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Wisconsin’s cream of the crop

Seven Wisconsin farmers are named 2023 Master Agriculturists.

Fran O'Leary

March 3, 2023

2 Min Read
2023 Wisconsin Master Agriculturists Eric and Carol Hillan with dairy cows at feeder in the background
2023 MASTERS: 2023 Wisconsin Master Agriculturists Eric and Carol Hillan milk 500 Holstein cows on their dairy farm near Ladysmith in Rusk County.Fran O'Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist — in partnership with FS Growmark; the ag law firm of Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider and Halbach SC of Chilton, Wis.; and Compeer Financial — presents the 2023 Master Agriculturist award to seven top achievers in farming, community service and leadership.

The Master Agriculturist program is the state’s oldest farm awards program and is one of the longest-running career-achievement honors programs in American agriculture. It dates back 93 years to 1930, when Wisconsin Agriculturist started honoring Wisconsin farmers for their hard work, dedication, farming success and exemplary leadership.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

All seven Master Agriculturists have worn many hats in their businesses and communities and have built top-notch farming operations. The winners were selected by a panel of judges for their proven abilities and accomplishments as progressive farmers, and for the time, effort and leadership they contribute to community, church, agricultural organizations and conservation.

The Master Agriculturist award is given to honor not only the selected individuals, but also their families. Learn more about this year’s winners, as well as who has been honored in the past, by watching WisconsinAgriculturist.com next week.

Related:Who’s who in Wisconsin agriculture, 2023 edition

Awards luncheon

The 2023 honorees will be recognized at an awards luncheon on March 30 at La Sure’s Banquet Hall in Oshkosh during the Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show, held at the nearby Experimental Aircraft Association Grounds.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon is Mierke Penterman, a dairy farmer and owner of Mierke Gouda Cheese in Thorp, Wis. Penterman and her husband, Rolf, immigrated to Thorp from the Netherlands 20 years ago.

The Master Agriculturist awards process begins by requesting a nomination form. Forms already are available for the 2024 awards. To obtain a form, call 920-960-9635 or email [email protected].

Read more about:

Master Agriculturists

About the Author(s)

Fran O'Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist Editor

Even though Fran 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.

Fran has 25 years of experience writing, editing and taking pictures. Before becoming editor of the Wisconsin Agriculturist in 2003, she 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 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.

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