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Local farmers’ charitable fund supports Second Harvest program

A fund created by a couple of local farmers is supporting Second Harvest Foodbank’s Adopt a Dairy Cow program for the third year in a row.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 12:32 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A fund created by a couple of local farmers is supporting Second Harvest Foodbank’s Adopt a Dairy Cow program for the third year in a row.

The Werndli Charitable Fund has provided $50,000 to the program since 2020. The fund was created by two brothers, Roger and Ralph Werndli, who grew up on a generational dairy farm near Belleville.

“They had grown up knowing that you could have food, because you grew it and because you had your cows and because you had your chickens. And it always bothered them that other people were facing food insecurities,” said the trustee of the fund, Pamela Lunder.

Lunder said she met Roger in 1981, shortly after establishing her legal practice in Mount Horeb. When Roger’s health began to deteriorate due to dementia, he worked with Lunder to create the fund to support his brother Ralph, who Lunder said has developmental delays, but also to give back to the community.

“They had two provisions. One is that it had to be folks who needed the help and they needed to be in the south west or south central part of Wisconsin, and they needed to be from small towns or villages or agricultural areas,” explained Lunder.

Lunder said the Adopt a Dairy Cow program fits the bill perfectly since it provides milk, a rarely donated nutrient-rich product, to underserved families.

“This one was actually pretty much a no-brainer. Having been farmers their entire lives and having it ingrained generationaly, dairy was a part of their farming operations,” said Lunder.

This year, the first $30,000 donated by the public to Adopt a Dairy Cow will be matched, thanks to the Werndli Charitable Fund and Alliant Energy.

People can continue to donate at GiveDairy.com at any time throughout the year to provide milk all year long.

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