2 Receive WI Distinguished Service Awards

Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award

Taylor County Farm Bureau member Robert Klussendorf received the Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award. This is the highest award Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) bestows on its members.

Klussendorf’s dedicated service to Farm Bureau started with the Waukesha County Young Farmer Committee. There he served as chairman from 1975-1978. He was then nominated and chosen to serve his district on the WFBF State Young Farmer Committee in 1977-1980. Then he was elected as chair from 1979-1980.

He continued his Farm Bureau service as a Waukesha County Farm Bureau board member from 1978-2012. There he served on several WFBF committees including a special committee on Young Farmer Finance, Policy Development Committee, Legislative Committee, VFA Committee, Ag in the Classroom Committee, Communication Committee, and was the chair of the Tax and Education Committee.

Klussendorf also helped create the Farmer in the Classroom program. This went on to be adopted by WFBF to become the statewide Ag in the Classroom program.

“Rob is the member that makes things happen instead of waiting for them to happen,” Taylor County Farm Bureau Vice President Gary Kohn said. “To Rob, Farm Bureau isn’t just a group of farmers, it’s family.”

Distinguished Service to Wisconsin Agriculture Award

Representative Gary Tauchen received the Distinguished Service to Wisconsin Agriculture award for his outstanding contributions to Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.

Rep. Tauchen’s dedication to serving Wisconsin agriculture has been a theme for the entirety of his life. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from UW-River Falls. He went on to found Tauchen’s Harmony Valley Farm near Bonduel in 1976 with his father, brother and nephew.

Besides his involvement with the family dairy farm, Rep. Tauchen has also been involved with Wisconsin agricultural organizations. He served as vice president of Shawano County Farm Bureau, director of National Dairy Herd Improvement Association, chairman of AgSource Cooperative Services and was a founding board member of both Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium. Rep. Tauchen was a speaker for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture as well as the World Dairy Expo.

“He has served Wisconsin agriculture in many capacities,” said nominator and WFBF President Kevin Krentz. “He has been actively involved in quite a few agricultural organizations giving him the opportunity to provide information and influence at the state, national and international levels.”

In 2006, Rep. Tauchen was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly representing the 6th Assembly District and served until 2023. During his time in the state assembly, Rep. Tauchen chaired and served on many committees directly impacting agriculture and rural communities where he supported farmers around the state.

Though Rep. Tauchen has retired, he continues to dedicate himself to his local community as well as passion projects to improve the quality of life for people around the state of Wisconsin.