Please share a little about yourself.
I grew up in the township of Navarino and I was the middle child of five with three sisters and one brother. I graduated from Bonduel High School and studied in the farm management program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. I live in the same house that I grew up in and have been farming full-time since 1977.
When you were growing up what did you want to be?
A farmer. Why? Because you are your own boss and no two days are ever the same.
Tell us about your farm and your responsibilities.
I own and operate a 200-cow dairy. My role is herdsperson and I do all the feeding. I guess it was in my DNA. I am the second generation at this location.
You participated in the WFBF Leadership Institute in 2018. Please share the four top takeaways that you learned and have used either in your role as president of Shawano County Farm Bureau or other ways that you advocate for agriculture.
- The class participated in the Clifton StrengthFinder, which helps discover a person’s strengths and then we learned how to use our strengths in the best way. I found out I am an Includer. Includer means you always want to include everyone in the things you do, and you do not want to leave anyone out. You are an accepting person and you cast very few, if any, judgments on people.
- As a farmer you have a story to tell, just tell it.
- Now, I’m more comfortable in front of a crowd.
- I try to make the county board meetings short and to the point, and I make meetings fun.
What is one agricultural experience that has defined you?
In 1976, I participated in an artificial insemination training session. I have been breeding my own herd now for 46 years. The training helped me understand more about animal husbandry.
If you could change one thing what would that be?
What is one Farm Bureau experience that you are most proud of?
Most definitely the WFBF Leadership Institute. I made some lifetime friends in the class.
Please share some of your Norwegian heritage. What is your favorite Norwegian meal?
Well, I guess it would have to be skiing, I have been on skis pretty much my whole life, and taught skiing lessons for years at the local ski hill.
During my younger years, I enjoyed ski jumping at our local hill but later it was turned into a downhill ski hill. I joined the Iola Ski Jumping Club and filled my bucket list by continuing my jumping career for a few years. There is nothing like feeling a rush of adrenaline flying off the ramp at 40 miles per hour and landing 120 feet down the hill.
My favorite Norwegian meal is Norwegian meatballs and of course, Lefse.
What is your favorite way to eat Lefse?
I use butter and regular sugar and then heat it in a microwave for a few seconds.
Is there anything else that you want to add?
My Farm Bureau experience has been nothing but positive, maybe some kind of divine intervention. I never thought I would be this involved in this organization.
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