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Kewaunee Dairy Producer Wins 61st State OYF Award
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/27/2014

A eastern Wisconsin dairy farmer has been named the winner of the 2014 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer award. Todd Augustian of Kewaunee earned the title in Green Bay on Saturday night after competing against six other finalists. Augustian operates a 420-cow dairy with his brother, Aaron, where they also raise 850 acres of corn, alfalfa and wheat.

Todd began farming in 2000 when he took over his parents' operation upon their retirement. In 2005, a barn fire wiped out his entire herd, so he started over by purchasing 30 cows and milking at a neighbor's vacant dairy farm.

"Two years after the fire, my brother joined me in the business and added more cows to the herd that I had began to rebuild," Todd told Wisconsin Ag Connection. "In 2009, we built a double-6 milking parlor and freestall barn on our family's original farm."

The Augustian brothers send their young stock to a custom heifer grower until they are 10-weeks of age. They will soon begin sending older heifers to another facility in Kansas to be raised and bred so they can concentrate their efforts on the milking herd.

A long-time volunteer of the Kewaunee Fire Department, Todd is a member of his local FFA Alumni affiliate and belongs to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. He also serves as a delegate for the Accelerated Genetics cooperative.

Meanwhile, Jim & Shelly Grosenick from Watertown were named first runners-up for the OYF competition, and were the 2014 'Speak-up for Agriculture' winners. The second runner-up was Christopher Davis of Wisconsin Dells.

Other finalists were Jeff & Angela Monson, Richland Center; Kyle Thompson, Barneveld; Aaron Wachholz, Montello; and Eric & Misty Vogel, Athens.

Meanwhile, last year's state runners-up, Brian and Nicole Barlass of Janesville, were recently named top 10 finalists for the same award at the national level. They will represent Wisconsin at the National OYF Awards Congress next month in Rapids City, South Dakota.

The Wisconsin OYF program was developed in 1954 to recognize the younger generation of successful agriculturists in the state. Winners are selected based on progress in their agricultural career, soil and water conservation and contributions to community, state and nation.

Diamond Sponsors of the OYF event included the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and BMO Harris Bank. Badgerland Financial, Jay & Kristi Richardson/Son-Bow Farms, and Lloyd & Daphne Holterman were this year's Platinum sponsors.

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