Citizens Advisory Council Chair
Rick farms with his wife, Valerie Dantoin, on a 160-acre organic dairy in Shawano County. The farm has been owned and operated by the Adamski family since about 1900. Managed grazing has been the foundation of this farm since 1987. Conservation, efficiency and renewable resources, including a 35 kW wind turbine, are the guiding principles for this farm. Rick has served on several committees with Organic Valley. He is a member of Wisconsin Farmers Union. Determined to help the next generation of grass-based dairy farmers, Rick and Valerie have hosted several interns from the School for Beginning Dairy Farmers, including a current milk share agreement with one of the school’s graduates.
Kat owns and operates Cattail Organics farm, which grows and markets fresh vegetables and mushrooms through both wholesale channels and CSA. Kat holds an M.S. in Rural Sociology from UW-Madison. cattailorganics.com
Dan Cornelius, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, provides technical assistance to American Indian Tribes and Native producers. He also grows Indigenous corn, beans, and squash, as well as harvesting wild rice and ranching in his free time. iacgreatlakes.com
Andy is a fourth generation potato grower in Coloma, located 60 miles north of Madison. With his father, Steve they operate Coloma Farms, Inc., a 2,700 acre potato and grain farm. Both are very active within the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and serve on several committees related to marketing, research, and government relations. Coloma Farms and the WPVGA work pro-actively with researchers and leadership within the UW system to address issues in the vegetable industry. Andy received a BS from UW-Madison in Agricultural Engineering and currently serves on the DATCP board.
After 36 years in dairy farming, Mark Eslinger retired in 2015. He is helping a new family transition onto his farm, which was in Mark’s family for 100 years. An advocate for managed grazing, Mark used “What would nature do?” as the guiding principle for operating¬ his farm. He transitioned his farm to organic in 1986, before most people knew what organic food was, and he was at the meeting in Viroqua where the idea for Organic Valley came up. He has served on several committees with Organic Valley and served as a Master Grazier for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program.
Tom Ferguson and his family have been farming apples and pumpkins for ten years in the beautiful Coulee region of Western Wisconsin. Tom fully incorporates Integrated Pest Management practices on his farm. The Fergusons own 235 acres, with 130 acres planted to apples and about 10 acres of pumpkins. Tom is a member of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, where he was a director for eight years and held the offices of vice president (2009) and president (2010-11). He is also a member of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association and the Chambers of Commerce in Eau Claire, WI and Lake City, MN. He previously worked as a manufacturing manager with 3M and Imation. fergusonsorchard.com
Galbraith, Greg and Wendy
Greg and Wendy Galbraith have farmed in eastern Marathon County since 1991. They began implementing rotational grazing as a means to feed their dairy herd almost immediately, and have been spring seasonally calving for the majority of those years. They are beginning their final year of transitioning to organic production. Their son David has completed the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program and plans to eventually take over the farm.
Andy is a 4th generation food manufacturer. Established in 1896, Gehl Guernsey Farms (Gehl Foods) evolved from a regional dairy to a national aseptic manufacturer and co-packer with $250 million in annual sales. Andy gave up the position of president in 2011 to focus on healthier opportunities. Andy’s new company, Contract Comestibles, is focused on small batch manufacturing of sauces and dressings. Contract Comestibles is certified FDA, USDA and organic and regularly works with farmers and entrepreneurs looking to expand into the retail trade. Andy remains on the board of Gehl Foods in addition to holding a seat on the Leadership Council for Food and Beverage Wisconsin. www.contractcomestibles.com
Clara has taught high school agriculture for 39 years. Her family started milking dairy goats and shipping milk in 1996, and has since built a vertically integrated agricultural enterprise. Four of her five children work in this family business. In addition to milking 800 dairy goats, they run a creamery where about 35 different varieties of cheese and yogurt are prepared on site, a retail store with locally sourced products, and a café featuring locally sourced food prepared in house. They are gearing up to bottle their milk in house. Additionally, they sell caramels made from the butter and cream, goat meat, and hand soap, liquid soap and lotion made with their goat milk. www.laclarefamilycreamery.com/
Clare farms in northern Wisconsin, near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. She runs a winter CSA featuring fresh greens and storage crops, plus treats like apple butter and apple cider. She specializes in perennial fruits and nuts as well, and she has a small market garden featuring heirloom vegetable varieties. She also raises laying hens. She manages her farm following permaculture principles and organic standards. www.elsewherefarm.com
Chris and his partner, Maria Davis, own and operate Nami Moon Farms outside of Stevens Point. The 41-acre farm focuses on pasture-raised poultry and hogs, chicken and duck eggs, and annual vegetables. Recent sustainability efforts on the farm include planting more perennial fruits and vegetables, and working toward the long-term goal of producing most of the feed for the farm’s animals. The farm also dabbles in bees, mushrooms and silviculture. Chris and Maria are lifetime members of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. As a veteran, Chris has worked closely with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. He has also consulted for Farm Credit, been appointed to programs and committees run by National Farmers Union, and served on USDA’s Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Chris has a M.A. in Geography from the University of Oregon, and he taught Arabic and Middle Eastern Geography for 15 years before quitting to farm full-time. www.namimoonfarms.com
Kevin started dairy farming in 1979, doubled the size of the farm in 1985, made the switch to rotational grazing in 1992, certified organic in 1994 and started shipping organic milk in 1995. In 2005 he sold the dairy herd and started to raise organic beef, cash crop and work for CROPP Co-op (Organic Valley) part time. Kevin took a full time position with CROPP in 2008 and sold the farm in 2012 after becoming a division manager for the co-op. Kevin has served on the Board of Directors for Equity Livestock and the Dairy Executive Committee for Organic Valley, and has served on many other committees with in those organizations. Kevin is currently on the advisory committee for the organic program at NWTC Green Bay. He believes that helping organic farmers become better managers and helping young people become farmers are two ways we can protect the rural infrastructure and the environment, and put people back on the land. www.farmers.coop
Joel Kuehnhold owns Lonely Oak Farm near Milladore, WI. His highly diversified farm is in the process of becoming certified organic. Over 100 head of sheep and a small herd of beef animals are rotationally grazed on 80 acres. His operation includes feeder pigs, 300 laying hens and two acres of vegetables. The farm’s unique location within a wildlife area encourages management techniques that work in harmony with nature. Joel has built an on-farm certified kitchen where produce from the vegetable fields is processed and sold under the farm’s label. Joel is also the agricultural education instructor at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, where he emphasizes the importance of practicing sustainability in agriculture. His classes have been nationally recognized for their involvement in farm to school initiatives.
Sarah Lloyd and her husband, Nels Nelson, farm with Nels’s family at their dairy just outside the Wisconsin Dells. Sarah manages the Wisconsin Dells Farmers’ Market and is the board treasurer of the Wormfarm Institute, a Reedsburg-based non-profit working at the intersections of art and agriculture. Sarah works off-farm and is the Special Projects and Regional Membership Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers’ Union. In this position, she organizes the biennial Midwest CSA Conference and has assisted with the launch of the farmer-led Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. Sarah has a PhD in Community and Environmental Sociology from UW-Madison and teaches the Rural Social and Economic Issues course in the UW Farm and Industry Short Course.
Laura Paine and her husband raise grass-fed beef on their 82-acre farm near Columbus, WI. Laura is an agriculture educator, having held a number of grazing education, research and market development positions in Wisconsin over the last 20+ years. She spent eight years as Grazing and Organic Agriculture Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, assisting producers in developing and marketing organic and grass-fed products. She has also done grazing research and education at the University of Wisconsin and worked for seven years as an Extension agent. She worked for Southwest Badger RC&D as a grazing broker, bringing together non-farming landowners with livestock producers for pasture leasing partnerships. Laura currently serves as Program Director for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, a beginning farmer training program that provides a career pathway to dairy farm ownership.
Tony owns Stoney Acres Farm, a third-generation, 120-acre, highly diversified USDA certified organic operation located in Marathon County. He runs a CSA operation and market garden, produces maple syrup, and rotationally grazes and direct markets beef, pasture raised pork and pastured chicken. Tony holds a B.S. in Education from UW-Madison. firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Smith serves as Administrator of the Division of Agriculture Development at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Smith guides the marketing of the state’s agricultural products locally, regionally and internationally. He also directs the farm and business development services available through the division. Smith is a graduate of UW-Madison. He operated his own dairy farm in northwestern Illinois for thirty years. His farm incorporated sustainable practices including rotational grazing, crop rotations, cover crops, soil and animal nutrition programs and wildlife habitat preservation. Smith next worked as CEO of Midwestern BioAg in Blue Mounds before being appointed by DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel in October 2013. Under Smith’s direction, the division has placed added emphasis on organic agriculture, livestock grazing, cover crops, specialty crops and diversified farming systems. Smith has reached across agriculture to emphasize the importance of sustainable agriculture systems and markets for the betterment of Wisconsin’s citizens and environment. datcp.wi.gov
Jim Stute is the Research Program Director at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI). He earned his Master and Doctorate degrees in Agronomy from UW-Madison, with minors in soil science and botany. He formerly served as a crop and soils educator with UW Extension and an agronomist at MFAI. In his current position, Dr. Stute oversees innovative research that crosses the boundaries between conventional and organic agricultural practices, along with biodynamic agricultural production methods. michaelfields.org