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Legislator Named Distinguished Agriculturalist
By Jenny Bjelland
UW-RF News Bureau
6, 2005--The recipient of the UW-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food
& Environmental Sciences 2005 Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist
Award is state Rep. Barbara "Bobby" Gronemus (D-Whitehall) from
the 91st Assembly District.
"I’m in awe," declared Gronemus upon receiving the award
at CAFES awards banquet April 28. "I am as excited about this award
as the first time I won the election."
Gronemus has gained a deep respect for the agricultural industry throughout
her life. Growing up on the Barry family farm near Ontario, Wis., farming
with her husband Lambert, and being a mother to three daughters, grandmother
to five grandchildren, and great-grandmother to two, Gronemus says she
has the experience and knowledge needed to represent the individuals within
her district and members of the agriculture industry throughout rural
Gronemus said her sincere interest in agriculture and her willingness
to fight for her beliefs has impacted many legislative bills over recent
"She has authored and co-authored numerous agricultural and nonagricultural
bills and has been a strong voice for the agricultural industry inside
and outside of the State Assembly," noted Shane Westphal, a member
of UW-RF Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, the CAFES organization
that nominated Gronemus.
Gronemus was first elected to the Assembly in 1982 and has served continuously
for the 91st Assembly District since then. Throughout her years in office,
Gronemus has held many notable positions. She was the first woman appointed
as the chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture in 1987 and since
1995 has served as the ranking minority and senior member of the committee.
In addition, she currently serves as the ranking minority member of the
Assembly committees on property rights and land management, a member of
the Assembly committees on natural resources and transportation, appointee
of the Governor to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, and as member
of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Even with numerous legislative duties, Gronemus still finds time to participate
in organizations near her hometown of Whitehall, Wis. She is an active
member in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, the American Legion Auxiliary, Ducks
Unlimited, the Whitehall Lions Club, the Northwood’s Chapter of
Wisconsin Women for Agriculture and the Wisconsin Farmers Union.
Gronemus has been recognized numerous times for her dedication towardsspecific
legislative issues. She has been honored with "Friend of Agriculture"
awards from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, the "Working for Wisconsin"
award from the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, awards from the
Wisconsin’s Career Technical Students Organizations, and numerous
certificates of appreciation from organizations and letters from students
and families. She was also recognized by the Wisconsin Women for Agriculture
for becoming the first woman chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
"The Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist Award is an honor given
to few. And I am honored, as my heart is always in agriculture, and I
will continue to work to make it a prosperous industry in Wisconsin,"
The Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist Award is an annual award sponsored
by CAFES, UW-RF and the agricultural student organizations within the
College. Selection is based on the candidate’s success in agriculture,
and/or natural resources and the leadership, service and other contributions
provided to the agricultural community. The Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist
Award was first presented in 1970.
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:23 Central Daylight Time