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Pagel Named 'Top Producer of the Year' by Magazine
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/14/2017

A Kewaunee County farmer has been named 'Top Producer of the Year' for 2017 by Top Producer magazine. John Pagel of Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee was honored with the 18th annual award in Chicago recently, which is given to producers whose excellence in business can teach industry peers about value-added ventures, succession plans, overcoming adversity and more.

Pagel serves as CEO of Wisconsin's largest single-family-owned dairy operation, where he farms several thousand acres and owns three cheese manufacturing facilities. He also owns a farm-to-fork restaurant and food market in Green Bay.

The dairy began 70 years ago by John's parents, Carl and Garnet. When Pagel took the operation over in 1980, the family was only milking 65 cows and farming 380 acres. Over 5,300 cows are now housed at the farm, which employs 120 full-time and 10 part-time workers. Four of his children are also involved in the business.

Meanwhile, Richard and Roderick Gumz of Gumz Farms, a row crop and vegetable operation in Endeavor, was also a finalist for the award. Pagel and the Gumzes get to choose either a Steiger Rowtrac or a Magnum Rowtrac from Case IH for 150 hours of use.

The Top Producer Seminar attracts more than 900 attendees each year.

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