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A new NSDA board member is welcomed; milk quality awards handed out at a state convention in Columbus.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

April 10, 2023

1 Min Read
dairy cow
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The movers and shakers in Nebraska’s dairy industry were honored at the annual NSDA convention in February in Columbus.Curt Arens

Winter weather slowed the crowd down a bit, but the Nebraska State Dairy Association annual convention went on as planned in February in Columbus.

As part of the convention, NSDA members welcomed Greg Bleeker as a newly elected board member and thanked Jason Nuttelman, Stromsburg, for his nine years of service to NSDA.

Along with the usual workshops and annual meetings and updates, NSDA welcomed Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen as a keynote speaker. The organization also distributed numerous milk quality awards to producers and honored others for their contributions to the industry in Nebraska.

This year’s Phillip H. Cole Industry Person of the Year was Ted Kinnison. He received the award that recognizes producers and industry professionals who are leaders in the industry and in their communities.

Kinnison recently retired after working 38 years as a milk sanitation rating officer with the dairy team at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. The award is named for Phillip H. Cole, a Nebraska dairy farmer who served as secretary/treasurer for NSDA from 1969-84.

The annual NSDA Friend of the Industry Award went this year to the Nebraska Soybean Board. The Holstein Association Award went to Melissa Konecky.

The annual herd production awards went to O and W Dairy, Orchard, earning first place, followed by Roger Sprakel Dairy, Crofton, in second and MPM West Farms, Wayne, taking third.

SCC Quality Awards went to Tuls Butler County Dairy South in first place, followed by Tuls Butler County Dairy North in second and Crook Dairy, Humboldt, in third. SPC Quality Awards went to Tuls Butler County Dairy North in first place, Crook Dairy took second, and Hennerberg Dairy, Diller, got third.

NSDA-Central Plains Dairy Foundation scholarships went to Sydney Schildt, $1,000; and Grant Fincham, $500.

Learn more at nebraskamilk.org.

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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