Boberg and the Beginning Farmer Bonds
Surrounded by grueling factory work day in and day out, Dean Boberg envied the lifestyle of his cousin and brother, two Wisconsin farm owners. They set their own hours. They were their own bosses. Meanwhile, Dean was forced to the tedious workspace of an enclosed, industrial occupation. After five years of this, Boberg decided he had finally had enough. After speaking to his wife, Stacy, for support, the Bobergs decided that it was time to fly the coop and take their work lives into their own hands.
In 1996, with a barn bigger than an aircraft hangar, the Bobergs began their new lifestyle as chicken farmers, raising a flock on the outskirts of Trempealeau County. Producing eggs by the thousands, the Bobergs discovered newfound satisfaction in their work. However, just as a barn isn’t built overnight, neither is the financing for one. With the assistance of WHEDA’s Beginning Farmer Bond (BFB) program, the first $100,000 of the journey was already taken care of.
Founded in 1994, the BFB was created with the intention of ensuring the future of Wisconsin agriculture by providing a younger generation opportunities to purchase operations from retiring farmers. Its creation was deemed necessary after California surpassed Wisconsin’s dairy production in 1993. After all, what would Wisconsin be if not “America’s Dairyland?” Providing tax-exempt bonds to local lenders, these new farmers would be offered loans with below-market rates, allowing them to get a firm handle on their new way of life.
By the end of 1996, Boberg enjoyed his new lifestyle tending to the needs of his 14,000 chickens. Relying on their fertilized eggs for income, Bobergs’ hatching stock are sold to be raised at other facilities. Happy to be out in the Wisconsin countryside managing his own operation, the financing of the Bobergs’ farm improved the well-being of Dean Boberg, but also improved the well-being of all Wisconsin agriculture. Thanks to WHEDA’s financing and the tenacity of the Bobergs, their agricultural venture ensures that they will earn more than just a poultry sum.