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.
Abbotsford High School
Class of 2024
Circle R Dairy
Ruesch: I have played basketball and volleyball since fourth grade and ran track since sixth grade. In volleyball, I am a six rotation pin hitter and a team captain. In my junior year I earned Third Team All-Conference for long jump in track. In basketball, I don’t have a specific position, but I would say I am a point or shooting guard.
How do you balance farm, school and athletics?
Ruesch: Since high school has started, I have played sports year round, whether it was a school sport or summer league, I was doing it. I help out with chores most mornings before school, and also on weekends when I don’t have a tournament or have to lifeguard.
What hobbies / interests do you have outside of dairy farming?
Ruesch: Watching and participating in sports, hanging out with friends and family, baking and cooking, going shopping, and taking naps.
How else are you involved in your local community?
Ruesch: I am also involved in my school’s FFA, FBLA, BLAST, SSA, and Student Senate clubs. Through these programs, I have helped at dairy breakfasts, blood drives, raking leaves for community members, youth sporting events, and setting up events for our school, like homecoming or spirit weeks.
ON THE FARM
What is your farm story and how long have you been involved in the operation?
Ruesch: Since I have been a toddler, I have loved helping my dad on the farm, and up until I was probably twelve, I would have told you I was going to take over our farm. My favorite farm story is that I knew every single cow's name before I could even read. When a new cow would come in the barn, I would ask my dad what a cow's name was for about a week, and then I could remember her.
What is your role on the farm?
Ruesch: I help out where ever is needed, whether it’s milking, feeding calves, cleaning and bedding the free stall barn, or moving cattle. I have also helped out with tillage work.
Who do you farm with?
Ruesch: I farm with my family, but now it’s mainly my parents, Dave and Becky. Before my brother, Logan, graduated from college, he would help when he was home and while in high school. Mya, my sister, also helped when she was in high school, and will occasionally help when she is home from college.
What is your favorite part of being involved with the farm?
Ruesch: My favorite part of helping on the farm is doing it with my family. Farming may not be something I would pick to do on my own, but I have a lot of fun with my family. Especially in the summer, it’s some of the only time I get time to talk with my parents because we are all so busy.
Where does your farm ship its milk?
Ruesch: Lynn Dairy Inc., Granton, Wisconsin
What product is your milk turned into?
What sustainability practices do you employ on your farm?
Ruesch: Using minimum tillage, no till, and coverage crops.
Please share your most proud moments or farm achievements/awards?
Ruesch: Hosting the local dairy breakfast in 2021 and having 1700 people in attendance, and helping out when the Abbotsford 4k class comes to visit the farm every year in the spring.
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.