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Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

october | november 2011 • vol. 17 no. 5 |

Leopold Award Shows Private Landowners’

Land Ethic Talking Trade on the Hill Ten Vie for Achievement Award Kids and Cops, Farming and Fishing

Farm Bureau Members

Track Grocery prices Page 18

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

The local ansWer To your World oF needs.

Ty, ron and corey neumann

Farm and trucking operators

©2011 GROWMARK, Inc. A11539E



vol. 17 no. 5








capitol watch



The WFBF is currently monitoring a number of bills and regulations that impact Wisconsin farmers.




member benefits



Board Profile



We sat down with WFBF YFA Chair Maria McGinnis from Columbia County.


ag in the classroom


Rural Mutual

conservation award A Wisconsin dairy farm family has been chosen to receive the Leopold Conservation Award.


talking trade on the hill In nation’s capital, Farm Bureau’s focus was largely international.




kids and cops

Four individuals were selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag finalists and will compete in December for the top honor.

Kathy Tober brings urban youth to her farm for a lesson in food and farming.


achievement award Ten finalists will vie for the Farm Bureau’s Achievement Award this December.

YFA excellence


summer photos A look back on Ag in the Classroom happenings from this past summer.

Farm Bureau’s Food Price Survey

P. 18

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Editor’s Note


’m not sure if this is the new normal or just a high-flying golden era to remember, but as I type this the Milwaukee Brewers are playing (and winning) in October, Wisconsin Badger football is soaring to new heights and our Green Bay Packers are looking simply ‘super’ again. Yes, times are great right now in America’s Dairyland both on the field… and on the farm. As combines roll and another WFBF Annual Meeting draws near, I can’t help but think of the parallels between the success of our sports teams and the winning streak that Wisconsin Farm Bureau and its members are on. This year is going to be remembered for historically high prices for corn, soybeans, milk and other commodities. Oh sure, even during good times, farming always has its ups and downs, but doesn’t it feel like the sun is shining just a little brighter these days?

{from Casey Langan} As a Farm Bureau member, you’re certainly part of a winning team. In the last year we’ve achieved a healthy membership gain. All four finalists for the second Leopold Conservation Award were Farm Bureau members (see page 5). Our Young Farmer and Agriculturist program continues to thrive thanks to leaders like Maria McGinnis (who is profiled on page 14). Our County Services Program continues to grow, which means more member volunteers can focus on advocating for ag on the local, state and national levels. Our insurance affiliate, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, is once again ranked among the 50 best insurance companies in the nation. We continue to have legislative success amid a tough political climate. Simply put, this has been a winning season for Farm Bureau! Another area where we can toot our own horn is right before your eyes. Last June, the first three editions of the revamped Rural Route magazine were given an ‘honorable mention’ in the Best Magazine category of the American Farm Bureau’s Public Relations Awards. While we tip our hats to our colleagues at the Vermont Farm Bureau for their winning magazine, we are emboldened by the changes we continue to make to these pages. So like many cheesehead fans have said before: Just wait until next year! On Wisconsin! Casey Langan Rural Route Editor Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Rural Route wisconsin Farm bureau federation’s

Editor Casey Langan 608.828.5711

Assistant Editor Sheri Sutton 608.828.5706

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

Contact Information 608.836.5575 800.261.FARM (3276)

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

Women’s Committee Chair Rosie Lisowe, Chilton

Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Chair Maria McGinnis, Portage Farm Bureau’s® Rural Route (ISSN 39940) (USPS 1082-1368), the official publication of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, is published six times per year in February/ March, April/May, June/July, August/ September, October/November and December/ January. Subscription of $5 is included in Farm Bureau dues. Periodical postage is paid at Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route is produced for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation by Kennedy Communications, LTD., 9 Odana Court, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53711, 608.288.9000. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. For advertising rates and information, please contact Annie Mares at 608.443.0956 or


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By Casey Langan

Koepke Family Wins Leopold Conservation Award

A Wisconsin dairy farm family with a long history of soil conservation has been chosen to receive the second Leopold Conservation Award from the Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.


embers of the Koepke family from Oconomowoc were presented with the award, named in honor of worldrenowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, at a meeting of the state Natural Resources Board on October 26. A special presentation where the Koepkes will receive the $10,000 award and a Leopold crystal will take place December 4 at the WFBF Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells. Koepke Farms Inc. is a partnership between brothers Alan, David, Jim, and Jim’s son John. Together, they milk 320 cows and operate 1,000 acres of cropland plus another 150 acres of woods and wetlands. As one of the first farms in their area to adopt a completely no-till system, the family has incorporated grassed waterways, contour

strip cropping, diversified crop rotation, nutrient management, cover crops and barnyard runoff control into their farming practices. Research conducted on the farm by the University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms Program from 2005 to 2008 resulted in the Koepkes making the decision to build a manure storage structure. They have altered the dairy herd’s feed rations so that the manure does not contain excessive levels of phosphorus, without impacting milk production. As proof, a Holstein named “Granny” from the farm holds the world record for lifetime milk production. The Koepkes are members of the Waukesha County Farm Bureau and were also named the Dairymen of the Year at last month’s >> cont. on page 6

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>> cont. from page 5

World Dairy Expo in Madison. They were one of four finalists for the Leopold Conservation Award. “The diversity of these agricultural operations is remarkable, yet they all share a commitment to enhancement of Wisconsin’s natural resources,” said Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. “These finalists are examples of the determination, innovation and dedication that characterize agricultural families across Wisconsin.” The other finalists included Jim and Valerie Hebbe of Green Lake County, Justin and Lynn Isherwood of Portage County, and Mark Riechers of Lafayette County. The first recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award under the Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation partnership was the Bragger family from Independence in Buffalo County. The award is now presented annually in eight states to private landowners who practice responsible land stewardship and management. The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, American Transmission Company, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Rural Mutual Insurance Company and Farm Credit.

on the web

The Leopold Conservation Award The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of an Aldo Leopold crystal and a check for $10,000. In 2011, Sand County Foundation will also present Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

About Sand County Foundation 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. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s fish, wildlife and natural resources are found on private lands. The organization backs local champions, invests in civil society and places incentives before regulation to create solutions that endure and grow. The organization encourages the exercise of private responsibility in the pursuit of improved land health as an essential alternative to many of the commonly used strategies in modern conservation.

For more information, see

Farm Bureau Podcasts

Listen to all podcasts at WFBF.COM

“The partnership that Sand County Foundation has in each state’s Leopold Conservation Award—and this is a growing program that we intend to spread much more broadly throughout the nation—engages us with the leading agricultural institution or/and leading agricultural land institution in each state. It’s our privilege to associate with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, which has members on working lands throughout the state and offers a variety of services to its members. We think that Sand County Foundation has a great advantage in telling the conservation story because of the outreach that the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has, its capacity both at the staff and the board level to associate with leading producers, and to be able to reach people through various media, radio, television, print and otherwise.”

Sand County Foundation President Brent Haglund on the Leopold Conservation Award and its relationship with Farm Bureau.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

leopold conservation award

Three other finalists each received $500 for their conservation efforts Jim and Valerie Hebbe, Princeton (Green Lake County) 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 the farm’s light and sandy soil. In 1985, he helped develop conservation standards for the Farmland Preservation Program participants to control soil erosion to sustainable levels.

Jim Hebbe

Justin and Lynn Isherwood, Plover (Portage County)

Justin and Lynn Isherwood

Justin and Lynn Isherwood’s 156-year-old farm consists of 1,500 acres, including 260 acres of woodland. They specialize in the production of vegetables, primarily potatoes and grain. For the Isherwoods, an “ethic of landedness” is at the heart of their agricultural operation. Justin played a prominent role in the development of Healthy Grown potatoes, which demand a higher level of environmental quality production standards and require enrolled farmers to commit to ecological enhancement of their non-production lands. The Isherwoods’ farm includes four miles of stream edge, so Justin and Lynn are committed to water management to enhance wildlife habitat and strive to make water quality a community-wide discussion through the development of a booklet that gives voice to water issues from farmers, other landowners and elected officials. As an accomplished writer and farmer, Justin is dedicated to making “agriculture visible to a population ever more distant from agriculture.”

Mark Riechers, Darlington (Lafayette County) Mark and his son, Joe Riechers, produce beef, corn and soybeans on a farm located at the southern end of the driftless region in southwestern Wisconsin. The family’s approach to land and resource management is based on the recognition that soil does not need to be tilled to be productive. Their no-till planting system significantly reduces investments in energy and labor. Corn and soybean crops are grown on less than a gallon of fuel per acre each year. Grassed waterways and terraces are combined with careful residue management and cross-slope planting, which help keep the farm’s soils in place and run-off very low and clean. Off the farm, Mark Riechers has been a leader in the agricultural community, communicating about conservation and agriculture at various conferences and in several publications.

Joe and Mark Riechers

october | november 2011



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wisconsin farm bureau federation

Talking Trade


on the

In nation’s capital, Farm Bureau’s focus was largely international. By Casey Langan


he importance of global trade to U.S. agriculture was a common thread of

discussion as Wisconsin Farm Bureau members traveled to the nation’s capital in September. As one speaker told the group of 11 WFBF Board of Directors and 16 Farm Bureau members from across the state, trains run and ships continue to sail despite gridlock in Washington, D.C. Movement on a long-sought trio of free trade agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Panama and Columbia were high on the agenda. By eliminating tariffs paid by U.S. exporters, collectively they represent a $2 billion market opening for U.S. farmers. Much of the discussion at the offices of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Trade Representative was the political dance between the White House, Congress and labor unions regarding the FTAs and the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill. Weeks later, the Obama Administration did finally forward the FTAs to Congress for their approval.

Next Farm Bill Coming Soon? With the congressional ‘Super Committee’ looking to slash federal spending (including $15 billion or more in farm program cuts), AFBF trade specialist Mark Maslyn said he would not be surprised to see the next U.S. farm bill written this fall. He noted that while the farm bill accounts for less than half of one percent of the federal budget, direct payments to farmers ranked in the top three of many legislators’ so-called hit-lists. The big issue is what should be the role of federal government in farming in 2012, Maslyn posed to the group. “We’re a different industry than we were 40 or 50 years ago.” “What’s easier for the government, farm subsidies or higher food costs?” asked La Crosse County Farm Bureau member Paul Wehrs. Maslyn said there is a shift away from government support toward giving farmers the tools to manage their risk better. That same principle may be in store for dairy policy. While in Washington, Farm

Bureau members met with Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson’s staff just as details were coming out on the reworked legislation that Peterson drafted from the National Milk Producers Federation’s Foundation for the Future Plan. “We were basically at ground zero of where dairy policy is being drafted,” said Bill Bruins, WFBF President. Another policy area likely to see change is ethanol. “We’re looking at the end of an era on ethanol policy,” said Elizabeth Jones, AFBF energy specialist. “Ethanol right now is not the world’s most popular issue,” she said explaining the U.S. Senate’s 73-27 vote last summer to immediately end the ethanol blenders’ tax credit that is set expire before 2012. With little support for an extension of the credit, there was talk of shifting Farm Bureau’s ethanol policy to placing greater emphasis on infrastructure improvements for the biofuel industry. >> cont. on page 10

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The Faces of Agriculture: Farm Bureau leaders from across Wisconsin left their farms, September 20-22, to lobby lawmakers on ag issues.

>> cont. from page 9

While visiting AFBF and offices of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, members discussed a variety of issues: • Allowing early release of nonenvironmentally sensitive lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program to provide a cost savings, aide food security and temper $7 corn’s impact on land values. • Seeking common sense approaches for agriculture when it comes to E-Verify immigration legislation, the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to child labor on farms and the Obama Care healthcare law. Willing to accept the cuts to farm programs that are inevitably coming from the Super Committee, one of the few ‘asks’ by Farm Bureau members was continued funding to land grant universities and Extension services. “In some counties the only

“In some counties the only economic development that exists is in that Extension office.” - Joe Bragger, WFBF Board Director economic development that exists is in that Extension office,” said Joe Bragger, a WFBF Board Director from Independence.

That was part of the message he and others shared with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. Wisconsin’s junior senator said he would support the FTAs and welcomes the chance to work on good ag policy with Senator Herb Kohl. Senator Johnson shared blunt thoughts about the congressional budgeting process, calling it “unprofessional, disgusting, sick,” and a “grotesque process that is last-minute and convoluted.” “There should be time for senators and staff to actually review the document,” he remarked. “It’s why we’re bankrupting the country.”

Farm Bureau’s Bill Bruins, Dave Daniels and Terry Papcke met with Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation


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

Assembly Bill 252 State law currently allows farmers to exceed weight limits by 15 percent when transporting crops from the field to the first point of delivery from September through November. AB 252, authored by State Rep. Jerry Petrowski, would extend this annual exemption through the month of December. WFBF supports AB 252.

NR 151 - Nonpoint Wisconsin’s nonpoint source prevention program is coordinated by the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The DNR is authorized to establish performance standards for agriculture and DATCP is directed to develop technical standards for farmers to use to meet DNR’s performance standards. Last year, the DNR updated its portion of the nonpoint regulations (known as NR 151) to include three new performance standards: •• Require a five foot tillage setback from the top of the stream bank. •• Require fields to meet a phosphorous index of 6 or less. •• Prohibit significant discharges of process waste water from milk houses, feedlots and feed storage. WFBF and most other ag organizations supported the update of NR 151 to include these performance standards. As a result, DATCP’s citizen board recently began the rule making process to update its own rule (known as ATCP 50) to reflect the changes made by the DNR to NR 151. WFBF will be working with other ag organizations and DATCP to make sure the two rules are consistent.

Assembly Bill 248 State law currently prohibits the Department of Transportation from issuing oversized load permits if the load can be reasonable divided or reduced to comply with state law. The generally applicable height limit on highways is 13.5 feet. AB 248, authored by State Rep. Jerry Petrowski, allows the DOT to issue annual or consecutive month permits to vehicles hauling oversized loads of hay or straw as long as the height does not exceed 14.5 feet. WFBF supports AB 248.

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

october | november 2011


Kids and Cops Farming and Fishing With help from area officials, Farm Bureau member Kathy Tober brings urban youth to her farm for a lesson in food and farming. By Sheri Sutton “These students don’t know where their food comes from. They walk into a grocery store and just think their food just comes from the shelves. On our farm, they learn and can see where it comes from.” - Kathy Tober 12

Rural Route


ixteen years ago, Kathy Tober saw a boat break down on East Troy’s Lake Beulah. The Walworth County Farm Bureau member offered a stranded boater a helping hand, with no clue what the outcome of their chance meeting would be. The boat driver was a police officer from Racine. He expressed to Kathy that it was his dream to get city kids from Racine out to Lake Beulah to experience the lake and fish. Kathy responded, “Well, let’s bring them here! Have they ever been to a farm?” In an hour and a half, the two strangers planned the first Kids and Cops, Farming and Fishing event. Every year since, Kathy and the Racine Police Department have teamed up to bring a life-changing experience to inner-city children.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

“The students are down at the station an hour and a half before the deadline to make sure they can be on the list to come,” Kathy said. “The event keeps growing every year, which is great. I would like to see all children have the opportunity to see and know where their food comes from.”

The Big Day The annual one-day event takes place each July when nearly 100 children (ages 6 to 12) and 20 Racine police come to East Troy to fish and see a farm. The Department of Natural Resources provides fishing poles, and staff members teach the youth how to bait their poles and cast their lines. Kathy also partnered Some kids wait with a local marina hours in line for the and boat owners latest video game who voluntarily give or set of concert pontoon boat rides. tickets, but these From the lake, the Racine youth wait youth are then bused hours to make to the Tober Farm in sure they get to go East Troy. Kathy and fishing and to see Warren Tober, who the Tober farm. live on a farm near East Troy, previously dairy farmed near Kathy educates Clinton. The East Troy youth about the FFA chapter provides importance of ag animals for the event and wildlife with and members are the help of real-life on hand to answers pelts and horns. students’ questions. Another supporter of the event is a professor from Carroll College in Waukesha. She has established a scholarship program where numerous full scholarships are granted to students in Racine whose parents do not have a college degree. Kathy says the event is partly about building relationships with kids who will someday be adult consumers making food decisions. “Everything comes from the farmer,” Kathy explains when the

students are on the farm. “See that corn in the field? That corn is one of the ingredients in your cereal.” Kathy mentioned, “These students don’t know where their food comes from. They walk into a grocery store and just think their food just comes from the shelves. On our farm, they learn and can see where it comes from.” “Farm Bureau has shown me how to educate people and to make them more aware of agriculture,” Kathy said. “Farm Bureau has instilled so much in me. I now look at educating people differently.” In addition to being the first female president of the Walworth County Farm Bureau, Kathy graduated from Farm Bureau’s first Institute leadership class. She is also active with the Ag in the Classroom program and the state Volunteers for Agriculture committee. “Pretty much anything that goes on in Farm Bureau, I’m involved in,” she said. “People don’t realize how much Farm Bureau has to offer. Farm Bureau is for education, environment, policy, leadership, public speaking and the list goes on and on.” Currently elected to the Conservation Congress and as a supervisor in the Town of Troy, she is extremely active in advocating for both agriculture and wildlife. “I want things [to be] better. I want change. I want everyone to learn about where their food comes from,” said the self-described “out-of-the-box person.” As Kathy plans for next year’s event, she looks back in amazement on all that has come out lending a helping hand to a stranded boater 16 years ago.

october | november 2011


One Small Invitation Meet Board Member Maria McGinnis By Sheri Sutton


ometimes one small invitation can lead to something huge. Three years ago, Maria McGinnis was invited to watch a band at a Young Farmer and Agriculturist social event. She attended, recognized a few people and became intrigued about Farm Bureau. So she explored the Farm Bureau website, printed off a membership application and sent it in. “It looked like a great organization, and I couldn’t afford to not be a member,” Maria recalls.


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

Huge Involvement According to Maria, “Most things in my life start small but they don’t ever stay small. They either go away or become huge.” Such is the case with her Farm Bureau involvement. In her first year as a Farm Bureau member, Maria was elected to the Columbia County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and served as its YFA Chair. The following year she became the YFA Chair for District 2. Now in her third year, Maria leads the State YFA Committee and represents it on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. “Maria is the most passionately committed, young agricultural leader and ‘agvocate’ I have ever met,” says Dale Beaty, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Director of Training and Leadership Development. “She has the vision and drive to lead agriculture forward.” “My role is to foster ideas, give feedback and support,” Maria describes of her duties as YFA Chair. Among the YFA Committee’s goals is offering more invitations for Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 to network, learn, socialize, belong, lead and grow through the YFA Conference, Discussion Meet, Achievement Award, Excellence in Ag and other county and state events. “The YFA program is very unique in that it caters to young professionals in production agriculture and industry,” she said. “As the agriculture industry has evolved, so has the YFA program. Everyone with a connection to agriculture, food and their community has a place with this amazing group.”

Non-Traditional Roots As the first non-farmer to lead the YFA Committee, Maria views her nontraditional road to leadership within Farm Bureau as an asset to both the organization and to agriculture. From her childhood bedroom window, Maria could see the State Capitol in St. Paul. While not farmers, she and her brother grew up in a very food-focused household, as her mother was a fourth-

Horses were Maria’s first avenue into agriculture. In her youth, she enjoyed showmanship and equitation and won several regional and national awards. As an adult, she still finds time to compete in English classes with her horse, Ladd. generation restaurant entrepreneur. It was from her mother that she learned about food and hard work. Her first exposure to agriculture came from the 4-H and FFA members at the Minnesota State Fair, where she showed horses in open classes. “Horses were my introduction to rural life, crops, animal health and nutrition, and overall farm management,” she said. “Many people in agriculture do not view the horse industry as agriculture or livestock, but the reality is that horse owners—especially those that own property—purchase seed and fertilizer, operate agricultural equipment, utilize nutritionists and veterinarians.” Her experience with horses led her to study the food and fiber industry at UW-River Falls where she majored in agricultural marketing and communications. She would further her education at UW-Madison by completing the Life Science Communications graduate program. She credits extra curricular organizations like the Collegiate FFA and National AgriMarketing Association with getting her

in front of the right people in agriculture. Following three years as a sales specialist for World Dairy Expo in Madison, she landed her current job in career services for UW Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. It is there where she helps students and alumni in their job and internship searches, prepares them for interviews, assists them with the look of their resumes and provides other career advice on the 300+ different agricultural career paths. An active member of the Wisconsin Arabian Horse Association, Portage FFA Alumni, WALSAA and NAMA Badger Chapter, it is Farm Bureau where Maria enjoys a breadth of activities on the local and state levels. “I love being able to go to the Executive Residence and then go to the county food stand and serve,” she said. In three short years, Maria has provided leadership to our organization, and it all began with one small invitation to an event. Who will you be inviting to the next Farm Bureau activity?

october | november 2011



Meet WFBF Member:

Jennifer Mueller Roberts, Wis. St. Croix County

Family members: Husband, Dean; son and daughter-in-law, Brent and Melinda; granddaughters, Bridget (8) and Hailey (10). Tell us about your farm. We live on a very diversified farm which includes dairy, beef, vegetable canning crops, corn, soybeans, hay and wheat. We also help our son with his grain-hauling business. Our nephew, Todd Torkelson, works full-time with us on the farm, along with several high school students who work after-school hours and during the summer. What’s the busiest time of day for you? I don’t really have a busy time. The work is always ongoing. As any farmer knows, there is always a job that needs attention – outside or in the house. A farmer has to learn to be a master at multitasking and be one step ahead on the next day’s list of tasks. How much time do you spend doing farmwork compared to housework? The weather plays a large part in how my days are planned out. Rainy days are for indoor projects such as cleaning, canning,


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baking, hobbies and running errands. Sunny days are for outside jobs such as laundry, gardening, taking care of the lawn, cleaning cattle sheds, working with the granddaughters on their fair projects and any other projects that seem to come our way. What do you do in your free time and why? What free time? (Only kidding!) I do volunteer work in the St. Croix Farm Bureau food booth during our county fair and at the St. Croix County Farm City Day. I also have several hobbies – folk-art painting, sewing and reading. We are big NASCAR fans and try to travel to some warmer climates to take in some races during the winter time. What’s the best thing about farming? The true rewards of farming are what I am passing on to the next generations, whether it is knowledge of the industry, how to keep our family farm going in the right direction or how to keep the next generation’s interest in building a future for themselves. We have had many youth work for us over the years. It makes us very proud when they return

to offer help or stop in to see how things have changed. They are another reward of dairy farming. Even though some of them are not farmers they have learned something while working here and can use the knowledge they gain here in their future. When you look back on your life, what do you want to be remembered for? I am a giving type of person. I hope the things I have done and time I have spent doing things for others is a reflection of what I will be remembered for. Do you have any ideas that could make farming easier for you and all farming women? Rely on the technology and equipment to handle the loads and not your body. You will last longer! Not everyone is a mind reader, so be more verbal at how you want to run your farm. Be prepared for the unpredictable and the unexpected because the Lord does not make life a bowl of cherries! Reprinted with permission of the Dairy Star newspaper.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

And through the GM Business Choice Program,4 business owners receive even more when purchasing or leasing an eligible Chevrolet or GMC truck or van for business use. Visit for details.

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

Place your Farm Bureau Logo here.

Institute in Action

GM Vehicle Incentive Program Now Available


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s a part of the Institute leadership class, Farm Bureau members participated in a mock hearing within the state Capitol. Members delivered prepared legislative testimony on the issues of mandatory animal identification and keeping patent seeds for a farmer’s own use. In her testimony, Jennifer Digman of Grant County (shown at right) included strong stories about her family farm and held up a picture of her two children. Keith Engel of Dane County, John Gerbitz of Rock County and Tim Clark of Fond du Lac County (shown above) played the role of legislators by asking questions of their fellow classmates about their view points. The mock hearing was the culmination of a two-day session in September devoted to the legislative and political process. On top of the hearing, the group

was briefed about the election results, state administrative rule process, state legislative process and effective ways for grassroots lobby activities. With this knowledge under their belts, they met with their legislators.

on the web A Grassroots Advocacy Guide can be downloaded on the Farm Bureau website at legislative-action/.



10/13/11 2:22 PM

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10-13-2011 2:18 PM

ColorsFarm In-Use Bureau User members may Printer Output D ligible ma-nminieri-mac Titan 10-13-2011 2:22 498 ppi Cyan 247 ppi nowMagenta receive a $500 discount on RTVd By: nminieri Mechd By: nminieri 163 ppi Yellow Blackqualifying 2011 or 2012 model each PMS 425 C year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicle they CD/ACD AD purchase or lease. This exclusive Farm COPYWRITER Bureau member private offer can be used ACCT SERVICE PROD COPY EDIT at any Chevrolet, Buick or GMC dealer. Twenty-seven GM models are part of the program, including the Chevrolet Silverado HD, honored as the 2011 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. A broad range of other pick-up trucks, SUVs, sedans and crossovers also are included. For more information, please see the “Benefits & Membership” tab at To take advantage of this private offer, the purchaser must be a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member for at least 60 days. The purchaser’s address on both their driver’s license and their Farm Bureau membership address must be the same. If the driver’s license address is incorrect and the membership address is correct, members can change their driver’s license address online. If the member does not have access to the internet they will need to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles directly. If the Farm Bureau membership address is incorrect the member should contact WFBF at 1.800.261.3276 and choose option 1. This offer is just the latest member benefit that adds more economic value to being a member of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

october | november 2011

10-13-2011 2:22 PM

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Wisconsin Grocery Prices Rise for 4th Straight Quarter Farm Bureau’s Survey Shows Two Percent Increase Since June


etail food prices grew just more than two percent during the third quarter of 2011, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $50.55. It marked an increase of $1.06 (2.1 percent) from the $49.49 Marketbasket price in June, and $5.26 (11.6 percent) from one year ago. “Food prices continue to climb at the grocery store, and there’s a bumper crop of reasons why,” said Casey Langan, Wisconsin Farm Bureau spokesman. “Strong global demand, weather extremes and high energy prices are all driving steady price growth for many food items.” Of the 16 food items surveyed by Farm Bureau members, 10 increased in price compared to the second quarter of 2011. Eggs increased 26 cents (20 percent) to $1.53 per dozen. Red Delicious apples, bagged salad and shredded mild cheddar cheese were the other items that saw the largest percentage increases in price over the last three months. • Red Delicious apples increased 23 cents (16 percent) to $1.63 per pound. • Bagged salad increased 33 cents (13 percent) to $2.82 per pound. • Shredded mild cheddar cheese increased 70 cents (17 percent) to $4.67 per pound.


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Most items showing an increase in retail price from quarter-to-quarter also showed year-to-year increases. Compared to one year ago, bagged salad increased 32 percent, Russet potatoes increased 28 percent, whole milk and shredded mild cheddar cheese were both up nearly 22 percent, apples increased 19 percent, flour was up 18 percent, and eggs increased 16 percent. The total average price for the 16 items was up 11.6 percent compared to one year ago. “Global demand for meat and dairy products remains strong and continues to influence retail prices here in the U.S.,” said American Farm Bureau Economist John Anderson. “Many nations around the world rely on America to provide the food they need to improve their standard of living, particularly through the addition of

“Global demand for meat and dairy products remains strong and continues to influence retail prices here in the U.S.” - John Anderson, American Farm Bureau Economist

protein to the diet. Strengthened demand for meats began in 2009, continued through 2010 and remains important as we look ahead to the close of 2011.” Other factors also came into play. “On-farm production costs for energy, fertilizer and fuel continue on an upward trend but those costs are largely borne by farmers and ranchers. But, in addition, after food leaves the farm or ranch, higher costs for transportation, marketing, processing and storage are added,” Anderson explained. “As long as these costs remain elevated, consumers will continue to feel it in the form of higher food prices at the supermarket.” “At the beginning of 2011, a number of factors including growing demand

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Wisconsin Prices Lower Than National Average Wisconsin’s $50.55 Marketbasket is $2.57 less than the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national survey of the same 16 food items. AFBF’s survey rang in at $53.12. Despite the lower overall price, five of the sixteen items recently surveyed in Wisconsin were higher than the national average: bagged salad, whole milk, bacon, ground chuck and boneless chicken breast. Ground chuck cost just one penny more in Wisconsin than the national average.

Farmer’s Share Is Just $8.08 Over the last three decades, retail grocery prices have gradually increased while the share of the average dollar spent on food that farm families receive has dropped. In the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures in grocery stores and restaurants. Since then that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s revised Food Dollar Series. Using that percentage across the board, the farmer’s share of

$50.55 $45.29 2011 3rd Quarter Price

2010 3rd Quarter Price

$5.26 Cost Difference

+11.6% percentage Difference

this quarter’s $50.55 grocery bill would be $8.08. Despite higher prices, the USDA says Americans will still spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average in the world. The Marketbasket Survey is a quarterly look at the trends in food prices in Wisconsin in relation to changing farm prices, weather and wholesale and retail food marketing. Members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau collected price samples of 16 basic food items in 19 communities across Wisconsin in September.

The Marketbasket Survey is an informal measure of prices at grocery stores in Wisconsin. The prices reported reflect variations in communities and retailers. The prices reported are not validated by any outside source. Prices were collected for this survey in the communities of Appleton, Ashland, Beloit, Cedar Grove, Edgerton, La Crosse, Lancaster, Marshfield, Medford, Menominee, Mequon, New Richmond, Sauk City, Saukville, Shawano, Waterford, Watertown, West Bend and West Salem.

WFBF Marketbasket Survey

3rd Quarter 2011

pointed to continued increases in retail food prices, especially for meats. But there’s always a lag time as farmers and ranchers increase the size of their herds to meet higher demand,” Anderson explained. “Extreme weather conditions around the nation have further compounded the issue, diminishing production and further increasing costs.” Cheerios, ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, sliced deli ham, boneless chicken breast and vegetable oil were the six items that saw modest reductions in price since the second quarter of 2011. The largest decrease was the price of boneless chicken breast falling by 34 cents (8 percent) to $3.67 per pound.

$50.55 for 16 items


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

2.1 % increase from last quarter

october | november 2011



by Bill Bruins

My Mother’s Garden

A Message from WFBF President Bill Bruins


“Today, most Americans are generations removed from the farm and think that gardening is something new.”


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s I walked in the door, I immediately smelled a familiar aroma coming from the kitchen. My wife Mary was making ‘End of the Garden’ soup. It’s a tradition that my mother started when I was young. The smell of fresh garden vegetables simmering on the stove took me back to a time when I was my mother’s helper in our garden. It was there that she taught me how to plant the garden, care for the growing plants and harvest them. Soon harvesting food for our dinner table became my responsibility; my mom was proud of the green thumb I had developed. I was instantly hooked, and since then I have always been connected to my food source. Today, most Americans are generations removed from the farm and think that gardening is something new. Yet they want to reconnect with their food source, and that’s an opportunity that we as farmers cannot ignore. The American Farm Bureau Federation has partnered with a wide coalition in forming the U.S. Farmer & Ranchers Alliance. Its overall goal is to help build a dialogue with consumers looking to

retrace the steps from the dinner plate to the farm gate. This dialogue is critical to the future success of agriculture, and it requires all hands onboard. That means that even after the last combines are shut down this fall, our work is far from over. It will take every last farmer to do his or her part to help reintroduce ourselves to today’s consumers and provide honest answers to their questions about why we do what we do on the farm. A worthy goal of USFRA would be to have every American (not just those who are critical of farming practices) look at food differently. There was something else I learned while working in my mother’s garden—the concept of ‘food security.’ Our garden’s bounty meant food security for our family. My parents knew providing that food security was one of their primary responsibilities. Boy, have times changed! Our food comes from all corners of the globe, and eating out is now commonplace in American society. Have you ever noticed how much of that food ends up in dumpsters behind restaurants? Studies have shown that one of every four bags of groceries ends up in the landfill. Even more depressing is that one in six

American children know what it’s like to go to bed hungry. The United States is now home to 43 million people on food stamps, and school lunch programs cost the federal government more than $10 billion annually for the 41 percent of our public school children that qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunch. In a land flowing with milk and honey and excess, how can it be that so many millions of Americans depend on the government to put food on their tables? There’s no denying that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in our nation’s cheap food policy. It will be very evident in the next U.S. farm bill that will offer less support for those growing our nation’s food and more subsidization of hungry consumers. At the root of our nation’s complicated issues with food is a simple notion: Most consumers do not view food security as their concern or responsibility because they didn’t grow up smelling and eating ‘End of the Garden’ soup. Until more Americans learn the lesson of responsibility that I experienced in my mother’s garden, I fear our nation will never defeat hunger and achieve food security.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


by Bob Stallman

Countryside Grassroots at Work Guest Column from AFBF President Bob Stallman “As Farm Bureau members, it is ingrained in us to be actively involved and to fight for what we believe in and what we think will better our profession and our country.”


arm Bureau has an outstanding reputation as an effective grassroots organization. For the past 92 years, Farm Bureau members have played instrumental roles in legislative efforts that have helped shape U.S. agriculture. American Farm Bureau policy comes from the bottom up. Our policy positions start at the county, parish and state levels. They are proposed, debated and approved by farmers and ranchers who grow every different type of crop and livestock species possible across our great land. When you think about the level of policy unity that comes from such stark diversity, it really is astonishing. We don’t always agree on everything. That’s what makes our process credible and real.

Country Roads As Farm Bureau members, it is ingrained in us to be actively involved and to fight for what we believe in and what we think will better our profession and our country. We are not ones to rest on our laurels while others do the work. We are also not the types to make a lot of noise about an issue

and stop there. Farm Bureau members roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty when it comes to matters that are close to our hearts. That’s why I especially enjoy this time of year. If you’re a Farm Bureau member, you probably know exactly why. For many folks, autumn represents back-to-school, fall festivals and cooler weather. For us Farm Bureau policy nerds (speaking for myself, of course), autumn means it’s nearing time for most of our state annual meetings. I can almost hear the momentum building out in the countryside. As I travel to these annual meetings, I listen to Farm Bureau members talk a lot about agriculture issues. Most of the time what they have to say is good, some of the time it’s not. That’s the beauty of Farm Bureau, there’s always room for healthy debate. But in all of my travels, I have never met a farmer without something to say, or more importantly, not willing to roll up his or her sleeves to help further our grassroots process.

Country Strong As Farm Bureau state delegates prepare for their annual meetings, they are well

aware of the importance of their deliberation and votes on potential policy. Those very policy recommendations have been formed and mulled over at the county level by their farmer peers, and, if successful, will get forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting for consideration. These grassroots members are the backbone of our organization who will play a significant role at their state meetings as they consider important policy positions on environmental, trade, immigration, farm policy and other issues. They will roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and carry on the Farm Bureau tradition of grassroots excellence. It’s this commitment of our grassroots members who play an active role in U.S. agriculture policymaking that makes Farm Bureau one of the most successful advocacy organizations in this nation.

october | november 2011


Member Benefits


Savings for your Family or Business The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation offers benefits and services to its members, covering a range of options that respond to the needs of farmers, families and businesses in Wisconsin. AAA

Farm Bureau Bank

Farm Bureau members save 20% on AAA membership and the enrollment fee to join AAA is waived. Farm Bureau members who already belong to AAA can receive the discount on their next renewal. In both instances, call 877.731.3315 and be prepared to give them the group code “WI07.”

Take advantage of Farm Bureau Bank’s FDIC insured checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and vehicle and home loans. To get started, call 800.492.FARM (3276), or look online at

Accidental Death Policy

FB Apparel

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

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

AVIS-Budget Car Rental


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

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

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

Choice Hotels Members save an average of 20% at participating Choice Brand Hotels. Call 800.258.2847 to make the required advance reservation. Request Wisconsin Farm Bureau member rate using ID# 0058419.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wyndham Hotel Group Members save 20% off the best available rate at more than 5,000 participating locations throughout North America. Mention Farm Bureau ID# 62775 when making your reservations.

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

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


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| BuiCk ReGAL

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

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

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

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{Produce strong and effective leaders}

Farm Bureau’s Rising Stars Ten finalists will vie for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Achievement Award this December. Collectively, they represent some of the best and brightest young farmers in Wisconsin.


he Achievement Award is open to Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35, who have excelled in their production farming operation, understand current issues affecting agriculture, and show leadership and involvement in Farm Bureau and their local community. Here’s a look at this year’s finalists:

James Bays II Adams County Jim Bays II operates a 1,200-acre dairy farm in a partnership with his parents. He holds a degree in animal science with a dairy emphasis and currently manages both crop and cow health and breeding aspects of the dairy. Five years ago, he started some irrigated rotational grazing on his farm near Adams. The farm also raises dairy steers as feeder cattle. He has two children, Brenna and Collin.

Andrew & Angie Baumann Marathon County Andy and Angie Baumann of Edgar farm 500 acres and milk 75 cows in a joint venture with Andy’s parents. Andy is a graduate of the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course, while Angie is a graduate of Edgewood College with a degree in elementary education. Since becoming involved in the operation, the couple implemented conservation practices and increased the genetic potential of the herd. Off of the farm, they are active in their church, with Angie serving as a religious education director. The couple has two children.


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Ryan & Cheri Klussendorf Taylor County Ryan and Cheri Klussendorf operate a 240-acre farm in Medford where they rotationally graze 145 dairy cows. They started their farming venture in 2003 and have since purchased a farm. Ryan focuses on pasture management, cattle health, and nutrition, while Cheri focuses on calf health, milking, and recordkeeping on the dairy. The couple met while attending UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short. Both are very active in the Taylor County Farm Bureau and educate others interested in grass-based dairying. They have three children.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Corey & Miranda Leis Monroe County

Brian Maliszewski Trempealeau County

Corey and Miranda Leis live in Cashton with their three children. They milk 300 cows and operate 1,200 acres on their farm, which is owned jointly with Corey’s father. In addition to operating their own farm, they also operate a small custom harvesting business. Milking three times per day, the herd boasts a rolling herd average of above 30,000 pounds. The couple is active in Farm Bureau and previously represented District 4 on the state YFA committee. Miranda works off of the farm at Organic Valley Cooperative and serves on the state Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Brian Maliszewski of Independence has a passion for agriculture and crops that he developed growing up on his family’s farm. Since completing his Bachelor’s of Science degree, he started his own custom harvesting and trucking operation. Additionally, he runs 1,600 acres of owned and leased land and is a partner in his family’s beef and crop farm that he aspires to take over someday.

Jeffrey McNeely Green County Jeff McNeely of Brooklyn farms with his father and brother on their diversified operation that includes 1,650 crop acres, a 150-cow dairy herd and finishing Holstein steers. Jeff is solely responsible for managing the dairy side of the operation, in addition to assisting with other aspects of the farm. He is a graduate of UW-River Falls with a degree in dairy science and minor in agronomy. He serves as the YFA chair in Green County and enjoys networking with Farm Bureau friends as well as spending time outdoors.

Peter Muth Washington County Peter Muth operates 500 acres and milks 180 cows on his family’s farm in Fredonia. He is a graduate of UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course and is nearing completion of a five-year Farm Business Management program at Lakeshore Technical College. Since returning to the family farm, he has overseen the expansion of the dairy herd and crop acreage, all while increasing the rolling herd average to 25,000 pounds. He serves as a volunteer firefighter and enjoys outdoor activities.

october | november 2011



Jay & Angela Schultz Shawano County Jay and Angela Schultz of Shawano operate a 290acre dairy operation with their three children. Both are active in the daily operation of the dairy, with Jay being responsible for crop production, milking, feeding of cows and heifers, as well as breeding for the farm. Angela is involved with milking, feeding calves, cleaning of facilities, as well as maintaining the operation’s records. Angela is active with Ag in the Classroom in Shawano County. Both are active in their church and serve as 4-H leaders.

Ryan & Amanda Staidl Marinette County Ryan and Amanda Staidl of Peshtigo operate 1,200 acres of owned and leased land that they operate in a partnership with Ryan’s father. Ryan is the fifth generation on the family farm and has overseen expansion of both the grain and beef sides of the operation. The couple has three children and both hold associates degrees, Ryan in agriculture and Amanda in early childhood education. They previously represented District 7 on the state YFA committee.

Joe Wollinger Green Lake County Joe Wollinger of Markesan runs 475 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, peas, and lima beans on land he operates on half shares with his neighbors. A 2009 graduate of Institute Class III, he is active in his county where he has served as YFA chair. He currently serves on the state YFA committee representing District 5. He is married to his wife of six years, Christy. They have a 5-year-old daughter, Callie. The family enjoys the outdoors and hunting, as well as riding their four horses.


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A three-judge panel will score their applications and conduct interviews at the Farm Bureau’s 2011 Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference/ Annual Meeting at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, December 2-5. The winners of this state contest will compete at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Hawaii, January 7-10, 2012. They will also receive a $250 gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. and will be guests at its annual meeting in Chicago next summer. FABCO Equipment Inc. provides 40 hours use of a FABCO 226 skid-steer loader, and Rural Mutual Insurance provides a free financial plan. The winner will also have the opportunity to take part in the WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist trip to Washington D.C. in April 2012. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation co-sponsors the Achievement Award with GROWMARK, Inc. and the Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Last year’s winners of the Achievement Award were Nathan and Karen Kling, dairy farmers from Jackson County. wisconsin farm bureau federation

Bob Hagenow

Paul Trapp


isconsin Farm Bureau members Bob Hagenow and Paul Trapp judged at World Dairy Expo this October. Rural Route caught up with them before the show to ask for their thoughts on the dairy industry and judging on the colored shavings. Hagenow served as the associate judge for the International Junior Holstein Show. He works as the dairy sales manager for Madison-based Vita Plus, Inc. where he has been employed for 25 years. He and his wife, Lisa, have two daughters, Ashley and Sara. They live on a farm near Poynette and are members of the Columbia County Farm Bureau. Trapp was the lead judge for the International Milking Shorthorn Show. He works as a regional sire analyst for ABS Global, where he has been employed for 18 years. He and his wife Sarah have two sons, Kole and Beau. They live in Taylor and are members of the Jackson County Farm Bureau.

Rural Route: How did you develop your passion for dairy cattle and the dairy industry? Bob Hagenow: Like many of my cohorts, I grew up on a farm in Manitowoc County. I did the 4-H and FFA judging. At the college level, I competed with the UW dairy judging team. It becomes part of your being, your culture, your DNA. Paul Trapp: I grew up on a registered Holstein farm in Hastings, Minnesota, where I was involved in showing and judging in 4-H and FFA. One of my first 4-H projects, a heifer named Sky-Vu Ultimate Lestwood, was named reserve Junior Champion at the World Dairy Expo in 1981. Thus, I was bit by the show bug.

Judging Dairy’s Elite Herd RR: What does being selected as a judge for World Dairy Expo mean to you? BH: It is certainly an honor. The junior Holstein show has grown a lot in numbers and to have a second judge was, in my understanding, a request from head judge Norm Nabholz to ensure that all junior exhibitors got a good look and a chance to be visited with. I believe it was a great gesture on Norm and on Expo’s part to ensure that the young members showing have a good opportunity. It’s very humbling to be asked to do that. PT: It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be asked to judge any show, but judging at World Dairy Expo will be a wonderful experience. I was extremely honored and humbled to be asked to judge. RR: What advice do you have for young people interested in a dairy career? BH: I believe the opportunity to be involved in our vibrant dairy industry has never been greater. I believe it is so

important to determine what you are really interested in because success generally will follow if you are doing something you enjoy.

PT: Work hard, be honest and diversify yourself. RR: What is your favorite aspect of World Dairy Expo? BH: As always, I’m looking forward to the chance to reengage and reconnect with so many people I’ve gotten to know over the past 25-30 years, the chance to catch up with new concepts and new ideas in the trade show area, and the chance to see great cows. I can’t forget volunteering, because many of us spend the whole week there in some capacity volunteering time. As a judge, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play a small role in some exhibitor’s life. PT: Seeing the great cows from across North America plus catching up with friends from around the globe.

october | november 2011



YFA Excellence in Ag Final 4 F

our individuals were selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag finalists and will compete in December for the top honor. “We have four of Wisconsin’s finest agriculture advocates competing in this year’s state competition. This event highlights how the finalists have greatly impacted Wisconsin agriculture and motivates others to do the same,” said the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s spokesman Casey Langan. The Excellence in Ag Award is open to Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35, who have excelled in their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations.

Jillian Beaty Rock County Jillian Beaty is an agriculture education instructor. She grew up working on her parents’ vegetable farm, where she still assists each summer. Jillian is a former state FFA officer and current Institute Class V member who strives to help students get their start in agriculture. Jillian encourages her students to think critically about the future of agriculture as it relates to them, both as consumers and as future agriculturists. In Farm Bureau, she utilizes her skills as an educator to increase agricultural literacy. Jillian lives with her husband Dale and their family in Milton.

This year’s top four contestants are:

Jenny Dierickx Dane County Jenny Dierickx 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 and returns home to help as often as her schedule allows. A graduate of UW-Madison with a degree in agricultural journalism, Jenny takes pride in her ability to communicate about products that change the face of the industry. Jenny is an extremely active member of the Dane County Farm Bureau, serving as the YFA chair and volunteering at agriculture promotion events. She also represents District 2 on the state women’s committee.


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Jennifer Digman Grant County Jennifer Digman is a senior microbiologist for Lactalis USA, a cheese company. In her role, she analyzes and ensures safety and compliance of all of the company’s dairy products. Growing up, she worked on her parents 120-cow dairy and later started her own dairy goat operation, growing to 480 goats in 2006. Today, she milks 80 does, raises Jersey steers, and has 60 laying hens in Cuba City. Digman holds a degree in animal science with an emphasis in meat and livestock from UW-Platteville along with certifications in cheese making and beginning farming. She has two children Allison, age 5 and Zoe, age 3.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Walker Meets Council of Presidents Arlaina Meyer Barron County Arlaina Meyer grew up on her family’s dairy farm where she began showing their Guernsey cattle at the age of 5. A former state FFA officer and Alice in Dairyland finalist, she graduated from UW-River Falls and began her career as an agricultural education instructor at Cumberland High School nine years ago. While her small personal dairy herd was sold in 2006, she remains close to agriculture. Recently, she started raising colonies of honeybees with her husband. The couple lives in Rice Lake with their 5-year-old son, James.

Each participant must make a PowerPoint presentation and answer questions in front of a panel of judges during the Farm Bureau’s 2011 Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference/Annual Meeting at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, December 2-5. Applicants must have derived a majority of their income from a non-production agribusiness enterprise for the past three years. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation co-sponsors these contests with GROWMARK Inc. and the Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Information and applications for the contests can be downloaded from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s website, The winners of this state contest will compete at the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Hawaii, January 7-10, 2012. They will also receive a $250 gift card from GROWMARK, Inc. and will be guests at its annual meeting in Chicago next summer. The winner will also have the opportunity to take part in the WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist trip to Washington, D.C. in April 2012. Last year’s winner of the Excellence in Ag was Andrea Brossard Martin from Dodge County.

This past August, Governor Scott Walker greeted Farm Bureau county presidents and vice presidents at the Executive Residence in Maple Bluff. The reception was part of the Council of Presidents that took place in Madison. He thanked both the Rural Mutual Insurance Company for “stepping up” for agriculture during the challenge to the state’s Right to Farm Law, and Farm Bureau for guidance on ag issues. Gov. Walker called agriculture, manufacturing and tourism our state’s “bread and butter,” and assured farmers, “There will not be one day while I’m governor that anyone messes with use value assessment.” Finally, he also showed off the cowboy hat that he had recently received at the Wisconsin State Fair, where record-setting numbers were set at the 4-H Foundation meat and youth livestock auctions.

october | november 2011



Great Day for Golf and Supporting Ag Education


eautiful weather, 139 golfers and a great course all made for a terrific 2011 Wisconsin Ag Open golf outing on September 12. The participants graciously helped support agricultural leadership development, youth activities, Ag in the Classroom and other ag-related educational activities. On top of golfing, the day included a putting contest, hole contests, food and fellowship, a silent auction and door prizes. Mark your calendar for next year’s Ag Open on September 10, 2012 at The Oaks in Cottage Grove.

Foundation Activities Await You at the Annual Meeting

Thank you to the following sponsors: Club House Sponsors of $1,000 • American Agricultural Insurance Company • Aon Benfield • Mortenson, Matzelle & Meldrum • Rural Mutual Insurance Company • Stroud, Willink, and Howard, LLC • Xcel Energy Hole Sponsors of $500 • GROWMARK, Inc • Investors Community Bank – Roger Sinkula • Kennedy Communications • Strohm Ballweg, LLP • Sygenta • Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board Tee Box Sponsors of $300 • David Paulson • Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board


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Kevin Skemp concentrates on sinking his putt during the Wisconsin Ag Open’s putting contest. Frontier FS has supported a team to benefit the Farm Bureau Foundation each year along with many other companies, commodity groups, individuals and county Farm Bureaus.

Door Prize Donors • Capital Planning – Jerry Lothrop • Coakley Tech • Jerry Lothrop • John and Darlene Arneson • Jim’s Cheese • Roger Cliff • Rural Mutual Insurance Company • Sand County Foundation • Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

A highlight for many Annual Meeting attendees is the WFB Foundation’s silent auction. Thanks to the generosity of members, county Farm Bureaus, businesses and sponsors, a large selection of items will be offered again this year. Bidding starts at noon on Saturday and will end at the start of the second half of the Green Bay Packer game on Sunday afternoon. The last chance to bid will be during the half-time tailgate buffet. Note cards designed by artist Betty Engel along with children’s books will be for sale in the trade show area. Packets of 20 cards and envelopes are available for $10. All of these items make great Christmas presents, all while benefiting the agricultural education and leadership programs that the WFB Foundation supports.

on the web Donate an item for the silent auction. Forms can be downloaded at

wisconsin farm bureau federation

nsin Dear Wisco

eau: Farm Bur

er, I am comes clos ir fa he t ns to me. s A t 4-H mea ha w of on all reminded l center il w ch ee the My 4-H sp nces and ful experie er d r. on be w em y m as a m ies I had it his t un t d or ar p w op Key A -H 4 he t ially Receiving I am espec or n ho an year was for your Thank you . of service. d ou r p noring 4-H ho d an sponsorship hter Kelsey Ric unty Co Waukesha

The Lodi FFA Chapter would like to thank the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation for sponsoring the Wisconsin FFA Food for America Award. Support from groups like yours helps FFA members realize the importance of the work they are doing and motivates them to continue to offer and improve their chapter activiti es. The Lodi FFA Chapter is grateful for your sponsorship and your interest in recognizing our success. Nathani el Nolden Lodi FFA President

Notice of Annual Meeting of Rural Mutual Insurance Company In accordance with the bylaws and pursuant to the direction of the Board of Directors, the undersigned President hereby gives notice that the Annual Meeting of members of Rural Mutual Insurance Company will convene on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. in the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Bill Bruins, President.

Giving Opportunities The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation would like to thank all of those who contributed in 2011. As the year draws to a close, Farm Bureau members and supporters are encouraged to consider the Foundation in their charitable contributions. We offer several opportunities to make donations through annual contributions, memorials and “In Honor of� gifts, the Learn and Lead programs, and estate planning through the gift of stocks, bonds or real estate. For more information, visit

Statement of Ownership

Notice of Annual Meeting of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Cooperative In accordance with the bylaws and pursuant to the direction of the Board of Directors, the undersigned President hereby gives notice that the Annual Meeting of members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Cooperative, will convene on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. in the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Bill Bruins, President.

october | november 2011


ag in the classroom


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

Crops at the Root of Essay Contest Topic essay coordinator. A list of coordinators is also available on the newly revamped A state winner will be selected from nine district winners in May by the WFBF’s Women’s Committee. Each district winner will receive a classroom presentation in May for their entire class (or homeroom). The contest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Frontier FS, We Energies and WFBF. Last year nearly 2,000 students participated. Ag in the Classroom is designed to help students in kindergarten through high school understand the importance of agriculture. It is coordinated by the WFBF in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

“Why crops and plants are important to Wisconsin agriculture.” That’s the topic of the new essay contest from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program. “Students in fourth and fifth grade will be able to share their thoughts, feelings and information about Wisconsin’s agricultural, horticultural, fruit, vegetable and other specialty crops,” explained Darlene Arneson, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator. “Researching the topic will help students learn more about soil, germination, harvesting and processing of the crops that feed humans and animals.” The essays must be between 100 to 300 words in length and will be judged on content, grammar, spelling and neatness. All contest rules, lesson plans and sample classroom activities are located at or by contacting Arneson at 608.828.5719 or Participating students and schools need to submit essays by April 1 to their county Farm Bureau


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wisconsin farm bureau federation

ag in the classroom

‘Seed Soil Sun’ is Farm Bureau’s Book of the Year


eed Soil Sun has been chosen as the 2012 Book of the Year by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Ag in the Classroom program. This book, written by Cris Peterson, a Wisconsin dairy farmer, focuses on how plants and crops are grown. “Seed Soil Sun is a great selection for the Book of the Year honor with its beautiful photography and information about soil, germination and other factors related to plant and crop growth,” said Darlene Arneson, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator. Farm Bureau member volunteers utilize the Ag in the Classroom program to educate Wisconsin youth about where their food comes from and the importance of agriculture in their lives. Seed Soil Sun describes the process by which air and water combine with seed, soil and sunlight to create nearly all the food we eat. Using the corn plant as an example, Peterson takes the reader through the story of germination and growth of a tiny corn seed into a giant plant reaching high into the air with roots extending over six feet into the ground. The book brings both wonder and clarity to the subject of agriculture, celebrating the cycle of growth, harvest and renewal. Cris Peterson, along with her husband, Gary, and son, Ben, own and operate Four Cubs Farm near Grantsburg in Burnett County, where they milk 700 cows and farm nearly 1,500 acres of land. It is not the first time that WFBF’s Women’s Committee has chosen Peterson’s work as their Book of the Year. Extra Cheese Please was among the original set of books chosen for the

Ag in the Classroom library in 1994. Since then, Harvest Year was selected in 1998, Century Farm in 2000, Amazing Grazing in 2003, Fantastic Farm Machines in 2010 and Clarabelle was last year’s pick. This year’s selection corresponds with Ag in the Classroom’s essay contest topic, ‘Why crops and plants are important to Wisconsin agriculture.’ The book and essay topic will educate youth about the soil’s connection to growing crops and feeding humans and animals. Copies of Seed Soil Sun are available from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation for $15 per copy plus

shipping. Order forms are available at Activity guides developed for the book accompany orders. For more information, contact Darlene Arneson at 608.828.5719.

Seed Soil Sun and other children’s books will be available at the Annual Meeting for $15 in the trade show area.

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

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

october | november 2011


ag in the classroom

Farm Bureau Member Named State’s Teacher of the Year


arm Bureau member Bradley Markhardt has been named Wisconsin’s High School Teacher of the Year for the 2011-’12 school year. The agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor at Black River Falls High School received $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation. “Teachers who receive this award are recognized by their peers, students, and parents as caring, committed educators,” State School Superintendent Tony Evers said at an all-school assembly where Markhardt was surprised with the award. One of many opportunities Markhardt has developed with community partners for his students is a Land Lab. The threeacre plot includes research plots and student and community gardens. With the help of local professionals, his students learn to lay survey lines, build a deer fence, amend the soil and construct an irrigation system that catches rain water. “While there are definitely challenges, I do see many positive things happening in education today,” Markhardt said. “I see


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students getting involved, motivated to excel, excited by the opportunities we present to them.” A member of the Jackson County Farm Bureau, Markhardt earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and La Crosse. Portions of this story are reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Ag Connection.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


news resources for teachers

educational resources to explore

Ag in the Classroom Opportunities

Our three essay contest sponsors provide excellent educational resources: We Energies – – We Energies has classroom and online science programs for grades K-12, teacher workshops, classroom and safety lessons and other resources to help educate the public about natural resources and energy. Explore videos, kits, games, fun facts and more on their website. Wisconsin Dairy Council – – The Wisconsin Dairy Council, the nutrition education arm of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, has six regional program managers throughout Wisconsin who work with school foodservice staff, teachers and volunteers to encourage Wisconsin students to drink milk with every school meal. WDC staff also work with Wisconsin’s Alice in Dairyland and state media outlets to educate Wisconsin residents about the role of dairy products in a healthy diet. The website offers a variety of downloadable resources. Frontier FS – – Various sections of this website educate teachers and students, especially on the middle and high school levels, about a variety of agricultural topics. Career information, renewable energy, nutrient management and a variety of topics covered in the newsletters provide technical resources that can be used in science, agriculture, biology and other subject areas.

Training our teachers and volunteers is a major component of Ag in the Classroom. Two opportunities await those that have an interest in getting involved or improving their county programs. WFBF Annual Meeting Workshop Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom will offer an afternoon workshop at the WFBF Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on Sunday, December 4. The workshop will focus on the many educational resources available through Ag in the Classroom, commodity groups and other organizations. A panel discussion of successful county programs and input from the audience will provide many ideas for county programs to try in their local programs, classroom presentations, farm tours and other outreach. National Ag in the Classroom Conference This national conference will be held June 19-22, 2012 in Loveland, Colorado. There are many opportunities for volunteers, teachers and others involved in ag literacy to learn about educational resources, take tours and network with others. Visit to learn more. For more on Ag in the Classroom, visit

october | november 2011


ag in the classroom

Summer Photos


A look back on Ag in the Classroom happenings from this past summer.




Fun at the State Fair

State Fair Camp hosted more than 350 urban youth during three separate days of camp. The program, with financial and staff support from Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom, offers youth an opportunity to experience the fair and learn about agriculture and natural resources. State fair campers visited the Master Gardeners, 4-H Activity Stations, Discovery Barnyard, Farm and Family Building, animal safety demonstrations, Saz’s Racing Pigs, DNR park, livestock barns, and took a ride down The Big Slide.


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Pizza Challenge Winners

Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom sponsors the ‘Wonderful Wisconsin Pizza Challenge’ at the Wisconsin State Fair. Anything goes on the pizza masterpieces as long as they showcase Wisconsin produce, dairy, meats and spices. Winners included: 1st Prize - Wisconsin Cordon Bleu Pizza by Elaine Mason, Oconomowoc; 2nd Prize - Royal Pheasant Pizza by Terry Magestro, Oak Creek; and 3rd Place - Creamy Riccota Spinach Pizza by Margaret Paetow, Franklin.

wisconsin farm bureau federation


Educating at the County Fair Ag in the Classroom displays and activity stations were a part of many county fairs this summer. Here, a Dane County 4-H member placed a Fun Face of Wisconsin Agriculture tattoo on a child at the Dane County Fair’s Agri-versity in Madison.





Sunflower Maze

Washington County Ag in the Classroom operates the AgAdventureland throughout the Washington County Fair. A host of AITC volunteers, teaming with the Master Gardeners and other groups, offer a variety of activities for fairgoers to enjoy. A sunflower maze offers a fun and manageable alternative to a corn maze at the fair.

Teacher Training by the Pond

A tour of Cool Water Farms, LLC near Deerfield allowed teachers to learn how yellow perch are raised. Rich DePalmo, Milwaukee Vincent High School science teacher, and Jim Held, Aquaculture Outreach Specialist, looked at the shading structures on the outdoor ponds. Other stops included a career awareness discussion at Frontier FS in Jefferson and a dairy farm tour at Jim Renn’s in Waukesha County. All Wisconsin teachers have the option of taking summer training for undergraduate or graduate credits with UWRiver Falls or as an in-service option.

october | november 2011


rural mutual


WIAA Sportsmanship Award Rural Mutual Recognized as One of Winners Announced Nation’s Best


ural Mutual Insurance Company announces its selection as a “Ward’s 50® Top Performer.” This marks the third consecutive year the company, an affiliate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, has earned the designation. The recognition bestowed by the Ward Group, “a leading provider of benchmarking and best practices research studies for insurance companies,” chooses its recipients only after a financial performance analysis of over 3,000 property-casualty companies based in the United States. “For over 75 years we have only done business in Wisconsin, so our stability is truly a credit to the people of this great state,” says Peter Pelizza, CEO of Rural Mutual. “Premiums paid here, stay here so everyone benefits.” The Ward Group considers multiple criteria for its award including trends in a company’s financial strength over the previous five years. In March, Rural Mutual released its 2010 financials, which featured a strong showing in key industry indicators such as direct premium growth, combined ratios and new policies. Pelizza notes that while the company’s most recent performance is noteworthy, it takes more than one good year to be in the running. “Three years is a long time to sustain that kind of momentum,” adds Pelizza. “But for us, our agents and our customers, it’s a trend worth working to build on for years to come.”


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he WIAA announced the winners of the WIAA/ Rural Mutual Insurance Company Sportsmanship Award for the 2011 Spring/ Summer State Championships. The winners of the prestigious award are Pardeeville for spring baseball and West Salem for summer baseball, Stevens Point Pacelli for girl’s softball, Norte Dame for girl’s soccer and Kenosha Tremper for boy’s tennis. Rural Mutual has sponsored the WIAA Sportsmanship Award since 1964. The WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school and community in each of the state team tournaments. The award winners are determined by the conduct and sportsmanship displayed by athletes, coaches, cheer and support groups, mascots, bands and spectators. Additional consideration is given for the effort of school administrators and chaperones to insure support for their teams are positive and that the highest ideals of sportsmanship are upheld. Award winners receive a plaque and banner in recognition of the honor. The selection process includes contributions and evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers, WIAA staff members, area hotels and restaurants.

Rural Mutual Announces New Partnership Agreement We are pleased to announce a new long-term partnership between Rural Mutual and Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. Partnering with Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company gives us the opportunity to leverage our companies’ 18-year relationship to deliver best-in-class life insurance and annuity products alongside Rural Mutual’s industry leading P&C products to meet the comprehensive needs of Wisconsin residents.

wisconsin farm bureau federation

Peace of mind for life

Ensuring financial security for you and

those you care about most is more important than ever. Life insurance can help provide that security, along with guarantees1 and peace of mind. Contact your Rural Mutual Insurance agent to review your life insurance needs and learn how we can help you secure your family’s financial future.

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

The guarantees expressed are based on the claims-paying ability of Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company/West Des Moines, IA. © 2011 FBL Financial Group, Inc. LI141-WI (8-11)


Rural Mutual

october | november 2011

Insurance Company


pRemIums paId heRe, stay heRe keep wIsconsIn stRong Rural Mutual Insurance, a Farm Bureau Service, does business in only one state… Wisconsin. Because of that focus we are the number one insurer of farms in our state. But our recognition goes beyond farms. Due to our strong financial position Rural Mutual has been recognized for the second consecutive year as one of the Top 50 Property and Casualty Insurers in America. Locate one of our 150 agents today at

RuRal. It’s not wheRe you lIve, It’s what you value.

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October | November, 2011 Volume 17 Issue 5

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