Awards and Recognition

Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association

2022 UMDIA Awards

Each year, individuals from the dairy community are nominated for their work within UMDIA and the dairy industry. These awards are awarded at the UMDIA Annual Meeting.

Award categories include:

  • Dairy Service Award – Any member who is actively working toward the attainment of quality milk, including regulatory and laboratory persons, Dairy Support representatives and educational professionals.
  • Field Service Award – Any member who is working in a field service role and actively pursuing the attainment of quality milk.
  • Award of Merit – Any present or retired member who has demonstrated outstanding service toward the functional  activities of UMDIA.
  • Honorary Membership – Any retired, long standing member who has actively demonstrated participation in UMDIA.
  • Certificate of Retirement – Any retired member who has shown respect and support to UMDIA.
  • Certificate of Recognition and Remembrance – Former members of UMDIA who have passed away during this past year.

For more information and to download a copy of the award, click here. Applications are due by Wednesday, August 31.

Past Winners

2021

President’s Award: Scott Stude, UMDIA Treasurer
UMDIA Award of Merit: Nicole Studenski, UMDIA Past President
Field Service Award: Chad Thorston, First District Association
UMDIA Honorary Member: Joe Dittrich, Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Keith Graner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
UMDIA Dairy Service Award: Cory Salzl, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

2019

President’s Award: Dale Heintz, UMDIA Program Committee Chair (AgPartners)
UMDIA Award of Merit: Tom Berry, UMDIA Board Member (AMPI)
Field Service Award: Rod Moren, AMPI
UMDIA Honorary Member: Elaine Santi, Retired Minnesota Department of Agriculture & UMDIA Treasurer
UMDIA Dairy Service Award: Marlin Madery, IBA

2018

UMDIA Award of Merit: Jim Klein, UMDIA Board Member (Bongards’ Creameries
Field Service Award: Joel Titus, Plainview Milk Products Coop
UMDIA Honorary Member: Steve Gunderson, Retired Dairy Farmers of American & UMDIA Board Member
UMDIA Dairy Service Award: Roger Sik, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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

President’s Award

In recognition for dedicated service to the organization

2017: Elaine Santi, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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.

2017: Mike Phillips, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 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.

2017: Bob Zielsdorf, Prairie Dairy Farms, Inc.; 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.

2017: Wayne Weldon, LeSueur Cheese – Agropur; 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 Association; 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.

2017: Wayne Weldon, LeSueur Cheese – Agropur; 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.

2017: Mike Phillips, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Wayne Weldon, LeSueur Cheese – Agropur, Bob Zielsdorf, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.; 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 Association; 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 Association; 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 & Remembrance

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