Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation https://wfbf.com A Voice for Farmers. A Vision for Agriculture.® Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:37:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wfbf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-fb-32x32.jpg Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation https://wfbf.com 32 32 Do Farm Tours Have Value? https://wfbf.com/food-and-farming/do-farm-tours-have-value/ https://wfbf.com/food-and-farming/do-farm-tours-have-value/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:31:22 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32579 Have you ever wondered if inviting people to your farm has value? Have you ever wondered if it is worth your time, resources and energy to coordinate a farm tour? I am passionate about connecting consumers with the farmers who raise their food because I am a visual learner. Give me a book with all […]

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Have you ever wondered if inviting people to your farm has value? Have you ever wondered if it is worth your time, resources and energy to coordinate a farm tour?

I am passionate about connecting consumers with the farmers who raise their food because I am a visual learner. Give me a book with all the information in the world and I won’t retain a thing. Send me out to do something hands on and I will amaze myself with how much information I remember and feel more closely connected to the folks involved with the learning activity.

I will be the first to admit that even though I am passionate about connecting farmers and consumers, I have wondered if farm tours are effective. What do people learn on tours? Are they worth the time?

I was shown a tour’s effectiveness recently when I was invited to tag along on the Wisconsin Beef Council’s Farm to Fork Tour co-sponsored by Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association. The tour was part of a pre-conference offering during the 2018 Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference. Nearly 30 dietitians from across Wisconsin elected to participate in this optional tour because they had a desire to meet the farmers who are raising our food. Some had been on farms previously, while others had never stepped foot on a farm.

I took my place on the charter bus next to one of the attendees and started asking her about her job. She told me the things she enjoys about being a dietitian and some of the challenges. I was surprised to hear her say she is frustrated by the many ‘gray’ areas in nutrition. Specifically, she noted frustration with the ever-growing list of foods that are supposedly bad for you, cause cancer, take years off lives and in general the confusion created by unnecessary food labels. She jokingly stated that at least oatmeal is ‘safe’, so she can continue to enjoy that.

We had a great conversation about how farmers are frustrated by some of the same things (such as GMO-free salt, Gluten-Free water, etc.)

After a few minutes she shared that she grew up on a small farm in Wisconsin. This opened up more conversations because her family had cows, pigs and chickens so we talked about her life on a small diversified hobby farm. Then we talked about my passion for raising pigs and how it drove me into my college studies and job directly following. After sharing that I worked on a large pig farm after college, she began to quiz me about modern pig farms as she knows of a new barn being built.

A few of the topics we covered were manure management, a farm’s environmental impact, impact on farmers and rural residents and general care/health of the animals. She mentioned that she was most impressed with the technology farmers are utilizing to reduce their environmental impact while also making use of manure as a source of nutrients for their crops.

Our group had three tour stops, Alsum Farms and Produce, Hilltop Dairy and Next Generation Genetics – all of which happen to be Wisconsin Farm Bureau members. We had a jam-packed day of learning about three of Wisconsin’s agricultural commodities – potatoes, dairy and beef. I certainly learned a lot but am always most energized by the excitement the farmer tour guides have for their line of work.

On the bus ride home, I asked my seat partner what her biggest take away from the day was and she didn’t take long to reply. She said, “I never realized how much science went into farming.”

I give kudos to the tour guides for not shying away from any topic. They made it evident that nothing was off limits and that they would talk through any or all topics related to farming. They talked about hormones and shared that many of the foods we eat, even vegetables have naturally occurring hormones. Another topic of interest was antibiotics and how farmers are using them in a responsible manner. The openness of the conversation coupled with being on the farm and seeing the farmer demonstrate or talk through how the animals are identified and cared for, until their meat or milk can enter the food supply again, was incredibly transparent.

My biggest takeaway from the day was that we cannot be afraid to open farms for tour groups. There are folks out there who just want to see what we do every day and ask us some questions first hand. No one in our tour group was confrontational, no one was rude or ungrateful. In fact, they were the exact opposite. After getting off the bus for a final time, I saw many attendees thank the staff responsible for putting the tour together and saw smiles all around, even after a long day.

Agriculture is a consumer-driven market and consumers are further removed from the farm than ever before. Be bold and make a connection with a group of dietitians, foodies, a local mom group or anyone else interested in learning more about food. You don’t need to host a large group, you just need to have a meaningful conversation with a few people who will share your story with their friends.


Sarah Marketon

Sarah Marketon serves as the Director of Communication for Wisconsin Farm Bureau. She is a Minnesota native and an active member of the swine industry, which sparked her interest in helping farmers share their story. She is passionate about answering consumers’ questions about how food is raised and encouraging farmers to engage in those conversations.

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True Leadership Doesn’t Require A Title https://wfbf.com/general-agriculture/true-leadership-doesnt-require-a-title/ https://wfbf.com/general-agriculture/true-leadership-doesnt-require-a-title/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:13:19 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32564 Leadership- are you born with it or molded into it? Some say it’s one or the other and some also say it’s a mixture of both. Whatever the case may be, a true leader does not need a title to make an impact. Leadership always presents itself to us in one fashion or another and […]

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Leadership- are you born with it or molded into it?

Some say it’s one or the other and some also say it’s a mixture of both. Whatever the case may be, a true leader does not need a title to make an impact. Leadership always presents itself to us in one fashion or another and I feel that agriculture is one of the greatest fields where leadership opportunities are presented to everyone, title or not.

I remember growing up on our small farm, looking out to our fields and dreaming of one day being the farmer out on the tractor with the lights beaming through the thick dust late at night. Looking back at it now, 20 years later, there were so many people that may not have known it, but they led me to where I am today. And in some ways, I think all of us have those people. Those people who pushed us, tested us, helped us achieve something greater than we thought we could reach at that time. For some it may have been the old woodshop teacher or the assistant coach, but for me there is a different person that stands out – an individual involved with my local 4-H group that led me to be the person I am to today. 

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the traditional leaders of our group that I’m referring to. It wasn’t the appointed leaders that drove me to work harder, to push myself to learn more and teach others. Looking back now on it, it was the father of some of my best friends that turned out to be the leaders I never expected. This man took time to understand what we needed, as individuals in our 4-H group, he sacrificed his time and opened his farms to teach us the passion, commitment and dedication within the agricultural field. He never asked for anything in return. He never once asked for recognition but was always right there to help. While other appointed leaders stood by the sidelines, this man took charge and got members of our group to do things you would never even imagine them doing.

I didn’t understand it at the time, but what he was doing was leading us to be  greater people and work for the bigger picture as we grew into the adults. This man led me from being that boy dreaming about becoming a farmer, to taking the steps to becoming the farmer in the tractor. For those of you involved in clubs and organizations such as 4-H, don’t think that you need a title to lead our future young farmers to do great things. All you have to do is show them you’re willing to understand them and guide them to ideas that they may not think of on their own. Just taking the time to show up and give advice or direction is enough to push them to work harder and reach for bigger goals.

One day these kids will look back and understand what the bigger picture was and how unperceived leadership guided them to do more and share the bigger picture with others. One day they will come up to you with a handshake, or a hug, and thank you for everything you did that went unnoticed, and that’s the day you’ll know that leading without a title is one of the greatest fruits of your labor.


Andrew Dal Santo

Andrew Dal Santo grew up on his family’s 100 acre farm right on the Wisconsin-Illinois state line in South Beloit, Ill. He was active in track and 4-H during high school. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Platteville in 2014, majoring in agricultural business with an emphasis in agricultural engineering, and a minor in building construction management. Andrew now works for Reddy Ag and Ross Soil Service in Southwest Wisconsin as their Precision Ag Consultant. He has been involved with Wisconsin Farm Bureau for four  years and takes part in discussion meets as well as other activities. Andrew is a part of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute and looks forward to learning and growing within the organization and is excited for the opportunities that will come his way.He is also currently working on expanding his Angus beef herd and hopes to one day own his own bison herd. 

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Ignites Spark in Local Leaders https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-ignites-spark-in-local-leaders/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-ignites-spark-in-local-leaders/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:26:08 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32559 Last week Wisconsin Farm Bureau hosted its first IGNITE Conference at Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point. Co-sponsored by Rural Mutual Insurance Company, IGNITE stands for Innovate, Grow, Network, Inform, Train and Engage. With about 175 members in attendance, the conference gave attendees the opportunity to build leadership skills to strengthen county Farm Bureaus. […]

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Last week Wisconsin Farm Bureau hosted its first IGNITE Conference at Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point. Co-sponsored by Rural Mutual Insurance Company, IGNITE stands for Innovate, Grow, Network, Inform, Train and Engage. With about 175 members in attendance, the conference gave attendees the opportunity to build leadership skills to strengthen county Farm Bureaus.

The conference began on April 5 with New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau’s Executive Vice President Matt Rush. Rush talked about the “snake in your bumper” which explained the challenges people face but may keep hidden. The evening banquet’s speaker was Indiana farmer Damian Mason who entertained the audience with his humorous views on farming and food.

The conference offered four tracks: policy, issues and advocacy; governance and organization, building Farm Bureau and communicating for agriculture and Farm Bureau. Attendees could follow a certain track or divide their time between multiple tracks. More than 20 breakout sessions were offered. Sessions included updates on the 2018 Farm Bill and trade, consumer outreach tactics, member recruitment and many more.

“The breakout sessions at the IGNITE conference were great,” said Jackson County Farm Bureau member Darby Sampson. “Along with bringing back a new idea for our Ag in the Classroom program, I also learned that our county Farm Bureau needs to be more involved with local issues and work closer with county and town boards.”

During the morning general session on April 6, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Sheila Harsdorf shared her insight on the current state of Wisconsin’s agricultural economy. The conference ended with Virginia farmer and motivational speaker Matt Lohr who inspired attendees to “lift the limits.”

The next IGNITE conference will be held March 26-27, 2020, at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton.

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Women in Ag Are Rooted in Family https://wfbf.com/general-agriculture/women-in-ag-are-rooted-in-family/ https://wfbf.com/general-agriculture/women-in-ag-are-rooted-in-family/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:49:52 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32553 From growing up on a hog and cash grain farm in Northern Illinois, as well as, my current role as a financial officer with Compeer Financial, proud member of the Farm Credit System, I am a strong believer of the role women play within the agricultural community and on family farms.   In my role […]

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From growing up on a hog and cash grain farm in Northern Illinois, as well as, my current role as a financial officer with Compeer Financial, proud member of the Farm Credit System, I am a strong believer of the role women play within the agricultural community and on family farms.  

In my role as a financial officer, I get the opportunity to meet and speak with lots of people from all walks of life. A short time ago I met with a more seasoned couple looking for financing for their family dairy farm. They comfortably conversed about their business and the husband did most of the talking so I adjusted my approach accordingly. 

As the conversation turned toward balance sheet updates and other financial information it was clear that the husband couldn’t provide the answers needed about what they owned and owed. The wife was able to fill in the gaps, and after a few minutes she stated that she completes all the farm bookwork, but that she wasn’t an active participant on the farm – she “just” did the bookwork. She primarily worked off farm for most of their married life while the husband stayed home and did the farm work.

After hearing this, I looked at her and replied “You ‘just’ do the bookwork?” She looked somewhat deflated at my reply but agreed. I took the opportunity to tell her that she should never discount herself doing the bookwork for the farm again. Doing the bookwork is a notable and very important role in the TEAM that comprises herself, her husband and the next generation. I also mentioned that if she doesn’t stand up for herself, no one else will and that she isn’t just a farmwife, she’s a farmHer. She seemed to appreciate these sentiments, and I could tell I had thrown her husband for a loop as no one had stated that to them before.

I went on to tell them that I was raised on a hog and cash grain farm where my mom had a full time, off-farm job AND did the bookwork for our farm. She did not engage in hog chores often due to her allergies, yet she is an integral part of the team. My dad relies on her to keep track of all of their income, expenditures, assets and liabilities. Just the same way my mom relies on my dad to make sure he tells her when he buys a load of hogs or sells corn.

My parents just celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary March 12. My mom was not raised on a farm but throughout the last 41 years, she has become a farmHer. She was the driving force in making sure my sister and I were treated the same as our two brothers growing up. My sister and I were able to learn how to vaccinate hogs at an early age and rose to the challenge when we could haul a wheelbarrow of feed as full as our brothers. On the contrary, my brothers have also learned how to cook and clean, and they have become better husbands because of this.

As a woman in agriculture I do feel the inequality amongst my male counterparts but I hope as we work together we can continue paving the way for the next generation. I was surprised to learn that only 31% of Wisconsin farmers are women (usda.gov) and that amounts to 33,184 farmHers in the state of Wisconsin. I’m happy to work for a company that celebrates women and their achievements on the farm. Within my role at Compeer Financial, I have come across many female clients that fit the demographic of being the primary borrower on their loan. I respect those clients as much as I respect the husband and wife duo working side-by-side whether physically or financially. My hope is that Farm Bureau will continue to work with its agriculture partners to offer programs and events that help decrease the agriculture gap for women.


 Alison Kepner serves at the District 2 representative on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. She grew up on a hog and crop farm in northern Illinois and currently works for Compeer Financial.

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Unveils New Website https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-unveils-new-website/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-unveils-new-website/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 20:51:36 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32549 Wisconsin Farm Bureau is pleased to announce the launch of a newly-redesigned website. The updated website was launched in mid-March and can be viewed at www.wfbf.com. “One major goal with this redesign was to provide easy navigation for our visitors. We want them to quickly locate the information they need,” said WFBF’s Director of Communications […]

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau is pleased to announce the launch of a newly-redesigned website. The updated website was launched in mid-March and can be viewed at www.wfbf.com.

“One major goal with this redesign was to provide easy navigation for our visitors. We want them to quickly locate the information they need,” said WFBF’s Director of Communications Sarah Marketon.

Highlights of the redesigned website include:

Online membership application: Now prospective Farm Bureau members can join online by filling out a form located at wfbf.com. The website allows you to easily pay by credit card.

Mobile-friendly: According to the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Now the WFBF website users will be able to access the website effortlessly from a mobile device.

Member Perspectives:  Website visitors will be able to read posts written by Wisconsin Farm Bureau members and other industry experts about topics ranging from food, family and policy development through the revamped WFBF blog section.

Information: Current members and prospective members can learn more about member benefits, programs, events and recent news. The website also features a section dedicated to current issues where members can learn more about what the organization is working on and see the progress being made on the featured pieces of legislation.

The website was redesigned by Madison-based Midwest Digital Marketing.

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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Statement on Trade and Tariffs https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-statement-on-trade-and-tariffs/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-statement-on-trade-and-tariffs/#respond Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:58:26 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32546 This is a statement that can be attributed to Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte on the proposed tariffs and trade with China: “Wisconsin farmers greatly benefit from trade. Wisconsin Farm Bureau has been a long-time supporter of open markets and fair trade because our farmers can and should be able to compete in a […]

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This is a statement that can be attributed to Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte on the proposed tariffs and trade with China:

“Wisconsin farmers greatly benefit from trade. Wisconsin Farm Bureau has been a long-time supporter of open markets and fair trade because our farmers can and should be able to compete in a global market place.

The most recent retaliation threat from China is alarming to say the least. With nearly $300 million of Wisconsin agricultural goods exported to China every year the state’s economy would most definitely see an impact if these threats became a reality. China and the U.S. need to focus on an agreement that will benefit both country’s interest.”

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Meet: Brian Preder https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-brian-preder/ https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-brian-preder/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 20:14:08 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32532 YFA Chair Advocates for Young Leaders in Agriculture To say Brian Preder is a people person is an understatement. That might be why he has found himself in a variety of management roles during his career and was selected as chair of the state Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee. The 34-year-old grew up on a […]

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YFA Chair Advocates for Young Leaders in Agriculture

To say Brian Preder is a people person is an understatement. That might be why he has found himself in a variety of management roles during his career and was selected as chair of the state Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee.

The 34-year-old grew up on a farm in Weyauwaga in Waupaca County. A typical farm-kid, his earliest memory is looking down the barn alley while his parents milked cows. He also remembers riding his bike down the barn ally and later, not being able to keep up with his dad while stacking hay bales.

“You learned very quickly how to have your fun, but still get the work done,” Preder said.

Like many other farm kids, Brian was involved in 4-H and FFA.

“The largest influence both organizations had on me was leadership development and networking,” he said. “It’s not until you reflect on your involvement in 4-H and FFA that you realize the positive influence these organizations had in making you the person you are today.”

 Involvement in those youth groups led Brian to show dairy cattle, which fueled his love for working with animals and people.

“Showing dairy was a big part of my summers,” he said. “There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes from the time spent training and preparing for the show.”

Since the county fair was such a big part of his summers Brian gives back to the cause, serving as the milk house manager at the Waupaca County Fair. This role allows him to still spend a week living the ‘fair life’ he enjoyed as a youth.

Members from northeastern Wisconsin discussed topics they wanted to cover in their legislative visit.

You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead

After graduating from Weyauwega-Fremont High School he headed to UW-River Falls set to dive into his degrees of dairy science and computer science. Yes, you read that right. Computer science.

“It was during my first semester when I decided that computer science was not for me. It was a simple decision when I was in my dorm room making a box bounce around a screen for my Java programming class and glanced outside during the beautiful spring weather. There was no way I was going to make it,” Brian said with a laugh. “Not many people know I started college pursuing that degree.”

During and after college Brian worked a variety of jobs such as being a member of a custom harvesting crew and working at a local cheese plant doing everything from hooping to packaging cheese. In 2006, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science. After working back on the family farm for several years, he decided to take a job at a large dairy as a herd manager.

“I learned a lot about people management in that role,” Brian said. “Yes, I was the herd manager, but ultimately I was making sure the crew was taken care of and had everything they needed.”

Brian is responsible for bulls, facilities and staff at GENEX’s Shawano location.

Now you can find him working at GENEX in Shawano.

“I never thought I would end up working for an artificial insemination company in the production division,” he said.

Brian is the Wisconsin production manager at GENEX where he oversees three areas and about 25 people. He is responsible for bulls, facilities and staff at the Shawano location, which also is the headquarters.

“I’m still involved in agriculture, just on a different side of the industry,” said Brian. “Being responsible for bulls instead of cows has been a big change. It’s a change that provides me challenges and opportunities to constantly learn. The best part though, is much like a dairy farm, every day is a little different.”

The Farm Bureau Experience

Brian explains his beginning in Farm Bureau as being ‘volun-told’ to join and participate in the YFA Discussion Meet.

“I had a few friends who were involved in or working for Farm Bureau and still are,” he said. “They were pretty adamant I join and become involved and I’m glad I did.”

Brian talked with WFBF Board member Adam Kuczer following a legislative meeting in Washington, D.C.

A college friend signed him up as a member and after being asked to try the Discussion Meet by then District 7 YFA representative Adam Kuczer, he was officially involved.

“That same year I was elected as the YFA chair for Waupaca County and now here I am serving as state YFA chair,” said Brian.

If you can imagine, Brian’s favorite part of being involved in Farm Bureau is meeting new people.

“I really love the networking opportunities that Farm Bureau gives me,” he said. “Especially now that I am chair, I get to meet lots of young people from around the country involved in agriculture. Where else will you get that chance?”

To Brian, YFA gives young agriculturists a chance to sit across a table with someone who has had “different experiences but the same passion.”

Brian has participated in Ag Day at the Capitol and Washington, D.C., fly-ins and has served on the WFBF Dairy and Policy Development committees.

“Besides the networking, being represented on Capitol Hill is a great reason to join Farm Bureau,” Brian said. In general, he appreciates that Farm Bureau is about its members.

“Farm Bureau is a membership organization so member recruitment is important. Specifically, the YFA program brings in young members with new ideas, which is exciting,” he said.

In his role as state YFA chair, Brian is on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

“In the boardroom, members are always considered first, which really impresses me,” Brian said. “The membership’s best interest is always front-of-mind and since I represent YFA my role is to represent the young members in our organization.”

Being involved in many volunteer groups through the years Brian admires those who volunteer time and effort toward a cause, which might be why he dedicates his spare time to a volunteer organization like Farm Bureau.

“Who I look up to is not one specific person; it’s a group of people,” said Brian. “The people who stick out in my mind are the people who volunteer their time. These are the people who are willing to take time out of their day to make sure someone else can have fun, network or develop skills. These volunteers are who I look up to.”

Brian will serve as the state YFA chair until the 2018 WFBF Annual Meeting in December when a new chair will assume the role and seat on the WFBF Board of Directors. After his time as YFA chair, Brian plans to remain active in Farm Bureau and continue to advocate for young leaders in agriculture. To learn more about Wisconsin’s YFA program visit wfbf.com/programs/young-farmer-and-agriculturist-program.

Story and photos by Amy Eckelberg. Original version appeared in the April|May 2018 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route.

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New Member Appointed to Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-member-appointed-to-farm-bureaus-promotion-and-education-committee/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-member-appointed-to-farm-bureaus-promotion-and-education-committee/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 16:59:19 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32509 Jacki Moegenburg of Ozaukee County has been appointed to Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee by the state Board of Directors. She will fill out the term previously held by George Mroch of Walworth County. “Jacki’s passion for connecting people of all ages to agriculture makes her the perfect fit for the Promotion and […]

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Jacki Moegenburg of Ozaukee County has been appointed to Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee by the state Board of Directors. She will fill out the term previously held by George Mroch of Walworth County.

“Jacki’s passion for connecting people of all ages to agriculture makes her the perfect fit for the Promotion and Education committee,” Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte said.

Jacki owns Roden Barnyard Adventures, an agritourism business based on her family’s dairy farm in West Bend. After graduating from UW – River Falls in 2013, Jacki found her spot back in the family business by opening the farm for tours to community members. She has a strong passion for agriculture and education and is excited to share her passion and agricultural lifestyle with consumers of all ages. Jacki and her husband, Brett, enjoy being able to raise their daughter, Gracelyn, around the family’s farm. Jacki is active in her county Farm Bureau, secretary of the county Dairy Promotion group and a 4-H leader. She will represent District 1 on the Promotion and Education Committee. District 1 includes the counties of Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.

The Promotion and Education Committee is a group of nine leaders who represent the nine Wisconsin Farm Bureau districts. Committee members develop, implement and promote projects and programs which build awareness and understanding of agriculture and provide leadership development for the agricultural community. 

The committee’s chair, Andrea Brossard of Burnett, sits on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board of Directors as the program’s representative. Additional committee members include Vice-Chair Darby Sampson of Melrose, Katie Roth of Platteville, Lynn Dickman of Plover, Rosalie Geiger of Reedsville, Katelin Steege of Hortonville, and Kay Gilbertson of Elk Mound. The Promotion and Education Program is funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.

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Volunteers for Agriculture® Endorse Judge Michael Screnock for Supreme Court https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/volunteers-for-agriculture-endorse-judge-michael-screnock-for-supreme-court/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/volunteers-for-agriculture-endorse-judge-michael-screnock-for-supreme-court/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 13:49:46 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32495 The Volunteers for Agriculture (VFA) Committee has endorsed Judge Michael Screnock in the April 3 election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. “Judge Michael Screnock has a solid understanding of the issues affecting farmers and rural Wisconsin residents, especially when it comes to land use, zoning and water issues,” said Doug Rebout, a Rock County dairy […]

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The Volunteers for Agriculture (VFA) Committee has endorsed Judge Michael Screnock in the April 3 election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

“Judge Michael Screnock has a solid understanding of the issues affecting farmers and rural Wisconsin residents, especially when it comes to land use, zoning and water issues,” said Doug Rebout, a Rock County dairy and crop farmer and chair of the VFA Committee. “More importantly, we believe Judge Screnock will read and interpret the law as it’s written.”

Screnock was born and raised in Wisconsin and currently serves as a Sauk County Circuit Court Judge.

“We value his private sector experience mixed with his judicial experience and his understanding of rural Wisconsin,” Rebout added. “We believe he will be a fair and impartial jurist for any agricultural issues that may come before his court.”

Comprised of 18 farmers from across the state, the VFA Committee is Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s political action committee. VFA was formed to give farmers a more direct role in electing leaders who best represent agriculture’s interests.

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Rural Landowners Should Check 2018 Tax Assessments https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/32481/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/32481/#respond Tue, 27 Mar 2018 20:36:12 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32481 The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation urges rural landowners to check their property tax assessments this spring. “Land on Wisconsin farms generally falls into one of five classifications,” explained Paul Zimmerman, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations. Agricultural Land is subject to the use value assessment law, and is further classified as Grades 1, […]

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The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation urges rural landowners to check their property tax assessments this spring.

“Land on Wisconsin farms generally falls into one of five classifications,” explained Paul Zimmerman, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations.

Agricultural Land is subject to the use value assessment law, and is further classified as Grades 1, 2 or 3, or pastureland.

Agricultural Forest is assessed at 50 percent of market value, this is a woodlot located on a parcel also containing Agricultural Land, or wooded land contiguous to a parcel entirely classified as Agricultural Land under the same ownership.

Productive Forest Land is a wooded area that does not meet qualifications as Agricultural Forest and is assessed at market value.

Undeveloped Land is a classification that encompasses wetlands, swamps and wasteland, all of which are assessed at 50 percent of market value.

Other encompasses the farmstead and farm buildings which are assessed at market value.  

“Farmers need to be aware of how the various types of land they own are classified in order to determine how assessments apply,” Zimmerman said.

“Tax assessment statements for municipalities are typically issued in April and May to notify landowners of changes in property assessments,” Zimmerman said. “If farmers have questions about their assessments, they should first talk with their assessor. They should also be aware of the appeals process available through their local Board of Review.”

The Department of Revenue’s website offers an Agricultural Assessment Guide, Use Value Guidelines for each municipality and a Property Assessment Appeal guide.

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