Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation https://wfbf.com A Voice for Farmers. A Vision for Agriculture.® Fri, 13 Jul 2018 17:17:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wfbf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-fb-32x32.jpg Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation https://wfbf.com 32 32 Letter Sent by 37 Ag Organizations Asks FDA to Take Immediate Action https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/letter-sent-by-37-ag-organizations-asks-fda-to-take-immediate-action/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/letter-sent-by-37-ag-organizations-asks-fda-to-take-immediate-action/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 20:27:44 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=33040 On July 6, a letter coordinated by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau was sent to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. The letter was signed by 37 state Farm Bureaus and other agricultural groups.   The letter expressed displeasure with the lack of enforcement for labeling of imitation dairy products using the term ‘milk’ by FDA and asked […]

The post Letter Sent by 37 Ag Organizations Asks FDA to Take Immediate Action appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
On July 6, a letter coordinated by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau was sent to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. The letter was signed by 37 state Farm Bureaus and other agricultural groups.  

The letter expressed displeasure with the lack of enforcement for labeling of imitation dairy products using the term ‘milk’ by FDA and asked for the issue to be addressed immediately.

“We organized this letter because our members are frustrated with the status quo of zero enforcement by FDA,” said WFBF President Jim Holte.

The letter listed numerous points as to why mislabeling is a huge disservice to consumers and a serious problem. Some main points from the letter were:

  • Misleading consumers is a severe public health risk. Food Allergy Research and Education estimates that more than 15 million Americans have a food allergy, and of those, nearly 6 million are children under the age of 18. Mislabeling nut-based or imitation dairy beverages as ‘milk’ can have severe consequences.
  • Plant-based beverages are not held to the same ‘Standards of Identity’ and yet they share in the benefits of using the term ‘milk’ on their packaging.
  • The decision to exercise discretion in enforcement has degraded dairy’s share of the marketplace and consequently has significantly harmed the financial viability of more than 40,000 dairy farm families.
  • Failure of the FDA to administer current regulations runs counter to the stated goal of the White House to enforce regulations and bring accountability to those who violate the rule of law. FDA is legally required to uphold the law.
  • Recent comments on FDA’s behalf discussed the use of plant-based beverages in the dairy aisle and acknowledged the definition of milk — the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows. The groups expressed a severe disappointment to hear the admittance that FDA has not been enforcing proper labeling for plant-based imitation dairy beverages that inappropriately use the term ‘milk’.

After the letter was sent to FDA, President Holte and State Farm Bureau Presidents from Mississippi, Tennessee and Utah met with FDA Commissioner Gottlieb and senior agency staff to discuss the letter, the issue of FDA’s use of discretionary enforcement on labeling and Standards of Identity.

“Commissioner Gottlieb was understanding of the many issues facing America’s dairy industry and we had a productive conversation about the proper procedure moving forward to address accurate Standards of Identity,” said Holte.

The organizations who signed the letter to FDA include: Alabama Farmers Federation, Arizona Farm Bureau, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Colorado Farm Bureau, Dairy Business Association, EDGE Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Georgia Farm Bureau, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Idaho Farm Bureau, Illinois Farm Bureau, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Indiana Farm Bureau, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Maryland Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Mississippi Farm Bureau, Missouri Farm Bureau, Nebraska Farm Bureau, New Hampshire Farm Bureau, New Jersey Farm Bureau, New York Farm Bureau, North Carolina Farm Bureau, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Rhode Island Farm Bureau, South Carolina Farm Bureau, Tennessee Farm Bureau, United Dairymen of Arizona, Utah Farm Bureau, Washington Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation.

The post Letter Sent by 37 Ag Organizations Asks FDA to Take Immediate Action appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/letter-sent-by-37-ag-organizations-asks-fda-to-take-immediate-action/feed/ 0
New Member Appointed to Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-member-appointed-to-farm-bureaus-young-farmer-and-agriculturist-committee/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-member-appointed-to-farm-bureaus-young-farmer-and-agriculturist-committee/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 14:55:05 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=33016 Bob Nash of Ozaukee County has been appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Committee by the organization’s Board of Directors. His term began on July 1 and he will serve until December 2019. “Bob is proud to be a Farm Bureau member and has a definite passion for Wisconsin agriculture, […]

The post New Member Appointed to Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
Bob Nash of Ozaukee County has been appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Committee by the organization’s Board of Directors. His term began on July 1 and he will serve until December 2019.

“Bob is proud to be a Farm Bureau member and has a definite passion for Wisconsin agriculture, making him a great addition to the YFA Committee,” Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte said.

Nash is the Ozaukee County YFA co-chair. He organizes a three-month winter volleyball league each year, along with other member events throughout the county. He helps with member recruitment and at the county fair food stand. In the past he has participated in the Farm Bureau Discussion Meet at the district and state level.

While he did not grow up on a farm, Nash found his passion for agriculture at a young age when he joined 4-H and began showing calves. His passion for agriculture only grew with his involvement in 4-H, which led him to the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course following high school. He has worked on a farm where his primary duties were caring for cows after calving and herd checks, amongst other fieldwork depending on the season. Nash currently works for Mike Karrels Trucking as an operator. After work each day he helps on neighboring farms with fieldwork. Chopping corn and packing bunker silos are his favorite farm jobs.

The WFBF YFA Committee consists of nine couples or individuals (ages 18-35) from across the state. Its goal is to get more young farmers and agriculturists acquainted with and involved in Farm Bureau. They carry out a variety of statewide initiatives, such as conferences, contests and award programs. The YFA Program is funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.

For more information about Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s YFA Program or committee, call 1.800.261.FARM or visit www.wfbf.com.

The post New Member Appointed to Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-member-appointed-to-farm-bureaus-young-farmer-and-agriculturist-committee/feed/ 0
Meet: Steve and Char Sullivan https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-steve-and-char-sullivan/ https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-steve-and-char-sullivan/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 11:30:32 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32876 Produce is Sullivan Family’s Pride and Joy Planning, planting, pruning and picking produce keep Door County Farm Bureau members Steve and Char Sullivan busy year-round. The couple owns and operates Sully’s Produce LLC, in Sturgeon Bay. The business has been around for more than 30 years and specializes in fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies, plants, […]

The post Meet: Steve and Char Sullivan appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
Produce is Sullivan Family’s Pride and Joy

Planning, planting, pruning and picking produce keep Door County Farm Bureau members Steve and Char Sullivan busy year-round. The couple owns and operates Sully’s Produce LLC, in Sturgeon Bay. The business has been around for more than 30 years and specializes in fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies, plants, flowers and baked goods.

The Sullivans sell their produce at five Door County farmers’ markets in addition to doing some wholesale business with area stores, restaurants and other farmers’ markets for resale. From apples to zucchini, the family has an impressive line up of produce to offer.

“My favorite part of my job is seeing the entire process of planting, growing and selling our produce, it is very hands-on,” Char said. “It is fun to see the flowers and crops change each day and the positive reactions from our customers when they come out to purchase our products.”

Steve and Char’s son Michael is pictured with two of their interns. The Sullivans work with the University of Minnesota’s MAST International program to hire interns each season.

Steve and Char have two sons, Shawn, 38 and Michael, 32 and three grandchildren. Shawn is a software developer for Epic Systems in Verona while Michael works on the farm.

“Family is very important to us,” Char said. “As a family, we work to grow produce but we also get to interact with other families who come to the farm or area farmers’ markets to purchase our products.”

Char says the family takes pride in the role they play in providing food to people in the local area.

“Agriculture is involved in so many aspects of our lives,” explained Char. “I believe we will always have a part to play in feeding our community.”

The family is passionate about engaging their customers in conversations about how food is grown.

The Sullivan’s recently built a 10,000-square foot greenhouse for flowers. They hope to host build-your-own flower basket sessions and other events in this new space.

Steve explained that one of his least favorite misconceptions about agriculture is that farmers don’t care for the environment.

“I like to talk with folks about the practices we implement to be good stewards of the land,” said Steve. “I also remind our customers that this is not unique to us, as all farmers live off the land and must be good environmental stewards.”

Being involved in discussions about the environment is one of the main reasons the Sullivans joined Farm Bureau.

“We joined Farm Bureau to support agriculture and have a seat at the table with lawmakers to talk about implementing regulations that find a balance between allowing farmers to do their job while also ensuring our natural resources will be available for years to come,” Steve explained.

The couple has been very active in Door County Farm Bureau. Steve served as county president, fair food stand manager, a member of the state Policy Development Committee and a member of the state Non-point Pollution Committee.

Char served as treasurer for the Door County Farm Bureau. She also works at the county fair food stand and has been active with Ag in the Classroom activities and farm tours.

“Everyone has their own unique role in the agricultural community and we are proud to have found our niche in growing produce,” Char said.

Story by Amy Eckelberg. Original version appeared in the June/July 2018 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route.

The post Meet: Steve and Char Sullivan appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-steve-and-char-sullivan/feed/ 0
WFBF Supports 2018 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wfbf-supports-2018-amendments-to-the-endangered-species-act/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wfbf-supports-2018-amendments-to-the-endangered-species-act/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 20:35:02 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=33009 Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte issued the following statement regarding the amendments to the Endangered Species Act. “We appreciate the efforts by Chairman Barrasso of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to include additional input from state and local stakeholders throughout the Endangered Species Act. There is a legitimate need for […]

The post WFBF Supports 2018 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte issued the following statement regarding the amendments to the Endangered Species Act.

“We appreciate the efforts by Chairman Barrasso of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to include additional input from state and local stakeholders throughout the Endangered Species Act. There is a legitimate need for states to have more input for wildlife management while still maintaining some level of federal oversight.

For years, Wisconsin has had a serious gray wolf situation. Under the umbrella of the Endangered Species Act, the gray wolf’s federal status has undergone extensive changes during the last 15 years. This is not due to the biological or scientific evidence that population numbers for the species have met and exceeded their recovery goals, but flaws in the Act that make these decisions prone to politics and legal battles based on procedural technicalities.

Wisconsin farmers have their hands tied when it comes to defending their livestock and livelihoods. It is illegal for farmers in the Western Great Lakes region to protect their livestock from depredating wolves and there is no mechanism to manage the population.

The ESA should include a focus on species recovery and habitat conservation objectives that respects landowners. Therefore, Wisconsin Farm Bureau supports the 2018 amendments to the Endangered Species Act.”

The post WFBF Supports 2018 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wfbf-supports-2018-amendments-to-the-endangered-species-act/feed/ 0
Meet: Warren and Jennifer Brockman https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-warren-and-jennifer-brockman/ https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-warren-and-jennifer-brockman/#respond Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:00:54 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32863 A Family Behind Wisconsin’s State Fruit Being a Jack of all trades, that is how Wood County Farm Bureau members and cranberry growers Warren and Jennifer Brockman describe their unique career in growing the state fruit. Together, the couple owns Hemlock Trails Cranberry Company, Inc., the same marsh that Warren grew up on. Cranberry growers, […]

The post Meet: Warren and Jennifer Brockman appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
A Family Behind Wisconsin’s State Fruit

Being a Jack of all trades, that is how Wood County Farm Bureau members and cranberry growers Warren and Jennifer Brockman describe their unique career in growing the state fruit. Together, the couple owns Hemlock Trails Cranberry Company, Inc., the same marsh that Warren grew up on.

Cranberry growers, like other farmers, must wear many hats. Warren is in charge of the day-to-day work on the marsh, which means being a meteorologist, mechanic, welder, agronomist, project planner, accountant, entomologist and much more.

“The variety in the job keeps it interesting and there’s always something new to learn,” Warren said.

While Warren has been around the marsh his entire life, Jennifer grew up a ‘city girl’ and moved to the marsh in 1997 after the couple was married.

Growing cranberries in Wisconsin is truly a family affair, many of the more than 250 growers in the state are fourth and fifth generation growers whose families have been growing cranberries on the same land for generations.

“My favorite part of being a cranberry grower is being able to raise my family in the country with fresh air and the ability to learn a strong work ethic,” Jennifer said.

The couple has seven children. Emily and Nick are in college and Jennifer homeschools the five youngest children. From left: Peter, 6; Jennifer; Warren; Emily, 20; Maria, 4 and Sam, 13. Not pictured: Amber, 16; Nick, 19 and Joseph, 9.

The family is closely connected to the land they grow cranberries on and constantly work to be good environmental stewards.

“We live where we work and want only the best for our family, so we are constant stewards of the land and water,” Jennifer explained.

While the family loves their rural lifestyle, they also face some challenges.

“Low fruit prices with increasing expenses and burdensome regulations concern me,” Warren said. “Cutting costs to stay profitable means doing all the hard labor myself and I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do the physical work.”

When he was 33 years old, Warren needed a spinal fusion, which changed his outlook on life and farming.

“It made me realize that I needed to back off and that it is ok to take some time to rest and recover,” Warren said.

Since cranberries are a unique crop, growers often need to modify or build equipment. Pictured is the third version of a harvesting attachment built by Warren.

Being a perennial crop, cranberries require year-round care. Jennifer explained that all year they are busy caring for the plants, even in the middle of winter. When the temperatures get too cold, or fluctuate above and below freezing, cranberry growers must take special action to prevent damage to the plants.

Contrary to popular belief, the red berries do not grow in water. Rather, the marshes are temporarily flooded in the fall to aid in harvesting. In Wisconsin, cranberries are grown on 21,000 acres across 20 counties.

Through all the physically demanding work and challenges, Warren is optimistic about the future of agriculture simply because people need to eat. Jennifer adds that she is excited for the future because young people who pursue agricultural careers bring a fresh, new perspective.

Jennifer is passionate about sharing her agriculture story via social media, specifically through videos on her YouTube channel. Last fall, she did an Instagram takeover on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau account to showcase a day in the life of a cranberry grower during harvest.

The Brockmans joined Farm Bureau in 2001 to be part of an organization that served as a voice for farmers.

“We joined because Farm Bureau works hard to support farmers and advocate on their behalf,” Jennifer said. “Plus, our Rural Mutual Insurance Company agents are knowledgeable, which is an added bonus.”

Each day may be different on the marsh, at home or within their local Farm Bureau, but every day the Brockmans are hard at work as one of the families behind our state fruit.

Story by Sarah Marketon. Original version appeared in the June/July 2018 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route.

The post Meet: Warren and Jennifer Brockman appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/member-profiles/meet-warren-and-jennifer-brockman/feed/ 0
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Pleased with Action on Farm Bill in House and Senate https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-pleased-with-action-on-farm-bill-in-house-and-senate/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-pleased-with-action-on-farm-bill-in-house-and-senate/#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2018 18:24:24 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=33000 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is pleased with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. “The passage of the farm bill is welcomed news to Wisconsin farmers,” said WFBF President Jim Holte. “Farmers have not had much for good news lately, with depressed prices and tariff threats. […]

The post Wisconsin Farm Bureau Pleased with Action on Farm Bill in House and Senate appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is pleased with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“The passage of the farm bill is welcomed news to Wisconsin farmers,” said WFBF President Jim Holte. “Farmers have not had much for good news lately, with depressed prices and tariff threats. Farmers need certainty and the passage of the farm bill is a step in the right direction.”

Both versions of the farm bill include language beneficial to farmers. Three key areas of the farm bill Wisconsin Farm Bureau is most encouraged by is additional support for dairy risk management, the legalization of industrial hemp and continued support of crop insurance programs.

Dairy Risk Management

With farm income at the lowest level in more than 10 years, it is essential that farmers have appropriate risk management tools. Both versions of the 2018 Farm Bill offer additional support to dairy farmers through dairy risk programs. Once conference committee members have been named, WFBF will be weighing in on the changes that make the most sense for Wisconsin dairy farmers.

Industrial Hemp

The Senate version of the farm bill includes all the language from the Hemp Farming Act, including the legalization of hemp and hemp-based products such as CBD oil. The House Farm Bill did not include language for hemp, among other differences. WFBF is optimistic about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading the fight to have the Senate hemp language added to the final version by the conference committee.

Crop Insurance Programs

Crop insurance programs are necessary tools for farmers to manage risk associated with weather- and pest-related damage. WFBF is pleased that the Senate and House Farm Bill both keep crop insurance programs intact. It is necessary to continue providing support for crops, especially with a severe downturn in market prices.

“Wisconsin Farm Bureau would like to thank Representatives Paul Ryan, Sean Duffy, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman and Jim Sensenbrenner along with Senator Tammy Baldwin for voting, ‘yes’ on their respective versions of the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Holte. “Wisconsin farmers will be looking for continued support and passage of the farm bill to ensure uninterrupted access to risk management tools, research funding and other essential resources.”

The post Wisconsin Farm Bureau Pleased with Action on Farm Bill in House and Senate appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/wisconsin-farm-bureau-pleased-with-action-on-farm-bill-in-house-and-senate/feed/ 0
YFA Washington, D.C. Fly-in https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-involvement/yfa-washington-d-c-fly-in/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-involvement/yfa-washington-d-c-fly-in/#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2018 14:07:27 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32997 The number of opportunities that I have had by being involved with Wisconsin Farm Bureau have been countless!  Once again, I was chosen to attend the Washington D.C. Fly-In and embarked on another adventure with fellow young farmers.  The Washington D.C. Fly-in is designed to give attendees the chance to speak with their elected officials, […]

The post YFA Washington, D.C. Fly-in appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
The number of opportunities that I have had by being involved with Wisconsin Farm Bureau have been countless!  Once again, I was chosen to attend the Washington D.C. Fly-In and embarked on another adventure with fellow young farmers.  The Washington D.C. Fly-in is designed to give attendees the chance to speak with their elected officials, legislators, agencies, and other professionals about current agricultural issues and policies. 

Our group had the privilege to see the American Farm Bureau building and get briefed on key agricultural issues involving immigration reform, trade and NAFTA, regulatory reform and the 2018 Farm Bill.  The key messages were to keep trade negotiations going, pair nutrition with agriculture in the Farm Bill, have a fair regulatory system and figure out a way to have a stable, year-round workforce.  I was surprised to hear of a new program coming out at the end of summer called Dairy RP (Revenue Protection), which was put together by American Farm Bureau as a risk management tool for dairy farmers to use on milk production.  Farmers will be able to choose how much milk they want to cover and for how long, up to 15 months out.  It is similar to crop insurance and farmers can choose to sign-up any day. 

American Farm Bureau staff shared tips on how to structure our congressional meetings based on the key issues and encouraged us to share our personal stories. From there, we visited the USDA to discuss beginning farmers and ranchers programs, conservation programs, dairy and MPP and crop insurance.  We had an opportunity to talk about improvements we would like to see in the programs and also aspects about them that work well for farmers.  CRP enrollment will be continued until the end of the fiscal year and there will be the opening of the CRP grassland program, which will allow for grasslands to still be used as working land for grazing or hay production.

Later that day, we were able to tour the New Zealand Embassy where officials gave a presentation on all the agricultural commodities that their country is known for.  They showed us a video promoting their grass-fed beef market.  The video has not been released yet, but it was a very impressive promotional item for them to use in the future.  The presenters mentioned that they would love for the United States to come back to TPP because they view the U.S. as having potential to be a leader within this trade group.

As we met with our legislators from Wisconsin, we had the chance to share how the issues with trade, the farm bill and immigration affect us personally.  Senator Ron Johnson was called into a meeting with the president on trade during our scheduled meeting time, but Representative Ron Kind and Senator Tammy Baldwin both seemed unsure about the trade war in general and whether a farm bill would get passed before current law expires.  There was a high level of concern and worry for anything involving the agriculture sector.  We also ran into the National Cattlemen’s Association young leader’s group and heard that they were advocating for the same issues, along with trucking regulations and updating the endangered species lists. 

Our trip also involved sightseeing as we were able to see Arlington National Cemetery, George Washington’s Mt. Vernon and many of the monuments located throughout the city. These tours are such a humbling experience to know what so many people did to fight for our country, something that I could never be able to show enough gratitude for. I felt the whole trip was very eye-opening and an important experience. My favorite part was getting to meet all of the amazing, passionate and talented people that went on the trip with me. I am concerned about the future of agriculture, so I hope that if we all do our part in advocating for fair regulations, then we can positively influence the future. 


Tammy Wiedenbeck

Tammy grew up on River View Farm, which has been in her family since 1848.  She currently owns 25 head of beef cattle (Angus and Shorthorn) out of their 110 head, as well as manages her own business called RiverView Photography.  She graduated with an animal science and communications degree from the University of Wisconsin- Platteville and started working for Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association shortly after graduation.

The post YFA Washington, D.C. Fly-in appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-involvement/yfa-washington-d-c-fly-in/feed/ 0
Let’s Celebrate Agriculture https://wfbf.com/food-and-farming/lets-celebrate-agriculture/ https://wfbf.com/food-and-farming/lets-celebrate-agriculture/#respond Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:29:48 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32994 The 4th of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in America. While you’re celebrating the history of our country with family and friends, it’s also a great time to think about Wisconsin’s agricultural roots and the advancements that have been made over many generations. Agriculture has been through many changes and has been […]

The post Let’s Celebrate Agriculture appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
The 4th of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in America. While you’re celebrating the history of our country with family and friends, it’s also a great time to think about Wisconsin’s agricultural roots and the advancements that have been made over many generations. Agriculture has been through many changes and has been very important since our country was founded in 1776.

The amount of careers related to agriculture has greatly declined over the years in the U.S. In 1800, about 83% of jobs were in agriculture. By 1850, agriculture careers had dropped to 55%. Wisconsin in 1850 however, had 90% of the population living on a farm and produced over 400,000 pounds of cheese. In the U.S. today, about 2% of the population is directly involved with production agriculture, but there are many more jobs that are “related” to agriculture. That’s a very notable drop, but there have been a number of technological advancements that have come along the way. Machinery has made jobs able to be done with fewer people and less manual labor.

 Years ago, farmers like my grandpa used horses for all their field work. Today, as you drive around Dalton you will probably see Amish farmers in their fields also using horses. I can’t imagine how labor intensive farming was for people like my grandpa because we have seen incredible advancements in the efficiency and comfort of the farm equipment I use today. The gas and diesel engine was such an improvement from the steam-powered tractors of the early 1900’s. Making  production of food so much easier and efficient, so much more could be done in a day.  Rubber tires were introduced to agriculture in the mid 1930’s which made riding the equipment much more comfortable.

 Today, many farmers utilize GPS systems in their tractors to assist with all sorts of tasks ranging from planting to controlling weeds and insects to harvesting. Some tractors even have auto-steer capabilities. As you drive around Green Lake County, make sure to admire how straight the rows of corn and soybeans are. This GPS based technology means farmers, like me, are able to save seed, use fewer chemicals to control weeds and insects all while increasing our yields.

My cows wear collars with a transponder, that acts like a FitBit, to detect activity for breeding and rumination (cud chewing) and gives me an idea of the cow’s overall health. I get alerts sent to my smartphone when a cow is sick or needs to be bred so I can act quickly to give the correct cow the care she needs.

Additionally, advancements have been made in animal genetics. A cow today looks a lot different from the dairy cows of 30+ years ago. Today’s cows have stronger, more correct legs and udders as well as many great health traits, all of which helps them to be healthier and more comfortable while making milk.

Wisconsin has some interesting agricultural history too. Wisconsin wasn’t  always America’s Dairyland. Farming in Wisconsin started nearly 3,000 years ago, by the Woodland Tradition people, from 500 BCE to 1250. Their replacement, the Indians, farmed year-round from 1250 to 1600. Immigrants from Europe brought wheat and other crops. Wheat became a very important part of Wisconsin’s agriculture. However, in the 1900s, Green Lake County’s wheat got infested with insects and many farmers switched to the dairy business. Who would have known, back in the early 60’s Lester Schwartz, the famous artist from Green Lake, built a 12-cow milking parlor, possibly one of the first built in the county. Lester’s intention was to make yogurt on his farm to sell to grocery stores, but he never got that far. He milked around 100 cows for roughly 8-10 years. Back then, he was a man way ahead of the times!

Agriculture is super important and should be celebrated for this. It can be celebrated and supported in many ways, from farmers markets to corn mazes.

The Green Lake county fair is coming up on August 2-5, and it is another great way to support agriculture, check out all the fair animals. You will see dairy and beef cattle, sheep and lambs, poultry and rabbits. Also, food products and woodworking. Speaking of food, don’t forget to stop by the Green Lake County Farm Bureau Food stand and get a burger and pie or ice cream – or many of the other great foods we sell.

So, as you throw that steak or burger on the grill or prepare the vegetables, this 4th of July, think about the farmer who planted or raised and cared for your food. Why? Because his or her livelihood is to produce nutritious, safe food for all to enjoy. As a matter of fact, today’s farmer feeds 155 people versus 19 people in 1950.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July. Thanks for supporting agriculture in Wisconsin.


Pete Badtke

Pete Badtke is a dairy farmer from Ripon, Wisconsin where he milks 90 cows and runs about 300 acres of land. Pete started farming in 1987.  He has been married for 16 years to his wife Lori and has 2 daughters, Kasie (13) and Sarah (12). Pete currently serves as director on Green Lake County Farm Bureau board and as chairman of Calvary Lutheran Church in Princeton.

The post Let’s Celebrate Agriculture appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/food-and-farming/lets-celebrate-agriculture/feed/ 0
New NR 151 Rules the Result of Collaboration https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-nr-151-rules-the-result-of-collaboration/ https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-nr-151-rules-the-result-of-collaboration/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:13:15 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32979 Clean Wisconsin and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation issued the following statement after the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced updates to Natural Resources 151 to protect drinking water for Northeast Wisconsin will take effect July 1:  “These new protections are the result of tireless effort on the part of residents in Northeast Wisconsin to implore the state to […]

The post New NR 151 Rules the Result of Collaboration appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
Clean Wisconsin and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation issued the following statement after the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced updates to Natural Resources 151 to protect drinking water for Northeast Wisconsin will take effect July 1: 

“These new protections are the result of tireless effort on the part of residents in Northeast Wisconsin to implore the state to address drinking water contamination, and we are pleased to see them take effect,” said Clean Wisconsin Water Program Director Scott Laeser. “Many residents in places like Kewaunee County have struggled for years with contaminated drinking water, and these new protections are a sign of hope for a future with clean drinking water.”

“WFBF looks forward to continuing to work with farmers, local citizens and other stakeholders to ensure that these new protections are implemented to improve groundwater quality,” said Paul Zimmerman, Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations. “In order to do so, local, state and federal government resources are needed to provide assistance to farmers and county conservation staff to accomplish this.” 

This process has given our organizations and others in our communities the opportunity to sit down and talk openly and meaningfully about how we can find solutions to Wisconsin’s water
quality problems. Clean Wisconsin and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation will continue to work together to move our state closer to a place where agriculture is thriving and everyone has access to clean drinking water. 

Both organizations were part of the Technical Advisory Group DNR convened early in the development of the new rules.

The post New NR 151 Rules the Result of Collaboration appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/farm-bureau-news/new-nr-151-rules-the-result-of-collaboration/feed/ 0
Your Dairy Checkoff Dollars at Work https://wfbf.com/general-agriculture/your-dairy-checkoff-dollars-at-work/ https://wfbf.com/general-agriculture/your-dairy-checkoff-dollars-at-work/#respond Tue, 26 Jun 2018 13:50:05 +0000 https://wfbf.com/?p=32959 Dairy isn’t just a key economic engine of the state and it’s not just the beating heart of Wisconsin – the dairy industry IS Wisconsin. Every carton of milk, stick of butter, cup of yogurt or wedge of world-class cheese works as an ambassador for the people and values that make Wisconsin the special place […]

The post Your Dairy Checkoff Dollars at Work appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
Dairy isn’t just a key economic engine of the state and it’s not just the beating heart of Wisconsin – the dairy industry IS Wisconsin. Every carton of milk, stick of butter, cup of yogurt or wedge of world-class cheese works as an ambassador for the people and values that make Wisconsin the special place that it is.

As an organization, we exist to be tireless advocates, marketers and promoters for Wisconsin dairy farmers and to make sure Wisconsin’s dairy products get the attention and respect they deserve. What we do at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin matters – a lot – both to the dairy farmers we are privileged to work for and to the reputation and wellbeing of the state that we all call home.

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin works to expand growth opportunities domestically and worldwide. As the marketing and promotion organization for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin creates national publicity, manages digital advertising, and drives sales, distribution and trial through retail and foodservice promotions. By law, the organization cannot lobby.

A great portion of the organization’s promotion efforts exist beyond state lines, which is a strategic decision that aligns with where a majority of Wisconsin’s dairy products are consumed. It often surprises people to learn that 90 percent of Wisconsin milk goes into making cheese and 90 percent of that cheese is sold outside of Wisconsin. We are creating conversations that build awareness and affinity for Wisconsin specialty cheese at a national level, which paints a picture for our state’s largest industry and creates a halo effect for all Wisconsin dairy. By investing in sharing this message at the national level, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin drives millions of dollars annually in public relations value for Wisconsin dairy in outlets like the New York Times, HuffPost, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Rachael Ray Every Day. All of this publicity is available at www.WisconsinDairyBuzz.com.

Focusing on new markets has been a sound strategy for our organization, successfully making space for Wisconsin dairy products in 98 percent of stores across the nation. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is the first state/regional dairy checkoff program with regional marketing systems in place across the entire United States. Our team works closely with retailers like Kroger, Safeway, Festival, Meijer and dozens of others to get Wisconsin dairy in their stores, educate dairy and deli personnel about Wisconsin dairy products and demo products to increase trial and sales. The reputation that comes with Wisconsin dairy, along with an easily identified logo and a consistent merchandising program, gives Wisconsin a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin also partners with dozens of major restaurant chains like Cousins Subs, Culver’s, A&W and Giordano’s to drive consumption of Wisconsin dairy products. These partnerships have exceeded billions of dollars in Wisconsin dairy sales and further increase demand. Our relationship with Culver’s encouraged them to begin using exclusively Wisconsin dairy in their nearly 700 locations across the nation, resulting in more than nine million pounds of Wisconsin cheese consumed in these restaurants each year.

Our continual support of Wisconsin cheese and dairy processors assists them in a variety of ways to move products into consumer markets. This includes a strong relationship we’ve established with the U.S. Dairy Export Council which can move more product into additional countries. Research shows that consumers are demanding Wisconsin dairy, and we will work to get them the dairy products that they crave.

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin also supports dairy research at the Center for Dairy Research on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. The talented food researchers and scientists help Wisconsin cheesemakers and dairy processors solve technical issues and develop new and exciting varieties of cheeses like Roelli Cheese’s Little Mountain, which won the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest. Not just focused on cheese, this world-class institution assisted in the development of Odyssey Yogurt, a Greek-style yogurt made by Klondike Cheese Co. in Monroe, which was recently awarded the top five placings in the Flavored High Protein – Cow’s Milk Yogurt category at the World Cheese Contest in 2018.

The infrastructure that holds up the dairy industry in our state puts Wisconsin dairy farmers, dairy processors and cheese companies at a strong advantage. Wisconsin has a great story to tell and a lot to be proud of. In order for our state to a have strong future, we must have strong farms. We work every day to champion the dairy farmers and put them at the center of everything we do. Go to our website www.wisconsindairy.org for more information and to see the impact of your promotional dollars.


Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. For more information, visit our website at wisconsindairy.org.

The post Your Dairy Checkoff Dollars at Work appeared first on Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

]]>
https://wfbf.com/general-agriculture/your-dairy-checkoff-dollars-at-work/feed/ 0