Jyme Buttke, Executive Secretary of Wisconsin Association of Fairs held up the sign the Sesquicentennial Farm families would be receiving at the conclusion of the special breakfast in their honor at Wisconsin State Fair. Century Farm families also received signs.
(Photo: Gloria Hafemeister)

State Fair Recognizes Families Owning 100 and 150 year Old Farms

Farm families are proud of their long history and hundreds of them showed up at State Fair in West Allis to celebrate their farm heritage Tuesday, Aug. 8 at the Century and Sesquicentennial Farm Breakfast.

Their pride showed in their faces and in the stories they shared with others celebrating 100 or 150 years of their family farms. Many families came wearing shirts boasting their family farm names.

The event was sponsored by Hillshire Farm, long-time sponsor of the program, and Compeer Financial, formerly Badgerland Financial, that provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Farm families were greeted by Jayme Buttke, Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Wisconsin Association of Fairs. They were also welcomed by Terri Beyer, Continuous Improvement Manager of Hillshire Farms who shared that company’s history in New London.

Rochelle Ripp Schnadt, Communications Specialist at Compeer Financial, shared her memories of growing up on the farm. Her dad, State Representative Keith Ripp, was on hand to assist Buttke in calling off the names of the farm families who were honored.

 Alice in Dairyland Crystal Siemers-Peterman talked about her passion for agriculture and offered suggestions of ways farm families can continue to tell their story. Fairest of the Fair Rebecca Starkenburg noted, “Farming is not just a job – it’s a lifestyle.”

John Yingling, Wisconsin State Fair Park Board Chair and Kathleen O’Leary, State Fair Park CEO welcomed the families. O’Leary noted that this is her favorite fair program because agriculture has such a rich history in Wisconsin and at State Fair.

Yingling commended Jill Albanese for continuing to organize the event each year. Calling her “Miss Enthusiasm” he also mentioned that she is in charge of all the blooming flowers around the fairgrounds.

Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel asked families to think about that first generation on their farm and the things they needed to do with the land before they could even put a seed in the ground. He talked about disasters of fires and storms that have threatened farms over the years and the perseverance it took to keep the farm in the family.

He says, “I thought I was rich when I grew up but I came to realize we had no money, but we had family. Every generation has its struggles and challenges.”

State Fair Historian Jerry Zimmerman welcomed the farm families and invited them to see the new log-cabin historical museum at State Fair Park. Noting the seventh and eighth generation families that were on hand at the fair he said, “That’s true love; it’s how I feel about the fair.”

Fifty-one farms were honored for 150 years or more on the farm. So far, 785 farms have received the Sesquicentennial Farm and Home Award since 1998.

Another 132 farm families joined the 9212 Century Farms already honored since 1948 when the program was started as a part of the fair’s Centennial celebration.

Century Farms

Adams County: Kenneth and Richard Huber, Oxford; Linda Uphoff, Wisconsin Dells; Harold Wilson, Coloma. Barron County: Edward Hagen, New Auburn. Bayfield County: Carol L and Joseph P Sr. Moravchik, Mason; Rachel Raivala, Iron River; Carl Rautio, Iron River.

Brown County: Pamela and David Nemetz, Neshota Valley Dairy, Denmark; Paul Schaetz, Denmark. Burnett County: Beverly and LaVerne Sandberg, Grantsburg. Buffalo County: Linda R and Gary W Preston Revocable Trust, Mondovi. Calumet County: Darlene, Kenneth, Michael and Robert Danes, New Holstein; Stanelle Family Farm, Brillion; Susan Wettstein Steiner and Thomas Wettstein, Chilton.

Chippewa County: Jane M and Joseph D Gilles, Cadott; Kimberly K and Daniel Stuttgen, Stanley. Clark County: Sharon and Richard Dallas, Thorp. Columbia County: Kathleen Oyen, Lodi; Janeen and Tom Reid, Hidden Spring Ranch, Poynette. Crawford County: Stanley and Godela Iverson, Gays Mills; Gari Lorenz, Wauzeka; Jesse and Kurt Swenson, Soldiers Grove.

Dane County: Margaret, Darlene and John Arneson, Stoughton; Mary and Fred Clark, Oregon; Pamela and William Cooper, Moss Oak Farm, DeForest; Susan and Gerald Ebert, Waterloo; Bonnie and Dennis Havey Homestead Farm, Stoughton; Wendy and Craig, Melissa and Todd Meinholz Brothers LLC, Waunakee; Margie and Richard Parrell, Mazomanie; Eileen and Neal White, Fitchburg.

Dodge County: Dorothy and Larry Bischoff, Hustisford; Elaine and George Monis, Oconomowoc; Jane and Steven Schmidt, Juneau; Kathleen Fredrick and Marvin Schmidt, Beaver Dam; Renee and Donald Wendlandt, Randolph. Door County: Penny and James, Beverly and Joseph Wautier, Brussels. Douglas County: Jayne and Mike Ross, Gordon.

Fond du Lac County: Shane Dins Family Farm, Campbellsport; Clarence Kraus, Mt. Calvary; Karen O’Brien, Eden; Dennis O’Brien, Eden; Helen O’Brien Revocable Trust, Eden; Thomas Smith, Brandon. Grant County: Jerome Kohout, Montfort; Mark and Dale Larson, Boscobel; Linda and David Vesperman, Lancaster.

Iowa County: Ferrell Family Trust, Mineral Point; Marcia and Alan Jewell, Dodgeville; Jean and Charles Olson, Hollandale; Sandy and Gary Shackelford, Tracey and Fred Kaltenberg, Tom Leake, Dodgeville. Jackson County: Beverly and Michael Jarstad, Hixton; Julie and Dennis Wortman, Melrose.

Jefferson County: Dawn and Troye Klecker, Jefferson; Reese Family Farm, Watertown; Ken Setz, Lake Mills. Juneau County: Michael Hyer, Elroy; Debra and Mark Johnson, Mauston. Kewaunee County: Diand and Dennis Derenne, Luxemburg; Dorothy and Tom Konop, Denmark; Sally and Gregg Ledvina, Luxemburg; Sue and Steve Sevcik, Kewaunee; Robert Stodola, Cedar Row Dairy, Luxemburg; Lavonne and Michael Vandervest, Luxemburg.

LaCrosse County: Mark Mulder, Holmen; Nicole and Isaac Zickert, LaCrosse. Lafayette County: Curry Family, Darlington. Langlade County: Houdek Farms, Inc., Bryant; Bonnie and Kenneth Ourada, Antigo. Lincoln County: Lois and Warren Latzig, Merrill; Elmer Natzke, Merril; Diane and James Abler, Tomahawk. Manitowoc County: Marjorie Bodwin, Reedsville; Matt Havlovitz, Mishicot.

Marathon County: Susan and Arthur Becker, Athens; Carol and William Birkholz, Leona Braun, Edgar. Marquette County: Linda and Ricky Frozene, Westfield. Monroe County: Dawn and Doug Birkholz, Wilton. Oconto County: Bernice and Gerald Bukowiec, Sobieski; David, Daniel, and Luke Hischke, Sunrise Dairy, LLC, Suring; Cynthia and Chad Holtz, Oconto Falls; Jan and Darrell Ruege, Gillett.

Oneida County: Herman’s Clover Valley Farm LLC, Harshaw. Outagamie County: Wayne, Dean and Daren Noack Farm, Black Creek. Ozaukee County: Sarah and Matthew Winker, Belgium. Pierce County: Carol and Gary, William, Joseph Hildebrandt, Prescott; Gary Edward Thorson Family, Bay City. Price County: Eva and Roger Bergman, Ogema; Luann and Darrel Lind, Ogema; Kevin Pokela, Brantwood.

Racine County: Ed Noble Family, Lone Chestnut Farms, Burlington. Richland County: Dorothy and Donald Hyde, Viola. Rock County: Sharon and Craig Danielson, Edgerton; Nancy and Judson Spooner, Evansville; Jeanette and Leon Waite Farm, Clinton; Kathleen and Ronald Woodman, Janesville. Rusk County: Myrtle and Joseph Mrskos Jr., Tony.

Sauk County: Beth Family Living Trust, Reedsburg; Douglas, Stephen and Kenneth Klein, North Freedom; Mildred Peterson, Reedsburg; Peter Roecker, Reedsburg; Nancy and Lawrence Schyvinck, Reedsburg; Elizabeth and Michael Treptow, LaValle. Shawano County: Gail and Dennis Moeller, Pulaski; Sara and Phillip Stern, Bonduel.

Sheboygan County: Steven Jacoby, Cedar Grove; Jane and Gary Jensema, Sheboygan Falls; Shirley and Dennis Roehrborn, Plymouth; James Van Treeck Family, Sheboygan Falls. St. Croix County: Judith Hansen Jorgenson, Hudson; Shirley and Jeffrey Reinhardt, Woodville; Marilyn Wegge, Houlton. Taylor County: Judy Brandner, Sheldon.

Trempealeau County: Martha Halama, Independence; Beverly and Arnold Haugen, Osseo; LuAnn and Daryl Kramer, Trempealeau; Catherine and Joseph Kulig, Jr., Independence. Vernon County: Sharon and David Williams, Chaseburg. Walworth County: Nancy and Arthur Goetsch Fammily Farm, Honey Creek. Washburn County: Dotty and Lee Swan, Shell Lake.

Washington County: Willard Kaun, West Bend; Trish and Dave Schoofs, West Bend. Waukesha County: Ruth and George Duklow, Oconomowoc. Waupaca County: Lori and Rodney Hass Farms, Manawa; Robert Montgomery, Waupaca. Waushara County: Goukas Inc. Plainfield; Lynn and Mark Ludorf, Redgranite; Poy Sippi Registered Holsteins, Poy Sippi; David and Laura Stertz, Berlin.

Winnebago County: James Albright, Ripon; Clarence and John Koch, Omro. Wood County: Claudine and Marvin Konrardy, Marshfield; Michael John Pagels, Rudolph.

Sesquicentennial Farms

Adams County: Harold Wilson, Coloma. Calumet County: Amy and Craig Hedrich, Brillion. Chippewa County: Kathleen and John O Lane, Bloomer. Columbia County: Debra, Sue and Chris Jensen, Merrimac.

Dane County: Shirley and Robert Boehnen Mid-Valley Farm LLC, Black Earth; Ron Caldwell Caldwell Farms, AGR LLC, Arlington; Michael, Paul and David Fahey, Fitchburg; Debra and Curtis Herfel, Verona; Joan and Ed Meier, Cross Plains; Meinholz Family Farm Middleton; Marjorie and Eugene Purcell, Fitchburg; Julie Skalet Schmitt, Joanne and Paul Skalet, Black Earth.

Dodge County: Karen Fredrick and Kathleen Fredrick-Schmidt, Juneau; Elaine and George Monis. Dunn County: Jamie Reitz, Elmwood; Fond du Lac County: Jeff and John Hicken, Fond du Lac; Thomas Smith, Brandon. Green County: Marlis and Donald Silver, Monticello (two properties).

Iowa County: Sandy and Gary Shackelford, Tracey and Fred Kaltenberg, Tom Leake, Dodgeville. Jefferson County: Reese Family Farm, Watertown. Kewaunee County: Jill and Brad Dahlke, Luxemburg; Dorothy and Tom Konop, Denmark; Jean and Kevin LeFevre, Casco; Dale and Janet Swobota, Kewaunee; LaVonne and Michael Vandervest, Luxemburg.

LaCrosse County: Ilona and David Hansen, LaCrosse. Layfayette County: Curry Family, Darlington; Kathleen Kelley, Dolores Nack and Dennis McWilliams, Shullsburg. Manitowoc County: Rosie and Randy Geiger, Reedsville. Marquette County: Clarice Cotter, Montello; James and Jesse Metcalf, Montello.

Monroe County: Kathleen and Thomas Hankee, Cashton; Ruthie and Dale Noth, Norwalk; Peter Peterson, Cashton. Outagamie County: Richard Mullen, Seymour. Ozaukee County: Richard Musbach, Grafton. Pierce County: Charles Conroy, Bay City; Ed Hanson and Family, Baldwin; Patricia Webb, Spring Valley.

Racine County: Ed Noble Family, Lone Chestnut Farms, Burlington. Sauk County: Scott and Anthony Kraemer, Spring Green. Shawano County: Linda Wussow, Bruce, James Brodhagen, Bonduel; Linda Wussow, Bonduel.

Sheboygan County: John Born, Cleveland; James Van Treeck Family, Sheboygan Falls. St. Croix County: Gerald Knott, Hudson; Gloria Knott, Hudson. Trempealeau County: Mardell and Lawrence Corcoran, Ettrick. Washington County: Trish and Dave Schoofs, West Bend. Winnebago County: Gregory Freer, Fremont.


Source: Wisconsin State Farmer