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Zimmermanns Earn Top Honors at National NOFA Congress
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/19/2018

Wisconsin's candidates for the National Outstanding Farmer of America Award came home as winners this past weekend. Sam and Jennifer Zimmermann of Ringle, who earned top honors at the state level last year, were one of the top four national winners during the competition held in Sacramento, California. Nine other farm couples from around the country also competed for the award.

The Marathon County farm couple were both raised on dairy farms growing up. Sam began working for a farm credit institution after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2001. He then became contracted as a consultant for the UW-Extension's Dairy Farm Modernization Program for several years. It was in that capacity where he realized dairy farming on a smaller scale could still be profitable.

His wife, Jenn, has had equal success in her career. She also worked in the banking industry for many years until starting her own business in 2014 called 'Catch All Business Solutions.' In that venture, she works with companies to retain good employees and recruit talent to help their organizations grow.

The Zimmermanns now milk 165 Registered Holsteins and have been purchasing the farm's assets slowly from Sam's parents so they could retire. In addition to running ON-Q Holsteins, the couple has four children and are members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, County DHIA, 4-H, Little Britches fair program, and Trinity Lutheran Church.

The three other national winners named during the weekend were from Ohio, Arkansas and Iowa. The candidates were judged on the progress in their agricultural career, soil and water conservation practices and contributions to their community, state and nation.

The Zimmermanss are Wisconsin's 19th national winner since the program began in 1955.

Meanwhile, this year's top OYF state winner, Andy Fisher of Reedsville, will also compete for the honor during next year's national competition.

Formerly known as the Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer Congress, the NOFA program is the oldest farmer recognition program in America.

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