2022 AgrAbility of Wisconsin Summit

AgrAbility of Wisconsin,  will be hosting our annual summit in person at Organic Valley, Cashton, WI.  We are pleased to announce the annual Summit will take place Thursday, April 7 from 10am – 3pm.

All are welcome to attend at no cost. Lunch will be provided.

509 Organic Dr, Cashton, WI 54619

This one-day program gives participants an opportunity to network and learn about resources available through AgrAbility and other Wisconsin programs.


9:00-9:45am | Check-in, networking & refreshments

9:45-10:00am | Welcome from AgrAbility of WI and Organic Valley Cooperative

10:00-11:00am | USDA Farm Service Agency – What does it take to obtain an FSA farm loan?

Farm loan officers, Amy Mason and Teresa Engel will share information regarding loan opportunities at FSA. We will share information that applies specifically to socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers. We will discuss loan options, application process and documents, eligibility requirements, the 5 C’s of credit, and what FSA loan officers look for when making decisions on loan requests. We hope to make this presentation interactive, so come prepared with questions.

Amy Mason – USDA, Farm Service Agency

Amy Mason grew up on a family dairy farm in Central Wisconsin; her parents still farm and have a dairy herd. She is a veteran of the US Army Reserve, and two of her four sons currently serve in the military. Amy is a Farm Loan Officer with the Farm Service Agency. She covers the counties of Eau Claire, Pepin & Pierce.

Teresa Engel – USDA, Farm Service Agency

Teresa Engel has been with FSA for the past 6 years as a farm loan officer. Prior to that, she managed the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program at WI DATCP. Teresa and her family own and operate an organic vegetable and grains farm in Crawford county.

11:10-11:40am | Farmer Veteran Coalition of Wisconsin

James Paquette will share the history of the Farmer Veteran Coalition and how the Wisconsin Chapter came to be.  He’ll discuss the mission and membership, and the four pillars that make up the core of the Wisconsin Chapter. He’ll highlight the recent member survey and the needs farmer veterans desire most.

James Paquette – FVC WI Communications Director

James Paquette is a 2006 graduate of the US Naval Academy. He served 11 years in the US Navy flying F/A-18EF Super Hornets over the Pacific Ocean. In 2018, James and his wife Sarah started their own farm in Dunn County. James has been with FVC Wisconsin since its founding in 2020.

11:40-12:30pm | Lunch

12:30-1:30pm | Asset Management: Practical Health and Safety for your Farm

In this presentation I will help participants think about reducing risk on the farm by keeping farmers and workers healthy. We identify top hazards and how to control or safely work around them. I share simple tools, tips, and plans to keep folks healthy on the farm.

Megan Schossow – Outreach Director and Center Coordinator

Megan Schossow is the Outreach Director and Center Coordinator for the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center based in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, where she has worked extensively in outreach and community engagement and emerging issues since 2017. Her background areas of expertise include agronomy and policy analysis, and she holds a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Minnesota. She implements the health and safety outreach program, which prioritizes research to practice and the One Health model. She has previously worked as an agronomist, in government relations and state government, and with her family who farm in Southeast Minnesota

1:40-2:40pm | Wisconsin Farm Center | Developing Effective Farm Succession Plans

For more than 35 years, the Wisconsin Farm Center has focused on helping Wisconsin farmers and their families overcome challenging times. A core part of its offering is helping farmers develop ownership transfer strategies. During this presentation, staff will discuss key succession planning concepts and touch on other programs and services available through the Wisconsin Farm Center.

Kevin Plante – DATCP, Wisconsin Farm Center

Kevin graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural education. After graduating, he went on to work in education for 20 years. Prior to joining the Farm Center in 2019, Kevin also assisted farmers while working at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. His current work includes managing the Farm Center’s conflict mediation and arbitration program, and coaching farms on financial management and developing transition plans.

Mark Schmitz – DATCP, Wisconsin Farm Center

Born and raised on his family’s dairy farm in southwest Wisconsin, Mark Schmitz attended UW-Stevens Point and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. Prior to joining the Farm Center, he practiced law and helped manage and operate his family’s farm, eventually assisting them successfully transition from dairy farming to retirement. Mark’s on-the-ground experience, coupled with his educational and professional background, allows him to have a unique perspective on financial and transition planning.

2:45-3:00pm | Closing Remarks