#50 and #232 What do these numbers have in common.
#50 and #232. two numbers so far apart, yet connected by a common bond. You see it was about 50 years ago that Harold Johnson drove in the driveway of a young man and invited him to join the Farm Bureau Family. I am sure Harold told him about all the things Farm Bureau was doing for farmers. About all their work at the Capitol, FS Co-op, Rural Insurance and all the other member benefits that were available at the time. And these are all good things, but looking back over the last 50 years, I think this young man heard something totally different in his mind.
The words that I think he heard I will rephrase from our great President JFK, “Ask not what Farm Bureau can do for you. Ask what you can do for Farm Bureau.”
For the next 50 years he and his young wife worked to “See what they could do for Farm Bureau.”
At the Food Stand they seemed to always be there, helping in the kitchen, working counters, wiping tables, cutting potatoes, washing dishes or just visiting with people, you could always count on their smiling faces. After being elected to the board we could always count on them to be there helping us make decisions and being sure we looked at different ideas. Over the years they attended numerous WFBF Annual Meetings in La Crosse, Milwaukee and Madison. And he drove into driveways, a lot of driveways, to invite people to join the Farm Bureau family.
In 1990 at the WFBF Annual Meeting in Milwaukee he joined the ranks of an elite group of people called “The Producer Club.” This is a group of individuals from around the state who are recognized at the WFBF Annual Meeting for signing 5 or more members in a year. And he continued to drive into driveways. I still remember the day that he drove into my driveway and told me of all the Farm Bureau benefits, and the things Farm Bureau was doing in Madison, and he invited me to be part of it. Who could refuse? Not many, because over that 50 year period he signed 232 new voting members, and that does not count the renewals that he went out to get.
With a county voting membership of 331, that is outstanding.
#50 #232 What do these numbers have in common? The common bond is Art and Ardella Pethke.
Centennial story shared by WFBF District 7 Coordinator Wes Raadatz. This story features excerpts taken from the recognition speech when Art and Ardella Pethke were awarded the Waupaca County Farm Bureau Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award.