Wisconsin Custom Operators members reelected three directors during the group’s annual business meeting on Feb. 19, held in conjunction with the Forage Symposium at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Ray Liska, owner of Apollo-Vale Enterprizes in Cochrane, and Derek Ducat, Ducat Farms Custom Work in Kewaunee, were reelected as operator directors. Josh Bartholomew, territory manager for Oxbo International, was reelected as a corporate director.
Liska owns and operates Apollo-Vale Enterprizes and custom raises poultry for Gold’n Plump Farms. He was active in FFA and is a 13-year member of Wisconsin Farm Bureau, where he served in various leadership roles and is a graduate of the Farm Bureau Leadership Institute. Liska is passionate about policy and has attended numerous lobby days for WCO and other organizations. He and his wife, Holly, have three children whom they homeschool, which leads to a lot of time in the fields working as a family.
Ducat owns and operates Ducat Farms Custom Work with his family. In addition, the family owns Deer Run Dairy LLC, a 1,600-cow dairy farm also in Kewaunee. The Ducat family is actively involved with Peninsula Pride Farms, a farmer-led environmental stewardship group in Kewaunee County and southern Door County, and serves as one of four demonstration farms in the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network, a partnership including Peninsula Pride Farms, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Their project for “demo farms” focuses on testing low-disturbance manure injection into a growing crop, cover cropping and using a denitrifying bioreactor for tile lines. Ducat and his wife, Laura, have four children.
Bartholomew lives in Clear Lake and is the territory manager for Oxbo International, an equipment company that serves the custom farming industry with forage mergers, dump carts, spreaders and sprayers. In addition to forage and manure, Oxbo International manufactures equipment for seed corn, fruits, vegetables, olives, grapes and coffee.
Officers were also selected by the WCO board of directors. Three officers were reelected: Bryce O’Leary, owner of O’Leary Brothers Chopping Service LLC in Janesville, as president; Liska as vice president; and Bartholomew as secretary. Isaac Lemmenes, a corporate director from R Braun Inc. in St. Nazianz, was reelected treasurer.