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.
Laconia High School
Class of 2024
Vision Aire Farms, LLC
Football-Quarterback and Defensive Back, Captain
Baseball-Pitcher, shortstop and first base. Captain
How do you balance farm, school and athletics?
Grade: Having to balance farming, school, and athletics is very tough. I don’t have a lot of time in between each and it does get hard to find time for myself too.
What hobbies / interests do you have outside of dairy farming?
Grade: I love hanging out with family and friends. I also love deer, turkey and waterfowl hunting.
How else are you involved in your local community?
Grade: Bethal Church youth group.
ON THE FARM
Tell us more about your farm:
Grade: Our farm is a multi-generation farm that my Grandma and Grandpa started in 1972. My Dad (David Grade) and my aunt and uncle (Janet and Travis Clark) are also owners in the farm. We milk 150 cows and operate 1000 acres, where we grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. We also do custom harvesting and planting of crops. We are also a drain tile contractor.
What is your role on the farm?
Grade: Milking cows, mixing feed, helping with field work, mechanic work and fabricating stuff for the farm.
What is your favorite part of being involved with the farm?
Grade: Being able to work with family and help the business grow.
Where does your farm ship its milk?
Grade: BelGioioso Cheese.
What product is your milk turned into?
What sustainability practices do you employ on your farm?
Grade: Our sustainability practices involve nutrient management plan, making sure that our manure is used efficiently by the crops that are being grown. We also do a lot of subsurface drainage, trying to combat erosion and make our soils healthy for crops to grow. We are also moving towards minimal tillage with the implementation of vertical tillage.
Grade: After graduation I plan to enroll in the Operating Engineers Apprenticeship Program, to become a heavy equipment operator.
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.