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Wisconsinites Among Honorees of National Dairy Shrine Awards
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/01/2017

The National Dairy Shrine has announced the winners of its most prestigious awards that are given out each year during World Dairy Expo. Several dairy industry representatives from Wisconsin will be earning recognition during the group's annual banquet.

The NDS Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder of the Year is Tom Kestell of Evergreen View Farms in Waldo. Kestell's outstanding Holstein herd consists of over 130 milking cows with impressive type and breed leading production. The Evergreen View operation is home to 52 Excellents and 71 Very Good cows with a herd average score of 86 points. The rolling herd average at the end of 2016 on 94 cows was 44,122 pounds of milk, 1,680 lbs. of fat 1,362 lbs. of protein on 3 time a day milking. The Kestell herd was previously recognized by the Wisconsin Holstein Association with its Distinguished Breeder Award and by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture as the Farm Family of the year.

Through an anonymous selection committee, Arnold Knight of Markesan was among the selected individuals to be named a National Dairy Shrine Pioneer. Knight started his career as a dairy farmer, but later became a director and later president of the Wisconsin Guernsey Breeders Association. He also served on the board of the Wisconsin Purebred Dairy Cattle Association and on the board of World Dairy Expo. Throughout his lifetime Arnold fought for his fellow dairy breeders and became especially active in the development of multiple component pricing programs for dairymen, while he served as a breed fieldman. Arnold was honored by the American Guernsey Cattle Association with the Distinguished Service Award, by the Wisconsin Jersey Breeders with their Distinguished Service Award, and the Wisconsin Dairy Herd Improvement Association with their Friend of DHIA Award. Arnold was a member of National Dairy Shrine and really enjoyed working with dairy youth and served as a mentor to numerous farm kids.

The NDS Progressive Commercial Dairy Managers award goes to brothers Andrew and Brian Schilling of Darlington. This award is designed to recognize outstanding dairy managers early in their careers and to encourage others to look at a dairy production career. The Schillings milk 650 cows and crops 1,600 acres. Their herd has been honored with the Platinum Award by the National Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council three different times; and they have received the top award for milk quality from Rolling Hills Milk Cooperative for the last nine years. Their dairy has served as a host for the Lafayette County Dairy breakfast on the farm as well as other tours. The brothers also serve their community by serving on the Lafayette County Ag Stewardship Alliance, their local Town Board, and the rural Medical Ambulance Service. Both are active in their church as well.

The annual National Dairy Shrine Awards Banquet will be held October 5 in Madison.

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