Pierce County Farm Bureau members gathered at El Paso Bar and Grill on Thursday, Oct. 3 for their annual meeting and to celebrate Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s centennial.

The meeting offered farm families an opportunity to catch up with one another, discuss issues and advocate for farmers at the state level. The evening included guest speakers, service awards, financial reports, resolution, by-law changes and concluded with a family meal.

The meeting opened with WFBF's celebratory centennial video, which emphasized the organization's role in amplifying farmer’s voices.

Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Awards were given out to Naoma Falde and posthumously to her husband Gaylord Falde. The Faldes have been members since 1948, marking this year 71. Gaylord was a member of the board for many years on the East Pierce County side. Naoma served as the president of the Women’s Farm Bureau of Pierce County. The second award was given to Wendy Kannel. Kannel grew up on a dairy farm outside of Spring Valley, served as an FFA advisor and was the District 9 coordinator.

The group accepted nine proposed resolutions. They will be brought to the state meeting in Wisconsin Dells in December. They will then be voted on and potentially put into state or national policy for the bureau's lobbyist to work on.

A few of the resolutions include:

  • Amendment to page 22; line 23-24 to read: We support the ability for immigrant workers to obtain a valid driver’s license provided they meet the criteria for state driving requirements. This driver's license does not give them the ability to vote.

  • We support a tax-exempt farm savings account where farmers can defer income from profitable years to years of loss.

  • We support a change in the packaging of milk in paper cartons to make them easier to open and more presentable.

  • We support Congress passing USMCA as soon as possible. We also support sending this to our Wisconsin Congressional Delegation.

The PCF also approved an updated by-law that changed the name of PCF Women’s Committee to PCF Promotion and Education Committee. They opened up the committee's chair to anyone, previously the by-laws required a woman to serve as the chair.

Noreen Falde helps serve food and pour milk after the meeting. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia
Noreen Falde helps serve food and pour milk after the meeting. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia

The group then voted for directors as well as people to serve as delegates at the WFBF annual meeting. The meeting ended with a speech by Jim Holte — District 9 director and WFBF president — on the topics of water quality, livestock issues, trade and immigration issues. Holte will be retiring from his positions. The District 9 director will be elected at the District 9 caucus at WFBF annual meeting Dec. 9. The WFBF president will be determined by the WFBF Board of Directors at a reorganization meeting following the annual meeting.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

In 1920 WFBF formed and became the 32nd state to join the American Farm Bureau Federation. According to the WFBF website the farm bureau’s mission is to “lead the farm and rural community through legislative representation, education, public relations, leadership development and providing services and benefits to members.” The Pierce County chapter was organized in 1950.