Bill Bruins was presented the ‘Distinguished Service to Wisconsin Agriculture’ award for his outstanding contributions to Wisconsin’s agricultural industry during the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells on December 3.
Bruins grew up on a dairy farm next to the home where he and his wife live in Waupun in Fond du Lac County. He is the general manager of his family’s dairy partnership. Homeland Dairy consists of 600 cows and 1,400 acres of crops.
“Bill has served Wisconsin agriculture in many different capacities during his lifetime,” said WFBF President Jim Holte. “He represented District 5 on the WFBF Board of Directors for 24 years, serving nine years as President. His skills were critical in serving farmers and building strong relationships with Farm Bureau and agriculture statewide.”
Bruins was a board member of the coordinating committee for the Wisconsin Agricultural Stewardship Initiative, and in 2005, was appointed to the Governor Doyle’s Bio-based Industry Consortium. He served as a member of the Farm Bureau Life Board of Directors and on the Farm Bureau Life audit and budget committee. He served on the UW-Madison’s College of Ag and Life Sciences Board of Visitors and in 2011, was appointed by Governor Walker to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board.
He served as vice president of the Equity Cooperative Livestock Association, on the Wisconsin Beef Council Board and on the UW-Platteville Environmental Farm Steering Committee.
Over the years, Bruins served on numerous Wisconsin Farm Bureau committee including rural health and safety, dairy, policy development and young farmers. He is also a former state Discussion Meet winner. Nationally, he served on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Dairy Advisory Committee.
He continues to serve on the Wisconsin DNR Board and as president of the Waupun School Board.
“Bill’s commitment to the agriculture community is admirable,” said Holte. “He is extremely deserving of this award.”
Bruins and his wife Mary are the proud parents of six adult children and have 20 grandchildren.