Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association Hosts Annual Summer Tour

Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association Hosts Annual Summer Tour

June 28, 2021

The Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association (WCA) hosted its annual Summer Tour on June 26, 2021, in the Madison, Wisconsin area. The tour welcomed over 60 attendees for a day that included three unique stops, provided three meals, and encouraged the mission of the WCA by providing networking and educational opportunities for beef cattle producers. 

“The WCA Summer Tour was a great time to be able to connect with other cattle producers from around the state, as well as a great learning opportunity to gain fresh ideas and perspectives.  It shows that Wisconsin's cattle industry is always moving forward and trying to do things better,” said Aaron Zimmerman, a first-time attendee.  

The first stop of the tour was Roche Grain and Cattle Farm near Columbus, Wis. Brothers Kevin, Dennis, and David welcomed tour participants to their cattle feeding and grain operation. The farm encompasses a 1,300-head feedlot, 3,760-acre grain operation, 445,000-bushel grain drying facility, and a composting amenity. The group toured the cattle barns, observing both bedded mono slope and slatted floor barns. Attendees also visited the composting facility and learned about the cover crops that are currently used to increase soil health.   

After the first stop, the group traveled to Johnson’s Sausage Shoppe in Rio, Wis. Over lunch, Tammy Vaassen, Wisconsin Beef Council Executive Director, updated the audience on Beef Checkoff programs and promotion efforts in Wisconsin. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President-Elect Don Schiefelbein also addressed the group and shared the numerous ways NCBA is advocating for the beef industry on the federal level. The WCA also held its Annual Meeting.    

The group then toured Johnson’s Sausage Shoppe. The operation currently processes about 40 head of beef per week and 50-70 hogs per month. Attendees learned more about the issues facing Wisconsin’s local meat processors as they work to meet increased demand for local beef. Jeff Swenson with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection provided an overview of the meat processing industry in Wisconsin while also educating attendees on the regulatory aspects of direct marketing beef.  

“Our 2021 WCA Summer Tour was a great day spent with producers from throughout the state and Midwest region,” stated Matt Ludlow, current WCA President.  “After having to cancel last year's event because of COVID, we were really looking forward to having everyone together again in 2021.  The three tour stops throughout the day showcased the diversity of our Wisconsin producers and made for a memorable event. It was a great opportunity for attendees to network and hear information from both state and national industry leaders.” 

The tour concluded at Marda Angus Farms in Lodi, Wis. The Quam Family has been raising registered Angus cattle since 1940. Their program is based on sound, economic principles that drive the cattle industry which is evident in the many cow families found at Marda Angus Farms today that date back to the herd’s original foundation females. After seeing a group of cow-calf pairs and bred heifers, attendees had the opportunity to enjoy a cold beverage prior to dinner.  

The Quam Family treated guests to Petite Tenders, a cut of beef researched and developed through the Beef Checkoff as part of its effort to maximize yield and add versatility. The Petite Tender is the smallest muscle of the Shoulder Clod that is tender when left whole or cut end to end into portions.  

During the evening ceremony, WCA presented four awards to recognize the dedication to excellence and commitment to serving Wisconsin’s beef industry. Jerry Huth and Josh Scharf received the WCA Environmental Stewardship Award for their efforts to improve pastureland through managed grazing. Mary C. Anderson was awarded the Friend of the Cattlemen Award for her work to increase partnerships between the Wisconsin DNR and cattle producers with managed grazing projects. Also accepting a Friend of the Cattlemen Award was Kurt Hallstrand. WCA recognized his active involvement in beef producer organizations and his service on the WI DATCP Board. Finally, Eric Johnson, former President of WCA and current Chair of the Legislative Committee, was honored as Cattlemen of the Year.  

“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 2022.” 

WCA was excited to see the attendance and enthusiasm at this year’s Summer Tour and looks forward to hosting the Annual Summer Tour again in 2022. 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: 

Prime Level: American Foods Group Wisconsin Beef Council Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association JBS Roto-Mix Alltech Hubbard Feeds Purina Animal Nutrition Compeer Financial 

Choice Level: Neptune Enterprises Rabo Agrifinance H&S Manufacturing Diamond V Zoetis LaBudde Group Central Life Sciences Wisconsin DNR 

Select Level: Quality Liquid Feeds GreenStone Farm Credit Services Badger State Ethanol, LLC Hay and Forage Grower Bloomington Livestock Elanco Premier Cooperative Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC Premier Livestock & Auctions  

Supporting Member: United Cooperative

Posted: June 28, 2021