SOURCE | Spring 2023 7
“ I sometimes thought , ‘ oh , anyone can do that ,’” he said . “ But my supporters helped me realize that everyone has different talents , and mine seemed to work well for what this role requires .”
Beyond the GROWMARK System , Malchine serves as chairman of Badger State Ethanol , an ethanol production facility his father co-founded ; was a member of the Waterford school board for 20 years ; is active with the Racine County Farm Bureau ; and dedicates time to his church and other community endeavors . He stays connected to Wisconsin politics , something else his father modeled during his formative years .
“ I know politics isn ’ t for everyone , but for me I enjoy being part of the dialogue that determines policy , not just for our farm but for farmers across the state and country ,” he said . “ I believe being active politically is important for the GROWMARK System , and that ’ s one of my goals as chairman .”
Malchine believes strongly in education , especially from his vantage point on the farm near an urban area . In June 2022 , the family hosted a Breakfast on the Farm event that served more than 2,200 people , many of whom had never set foot on a working farm .
“ There ’ s a lot of misinformation out there about agriculture , and fewer people understand what we do or how it affects them ,” he said . “ We are a vital piece in a noble profession , to provide food , fiber , feed , and fuel for the world , and we need to communicate that message .”
When he ’ s not busy farming or serving in various capacities , Malchine enjoys spending time with family . His wife , Kelly , is a teacher by trade and volunteers for many organizations . The Malchines have three daughters : Stephanie and husband Will Neitzel , who live in Washington , D . C . and have a one-year-old son , Jack ; Shannon and husband Christopher Benavides , who live in Wisconsin and welcomed new baby Hank on New Year ’ s Eve 2022 ; and Shauna , who lives in Milwaukee .
“ Time with family is so important , because tomorrow is not guaranteed ,” Malchine said . “ We took our first trip as a family of nine in early March and plan to go somewhere all together , every year .”
As he begins his tenure as GROWMARK Chairman , Malchine ’ s goal is simple .
“ My dad always preached to leave the world a better place ,” he said . “ I intend to do my best to use the position that the good Lord put me in to take that advice and make it a reality .”
Kevin getting an early start teaching grandson Jack about farming
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