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SP Optimists hear from Farm Bureau Federation


March 14, 2019

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February 27, Amy Blakeney, District 2 Coordinator of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, was the guest speaker. District 2 covers six counties of which Sauk is one. There are many goals of the Bureau including to support youth, to help farmers market their products, to provide a voice for farmers in government that would strengthen the agricultural industry, and to help farmers cooperatively purchase supplies and inputs needed to help run their farms. They are not a protest organization; they work together to improve farm productivity. Their vision is to lead and grow dynamic agriculture in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, there are 61 Farm Bureaus with 46,000 members. Each bureau contributes to the discussion of policies and moves from the grassroots level up rather from the top. Blakely said, "Legislators listen to us" because we are a voice for farmers. Locally and regionally, they do much for youth in the community. They support the county fairs especially with dairy judging and judging team with the FFA, sponsor 4-H Key awards, conduct a Children's Christmas Benefit, sponsor bus tours for youth to the World Dairy Expo, offer collegiate student scholarships, sponsor a Collegiate Farm Bureau and operate the Young Farmer award program. One of the programs they take great pride in offering is the Leadership Institute. As a part of that program, they offer Every Farmers Dream Tour. This year is was in Sauk Prairie featuring McFarlanes', Carr Valley Cheese, Compeer Financial, and Wollersheim Winery and Distillary. The list of the many activities with which the Farm Bureau is involved would take pages to explain so this is only a partial list of activities. Cutline: Left to right, Vicki Gullickson, Sauk Prairie Optimist President, Amy Blakeney, District 2 Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, and Todd Lasanske of McFarlanes' after Blakeney's presentation to the Optimist Club on February 27.

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