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FOND DU LAC, WI

Last year marked the 35th anniversary of the Fond du Lac Area Agri-Business Council. Over 100 past and present members were on hand to celebrate at the 2015 Annual Meeting held on Nov. 12, 2015, in Fond du Lac.

A special video produced by Joe Truesdale of Holiday Automotive in cooperation with the Council's history committee, showcased the history of the Council. Funding for the project was provided by Mike Shannon of Holiday Automotive.

"Fortunately, the Agri-Business Council membership has many new and younger faces. In order for them to move forward, it helps to see the things that lead up to activities the Agri-Business Council is featuring now," said Rae Nell Halbur, history committee member and longtime Agri-Business Council member.

The agriculture industry is changing on a daily basis. If the Agri-Business Council is going to continue to grow it needs to change with the industry, she said.

"Those changes are easier if you are not retracing your steps. Our hopes were to capture those historical steps with the video," Halbur said.

Current President Rebecca Zivkovich sees the history as part of the future.

"When the founders developed the excellent concept of the Agri-Business Council, they decided to change. They decided to try something new," Zivkovich said. "They wanted to educate all ages of our community about the impact of agriculture in an efficient and effective manner. They never dreamed it would be as much as a success as it has become. Their amazing dedication is what our amazing volunteers today are working to enhance — to keep this organization vibrant and stable."

Special recognition

In addition to the special video tribute, the Agri-Business Annual Meeting featured numerous Council updates as well as the recognition of many members and volunteers making a difference in the Fond du Lac area.

Special recognition was also given to local educators who have gone above and beyond to experience and promote agriculture in the classroom. The 2015 Teachers of the Year, Mary Nell, 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Redeemer Lutheran school in Fond du Lac and Kayla Adamson, 2nd grade teacher at Lomira Elementary school in Lomira were celebrated for their commitment to area agriculture education.

Adamson was recently named Wisconsin Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year.

Ann Meyers, assistant Agricultural Ambassador was also recognized for 10 years of service with the program. Meyers schedules, prepares curriculum and gives classroom presentations.

Retiring Board members Rebecca Zivkovich, Jackson Kahl Insurance; Sarah Loehr, Forest Ridge Holsteins; and Tim Pruss, CP Feeds were recognized for their years on the Agri-Business Council Board of Directors. Zivkovich also received the Harold Reinecke Award commemorating her year as president of the board.

Three new board members were elected to serve a three year term on the board — Kevin Mueller, Country Visions Coop; David Zappa, Ruedinger Farms; and Kyle Salter, Investors Community Bank. The trio will start their term in January 2016. Jeff Liner, Agromatic Inc was re-elected for a second 3-year term.

Dan and Brenda Michels and family of Michels Farms were honored for hosting the 2015 Breakfast on the Farm. John and Jeff Pickart and families of J&J Pickart Dairy, LLC were announced as hosts of the 2016 Breakfast on the Farm.

Additionally, the silent auction held in conjunction with the annual meeting raised over $6,700 for the Agricultural Ambassador Program.

The Fond du Lac Area Agri-Business Council, a division of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce is cultivating passion for agriculture in the community through education, promotion and partnerships. It is the hope of the council to ensure that our neighbors appreciate the diverse impact of agriculture in their lives, community, and world.

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