WISCONSIN DELLS — Jim Holte, a farmer who raises beef cattle and grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa on 460 acres of land near Elk Mound in Dunn County, was reelected to a sixth one-year term as the president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) and Rural Mutual Insurance Company during the WFBF Annual Meeting on Dec. 2 in Wisconsin Dells. 

Holte was first elected to the WFBF Board of Directors in 1995 to represent District 9 on the board. District 9 represents the Superior Shores, Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer and St. Croix County Farm Bureaus.

Like other farmers at the WFBF Annual Meeting, Holte spent a lot of time harvesting the past few weeks, time where he could reflect. 

"As I reaped what I sowed I thought about just where we are as an agricultural community and how times have changed," Holte said during his address at the annual meeting. "I don’t know about you, but this year is one that has left a mark on my mind."

While managing risk is something every farmer's livelihood depends on, "nothing really could have prepared us for what happened earlier this year," said Holte referring to the farmers who faced the possibility of not having a milk processor earlier this year.    

Farmers are no longer guaranteed a place for their milk nor are they in control of their future the way they used to be, Holte told members at the meeting.

Production decisions being directly impacted by food processors and consumers, vocal customers asking for transparency, confusing labels on food products, all create challenging times for farmers, Holte added.

However, following the "Rooted in Family" theme of the weekend event, Holte reminded farmers, "through challenging times you can count on your family. Farm Bureau is here as a shoulder to lean on."

 "We will continue to work towards a solid solution," said Holte. "We will need dairy farmers of all sizes and styles with creative thoughts and ideas to put their heads together as to what the next step is. Farm Bureau is here for you and to foster those conversations."

Thinking about all the young farmers and agriculturists at the annual meeting, Holte told them, "You all are our future."

"As I look out tonight at tired eyes, well-worn hands and smiling faces, know that we at Farm Bureau appreciate what you do every day," Holte added. "You all are the backbones of our state and we are proud to work for you when you are busy working. We have your back. That’s what family is for."  

Holte previously served as WFBF’s representative to the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium board. He also chaired the Wisconsin Livestock Siting Review board. 

Holte is a graduate of the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program. He served as a school board member in Elk Mound, as board member for GROWMARK, Inc., a citizen board member for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and president of the Wisconsin Beef Council.

Holte and his wife, Gayle, have two children and five grandchildren.

WFBF representatives

Don Radtke of Merrill in Marathon County was reelected to a one-year term as vice president. He represents District 8 (Clark, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Price, Taylor and Wood counties).

Arch Morton Jr., a crop farmer from Janesville in Rock County, was reelected to a three-year term on the board representing District 2 (Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green Rock and Sauk counties).

Joe Bragger of Independence in Buffalo County was reelected to a three-year term on the board representing District 4 (Buffalo, Trempealeau, Lacrosse, Jackson, Monroe and Eau Claire Counties counties).

Rosie Lisowe of Chilton in Calumet County was reelected to a three-year term on the board representing District 6 (Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties).

Nine of the 11 members of the WFBF board of directors are farmers elected in each of Farm Bureau’s nine districts. These nine individuals also make up the board of directors for the Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Rounding out the WFBF’s board are the chairs of WFBF’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist and Promotion and Education Committees, both of which serve a one-year term on the board.

Andrea Brossard of Burnett in Dodge County was elected to a one-year term as the representative from the Promotion and Education Committee on the board. She succeeds Rosalie Geiger from Manitowoc County.

Brian Preder of Weyauwega in Waupaca County was elected to a one-year term as chair of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee and will serve as the representative on the board. He succeeds Derek Husmoen of Trempealeau County.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board Directors who were not up for reelection are: Dave Daniels of Union Grove in Kenosha County, Richard Gorder of Mineral Point in Iowa County; Kevin Krentz of Berlin in Waushara County; and Adam Kuczer of Pulaski in Shawano County.



Read or Share this story: