Who inspires Pam Selz-Pralle? The Founding Women of Wisconsin Agriculture (WWA)


For 40 years, they traded their manure-stained barn clothes for suits and pearls to clamor up the capitol steps demanding change for agriculture. Thank you to Joann Vogel, Edith Gross, Eunice Guell, Audrey Sickinger, and Nancy Krahn. These sassy, classy women inspired me to do more. Be better. Aim High. Make a difference.

Influential women don’t have to be on magazine covers or have national platforms. They are the ripples of influence around us that affect change and instill passion. 

For me, that kind of influence has come from JoAnn Vogel and the founding women of Wisconsin Women for Agriculture (WWA). In my first year out of college, I got to meet these bold, inspiring women. They vastly influenced my life as role models.

WWA was a pioneer group of cow milking, tractor driving, hard working farm wives who wanted their voice heard on agricultural issues affecting their farms. JoAnn worked alongside her husband (as did they all) and felt she was more than just a wife, and that estate law should treat her as a business partner. She and her peers had the same stake of ownership and sweat equity in their farms as their husbands but were not treated that way in inheritance and estate law. With commitment and vigor, they took their collective farm voices to Madison’s Capitol halls and to Washington D.C. Their voices and feisty spirit led the charge to overhaul Wisconsin and Federal inheritance laws that limited the amount of money and assets a spouse could inherit without being taxed. As a result, Bill AB106 became law in 1982.

After that charge, they had the ear of legislators. For 40 years, they traded their manure-stained barn clothes for suits and pearls to clamor up the capitol steps demanding change for agriculture. Thank you Joann Vogel, Edith Gross, Eunice Guell, Audrey Sickinger, and Nancy Krahn. You sassy, classy women inspired me to do more. Be better. Aim High. Make a difference.