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Plum City High School senior tends to business, earns entrepreneur award

PLUM CITY --- Hannah Iverson has been involved with her family's farm throughout her youth and, for the last eight years, she's also kept busy with a related sideline.

The Plum City High School senior operates a business for breeding top genetic Holstein and Guernsey cattle, and marketing embryos to dairy producers. Her efforts in this regard have been noticed not only in this area's agriculture community, but statewide now that she's been named one of two Wisconsin "Young Entrepreneurs of the Year" by the state Departments of Commerce and Public Instruction.

"I got my loan in 2000," Iverson said Friday while remembering her enterprise's beginnings. "I always wanted to be an active partner."

The daughter of Dennis and Nancy Iverson of Plum City, who has a 15-year-old brother, Nathan, explained an arrangement with her parents stipulating she help with milking, farm maintenance and the like compensates for their feeding and housing her cattle. She presently keeps around 20 head; the family has a herd totaling 50, mostly Holsteins, though including some Guernseys and Jerseys (their milk is shipped to the Ellsworth Co-op Creamery).

She started buying heifers, both at state-sponsored sales and from some private owners, she said. They grew into cows and she uses the money she's realized from the milk to invest in her venture, which she calls Classic View Enterprise.

The 18-year-old said she works with Accelerated Genetics, Semex and Select Sires in marketing the embryos. One of her cows produced 28 number-one rated embryos after flushing.

"I didn't have room here, so I had to find a home for them," she said.

She got 40 embryos from another cow, a registered Holstein; meantime, she's expecting five pregnancies this year, she said. She currently has two heifer calves and hasn't shipped any animals to market, so far.

Her teacher, Peg Skogen, nominated her for the state honor after learning through Cooperative Educational Services Agency (CESA)-11 of its availability. Skogen said last week the nomination was submitted online.

"They were looking for students with phenomenal businesses and I thought of Hannah's," she said.

Read more in the print version of the Pierce County Herald March 19.