Elk Mound man is new Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Elk Mound man is new Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President

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Elk Mound (WQOW) - A local man is the new face of Wisconsin's largest farm organization. Jim Holte, from Elk Mound, was picked this month to head up the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. We caught up with him to learn more about his new role.

"Its exciting and challenging at the same time," said Holte.

Jim knows a thing or two about being a farmer, and now he'll be taking on a new role.

"I've been involved in Farm Bureau for well over 30 years at the county level, where our base really is at the county level. And at the state level, I was one of the State Board of Directors now for the last 17 years," Holte said.

He was elected by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation to be its new president. 

"We're very active with agencies as they develop new regulations. We give comments to those, and try to shape those in a way that's positive for business but still protects society as it needs to be," said Holte.

As president of the state's largest general farm organization, he's heard talk about the dairy cliff. Without a new farm bill or extension of the current one, it would mean farmers go back to rules set in 1949.

"They'd be very difficult to implement, or for the government to carry them out. So the chances of that occurring are very slight," Holte said.

He's also heard the worries of farmers after a less than stellar growing season.

"Farmers are all optimists. I mean each spring, we go to the fields and we put a lot of dollars on the ground out there. So yes, it would be very helpful if we had a more average year in precipitation, but I have a lot of confidence in farms across the state to deal with whatever situations come forward," said Holte.

Those concerns are just a few he will address with farmers around the state in the coming months. Before that, he needs to lighten his workload here in the Chippewa Valley. He currently raises cattle and cash grains, but says that could be changing soon.

"It's quite likely that a number of the parts of it revolving around cattle will diminish, or be eliminated. That will free up a fair amount of my time to assume the responsibilities of the Presidency of the farm bureau," Holte said.

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