About Us

About the Wisconsin Chapter of the Walnut Council

We are a group of Wisconsinites who are interested in increasing the quantity, quality, sustainability, and utilization of eastern black walnut and other fine hardwoods. The Wisconsin Walnut Council shares information on research results and provides a venue for networking with other growers, foresters, scientists, academics, and industry to encourage up-to-date methods of planting, managing, and harvesting walnut trees. We have an annual meeting and field trip each spring and fall. Many members of the Wisconsin Chapter also attend the annual meeting of the international parent organization, Walnut Council. Committee meetings, board meeting, lectures, demos, workshops, and social events are scheduled on an ad hoc basis.


Board of Directors 2018

President Manfred Mielke 608-269-1827
Vice President Bill Carlson 608-798-3898
Treasurer Meg Cates 608-271-1166
Past Presidents John Ouellett 608-231-1145
Board Members Russ Moody 608-222-0225
John Nielsen 608-437-5048
Jaren Olsen 608-212-9557
Jim Karpinski
DNR Liaison Tom Hill
Webmaster Donna Daniels

Committees 2018

Publicity & Membership John Nielsen
John Ouellette
Tree Improvement Manfred Mielke
John Nielsen
Dick Powell
Marketing Russ Moody
John Ouellette
John Nielsen
Website Bill Carlson
Meg Cates
Donna Daniels


The parent organization, the International Walnut Council was founded in 1970 as a trade association to represent woodland owners, researchers and the wood-using industry who make and use walnut veneer, lumber, gunstocks, and other fine products. In 1983, the Wisconsin Chapter was organized and chartered through the efforts of David Ladd, owner and President of Walnut Hollow, a wood products company based in Dodgeville , Wi, and James Widder , DNR forester, now retired, and owner/manager of his Tree Farm NW of Dodgeville. In addition, other DNR Foresters , such as Rudy Nigl, and woodland owners, such as Rachael Jordan, were instrumental in the organizational activities. The Wisconsin Chapter was THE FIRST CHAPTER TO BE CHARTERED in the United States!
Then in 1988, Dave Ladd and Jim Widder were the lead coordinators for the 1st National Walnut Council meeting to be held in Wisconsin. The events, meetings, conferences, and reviews of field sites took place in Iowa County with tours starting in Mount Horeb, and moved West.
The membership has grown since that time to a current level of nearly 150.


ARTICLE I Name, etc. The name of the chapter is Wisconsin Chapter of the Walnut Council ( hereafter called " Chapter " ). The Chapter shall hold a Charter as an affiliate of the Walnut Council upon such terms, conditions and requirements as the Council shall determine. The Chapter shall promote growth and use of black walnut ( Juglans nigra ) in the State.
Article II Fiscal year. The fiscal year of the Chapter shall be the calendar year.
Article III Membership. Membership in the Chapter shall be upon qualifications approved by the Board of Directors, and all members must be members in good standing of the Walnut Council. Membership may be evidenced by a certificate or card.
Article IV Dues. Dues, if any, shall be determined from time to time by the Board of Directors and paid annually.
Article V Officers. The officers of the Chapter shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and such number of other Vice Presidents as may be determined from time to time by the Board of Directors. The officers shall serve for annual terms and until their successors are elected and qualified. Directors shall be elected by the membership. The Board of Directors shall elect its officers from the Board membership.
Article VI Nominations and Voting for Directors. On or before October 1 st of each year, the President will select a nominating committee to choose candidates for directors for the following year. On or before November 1, ballots will be mailed to the membership which shall be returned before December 1. On or before December 1, the nominating committee shall count the ballots and determine the new directors. The new directors shall be instated on January 1, or as soon thereafter as is practical, and shall serve for a period of three (3) years.
Article VII Meeting. The membership will meet annually at a time and place determined by the Board of Directors. A quorum shall be ten (10) members in person or by proxy. Each member shall have one vote.
Article VIII Officers and duties. The President shall be the executive officer and appoint committees as needed, including the Chairman for the Annual Meeting Committee. The Vice-President shall assist the President and assume presidential duties if necessary. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meeting and have custody of the records of the Chapter. The Treasurer shall receive Chapter dues and general funds and make disbursements as authorized by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall make an annual report to the Board of Directors. Officers shall receive no salary but may be reimbursed for authorized expenses. An officer shall be selected annually to represent the Chapter at all meetings of the National Walnut Council.
Article IX Termination. If the Chapter would terminate for any reason, its funds and assets shall be surrendered to the Walnut Council.
Article X Amendments. The power to amend these By-Laws shall be in the membership at any meeting called for such purpose upon ten (10) days' notice, of which notice shall also be given to the National Walnut Council, or by balloting via mail. Any amendment must be approved by the National Walnut Council.
Article XI Limitations. The Chapter shall have no authority or power to make commitments for or on behalf of the National Walnut Council.
Article XII Review and Change of Board Decisions. All substantial decisions and activities will be reported to the membership and to the National Council. Any decision by the Board may be voted upon by the membership upon receipt of petition from ten or more active members. Changing a Board decision will require a 2/3 majority vote of the membership in any regular meeting, or at any special meeting called for that purpose, provided the membership is given a 15-day notice of the proposed change and provided a 50% quorum attends the meeting. Changing of Board decisions may also be voted upon by mail, provided at least 50% of the members vote and the 2/3 majority is obtained. The Executive Board of the National Council retains the right to change or reverse any Board decision or membership vote.

The foregoing amended By-Laws were adopted 06 October 1990 by the membership at a meeting duly convened.