Farm equipment owners in the state of Wisconsin may have felt as though they benefitted from the efforts Rod Nilsestuen, who died recently after serving as the state's Agriculture secretary for seven years.
A memorial service was held for Nilsestuen, who was 62 when he passed. Nilsestuen was appointed by Governor Jim Doyle when he took office, and the head executive ordered that flags be flown at half-staff across the state in honor of the former's accomplishments.
"Secretary Nilsestuen was an internationally respected leader in the cooperative movement who worked to make sure farmers received the economic value of their work," an order from Doyle said.
Along with his work in cooperative farming, Nilsestuen has been recognized for the Working Lands Initiative, which includes efforts to preserve farmland and increase conservation programs in the state. He also helped develop biofuel and energy in Wisconsin.
Nilsestuen, 62, died while on a family vacation in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where he was volunteering on a project for Habitat for Humanity. He drowned while swimming in Lake Superior on July 21.