Schaals named National Outstanding Young Farmer
Burlington dairy producers, Brian and Renee Schaal were named one of four national winners at the 56th National Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Congress held in Springdale, AR, Feb. 9-12.
The Schaals are members of Foremost Farms USA and represented Wisconsin after placing first in the state contest in January last year.
They were sponsored in the Wisconsin competition by Watertown Area Outstanding Young Farmer group, Racine County Dairy Promotion and Racine County Farm Bureau.
Brian joined his family’s farm after graduating from college in 2002, forming a partnership with his father.
They expanded from a 42-stall stanchion barn to a six-row, 138-freestall barn, expanding the cattle herd from 100 to 300 head. They also grow corn and alfalfa on their 425-acre farm.
After being married the following year, his wife Renee began assisting on a part-time basis. Renee helps with milking and drives tractor when she’s not working at her off-farm job as a risk management specialist.
Since the couple moved onto the farm their children, Michael, 8, and Ashley, 4, have also taken an interest in the family’s business.
Brian spent a semester in the Netherlands and used that experience, together with his bachelor’s degree in dairy science, to turn his negative net worth around to become a profitable dairy businessman.
Under his guidance, the farm’s practices of daily manure hauling and wheelbarrow feeding were replaced with 30-day manure storage and TMR rations.
Automatic takeoff milking units, a variable speed vacuum pump, a 1,500-gallon bulk milk tank and a double-six flat barn milking parlor were added to increase efficiency.
Brian has used genomic information for the past three years to make AI sire selections, and using double ovsynch protocols has increased AI conception rates.
Candidates were judged on the progress in their agricultural career, soil and water conservation practices and contributions to their community, state and nation.
The Congress is sponsored by John Deere, supported by the U.S. Junior Chamber and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) and administered by the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity (OFA).
This is the 58th year for the national awards.
Other national winners were: Andrew and Karlie Bowman of Oneida, IL; Paul II and Joy Tallamy, Wantage, NJ; and Troy and Bobbie Jo Uglem, Northwood, ND.