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In 1931, brothers Frank and John Riesterer and their long-time fishing companion, Henry Schnell, decided to chase what, at the time, seemed to be an impossible dream — starting their own business in the middle of the worst economic downturn in United States History — The Great Depression.

Riesterer & Schnell, Inc. is celebrating its 85th Anniversary this year by giving back to the community that so generously supported their longevity. The company's Board of Directors approved a $250,000 lead gift support to the capital campaign to build the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center (WAEC) in Manitowoc County.

This gift will be made in honor of the company's founders, Frank Riesterer, John Riesterer and Henry Schnell and its countless agricultural partners over the last eight and half decades.

"We are excited to be a believer and supporter of WAEC. We are thankful for the support of our loyal customers and our dedicated R&S team members. Without them, this donation would not be possible," said Waldo Riesterer. "The education of agriculture and how it is changing with the use of technology is important for people of all ages. The center will help educate current and future generations on how farmers are feeding the world."

Riesterer noted that by supporting WAEC, it allows the company to be part of shaping the future by the education of all.

"We could not think of a better way to honor our past and show our appreciation to our employees and customers than with this donation, as we celebrate an important milestone in Riesterer & Schnell's history and look forward to the future," said Frank Riesterer. "Thank you to everyone who joins us in supporting this important project."

Nic Schoenberger, WAEC Board Vice-President, said Riesterer & Schnell connects with its customers to ensure they are delivering the innovative and advanced solutions to support a changing agricultural industry.

"With their commitment to the center, we will be able to continue to tell the agricultural story of how

agriculture is a progressive industry," Schoenberger said.

Melissa Bender, executive director of the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center, said they were "overjoyed" to have the support of Riesterer & Schnell, a local, family-owned business in Wisconsin.

"We are proud of the outpouring of local support thus far in the campaign," Bender said. "This gift will help us educate visitors of all ages on the agricultural industry and why it is important to them."

The Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center will be state-of-the-art agricultural education center, located in Manitowoc County, will provide visitors with the opportunity to connect to the industry by better understanding of where their food comes from and why agriculture is important to them.

The center will include a discovery center that features hands-on learning opportunities through many displays and an opportunity to tour Grotegut Dairy Farm. The farm focuses on sustainability and best farming practices while milking 2,400 cows three times a day. A highlight for visitors will be the chance to view the birth of calves from the Grotegut Dairy Farm at the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center in the Birthing Barn.

For more information contact Bender at 920-693-1372 or by email at Melissa.bender@gotoltc.edu.

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