President’s Message

President’s Message: Let’s Go Badgers!

Vern Dougherty, WALSAA President

I hope everyone in WALSAA Land is having a great summer and is looking forward to a good and productive fall season. For the more than 100 CALS and FISC alumni who were able to attend the WALSAA summer picnic held at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy Farm in Kewaunee, Wis., we hope you enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with other alumni members and friends, take in a farm tour, and had time to relax and enjoy the picnic.

For those who couldn’t make it, we did something a little different this year and expanded our invitation to our entire Wisconsin agriculture community and welcomed alumni from the other Wisconsin agriculture college campuses and vo-tech schools. We are a small community with common interests, and it was nice to collaborate with one another. A big thank you goes out to not only the John Pagel family, but also to Paul and Sarah Patterson for making it a great event for everyone. It was a spectacular picnic and I am already looking forward to next year’s summer picnic in Wood County.

Speaking of name dropping. Congratulations to Al Herrman, our 2017 WALSAA Daluge Red Jacket Award winner. I have said this before, but I think it warrants repeating. If you do an online search for “philanthropic volunteer,” Herrman’s picture will probably pop up. Herrman embodies the values of what it means to give back with no expectations. I wish there were more people like him in the world because it would be a much better place. If you would like to help us recognize Herrman as the 2017 WALSAA Daluge Red Jacket Award winner, please join us at the WALSAA Fire-Up event on Saturday, September 9 at 9:30a.m.
And speaking of WALSAA Fire-Up, let’s go Badgers! No time like the present to purchase your Fire-Up meal ticket or game day package at We have purchased a block of football tickets and are selling them first come, first serve while supplies last. Registration and meal tickets are now available for purchase through
September 1 at a $5 per person meal ticket discount (Badger football tickets are only available to WALSAA members as a game day package deal with Fire-Up luncheon tickets). Meal tickets can still be purchased the day of the event.

In addition, to encourage our WALSAA members with younger family members (or those with grandchildren) to join us that day, we have dramatically reduced the meal ticket costs to only $10 for ages 6 to 18 (yes, that college freshman can eat for $10) and children 5 and under eat free. Please bring the family! Games will be setup in the grass area. We hope this will provide a chance for those with younger families to stay connected with their CALS friends and keep it a family friendly event!

We are still looking for a few donations for this year’s silent auction. Please contact Sara Schoenborn ( if you have an item you’d like to donate. All donations are 100-percent tax deductible and the money raised goes toward UW-Madison CALS scholarships and awards.

With that, I look forward to seeing you at the 42nd WALSAA Fire-Up. Let’s Go Badgers! (clap, clap, clap clap clap) Go ahead and do it, say it out loud, and say it again. I promise, it will make you smile.