irons. Among his favorites is a tobacco cutter that was used in his own grandfather’s store. “I always was the one to have to know the how and why,” LeRoy said while showing a relic washing machine, electric fireplace, and his assortment of coffee makers and toasters. Another room resembles a fullfunctioning kitchen from the 1930s, complete with black and white tiles, and a pastel green wall trim that was common for that period. A white metal

table stands in the middle of the room with authentic white with black-rimmed dishes displayed on the counters. A bread box, countless utensils, an electric stove and a working refrigerator also accompany the room, many with the original parts and contents. “Oh, the grandkids just love to play restaurant in here,” LeRoy said. “They love to take my order.” It is in this room that his wife, Mary, had some influence by helping choose the paint to make it look as authentic as possible. Aside from the impressive collection, what LeRoy seems to take the most pride in is showing others how the antiques work and sharing the stories behind their uses. “I buy most of these things at antique shops,” LeRoy said, “and the others have been given to me.”

A Little-Bit-of-Everything Artist His creative side is on full display in his yard, where he has created creatures from bowling balls and drinking cups, flowers are made from plates and forks, vases and plates construct garden towers,

and there is a one-of-a-kind mug garden. His handiwork has also resulted in more common lawn fare like a windmill, double-swing gazebo and a watermill. Never forgetting the grandkids, he made special spots in the yard tailored to them. The sand adventure area is complete with a toy barn, and the small boat locking system would make any non-grandchild jealous. Many of the objects used for his yard projects were purchased at the St. Vincent De Paul thrift store where he and his wife volunteer. They also help with Meals on Wheels and a shelter in Appleton. As a director on the Outagamie County Farm Bureau’s board of directors, he said there is value in being a Farm Bureau member. “I have not missed many (WFBF) Annual Meetings,” he said. “Even when I was still dairy farming I went.” The collector has apparently passed on his love of farming. Three of his five children are farmers. LeRoy and Mary also have 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

december | january 2012-13



People love farmers, but they are not so sure about farming.


hat was the take-home message shared by Bill Zucker, a strategist for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. As keynote speaker at the WFBF’s Annual Meeting on December 2, Zucker explained this disconnect where farmers have a 75 percent favorability rating with consumers, but the ways food is grown and raised garners just 43 percent approval (a number below that of President Obama and former Governor Romney). More than animal treatment or environmental harm, he said today’s consumer is most concerned about food’s long-term, unintended health effects, like cancer and obesity. Anything not deemed ‘natural’ is seen as a threat. Using science and logic does not necessarily help either, he noted. Consumer research shows that when farmers talk about the “safe, affordable,

By Casey Langan

abundant food supply” they produce, it does not make an impact. Safety is the expectation, and the term abundant makes them think of obesity. They also think most farms are owned or controlled by big corporations. Zucker said consumer research shows that Americans favor hearing about the constant improvements that are made to farms. They also respond well to knowing that farmers attend college in preparation for their careers. He said the goal of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance is to create a movement and let farmers take the lead on a discussion about food that has largely been happening without them. Their target audiences are the ‘opinion elites’ (those of higher income and influence) who commonly talk to others about food, like restaurateurs and bloggers.

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance

WFBF Backs National Effort to Engage Consumers


he Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has joined a national farmer and rancher led effort to enhance U.S. consumer confidence and trust in today’s agriculture. WFBF is the newest affiliate member of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). “USFRA is proud to have affiliates like Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation supporting our mission to enhance consumer trust in the U.S. food production system, maintain and enhance the freedom of U.S. farmers and ranchers to operate in a responsible manner, and strengthen collaboration within the food production, processing and distribution systems,” said Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau and Chairman of USFRA. “It is critical that the entire agriculture industry unite to lead the conversation about how food is grown and raised by U.S. farmers and ranchers.” As an affiliate, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation supports the mission, goals and


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objectives of USFRA. Affiliates have the opportunity to participate in USFRA committees/task forces, and support USFRA messaging and educational activities. “The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is proud to join with fellow farmer and rancher led organizations as well as agribusinesses in this important effort to lead the dialogue about food production. Our members are committed to answering questions about how food is grown and raised,” said Casey Langan, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spokesman. “It is vitally important that U.S. consumers feel absolutely confident in whatever food choices they wish to make.” USFRA’s members represent numerous aspects

of U.S. agriculture uniting with one voice. The Alliance focuses on enhancing consumer trust in today’s food production through communication with consumers, consumer influencers and thought leaders. The Alliance focuses on leading and engaging in dialogue about the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement, and the importance of today’s agriculture. For more information on the Alliance, affiliates and partners, and the movement to lead the conversation with Americans about today’s agriculture, visit, www. and www. wisconsin farm bureau federation

Three Appointed to Women’s Committee

Roger Cliff to Retire in 2013

R New Women’s Committee members (left to right): Geiger, Ditzenberger and Brugger


usan Brugger, Brianna Ditzenberger and Rosalie Geiger were recently appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s nine-member Women’s Committee by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Board of Directors. Their three-year terms began at the WFBF Annual Meeting. Susan Brugger and her husband, Michael, have an 80-acre hobby farm in Rib Lake. She currently works as an agriculture business relationship manager for Mid-Wisconsin Bank in Medford. Along with being a strong advocate for agriculture education, Susan and Michael have been strong supporters of agriculture through 4-H, the FFA Alumni Association, Taylor County Farm Bureau and serving on the local dairy breakfast committee. Along with raising their two children, Bryanne and Mark, she enjoys spending time at dairy cattle sales and shows. She will represent 14 counties in northwestern Wisconsin on the WFBF Women’s Committee. Brianna Ditzenberger grew up on her family’s dairy and crop farm near Browntown, which gave her appreciation and a passion for agriculture. As a Farm Bureau member since college, Ditzenberger has been participating in Dane County Young Farmer and Agriculturist events, and agriculture promotions for the past four years. Ditzenberger works as a marketing

executive at Filament Marketing in Madison, a marketing agency specializing in agriculture marketing. She volunteers at Madison’s Cows on the Concourse event. She will represent District 2 (Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Rock and Sauk counties) on the WFBF Women’s Committee. Rosalie Geiger and her husband, Randy, have a 360-acre dairy farm near Reedsville. Rosalie is a director for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. She is also the Women’s Committee chair for Manitowoc County Farm Bureau, the secretary for Reedsville FFA Alumni Association, a Manitowoc County Dairy Ambassador, a member of the MapleRock Homemakers Club, and serves on Manitowoc and Calumet counties’ dairy promotion committees. She has served on the National Dairy Board and was recognized in 2012 as a Wisconsin Master Agriculturist. Rosalie is a graduate of the Farm Bureau Institute leadership training. She will represent District 6 (Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties) on the WFBF Women’s Committee. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee carries out a number of projects and activities to educate youth and consumers about farming, food safety and animal welfare.

oger Cliff, Chief Administrative Officer of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has announced he will retire in late 2013. The 40-year employee of Farm Bureau announced his decision during the business session of the WFBF’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on Monday. Cliff has worked with eight governors and hundreds of legislators over four decades to help shape agricultural policy in Wisconsin. “It has been a privilege to work for great people to advance one of the most important segments of Wisconsin’s economy, agriculture,” Cliff said. “I had a great run as a lobbyist for Farm Bureau for 30 years prior to serving the last decade as the organization’s chief executive,” he added. “The time is right and I feel good about leaving behind a strong and modern organization.” Cliff said the timing of his decision was part of a transition plan that he developed with the WFBF’s Board of Directors three years ago. “In 2013 my priority will be to ensure a smooth transition for our organization’s new president and my successor,” he said. Cliff began his career with the WFBF in 1973 as a lobbyist. In 1977 he was appointed Executive Director of the Governmental Relations Division. In 2004 he was appointed the Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for the day-to-day operation of the WFBF and its subsidiary organizations. The WFBF is the largest organization of farm families in the state. Cliff was born in Madison, but considers himself a native of Lancaster where at an early age his family moved their farm. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1971 with a degree in political science. He received his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1978. He and his wife, Cathy, reside in Verona. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

december | january 2012-13



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Wick Helps Build Many of Wisconsin’s Best Farms Wick Buildings was proudly founded in Wisconsin in 1954. While designs, materials and construction methods have improved over the years, you can still rely on Wick to provide a great building at a competitive price. And Wick maintains the same dedication to helping Wisconsin farmers, families and businesses by providing long-lasting, low-maintenance buildings that stand the test of time. That’s the Wick way of building. Always has been. And always will be. Contact Wick Buildings at: 800-356-9682 or





december | january 2012-13



The Glass is Half Full

A Message from WFBF President Jim Holte It is a simple statement, but one that carries a clear message of optimism and positive attitude. The message is easily applied to a host of situations ranging from our personal lives all the way to how an entire country reacts to severe challenges.


ne only needs to listen to a newscast today to have that optimism put to the test. We are frequently reminded of wars and civil unrest, natural disasters, political abrasiveness, and financial meltdowns. As we are bombarded by so many unsettling pieces of information, we need to reflect on how other generations dealt with similar challenges. For most of us, our parents and our grandparents grew up during the uncertainty of the economic difficulties of the 1930s followed by the destruction of World War II. Many of that generation are no longer with us, but we have their


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examples of resolve and determination to guide our actions. They had limited financial resources, but carefully used what they had, pulled together as families and communities, made tough choices, and not only survived, but created an economic engine that became the envy of the world. That same attitude was demonstrated by members of U.S. forces as they were tested in both the Japanese and European theaters. Those remaining at home took on different jobs, bought war bonds and did without rationed products. The overriding message we should take from this generation is their resolve to act in the best interest of all those around them. A personal entitlement attitude was simply not acceptable. I believe our generation of Americans has the opportunity and resources to overcome the concerns that face us today. Our democratic form of government gives each of us a voice in the problemsolving process. As a country, we have a remarkable array of natural resources. These include large forested areas, a wide range of minerals, significant energy sources and productive soils along with

a climate that makes the U.S. a huge player in food production. We add to this the resource of our people. We have a diverse, well-educated, mobile and technology-ready workforce. In the world of agriculture, there are plenty of issues that need attention. However, as in the larger economy, resources are available to utilize. Congress seems to have broad based agreement for the agricultural portion of the farm bill, but has hit some roadblocks in the food program areas. Farm Bureau members and leaders at the county, state and national levels must continue to address issues such as nutrient management, long-term dairy policy, tax policy and leadership training. A positive attitude and a commitment to finding workable solutions for the issues faced will be important for agriculture in ensuring a bright future. As we move into the New Year, it is apparent that our state and federal elected officials have many important decisions in front of them. We must continue to act with a positive approach to the issues and influence others to do likewise. After all, the glass is half full!

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Great Time to be a Platteville Pioneer Guest Column from Dr. Michael E. Compton


he calendar year 2012 is coming to an end and we anticipate the excitement that a new year will bring. Now is a time of reflection and resolution. As I reflect, 2012 was an exciting year for the School of Agriculture at UWPlatteville. We said congratulations to 139 graduates as they completed their college degree and began new careers in agriculture. This summer we welcomed over 165 new freshmen and about 80 transfer students which increased our School of Agriculture student body to nearly 800 undergraduates. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine in 1995 when I was hired as a new ornamental horticulture professor that our undergraduate student enrollment would double in the School of Agriculture during my tenure. There are many reasons why our programs are so successful. First, our faculty and staff are committed to student learning and professional development. About 10 years ago we decided to inactive our graduate program, and concentrate our efforts and energies on undergraduate education. This investment and focus has paid off. Second, our administration has invested in agriculture. We have remodeled our agriculture classrooms and laboratories, and constructed new facilities for our dairy and swine enterprises at Pioneer Farm. Now, we are designing a new Beef Center. Building this facility is critical for our educational mission to

support the beef industry and provide improved services to the Wisconsin Beef Improvement Association bull test. Third, the Tri-State Initiative has improved our ability to attract students from Illinois and Iowa by providing discounted out-of-state tuition. Now about 25 percent of students in the School of Agriculture are from Illinois or Iowa. Fourth, interest in agricultural careers has soared. Agriculture is one of the few career sectors that experienced growth during the economic downturn that began in 2008. College bound students and their families have recognized this fact, deciding to follow their passion and pursue a professional career in agriculture. We are excited to begin 2013. We anticipate that enrollment will continue to increase, and have developed a plan that outlines strategic priorities to improve our ability: • Provide a distinctive agricultural education. • Foster a community of achievement and respect. • Allow us to control our own destiny by creatively managing and investing in our financial, human and physical resources. • Enrich the tri-state region by serving as a driving force for economic and educational development. We hope the initiatives and action steps described in this plan will improve our ability to achieve our mission, to provide excellence in undergraduate education

and research, scholarly and professional activities, and service to the agriculture industry at the state, regional, national, and global levels. Please contact us at soa@uwplatt. edu if you want to know more about our strategic plan for the future, and academic programs on the main campus or Pioneer Farm campus. You can also visit us on Facebook at UWPSchoolofAg. I thank the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation for providing me this opportunity to discuss the status of our agricultural programs at UW-Platteville. We wish you a happy and prosperous new year. Dr. Michael E. Compton is the Director of University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s School of Agriculture.

december | january 2012-13



Another Big Election Looms This Spring A Guest Column by Paul Zimmerman


ost everyone I know in Wisconsin is glad the November general election has come and gone. If it seems like Wisconsin has been in a constant campaign mode over the past two years it is because we have been. Yet another prominent statewide election is just around the corner. Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack is up for re-election in April. Justice Roggensack was first elected to a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2003. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is comprised of seven justices. Many political and legal observers claim the current court is comprised of four conservative justices, two liberal justices and a swing justice that sides with conservative and liberal issues fairly equally. Justice Roggensack is considered to be a conservative justice. To put it into perspective: conservatives want Justice Roggensack re-elected to maintain the Supreme Court’s current philosophical makeup; while liberals want to defeat Justice Roggensack and elect a liberal justice in order to make the Wisconsin Supreme Court more liberal. In 2011, there was a high-profile Supreme Court race between Justice David Prosser and challenger Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg. That race rose to prominence due to the state budget repair bill which limited collective bargaining for public employees, and was viewed as a referendum on Governor Walker’s proposed state budget and collective bargaining limitations. The same situation is likely in the 2013 race.


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“Over the last 15 years, use value assessment of farmland, state standards for the siting of livestock operations, the Right to Farm law and stray voltage cases have all been decided by the seven individuals who serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.”

If more than one person files to challenge Justice Roggensack, voters will narrow the field to two candidates on Tuesday, February 19 during the spring primary election. On April 2, the general spring election will be held to decide who will serve the next 10 years on the high court. Over the past two decades, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s political action arm, the Volunteers for Agriculture, has made endorsements in several state Supreme Court races. The VFA will be meeting in early 2013 to decide if the organization should make an endorsement in the race, and if so, who? The Farm Bureau members who serve on the Volunteers for Agriculture committee will certainly review the voting record of the Justice Roggensack, and look at the records of her expected challengers before making this very important decision. Given Wisconsin’s election fatigue, you may wonder why this race is so important. The outcomes of more and more legislative issues are ultimately decided in court. As they say: when in doubt, litigate. Agriculture is certainly not immune to this trend. Over the last 15 years, use value assessment of farmland, state standards for the siting of livestock operations, the Right to Farm law and stray voltage cases have all been decided by the seven individuals who serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Paul Zimmerman is the Executive Director of Governmental Relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

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DATCP is Working for You All Day, Every Day A guest column by DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is working for you all day, every day. DATCP is here to educate, answer questions and provide guidance to ensure a healthy environment, food supply and business practices in Wisconsin.


he year 2012 will be remembered for its extreme weather conditions. There was an early spring-late frost that damaged fruit crops. Then came the drought. Some of Wisconsin’s farmers faced tremendous challenges, especially livestock producers looking for feed during a time of high prices and low supply. DATCP staff coordinated with other state agencies and University of WisconsinExtension to make sure producers knew what resources were available, including the Farmer to Farmer Network. DATCP and its partners understand that the impact of 2012 will be felt for months if not years to come. The Wisconsin Farm Center here at DATCP is available to assist with financial planning, transition work, lender mediation or service referrals. We are committed to the future of Wisconsin agriculture. During 2012, 170,000 acres across the state were added to Agricultural Enterprise Areas, a tool that can help individuals and communities meet locally identified goals for preserving agricultural land and encourage agricultural economic development. This brings the total number of AEAs to 510,000 acres. DATCP continues to cooperate with the Wisconsin Livestock Identification

Consortium on animal identification and improved traceability. Wisconsin farmers raise quality livestock and crops that become the value-added products sold to our customers around the world. During the first three quarters of 2012, Wisconsin exported over $2.2 billion of agricultural products to over 145 countries, an increase of 4 percent over the same period in 2011. Our state is recognized worldwide for its agricultural products, technology, research and more. Wisconsin’s dairy industry leaders met at DATCP in 2012 to form the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative, which seeks to meet the growing demand of the marketplace for fresh, high-quality milk by offering services to farmers. By providing a ‘one stop shop’ at DATCP, farmers can connect with available resources to increase profitability by making management and operational system improvements. Profitable farms will ensure the viability of Wisconsin’s dairy farming and processing industries. Our food safety staff is out in the field each day performing inspections to guarantee the quality and safety of our abundant food supply in Wisconsin. During 2012, DATCP has completed over 70,000 food safety inspections, from our retail

food establishments and processing plants to our food warehouses and dairy farms. DATCP’s responsibilities are diverse, working for our consumers from rural and urban communities. In the coming year, DATCP will continue to increase outreach and education to protect consumers and ensure a fair business environment. When a consumer files complaints and violations are found, DATCP will work to resolve problems and find a solution. Through the end of September, we have had 21,901 consumer contacts, closed 8,315 complaints and recovered $1.94 million. The way DATCP can best work for you is to hear from you. Ask us how to deal with fertilizers. Tell us your challenges in starting a food business. Share with us your ideas for growing you agri-business. Contact us so we can continue to work for you all day, every day in 2013.

december | january 2012-13



When the River Runs Dry A guest column by Tracy Grondine


f something barring an epic flood doesn’t happen within days, the Mississippi River could be too low for navigation. Because of this year’s severe drought, waterborne commerce on the middle Mississippi River is in real danger. For barges to move through the Mississippi River there has to be at least nine feet of water throughout the navigation channel. Current projections show that as early as mid-December, water levels in some areas of the river will fall below the 9-foot draft. With barge travel moving the majority of America’s commodities


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(one barge can carry 1,750 tons compared to a rail bulk car’s 110 tons and a tractor trailer’s 25 tons), and the Mississippi River being the main thoroughfare, the U.S. economy could be in drastic trouble if water levels aren’t maintained. In December and January alone, it’s estimated the economy could take a $7 billion hit. Included in this projection is the loss of up to 20,000 jobs and $130 million in lost wages. To avoid the catastrophe, the American Farm Bureau Federation, along with other business groups, has urged President Obama to issue a presidential declaration of emergency for the Mississippi River. They’ve also requested that he direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately remove rock pinnacles along the river and release enough water from Missouri River reservoirs to preserve the 9-foot water level. AFBF’s transportation specialist Andrew Walmsley says that a balanced approach is needed: a moderated but steady release of water to keep the Mississippi River flowing, coupled with the removal of large rocks to give barges more clearance in low water areas. This effort by the corps would provide a short-term solution until spring rains could help refill the river. If the Corp doesn’t act soon, agriculture

is looking at major delays in shipping its goods – like an estimated 300 million bushels of grain and oilseeds worth more than $2 billion. What happens – or doesn’t happen – on the river could have a major impact on U.S. agriculture’s global competitiveness. This is a busy time of year for farmers who are shipping out their products, trying to stay in front of South American exporters who have a later harvest. Getting the commodities to port in a timely manner is crucial for exports, but it also helps that the barges can be refilled with fertilizer and seed to go back up the river in time for spring planting. The Mississippi River is America’s inland waterway superhighway. Aside from agriculture goods, the river transports other essential products that keep America running, like petroleum, coal and steel. If the river gets too low it will threaten everything from domestic consumption to foreign exports, claiming manufacturing industries, power generation and thousands of Midwest jobs in its wake. As the old Irish proverb goes, you never miss the water till the well has run dry. Tracy Taylor Grondine is director of media relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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Congress Needs to Fix 2013’s Estate Tax Levels A guest column by Casey Langan

Benjamin Franklin said death and taxes were supposed to be life’s certainties. However, when you combine the two, the result is anything but certain for Wisconsin farm families. Estate taxes (sometimes called death taxes) are as unpredictable as Mother Nature.


etween 2002 and 2012, the federal estate tax exemption and tax rate changed nine times. To say its onagain-off-again nature makes it difficult for farmers to plan for a transfer of the family farm to the next generation is like saying this past summer was a little dry. Here’s the looming problem: As recently as 2009, less than two percent of farms were subject to the estate tax when the exemption was set at $3.5 million. That’s a good thing, because when Uncle Sam comes to the farm to pay his last respects (in the form of the estate tax), survivors without enough cash may be forced to sell off portions of a farm that took generations to build. Without action from Congress, next year’s estate tax has a top rate of 55 percent and a $1 million exemption. The spousal transfer for the exemption will also disappear. The U.S. Agriculture Department estimates 10 percent of farms will be subject to the estate tax. Under the $1 million per person

exemption, the reality here in Wisconsin is a married couple with a 500-acre farm will find themselves subject to the estate tax when one of them dies. Here’s why this is particularly painful and important in farm country: Estate taxes can hit farm families harder than other small businesses because 86 percent of their assets are real estate-based. Farming takes a lot of capital assets (land and equipment) to generate the same dollar in income that another type of business could generate with less. Since the November election the Farm Bureau has pushed Congress to provide an estate tax provision that would increase the exemption level to $5 million, and adjust it for inflation, and reduce the maximum rate to 35 percent. This allows America’s farm families a better chance of feeding the world. There was no shortage of talk about people getting their ‘fair share’ this past election season. Well, farmers

ought to have the ability to pass the farm to the next generation. Farming by its very nature is an unpredictable business. Look no further than last summer’s drought for proof. Without proper planning a drought can wipe away generations of equity in a single disastrous harvest. Our federal government should not be setting up farm families for the same kind of pitfall by failing to fix the estate tax structure.

Casey Langan is the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Public Relations.

december | january 2012-13


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

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

AgriPlan Medical Reimbursement Program Farm Bureau has teamed up with TASC (Total Administrative Services Corporation) to bring you the AgriPlanNOW! program which is based on Section 105 of the IRS code and can allow farmers and other self-employed individuals to deduct 100 percent of their family’s medical expenses through their farm or business. AgriPlan clients save an average of $3,000 in taxes annually. Deductible expenses include health, dental and vision insurance premiums, qualified long term care insurance premiums, as well as any non-insured medical expenses such as dental, vision, prescriptions, over the counter medications and more. In addition, TASC will now pay your Farm Bureau membership dues when you sign up for AgriPlanNOW! To learn more about AgriPlan and/or sign up, go to www. or call 888.595.2261.


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

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


Stroke Detection Plus

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.

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

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

Rural Mutual Insurance

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

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.

Farm Bureau Financial Services

ScriptSave Prescription Drug Savings Card

Farm Bureau Bank

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

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

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.

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 $5 off one-year and two-year subscriptions and The Country Today then donates $5 to the Ag in the Classroom program. Please call 888.833.9268 during normal business hours and let The Country Today customer service representative know you are a Farm Bureau member to qualify for the reduced rates.

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

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

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Presenting a Private offer for farm Bureau memBers

$500 on top of most current offers1


Members meet

Bryan White





4 36

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1) Bryan White, county music artist, was the entertainment for this year’s WFBF Annual Meeting. 2) Nichole Rabitz and her daughter, Audrey, took a picture with Bryan White. 3) Farm Bureau members chatted with Bryan after his performance. 4) Brianna Ditzenberger posed with Bryan White. 5) Bryan signed a CD for this young fan. 6) Bryan goofed around while he posed for a picture with WFBF staff Lynn Siekmann and Jill Bennwitz.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Two County Farm Bureaus Win National Awards


ane and Walworth County Farm Bureaus were among 25 county Farm Bureaus from across the nation recently selected as County Activities of Excellence winners by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Winning programs were selected based on a written entry submitted by the county Farm Bureau earlier this year. Dane County Farm Bureau (below) was recognized for its “Social Media Mondays� program, which was created to provide one-on-one personal training to Farm Bureau members on basic computer skills, email, and navigating through popular social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The program was also designed to connect younger and older Farm Bureau members using a buddy system and instruction tailored to the needs of each student. Walworth County Farm Bureau (right) was recognized for its County Farm Barnyard Adventure, a year-round educational program that uses multiple approaches to promote agriculture education. The program combines outreach to about 500 students from 24 local grade schools with related activities at the Walworth County Fair. During the fair, the program provides agricultural information to more than 140,000 fairgoers annually. In January, volunteers from Dane and Walworth counties will travel to Nashville to highlight their award-winning programs to more than 5,000 Farm Bureau members at the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting Trade Show.

december | january 2012-13



New Faces Join Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Leaders from three districts have been appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee.


ndrea Brossard, Melissa and John Eron, and Kristi and Brian Fiedler were appointed to their new leadership roles by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Board of Directors. Their terms began at WFBF’s Annual Meeting. Andrea Brossard, Dodge County Farm Bureau member, is the director of communications for East Central Select Sires in Waupun. She also plays an active role at Brossard Dairy Farm, LLC, her family’s dairy farm, in Beaver Dam. The farm milks a herd of 200 cows, and raises about 50-60 head of steers annually and 650 acres of crops. Brossard is the YFA chair and secretary/treasurer for Dodge County Farm Bureau. Brossard is also a graduate of the Farm Bureau Institute leadership training course. Melissa and John Eron, Portage County Farm Bureau members, own and operate Eron Agronomics, a custom harvesting business in Junction City. They harvest

New YFA Committee members (left to right): Melissa Eron, Kristi Fiedler and Andrea Brossard about 10,000 acres of alfalfa and corn silage annually. The Eron’s own 110 acres of irrigated cropland and farm another 420 acres with John’s parents. Melissa has served as the Ag in the Classroom Coordinator for Portage County. Kristi and Brian Fiedler, Shawano

Suburban . Commercial . Agricultural Horse Barns & Arenas

Winner of “Best Engineering Award” by National Frame Builders Association.

Toll Free 800. 558. 7800 38

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County Farm Bureau members, live in Cecil. Kristi manages a national dairy consultant team for Genex Cooperative. She is a graduate of UW-Platteville and earned a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. Kristi promotes dairy in her work, through social media and with volunteer activities such as the MidWest Dairy Challenge and Breakfast on the Farm which Brian also helps with. Brian owns Fiedler & Son Construction, his business he started in 2007. The Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee consists of nine couples or individuals (ages 18-35) from across the state. Their goal is to get more young farmers and agriculturists acquainted with and involved in Farm Bureau. They carry out a variety of statewide initiatives, such as conferences, contest and award programs. wisconsin farm bureau federation

Collegiate Farm Bureaus Hold Discussion Meet


n November 16, the Wisconsin Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet was held at the Cooper Living and Learning Center at UW-Platteville’s Pioneer Farm. The Collegiate Discussion Meet contest is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each college-age participant. This competition is evaluated on the exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. The judges are looking for the contestant that offers constructive criticism, cooperation and communication while analyzing agricultural problems and developing solutions. “This is the first year we have had Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters at all of our agriculture schools in Wisconsin: UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UWRiver Falls,” said Dale Beaty, Director of Training and Leadership Development. The first discussion meet with all three agriculture schools had six

contestants: Leah Christenson and Jacki Roden from UW-River Falls, Victoria Goad and Taylor Schuetz from UW-Platteville, and Alissa Milonczyk and Jared Wendt from UW-Madison. “It was great to see the interest and passion students from all three campuses had for discussing the topic question: How can Farm Bureau play a role to ensure the viability of quality

agricultural education programs within our schools?” Beaty said. Alissa Milonczyk from the UW-Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter was chosen as the winner and will represent Wisconsin by competing at the national Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet contest during the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday, February 10, 2013.

december | january 2012-13



Wisconsin Dells High School Receives National ‘Agriculture in a Growing World’ Grant


griculture education instructor and Farm Bureau member, Amanda Levzow-Seichter, will receive a class set of The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser. This book brings to life the story of Norman Borlaug, a man who came from a one-room schoolhouse in Iowa and became one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In Borlaug’s eyes, fertilizer was a key component to staving off starvation. “The Agriculture in a Growing World contest offers a great opportunity for classrooms all over the country to talk about modern agriculture and its role

in feeding a growing population,” said Nutrients for Life Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. “We are excited to partner with AFBFA (American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture) and sponsor this insightful resource in high school classrooms.” Wisconsin Dells High School was one of 25 grant recipients nationally who will also receive an educator’s guide full of turn-key lesson plans, as well as important information about an upcoming essay contest. The Agriculture in a Growing World Essay Contest is a national competition, open to high school freshmen through seniors who have read the book

The Man Who Fed the World. Any school, whether grant recipient or not, that has implemented this curriculum may enter the contest. The Man Who Fed the World, which comes with supporting educator resources, can be purchased at Contest details are available online at Essays and accompanying entry form must be emailed to or faxed to 202.314.5121 by April 1, 2013. Questions about the grant program and essay contest can be sent directly to

AgVocate of the Year to be Named at Ag Women’s Summit Do you know a woman who is an AgVocate? For the first time in 2013, the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit will recognize an AgVocate of the Year. The award will honor a Wisconsin woman who is an innovative leader and has contributed to the success of Wisconsin agriculture.


his award will be given to a woman who embodies the term “AgVocate.” She has to actively and positively represent agriculture to both her peers and those outside of the agriculture community. She also has to work to tell agriculture’s story in a professional manner, and is viewed as a leader and voice for local and state issues and events. The nomination form is now available and due February 1, 2013. Applications will be judged by a panel of industry professionals. No self-nominations will be accepted.

Criteria for Eligibility • The AgVocate of the Year shall honor a woman who has provided leadership and made positive contributions to Wisconsin agriculture. • The nominee must reside in Wisconsin. • The nominee must be part of an agriculture enterprise, agribusiness, farm and/or


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• Commodity organization which operates in Wisconsin. • The nominee must be present at the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit, March 15-16, 2013 at the Madison Marriott West. The Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit is presented by Badgerland Financial, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and University of Wisconsin-Extension. The purpose of the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit is to connect women involved in all areas of Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture community. Questions may be directed to Deb Raemisch at 608.828.5712 or Krista Peterson at 608.356.4903 ext. 8857.

on the web A full agenda and registration details for the 2013 Ag Women’s Summit are available at

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Day 1 - FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2013


Ag SWomen’s U M M I T March 15-16, 2013 Madison Marriott West, Middleton SAVE $25 BY REGISTERING EARLY Early Registration Fee: $115/person (if received on or before February 15, 2013) After February 15, 2013: $140/person

9:00-10:00 a.m. 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Registration Welcome, Keynote Presentation

Jolene Brown

It’s a Jungle Out There: Blazing a New Trail for Agriculture

11:45-12:45 p.m. 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Lunch Breakout Sessions #1 (choose one)

Jolene Brown Erin Ehnle Casey Langan Sharon Brantmeier & Liz Henry

The Balancing Act: Improve the Quality of Living for Your Home & Career Through the Lens of a Farm Girl State Government for Dummies Growing Your Net Worth: Successful Financial Strategies to Do Now

2:30-3:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions #2 (choose one)

Jolene Brown

David Ward Paul Dietman Danielle Hammer

The Balancing Act: Improve the Quality of Living for Your Home & Career (repeat) Telling Your Story to Elected Officials Economic Considerations of Value-Added Enterprises Nutrition for Every Body

4:00-4:30 p.m. 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation 101 (optional) Social

6:00-7:00 p.m. 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Banquet and Program honoring 2013 AgVocate of the Year Entertainment by OD TAPO IMI Steel Drum Band Wear your best tropical attire!

Day 2 - SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2013

Registration Deadline: March 7, 2013 SAVE $ ON HOTEL RESERVATIONS You are responsible for your own room reservations at the Madison Marriott West. Request the “WI Ag Women’s Summit” room block on or before February 15, 2013, to receive the REDUCED standard room rate (up to 4/ room): $114/night + tax. Regular rates will apply for reservations made after February 15, 2013. Call 888.745.2032 for reservations.

6:30-7:30 a.m.

Workout A - Yoga with Danielle Hammer (optional)

6:30-7:30 a.m.

Workout B - Boot Camp with George Chavez (optional)

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Buffet Breakfast (Eat at your leisure.)

9:15-10:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions #1 (choose one)

Becky Hurley Panel Discussion

Make Every Day an “AgVenture” Starting an “AgVocacy” Project with Erin Ehnle, Jeannette and Krista Sheehan, and Sheri Sutton Dairy Policy - Where are We Now? Technology in Your Daily Farm Life

Mark Stephenson Dennis Deery

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions #2 (choose one) Erin Ehnle Digital Photography 101 Ken Hartzell Managing Farm Risk So You Can Sleep at Night Veronica Nigh International Food Security Sharon Brantmeier A Confident Retirement: How Do I Make It Possible? & Liz Henry

12:15 p.m.


1:00-2:30 p.m.

Keynote Presentation

Presented by:

Jackie Bredl-Dietrich A Life of Gratitude and Meaning

Get all the latest updates!

2:45 p.m. 

Adjourn University of Wisconsin–Extension

TO REGISTER: Complete the mail-in form below -OR- register and pay online at (link under Customer Corner) Name(s): Address: City:


Phone: E-Mail: Are you a WI Farm Bureau member? Yes_____ No_____



Are you a Badgerland Financial customer? Yes_____ No_____

Note: You do not have to be a member or customer to attend. All are invited and welcome!

Do you have special dietary needs? Yes_____ No_____

If yes, please indicate:

Please mail form and payment to: WI Farm Bureau/Women’s Summit, P.O. Box 5550, Madison, WI 53705 Please make checks payable to: WI Farm Bureau


news resources for teachers

ag in the classroom NEWS educational resources to explore National FFA Week – February 16-23, 2013 ( – FFA Week gives members a chance to inform consumers about agriculture. FFA chapters host teacher appreciation breakfasts, conduct “Ag Olympics” competitions, provide public forums, volunteer for community service projects and more. The week of George Washington’s birthday was designated as National FFA Week in 1947. FFA Week always runs from Saturday to Saturday, and encompasses February 22, Washington’s birthday. National Ag Day – March 19, 2013 ( - A day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, farmers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture. Ag Day is celebrated on March 19, 2013. National Ag Day falls during National Ag Week, March 17-23, 2013. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to understand how food and fiber are produced, value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy, and appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. National Ag in the Classroom Conference – June 25-28, 2013 ( – With this year’s conference in Minneapolis, it cannot get much closer for Wisconsin teachers, volunteers and others involved in agricultural literacy to attend! Registrations will be opening soon. The week is filled with workshops, travelling tours, hands-on sessions and great speakers. Teacher scholarships are available. Check out the conference website for all the details.


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Fourth and Fifth Grade Essay Contest April 1 is the deadline for this year’s essay contest for fourth and fifth grade students. The topic is “Wisconsin farms help me eat a healthy lunch by…”. Visit the essay section at www. to view all the lesson plans, activities and essay information. The topic helps students learn where their food comes from, what is grown locally, how to make good food choices, and how their lunch connects back to the farm. Teacher Mini-Grants Due in January Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom is offering grants up to $100 each to pre-school through high school teachers, in a public or private school system, to fund projects that promote agricultural literacy in the classroom. Grants can be used for innovative lessons, activities, projects, resources, presentations, school fairs and other projects. Projects should focus on integrating agriculture 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, consumables and “one-time” use. A judging committee will review all funding requests that are properly completed and postmarked by the January 15 deadline. Forms can be downloaded from Matching Grants For county Farm Bureau programs, schools and other organizations developing agricultural literacy projects for students, do not forget that Ag in the Classroom will award matching grants of up to $500 to groups sponsoring such programs. Grants will be awarded for amounts up to $500 to applicants that secure or provide equal matching funds for the proposed project. Grants may be awarded for less than the full amount requested, based upon discretion of the judges and the funds available. Application forms are due on April 1 and can be downloaded from

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Shining our spotlight on...

4-h key award


he prestigious 4-H Key Award is one of the highest honors a 4-H member can receive. The Wisconsin 4-H Key Award Program recognizes a select group of 4-H members who have demonstrated consistent growth in their 4-H involvement, developed and applied their leadership skills, and actively participated in the functions of their 4-H club and community. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation and Farm Bureau affiliates, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, and GROWMARK have been sponsors of the contest for 37 years. To be eligible, Key Award candidates must be at least 14 on January 1 of the year in which the recognition is given. They must have completed at least three years of 4-H and one year of youth leadership. Each county 4-H program selects its recipients based on an evaluation of the candidate’s 4-H record of membership, projects, activities, leadership, personal development, and county 4-H and community involvement.

Four Wisconsin 4-H Key recipients:

Katie Yarger

Becca Garvey • Attends Unity High School • Career Interests: Music • Daughter of Mike and Pam Garvey

Abigail Granzin • Graduate of Shell Lake High School, currently attending Minneapolis Business College • Career interest: Accounting • Daughter of Bryan and Bonnie Granzin “Thank you for being involved with the 4-H program! Through the 4-H program, I was given many opportunities I otherwise would not have had. 4-H has been a wonderful program for hundreds of kids and because of great supporters like you, it can continue to be a great benefit.”

“Thank you Wisconsin Farm Bureau for your support of this award which gives 4-H youth something to achieve. Thanks to your generosity, 4-Hers can continue in their aspirations of receiving this prestigious award.”

4-h clover emblem The first 4-H emblem was a threeleaf clover, introduced sometime between 1907 and 1908. The three “H’s” represented head, heart and hands. In 1911, at a meeting of club leaders in Washington, a fourth “H” representing health was added and the current 4-H fourleaf clover emblem was approved.

Joshua Franklin • Graduate of Neenah High School, currently attending Fox Valley Tech College in Appleton for Culinary Arts • Career interests: Professional chef and hopefully start his own restaurant • Son of Kent and Christine Franklin “I recently graduated from the Winnebago County 4-H Program and was presented with the 4-H Key Award. It is a great honor. Thank you for sponsoring this program, it means a great deal to me and the other members of 4-H.”

• Graduate of Salem’s Central High School, currently attending Carroll University • Career interests: Studying to become a physician’s assistant to work in pediatrics • Daughter of Dwight and Brady Yarger “Thank you for sponsoring the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. With the help from caring people like you, 4-H is able to stay strong in communities throughout the state. As a recipient of the Key Award, I will do my best to continue to promote 4-H and dedicate my time to the program for years to come through services such as becoming a junior leader and working with younger family members that are still enrolled in 4-H. Again, thank you for keeping the program alive.”

december | january 2012-13



Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom’s new “My American Farm” kiosk made its debut at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. My American Farm is a free, online program comprised of computer games that teach valuable concepts about American agriculture, while reinforcing core educational concepts such as reading, writing, math, science and social science. Through exciting and engaging games, My American Farm shares these messages: agriculture is everywhere, farmers feed the world, farmers steward the land and farmers care for animals. The online program has been converted into a kiosk that features the games. Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom purchased the kiosk with funds through Case New Holland. More information about the kiosk and its availability can be obtained by contacting Darlene Arneson at darneson@wfbf. com or 608.828.5719.

Nancy and James Degnitz from Washington County checked out the brand new “My American Farm” kiosk at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. The kiosk has educational games for elementary aged students.

Save the date! We hope you can join us for the... Save the date! We hope you can join us for the

14 Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser 15th Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser Monday, September 12, 2011 – New location!! Monday, September 9, 2013 th

at Darlene Arneson, Foundation Director 608-828-5719

4740 Pierceville Rd, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin 53527

For registration and Rd, sponsorship information, please visit: 4740 Pierceville Cottage Grove, Wisconsin 53527 Darlene Arneson, Director 608-828-5719

Watch for registration and sponsorship information!


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

End of Year

Giving Opportunities Thanks to everyone who has supported the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation this year. As 2012 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: •• General Donations - A gift of any amount is welcomed to support the many activities and programs the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation supports. •• In Memory of and In Honor of gifts - Honor someone special with a gift in their name. Special envelopes have been printed or you can download a donation form from the Foundation website. Acknowledgement is sent to the family or person being honored. •• Inquire about charitable gift and estate planning as you update your will and estate planning. This type of gift will allow members to plan how to give lifetime gifts of cash, securities or real property, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to the Foundation. Consult your attorney or download the charitable gift and planning brochure located at about-wfbf/foundation. •• Learn and Lead Campaigns - For those that are enrolled in this program, making your annual contribution is important! If you need to check on your status, contact Darlene Arneson at Contribution forms are on membership renewal envelope flaps or can be downloaded by visiting our website foundation.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Silent Auction. The 276 donated items came from county Farm Bureaus, members, Institute participants, businesses and organizations. Everyone’s donations, bidding, and purchases will help support agricultural leadership, youth and educational activities and opportunities.

Thank you for the opport unity and privilege to promote Wisconsin agricu lture in my classroom . I received the Matching Fun d grant for my Wisconsin Whey project. Wi thout this grant our students would miss out on a fun hands-on experience. Thank you! Coleen Pember Tiffany Creek Elementary School

Thank you so much for meeting with us during the WAAE Conference. I enjoyed learning about the resources available through Ag in the Classroom, and know that you are defini tely a grea t resource that I can contact this year. I look forward to working with you throughout the year. Thanks again! Aaron Zimmerman State Vice Presi dent Wisconsin Association of FFA Thank you for your generosity as part of the University of Wi sconsin’s Share the Wonderful Campaig n . Your gift to the Wisconsin Rural You th Scholarship Fund is an affirmation of the College’s commitmen t to scientific discovery, student learning and innovations th at improve our lives. I look forward to worki ng with you to serve students, communitie s and the world . Kathryn A. Vanden Bosch Dean and Director College of Agricultu ral and Life Sciences University of Wiscons in- Madison

On behalf of the Cranberry Museum Inc. Board of Directors and Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery staff, we thank you for your continued support of the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center. Your generous donation is grea tly appreciated and will assist us in our continued efforts to educa te the public about Wisconsin’s # 1 fruit crop. Barbara Hendricks, Director Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center

december | january 2012-13


rural mutual

Does Your Policy Cover Your Farm’s Liability Risks?


iability risks on your farm are more than just your personal exposure, and include risks such as pollution, milk contamination and product liability (for those farms processing and selling food products direct to consumers). Protecting your farm, home and personal assets with adequate liability insurance may make the difference of your remaining in business. Assess the liability risks on your farm with your insurance agent and discuss what kind of coverage you need. Not all liability coverages are the same, and monetary amounts will also vary. Talk with you Rural Mutual Insurance agent about your farm’s current liability risks and limits. Your agent will be able to discuss the scope of your farming activities and assemble the liability coverages that meet your needs. Here are some examples of farm liability risks: Pollution – This liability insurance generally provides coverage for pollution incidents that damage the environment. Rural Mutual Insurance has the broadest pollution liability coverage in the state and offers this as an optional coverage. Coverage applies to bodily injury and property damage caused by the emission, discharge, release or escape of pollutants into or upon land, the atmosphere, groundwater, or any water course or body of water, provided it results in environmental damage.


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Milk Contamination – This provides coverage for liability that results from your contaminated milk being mixed with others. Rural Mutual offers this as an optional coverage. There is an option to this coverage that would cover your milk, prior to being mixed with other milk on the truck. Custom Farm Work – This coverage is for damages associated with doing custom farming. Coverage is usually based on the receipts generated from the custom farm work. Some limited coverage may be in standard farm liability, while coverage for larger-scale operations is usually offered as optional coverage. Pick Your Own Fruits, Vegetables and Christmas Trees – This coverage is usually provided as optional coverage to provide protection to the farm and owners for public harvesting of their own produce or trees on your operation. Agritourism – Liability coverage is available to cover things like hay rides, petting zoos and corn mazes. Again, this is usually provided as an optional coverage. Product Liability – Farm policies have a range of how they define the scope of liability for claims from consuming processed products. Commercial liability coverage may be needed for some direct marketing activities.

Create a Snow Removal Plan


o keep your business operating after a major winter storm, it is important to provide safe access for employees, customers, and suppliers. Shovels, manplows, and snowplows are great for entrances, sidewalks and driveways, but snow removal equipment and any outside service contracts should be in place prior to the first snowfall. When considering the use of contractors: •• Look for an established, licensed and bonded professional. •• Check references. •• Ask to see the contractor’s certificates of insurance. Make sure that coverage for liability and workers’ compensation insurance is current. In certain circumstances following heavy or repeated snow, it may be necessary to remove snow from your roof in order to reduce the chance of a roof collapse. Snow removal equipment meant for pavement should never be used on the roof since they can damage the roof cover system. For safe removal that won’t endanger you or damage your roof, use a snow rake with a long extension arm that will allow you to remove the snow while standing on the ground or hire a snow removal contractor.

When looking for a snow roof rake, be sure to get one that can be extended long enough for you to remove snow while remaining on the ground. This information was provided by IBHS. IBHS is a non-profit applied research and communications organization dedicated to reducing property losses due to natural and man-made disasters by building stronger, more resilient communities. Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety 4775 East Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL 33617 www.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

“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”


Ty, Ron and Corey Neumann

Farm and trucking operators

Rural Mutual Insurance Company

Farm • Business • Auto • Home

Did you know that the WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION OFFERS MANY BENEFITS and services to its members, one being access to 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 78 years.

Call T ODAY fo r a co


Call us at 877-219-9550 for a competitive insurance quote and see how our coverages and price compare. Or visit us on Facebook or on our website at to find an agent near you.

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Rural Route  

December | January, 2012-2013 Volume 18 Issue 6

Rural Route  

December | January, 2012-2013 Volume 18 Issue 6