Ag Faces in the Crowd - Johnson to lead WHA

Wisconsin State Farmer
Newsmakers in the agricultural world


Johnson is Executive Director of WHA

The Wisconsin Holstein Association has named Darin Johnson as Executive Director. Johnson has more than a decade of experience as a Regional Sales Representative for Holstein USA.

Darin Johnson

He will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the association including membership, employee relations, and all operational needs.

Previously, Johnson was an agricultural lender with River Bank of Bangor and a regional representative for Holstein Association USA.

Over the years, Johnson served as a summer intern for Wisconsin Holstein Association and was recognized as a Distinguished Junior Member.


Nerison is DBA’s Legislator of the Year

State Rep. Lee Nerison, R-Westby, has received the Dairy Business Association’s Legislator of the Year Award for his strong support of the state’s dairy community. The award was presented Jan. 18 during the DBA’s annual conference, Dairy Strong 2017: The Journey Forward, at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center.

Nerison, who has represented residents in District 96 in southwestern Wisconsin since 2004, is chairman of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.

Lee Nerison

“I’m a dairy farmer; that’s what I did. It’s in my heart and it’s in my head,” he said. “I want to make sure that we can keep moving forward with our ag industry, especially dairy.”

Legislators receiving the Legislative Excellence Award include: Assembly members - Nancy VanderMeer, Ed Brooks, Warren Petryk, Gary Tauchen, Bob Kulp, Amy Loudenbeck, Robin Vos, Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Michael Schraa, Keith Ripp, Rob Brooks, Travis Tranel, Rob Swearingen, David Steffen, Adam Jarchow, John Jagler, Joan Ballweg, Kathy Bernier, John Nygren, Mary Cjaza, Terry Katsma, Jeff Mursau, Tyler Vorpagel, Jim Steineke, Samantha Kerkman and Adam Neylon and Senate members - Howard Marklein, Frank Lasee, Sheila Harsdorf, Roger Roth, Scott Fitzgerald, Alberta Darling and Terry Moulton.


DBMM Cooperative members select directors

Randy Hallet

Members of the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative elected directors at the group’s annual business meeting during the third annual Dairy Strong 2017. Members elected Randy Hallet, owner of Hallet Dairy Farm LLC in Casco, and re-elected Jerry Meissner, owner of Norm-E-Lane Inc. in Chili, to the DBMMC board.

In addition to running his dairy farm with his son. Hallet is chairman of the Kewaunee County Board of Adjustments and the Casco Town Zoning of Appeals Board. He is also a member of the Kewaunee County Ground Water Task Force and has served as a delegate for both Genex and Accelerated Genetics. Hallet originally served on the DBMMC’s board when the organization started.

Jerry Meissner

Meissner, a lifelong dairy farmer, was integral in the development of DBMMC and has served on the board since it started. He has also been a leader in Dairy Business Association and various community boards. Meissner has testified at hearings for policies that benefit dairy farmers in both Madison and Washington D.C.

Board officers remain unchanged: John Pagel, president; Todd Doornink, vice president; Jim Winn, secretary; and Mitch Davis, treasurer.


DBA members select directors, officers

Dairy Business Association members elected two new directors, a new president and other new officers during the annual business meeting at the Dairy Strong 2017: The Journey Forward conference Jan. 18.

Lee Kinnard

Newly elected board directors include farmer representatives Lee Kinnard, owner of Kinnard Farms Inc. in Casco, and Amy Penterman, owner of Dutch Dairy LLC in Thorp.

Mike North, president and founder of Commodity Risk Management Group in Platteville, was re-elected as the board’s corporate representative and selected as the group’s new president. North replaces Calumet County farmer Gordon Speirs as president. Speirs will be president emeritus.

Kinnard has dedicated his life to farming, seeking to improve his family’s farm and protect and enhance natural resources through cutting-edge practices and innovative decision-making. Kinnard is a board member for Peninsula Pride Farms, a farmer-led environmental stewardship coalition in Kewaunee and southern Door counties. He also played a leading role in the formation of the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance.

Amy Penterman

Penterman owns and operates Dutch Dairy with her husband, Sander. She also has worked as a crop insurance agent for 18 years and was in the Farm Credit lending system for 15 years. Penterman is a member of the DBA Public Relations Committee and serves as president for the Thorp FFA Alumni.

Other officer changes included Tom Crave as vice president, Cindy Leitner as secretary and Lloyd Holterman as treasurer.


Endres receives DBA’s Advocacy Award

Jeff Endres

The state’s dairy community honored a Waunakee farmer for his work in helping to build a successful family dairy and an innovative environmental stewardship program.

The Dairy Business Association’s Advocacy Award was given to Jeff Endres, a co-owner of Endres Berryridge Farms LLC, on Jan. 18 during the organization’s Dairy Strong 2017:.

Endres, along with his brothers, Steve and Randy, and their families, guided the farm’s expansion from the 60 cows his parents milked to 550 cows today, allowing the dairy to remain competitive and profitable. Endres was also one of the founders of Yahara Pride Farms, a farmer-led non-profit organization that works to improve water and soil quality. Endres serves as the organization’s chairman.