Ag Faces in the Crowd

Wisconsin State Farmer

Mess siblings 2020 Outstanding Dairy Youth Exhibitors

Kaylee and Sam Mess, Rosendale, have been awarded the 2020 Fond du Lac County Project Outstanding Dairy Youth Exhibitor Award. The Outstanding Dairy Youth Award recognizes dairy youth who have shown exceptional involvement in the dairy project. The annual award is based on the dairy youth activities, leadership, teaching responsibilities, and awards and accomplishments of the recipient.

Kaylee Mess
Sam Mess

Kaylee Mess, 17, was awarded the Sr. Outstanding Dairy Youth Exhibitor, and Sam Mess, 15, was honored as Jr. Outstanding Dairy Youth Exhibitor. The siblings attend Laconia High School and are the children of Austin and Deb Mess of Rosendale, WI.

Ricke named director of UW-Madison program

The UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) has named Steven Ricke as the new director of the college’s Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery (MSABD) program, which is housed within the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. The program involves research, teaching and outreach in the areas of meat science, food safety, and the discovery of animal biologics.

Steven Ricke

Ricke comes to CALS from the University of Arkansas, where he was hired as a professor of food science in 2005. Ricke is well-known for his research exploring how Salmonella and Campylobacter survive in food animals on the farm and during processing as well as interventions to reduce the risk these foodborne pathogens pose to consumers.

Ricke’s responsibilities as MSABD director include assessment, strategic guidance and oversight of the research, teaching and outreach efforts of the program.

The MSABD program, which is currently in the process of moving into a $60 million state-of-the-art facility. 

Tractor Supply Co. supports 4-H campaign

Tractor Supply Company and Wisconsin 4-H Foundation have teamed up again for the Paper Clover Campaign. For every $1 paper clover sold at a Wisconsin TSC during the campaign, 90 cents will be directed to the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation to be used for leadership activities. The other dime supports National 4-H Council. The Fall 2020 campaign is October 7 through October 18. 

Brenda Scheider, Executive Director of the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation says the Tractor Supply Co. campaigns provided $15,000 to support leadership programming like the Fall Leadership Forum and the Wisconsin Leadership Council last year.

Rick Findlay

Findlay to lead DFW Foodservice Program

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin welcomed Rick Findlay to the Channel Programs team to head up foodservice initiatives for Wisconsin Cheese. Findlay joins the organization with nearly 35 years of experience in food, most recently as the VP of Fresh Merchandising at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

As the foodservice lead, Findlay will manage the development of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin's foodservice promotional programs and coordinate their implementation. He will establish and maintain long-term alliances with operators that understand and are willing to utilize and enhance the value of the Wisconsin brand in addition to strengthening distributor partnerships to build Wisconsin Cheese distribution and leverage the strength of the Wisconsin Cheese brand.

Findlay is currently serving as Chairman of the Board for the International Deli Dairy Bakery Association (IDDBA) and has worked as a Board Member for the National Pork Council.

Anzy Maerz

Maerz joins Wisconsin Farm Bureau team

Anzy Maerz has been hired as bookkeeper II for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s operations division. 

In this role, Maerz will provide bookkeeping support to county Farm Bureaus that are part of the county financial services program. Previous to working with WFBF, she worked with local public accounting firm. She began her duties on September 14.

Farmers Union welcomes Rosen to Board of Directors

Dave Rosen is the newest member of the WI Farmers Union board of directors. Rosen will represent Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, and St. Croix counties in the District 2 Director position that was recently vacated when Lauren Langworthy stepped down to join the Farmers Union staff.

Dave Rosen

Rosen owns and operates a dairy farm with his brother and father near Forest in St. Croix County. They milk 140 cows and run 700 acres of corn, oats, alfalfa, and soybeans. Rosen is a lifelong member of WFU. He participated in the youth program, attending Farmers Union Camps at Kamp Kenwood in Chippewa Falls, Wis. and All-States camp in Bailey, Colo., and receiving the Torchbearer award.

He is a graduate of the Farmers Union Enterprises Leadership program and also has attended the NFU Fly-in, where he had the opportunity to lobby on rural issues.

Lewton named VP swine technical sales manager

Jaron Lewton

Jaron Lewton recently joined Vita Plus as an eastern region swine technical sales manager.  Based in Indiana, Lewton will use his nursery research and sow management experience to provide farm-specific nutrition and management solutions.

 He will also provide leadership for Vita Plus swine team members and dealers to help serve customers in eastern Indiana and Ohio. 

Steven Schauer joins DBA and Edge as communications specialist

Steven Schauer, an experienced communications professional, has joined the Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.

In a new communications specialist role, Schauer is putting strong storytelling skills to work while assisting in social media, news media relations and member communications. He is particularly focusing on the progress of a growing number of innovative farmer-led watershed conservation groups that DBA and Edge closely support through the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance.

Steven Schauer

Schauer has worked in communications for more than a decade and most recently served for nine years as the director of athletic communications at Concordia University Wisconsin. He also previously worked with the Green Bay Packers and at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He has a background in news media and creating content in written, social media and video forms. 

Strassburg re-elected as DFW board chair

The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) board of directors re-elects Jeff Strassburg as the Board Chair at its annual reorganization meeting. Strassburg is a fifth-generation dairy farmer from Wittenburg representing District 9 (Menomonee, Shawano and Waupaca counties). He, along with the newly elected Executive Committee, will lead the organization through the next fiscal year, which began July 1 and will conclude June 30, 2021. 

DFW board members elected to serve on the Executive Committee with Strassburg include: Janet Clark, (Rosendale, District 16) will serve as Vice-Chair; Secretary will be Julie Maurer, (Newton, District 17); and Treasurer is Jay Stauffacher, (Darlington, District 23). Also elected to serve on the seven-person Executive Committee are Steven Sternweis, (Marshfield, District 8) Chair, Communications Committee; David Bangart, (Greenwood, District 7) Chair, Channel Management Committee; and Kay Zwald, (Hammond, District 5) Chair, Policy/Bylaw Committee.  

Jeff Strassburg

Additionally, the Board selected Mike Verhasselt (Kaukauna, District 11) to serve as Chair of the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) liaison committee. DFW continues to support the efforts of the internationally recognized dairy research center through funding, research, collaboration and technical support. 

Board Members announced following Landmark and Countryside merger

Countryside members voted "Yes" in August 2020 to confirm the merger between Landmark Services Cooperative and Countryside Cooperative. The merger of the two longstanding Wisconsin-based cooperatives will go into effect on March 1, 2021.

As envisioned since the beginning of the merger exploration process, continuity of board leadership will play a critical role during the merger integration process.

Initially, the new cooperative's board will consist of 10 directors, composed of six directors from the Landmark region and four directors from the Countryside region. Eventually, the board will evolve to have a total of eight seats, with five directors from Landmark and three from Countryside.

The board members of the new cooperative, who began meeting in September 2020, are as follows: Landmark Region - Jim Lange (board chair), east; Kevin Klahn (Secretary), south; Max Wenck, Sandy Larson and Brian Brown, at large; Keven Schultz, north.                          

Countryside Region - John Creaser (Vice Chair), south; Ken Gabler (Vice Secretary), north; Tim Bates and David Lundgren, at large.

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