WALSAA Introduces Board

The Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) is pleased to announce Michael Murphy, June Roush, and Brooke Trustem as the newest members of the WALSAA Board of Directors. WALSAA would also like to introduce the student representatives on the board.

Michael Murphy, Ph.D., is a 1987 University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) graduate in agricultural economics who has a passion for learning and employee performance. Murphy continued his education at UW-Whitewater to earn a master’s degree in business administration, and then at Benedictine University for his Ph.D. in organizational development. Currently, Murphy works in Syngenta’s training department with interns, new hires, and leadership to build a stronger customer experience. Murphy and his wife, Nancy, live in DeWitt, Iowa, with their three children.

June Roush grew up on a dairy and livestock Century Family Farm near Plain, Wisconsin.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, with a business and industry option, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then a master’s degree in business administration from Edgewood College.   At UW-Madison, Roush was secretary for the Ag Econ Club, a member of the Badger Dairy Club, and a volunteer at World Dairy Expo.   She has since worked for John Deere Financial (JDF) in various roles for more than 30 years.  In 2019, Roush accepted the Harmony Hill Farm Sanctuary Board of Director and Treasurer roles.  The farm sanctuary is located in northern Illinois. Roush is an avid fan of dance, gymnastics, diving, and all Wisconsin Badger and Wisconsin professional sports.  Her son, Isaac, is a freshman at St. Cloud State University (SCSU), and her daughter, Ashlyn, is a junior at Middleton High School.

Brooke Trustem is from Evansville, Wisconsin, and she is currently the sales and marketing coordinator for BouMatic. Trustem was raised on her family’s 2,500-cow dairy farm and has a passion for the dairy industry.  A 2020 UW-Madison CALS graduate, Trustem was highly involved in many agriculture-related organizations on campus.  She was president of the CALS Student Association and the Badger Dairy Club, secretary of the Association of Women in Agriculture, and director of public relations for the Collegiate Farm Bureau. In these roles, Trustem helped coordinate events to help educate others about agriculture.

Leo Ehlen is a second-year student in FISC pursuing a certificate in dairy farm management. He is the 2020/’21 FISC Ambassador and WALSAA FISC Student Representative. Ehlen is a third-generation dairy farmer from Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where his family milks around 115 Holstein cows. He works with his grandpa and dad. Ehlen enjoys working with them because they have so much knowledge about farming. Ehlen’s duties include milking cows, cutting and baling hay, and hauling silage and corn in the fall. He is also very active in his local FFA alumni because he wants to give back to an organization that inspired his passion for the agriculture industry.

Nikita Piryani is a junior from Mequon, Wisconsin, majoring in biology and pursuing a certificate in global health. This is her first year with the CALS Ambassadors, and she will serve as the Alumni Relations Chair. In her free time, Piryani enjoys playing tennis, watching Badger football and basketball games, and spending time with her dog. After graduation, Piryani plans to attend medical school.

New in 2020, the WALSAA Speaker’s Bureau was made available to alumni and students of CALS and the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC). The virtual library can be found here. WALSAA plans events for alumni and friends of CALS and the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC). Major events being planned for next year include the FISC Reunion at Crave Brothers Farm, LLC on March 27, and the WALSAA Football Fire-Up in September. Stay tuned for registration and virtual event information, which will be posted on www.WALSAA.org.