This year’s Ride to Farm had tremendous weather and a record number of riders and tied last year’s total for the funds raised to support the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF). About sixty cyclists put their tires to the tarmac and generated a total take of about $16,000 (helped by a major pledge from one of the sponsors, American Transmission Company). State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel gave the riders their send-off. At the culmination of the event, Alice in Dairyland Rochelle Ripp handed out awards to these individuals and teams (as one of the last events of her reign).
Brad Sirianni, farm management instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical Institute was the top individual pledge-getter. The Spuds and Buds team, captained by Coloma potato and vegetable grower Andy Diercks, had the highest team total of pledges from friends and family. A team from the American Transmission Company had the highest team total of pledges from business sponsors.
This year’s route, from Barneveld to Spring Green and back, was a new one for the RTF, and it was a hit with riders, says Dick Cates, WSBDF director. “Everybody loved the new location. We had an easier route this year for people who didn’t want to (tackle the area’s steeper hills) . It started on the Military Ridge Trail, then went downhill to Spring Green. For those of us who wanted to torture ourselves, there was a more difficult route. So everyone was happy,” Cates says.