Farming for the Future Award
The Farming for the Future Award recognizes YFA members who excel in their farm involvement, future goals, leadership abilities and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Applicants must derive a majority of their income from on-farm production.
Brad Laack resides in Plymouth, Wis. with his wife Nicole and their son Porter. Brad has been a member of the Sheboygan County Farm Bureau for over 10 years. He is the majority partner of Lake Effect Farms, LLC based out of Sheboygan Falls, WI where they raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa and winter wheat in addition to custom spraying, planting and harvesting for surrounding farms.
Jacob and Eliza Bobolz farm in rural Janesville, growing corn, soybeans, hay and Simmental beef cattle. Jacob farms alongside his parents, Loren and Jan Bobolz and works part-time for Johnson Tractor. Eliza works for Broaster Company. The couple has one daughter, Sadie.
Sydney Flick is the farm manager at her family's farm Jazzy Jerseys in Lodi, Wis. Sydney manages the cows, team members and accounting for the 800-cow dairy. Recently the farm added a farm store and began retail selling beef, both of which she currently manages. She is active in dairy promotion and serves as the Cows on the Concourse committee chair. Sydney is the YFA chair for Columbia County Farm Bureau. In their spare time, she and her husband Eddie enjoy cross country skiing throughout the winter.
Victoria Wachholz and her husband Aaron own a diversified organic farm in Marquette County where they custom raise organic dairy heifers, have a small dairy and beef herd, raise farrow-to-feeder and farrow-to-finish hogs, chickens, and organic crops. Victoria direct markets grass-fed beef, all-natural pork, and poultry products through their on-farm and online retail store. Victoria is a member of the Marquette County Farm Bureau where she serves as the Promotion and Education Committee Chair, represents the County Farm Bureau on the fair board and manages the Farm Bureau food stand at the Marquette County Fair.
Outstanding Ag Professional Award
The Outstanding Agriculture Professional Award recognizes members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program who excel in their leadership abilities, agriculture involvement, and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. Applicants are agriculturists who have not derived a majority of their income from a farm (that they own) in the past three years.
Brooke Trustem is a sixth-generation dairy farmer from Evansville, Wis. She also works full-time off the farm as the Marketing & Events Coordinator at BouMatic in Madison. Brooke is the Rock County Farm Bureau YFA Chair and a participant in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute Class 15. She is also active with the Evansville FFA Alumni and Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association.
Julie Sweney is the executive director of the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) based in Madison. She serves on the Dodge County Farm Bureau board of directors and as the communications committee chair, is a graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute and served as the first president of the UW-Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau. She enjoys spending time with her husband Todd and their daughter Sadie while attending festivals, agritourism events and state parks across Wisconsin.
Kaitlyn Kesler is the director of communications and outreach for the Wisconsin Beef Council. Her passion for agriculture started on her family's registered Jersey farm near Gays Mills. She served as the 48th Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs and the 71st Alice in Dairyland. In 2022, Kaitlyn received the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation 35 under 35 Award for Sustainable Storytelling because of her work with the Wisconsin Beef Council and currently is participating in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute.
Tammy Wiedenbeck is the Senior Brand Manager for Hilbert Communications, Bug Tussel Wireless and AT&T Subsidiaries. She is also the seventh generation on her family’s farm near Lancaster, Wis. and manages a photography business. In addition to her involvement with the Grant County Farm Bureau, Tammy was appointed to the Nutrition and Health Committee and Executive Committee on the National Cattlemen's Beef Board. Tammy is a lifetime member of the Grant County Cattlemen's Association, Lancaster FFA Alumni and UW-Platteville Alumni.
YFA Discussion Meet
The YFA Discussion Meet gives a young member an opportunity to demonstrate his or her speaking skills on agricultural-related topics. A contestant is judged on his or her problem-solving skills as he or she discuss timely topics with colleagues.
Andrea Edquist is the marketing coordinator at McFarlane Manufacturing. She grew up on a crop farm and showed animals through 4-H at the state and local levels. She recently graduated from UW-Platteville with a degree in agribusiness. She says she is proud to be a Farm Bureau member because it fights for the future of agriculture while protecting its members.
Whitney Rathke is an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Random Lake School. She combined her love of teaching and traveling, and this summer will take students to Italy, Scotland and Ireland. Whitney enjoys participating in the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet and is proud to be a Farm Bureau member because it allows her to be part of the grassroots decision-making process.
Brooke Trustem is a sixth-generation dairy farmer from Evansville. She also works full-time off the farm at BouMatic in Madison. Brooke is the Rock County Farm Bureau YFA Chair along with serving on the Evansville FFA Alumni Board and WALSAA Board of Directors. Brooke enjoys Farm Bureau because it gives her the chance to connect with fellow agriculturists in her community and around the state.
Nate Zimdars is a farm broadcaster with the MidWest Farm Report. He grew up on a small hobby farm outside of Ripon raising sheep and poultry. He attended UW-Fond du Lac and UW-Madison majoring in political science and history. He is a former state FFA Officer and Wisconsin FFA Alumni President. Nate says Farm Bureau has provided him the opportunity to build confidence in his speaking abilities, knowledge of policy and relationships with other agriculture advocates across the state.
Scott Timm is a graduate of UW-Platteville who now owns Green Co. Farms and Farmstand and a seed business near Monroe. He is a Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute graduate and has served on the Green County Farm Bureau board for six years. Scott says he is proud to be a Farm Bureau member because of the good people representing this organization and his desire to help. Those connections have helped him grow professionally while building his personal network.
Andrew Dal Santo is an agronomy instructor at Southwest Technical College. He received a bachelors degree in agribusiness from UW-Platteville. He has been actively involved in Grant County Farm Bureau, serving as the YFA chair, on the County Farm Bureau board, as the District 3 YFA Representative and is a graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute. Andrew is proud to make a difference through Farm Bureau’s grassroots process and enjoys being surrounded by members who have the same passions as him.
Ben Cooper works on his family’s farm near Wiota, Wis. He attended Iowa State University where he earned a degree in dairy science. Off the farm, Ben enjoys playing softball, skiing and watching sports. He is proud to be a Farm Bureau member because he enjoys connecting with and meeting people who have shared interests in agriculture.
Sam Pinchart is a beef farmer and agriscience teacher from Cobb, Wis. Sam attended South Dakota State University where he earned a degree in agriculture education. He enjoys fishing, farming and playing chess. He is proud to be a voice for young farmers and aspiring agriculturists through Farm Bureau.
Allison Doenier is a farm loan officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has a masters degree in business administration, and enjoys fishing and spending time with her loved ones. She enjoys being a Farm Bureau member to collaborate with other agriculture professionals and building connections.
Andrea is the 4-H program educator for Trempealeau and Jackson counties. She grew up on a diversified farm in Buffalo County before attending UW-Platteville where she earned a degree in agriculture education. She is a Leadership Institute graduate and is proud to be a Farm Bureau member because she considers it a family affair.
Erica Gentry is the agriculture communications specialist with UW-Madison Division of Extension. She also dairy farms alongside her husband, Dominick, and her parents. She attended UW-Madison where she earned degrees in agronomy and agriculture business. She is a past Collegiate Farm Bureau member, Leadership Institute graduate and former Jackson County YFA Chair. She is Farm Bureau proud because she loves the connections and opportunities that the organization provides for members like her.
Alana Biermeier is the program technician in-charge at Juneau County Farm Service Agency. She grew up on her family’s farm before attending UW-Platteville where she earned degrees in animal science and agriculture business. She is the Juneau County Farm Bureau YFA Co-Chair. She enjoys Farm Bureau for the networking, resources, education and opportunities it provides her as a member.
Chad Bruss milks 160 cows with his brother and parents on their farm near Markesan. He was born and raised on the farm before earning a degree in animal science from UW-Platteville. He currently serves as Green Lake County Farm Bureau’s YFA Chair and on the WFBF Dairy Committee. He is proud to be a Farm Bureau member because he enjoys meeting like-minded people with passions in agriculture.
Ann Glowacki is an agricultural science teacher at Southern Door County High School. She has a bachelor degree in agricultural education from UW-River Falls and enjoys spending time with her fiancé Ben, family, friends and pets. She is currently the Door County Ag in the Classroom Coordinator and on the Door County Farm Bureau board of directors. She is a Farm Bureau member to learn from others and take that knowledge back to her classroom to build connections for her students.
Gavin Sinkula farms alongside his family on their farm, Irish Acres, near Two Rivers, Wis. He is a member of the Manitowoc County Farm Bureau board and enjoys building Legos, video games and learning to cook. He is a Farm Bureau member because he wants to see agriculture back in the spotlight and for Wisconsin farms to be successful.
Jessica Batterman farms alongside her husband, Steve, and his parents on their dairy farm near Theresa, as well as with her parents on their dairy farm near Random Lake. She is also a stay-at-home mom caring for their son, August. She earned a bachelors degree in community health education from UW-La Crosse and enjoys gardening and canning in her spare time. This is Jessica’s first year serving on the Sheboygan County Farm Bureau board of directors and participating in the Discussion Meet. She encourages other YFA members to get involved to build great relationships across the state.
Hallie Rehn teaches agricultural education and science at Oconto Falls High School. She holds a bachelors in agricultural education and a masters degree in biology education. She is the Oconto County Farm Bureau YFA Chair and has attended the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. In her spare time, she enjoys raising chickens, canning, learning and spending time with family. She is Farm Bureau Proud because Farm Bureau continues to support farmers and ranchers feeding the world.
Stephanie Jentz is a dairy cattle nutritionist and feed salesmen. She grew up on a 300-cow dairy farm before attending college for agricultural business. She is a new Farm Bureau member who looks forward to the opportunities the organization has to offer. She enjoys being a member to continue building connections in various aspects of agriculture.
Paul Lippert is a dairy farmer from Pittsville, Wis. He attended UW-River Falls where he earned a degree in dairy science and is a graduate of Farm and Industry Short Course. He enjoys travelling, cross country skiing and spending time outdoors. He is proud to be a Farm Bureau member because of its support of local farmers through its grassroots policy process.
William Litzer works at Marathon Cheese Corp. near Marathon. He is involved with the Marathon County Farm Bureau as a director on the board. In addition to Farm Bureau, William is the Wisconsin Section 7 FFA Alumni representative, and enjoys running, reading and snowshoeing. William is a Farm Bureau member because he enjoys making a difference in his community and county.
Isaac Christenson is an ag and commercial lender at Pillar Bank in Clear Lake. He attended UW-River Falls where he earned a degree in agribusiness. He enjoys spending time outdoors, including boating, fishing, hiking, hunting and outdoor photography. He is a current member of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute and a past participant in the Discussion Meet contest. He is a Farm Bureau member because he says the organization strives to make a positive difference for its members, for which is he is proud to be a part of.
Sierra Solum is the assistant manager and head cake decorator at Rice Lake Marketplace. She also helps on her family's farm and owns a line of registered Holstein cows. She earned a bachelors degree in agriculture business and enjoys painting, swing dancing, cooking and baking. She is involved in Farm Bureau to keep her connection to agriculture strong and find more ways to be involved.
Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet
The Collegiate Discussion Meet is an activity designed to build crucial skills in young, active farmers and agriculturalists. By participating, members build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. The competitors will discuss a pre-selected topic.
Amanda is a sophomore studying plant pathology. She wants to pursue a career working on fungus or Wisconsin crops. She is the current Ag in the Classroom coordinator for UW-Madison’s Collegiate Farm Bureau. Amanda grew up raising pigs with her family to show at their local county fair. Amanda enjoys lending a helping hand by milking dairy goats on a family friend's farm and enjoys spending time outside.
Ethan Jackowski is a sophomore pursuing a degree in biochemistry and public policy certificate. Ethan does not come from a production agriculture background, but rather found his passion for agriculture when he joined FFA his freshman year of high school. He now serves as the vice president of Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-Madison. He is looking forward to being an advocate for agriculture. Ethan is competing for his second time in the Collegiate Discussion Meet.
Isaac is a sophomore studying soil and crop science and agribusiness. While he did not grow up on a farm, Isaac embraced every opportunity he had to do so, from working with sheep back home to helping with harvest. Outside of Collegiate Farm Bureau, Isaac is a member of the Collegiate Crops Team, serves on the Ag Exec Council, Alpha Gamma Rho as the Vice Noble Ruler of Planning, and is the sponsor chair for Block and Bridle. After college, Isaac hopes to work as a seeds salesman for a major seed company.
Katelyn Meinholz is a sophomore studying agribusiness with aspirations to follow her father's footsteps on their 2,100-cow dairy farm north of Madison. Katelyn was an active member of both 4-H and FFA, and continues to help her younger siblings show animals at both the state and county fair. She is currently active in the Sigma Alpha chapter at UW-Platteville, Collegiate Farm Bureau and Ag Business club.
Brooke Casey is a pre-veterinary student at UW-River Falls studying animal science with an equine emphasis. She grew up with her grandma's horses and became more involved in high school when she purchased a filly to train and raise. Brooke was involved in FFA through the Veterinary Science Career Development Event, discussion meet and parliamentary procedure. She served as a Wisconsin State FFA Vice President in 2022-2023. She is also involved in the ranch horse team, Pre-Veterinary Club, Falcon Sports Shooting team, Agricultural Education Society and the animal welfare judging assessment contest.
Katie Zimmer is a fourth year student at UW-River Falls studying agricultural education and agricultural business. She grew up on her family's dairy farm which later became a beef farm in Glen Flora, Wis. She was highly involved in the Rusk County Fair and FFA, serving as the Rusk County Fairest of the Fair and a Wisconsin State FFA Officer. At UW-River Falls, she enjoys staying active in Agricultural Education Society, Alpha Tau Alpha, Sigma Alpha and as an Agriculture Future of America ambassador.