President’s Message

President’s Message:
CALS Connection for Life: Serving and Supporting

Marjorie Stieve, WALSAA President

Welcome to a new WALSAA year! I feel fortunate to serve as WALSAA president for the coming year and I look forward to using these Express columns as one of many ways to communicate with our members and friends within this great organization and the CALS community.

A little about myself. I’m originally from Baraboo, Wisconsin and live in Madison, where I’m an employee owner at Vita Plus and have been the marketing services manager for 11 and a half years. Prior to working at Vita Plus, I worked for Agri-View and World Dairy Expo. I have an associate’s degree from UW-Baraboo/Sauk County and graduated from CALS and UW-Madison with an agricultural journalism degree in 1991. I am also currently a student in the Masters of Servant Leadership program at Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

I spent many years as a WALSAA volunteer helping with the Fire-Up silent auction before serving on the Board of Directors. I’m currently serving for a second time on the board after taking a hiatus and in my fourth term.

Knowing the talented group of fellow board members, I couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead. I would like to send a special welcome to our new board members – Kristina Hopkins, Julie Larson, Jill Makovec and Scott Raasch.

At our late-October board meeting, we identified several key focus areas for the coming year. These include strengthening and expanding our relationships within CALS with students, faculty, departments and administration; increasing our membership while engaging with current members and building the WALSAA brand; and working to build active and engaged WALSAA committees. Our overall goal is to build upon the strong WALSAA foundation and continue our legacy while identifying new ways to serve the CALS campus, and CALS and FISC students. I welcome all our members to join us in these efforts to serve and support our community.

I would like to briefly highlight one of our focus areas for the coming year. The bulk of our efforts take place in the WALSAA standing committees, which are events, Farm and Industry Short Course, scholarships, marketing and development, and finance. Our board members are doing a tremendous job chairing these endeavors, but we need additional assistance from our membership to continue to strengthen our committees and make each event a success. Are you willing to get involved? If you’re interested in helping, you can reach me at 608.250.4284 or via email at

I want to finish by sending a special thank you to Vern Dougherty. His dedication to WALSAA and his foresight and leadership as our president made this past year a memorable one. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside and be mentored by him. He leaves very big shoes to fill. I would also like to welcome Shawn Conley as my vice president and thank him for shouldering this role in the coming year. On, Wisconsin!