Pork Association Holds Annual Meeting

The Wisconsin Pork Association held their annual meeting in cooperation with the Corn/Soy Expo on Thursday, February 3 at the Kalahari Resort.  Speakers included NPB CEO Bill Evens, NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys, NPPC Vice President of Producer Relations Cody McKinley, Producer Engagement Manager Alicia Humphrey and Environmental Sustainability Manager Austin Knight.  During the business meeting, Ray Ibeling, Christina Meylor and Nathan Brickl were recognized for their service to the organization.  Members elected to the Board included:  Christina Meylor, second term; AV Roth, first term; and Ross Mencke, first term.  The 2022 officer team includes Christina Meylor, president; AV Roth, vice president; Brian Klubertanz, treasurer; and Ryan Cain, secretary.  WPA would like to thank those who attended the meeting as well as help sponsor the event.  

Porkapalooza A Hit 

WPA welcomed almost 500 people at the event on Thursday evening to enjoy tasty pork appetizers as well as entertainment from Bella Cain.  Pam Jahnke, Midwest Farm Babe, emceed the event.  Bob Johnson of Badger State Auction provided his service to auction off youth pies and auction items to the highest bidder.  Many thanks to those who donated or purchased items at the auction totaling $20,517. The auction supports youth programming and advocacy issues.  

Producer Honoree Award  

Shannon Wolf is a pork producer from Grant County. He and his wife Melissa own and operate Wolf L&G Farms. The 1,200 sow farrow to finish hog operation typically sells 25,000 market hogs a year. During COVID supply system disruptions Shannon reached out to the Wisconsin Pork Association, and WPA quickly turned concern into action with its Passion for Pork program. His participation in the program helped keep pork production flowing. The collaboration connects local pork producers to area meat processors to put pork in food banks and pantries to help fight hunger during the pandemic. The Wolf family was also gracious enough to allow the WPA to use their farm for promotions on Discover Wisconsin. Follow the link to view the episode https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZHWaWjstAw

Agri-Communicator Award

Brian Winnekins is a 33-year radio veteran, starting his career as a part time announcer at WKTY in La Crosse, Wisconsin while attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse studying for a degree in Finance. In 2009 Brian decided he wanted to own his own station and began working on purchasing WRDN-AM in Durand Wisconsin. In 2011 Brian purchased WRDN and returned the station to the air in April in 2012. In 2013, Brian became a leading advocate for changes to the broadcast rules regarding AM Radio and was recognized by the Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai for the local programing and community involvement of WRDN in the Durand area. In 2020 

WPA Industry Award

The WPA Industry Award was presented to Jim Magolski along with his wife, Emily, are the proud owners of Magolski Farms. They have two daughters, Aubrey and Hadley. Magolski Farms is a small 15 sow show pig opera on where they also sell butcher pigs direct to consumers. Not only is Jim directly involved in the swine industry as a producer, but he is also employed with Niman Ranch/Coleman Natural Pork where he is the Director of Hog Quality and Protocols. Jim was a WPA Board Member for six years with four of those years serving as our president. Jim’s leadership has been important in the progression on the swine industry in Wisconsin. Including his introduction of multiple youth programs to build the next generation of pork advocates in Wisconsin. 

WPA Legislative Advocacy Distinguished Service

The 2021 WPA Legislative Advocacy Distinguished Service was awarded to Senator Joan Ballweg and Representative Tony Kurtz. Joan Ballweg is the state senator for the 14th Senate District located in central Wisconsin. Currently, Senator Ballweg is the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Tourism, and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Human Services, Children & Families. And Representative Tony Kurtz has always been passionate about serving his community. Following high school, Tony spent the next two decades in the U.S. Army. Former U.S. Army attack helicopter pilot 1985–2005, retired from active duty as a Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4); Persian Gulf War veteran; Iraq War veteran.

This session Senator Ballweg, along with Representative Tony Kurtz, authored a comprehensive agriculture and agribusiness export bill.  That legislation, which was signed into law, directs the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), to create a plan to achieve certain export initiatives by June 30, 2026. She led her Joint Committee on Finance colleagues in investing money in the state budget for this initiative.