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WCMA Announces 2019 Award Recipients
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/07/2018

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association has selected ten individuals to be recognized at the 2019 Cheese Industry Conference for their outstanding work in the dairy manufacturing industry.

John Epprecht will be the 87th recipient of the WCMA's Life Member Award, which recognizes people who have played a significant role in the success of the Association through leadership, support, and service to the institution and its activities.

Epprecht serves as vice president and part owner of Great Lakes Cheese in Hiram, Ohio. He is a long-time and active member of WCMA and serves on the group's recognition committee.

Dave Fuhrmann, formerly of Foremost Farms USA, and Lou Gentine of Sargento Foods, will be named the WCMA Cheese Industry Champions. These awards are given only to industry leaders who, through their everyday business decisions, have created tremendous opportunity for others.

Joe & John Koss and Ron Kremer have been chosen to receive the WCMA Distinguished Service Award. Now retired co-founders of Koss Industrial, Inc., the Koss brothers dedicated more than 50 years of their lives to serving cheesemakers. Kremer was general manager of Beatreme Foods, which later became Kerry.

The Babcock Award will go to Rusty Bishop and Dr. John Lucey. Bishop spent 17 years as Professor of Food Science and Director of the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2010, he has worked as Director of Research and Development at Schreiber Foods in Green Bay. Lucey also served as a Food Science prof at Madison since in 2010. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to bring the industry dream of a renovated Babcock Dairy Hall to fruition.

And the Vanguard Award will be presented to Dale Baumgartner and Terry Lensmire. Baumgartner recently retired from his role as head cheesemaker Tillamook Cheese in Oregon. Lensmire has more than 40 years of cheesemaking experience working for Agropur, Inc.

The awards will be delivered to honorees at the 2019 Cheese Industry Conference Recognition Breakfast on April 18 in Madison.

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