Leadership Kenosha Cohort Class of 2023 spent the last day of the program presenting their team project presentations to a panel of judges (Laura Ervin, LK '22, Amber Elizabeth LK '20 & Robert Niccolai LK '18), discussing the upcoming graduation, learning about the agriculture sector and getting an overview of planning and development within Kenosha County with Conservationist, Mark Jenks and Director of Planning & Development, Department of Public Works and Development Services, Andy Buehler. The day ended with touring Mighty Grand Dairy with Dave Daniels and Brightonwoods Orchard with Bill Stone.
Wisconsin is WAY more than just cheese, and although Kenosha is a relatively small county there is A LOT going on here in the agriculture industry despite the ongoing challenges that it’s facing (ex. traffic conflicts on roadways, continuous development pressure, land values and wondering where the next generation of farmers will come from.) Kenosha County is home to 415 farms (77,782 acres), with the average farm size being 187 acres (2017 Census of Agriculture database), and is known for its grain production. We learned that when given the opportunity we should continue to educate ourselves and ALWAYS support our local farmers.
We learned that Kenosha is the third fastest growing county (by percent) with a projected census in 2040 of 209,670 (26% percent change) with development being impacted by schools, services (sewer, water, gas, electric and garbage), transportation, storm water, environment, agriculture and property values. Location defines things and it’s important to have a plan. Decisions made now have current impacts and will impact future generations to come. We were challenged to think of the future of Kenosha County and how we will be a part of it - whether it be attending meetings and/or playing a part of development.
The day concluded with a meet and greet with a local farmer to learn about the process of a dairy farm as well as learning the ins and outs of an apple orchard - Kenosha County really has it all!
It might sound cliché to say '…time files when you’re having fun'..., however, nine months certainly seemed to fly by and it truly was a fun experience! This year’s class spruced up their leadership skills, established friendships, formed long lasting relationships, rallied as teammates and uplifted each other by learning each other’s leadership styles. We all gained leadership knowledge and skills that we can use now and in the days, months and years to come. ...and that’s a wrap!
- Lindsey Buxbaum
LK Class of ’23
May 22, 2023