Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association Hosts Second Summer Tour

Second Summer Tour a Success

A beautiful summer day welcomed an increased number of attendees to the WCA's second Summer Tour in southwest Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association Hosts Second Summer Tour

July 1, 2019

The Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association (WCA) hosted its second Summer Tour on June 22, 2019, in southwest Wisconsin. The tour welcomed over 60 attendees for a day that included stops at three different farms, provided three meals and encouraged the mission of the WCA by providing networking and educational opportunities for beef cattle producers in attendance.

“As a young producer and new member of WCA, Summer Tour serves as a great opportunity to learn from experienced cattlemen and network with other producers from all across the state,” said Tressa Alderson, first-time attendee.

The first stop of the tour was Spring Creeks Cattle Company of Wauzeka, Wisconsin. Bob Mitchell and family welcomed tour participants to their commercial cow-calf operation. The farm includes Bob and his wife, Rhonda, and the families of their three sons Matt, Bart and Scott. The 600-head operation includes Limousin, Lim-Flex, Angus and crossbred cattle that are sold as replacement bulls and females or marketed as feeder cattle. The group heard from Bob and Bart Mitchell in regards to the techniques utilized in managing their crops, equipment and cattle. Attendees had the opportunity to walk through several cow-calf pairs and bulls while enjoying a breakfast sponsored by Zoetis.

After the first stop, the group traveled to an area sportsmen’s club for a lunch sponsored by the Wisconsin Beef Council and served by the DeSoto FFA Chapter. Joe Scott of Lancaster, Wisconsin, spoke about his experience as the WCA representative at the 2019 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Young Cattlemen’s Conference. NCBA President Jennifer Houston also addressed the group and provided updates on the numerous ways NCBA is currently working to advocate for the beef industry on the federal level. Tammy Vaassen, Wisconsin Beef Council Executive Director, updated the audience in regards to programs and promotion efforts in Wisconsin. 

The group then traveled to Rush Creek Ranch, a stocker operation run by Reid and Matt Ludlow in Viroqua, Wisconsin. The operation buys lightweight calves from the southeast United States during the winter and contracts with other producers to precondition and graze the calves until spring. Attendees were intrigued about the intensive rotational grazing operation and were able to hear the Ludlow’s responses to questions about grass management, controlling parasites and pink eye, fencing, cattle handling and more. 

“I think this year’s tour was a great success. My hope is that whenever you attend an event like the Summer Tour you either learn something new or see what works on another operation that could improve the way you run your own,” said Matt Ludlow, WCA President-Elect. “Personally, I truly enjoyed having the group stop and see what we do at Rush Creek Ranch. There were a lot of great questions and comments that made it a memorable day.”

The tour concluded at Woodhill Farms in Viroqua, Wisconsin. The nationally-renowned Angus seedstock operation is a joint venture between Dr. Daniel Borgen and Brian McCulloh. Over the past 35 years, the operation has grown to a herd of 300 registered females and combines with three cooperator herds in Iowa to hold an annual bull sale in April. Attendees walked through a group of 90 cow-calf pairs and learned about Woodhill Farms’ breeding objectives, AI industry involvement, commitment to genomic testing and data collection as well as forage management efforts. 

Attendees were treated to a steak dinner sponsored by Premier Cooperative and Kent Nutrition Group. NCBA Region 3 Representative, Clint Berry, addressed the crowd; along with Eric Johnson, WCA President; and representatives from sponsor organizations. The WCA thanks the Vernon County Cattlemen for grilling lunch and dinner. 

“The WCA would like to thank everyone that came out and attended the summer tour. We had a great crowd in attendance and hopefully everyone had the opportunity to learn something new during the day,” said Brady Zuck, chairman of the WCA Summer Tour Committee. “We appreciate the support and look forward to seeing everyone in 2020.”

The WCA is excited for an increased turnout at this year’s Summer Tour and looks forward to hosting the 3rd Annual Summer Tour in 2020. The organization is actively preparing for the 2020 WCA Winter Conference, which will be held February 21-22 at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. More information about WCA events can be found at wisconsincattlemen.com or by contacting the WCA office at [email protected] or 608-228-1457.

WCA would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the 2019 Summer Tour:

Choice Level:


Wisconsin Beef Council

Kent Nutrition Group

Premier Co-op

Select Level:

Ag Consulting & Products

Rabo AgriFinance

United Cooperative

LaBudde Group

Neptune Enterprises

Posted: July 1, 2019