Jane Mueller is a member of the Eau Claire County Farm Bureau and has previously served as its Women’s Chair. She currently serves on their Ag in the Classroom Committee. She and her late husband, Doug, have three grown children. Jane owns a 60-cow dairy operation on 240 acres, plus an additional 300 rented acres which they grow alfalfa, corn and soybeans. She is very involved in 4-H, FFA Alumni and the Eau Claire County Junior Fair. Jane is the liturgy coordinator for her parish, St. Raymond of Penafort and completed the Leadership Wisconsin (formerly the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program) in 2004.
“Women from farm families are often disconnected from the farm by their need to work off the farm. This creates a gap for the family and the farm community. County Farm Bureaus and the Women’s Program provide the opportunity for support of our farm families and their way of life and community building to strengthen those families.”
Kathleen Papcke lives in Walworth County and is married to Terry Papcke who works on his family’s third generation dairy and cash crop farm. Kathy raises chickens, turkeys and has taken up beekeeping. A Farm Bureau member for more than 10 years, Kathy serves as the county women’s chair, the treasure on the board, a member on the dairy committee and also manages the ice cream tent at the fair.
“Being involved with your county Women’s Program allows you to develop friendships in your industry, leadership skills and educational opportunities. Through Farm Bureau I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Baltimore and represent Wisconsin at the AFBF Women’s Leadership Conference. It was great fun meeting other women from across the country involved in agriculture.”
Brianna Ditzenberger grew up on her family’s dairy and crop farm near Browntown which gave her an appreciation and passion for agriculture and a drive to be an active agvocate for the industry. A Farm Bureau member since college, Brianna has been participating in Dane County YFA events and ag promotions for the past four years, now currently on the state Women’s Committee. When she isn’t participating in Farm Bureau activities, Brianna works as a marketing executive at Filament Marketing, a marketing agency specializing in agri-marketing located in Madison. She also volunteers with the Cows on the Concourse Committee, enjoys trail running and spending time with family.
“Taking an active role in your county Women’s programs and activities provide an opportunity to empower and bring together women of all different ages for a common goal – to educate others about agriculture and to utilize our talents to strengthen our communities and selves. We have so much to share as women in agriculture, and it is a shared goal by our county women’s programs to spread the legacy and impact that agriculture has on our daily lives, empower women in our agriculture community and to have fun while doing it.”
Nicole Adrian grew up on a dairy farm near Platteville. She currently works as a certified pharmacy technician at a local hospital in Platteville. She also assists with relief milking and chores on her parents’ farm. They milk 60 cows and raise their own young stock. Nicole also milks for Orthridge Jersey Farm. She and her husband, Matt, have three children. Nicole is also the secretary for the Women’s Committee in Grant County and a graduate of the Farm Bureau Institute leadership training program.
“One of the greatest strengths in the Women’s Program is agriculture education. I enjoy talking to people about agriculture and hearing their story. It’s important for others to get involved in their county programs to learn from each other and share ideas and knowledge on important issues like agriculture education and farm safety.”
Tonra Degner is a retired library media specialist who taught for 34 years in Reedsburg schools. Now she substitute teaches. She and her husband, Carl, bought his family dairy farm in 1978 and raised their two sons there. They no longer have dairy cattle, but still do crop farming and custom cutting, raking and baling. They have four grandchildren who still love the farm. They have been involved in the Juneau County Farm Bureau since the late 80s. Tonra is serving as the county’s Women’s Committee and Ag in the Classroom chairs. Tonra loves seeing agriculture represented in multiple aspects to all ages.
“The WFBF Women’s Committee is made up of those who really believe we can make a difference not only in Farm Bureau but also within the overall framework in agriculture. My favorite Farm Bureau memories are of attending the AFBF leadership conferences and meeting ladies from all over the country. I made a friend for life in Louisville in 2008 and we stayed in touch and met again in Baltimore in 2011. It’s great to compare notes both on the Farm Bureau levels of involvement and also our personal lives. In fact, I’ve met many interesting women in Farm Bureau from all over.”
Rosalie Geiger and her husband, Randy, have a 360-acre dairy farm near Reedsville. Along with milking 50 registered cows and raising heifers they grow alfalfa, corn, soybeans and wheat. Rosalie is a director for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. She also is the Women’s Committee co-chair for Manitowoc County Farm Bureau, the secretary for Reedsville FFA Alumni Association, a Manitowoc County Dairy Ambassador, a member of the Maple-Rock Homemakers club and serves on the Manitowoc and Calumet County Dairy Promotions Committees. She has also served on the National Dairy Board and was recognized in 2012 as a Wisconsin Master Agriculturist. Rosalie has also been recognized by UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and is a graduate of the Farm Bureau Leadership Institute.
“Our farm has been in my family since 1867, our connection to agriculture runs deep and we want to share our love and knowledge of dairying and agriculture with our community. We need to share our story because farming continues to evolve and consumers need to know how their food is produced. We have to continue to present positive messages about change since the average consumer is generations removed from production agriculture. Our Women’s Program focuses on education, not only for our members but for our future–all of our children. I enjoy working and talking with all generations.”
Victoria Harter is from Oconto County in northeastern Wisconsin. She is a retired agribusiness instructor who taught students from middle school to technical college. She believes strongly in ag education. This is shown by her past and current involvement in Ag in the Classroom, WFBF, FFA, FFA Alumni and 4-H. She and her husband, Ken, have a daughter Rebecca and two grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, reading and crafting.
“Women have always had a strong belief and passion for agriculture. They have helped shape and mold the path of agriculture throughout history and will continue to have and be a strong voice for agriculture. The WFBF Women’s Committees are an opportunity for Wisconsin women to have a voice in the future of modern agriculture and offer learning and leadership opportunities to those who realize the importance and impact of their role in modern agriculture.”
Susan Brugger and her husband, Michael, have an 80-acre hobby farm in Rib Lake. She currently works as an agriculture business relationship manager for Mid-Wisconsin Bank in Medford. She is strong advocate for Ag Education. Susan and Michael have been strong supporters of agriculture through their involvement in 4-H, FFA, FFA Alumni, Taylor County Farm Bureau and the local Dairy Breakfast Committee. Along with raising their two children, Bryanne and Mark, she enjoys spending time at dairy cattle sales and shows and visiting with family and friends.
“Agriculture is an industry, an occupation and a lifestyle that is rich in Wisconsin. Educating the next generation will continue to carry the traditions and legacy for the future generations involved in agriculture. The Women’s Program in Wisconsin is a large source of agricultural education among our members and the general public. Farm Bureau is making a difference every day in keep agriculture strong in Wisconsin!”
Mary Prestrud has been married to her husband, Marv, for 40 years. They have 5 adult children and 14 grandchildren. Her oldest son, Chad, and Marv are in Prestrud Dairy LLC partnership, a century farm located in northern Dunn County. Mary helps with the calves, farm books, runs errands and takes care of grandchildren. She enjoys quilting, reading and spending time with family and friends. Mary has been involved with Farm Bureau for over 10 years and has enjoyed working with the Ag in the Classroom program and helping at the county Farm Bureau food stand.
“The strengths on the Women’s Committee state board are the women themselves who are working together right now. We thrive from each other and we make a great team. As our mission statement states ‘we are to lead the farm and rural community through legislative representation, education, public relations and leadership development’ and our committee is doing just that.”