The award, in recognition of Bruins’ contributions to Wisconsin’s agricultural industry, was presented at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 98th annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells.
Bruins was born and raised in the town of Alto and is a sixth-generation dairy farmer. He is general manager of Homeland Dairy, his family’s dairy partnership. In addition, he is president of the Waupun School Board,
“I have 20 grandkids, they are the seventh and eighth generation, so in 2010 I decided to run for school board. I wanted to keep Waupun a safe community, and I could serve the community because the family ran the day to day business,” Bruins said.
Bruins, who was just appointed to his second six-year term as agriculture representative on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board, says he’s always enjoyed serving.
“If people quit volunteering it will be the end of our society as we know it. Too many people want the government to do it. Volunteering is part of the culture of our community. Look at Alto Fair, it’s all volunteers. Volunteering is the price you pay for the space you occupy,” he said.
Over the years, Bruins served on numerous Wisconsin Farm Bureau committees including rural health and safety, dairy, policy development and young farmers. He is also a former state Discussion Meet winner. Nationally, he served on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Dairy Advisory Committee.
“Bill has served Wisconsin agriculture in many different capacities during his lifetime,” said WFBF President Jim Holte in a press release. “He represented District 5 … for 24 years, serving nine years as president. His skills were critical in serving farmers and building strong relationships with Farm Bureau and agriculture statewide.
“Bill’s commitment to the agriculture community is admirable,” said Holte. “He is extremely deserving of this award.”