Terri Dallas, vice-president of information and public relations for Cooperative Resources International (CRI) was honored as the 2014 Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at its Awards Banquet on April 24.
Dallas has been with CRI for 28 years and in her current role for the past 11 years. She manages a staff of 18 in her division, which is responsible for membership, public relations, customer service and web-based initiatives.
Dallas is a past member and president of both the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation and the Wisconsin Club Lamb Association Board, and a current member of the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Board, the Wisconsin Cooperative Network Board, the Cooperative Foundation Board, and the Wisconsin Agricultural Education and Workforce Development Council.
In addition to her contributions to the dairy industry, Dallas is respected for her leadership in her local community. She has volunteered for nearly every FFA, dairy promotion and 4-H activity in Shawano County. Dallas is a long-time 4-H leader and has served on several key committees.
In his nomination letter, R. Douglas Wilson, chief executive officer of CRI, noted that through these various roles Dallas has "touched thousands of Wisconsin agricultural producers and youth. In agricultural cooperative work and youth work, she would be among the most sought after people to help guide programs."
Dallas has been a strong supporter of agriculture at UW-River Falls. Through her efforts, CRI was the first donor to the UWRF Dairy Learning Center. More recently, she has worked with faculty to provide student scholarships for reproductive physiology training.
At the Awards Banquet, Dallas offered some advice to students and future ag leaders, "stay in agriculture and give back to those organizations that have gotten you to where you are today." She noted how the "cow" helped her succeed by teaching her hard work and determination. She went on to say that everyone has their own "cow" and she encouraged them to volunteer and give back to that "cow."
The Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist award was established in 1970 to recognize individuals who have provided leadership, service and other contributions to the broader agricultural community. A charcoal sketch of each honoree hangs in the Agriculture Hall of Fame in the Agricultural Science building on the UWRF campus. For more information, visit http://www.uwrf.edu/CAFES/Awards.cfm.