Deb Reinhart of New Holstein was recognized as a true promoter of agriculture, being named the 2016 AgVocate of the Year at the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit March 4-5 in Madison. More than 325 women were in attendance to celebrate their role in agriculture. The event was hosted by Badgerland Financial, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and University of Wisconsin Extension.
Reinhart and her husband, David Geiser of Gold Star Dairy Farms LLC, have welcomed thousands of visitors to their dairy farm including last June when they hosted the Calumet County "Sundae" on a Dairy Farm celebration at their farm.
Reinhart and her husband have operated the 183-acre dairy since they purchased the farm from his parents in 1975. Back then, the couple was milking 80 registered Holsteins.
Today, the limited liability company milks 300 cows. They rent 120 acres of land for crops, much of which is double-cropped with rye or wheat after corn is harvested for silage. They purchase most of their feed from neighbors. Dry cows and young stock are intensively grazed on 90 acres. Gold Star Dairy utilizes a 590 plan for nutrient management and manages 1,000 acres total. Reinhart and Geiser formed an LLC in 2014 with partners Simon Regan and Manuel Valenzuela.
Geiser and Reinhart have three sons — Ian, Joshua and Adrian — “and they work in other occupations,” Reinhart says. The couple also has two grandchildren who spend at least one day a week at the farm.
For the past two years, Reinhart has worked full time as executive director of the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation. Most mornings, she is able to feed the calves 6 months old and younger before heading off to work.
While work on and off the farm keeps her extremely busy, Reinhart says the role she cherishes the most is being a leader and champion for Wisconsin agriculture.
"We need to tell our ag story," she said. Reinhart said she is honored to win the award.
"I am humbled to be AgVocate of the Year and I thank you for lifting me up this way," she said.
Reinhart received a plaque and $500 sponsored by the Farm Report with Pam Jahnke. She also received $500 to give to an organization or charity of her choice.
Since 2013, the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit has recognized an AgVocate of the Year. This award is given to a woman who actively and positively represents agriculture to both her peers and those outside of the ag community. She works to tell agriculture’s story in a professional manner and is seen as a leader and voice for local and state issues and events.
The summit’s planning committee invites women to save the date for the 2017 Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit, to be held March 10-11 at the Madison Marriot West in Middleton.