Meet Steve & Becky

Please allow us to introduce ourselves.

We want you to know we come from hard-work and experience and are ready to put that to work for you!

Steve Haak

Farmer’s Husband, Owner/Operator, President/Vice-President, Autumn Moon Farm, Inc.

Steve Haak farms just over 200 acres in the Town of Montrose. As a young adult, Steve milked cows for 26 years as part of Haak Family Farm, Inc. He became the primary operator and manager of his family’s farm during his senior year of high school and regularly worked 3-5 years without missing a single milking. As his parents’ health declined, he began working for shares of the farm in lieu of salary, so that he could keep the farm operating while ensuring the immediate needs of his parents and his siblings could be met.

More recently, Steve, his wife, Becky (Olson), and son, Aiden, transitioned the old operation to Autumn Moon Farm, Inc. in a farm succession process, known as a corporate “split-up.”  In preparation for this transition, the operation ceased the 70-cow dairy operation and focused on custom baling of “big square bales” and cash crops, such as corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and a new local venture – hops. Steve and his family continue exploring other local and regional needs, such as the production of grain alternatives and the additional uses of their “oasting” (controlled dehumidification of hops) facility. He works off-farm most mornings, but continues to manage most all the field operations and help with the construction of the on-farm Malthouse and Mill. More recently, Steve earned his Wisconsin Pesticide Applicators License and has completed a 2-week intensive Malting program at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Center.

Steve has farmed in the Upper Sugar River Watershed all his life. In 2000, he became involved with the formation of the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association (USRWA). He served on USRWA’s board of directors until 2008. An avid trout angler, he remains active on stream monitoring and habitat restoration on the West Branch of the Sugar River, which runs through Autumn Moon Farm. Despite Steve’s calm, quiet nature his work has not gone un-noticed; he has been formally recognized by several agencies, including the WI Department of Natural Resources; the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission as a “2007 Dane County Water Champion;” and together with his wife and son, was the recipient of the USRWA 2011 “Candle on the Water” award.  He continues to draw from his personal experiences to encourage both farmers and recreation land holders to consider public conservation easements and other carefully planned land uses for the benefit of our natural resources, recreation and agri-business.

Steve just finished the maximum allowable consecutive elected terms on the Dane County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Committee and as the appointed liaison to the Dane County Land Conservation Committee. His time on the FSA Committee has been educational and satisfying; in particular when the committee has been able to help a producer through challenges.

His community involvement continues primarily through his son, Aiden; with many opportunities to attend Cross-Country, Band and Tech Club events at his school. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, and the Wisconsin Hops Exchange.

For fun, Steve enjoys hunting, canoeing, trout fishing, pan fishing and ice fishing. He is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism along with his wife, and has been known to enjoy baked goods and beer.

Rebecca (Becky) Olson

Farmer’s Wife, Owner/Operator, Secretary/Treasurer, Autumn Moon Farm, Inc.

Becky has over 27 years experience as a public information & education specialist and event planner in the areas of natural resources conservation and environmental health. Education and public information projects include everything from childhood asthma to waste reduction & recycling; resource assessments & monitoring to public involvement planning. Her Bachelor of arts, in Spanish culture and International Resource Management, is from UW-Stevens Point. Since receiving her under-graduate degree she has taken a variety of publication software and administrative courses from private and public technical colleges to better serve her employers and herself. She has also completed one year toward a Master of Science from UW-Madison’s prestigious Nelson Institute, where she focused on agriculture and conservation, with an emphasis on risk communication related to dairy science, soils and water. Most recently, Becky completed a 2-week intensive Malting program at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Center. She is currently studying to receive her pesticide applicators license.

When she joined her husband’s (Steve) family farm in 2004, she was immediately called upon to manage a needed farm succession process, known as a corporate “split-up.” This was the creation of Autumn Moon Farm, Inc. and it allowed her and her husband to continue farming while providing financial resources to the family elders. Becky met her husband through volunteer work (and later as the Executive Director) with Upper Sugar River Watershed Association. Her stream restoration efforts in partnership with agri-businesses were recognized via Badger Fly Fisher’s Joan & Lee Wulff Conservation Award. After she left the USRWA position to farm full-time, she was also recognized alongside her husband and son for her continued conservation work with the USRWA 2011 “Candle on the Water” award.

Her community involvement continued primarily through her son, Aiden; with many opportunities to attend Cross-Country, Band and Tech Club events at his school. She also remained involved in the Wisconsin Farmers Union, the Wisconsin Hops Exchange and local advocacy work in support of Rural Internet initiatives. Currently she volunteers for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Society for Creative Ananchronism and Friends of the Belleville Public Library.

Becky grew up on a small farm in Northeastern Wisconsin (Peshtigo), and had experience operating a variety of equipment from her childhood; in addition to her undergraduate natural resource classes at UWSP. After years of helping secure firewood on the farm in Peshtigo, she finally became certified in Chainsaw Safety for the benefit of multiple stream restoration projects during her time with USRWA. Thus, she quickly re-adapted to farm life, including the operation of all planting, hauling, lifting and harvesting equipment that is needed as part of Autumn Moon Farm’s field operations. However, the bulk of her time on farm is spent on the “less glamorous” side of the business; commodity contracting, sales, nutrient management & conservation planning, financial management, grant-writing, sales & outreach and even some Web development work.

For fun, Becky enjoys a wide range of activities; but especially preparing and sampling food & drink, hiking, and shooting archery. She recently joined the Society for Creative Anachronism; an organization that marries her love of history with most all her other interests.

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