Meet the 2022 WLIC Board Member Nominees:
Val Gaffney has spent the last twenty years as a passionate leader in the beef industry. She and her husband, Scott, own and operate their 200-head Angus seedstock operation, Gaffney Family Cattle, with their four children. They travel the country marketing live cattle, semen, and embryos. Their kids have been actively involved with multiple junior cattle organizations. Recently, they became a satellite collection site for Vytelle, an in vitro fertilization company that specializing in “no drug” IVF. They handle the customer service and schedule 30 donors a month to be collected at their farm. Each year, the Gaffney farm welcomes up to 500 visitors for cattle sales, international delegations, bus tours, school trips and more. They love to showcase the United States beef industry and are passionate about opening the farm up to consumers and cattlemen alike.
Val recently completed two terms on the Wisconsin Beef Council Board of Directors, and served in leadership roles including Chair of the Promotions Committee for three years, President, and President Elect positions. She also served as the organizations delegate on the Federation of State Beef Councils for two years. She is currently in the ex-officio role as Past President. Val has participated in two trips to the Central American region on behalf of Wisconsin Beef Council, in partnership with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, in efforts to continue to grow beef exports to countries there. She has also been an active member of the Wisconsin Angus Auxiliary, served as a delegate to the American Angus Association and advisor to the Wisconsin Junior Angus Association.
Alison Kepner (running for second term):
Alison Kepner is a Financial Officer at Compeer Financial, a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative that provides financial services throughout 144 counties in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Alison provides farmers with lending services in the northern eight townships in Sauk County and all of Juneau, Adams and Marquette County. Alison has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northern Illinois University.
Alison is an active member of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Cows on the Concourse committee. She grew up on a hog and cash grain farm in northern Illinois and enjoys going back to the farm to help. She currently works and resides in Baraboo.
Alison currently serves on the WLIC Board of Directors and is running for her second three-year term. She also serves as Treasurer.
Barb Lee (running for second term):
Barb Lee, along with her daughter, Amanda Lee, has long owned Sunburst Swiss, a herd of registered Brown Swiss cattle. The cattle are housed at a farm owned by the Ryan family near Plain, Wisconsin.
Lee is a member of the National Brown Swiss Association, a lifetime member of the National Dairy Shrine, and a member of the Association of Women in Agriculture, where she currently serves as co-chair of the house-management committee for their Benefit Corporation.
Her past experience includes various positions at ABS Global Inc., Kaltenberg Seed Farms and work for a startup biotechnology company. Lee was raised on a registered Holstein farm near Clinton and her family also had a small flock of Corriedale sheep, as well as chickens and ducks. She has been involved in the Clinton 4-H Club and the Clinton FFA Chapter. For several years Lee also served as a dairy-cattle judge at various district, state, national and international shows.
Lee is currently serving on the WLIC Board of Directors and is running for her second three-year term.
Rob Meier is the Vice President of Information Systems at Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association. As vice president, Meier is the senior technology leader for the Cooperative and is responsible for the entire IT portfolio including digital endpoints, infrastructure, security, and application management across all of Equity’s twelve market locations as well as its headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Rob joined Equity in 2002 providing systems administration within the IT department. In 2007 he was announced as the Vice President of Information Systems. In this role, he provides day-to-day oversight for all information systems and promotes optimization and efficiency across the Cooperative through IT project management. Most notably, Meier was responsible for driving the strategic direction and development of the proprietary marketing software – ELM (Electronic Livestock Market). With his leadership, full implementation of ELM in all auction market locations was achieved in 2020.
With over 23 years of IT experience, Meier has served as the advisor to the Cooperative’s board and C-suite on business strategy, digital transformation, and innovation for the past 15 years. He continues development of a robust, innovative, and secure information technology environment throughout the Cooperative.
Rob graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a computer science emphasis.
Scott Schneider was raised on an egg farm and has been involved in the egg production business for more than 35 years. He and his wife, Laura, are the owners of Nature Link Farms – a cage free egg production farm. They have five children, ages 13 – 28.
Schneider represents the third generation of his family involved in the poultry industry. He has worked in the biotechnology industry for 10 years commercializing an egg antibody feed ingredient platform that was discovered by University of Wisconsin professor, Dr. Mark Cook and licensed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
Schneider was the former Chairman of the Wisconsin Poultry and Egg Industry Association and the former Executive Chairman of 2019 Farm Technology Days in Jefferson County. He is the current Chairman of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Lake Mills and the current Treasurer of Lakeside Lutheran High School Foundation in Lake Mills.
Schneider has a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota – Mankato, and a MS degree in Biotechnology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.