Adam Kuczer may be a new face on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board but he isn’t a stranger to the organization. During the 2016 WFBF Annual Meeting Adam was elected as the District 7 board representative. District 7 covers Langlade, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano and Waupaca counties.
Adam and his wife Becky joined Farm Bureau in 2002. Adam recalls the day that Shawano County member Daryl Olson signed him up to join Farm Bureau.
“I remember when Daryl came by because he stopped by and talked to my mom,” Adam said with a grin. “He asked if I was around and she said I was in the shop but if he was going down there he had to take my lunch with him. My mom gave him my lunch but also my checkbook. Daryl came to see me in the shop and said if you want your lunch, you are going to have to join Farm Bureau.”
Adam became the Shawano County Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist chair shortly after and eventually went on in partnership with Becky to serve as District 7 YFA representatives. Adam now serves as the vice president for the Shawano County Farm Bureau.
The Kuczers raise their five children and replacement heifers on their farm in Pulaski. Prior to heifers, Adam raised steers and helped with his parents’ dairy before the cows were sold
The heifer business found the Kuczers when someone reached out to them and asked if raising heifers would be something they might consider. After raising steers for many years, they decided to take the leap and have been managing heifers ever since.
They can house a maximum of 270 animals on their farm and usually only have one customer at a time.
“I run a bed and breakfast for animals,” Adam said with a smile. “That’s how I can explain it best, especially to the folks in D.C. It makes sense to people that way.”
Adam says that raising beef and heifers are similar in some aspects.
“We still check the animals every day and keep a close eye on them,” he said. “Your biggest risk is having one client. Even though there is a risk of only having one customer, it’s a steady income and a good fit for us.”
The Kuczers work with a nutritionist to manage the animals’ diets and with the owner on guidance for the animals’ health care. While Adam manages the day-to-day operations, and feeding, Becky does the book work and administers vaccines. The farm doesn’t have any employees but Adam’s dad Tom helps quite frequently. The couple’s 11-year-old son Nicholas also helps where he can.
The Kuczers share land with his parents and grow and harvest all the feed for the heifers.
“It’s all about efficiencies on our farm,” explained Adam. “If it has an upfront cost but will be worth it in the long-run, I’m all for it.”
The farm also uses various forms of technology especially in managing the crops including auto-steer, variable application of fertilizer, automatic swath control on both spray and plant equipment and GPS mapping of applications and harvest data.
Managing the farm, family and Farm Bureau has been somewhat of a learning curve but overall the transition to the WFBF Board has been good.
“I was very familiar with Farm Bureau before,” Adam added, “but this has truly opened my eyes to how much extra time the directors put in for the organization.”
Adam has worn many hats in Farm Bureau. Besides his YFA involvement, he has served on the Policy Development Committee, Transportation Committee and is a proud Leadership Institute graduate.
“Through the Institute, I learned a lot about myself, other businesses and personality types that I have brought back to my county Farm Bureau, other organizations and even to my relationship with my wife,” Adam said. “I have also learned that I am really not afraid to speak in front of a group of people and when speaking about agriculture or Farm Bureau I speak passionately because I care about it.”
Adam’s goal for his upcoming term on Board of Directors are pretty cut and dried.
“I’m hoping to bring better policy communication to my district,” Adam said. “I think my counties can work together more efficiently on policy issues and I hope to help with that.”
In Adam’s eyes Farm Bureau is worth the commitment because of what it does for the agricultural community.
“Getting involved with Farm Bureau is a great way for you to speak up for agriculture,” he said. “Everyone has a different business but it is our collective voice that changes policy and legislation. You also gain experiences and friendships that help you grow yourself and business.”
Story by Amy Eckelberg. Original version appeared in the April/May 2017 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route.