Our Board of Directors is comprised of farmers with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. So that you can get to know us a bit, here is some information on the members of the Board.
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Since moving to Marathon County, the Arnolds have been mentors and educators to other dairy farmers, hosting numerous events such as pasture walks, parlor and facility tours, and educating over 700 participants about their pasture-based research, facility modernization and farm management. They are progressive managers who utilize superior pasture management along with new parlor technology, TMR feed supplementation, low-cost freestall housing, and improved genetics. They strive to be true stewards of the land and comply with all state performance standards for manure management, diversion of clean water, erosion standards, and buffers. Their farm has not seen tillage equipment since their pastures were planted back in 1999 and they boast a soil erosion rate of a mere 0.1 ton per acre. The Arnolds were one of the first farmers in Wisconsin to be accepted into the NRCS-Conservation Security Program and have been certified organic since 2014.
Jason Cavadini, Secretary
Jason Cavadini is an agronomist and the assistant superintendent of the University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station. He grew up on his family’s farm in the hills of La Crosse County, Wisconsin. It was there that he became intrigued by conservation farming practices such as no-till planting, cover crops, and grass-based agriculture. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Soil Science from UW-River Falls, and a Master’s in Agronomy from Purdue University where he focused on the use of cover crops as a soil conservation practice. At the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Jason has been dedicated to integrating the practices of no-till and cover crops into Central Wisconsin. He operates a small pork, poultry, and beef grazing operation near Stratford with his wife and five children.
Cheyenne and Katy Christianson and their eight children run a 70-cow organic dairy and have been successful using managed rotational grazing and feeding no grain for 12 years. He has used annuals such as oats, turnips, Japanese millet, sorghum sudan, rye, and triticale to fill in and extend the grazing season in order to maximize forage quality for his cows and young stock. The Christianson’s bought a run down farm in July of 1993 and started grazing in 1994. Improving soil fertility has been a work in progress, and is a vital component of growing quality forage. The Christiansons converted the farm to organic production and began shipping organic milk to Organic Valley/CROPP in 1999. Northern WI suffered sever drought for several years and annuals were a key to having something to graze and keeping cows in shape through this time. Cheyenne also writes articles for Graze Magazine and shares what works on his farm to all that are interested.
Random Lake, WI
On a farm where biodiversity, environmental concerns and sustainability are of equal importance, a herd of 58 New Zealand Friesian milking cows graze contentedly among green blades of orchard grass and white blossoms of clover. Cows, along with unconfined laying hens and a few pastured pigs, have grazed for more than 20 years on Heidel Dairy, a 294-acre farm operated by David and Angelita Heidel and their daughter and son-in-law, Thelma and Ricky. With a M.S. degree in chemical weed control from UW-Madison, grazier David especially enjoys being an owner member of Organic Valley.
Andy Jaworski, Treasurer
Green Bay, WI
Andy farms in Green Bay, WI on 216 acres that he rents from his parents. He began to handle management and operations of his parents’ organic beef and crop farm in 2008. With an interest in Dairy, he began working as a relief milker at Full Circle Farm in Seymour, WI. In 2011, Andy entered into a share milking arrangement with Full Circle Farm where he furthered his knowledge and understanding of how to manage and operate a rotational grazed-organic dairy. In March of 2014 he moved his herd of 65 milk cows to his parent’s farm where he has set up a one-unity robotic milking facility to see if high tech milking technology has a place in the world of grazing. He continues to manage the herd organically with rotational grazing as a key element to his business model.
Laura Paine, Vice President
Laura Paine and her husband raise and direct market grass-fed beef on their 82-acre farm near Columbus, WI. Laura is an agriculture educator, having held a number of positions in WI over the last 20+ years. For eight years, she served as Grazing & Organic Agriculture Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protections, assisting producers in developing and marketing organic and grass-fed products. She has done grazing research and education at UW-Madision and worked for seven years as an Extension agent in Columbia County. Laura is currently program director for Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, which places aspiring farmers on working dairy farms in eleven states for a two-year on-the-job training program. Laura was previously a GrassWorks board member in the early 2000’s, and has served as a board advisor for more than 10 years.
Jim & Ginger bought their farm in 1982. It was Ginger’s childhood home. In 1994 Jim attended his first GrassWorks Grazing Conference in Stevens Point and says he has never looked back. They raise grass fed North Devon beef, pastured American Mule Footed Hogs and a selection of gourmet garlic that are all direct marketed. He was a co-founder of the Fox River Local Foods Network serving Green Lake, Fond du Lac, and Winnebago counties. Jim was a board member when GrassWorks first became a membership organization and served as its third Board of Directors President.
Wally Sedlar, President
Wally Sedlar with his wife and two daughters have a grazing farm near Fremont, WI. Their operation is organically operated to raise Texas Longhorn beef cattle, chickens and horses with a grass/legume rotation with periodic no tilling of the pasture and cropland. All livestock are grass fed/finished. The woodland on the property provides a small Maple Syrup operation for a few families. He has a BS from UW Stevens-Point and a MS from Marian College. He is a grazing specialist, TSP for grazing and CCA and County Conservationist with the Adams County Land and Water Conservation Department.
Larry Smith, DVM
Larry Smith farms are near Viroqua, WI. The farms have been rotationally grazed since 1979. He has a BS and MS from the U of W-Madison and a DVM from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Larry was in veterinary practice in Lodi from 1965-1990. For the last 30+ years, Larry ran a 700-1,000 head stocker operation at Viroqua and does clinical or discovery studies for pharmaceutical companies on internal and external parasites, growth promotants, vaccines and antibiotics.
Dave is a retired WI-DNR fisheries biologist with more than 32 years of cold water stream management in the Driftless Area. He firmly believes and has demonstrated the benefits of grazing on & near trout streams in Southwestern WI.