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Wis. ag. secretary's death leaves 'glaring void'
Rod Nilsestuen Died Wednesday
By Scott BauerAssociated Press WriterMADISON - Rod Nilsestuen, the head of Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture since 2003 who died while swimming in Lake Superior, was remembered Thursday as a consensus-building, bipartisan, visionary advocate for farmers.Nilsestuen, who drowned Wednesday after spending the day volunteering with a church group building a Habitat for Humanity home in Marquette, Mich., was 62.Those who knew him described him as a tireless advocate for Wisconsin agriculture, helping to bolster cheese and milk production, instituting groundbreaking animal disease identification requirements and pushing to preserve farmland for future generations. "He had a genuine love for Wisconsin agriculture and how important it is for the state of Wisconsin," said Terry Quam, a Lodi farmer who is legislative chairman for the Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association. "It didn't matter if you were a dairy farmer, a honey bee farmer, a vegetable farmer or a cattleman.