Wisconsin Custom Operators members elected two directors and new officers during the group’s annual business meeting.
William Smith, owner of Smith Custom Farming LLC in Darlington and Pat Johnson, co-owner of Number 2 Injection LLC were elected as operator directors. Smith was re-elected to a second term and Johnson is a new addition to the WCO board.
In addition to Smith Custom Farming, Smith also farms 2,000 acres of grain in the Darlington area. Smith is a member of Midwest Forage Association, Lafayette County Farm Bureau, National Federation of Independent Business and he supports local FFA and 4-H activities. Smith Custom Farming has a strong presence on social media with nearly 3,000 people following their Facebook page. Smith and his wife, Jamie, have two sons.
Johnson co-owns Number 2 Injection LLC, a custom manure application business in Evansville, Wis. In addition to WCO, he is a member of Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin (PNAAW) and participates in manure pump schools and safety trainings whenever possible. Public perception of agriculture, especially manure application, is very important to Johnson. He is also passionate about helping younger people enter the custom farming industry because there are often fewer barriers to entry than traditional farming for someone without a family farm connection. Johnson and his wife have two children and are also a foster family.
Officers were selected by the WCO board of directors including a new president and vice-president. Ray Liska, owner of Apollo-Vale Enterprizes in Cochrane will serve as president and Jesse Dvoracheck, owner of Dvorachek Farm and Industry, LLC in Brillion as vice-president. Josh Bartholomew a corporate director from Oxbo International in Clear Lake was re-elected as secretary and Isaac Lemmenes, a corporate director from R Braun, Inc. in St Nazianz, was re-elected treasurer.
Liska owns and operates Apollo-Vale Enterprizes and custom raises poultry for Gold’n Plump Farms. He was very active in FFA and is a 14-year member of Wisconsin Farm Bureau where he served in various leadership roles and is a proud a graduate of the Farm Bureau Leadership Institute. Liska is passionate about policy and has attended numerous lobby days for WCO and other organizations. He and his wife Holly have three children that they homeschool, which leads to a lot of time in the fields working as a family.
Dvorachek is the owner of Dvorachek Farm and Industry, LLC, a custom manure application company. In addition to WCO, Dvorachek is a member of PNAAW, Dairy Business Association and Peninsula Pride Farms, a farmer-led group that focuses on promoting environmentally sound agriculture on the Door Peninsula. Dvorachek, his wife, Heather, along with the couple’s four children are very active in their church and regularly attend mission trips.
Retiring board member and long-time president Bryce O’Leary, owner of O’Leary Brothers Chopping Service LLC in Janesville, was honored for his service to WCO.