Awards and Recognition

Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association

Kudos! UMDIA Awards and Other Recognition


Congratulations to the following 2019 winners!

2019 UMDIA Dairy Service Award

For Outstanding Service

Marlin Madery


2019 UMDIA Field Service Award

For Outstanding Service

Rod Moren


2019 UMDIA Award of Merit

For Outstanding Service

Tom Berry

AMPI & UMDIA Board Member

2019 UMDIA President’s Award

For Outstanding Service

Dale Heintz

AgPartners Co-op and UMDIA Program Committee Chair

2019 UMDIA Honorary Membership

For Outstanding Service

Elaine Santi 

Retired Minnesota Department of Agriculture & UMDIA Treasurer


Congratulations to the following 2018 winners!

2018 Dairy Service Award

Roger Sik

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

2018 Field Service Award

Joel Titus

Plainview Milk Products Coop

2018 Award of Merit

Jim Klein

Bongards’ Creameries & UMDIA Board Member

2018 UMDIA President’s Award


2018 UMDIA Honorary Membership

Steve Gunderson

Retired Dairy Farmers of American & UMDIA Board Member


Congratulations to the following 2017 winners!

2017 Dairy Service Award

Mike Phillips

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

 2017 Field Service Award

Bob Zielsdorf

Prairie Dairy Farms, Inc.

 2017 Award of Merit

Wayne Weldon

LeSueur Cheese – Agropur, UMDIA Board Member

2017 UMDIA President’s Award

Elaine Santi

MN Dept of Agriculture, UMDIA Board Member

 2017 UMDIA Honorary Membership

Wayne Weldon

LeSueur Cheese – Agropur, UMDIA Board Member

2017 Certificate of Retirement

Mike Phillips, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Wayne Weldon, LeSueur Cheese – Agropur

Bob Zielsdorf, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.

2017 Certificate of Recognition and Remembrance

David Mooney, Retired, MN Department of Agriculture

Gene Watnaas, Retired, UMDIA General Manager

We recognize the following past recipients for their contributions to UMDIA and the dairy industry.

Dairy Service Award

All members who are actively working toward the attainment of quality milk, including regulatory and laboratory persons, dairy support representatives and educational professionals.

2016, Rueben Nilsson, Lone Grazer Creamery, UMDIA Board Member; 2015, Christa Schlosser, Stearns DHIA, UMDIA Board Member; 2014, David Weinand, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 2013 Ron Collett, DFA; 2012 Jewel Mihm, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 2011 Tom Honse, AMPI New Ulm; 2010 Greg Pittman, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 2009 Otto Trampe, MN Dept of Ag; 2008 Sherry Newell, Midwest Dairy Association; 2007 Bernice Genoch, Bongards’ Creamery;  2006 Dr. Jeff Reneau, University of MN;  2005 Vernal Olson, MN Dept of Ag; 2004 Lisa Ramacher, MN Dept of Ag;  2003 Jeff Johnson, Land O’Lakes;  2002 Deane Larson (posthumously)  MN Dept of Ag; 2001 Jack Ulrich, First District Association; 2000 Larry Krienke, Land O’ Lakes;  1999 Harvey Eckman, MN Dept of Ag

Field Service Award

All members who are working in a field service role and actively pursuing the attainment of quality milk.

2016, Roger Grittner, Sunrise Ag Cooperative; 2015, Marlin Kohls, Bongards’ Creameries; 2014, Kevin Rausch, Associated Milk Producers Inc; 2013, Roger Nelson, National Farmers Organization; 2012 Steve Gunderson, Dairy Farmers of America; 2011 Nate Mohr, First District Association; 2010 Arvid Fristad, Land O’Lakes; 2009 Bob Finnesgard, AMPI;  2008 Rich Hanson, Land O’Lakes; 2007 Glen Brase, Land O’Lakes;  2006 Dennis Sparby, Land O’Lakes;  2005 Don Schweistahl, Land O’Lakes; 2004 Jim Klein,  Bongards’ Creamery;  2003 Paul Hurt,  Hastings Co-op Creamery;  2002 Richard Bradley,  Foremost Farms;  2001 Alfred Aschenbrenner, Jr., AMPI;  2000 Dennis Johnson,  LeSueur Cheese;  1999 Dale Heintz,  Land O’Lakes

Award of Merit

All present or retired members who have demonstrated outstanding service toward the functional activities of UMDIA.

2016, Steve Gunderson, Dairy Farmers of America; 2015, Jeff Johnson, Land O’Lakes; 2014, Pat Hanson, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 2013, Jeff Reneau, University of Minnesota; 2012 Dan Tjosaas, Land O’Lakes; 2011 Wayne Witzel, NW Food Product Trans; 2010 Christa Schlosser, Bongards’ Creamery; 2009 Gene Watnaas, UMDIA; 2008 Leo Jacques, AMPI; 2007 Jeff Johnson, Land O’Lakes; 2006 Paul Nierman, DQCI, Inc.;  2005 Lisa Ramacher, MN Dept of Ag; 2004 Dale Heintz,  Land O’Lakes;  2003 Jack Ulrich, First District Assn;  2002 Bruce Steege,  Dairy Farmers of America; 2001 Elaine Santi, MN Dept of Ag;  2000 Larry Twedt, Land O’Lakes;  1999 Dan Erickson,  MN Dept of Ag.

UMDIA Honorary Membership

All retired, long standing members who have  actively demonstrated participation in UMDIA.

2012 Pat Hansen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 2011 Greg Pittman, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 2010 Gene Watnaas, UMDIA; 2009 Dale Current, National Farmers Organization; 2008 Joel Stangeland, MN Dept. of Ag;  2007 Paul Hurt, Hastings Co-op Creamery;  2006 Winty Dokkenbakken, Dairy Farmers of America;2005   Jack Ulrich, First District Association;  2004 Gerald Wagner,  Lastrup Co-op Creamery;  2003 Gary Graphenteen, First District Association;  2002 Virgil McLaird,  DQI Inc.;   2001 Larry Twedt, Land O’Lakes;  2000 Arland Sperr, Dairy Farmers of America;

Certificate of Retirement

All retiring members who have shown respect and support to UMDIA.

2016, Ron Collett, Dairy Farmers of America; John Gullickson, MN Dept of Agriculture; Steve Gunderson, Dairy Farmers of America; Bruce Steege, Dairy Farmers of America; 2015, Leo Jacques, AMPI; Marlin Kohls, Bongards’ Creameries; Steve Sneer, Land O’Lakes; 2014, Dayle Radde, MDA; Bernice Genoch, Bongards’ Creameries; Clifford Patrick, MDA; Jeff Reneau, University of Minnesota; 2012, Ray Cherry, Land O’Lakes; Dan Tjosaas, Land O’Lakes; Rose Tri, AMPI; Karla Keute, AMPI; 2011 Pat Hanson, Elvin Norling, Greg Pittman, Otto Trampe, Minnesota Department of Agriculture;  2010 Keith Fruwirth, AMPI; Harold Schepersky, First District Assn; 2008 Joel Stangeland, MN Dept. of Ag;  2007 Paul Hurt, Hastings Co-op Creamery; 2006  Lyle Fluegge AMPI;  Ron Hurlbut- MN Dept of Ag; Rich Meyer – Bongards’ Creamery;  Paul Nierman- DQCI; Don Feige- Anderson Custom Processing; 2005  James Bye – National Farmers Org.; Dave Pawlitschek – NFO;   Betty Wickstrom – AMPI, Duluth; Del Blackwell – First District Assn.; Winty Dokkebakken – Dairy Farmers of America;  2004  Jack Ulrich – First District Assn.; 2003  Gary Graphenteen – First District Assn;  Deane Behnke – AMPI; James Kohnen – Nelson Creamery; 2002  Fritz Aschenbrenner – AMPI; Allen Gulbranson – First District Assn.;  John Paulmann – Bongards;  Bob Weber – AMPI;  Dick Wuttke – AMPI; 2001  Eddie Liesenfeld – DFA;  Neal Scott – MN Dept of Ag.; Ron Leaf – First District Assn.; 2000  Larry Krienke, Herb Steffl, Carol Stennes, Larry Twedt, Gerald Wagner, Don West ; 1999  LeRoy Messer

Certificate of Recognition & Rememberence

Former members of UMDIA who have passed away during the past year

2017 Gene Watnass, (retired) General Manager UMDIA; Eugene Krukeburg, Hope Creamery Buttermaker; David Mooney, MN Dept of Agriculture; 2016 Ken McMahon, AMPI; 2010 Joel Stangeland, MN Dept. of Ag; 2005  Mike Sohl – Land O’Lakes;  Keith Gartner – Foremost Farms;  Stanley Perouka – MN Dept of Ag; Bob McIntosh – AMPI; 2003  Dennis Decker – Nelson Jameson; 2002  Deane Larson – MN Dept of Ag;  Jim Rolloff – AMPI, New Ulm;  Eugene (Bud) Bodecker – AMPI, Duluth