Bloomer couple win young farmer award
JOHNSON CREEK -- When Adam Seibel stepped to the microphone Saturday night to accept the 2019 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer award he looked in disbelief.
“I want to thank all of the UW-Extension agents and everyone who has helped us get this far,” said Seibel with his wife, Christina, standing by his side. “This is a great honor for us.”
The Seibels, who reside in Bloomer, are the fifth generation to carry on his family’s dairy business in Chippewa County. He and his wife are partners with Adam’s parents on a certified organic farm that’s grown from 50 cows and 225 acres to its current numbers of 140 cows and 1,000 acres.
While farming Seibel pursued a goal of having both his crop and milk production reach levels comparable to a conventional farm. He has since achieved that goal with a daily bulk tank average of 80 pounds a day, and this past spring, reached a seven day average of 91 pounds per cow.
Part of the success in their dairy herd has been attributed to building a 150-cow freestall barn in 2005 followed by a calf and heifer facilities and feed and grain storage. The expansion process was completed in 2011 with the installation of two robotic milking systems to milk their 140 cows.
The Seibels were one of the first organic farms in the country to use robotic milkers.
Besides their achievements on the farm, the Seibels are also active spokesmen for agriculture.
Their farm was part of the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation’s promotional video to highlight agriculture in the county. They have worked with Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to advocate for organic integrity in the dairy and cop markets. The Seibels also work with the UW-Extension’s Human Resource Management focus group to develop new ways to teach farmers how to manage conflicts.
Brody and Carolyn Stapel of Cedar Grove were named the first runner up for the 2019 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Award. The couple own Double Dutch Dairy which includes 220 cows that they milk in a double-eight parlor. The Stapels also raise young stock and utilize 450 acres for feed for their herd and another 400 acres for cash cropping at their Sheboygan County farm.
Scott Laeser and Chelsea Chandler of Argyle were named the second runner up to the prestigious state farming award. The couple share a sustainable food production mind-set and a desire to preserve the land for future generations on their community-supported agriculture farm called Plowshares and Prairie Farm in Lafayette County.
The other finalists for the award included: Evan Hillan of Ladysmith; Ryan and Tasha Schleis of Kewaunee; Mark and Cari Stoltz of Muscoda; Jon and Holly White of Edgar; and Tony and Katie Mellenthin of Eau Galle.