Elizabeth Katzman used proceeds from the ‘Support Wisconsin Dairy’ yard sign initiative to buy 250 quarts of ice cream from Sassy Cow Creamery, of Columbus, and donating the products to The Community Space and Whitewater Community Food Pantry. (Submitted photo)

Whitewater FFA member launched drive amid pandemic

To rally support for Wisconsin’s dairy industry – crippled this spring by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic – Elizabeth Katzman of Whitewater sold ‘Support Wisconsin Dairy’ yard signs and raised $10,000.

Katzman, who will be a senior at Whitewater High School, delivered close to 900 signs throughout the state with the help of her parents, Wes and Katy Katzman.

“During the first 10 days of the campaign, we crisscrossed the southern part of the state and delivered just under 500 signs – from Lake Geneva to Poynette to New Glarus and everywhere in between,” Katzman said.

“I originally ordered 100 signs. I never imagined that I would receive so much support from my community and beyond. I even received some generous donations from as far away as California.”

Katzman is using the proceeds to make monthly dairy product donations to The Community Space in Whitewater and the Whitewater Community Food Pantry.

She kicked off giving this month – National Ice Cream Month – by donating 250 quarts of ice cream from Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus.

“Because both locations are receiving milk, cheese and yogurt through other programs, I am planning to provide dairy products that are not traditionally donated,” Katzman noted. “I look forward to working with local dairy processors and other partners in Wisconsin agriculture to share Wisconsin’s dairy goodness.”

Katzman said she is grateful to the local businesses and organizations that covered the cost of the signs.

“Because of their generous support, 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the signs – plus donations – will be used to purchase Wisconsin dairy products for donation.”

Katzman, a Whitewater FFA member, launched the initiative in April when the pandemic crippled the dairy industry because of state and national shutdowns.

The shutdowns of schools and restaurants caused a shift in demand.

Katzman, whose parents operate a dairy farm, said she wanted to help other farmers faced with financial struggles.

“Being from a dairy farm family, I know firsthand how much work – and passion – goes into producing milk,” she said in April.

The signs produced by TJK Wolf Productions, of Fort Atkinson, raised further awareness of the dairy industry and bolstered support for farmers.

“And, with the excess of dairy products on the market, it made sense for us to use the proceeds from the sale of the signs to buy Wisconsin dairy products for those in need in our own backyard,” Elizabeth said in April.

Elizabeth, vice president of Whitewater FFA as a junior, has been involved in Stone School 4-H Club and has shown pigs and steers through the FFA and 4-H on the fair circuit.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, also participates in tennis, basketball and softball for the Whippets. She additionally plays club softball for the Rock River Stix while working on her family farm seven days a week.

Her family farm consists of 3,000 cows in three locations, with two in Whitewater, and the other in Hebron.

 

 
 

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