"He was a super nice guy to work with—a good friend," said Jim Woolstrum, a Milton farmer who has been in the industry for 46 years. "He lived and breathed the county, state and all the government programs. He wasn't a guy to stand by the wayside. He got out there and got things done."
Schepp died Friday. He was 79.
Schepp of Janesville worked with the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service for 38 years in Rock, Sauk and Kewaunee counties. Now known as the Farm Service Agency, the department was a resource to those in the agricultural industry.
When flooding, harsh winds or low crop prices slowed business for local farmers, Schepp found them financial support through the federal government. It helped businesses stay on their feet during a financial climate that could have crippled their operations.
Roger Allan, a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Janesville, described Schepp as the "safety net" that prevented farmers from hitting rock bottom.
"He played it straight all the time, which is something that made it harder for him on the job but said something about the kind of person he was," Allan said. "He was going to treat everyone fairly."
Schepp's friends said he was dedicated and always worked well beyond his 8-to-5 schedule. He retired in 1996 and was a member of the St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, serving as an elder and church council representative.
He also was a 4-H leader for 25 years and a member of the Janesville Optimist Club since 1977.
"There is no question, in terms of his job, he took it very seriously and put in a lot of extra hours," Allan said. "It was whatever time it took for him to do his job correctly."
Funeral services for Schepp will be at 1:30 p.m. today at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 709 Milton Ave., Janesville.