Guest blog: James Juedes
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is James Juedes and I am a dairy farmer from central Wisconsin and a proud Farm Bureau member. I have been running our family dairy farm for the last 27 years. I am proud to say that the farm has been in our family for 123 years. I have been a Farm First Delegate, made presentations about the dairy industry and agriculture to students, completed interviews for local television stations on farm related topics and I serve on the Marathon County Farm Bureau board. Last year, I was selected to be part of Farm Bureau’s Institute class which is quite an honor.
As part of the Farm Bureau Leadership Institute, we are tasked with learning more about how Farm Bureau works, what our organization does to be a voice for agriculture and how we, as individuals, can advocate for agriculture. I am proud to say that standing up and advocating for agriculture is something that I have been doing my entire life. Over the last number of years, the product we produce on our farm, milk, and the many other dairy products that come from it, such as cheese, butter, yogurt and dry whey have been under attack. You may have heard of the Food Babe, who, with no nutrition background has become an internet sensation, and has convinced consumers that dairy products are not good for them. There is also Dr. Hyman, who I guess is a real doctor, but he’s not a friend of the dairy community. He claims we can do without dairy completely or cut down on our consumption to a great degree and be nutritionally fine.
Dairy products are good for you and good to eat. Who doesn’t love ice cream or butter on your sweet corn or a nice cold glass of milk (either white or chocolate) as a refreshing beverage? Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, protein, niacin, potassium, vitamin A, riboflavin and phosphorus. It is also a great recovery drink after a workout. Everyone in the dairy community needs to step to the forefront and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, either at the supermarket, local ice cream stand or wherever people are consuming dairy products and thank them for doing so. Consumers keep us in business and we need to show that we appreciate them buying our products. We need to continue to inform people that dairy products are healthy and start conversations with those who have questions. The common consumer is generally impressed with what we do and just a few minutes of our time goes a long way towards influencing their opinion of who we are, what we do and the value of the foods we produce.
I have met and know many people from all walks of life. They know what I do because I never hesitate to tell them, whether they ask our not, because I am proud of my heritage and the food that comes from my farm. I invite everyone who is involved in agriculture to do the same. We know more than anyone else about what we produce, be it corn, meat, vegetables, or in my case, milk. Consumers trust what we tell them so we must tell them the truth. God gave us cows that produce milk, which is one of the most nutritious and pure foods known to man. There is this new ad campaign, “Undeniably Dairy”, and I hope it can persuade consumers to take a look at how hard dairy farmers work and the passion and commitment they have toward their cows and the environment. So, get out there and spread the word about the importance of agriculture!
James Juedes is a dairy farmer from Ringle. He and his wife have been married for 23 years and are the proud parents of three sons, Joseph 23, Jacob 18, and Jonathan 12. His farm has been in the family for 123 years, having been passed down from generation to generation and he hopes to continue this trend. Off the farm, James enjoys bowling, softball, fishing and golf. He can enjoy these activities more now that his sons are old enough to help with chores on the farm, it is truly a family effort.