space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Coleman Wrestlers Claim 13 All Conference Spots
* Three Bulldog Grapplers Grab Packerland Top Team Spots
* Tackmier & Lund Picked For Packerlands Top Hoops Teams
* Kitzinger/Walker are NEC First Team Selections
* Menominee Rolls To Win In Semis

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space
020520frontfingeraward.jpg

Honored - Phil and Laura Finger were named Outstanding Young Farmers at the 66th Annual Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Weekend January 24-26 in Chippewa Falls. Phil is a 5th generation farmer whose family farm goes back to 1872. Phil and Laura will now represent Wisconsin farmers at the National level. Top Photo: left to right; Phil Finger, children Alisa, P.J., Alivia, Alana and Laura Finger. Bottom Photo: Laura and Phil Finger are pictured with the Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmers award at the awards ceremony.

Philip and Laura Finger Named State Outstanding Young Farmers For 2020

Issue Date: February 6, 2020

When Philip and Laura Finger left their home on the Finger Family Farm in the Town of Little River to attend the 66th annual Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Weekend in Chippewa Falls they knew they had been nominated for Wisconsin's top Young Farmer award but never dreamed they would win.

Then, after spending some time with the other nominees, they were so impressed with them that they were even more certain they would not be chosen. "In comparison, we really didn't think we were qualified," Phil said. "We went to the banquet Saturday night (Jan. 25) expecting to shake someone else's hand. When the winners were announced we were both in tears!"

The couple agreed that they had made some lifelong friends during the Awards Weekend that began on Friday, Jan. 24 and ran through Sunday, Jan. 26. The six nominees, some of them as individuals and some as couples, had been strangers when the weekend began, but bonded well during the functions that led up to the final selection and by the time winners were announced at the banquet they had made some lifelong friends. They said one thing all nominees had in common was that they all shared the same struggles.

Phil said he and Laura were shocked to be chosen because they thought all the other finalists they had met were more worthy of the award.

The weekend began with an Ag Forum training session for candidates on Friday, Jan. 24, led by Trisha Wagner and area ag agents/educators with Daphne Holterman, past Wisconsin and National Outstanding Young Farmer award winner.

During the weekend nominees toured area businesses, including Seibel's Organic Dairy in Bloomer and Leinenkugel's Brewery in Chippewa Falls and were interviewed by a panel of three judges.

Since they didn't think they would be selected, Phil and Laura had not invited any other family members to join them and the 75 to 100 others who attended the awards banquet.

Phil is the fifth generation to farm on his family's farm that straddles the Marinette and Oconto county lines. The farm was started by great-great-grandfather Franz Finger, who came to this country from Bohemia and purchased the first 140 acres in 1872. Owners since then have been Lawrence and Mary Finger, Ervin and Grace Finger 1930-1974 and Phil's parents, Jack and Nancy Finger, 1974 to present. The farm grew to support two families in 2008 when Phil and Laura took over operations. In 2009 when Phil and Laura were married they continued with the expansion. The partnership allows each couple to have a little time off and still do a good job of running the farm.

From its small beginnings the Finger Family Farm has grown to include 1,400 crop acres and 540 Holstein milking cows. They ship about a semi load of milk each day and have 20 employees. They milk three times a day.

In addition to the dairy operation the Fingers have a small chicken flock, with about 150 hens and deliver two to three dozen eggs a day to customers.

Inflation hasn't taken hold of the dairy industry as it has in the rest of the world, Phillip said. Milk still sells for about $20 a hundred weight, as it did in the 1970s. Dairy Farmers of America helps promote dairy products, which includes milk, cheese, whey products (including dry whey, which is used as a muscle builder), butter, ice cream, baby formula and more.

Phil and Laura are both now 38 years old. He was raised on the family farm and earned a Dairy Science Degree from UW-Madison in 2004. Laura was born and raised in Hawaii, and earned a Dairy Science Degree from Iowa State College in 2003. She was working as a dairy herdsman in Daggett, Mich. after being widowed in 2004.

They met in 2004 thanks to "a set-up" by Jeff and Lisa Fisher of Peshtigo.Both said they did not hit it of on the first date, but started dating again in 2008. They were married on Feb. 21, 2009.

They have three children, including Lisa's 18-year-old daughter Alana, who is currently studying in the dairy program at Fox Valley Tech and hopes to return to the farm and become the sixth generation of family ownership. Other children are PJ, 10; Alisa, 9, and Alivia, 6. Each of the kids has regularly assigned chores, which Phil and Laura feel is an important part of training them for life.

A typical day for Phil and Laura starts when they get up together at 2:30 a.m. They start their work for the day, check on their animals, and check on employees whose shifts start between 1 and 3 a.m. At 6:30 a.m. they go home for breakfast with the children. After the kids get on the bus they go back to work, checking their job list, vaccinating animals, handling breeding chores, and helping wherever they are needed.

The couple agrees their goal are to have a successful family and a successful farm. They also agree their secret is to give and take, and wherever one has a weakness the other makes up for it. Phil's passion is genetics, while Laura takes care of the calves. Her primary job is running the home, his is running the farm. Phil chuckles that the secret of working together is that, "I do what she tells me."

Both say they treat their employees respectfully, and the employees do the same for them. "Our farm is a team effort," they agreed, and added, "The people that work with us do a great job." They also agree that farming is hard work, something that must be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, but it's also enjoyable and they're glad they made the decision to farm and would not want to do anything else.

They are proud to be part of the farming community, and proud to be active members of the Marinette and Oconto county communities. Their farm on Townline Road has a barn in each county. They try to shop locally, patronize local stores and vendors and put money back into sporting events and other local activities.

They seek ways to keep consumers connected to farming, and to help young people be involved. They do cow chip bingo, at Historical Days they bring baby animals for youngsters to see. They have provided access and assistance at the farm for youngsters who wanted to raise an animal as a learning project.

Phil and Laura will now go on to compete for national award honors with young farmers and farm couples from all across the nation to be announced at the 2021 national honors event that will be held in Appleton. Finger said in the 64 years that a national level Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) has been selected, 19 of those chosen have been from Wisconsin.

In addition to competing at the national level for 2021 honors, as this year's Wisconsin OYF winners the couple will host next year's state awards event, which is to be held somewhere in northeast Wisconsin.

Phil and Laura said they are really looking forward to helping promote agriculture, reconnecting consumers with food sources, and bringing more optimism back into agriculture. They see a need to remind fellow producers and consumers that everyone has to eat, but everyone needs different choices to meet their taste and dietary needs.

In 2022, during its 150th anniversary year, the Finger Family Farm will host the annual Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm.

The Wisconsin OYF program was developed in 1954 to recognize the younger generation of successful agriculturists in the state. To be eligible for the OYF award, farmers must be between 21 and 39 years of age, either individuals or teams, who derive at least two-thirds of their income from farming. Judges base their decisions 50 percent on candidates' progress in agriculture, 25 percent on land and water conservation practices, and 25 percent on community involvement.

Phil and Laura were nominated for the award by Scott Reuss, who serves as UWEX Ag agent/educator for Marinette and Oconto counties.

This year's first runner-up is Katy Schultz of Fox Lake, a partner in Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. and this year's "Speak Up for Agriculture" Award winner.

Jeremy and Heather Natzke of Green Leaf were the second runners-up. Jeremy is also the fifth generation on his family farm, Wayside Dairy. They are sponsored by CP Feeds, GPS Dairy Consulting, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Luxemburg-Casco Jaycees, and Riesterer and Schnell.

Other nominees this year were Kelly Fruit of Viola, John "JJ" and Chase Pagel of Kewaunee, and Laura and Tyler Raatz of Oconto Falls.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
03-25-2020Front Page
Westlund Bus Delivers

03-25-2020Front Page
Wisconsin, Michigan Governors Issue Orders to Stay at Home

03-25-2020Front Page
Executive Committee, Not County Board, To Meet By Phone March 31

03-25-2020Front Page
PFAS, Roads, County Issues Aired At Porterfield Meeting

03-25-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Times Lists Hours For Coronavirus Outbreak

03-25-2020Community - Crivitz
2020 PTSD Run Sponsor Requests

03-25-2020Community - Crivitz
Change Sip for Cause Date

03-25-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Office Openings During Closure

03-25-2020Community - Crivitz
Mental Health Conference Cancelled at Crivitz School

03-25-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman/Pound Lions Cancel Brunch on Apr. 5

03-25-2020Community - Wausaukee
Village Hall Closed March 20

03-25-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-25-2020Perspectives
From My Window

03-25-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

03-25-2020Sports
Coleman Wrestlers Claim 13 All Conference Spots

03-25-2020Sports
Three Bulldog Grapplers Grab Packerland Top Team Spots

03-25-2020Sports
Tackmier & Lund Picked For Packerlands Top Hoops Teams

03-25-2020Sports
Kitzinger/Walker are NEC First Team Selections

03-25-2020Obituaries
Julie A. Andersen

03-25-2020Obituaries
Tonee Bowsher

03-25-2020Obituaries
Wallace L. Bradle

03-25-2020Obituaries
Charles V. Buelteman

03-25-2020Obituaries
Robin K. Dickson

03-25-2020Obituaries
Nick Kinziger

03-25-2020Obituaries
William R. Luedtke

03-25-2020Obituaries
Wyona M. Marx

03-25-2020Obituaries
Carol J. Mattson

03-25-2020Obituaries
Ronald Milbrath

03-25-2020Obituaries
Sister Pauline Quinn

03-25-2020Obituaries
Dorothy J. Trevor

03-18-2020
Charmaine Behnke

03-18-2020Obituaries
Franklin D. Biernat

03-18-2020Obituaries
Leonard F. Brault

03-18-2020Obituaries
Beverly A. Casperson

03-18-2020Obituaries
Mary A. Colassacco

03-18-2020Obituaries
Earl R. Cummings Sr.

03-18-2020Obituaries
Carol F. Hoida

03-18-2020Obituaries
Joyce Kramer

03-18-2020Obituaries
Jeffrey Marsh

03-18-2020Obituaries
Lorraine M. Nelson

03-18-2020Obituaries
Pamela K. Nightwine

03-18-2020Obituaries
Lyle A. Perkins III

03-18-2020Obituaries
Eunice L. Pickl

03-18-2020Obituaries
Faye D. Ruleau

03-18-2020Obituaries
Steven A. Schmitt

03-18-2020Obituaries
James L. Smejkal III

03-18-2020Obituaries
Richard W. Streifel

03-18-2020Obituaries
Donald L. Van Hefty

03-18-2020Obituaries
Phyllis E. Wilson

03-18-2020Obituaries
Dona F. Wolf

03-18-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-18-2020Perspectives
From our readers

03-18-2020Perspectives
From My Window

03-18-2020Sports
Menominee Rolls To Win In Semis

03-18-2020Sports
Wausaukee Loses Heart Breaker To Laona/Wabeno

03-18-2020Sports
Governor Evers Executive Order Suspends Spring Sports Seasons

03-18-2020Sports
Peshtigo River Bow Hunters Award Winners

03-18-2020Community - Wausaukee
Prospectors Club Meets March 21

03-18-2020Community - Wausaukee
Town of Athelstane Okays Surveying Road

03-18-2020Community - Wausaukee
Prospectors Club Meets March 21

03-18-2020Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Board Meeting on Fire Truck Insurance

03-18-2020Community - Crivitz
Loomis Unit 276 Marks 100th Year

03-18-2020Community - Crivitz
Nine at Even Monday Cards

03-18-2020Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Fire Department Auxiliary Fundraiser Cancelled

03-18-2020Community - Coleman
Cancel Breakfast at St. Matthew Church

03-18-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Plans to Host Kids T-Ball

03-18-2020Community - Coleman
Hillside North Offers After School Program

03-18-2020Community - Coleman
Lena School Staff Serves 507 at Supper

03-18-2020Front Page
Tavern League Donation

03-18-2020Front Page
Coronavirus: Stay Home Or Keep Your Distance

03-18-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Town Board To Install High Water Signs

03-18-2020Front Page
Peshtigo City Hall Closed Except for Absentee Vote

03-18-2020Front Page
Lambie Named To Replace Dzurick As Marinette School Superintendent

03-11-2020Obituaries
Lois Ambrosius

03-11-2020Obituaries
Wayne O. Anderson

03-11-2020Obituaries
Bruce J. Bourdelais

03-11-2020Obituaries
Tonee Bowsher

03-11-2020Obituaries
Dennis F. Champagne

03-11-2020Obituaries
Mary M. Cohorst

03-11-2020Obituaries
Brenda Dessart

03-11-2020Obituaries
Norman L. Edlebeck

03-11-2020Obituaries
Sandra Esser

03-11-2020Obituaries
Bernice R. Fischer

03-11-2020Obituaries
Steven Geerlings

03-11-2020Obituaries
Mary Jo Gold

03-11-2020Obituaries
Samantha R. Hiers

03-11-2020Obituaries
Marion M. Jenko

03-11-2020Obituaries
Karen Kasbohm

03-11-2020Obituaries
Ronald L. Kempka

03-11-2020Obituaries
Marlene F. Lewandowski

03-11-2020Obituaries
William Milz

03-11-2020Obituaries
Florence Oleksy

03-11-2020Obituaries
William M. Paitl

03-11-2020Obituaries
Theresa M. Simon

03-11-2020Obituaries
Barbara A. Skorija

03-11-2020Obituaries
William Sobeski

03-11-2020Obituaries
William D. Steffen

03-11-2020Obituaries
Sharon Stenberg

03-11-2020Obituaries
George P. Van Kirk

03-11-2020Sports
Coleman Tops Fennimore 27-26 for D3 State Title

03-11-2020Sports
Peshtigo Bowlers Compete at State

03-11-2020Sports
Wausaukee Advances to Sectionals

03-11-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-11-2020Perspectives
From My Window

03-11-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

03-11-2020Community - Wausaukee
Larson Takes 4th at Dog Sled Race

03-11-2020Community - Wausaukee
Pancake Breakfast April 5 at Wausaukee

03-11-2020Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Offer Scholarships

03-11-2020Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Rescue Lists Card Winners

03-11-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Groups Eligible For Area Fundings

03-11-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board OKs Change To "Laude" Honors

03-11-2020Community - Crivitz
Mental Health Awareness Conference at Crivitz

03-11-2020Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Board To Consider Fireman Pay

03-11-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board Hears Monthly Reports

03-11-2020Community - Coleman
K.C. Fish Fry at St. Anne's

03-11-2020Community - Coleman
Karl Zeitler Memorial Sponsors K-9 Benefit

03-11-2020Community - Coleman
Spring Breakfast at St. Matthew Mar. 22

03-11-2020Front Page
Return Victorious

03-11-2020Front Page
Pound Finds Unauthorized Dumping Of Septic Wastes

03-11-2020Front Page
City Of Peshtigo, BPM Working On River Access Agreement

03-11-2020Front Page
Riverside Cemetery Discusses New Columbarium Niche Vaults

03-11-2020Front Page
Area Firefighters Rescue Person Who Broke Through Ice on Bay

03-05-2020Front Page
LCS Cooperstown Christened Saturday At Marinette Marine

03-05-2020Front Page
Lori Gross Is New Clerk For Village of Coleman

03-05-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Okays Zoning Change For Business District Apartments

03-05-2020Front Page
Marinette Council Okays Patching Fish Platform

03-05-2020Front Page
Falkenberg Gets Life Sentence For Murder

03-05-2020
Falkenberg Gets Life Sentence For Murder

03-05-2020Community - Coleman
Suring Friends of Library Book, Rummage Sales

03-05-2020Community - Coleman
Hillside North Offers After School Program

03-05-2020Community - Coleman
Nicholas Recipient of Credit Union Award

03-05-2020Community - Coleman
OSMS at New OF Location

03-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Governor Evers Vetoes Paddle Wheel Raffle Bill

03-05-2020Community - Crivitz
4 HOPE Bills Now Are Law

03-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club Offers Scholarships

03-05-2020Community - Crivitz
March is Colon Cancer Month

03-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
The Wizard of Oz at Wabeno Mar. 13-15

03-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
Nygren Gives Support for Marinette Marine

03-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lions Now Selling Spring Flowers

03-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
Pancake Breakfast April 5 at Wausaukee

03-05-2020Sports
Coleman/Crivitz Share M&O 2020 Title

03-05-2020Sports
Niagara is Sole Survivor in Regional Action

03-05-2020Sports
Casper Wins State Title; Whiting Is Repeat Champ

03-05-2020Sports
Final Ice Shanty Removal Deadline Sunday, Mar. 15

03-05-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-05-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

03-05-2020Perspectives
From My Window

03-05-2020Obituaries
Ashley N. Borkovec-Dellenbach

03-05-2020Obituaries
Floyd Cappaert

03-05-2020Obituaries
Norman A. Corbeille


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2020
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites