Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic celebrates 60th anniversary

The Wisconsin Agri-Business Association is proud to announce the successful completion of the 2021 Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic. Typically held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, due to Coronavirus restrictions, this year’s event was hosted entirely online.

Provided in partnership with UW-Extension, the virtual four-day event featured over 25 Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units, as well as an interactive online trade show.

“While we certainly missed in-person networking with our friends and colleagues in the industry, we are thrilled to have been able to provide an exceptional educational program for our attendees,” says Wisconsin Agri-Business Association Executive Director Tom Bressner. “We celebrated the show’s 60th anniversary in an unprecedented way and we look forward to seeing what opportunities – and challenges – await us in the next 60 years.”

Keynote speakers included USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, DATCP Secretary-Designee Randy Romanski and Wisconsin Association of FFA President Joe Schlies. Governor Tony Evers, Former Governor and current UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson and Julia Nunes, 73rd Alice in Dairyland provided attendees with greetings to begin each day’s program.

Monday’s schedule also included the 2021 Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) Annual Membership Meeting, where the following new board members were elected: Steve Hellenbrand, Insight FS; Jeff Hodge, Heartland AG Systems; and Ladd Pettit, Middleton Farmers Cooperative. The 2021-22 officer team was also named and includes President: Rob Evans, Rosen’s Inc.; Vice President: Howard Hartmann, Hartmann Farms LLC; Secretary: Tony Grapsas, Jay-Mar Inc. and Treasurer: Garry Gard, Didion Inc.

Recipients of the 2020 WABA Awards, recognized each day, were:

·        Distinguished Organization Award (for exemplary industry professionalism): Rosen’s Inc.

·        Education Award (for leadership and commitment to educational excellence): Cyndi Wentland, Intentional Leaders

·        Outstanding Service to Industry (for dedication and support to WABA and its members): Randy Tenpas, Fox Valley Technical College

·        Friend of WABA Award: Representative Gary Tauchen

·        President’s Service Award (for dedication, service and leadership): Tom Hoffman, ProVision Partners

·        Board Member Service Award (for full-term Board of Directors service): Scott Firlus, United Cooperative; Tom Hoffman, ProVision Partners; and Joe Kennicker, Greg’s Feed & Seed

WABA’s 2020-21 Scholarship Recipients were acknowledged daily and included Bryce Rufener, UW-Madison; Mitchell Oswald, UW-River Falls; Laurel Deitch, UW-Stevens Point; Blake Crubel, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College; Marisa Radloff and Lydia Kildahl, Northcentral Technical College; Alexis Lins and Noah Mast, Fox Valley Technical College; Tamra Lawrence, Western Technical College; Megan Krueger, Lakeshore Technical College; and Ryan Erickson, Collin Weltzien, Lindsey Augustine and Cortney Zimmerman, Wisconsin Association of FFA members. WABA provides over $20,000 in scholarships to students from across the state each year.

Finally, WABA unveiled a new program: The WABA Webinar Series. Held on the third Wednesday of each month, this online series will provide attendees with important updates and insights into the industry. The program is free to members. Additional information and links to register can be found at http://bit.ly/WABAWebinars.

Save the date for the next Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic, January 11-13, 2022.

The Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, Inc. (WABA) is a non-profit trade association. The mission of the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association is to represent, provide programs and services, educate, train, manage regulatory and legislative affairs, and to be a strong unifying voice for the agribusiness industries of Wisconsin. To learn more, visit www.wiagribusiness.org.