The Gleasons are fourth-generation beef farmers from Shullsburg. They raise about 400 calves each year from local dairy farms and grow their own feed on 80 acres of owned and 60 acres of rented land. Chad enjoys working on the farm, while Katrina home schools their children and does bookkeeping for the farm.
This year’s winner of the Excellence in Agriculture Award is Lynn Dickman of Plover. That program recognizes members between the ages of 18 and 35 who are actively engaged in agriculture, but derives the majority of their income from an off-farm agricultural career.
Dickman is a research agronomist at Heartland Farms, an 8,000-acre potato farm in Hancock. She grew up on a dairy farm in Argyle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science and a master’s in horticulture. Lynn is currently serving as the District 5 representative on WFBF’s Promotion and Education Committee and the Waushara County Farm Bureau YFA chair. She was also a member of WFBF Leadership Institute Class VIII. Outside of Farm Bureau, Dickman is president of the Tri-County FFA Alumni, a member of the Stevens Point Curling Club and City Band and a Meals on Wheels board member in Stevens Point.
And Jamie Propson of Manitowoc County was selected winner of the 2017 group’s annual Discussion Meet contest. She is an agriscience teacher at Mishicot High School and is the former chairperson of the Brown County Farm Bureau YFA. Propson is also a former graduate of the WFBF Leadership Institute. Other state finalists in the Discussion Meet were Jenny Leahy, Fond du Lac County; Julie Sweney, Dodge County; and Kelly Wilfert, Manitowoc County.
Meanwhile, the WFBF also held its Collegiate Discussion Meet over the weekend. Alison Wedig, a senior at UW-Madison majoring in life sciences communications, was the winner of that competition. She grew up working on her family’s landscaping operation and served as the Wisconsin FFA President from 2014-15.
All award winners will compete in their respective areas during the American Farm Bureau’s annual meeting early next year in Nashville, Tennessee.