New director appointed to Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin board

posted Sept. 4, 2018 8:05 a.m. (CDT)
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by / Brooke Bechen, Regional Editor |

MADISON — The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin board of directors voted Aug. 28 to appoint Randy Ebert of Algoma as the new District 10 director.

With a 20-2 vote, he was appointed to fill the position, serving through June 30, 2020. District 10 includes the counties of Brown, Door and Kewaunee.

The board met via teleconference Aug. 28  to appoint a new District 10 director after the resignation of Julie Veldhuis, who served on the board as a representative of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, Kewaunee.

Board chairman Jeff Strassburg said he spoke with both Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin CEO, and Patrick Geoghegan, senior vice president of corporate communications, about appointment procedure, suggesting a few names for Brenda Murphy, director of producer communications and programs, to contact and gauge their interest in joining the board.

Murphy said many of the dairy farmers she reached out to had an interest in serving on the board but the timing just wasn’t right; many also took time to consider, talking it over with their families before deciding against running for the open seat. Two farmers indicated they would be interested in running in two years and would serve as great candidates in elections to come, she said.

Two candidates came forward following the communications — Ebert and Raymond Diederich of De Pere.

Ebert is a sixth-generation farmer and owns Ebert Enterprises, a 4,500 Holstein and Jersey farm with 8,500 acres of cropland in Kewaunee County. He is active in Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion, Peninsula Pride Farms and Edge Dairy Co-op, and served as the host family for Wisconsin Farm Technology Days when held in Kewaunee County last year.

He indicated in his biography, presented to the board, that he would enjoy the challenge of connecting with other minds on product development and forming alliances with retailers to tell the story of a dairy farmer’s product to the consumer.

Diederich owns and operates Diederich Farm with his wife, their son and his wife. Their herd averages between 520 and 530, with 1,100 acres of cropland in De Pere. Diederich is involved in the Farm Bureau, Genex/​CRI and serves on the National Dairy Board.

His main interest in joining the board would be to make sure dairy farmers get a return on their investment, stating in his biography that he’s a good listener, comes prepared and is not afraid to ask tough questions.

“We’ve got a great candidate in Randy,” said Strassburg, who spoke in favor of appointing Ebert.

Strassburg also thanked Murphy for reaching out to potential candidates and Diederich for showing interest in the position.

In other business, the board also approved two budget adjustments, which will be reflected on the June 2018 financial statement.

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