It may not be official until the solstice, but summer has come at last to Wisconsin. And when the leaves unfurl and the grass turns green, the weekend visitors and day trippers head “up north,” including to Door County.
This in mind, and with June as dairy month in Wisconsin, we figured there was no better time than now to feature a forward-thinking farm based in Baileys Harbor.
Waseda Farms does not “do” dairy, but in its Door County and De Pere retail stores, it does cater to people looking for grass-fed, organically raised meat and certified organic dairy and vegetables. Last year, commercial sales grew 91 percent — and Waseda is on the forefront of a growing market for organic food.
Wisconsin is second in the nation for its number of organic farms — 1,180, and it ranks first for organic beef and dairy farms.
“The shift is beginning, and I don’t think it’s going to change,” says Waseda President Matt Lutsey in this month’s cover story by Insight Staff Writer Jessica Thiel (see page 22).
Call it our “surf and turf” issue, but this month we feature another Door County food-related business, Baileys Harbor Fish Co. (see page 50). Todd Stuth and his wife, Carin, along with Todd’s brother, Tate, have made a living with their freshwater commercial fishing business the past three years, started by Carin’s father and uncle in 1967. They specialize in whitefish, but also make nets, gear and even boats; they ship in and sell Atlantic salmon and Gulf shrimp as well.
Stuth admits the challenges of working in a weather-dependent business such as fishing, but he wouldn’t have it any other way than to work for himself, in Door County.
Of course, most people work for others. Finding and keeping talent is an ongoing challenge for many employers, especially in today’s tight labor market. With this in mind, I recently spoke with Jock Seal, founder and CEO of The H.S. Group based in Green Bay. Coincidentally, he also started his business in 1967 and in July will observe his company’s 50th anniversary. Seal has seen the recruiting industry change a lot over the decades. Today, his company also offers outplacement services, human resources consulting and leadership development.
I’ve known Jock for several years, and it’s always a pleasure to talk with him. Let’s just say he doesn’t mince words. The way Jock sees it, every individual should have a profit-and-loss approach to his or her career. Each person should set goals as well, and when those goals align with the goals of the company, that individual is more likely to stick around. For employers and job seekers alike, I think you’ll enjoy reading what he has to say in this month’s Face Time interview (page 15).
Also in this issue, you’ll want to check out the winners of our 2017 Insight Innovation Awards, featured in a special section. Announced at our annual THINC! event in May, our five winners have exceptional stories to share. Some have been featured in Insight in the past, including Great Northern Corp. and enVision Performance Solutions. Others, including MatchBack Systems and Reynolds Presto Products, are doing some pretty intriguing work and are bound to be making a splash regionally or — and very likely, nationally — as they build and grow.
If their stories prompt you to think of other companies that are doing innovative work, I encourage you to share them with us at Insight. We’ll be putting out a call for the 2018 nominees before you know it.