Jim Holte has been re-elected to a fourth one-year term as the president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Holte raises beef cattle and grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa on 460 acres of land near Elk Mound in Dunn County.
Holte was first elected to the WFBF Board of Directors in 1995 to represent District 9 on the board. Last January, he was elected to a one-year term on the American Farm Bureau Federation's board of directors.
Holte previously served as WFBF's representative to the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium board. He also chaired the Wisconsin Livestock Siting Review board. Holte is a graduate of the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program and is a Wisconsin Master Agriculturist. A 1975 graduate of UW-River Falls, Holte and his wife, Gayle, have two children and four grandchildren.
Richard Gorder, a dairy farmer from Mineral Point in Iowa County, was reelected to a one-year term as vice president. Dave Daniels of Union Grove in Kenosha County was re-elected to a three-year term on the board representing District 1. Kevin Krentz of Berlin in Waushara County was re-elected to a three-year term on the board representing District 5.
Rosalie Geiger of Reedsville in Manitowoc County was elected to a one-year term as the chair of the newly formed Promotion and Education Committee. Geiger served as chair of the state Women's Committee last year.
Derek Orth of Stitzer in Grant County was elected to a one-year term as chair of the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee.
Wolfe receives service award
Buffalo County's Loren Wolfe received the highest award that the WFBF bestows upon its members.
A retired dairy farmer from rural Cochrane, has provided many years of service, exceptional leadership and support to Farm Bureau's efforts. Wolfe has been an active member of Farm Bureau for 47 years and has served in key leadership roles at both county and state levels. Wolfe was elected to the Buffalo County Farm Bureau board of directors during turbulent financial times and served as a director and was president for six years.
Wolfe earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education and served for two years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was hired as a teacher at Brookwood High School and in 1968, decided to return to his family's farm where they developed a 100-cow registered Holstein herd. In 1997, the family entered into a partnership with John and Nettie Rosenow to create Rosenholm-Wolfe Dairy, LLP. In 2014, the Wolfes sold their portion of the partnership back to John and Nettie.
Wolfe was a proud recipient of the 1972 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmer award. He has also been recognized as Wisconsin Conservation Farmer of the Year, a Wisconsin Master Agriculturist, UW-River Falls Distinguished Agriculturist, School District of Arcadia Distinguished Alumni Award and Buffalo County Farm Family of the Year.
Young Farmer award winner
Fond du Lac County dairy farmers, Chris and Kelly Pollack, were selected as the winners of WFBF's Young Farmer and Agriculturist Achievement award.
The Pollacks farm with his parents near Ripon, where they milk about 150 cows, farm 650 acres. Chris attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Farm and Industry Short Course before returning to Pollack-Vu Dairy LLC.
Kelly Sime Pollack grew up on a dairy farm near Stoughton in Dane County. She earned a bachelor's degree in dairy science and life sciences communication from UW-Madison.
Farm Bureau's Achievement Award is a contest that awards farmers between the ages of 18 and 35, who have excelled in their farming career, understand current issues affecting agriculture and have shown leadership and involvement in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations.
In 2013, Chris Pollack won the Wisconsin Farm Bureau's Discussion Meet. In 2014, he was a top four finalist at the American Farm Bureau's national Discussion Meet. Earlier this year, he was chosen to participate in the American Farm Bureau's Partners in Agricultural Leadership honors program along with nine other young leaders. The Pollacks will compete in the national Achievement Award contest at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 97th Annual Meeting in January in Orlando. They also qualify to attend a trip to Washington, D.C.
Discussion Meet winners
Christa Hoffman of Shawano County was selected winner of the WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet contest.
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.
Hoffman earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from UW-Madison and a master's degree in community and organizational leadership from UW-Stevens Point. Christa and her husband, Brad, live and work on his family's 150-cow dairy farm. Hoffman will compete in the national Discussion Meet contest at the AFBF annual meeting in January in Orlando.
Kelly Wilfert was selected the winner of the WFBF's Collegiate Discussion Meet contest. Wilfert is a junior at UW-Madison where she is majoring in agricultural economics and life sciences communication.
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.
Wilfert will represent Wisconsin in a national collegiate Discussion Meet contest at the AFBF's Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Kansas City in February.
Beth Schaefer of Hatley was selected the winner of theWFBF's Young Farmer and Agriculturist Excellence in Agriculture Award.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award goes to a Farm Bureau member between the ages of 18 and 35 who is actively engaged in agriculture, but derives the majority of their income from an off-farm agricultural career. The winner is selected based on their knowledge of agriculture, leadership in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations.
She and her husband, Matt, have a son, Henry. Schaefer will compete in the national Excellence in Agriculture Contest at the AFBF's conference in January in Orlando.