Nutrition Staff

Back: Paul Skibbie, Tim Brussow, Rick Guralski, Alex Volovsek — Front: Jim Weber, Jodi Erickson, Dan Bender
Tim Brussow
Owner & Dairy Specialist


I am a 3rd generation owner of Northside Elevator along with my brothers, Ted and Rick. I spend most days working as a dairy specialist as well as making decisions for the company. Moving back to Loyal after graduating with a business management degree from UW Eau Claire, I managed the fertilizer plant for three years before working in sales for both crop farmers and dairy producers. I truly believe that the health of your cattle is a reflection of how well you manage your soil. Every farm is different and every farm provides unique challenges that makes this job so interesting. The biggest reward is seeing producers become successful. I was raised around this family business, so family is important to me. My son is the 4th generation to work at Northside Elevator and I have a daughter residing in Colorado. I enjoy golf, hunting, and traveling outside of the business.

Dan Bender
Dairy Specialist


Colby is where I call home. If I had a second home though, it would be Northside Elevator where I have now worked for more than 26 years. As a UW-River Falls graduate with a major in agricultural education and a minor in animal science, I took a job in ag lending and worked at two different banks in central Wisconsin. During these six years, I started dairy farming before becoming a dairy specialist in Edgar. As I pursued new opportunities, I ended up at Northside Elevator and am still here today. It has been a very fulfilling experience for me and I love the opportunity to work with dairy farmers every day. It is extremely rewarding to set goals on these dairy farms, figure out a way to achieve these goals and then make more profit by carrying them out. The challenges are endless, but very gratifying.

Jim Weber
Dairy Specialist


The more you understand your cows the better you can help them. I grew up on my grandfather’s dairy farm and have been raising and showing registered Holsteins for what seems like forever—and still do so to this day. So much time around cows gives you an understanding of how they function which has led to my belief in programs and nutrition that support complete cow health. It starts with the rumen, but doesn’t overlook any aspect that influences health and performance. It’s my personal challenge to see a herd be successful. A short course certificate from UW, experience as herd manager, and nearly 25 years as a dairy specialist, helps me help producers. When not on a farm I enjoy golf, warm weather vacations with my wife and showing Holsteins at various events around the state.

Jodi Erickson
Dairy Specialist


I was raised on a family dairy farm in the Loyal area, so the farming life and culture has been a part of me since childhood. Steeped in farming background, I am passionate about helping farmers succeed and sincerely want to make a difference in their lives and their businesses. The ability to decipher farm data and herd records is one of the unique ways I “listen” to my customers. With a degree in Agriculture Business focused on Dairy Science from UW River Falls, one of my hallmarks is reviewing production data and discussing with you what the numbers mean. I have first-hand experience too… as I own a barn (I built) where I raise Holstein heifers and steers. When I’m not on a farm I may be on the road – running. This stress reliever helps me keep up with my family, in whom I pour equal passion and energy.

Rick Guralski
Dairy Specialist


After high school in Athens and then North Central Technical College, I began my feed and agronomy career. Back then I did everything from feed manufacturing and delivery to bulk lime, fertilizer spreading and crop spraying. When I started calling on farms for nutrition work, I was very fortunate to work with many of the best dairymen in Marathon County, including two world record milk production cows (1995 & 1996). I am forever appreciative for these experiences and the people. Working for the good of the customer has been a priority during my 28 years of nutrition work—and it is the same with the professional team at Northside. Customer success always comes first. When I’m not on a farm, I enjoy archery hunting, camping, landscaping, bicycling and spending time with my wife, kids and grandchild.

Paul Skibbie
Dairy Specialist


Managing financial resources where both customers and Northside Elevator thrive together—this is what motivates me. Working on my uncle’s dairy farm in Rib Lake is where my drive for working with dairy cows took hold. I took this enthusiasm to UW River Falls, and graduated with an Animal Science degree with an emphasis on Dairy and a minor in Agricultural Business and Farm Management. A college internship in the feed industry along with work in a mill for 19 years after graduating, catapulted my dairy nutrition career. With Northside I get to do what I love most—dairy nutrition and helping farmers reach their goals for business. Outside of work, I enjoy hunting, making maple syrup, coaching the Thorp Archery Club, working as a fireman and EMT with the Thorp Fire Department, and spending time with my family.

Alex Volovsek
Dairy Specialist


I grew up and worked on a family farm in Greenwood where I also graduated high school. To this day, I relief-feed cows and help with spring and fall field work because not only is it family, but it helps me learn ever changing variables to better understand farmers. My career started in my Dad’s construction business where we built and remodeled houses, commercial buildings, and barns – many for local farms. I was completing an Associates Degree in Dairy Science from Chippewa Valley Technical College when I started at Northside Elevator. During this time, I acquired my Applicators license and class A CDL to become more of an asset to the company and to make myself more available to customers. Apart from Northside, I spend a lot of time hunting and fishing year round and enjoy snowmobiling in the winter.

Jessica Pralle
Dairy Calf Specialist

Growing up on my family’s dairy farm I was known as the “cow whisperer” for the instinctive way that I listened to cows and calves. This is where I learned the critical factors of calf health – nutrition, environment, and sanitation. I earned a degree in Dairy Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I gained cross-training knowledge in both on-farm observation and DairyComp 305 analysis. After college I began my career as a Reproductive Adviser before working as a Dairy Herdsman. I look forward to using all of these skills, past experiences, and strong farm background to help farmers develop a successful calf program to advance the future of their herd. Away from work I enjoy coaching high school girls basketball, judging local dairy shows, and developing the next generation of dairy leaders through 4-H and the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association.