Rural Health Initiative Press Release

October 2, 2015

Cultibrate: Cultivate and Celebrate Farm Family Health – September 17, 2015


The Rural Health Initiative in Marathon County hosted their first annual Cultibrate fundraiser on 9/17 at the beautiful Willow Springs Garden, Wausau. Attendees were fortunate to sample the area’s finest agriculturally produced treats. The event featured many varieties of locally made cheeses, local fruits and meats, and local microbrews from the Great Dane Brewing Company. Central Wisconsin music artist Brad Emanuel provided the evening’s musical entertainment. Horse-drawn wagon rides were provided by Harrison Hills Sleigh Rides.

The first year goal was to raise $6,000, which was surpassed with $9300 of proceeds generated. With a generous match donation from United FCS, the event’s total proceeds were $19,300. The event was also sponsored by Marshfield Clinic, Athens Veterinary Service, Inc., Carpet City, Central Wisconsin Evergreens, Dr. Ludka-Gaulke, Marathon County Farm Bureau, Johnson Creek Dairy, Misty Hollow Farms, Peter Trucking, Rural Insurance- Athens, Thrivent Financial, Cherokee Garage Inc., and Pagels Pub and Grub.

The Rural Health Initiative in Marathon County brings basic health education and screenings to farmers.  An Outreach Health Coordinator/Registered Nurse makes home visits to help ensure that they and their families have access to basic health services. “Bringing preventative healthcare and screenings to farmers right on the farm is so important since it’s something so many of them need,” said Rhonda Strebel, executive director of the Rural Healthcare Initiative. “The money we raised at the Cultibrate fundraiser will go directly to helping us get this essential service to our farmers.”

In 2003, ThedaCare and Shawano Medical Center launched the Rural Health Initiative in Shawano County in partnership with the Shawano County UW Extension, Shawano County Public Health Department, local schools, and with regional agribusiness collaborative and financial partners. In 2012, the initiative expanded into Outagamie and Waupaca counties. In late 2013, the program replicated in Marathon County in partnership with Ministry Health Care, Aspirus, Marshfield Clinic, Marathon County Public Health department, Marathon County UW Extension, and regional agribusiness partners. Delivery of program services started in the summer of 2014.

For more information about the Rural Health Initiative, please visit the program website or Facebook page For further information, media may contact Gail Kell, ([email protected]), Project Manager at the Rural Health Initiative, (715) 675-5280.