A former Wisconsin lawmaker will become the new chief administrative officer at the state’s Farm Bureau Federation.

The group announced today that Steve Freese will replace Roger Cliff, who will retire this summer after 40 years with the Farm Bureau. Starting in August, Freese will oversee the day-to-day operations of Wisconsin’s largest general farm organization.

Freese represented the Spring Green area as a Republican in the state Assembly until he became the director of the Circus World Museum in Baraboo six years ago. Under his leadership, the museum saw its attendance rise by 37 percent. Earlier this year, Freese warded off an effort by Governor Scott Walker to have the State Historical Society take over Circus World – which remains a public-private venture.

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