The Wisconsin Dairy Athlete of the Month sponsored by WisSports.net (WSN) in partnership with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) aims to connect consumers with Wisconsin’s dedicated dairy farmers and the youth who grow and raise food for their local communities.
DFW and WSN are recognizing high school student-athletes who are actively involved on a Wisconsin dairy farm and participate in at least one WIAA-sanctioned varsity sport. Dairy is a vital part of the economy in nearly every Wisconsin county, whether urban or rural. Family-owned farms, dairy processors and dairy-related businesses generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity while contributing to local income and tax revenues.
Ellsworth High School
Class of 2025
Hartland Ridge Farm/Ter-Rae Farms/Genter-Raetion Genetics
Football - Varsity running back
Wrestling - Varsity 120-pound; sectional qualifier
Track & Field - Varsity pole vault, sprints; member of state champion 4x100 meter relay and state runner-up 4x200 meter relay
How do you balance farm, school and athletics?
Nelson: I have to admit that my family helps out a lot in covering for me on when I am heavily training and competing. Evenings and weekends are often spent catching up on projects. We do have a good routine for daily chores. Having a daily routine makes it easier to manage.
What hobbies / interests do you have outside of dairy farming?
Nelson: I really love sports and competing. I am a member of the Springbrook 4-H club in St. Croix County and the Ellsworth FFA chapter. I am also a Junior Dairy Breed Association member in the Holstein and Jersey breeds. I show hogs at the county level and raise a few extra to sell. I also raise meat chickens as part of my FFA SAE project and won a gold proficiency last year. I show dairy cattle at the local, state, and national levels and have had some success in the show ring. I really like to hang out with my friends when I have time, and they are currently helping me clean out and update our shop area at the farm so we can all hang out there as everyone gets their drivers licenses.
How else are you involved in your local community?
Nelson: I have been in 4-H for 10 years, starting as a cloverbud at age 5. In 4-H we have fun doing service projects together like roadside cleanup and volunteering at the food pantry. As a member of the sports teams at school, we also do service work around the community. Our main focus is set up and tear down for the local cheese curd festival which takes place at the end of June.
ON THE FARM
What is your role on the farm?
I deal with the show animals, mostly. I own six Holsteins on my own and three heifers in partnership with my niece, Eloise.
Who do you farm with?
The big farm is run by my grandpa and his two brothers. Our families all have supporting roles as needed around the farm.
What is your favorite part of being involved with the farm?
Nelson: Every day is the same, but different.
Where does your farm ship its milk?
Nelson: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery
What product is your milk turned into?
Nelson: Cheese curds and fluid milk
What sustainability practices do you employ on your farm?
Nelson: Our farm practices conservation tillage and no-till, as well as plant cover crops.
One athlete will be selected from nominations received each month. Selected student athletes will be featured on www.wissports.net as well as DFW and WSN social media channels.
About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin's world-class dairy products. For more information, visit our website at wisconsindairy.org.