Ag Faces in the Crowd

Wisconsin State Farmer
Newsmakers in the agricultural world

WAAE honors educators

Becky Grabarski, agricultural educator at Adams-Friendship High School, has been awarded the Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Award from the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE). This prestigious award was presented at the WAAE Professional Development Conference held in La Crosse, Wis. on June 23-27.

Becky Grabarski

Other educators honored include: Dale Drees, lead instructor at Fox Valley Technical College, Honored Educator award; Fay Westberg, retired from UW-River Falls Ag Ed Dept., VIP Award;  Katelyn Dei, Slinger High School, Teacher Turn the Key Award and Scholarship; Troy Talford, Sauk Prairie High School, Teacher Mentor Award; Tjark Sattler, Parkview School District, Outstanding Young Member award.

Programs recognized include: Landscape, Plant and Turf Management Program at Chippewa Valley Technical College Outstanding Post-Secondary Program Award; Kiel Middle and High Schools and New Richmond High School Outstanding Agricultural Education Program Award.

Amelia Hayden

Hayden is Star Finalist for Agriscience

Former president of the Wisconsin FFA officer team has been named a finalist for the American Star in Agriscience award. Amelia Hayden’s SAE project will compete for national honors at the National FFA Convention this fall.

Hayden’s project is focused on agriscience research in animal and integrated systems. The UW Madison student is also a national FFA officer candidate.

Doug Kratt

Kratt is AVMA president-elect

Douglas Kratt of Onalaska, was elected American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) president-elect at the AVMA Convention in Washington, D.C.. A University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine graduate, Dr. Kratt practices at Central Animal Hospital, a small animal veterinary hospital that he has owned since 1998.

Locally, Dr. Kratt established medical and preventative care protocols for police canines and donates veterinary care to the Wisconsin State Patrol K9s, the Onalaska Police Department, Campbell Police Department, Holmen Police Department and Tomah’s Police Department K9s.

Brad Solchenberger

Equity elects board members

New officers were elected during Equity Cooperative Livestock’s annual district meetings held in March. Regional board of directors include: Steve Schleis, Kewaunee, WI (District III); Les Danielson, Cadott, WI (District VI); and Brad Solchenberger, Cazenovia, WI (District IX). Following a reorganizational board meeting, the following individuals were elected to serve the board; Les Danielson, chairman of the board; David Wilke, vice chairman of the board; Steve Schleis, secretary/treasurer; and Karl Merow, assistant secretary/treasurer. Former chairman, Norm Fruit stepped down after 20 years of service to the board.

Maria Arendt

Arendt receives Alltech Research award

Maria Arendt, who recent received her Ph.D. from UW Madison, was awarded the 36th Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award. The award is given to a student who is the senior author of an outstanding research manuscript published in Poultry Science or The Journal of Applied Poultry Research.

Arendt’s winning paper entitled “Oral antibody to IL-10 Receptor 2, but not IL-10 Receptor 1, as an effective Eimeria spp. immunotherapy in broiler chickens,” was published in January 2019.

Mandy Masters

Masters new WFBF director of Member Relations

Mandy Masters has been hired by the WI Farm Bureau Federation as its Director of Member Relations. Masters will serve as staff advisor to the WFBF Promotion and Education Committee and assist with volunteer training functions, planning and conducting a variety of Farm Bureau meetings and events and will provide staff support to WFBF’s nine district coordinators. She began her duties on June 3.

Landmark Welcomes New Leadership

Landmark Services Cooperative announced that Lee Parker has accepted the position of vice president of the energy and retail services division, effective June 17. In this role, Lee will be leading the energy and retail services team focusing on strategic planning, business profitability, and employee growth and development.

Brooke Roberts

WI Beef Council hired Roberts

Brooke Roberts has been hired by the Wisconsin Beef Council to serve as their Director of Communications and Outreach. In her role, Roberts will provide oversight of producer and consumer communications, Farm to Fork tours, and Beef in the Classroom programs. She started her role on June 3. 

Alsum-Dykstra, Lindner named to Produce Business 40-Under-Forty

Alsum Farms & Produce associates Wendy Alsum-Dykstra and Christine Lindner were named 2019 Produce Business 40-Under-Forty award winners. The award recognizes the produce industry’s top young leaders.

Wendy Alsum Dykstra
Christine Lindner

Alsum-Dykstra serves as Chief Operating Officer of Logistics and Maintenance while Lindner serves as Marketing Manager at Alsum Farms & Produce, the innovative Wisconsin grower, packer and shipper of potatoes, onions and provider of fresh produce.

The women will be recognized at an award ceremony at 2019 PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California in October.

Scott Heiberger

Heiberger to lead Farm Safety Group

The communications manager of the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic has been chosen to lead the International Society of Agricultural Safety and Health. He will serve a one-year term as president of the organization that provides leadership in the prevention of ag injuries and illnesses and is dedicated to the development of ag safety and health professionals.

Lins, Payne outstanding CAFES seniors

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at UW-River Falls named Montana Lins and Vicki Payne as outstanding seniors at the 36th Annual Senior Supper. Lins was awarded the Rochelle Junkman Seymour award for the graduating senior with the highest GPA Payne winning the Dr. Earl Hildebrand Memorial Award.

Foremost Farms USA announces leadership changes

Foremost Farms USA® announced that Michael Doyle will retire as Foremost Farms President and Chief Executive Officer by the end of the year. Doyle was appointed President and CEO of the farmer-owned dairy cooperative in 2014. Doyle joined Foremost Farms in 2007 as Senior Vice President-Finance/CFO. Foremost Farms will conduct a search for a new president and CEO beginning immediately.

Michael Doyle

Stieve, Touir honored by CentralStar

Harvey Stieve, Dodgeville, was awarded area sales manager (ASM) of the year, with Eric Westphal, Byron, recognized as runner-up during the annual CentralStar Cooperative employee awards banquet in June. Mohammed Touir, Madison, achieved member service representative (MSR) of the year, with Kurt Barnes, Kiel, as runner-up. The winners are  employees from the previous East Central/Select Sires prior to the merger.

UW-RF team places 2nd at nationals

The UW River Falls Western Team is AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) Trophy Reserve National Champions, the highest honor the team has earned in its history at UWRF. The team earned 41 points to secure this top placement at IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association) Nationals in Syracuse, N.Y.

The UWRF Western Team includes Libby Alders; Kendyl Bennett; Emily Edwards; Danielle Paulson; and Krista Schoenfelder. Schoenfelder was named national champion in Team Advanced Horsemanship.

Equity welcomes new staff

Scott Anderson and Derek Fenner recently joined the work force at Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association in Baraboo. Anderson will be taking on the role of Commodity Broker and will work with producers who utilize cattle contracts.

Scott Anderson
Derek Fenner

Fenner has taken on the role of System Administrator and is responsible for support and maintenance of the cooperative’s network infrastructure from the corporate office throughout all market locations.

Yodelay Yogurt Friend of Collegiate Farm Bureau

Collegiate Farm Bureau honored Yodelay Yogurt and outstanding class members at their annual banquet on the University of Wisconsin - Madison campus. Yodalay donated yogurt for both Harvest Handouts and Ag Day on Campus events.

Collegiate Farm Bureaus recognized four students for their dedication, hard work and enthusiasm toward Collegiate Farm Bureau: Taylor Gracyalny of Pulaski; Lindsey Sarbacker of Stoughton; Liz Grady of Oregon; and Molly Hendrickson of Hollandale.

Summer Henschel of Chilton will serve as the CFB president while Meikah Dado of Amery is the next vice president. Brittany Teunissen of Cedar Grove is secretary while Addison Arndt of Ontario is treasurer. Emily Matzke of Sauk Prairie will serve as director of ag in the classroom while Grady will serve as director of public relations.

Troy Peifer

Milk Specialties Global welcomes new CFO

Milk Specialties Global announced the appointment of Troy Peifer as the new Chief Financial Officer. Peifer joined Milk Specialties in early 2019 and brings with him over 20 years of experience leading accounting, finance, information technology, and legal teams.

Peifer will report directly to David Lenzmeier, CEO and will be located at the Milk Specialties Global headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Equity honored at WI 4-H Hall of Fame Gala

The Wisconsin 4-H Foundation announced that Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association, headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin, was honored as a major partner and contributor at the 2018 Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame Gala.

Patty Lehn

Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center announces new Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center has tapped Patty Kuester Lehn as the facility’s new Executive Director. She began her role April 1. Lehn is a Manitowoc County native and brings a diverse career to Farm Wisconsin.  She most recently spent three years as the Director of Marketing & Communications at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac.  

Jorgensen marks 25-year milestone

Jorgensen was recognized with a milestone service award during Select Sires Inc.’s employee appreciation dinner. Jorgensen, senior Holstein sire analyst, received a 25-year service award. Based out of Waupun, Wis., Jorgensen is responsible for Holstein and Red & White sire acquisition and manages the Showcase Selections program.

Kevin Jorgensen