Bio: Helm, Walter (Outstanding Farmer Award – 1971)

Transcriber: : 

Surnames: Helm, Steiner, Spry, Eibergen

----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Loyal, Wis.) 12 Aug 1971

Walter Helm, 49-year-old town of Fremont (Clark Co., Wis.) farmer, who operates a modern dairy farm a mile east of Chili Corners, will be honored this Tuesday, August 17, 1971, at the State Fair in Milwaukee as one of Wisconsin's outstanding farmers. He was selected as Granton's outstanding farmer by the Granton FFA.

Helm and his wife Beverly, along with Francis Steiner, local vocational agriculture instructor, and Mrs. Steiner, will attend the recognition program where the presentation of the award will be presented.

Selections are based on the operation and management of the farm, use of records, soil improvement practices, general appearance of the farm, and community participation.

In his own community Helm is generally recognized as outstanding. Following graduation from high school, he became a full time farmer with his father. In December of 1959 he married Beverly Spry of Chili, and the next spring they moved to their present farm, which they purchased from Don Braatz of Neillsville.

It is a pleasure to visit with Helm and to see how well versed he is in economics and how he can quote statistics from his farm and how well he can interpret the many records he keeps on his farm.

He farms 165 acres, of which 130 are tillable. Helm milks a mixed herd of 32 Guernsey and Holstein cows, which aver 13,500 pounds of milk and 539 pounds of butterfat per cow. This year he put up his entire first crop of hay in the silo, so he could feed heavy on haylage.

His farm records are impressive and he follows them religiously. Following a complete farm soil test in 1969, he applied a semi load of fertilizer that fall to cover the entire farm, according to soil recommendations. It is easy to see evidence of the soil conservation practices that he follows and the fertilization program that he uses, as he is expecting a bumper crop of corn from the big green fields that line Highway 10.

Upon purchase of the farm in 1960, he bought his original stock from Dick Eibergen in Granton and he states, "I really got some top notch stock that is the basis of my herd today."

As a small sideline, he has a dairy steer operation that is on a no roughage program. Several years ago, when he could purchase small calves for less than $30 he ran over 60 steers per year. Now with calves over $50, he purchase very few and only raises out his own veal calves. This is a select type of beef and he has many people who buy direct from him. The meat is very lean and tnder as the animal gets only corn and protein, and is never left out. This is a very specialized program promoted by several commercial feed companies.

Walter is a wise financier and to cut costs he shares machinery with his brother, Eldon, who lives three miles west of him on the home farm. Walter, after purchasing his personal property, he built his steer barn and then remodeled his house to make living comfortable for his family. He now wants to remodel his barn, add more stanchions and pave his barn lot. A friend of his stated, Walter thinks all the time."

His goal in life is pride in his family and pride in his farm, and it is evident that he is succeeding. The Helm's have four children, Scott, 10; Heidi, 7; Marilyn 4; and Emily, 10 months. His wife is the former Beverly Spry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phelp Spry of Chili. Walter is a graduate of the University Farm Short Course and a regular student at night class at Granton.



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