Rod Nilsestuen, state DATCP head, drowns in Lake Superior

A true friend of Wisconsin’s farm community and Wisconsin’s environment, Secretary of the Depart of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Rod Nilsestuen, drowned while swimming in Lake Superior on Wednesday, July 21.  1000 Friends of Wisconsin offers condolences to his family and friends.

Rod was on vacation, working for Habitat for Humanity in northern Michigan as he does every summer.

Gov. Jim Doyle called Nilsestuen “a warm, humorous and wonderful husband, father and friend.  Under his incredible leadership Wisconsin has seen the greatest and most beneficial transformation of agriculture in generations.”

1000 Friends worked closely with Secretary Nilsestuen in the Working Lands Initiative. Rod was awarded a “Ten of the Best” award in 2007 for his for extraordinary effort to establish effective policies to promote agriculture in Wisconsin.  Rod was also named “Policy Maker of the Year” award 2007 for land conservation leadership by  Gathering Waters Conservancy.