Poulson remembered for contributions to WFBF, ag and community

Wisconsin State Farmer
Dan Poulson

For more than 30 years, Howard 'Dan' Poulson provided guidance and leadership to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

The former WFBF President, 85, died on July 23 at his home in Palmyra, Wis.

“Dan was a strong leader who left a lasting legacy on Farm Bureau and I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Personally, Dan was a mentor of mine within Farm Bureau and someone I had great respect for. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment because many people looked up to Dan," said Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Krentz.

Poulson was born in 1936 on a dairy farm in Illinois where he would reside until the family moved north to southeast Wisconsin in the mid-1940s. According to his obituary, Paulson was very involved in FFA and was elected as the Wisconsin FFA President at age 19. 

While he owned and operated his own dairy farm for the majority of his life, his impact on the agriculture industry reached far beyond the acres on his Palmyra farm. Poulson served more than 30 years on the WFBF Board and spent 11 years as president before retiring in 2003.

During his time with the organization, he worked diligently as an advocate for the agricultural industry in Wisconsin and across the U.S. He also shared his knowledge and expertise on farming and the ag industry with foreign leaders.

In 2003, Poulson received the Award of Distinction from the University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the highest recognition bestowed by the college, for his contributions to the agricultural industry.

"Dan was tremendous advocate for agriculture. As a farmer and graduate of UW-Madison’s Farm & Industry Short Course, Dan knew firsthand the state and federal issues impacting the farmers and made it his goal to make things better for them," Krentz said.

In 1995, then Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Poulson to the Wisconsin DNR board where he served until 2007. During this time he worked to conserve and protect the Wisconsin farmer and Wisconsin’s farmland. His family said he felt passionately about this industry and loved serving in this capacity.

While Poulson loved farming, Krentz says he loved his family even more. During his 40 year marriage to Jeanette Stuessy, the couple raised three sons, Blane, Darren and Kyle. He is survived by wife Marjorie Jean Badger, his sons and their families and his step children and their families. 

"When we talk about the Farm Bureau family, that feeling of camaraderie and loyalty was embedded even more with Dan’s leadership. He was a leader in every aspect of his life and we will forever be grateful that he dedicated so much of it to Farm Bureau," Krentz said.

A funeral service is set for 12:00 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at the Palmyra United Methodist Church,  with the Rev. Norman P. Bude presiding. Visitation will take place on Friday, July 30, 2021 at the Palmyra United Methodist Church, 122 N 5th St, Palmyra. Visitation will be held from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Friday, and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service.