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Burclaw Earns First-Ever WCO Employee of the Year Award
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/07/2017

The Wisconsin Custom Operators has honored an Amherst man for his hard work and dedication during a time of extreme grief and transition. The group bestowed its first-ever 'Employee of the Year' award to Steve Burclaw, an employee of Biadasz Farms--which is the Portage County operation in which one of its owners lost his life after being overcome by toxic gases near an outdoor manure pit last summer.

Burclaw has worked for Biadasz Farms since 2014, where he helps care for the family's 900 starter-to-finish steer operation and assists with the custom farming business. He was the first person to discover his boss and best friend, Mike Biadasz, when he died on August 15.

The day after Mike's death, a custom harvesting client had approximately 300 acres of hay cut for chopping, so Burclaw organized a chopping and hauling crew.

"Mike was the only person who operated the New Holland FR650 self-propelled chopper. Steve took the initiative to recruit two friends to train him that day with no prior knowledge of operating the machine," said Mike's mother Diane. "Within two or three hours, Steve had mastered operating the chopper, but it was a very emotional day without Mike there by his side."

WCO created this new award to honor an exemplary employee who demonstrates excellence in the areas of safety, efficiency, customer service, environmental stewardship and profitability of a custom farming or custom harvest operation.

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