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Celebrating Bill MacFarlane!

On April 15, 2022 in General by spope

Bill MacFarlane

The Ag Business Council of Rock County selects two people each year to be inducted into the distinguished Rock County Agricultural Hall of Fame. On April 8, 2022, Bill MacFarlane was honored with this award. Many friends, family, and employees were present at the celebration. The presenter of Bill’s award was Jim Raymond, a retired banker and a long-time friend of Bill. He described our boss eloquently. Let me share just a portion of his praise.

Jim began his speech by describing what he called the “backstory” of MacFarlane pheasants. He told us about Bill’s Uncle Ken, who started the business in 1929 and how his dad, Don MacFarlane took over the business following Ken MacFarlane’s tragic death in an ice storm. He told us about the years during Bill’s childhood that he helped his dad on the farm. When Bill went off to college in the 70’s, he had no intention of returning to pheasant farming. But, after Bill graduated, he received word that his dad needed help on the farm. Bill immediately moved home and began working on the farm full time in 1979 and has never looked back! He continued the rich history of growing the MacFarlane Pheasant business and supporting the community.

Bill MacFarlane

In 1987 Bill worked with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and joined the group on a trip to China. This trip eventually led to an arrangement with Chinese farmers to import pure Manchurian eggs from China in 1989. The hatched chicks were “wild and crazy” and became an incredible success story. One of the most significant rewards of a successful business is that it provides the ability to give back to the community. Like his father before him, Bill believes in giving back to the community where he grew up.

Bill volunteered at Jackson Elementary School for many years and has partnered with Rock County to give troubled youth an alternative program that offers them a hands-on experience outside of the classroom.

MacFarlane Pheasants’ owner, Bill MacFarlane, has also supported the community through many local organizations:

  1. United Way

  2. Kandu Industries

  3. Friends of Rock County 4-H Fair

  4. Vets Roll

  5. Rock County Cancer Coalition

  6. Big Al Hunt

  7. Glacier’s Edge Boy Scout Hunt

  8. Boys and Girls Club

  9. ECHO Janesville

  10. Friends of Rock County Parks

  11. Special Olympics of Wisconsin

  12. Bike MS, National MS Society

Earlier this year, Bill received the prestigious LifeTime Achievement Award from the North American Game Bird Association. Major game bird raisers from across the country also recognized his exceptional business sense and dedication to his community. It has been a well deserved year of recognition.

We all join Jim Raymond, representing the Ag Business Council of Rock County, in saying how proud we are to be associated with Bill MacFarlane and MacFarlane Pheasants.

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