Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association Inc.

Board of Directors

David Meuer

David Meuer
(Meuer Farm)

PRESIDENT
David Meuer is a 4th generation farmer who has successfully turned his 150 acre farm into an agri-tourism hotspot located in Chilton, WI. David spent his early years as a member of FFA (Future Farmers of America) and holds the FFA American Farmer Degree. He uses that experience to think "outside the box" when developing his farm. He continues to experiment with new, innovative methods of farming for his cash crops, strawberry fields and his agri-tourism business while constantly being aware of soil and water conservation and the environment. His latest venture "Farm Flavors" offers rolled oats and gluten-free oat flour...from oats grown on the farm. David is a former 4-H member and chapter president; former FFA member and chapter president; former WI Jr. Dairyman's Association member, chapter president and state officer; past board member of WI Ayrshire Breeders Assn.; vice president of WI Berry Growers Assn and a committee member of the Rural Arts Roadtrip. meuerfarm@gmail.com

Christine Hall

Christine Hall
(Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center)

VICE-PRESIDENT
Christine Hall is Executive Director of Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center near Coon Valley, Wisconsin. Set in the heart of the birthplace of farmland conservation practices, Norskedalen focuses on tourism that interprets and preserves pioneer farming and living practices in addition to prehistoric Native American agriculture and heritage. Chris' background includes a lifetime of involvement with Iowa and Wisconsin 4-H, tourism - specifically along the Upper Mississippi River and raising three sons. Her past work experiences include being an officer on board an authentic steamboat, working as an archaeologist in the Mississippi River Valley, an elementary school art teacher and being a park ranger with the National Park Service. Her passions include backpacking in the Southwest, genealogy and creating art.

Jason Ring

Jason Ring
(Manitowoc Visitor & Convention Bureau)

TREASURER
Jason Ring is President of the Manitowoc Area Visitor & Convention Bureau. It was his participation in 4-H as a youngster that helped him transition from being a quiet child to the outgoing personality he is today. Jason credits 4-H speaking and demonstration competitions as well as involvement in Junior Leadership and state and local 4-H trips for peaking his interest in hospitality and tourism. In his spare time Jason enjoys grilling, gourmet cooking (bacon is a favorite ingredient), camping, napping, and is 10% complete on his goal of golfing all of Wisconsin's more than 300 golf courses. jring@manitowoc.info

Bonnie Keyes

Bonnie Keyes
(Mulberry Lane Farm)

In January 2005 the Keyes' purchased a 100 year old, 125-acre farm located less than 30 miles from both Appleton and Green Bay, an ideal location for a hands-on, educational, children's petting farm. Transforming an idle farm was no small task but by October 1st of that same year they opened to the public. Mulberry Lane Farm quickly became known for their "pick your own" pumpkins in the fall. The popularity of their spring season, featuring all the baby farm animals, rapidly grew as well. The farm is awell-known field trip and tourist attraction, welcoming thousands of visitors annually.

With the growing popularity of the country barn wedding phenomena and the need to increase cash flow, adding weddings into the mix was anatural choice.

Bonnie's expertise shines in the relationships she builds with the farm's staff and guests. Leaving a 21-year career at Shopko Stores, Inc. where she served as an office supervisor, she now utilizes her skills by overseeing the farm personnel, payroll, and record keeping along with reservations. However, her passion lies in marketing the farm. Since diving into social media four years ago, the farm has seen revenues more than double.

Bonnie also sits on the Marketing Advisory Committee at Fox Cities CVB. She has published work inFarm & Ranch Living Magazine and is a regular guest on NBC26 WGBA with afeatured educational farm animal segment.

MulberryLaneFarm@yahoo.com

John Govin
(Govin's Meats & Berries Farm)

jgovin@govinsfarm.com

Kyle Vesperman

Kyle Vesperman
(Vesperman Farms)

Kyle began raising pumpkins and selling them on his grandparent's front yard in town while in high school. Recognizing agritourism as a growing industry, he began bringing people out to the farm to pick their own pumpkins. The next fall, while attending UW Platteville, his first corn maze - a venture which continues to grow every year. Now eleven years later Vesperman Farms is a fall destination for many families and friends, welcoming thousands and thousands of guests every weekend. Kyle has also been involved with local politics, serving as a County Board Supervisor for two terms. He currently serves on the board of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and other various non-profit local boards. kyle.vesperman@gmail.com

Sheila Everhart

Sheila Everhart
(Busy Barns Farm Adventures)

Sheila Everhart is the Education Director and Event Coordinator at Busy Barns Adventure Farm LLC and The Gathering Barn located in Fort Atkinson, WI. Sheila and her husband Dennis reside in Janesville Township, Rock County and have two sons: Michael and Mathew and four grandchildren. Dennis and Mathew operate Everhart Farms where they raise beef cattle, corn and soybeans. Sheila loves helping students and her grandchildren learn about farming and career opportunities in agriculture. She serves as The Rock County Farm Bureau Board of Directors' Secretary. She chairs the Ag in the Classroom Initiatives, Annual Meeting Recognition & Banquet, Scholarships and Fair Food Stand subcommittees. Sheila is also on the Executive Board of The Janesville Park City Chapter of American Business Women's Association (ABWA). She is the chapter Secretary and chairs the Public Relations and Professional Development subcommittees. Sheila has worked 27 years as a Teacher and Principal for school districts in Alaska and Wisconsin. She has earned a bachelor's degree from UW-Whitewater and a master's degree from UW-Madison. "I am here to be the change I wish to see in the world, choosing to: learn well and do well for others, extending myself in service, treating others with respect, inspiring and influencing others to take action by using and being thankful for my GOD given talents and skills as an instructional leader, teacher, coach, mentor and advocate." sheila@busybarnsfarm.com

Advisors

Jayme Buttke

Jayme Buttke
(Wisconsin Association of Fairs)

Jayme is the Executive Secretary/Treasurer for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs and has served this role since 2005. Annually, she coordinates a convention where more than 1,000 Fair and Associate Members attend to get the latest information needed in planning a successful fair. She is an active member of the International Association of Fairs (IAFE) and has received her Certified Fair Executive designation and is a graduate of the Institute of Fair Management. Jayme grew up on a Registered Holstein Farm and has been an avid fair participant since joining 4-H as an eight year old. wisfairs@gmail.com

Lois Federman

Lois Federman
(Director of Something Special from WI with DATCP)

Lois Federman is a Senior Agricultural Marketing Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison, Wisconsin. She directs the Something Special from Wisconsin - a branded marketing program, which was founded in 1983 to assist Wisconsin companies increase their brand presence locally, regionally and nationally. Currently over 500 Wisconsin companies are program members. Lois and her brother are fourth generation co-owners/operators of their family's homestead farm south of Mineral Point, WI. Together they direct-market meat to consumers through CSA's, Farmers' Markets, restaurants and grocery stores. Prior to returning to her agricultural roots, her career spanned 20 plus years traveling the world for the internationally known apparel company, Lands' End, as director of product development and quality control for the men's, women's and kids knit apparel lines and the business outfitters division. lois.federman@wi.gov

Marsha Salzwedel

Marsha Salzwedel
(Marshfield Clinic - National Farm Medicine Center)

Marsha grew up on a farm and is still involved today in the family business - growing Christmas trees, selling wreathes, maple syrup, and timber. She is also the Agritourism Safety Specialist at the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (part of the National Farm Medicine Center) in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Marsha led the development of the interactive website "Integrating Safety into Agritourism" and is currently leading the team that is updating the agritourism safety materials. She has given presentations and workshops on agritourism safety at state, regional, national and international meetings. Marsha has a Master's Degree in Human & Community Resources from the University of Wisconsin Steven's Point. salzwedel.marsha@mcrf.mfldclin.edu