Dodge County Farm Bureau names Schwandts ag ‘friend’

September 20, 2018

JUNEAU -- Bob and Karen Schwandt of Juneau were honored Monday night by members of the Dodge County Farm Bureau during the organization’s annual meeting in Juneau.

The Schwandts have been active members of the Farm Bureau for more than 52 years. They have been promoting agriculture as an integral part of their family during all of their years in farming.

The “Friend of Agriculture” award was presented to the Schwandt’s by Farm Bureau president Roger Hildebrandt, who said Bob has been on the county Farm Bureau board of directors since 1973.

“Membership recruitment has always been a passion for the Schwandt family and they have worked side-by-side on membership recruitment through the years,” Hildebrandt said.

The Schwandts held offices in the organization and Karen served on the women’s committee since 1972 and was president of that committee from 1983 to the present.

Her passion was discovering lesson plans to educate the general public about agriculture. Each year the women’s committee donates the Ag Book of the Year to local libraries; the family hosted the first Farm Bureau Farm City Day in 1978 and has helped with it every year since. Karen has led the effort to present scholarships each year.

The Schwandts have been involved in state activities through the years. Karen served on the state women’s committee from 2000-2009.

During the meeting, Karen Schwandt also presented six-$500 scholarships from funds earned at various Farm Bureau events including the annual fish fry and food stand at the Dodge County Fair.

The recipients included:

-- Jordan Addison, daughter of David and Kelly Addison. She is a Dodgeland High School graduate attending the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee majoring in global communications and German.

-- Hailey Lapp is the daughter of Steve and Julee Lapp. She is a Horicon High School graduate attending Moraine park Technical College majoring in medical coding.

-- Paul Grulke is the son of Steve and Nancy Grulke and is a graduate of Mayville High School. He is attending UW-Platteville majoring in dairy science.

-- Allison Rex is the daughter of Diane and Craig Rex. She is a graduate of Mayville High School and is attending UW-River Falls majoring in agriculture education.

-- Elizabeth Ries, daughter of Allen and Amy Ries, is a Lomira High School graduate attending UW-River Falls and majoring in animal science.

-- Delicia Schindel, daughter of Deirick and Heidi Schindel, is a Waupun High School graduate attending Concordia University of Wisconsin and majoring in nursing.

Dan Guenterberg, chairman of the Dodge County Fair food stand, introduced his co-chairwoman Georgia Schindel and thanked those who were involved in helping at the fair. He said profits were down slightly Guenterberg presented a check for $3,735 to Susan Caine, president-elect of the Dodge County 4-H Leaders Association. The funds represent half of the profits from the food stand. Caine said 4-H’ers enjoy helping in the food stand each year. She said it is a good experience and an opportunity to serve their community and learn the importance of working to earn funds to help with 4-H activities.

In the business portion of the annual meeting, the members elected directors to serve for the coming year. They include: Roger Hildebrandt, Dan Guenterberg, Sally Schoenike, Mark Pitterle, Joel Lepple, Peter Graetz, Ross Heidemann, David Hafemeister, Doug Schulz, Robert Schwandt, Jim Kluetzman, Andrea Brossard, Dale Twardokus, Julie Sweney, Tony Peirick, Armin Reichow and Caroline Twardokus. Karen Schwandt continues to serve on the women’s committee and Elsa Condon continues on the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee.

In the reorganization meeting that followed, officers were reelected including Roger Hildebrandt as president; David Hafemeister, vice president; and Andrea Brossard, secretary. Ross Heidemann serves as the member-at-large on the executive committee.

Delegates to the state convention were also elected. They include: Robert Schwandt, Roger Hildebrandt, Daniel Guenterberg, James Kluetzman, Mark Pitterle, David Hafemeister and Sally Schoenike. Alternates are Julie Sweney and Elsa Condon.

When the delegates attend the state convention in December they will present several resolutions for state consideration. These concerns were voted on by the membership.

One resolution called for support of a supply management system for dairy production in the United States.

The state Farm Bureau board has not taken a position on whether a supply management system should be developed because the board is waiting for the delegates to determine their stand at the convention. Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization and policy is developed from the county level and agreed on at the state convention.

David Hafemeister said the resolution does not state how the supply management system would work, but only introduces the concept as a way of starting discussions about solutions to the dairy crisis.

He said 47 dairy farms in Wisconsin went out of business last month. He said it is expected that Wisconsin will lose 600 farms in the next year.

“This will be a big issue at state convention,” said Hildebrandt. “It’s a very basic resolution open to figuring out how to keep the dairy industry going in Wisconsin.”

Other dairy-related resolutions included calling for milk labeling that lists the amount of fat free content rather than by the amount of fat content. For example, the change would go from 2 percent fat milk to 98 percent fat free as other foods groups do with labeling.

The members also support schools offering a choice of milk rather than just 1 percent milk; and a call for enforcing the rule that the word “milk” can only be used from products that come from lactating animals, not vegetable based products that look like milk, but are not really milk.

The membership also supports keeping the subsidies for crop insurance in the federal agriculture budget in order to keep it an affordable use as a safety net. They support state monitoring of roadside runoff of salt which increases the creation on high levels of VOC’s in ground water and surface waters.

They support a gas tax increase to help with the increases in road aid funding and retention of the .5 percent sales tax for improvements in the county.

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