Adam and Christina Seibel of Bloomer were named the 2019 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmers at the conclusion of the competition Jan. 26 in Johnson Creek. A total of seven individuals and couples competed for the honor.
Adam is a fifth-generation dairy farmer in Chippewa County. He and Chrissy are partners with his parents on a certified organic farm that has grown from 50 cows and 225 acres to 140 cows and 1,000 acres. The Seibels have two children, Claire, 7, and Garret, 4.
Adam joined his parents on the farm in 2002 after graduating from high school. The farm has recently become certified organic. Adam continued his education by taking part in numerous workshops specifically geared toward organic farming. He says he also continued to learn from his dad.
Working with a small network of organic farmers and educators, Adam sought ways to improve both crop and milk production on the farm. His goal was to have both crop and milk production levels comparable to that of a conventional dairy farm. His bulk tank currently averages 80 pounds of milk per cow per day.
Part of his success in the dairy business has been attributed to building a 150-cow freestall barn in 2005, followed by a calf facility, heifer facility, feed storage and grain storage. The expansion process was completed in 2011 with the installation of two DeLaval robotic milking systems to milk their 140 cows.
Adam works closely with his agronomist to build healthy soils and control erosion with cover crops and a balanced fertilizer mix that keeps the right ratios of macro- and micronutrients.
Chrissy teaches high school science and helps on the farm as needed. She also assists with the farm books and manages the direct marketing of their organic beef, including maintaining the farm’s website and Facebook page. Both Adam and Chrissy are active spokespeople for agriculture.
Runners-up for the award were Brady and Carolyn Stapel of Cedar Grove in Sheboygan County, who placed second; and Chelsea Chandler and Scott Laeser of Argyle in Lafayette County, who placed third.
The Outstanding Young Farmers award is based on 50% progress in agriculture career, 25% soil and water conservation, and 25% contributions to community, state and/or nation. Goals of the OYF program are:
• to foster better urban-rural relations through the understanding of farmers’ challenges, as well as the appreciation of their contributions and achievements
• to bring about a greater interest in farmers and ranchers
• to help build an urban awareness of farmers’ importance and impact on the U.S. economy
Now in its 65th year, Wisconsin OYF has had 18 national winners. On the national level, OYF is sponsored by John Deere and the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity, and is supported by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.