There are a lot of things that happen in the month of May. We usually finish planting but not this year. Once it dries off, it will be a race to stay ahead of my husband, Duane, when he is planting. This year will also be a new adventure for Kevin, Anna’s husband, who will be working ground before she and I follow. As of today, we have only begun getting into the wet, cold fields to start cleaning up. By that I mean picking rocks, sticks and anything that can get in the way of the planter once we start rolling.
    Another thing that usually happens in May is that the farm tour season begins. We have had a few schools come to see the cows, pet the calves and get a chance to milk Stacy. This year we have bounced back after the pandemic and have a few extra farm critters such as lambs, piglets and many chicks. As May continues, more and more schools will be rolling in on the school bus for two hours of education and a chance to eat in the shed.
    While all this is happening, there are also upcoming elections for the board of directors for the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
    At the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, there are creative professionals who understand how precious our milk is to all of us dairy farmers. This staff works together to brainstorm new ideas, programs and also helps the companies that sell our dairy products. Everything that our milk is going into, whether it is cheese, ice cream, fluid milk or one of the hundreds of dairy products that are now being brought to the grocery shelves, is being tracked and monitored by the people behind the scenes. These professionals are motivated by sales and are ecstatic when Wisconsin dairy products surpass goals that have been set.
    Every year, one-third of the 25-member board is elected to three-year terms. The election process is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. This year there are 12 certified nominees eligible for the election to the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin board of directors.
    The ballots have been mailed out to the eight districts that are up for election. There are more than 2,000 dairy farms that have the opportunity to vote for their fellow dairy farmer. Do you know who is representing your district? Every candidate has made a biography that is posted on the website. Please take a moment and read about the dairy farmers who are passionate about knowing where our check off dollars go, but also how to be knowledgeable about all that is being done for all of us Wisconsin dairy farmers.
    I know a few dairy farmers who may think being on the board might take too much time, is too far of a drive or even that it is not going to make a difference. Well I am here to tell you different. Every dairy farmer can make a difference. If your district isn’t up for election and you might be interested in running for a board position, look ahead for when the term is up and make plans to participate.
    If your district is up for election, you have until May 25 to vote. It is important when voting that you only vote for one candidate. You must sign the certification. You must send in the entire ballot in the postage paid envelope. All of these are required to make sure your vote is counted. Thank you for participating in voting for your district representative for the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. 
    Tina Hinchley, and her husband,  Duane, daughter Anna, milk 240 registered Holsteins with robots.  They also farm 2300 acres of crops near Cambridge, Wisconsin.  The Hinchley’s have been hosting farm tour for over 25 years.