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Top Wisconsin farmers honored in Oshkosh 139553

2016 Master Agriculturists receive awards

Fran O'Leary, Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor

April 1, 2016

2 Min Read

The Wisconsin Agriculturist, in partnership with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider and Halbach S.C., of Chilton, and Badgerland Financial, presented the 2016 Master Agriculturist awards to four top achievers in farming, community service and leadership.

Receiving the awards were: Dick Cates of Spring Green, Mark Dietsche of Bloomer, Ken Feltz of Stevens Point and Hank Wagner of Oconto Falls on March 30 at La Sure’s Hall in Oshkosh. The winners were selected for their proven ability and accomplishments as progressive farmers, as well as for the time, effort and leadership they contribute to community, church and agricultural organizations.

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Former Green Bay Packer George Koonce was the keynote speaker. Dr. Koonce, who earned his Ph.D from Marquette University in sociology, spoke about his life's journey and overcoming adversity.

Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel also spoke to 120 guests.

The Master Agriculturist award is given to honor not only the selected individuals, but also their families.

The Master Agriculturist program is the oldest farm awards program in the state, and is one of the longest-running career-achievement honors programs in American agriculture. The award dates back to 1930, when the Wisconsin Agriculturist first started honoring top Wisconsin farmers for their hard work, dedication, success in farming and exemplary leadership.

Nomination forms are already available for the 2017 awards. To obtain a form, go online to www.FarmProgress.com, call 920-346-2285, email [email protected], or write to: Master Agriculturist, Wisconsin Agriculturist, 112 S. Prairie St., P.O. Box 236, Brandon, WI 53919. Deadline for nominations for the 2015 awards is Dec. 5.

About the Author(s)

Fran O'Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Fran O’Leary lives in Brandon, Wis., and has been editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist since 2003. Even though O’Leary was born and raised on a farm in Illinois, she has spent most of her life in Wisconsin. She moved to the state when she was 18 years old and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Before becoming editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist, O’Leary worked at Johnson Hill Press in Fort Atkinson as a writer and editor of farm business publications and at the Janesville Gazette in Janesville as farm editor and a feature writer. Later, she signed on as a public relations associate at Bader Rutter in Brookfield, and served as managing editor and farm editor at The Reporter, a daily newspaper in Fond du Lac.

She has been a member of American Agricultural Editors’ Association (now Agricultural Communicators Network) since 2003.

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