Kevin Krentz was re-elected president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Rural Mutual Insurance Co. Krentz is a dairy farmer from Berlin in Waushara County.
Krentz was first elected to the WFBF board of directors in 2012 to represent District 5, which includes Adams, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Waushara and Winnebago counties. He is president of Krentz Family Dairy Inc. He started his farming career in 1994 when he purchased his father’s 60 cows. He grew the farm to 600 cows and 1,300 acres of crops. Krentz and his wife, Holly, have a daughter and three sons.
Dave Daniels from Union Grove in Kenosha County was re-elected to serve as vice president.
Waupaca County Farm Bureau members Jim and Mary Grant have received the highest award WFBF bestows on its members. The Grants were presented the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award during the group’s annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells on Dec. 5.
“It is because of their dedication to the Farm Bureau organization and agriculture that I am extremely pleased to recognize Jim and Mary’s distinguished service to Farm Bureau,” Krentz says.
The couple has been actively involved in Farm Bureau and their community for the past 50 years. When Jim was younger, he served 10 years as town clerk, as trustee at their church and as dairy leader for the local 4-H club. He served as president of the board at FS Cooperative in Amherst. He also served as a delegate for the Consolidated Badger Cooperative, Morning Glory Farms and Foremost Farms.
“Jim and Mary will say that they don’t deserve this award because they got more out of Farm Bureau than they ever put in,” says Wayne Steingraber, former Waupaca County Farm Bureau president. “They don’t realize how many lives they have touched during the years of service to their church, family, community, agriculture and Farm Bureau. They don’t deserve this award — they deserve so much more.”
Jeff Hicken received the Distinguished Service to Wisconsin Agriculture Award posthumously for his outstanding contributions to Wisconsin’s agricultural industry.
“Jeff was knowledgeable and generous in his work on behalf of Wisconsin’s agricultural educators,” Krentz says. “Thank you, Jeff, for your leadership to agricultural education and the FFA. You are missed, and your legacy will impact the agriculture community for years to come.”
A former member of the Lomira FFA and former Wisconsin FFA state sentinel, Hicken was a University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate who started his career at Sauk Prairie High School as the ag education instructor. In 2006, he started his service at the state level as the agriculture, food and natural resources education consultant and state FFA advisor with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, a position he held until he died last June.
Kellie Zahn was selected as the winner of the Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Excellence in Agriculture Award.
Zahn is the agriculture agent for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, where she manages the community gardens, teaches classes on gardening and food preservation, and oversees the tribe’s agriculture lands. She is a certified crop advisor and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from UW-River Falls. Zahn also enjoys working on her family farm and volunteering in the community.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award is presented to a Farm Bureau member between the ages of 18 and 35 who is actively engaged in agriculture but derives the majority of his or her income from an off-farm agricultural career. The winner is selected based on his or her knowledge of agriculture, leadership in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations.
Zahn will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention in Atlanta in January. She will receive $1,500 from Growmark Inc. All finalists in the Excellence in Ag competition will receive a jacket courtesy of Growmark.
Julie Wadzinski was selected as the winner of the 2021 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet. The discussion meet contest is a panel discussion in which Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 are judged on their ability to express their ideas and opinions and reach a solution on current issues affecting agriculture. Wadzinski is the farm operations instructor at Northwood Technical College in Rice Lake.
Wadzinski will represent Wisconsin in the national contest at the AFBF Annual Convention. Growmark will provide the winner with $1,500, and Blain’s Farm and Fleet will provide the winner with a chain saw.
Emma Buss was selected the winner of Farm Bureau’s Collegiate Discussion Meet. Buss is a senior at UW-Platteville, where she is majoring in agricultural business and dairy science. She grew up in Platteville on her family’s registered Holstein farm. Off campus, she works on her family’s farm assisting with day-to-day chores and field work.
The collegiate discussion meet is a panel discussion in which collegiate members are judged on their ability to lead a committee discussion on current issues affecting agriculture and to develop consensus on an action plan to effectively address issues.
Buss receives a $1,500 scholarship courtesy of Growmark and will represent Wisconsin in the national contest held in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Louisville, Ky., in February.