Jackson County’s Steve Kling has received the highest award Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation bestows upon its members.
“It is because of his selfless dedication to others and agriculture that I am extremely proud to recognize Steve’s distinguished service to Farm Bureau,” said WFBF President Jim Holte.
Kling has been an active member of Farm Bureau for 39 years and served in key leadership roles at county and state levels.
“Steve is an advocate for Farm Bureau and has devoted countless hours during his years as Jackson County Farm Bureau president,” said Holte. “His leadership and experience are assets to our organization.”
Kling’s history in Farm Bureau runs deep. His grandfather Walter was a founding member of the Jackson County Farm Bureau and his father Bob served on the board of directors. Kling served on the county board of directors for all but two years since 1977, and now his son Nathan is serving on the board of directors with him.
He has attended the Farm Bureau leader trip to Washington, D.C. and makes it a point to attend Ag Day at the Capitol. Kling has also served on the WFBF Dairy Committee and Policy Development Committee. He has been a Farm Bureau Proud Club (formally Producer Club) member numerous times and has signed more than 35 new Farm Bureau members.
Kling was instrumental in the creation of the annual District 4 policy development meeting. In the mid-2000s, with the help of Todd Quarne of Trempealeau County, they brought county Farm Bureau leaders together to discuss policy resolutions as a district for the first time.
“Steve truly embodies what Farm Bureau is about,” said Darby Sampson, Jackson County Farm Bureau promotion and education chair. “He is a member at a local level making an impact in Farm Bureau that reaches all the way to the top of our organization. He is paving the way for generations to come.”
Kling and his wife, Pat, have hosted the Jackson County Dairy Breakfast twice. They were the 2016 Jackson County Farm Family of the year and 2012 Farm Family of the La Crosse Farm Show. In 2005, they received the Jackson County Land Conservation Department Watershed Farmer Award and were finalists for the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award.
The couple has hosted more than eight foreign exchange students through 4-H and DFA programs.
Sampson added, “To Steve Kling, Farm Bureau isn’t just an ordinary organization; it’s an organization made up of neighbors, friends and of family from across the state and nation that come together for a common cause.”