Ag Faces in the Crowd: Compeer Financial CCO to retire
Compeer Financial CCO to retire
After over 40 years serving the agriculture community in the Farm Credit system, Tim Tracy is retiring as Chief Credit Officer of Compeer Financial.
Tracy, of Rochester, Minn., began his career in 1977 as a loan officer with the Federal Land Bank in Omaha. He has held many roles at Compeer and the former AgStar Financial Services, including loan officer, VP of commercial lending, VP of business solutions and senior vice president chief risk officer before becoming chief credit officer.
Tracy’s career also saw the merging of three Farm Credit organizations in 2017 to form Compeer Financial.
With Tracy’s retirement effective December 28 Compeer Financial’s Chief Risk Officer, Bill Moore, will take on the role of leading the credit department, thereby combining the credit and risk management functions for the organization. Moore currently oversees Compeer Financial’s $23.7 billion portfolio, and joined the organization nearly seven years ago.
Outstanding Young Farmer Finalists tapped
Five Wisconsin farm couples will vie for the 2021 Outstanding Young Farmer Award. This year's nominees include Joseph and Ashley Dudkiewicz, Crivitz; Clint and Erin Hodorff, Eden; Michael and Jenny Jenson, Elk Mound; Shane and Jennifer Sauer, Waterloo; and Leslie and Scott Svacina, Deer Park.
Country Visions Cooperative announces new Agronomy VP
After 46 years with Country Visions Cooperative, standing Vice President, Dennis Halbach, will retire at the end of the year. Brian Madigan of Rosendale will step in as Vice President of Agronomy. Madigan will be responsible for Country Visions’ Agronomy Department consisting of $75 million in sales and eight agronomy locations spread throughout the territory.
Madigan started his career at the cooperative located in Ripon. In 2012, Madigan became the Agronomy Sales manager.
Wussow recognized by AJCA
Colin Wussow of Cecil, Wis., was among 10 Jersey cattle owners recognized by the American Jersey Cattle Association. The UW-River Falls agriculture business major placed sixth in the National Jersey Youth Achievement Contest. Wussow also received the V.L. Peterson Scholarship
Wussow was a finalist for the National FFA Dairy Entrepreneurship Proficiency, recently obtained his American FFA Degree and was a member of Jersey Youth Academy Class VI in 2019.
Corngrowers selected to NCGA teams
The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve their industry as members of the action teams and committees beginning on January 1, 2021. These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that drive NCGA.
Wisconsin Corn will be represented by Mike Berget, Darlington who will serve on the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team; Tom Gillis, River Falls serving on the Ethanol Action Team and Sara Schoenborn, Fitchburg who will serve on the Member & Consumer Engagement Action Team.
Vogel 2020 Distinguished Teacher at UW-RF
Animal Science Associate Professor Kurt Vogel has been named the Distinguished Teacher of the Year at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The award was established 55 years ago and is the highest honor a faculty member can receive on campus. Each year nominations are sought from current seniors and recent graduates.
Vogel grew up on a dairy farm in southwestern Wisconsin, joining the faculty at UW-River Falls in 2011, after earning his Ph.D. from Colorado State University under Professor Temple Grandin. In 2014, Vogel established the Animal Welfare Lab at UW-River Falls.
Trio joins WALSAA Board
Michael Murphy, June Roush, and Brooke Trustem have joined the Wisconsin Agriculture & Life Sciences Alumni Association at UW-Madison. Murphy is a 1987 CALS graduate in agricultural economics and currently works in Syngenta's training department. Roush grew up on a dairy and livestock Century Family Farm in central Wisconsin and earned a degree in agricultural economics. She works John Deere Financial. Trustem is currently the sales and marketing coordinator for BouMatic. Raised on her family's 2,500-cow dairy farm, she is a 2020 UW-Madison CALS graduate
Trudeau named VP swine nutritionist
Michaela (Mickie) Trudeau recently joined Vita Plus as a swine nutritionist. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Trudeau will help design and coordinate research trials, as well as evaluate ingredients and formulations used in Vita Plus swine products. As a member of the swine technical services team, Trudeau will also provide technical leadership and expertise to Vita Plus field staff, dealers, and customers.
Levendofsky returns to WFU as Govt. Relations director
Wisconsin Farmers Union has hired Nick Levendofsky as government relations director. Levendofsky grew up on a diversified crop and beef cattle farm in Kansas. He has been the Director of External Affairs for Rocky Mountain Farmers Union for the past two years and previously worked for WFU and Kansas Farmers Union.
In his new role, Levendofsky will be communicating WFU policy positions and priorities to legislators and officials and keeping members updated on state and federal legislative developments. He began his duties on December 1.
Bouressa named to advisory panel
Rachel Bouressa will represent Wisconsin on the National Farmers Union’s new Climate Change Policy Advisory Panel (CCPAP). As a member of the 16 member panel comprised of family farmers and ranchers, she will inform the organization’s climate-related legislative work, educational programming, outreach, and communications. Each member will serve a one-year term with the option to renew for subsequent terms.
Johnson to lead Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker program
Andy Johnson, Outreach Specialist/Assistant Coordinator for the Cheese Group at the Center for Dairy Research (CDR), has been named Program Coordinator for the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program succeeding retiring Program Coordinator Marianne Smukowski. In this new role, Johnson will be coordinating plant visits, cheese grading and assisting the Master candidates as they participate in the program.
Joanne Gauthier will continue as Administrative Coordinator for the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program and will assist Johnson with the program.
Berklund is new Chief State Forester
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Preston Cole appointed Heather Berklund as the department’s new Chief State Forester. Berklund brings years of on-the-ground Wisconsin forest management and fire control experience to this position. She is the first woman in Wisconsin’s history to hold this role.
Berklund began her forestry career with the Wisconsin DNR in the year 2000, serving as a field forester in Merrill, Crandon and Mercer for more than a decade before becoming the Ashland-Iron team leader and then the Woodruff area leader in 2016.
In her role as the Deputy Division Administrator of Field Operations for the past three years, Berklund led the public and private lands programs, Good Neighbor Authority partnership coordination, forest certification, tax law and fire protection programs.
Tramburg new president of operations at VP
John Tramburg was recently named Vita Plus vice president of operations. Tramburg will provide leadership for all areas related to operations at Vita Plus facilities, including customer service, manufacturing, distribution and safety. Additionally, Tramburg will manage the private transportation fleet as well as analyze all capital expenditure proposals and strategic investments to help Vita Plus better serve customers.
Hellenbrand Honored as Friend of Expo
World Dairy Expo presented Michael Hellenbrand of Cross Plains, Wisconsin with a posthumous 2020 Friend of Expo Award. This award is given annually to volunteers of World Dairy Expo who continuously go above and beyond for the organization. Hellenbrand passed away this summer.
Hellenbrand served on the World Dairy Expo Board of Directors as the current First Vice President and was a past Treasurer and former chairman of numerous committees. His financial background, gained through years of working on Wall Street, were a valuable asset to Expo as Hellenbrand helped to strengthen the organization’s financial position. He also played a large role in the construction of the New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center and was a vocal advocate for Showring ethics and youth exhibitors.
Carson new WVMA Executive Director
The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) has selected Jo-ell Carson as its executive director. In her new role, Carson will be responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the WVMA and for implementing tactics that will continue to keep the WVMA relevant and moving forward. Her first day as WVMA executive director was October 30.
Ballweg to head WI Senate Ag Committee
Senator-elect Joan Ballweg has been selected to serve as the Senate Committee on Agriculture & Tourism. Prior to the Nov. 2 election, Ballweg (R-Markesan) served in the Assembly. She will fill the seat held by Sen. Luther Olsen.
Ballweg’s previous experience in agriculture includes operating a family-owned farm equipment dealership for over 40 years in central Wisconsin. She is considered an advocate for working with farmers to preserve water quality and promote land stewardship.
VP hired Carlson as dairy nutrition and tech services specialist
Dr. David Carlson recently joined Vita Plus as a dairy nutritionist and technical services specialist. Carlson will provide technical support for Vita Plus field staff, dealers, and customers in southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and eastern Iowa. In addition, Carlson will remain up to date on current research and technologies to lead dairy nutrition and management training initiatives.
Springer to serve on CBB board
Steve Springer of Linden, Wis., is among 28 members appointed by the USDA to serve on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotoin and Research Board. All members will service three-year terms beginning Feb. 2021.
FB selects appointees to Promotion and Education Committee
Kathy Muth from Washington County, Brenda Dowiasch from Eau Claire County and Steven Mueller from St. Croix County have been appointed to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee by the organization’s Board of Directors. Their terms begin at WFBF’s Annual Meeting being held virtually December 4-5.
A dairy farmers in the town of Cheeseville, Muth serves as Washington County Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom co-chair. Dowiasch works for the USDA Farm Service Agency as a member of the farm loan team serving north central Wisconsin. Mueller is a cash crop farmer in St. Croix County and serves on the St. Croix County Farm Bureau board of directors.
Harbaugh siblings shine in 2020 National Holstein Show
The Harbaugh siblings from Marion, Wis., were recognized for their showing at National Holstein Shows this year, according to the Holstein Association USA.
Due to COVID-19, Holstein Association USA is not having the All-National Showcase program in 2020. Instead, Holstein Association USA recognized the Grand Champions, Champion Bred and Owned, Junior Champions, Intermediate Champions, and Senior Champions along with the top two winners in each class from the four National Holstein Shows held in 2020.
Winter Yearling MS Rollnvew Jump4Fun-Red ET shown by Jacob, Logan and Madison Harbaugh earned the junior championship at the Midwest Fall National Show. The siblings also finished first in the spring, winter and fall heifer calf divisions.
Other Wisconsin showmen placing at the top of their respective classes include: fall yearling, Reggie and Krysty Kamps Darlington and senior three year old cow, Tessa VL and Stella RB Schmocker of Whitewater.