Tim and Danielle Clark: Exploring Opportunities in Agriculture

Haily Sand

Tim and Danielle Clark specialize in growing pick-your-own strawberries on their Wisconsin farm.

photo credit: Christine Anderson, Sparkle Studio; Used With Permission

This article is part of a series highlighting Farm Bureau members who have recently completed their term on AFBF’s national Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. The objective of the YF&R program is to surface, grow and develop young Farm Bureau members (ages 18-35) and provide them opportunities and experiences to strengthen their leadership and ensure effective Farm Bureaus.

Where were you before you both served on AFBF’s national Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee?

Danielle Clark – Tim and I were newlyweds before we served on the committee. We were married in June 2014 and appointed to the committee in 2015. He was just finishing up his term as chair of the Wisconsin Young Farmer & Agriculturalist Committee, working as a district sales manager for Dairyland Seed and I was the clean air coordinator for the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. We were living on my family's farmstead in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and had a small herd of beef cattle. We had been searching for a larger farm to call our home where we could raise a family and grow a business.

What was your experience like on the committee?

Danielle Clark – Our experience was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We instantly clicked with the other members of our class. I remember feeling devastated on the last night we were together because we had created such a bond over the two years we spent together. We loved the opportunity to travel to different states to see farming in other parts of the U.S. It opened our eyes to opportunities in agriculture that we never even thought about.

What are you up to now?

Tim and Danielle Clark – Today we own and operate a small farm of our own where we specialize in pick-your-own strawberries. We got started in honey production in 2018 as a way to improve pollination, which has become a huge revenue-generating business for us. Not only has raw honey become a large part of our business, but we also handcraft, market and sell high-quality goat milk soap and other skincare products made using raw honey, beeswax and locally sourced animal fats. We are adding an apple orchard this spring along with offering additional farm camp opportunities for kids and on-farm vendor events.

Tim continues to work in the agricultural industry with Bayer Corp. as a vegetable seed supplier to national distributors. We have four children – three sons and a daughter – ranging in age from almost two to eight. We remain involved in Farm Bureau but have shifted some of our focus to serving our church and the school our children attend.

How did your experience on the committee help you get where you are today?

Tim and Danielle Clark – Our business is direct-to-consumer and we are often approached by local and state media for news stories about the activities happening on our farm. The media training we received while serving on the committee has been extremely beneficial for both of us and we often refer back to many of the concepts we learned.

Haily Sand and her husband, Ben, farm in Wisconsin and serve on AFBF’s national YF&R Committee. They grow corn, soybeans and rye grass, in addition to operating a roadside stand where they sell pumpkins, squash and sweet corn.