Seed industry loses longtime leader
West Bend — It is with deep sadness that the Executive Committee of Dairyland Seed share that General Manager Tom Strachota suffered a sudden, massive heart attack and died on Monday, Nov. 21. At the time, he was doing one of the things he loved, playing tennis with friends. Tom was 63.
“Tom’s death is a tragic loss for all of us who considered him a close friend and co-worker as well as a loss for Dairyland Seed, our dealers, the community of West Bend, the state of Wisconsin and the U.S. seed industry,” said Dairyland Seed Sales Leader Gary Leeper. “It is truly a sad day for all of us as we have lost not only our leader, but a dear friend to every one of us. Few people enjoyed their dealers, customers or co-workers more than Tom. He always carried a smile and was genuinely happy to see and talk with everyone with whom he came into contact.”
Throughout his career Tom was involved in various leadership roles within the seed industry, and the American Seed Trade Association.
He was an emeritus member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Board of Visitors, and in 2002 he received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Tom served on several community and business boards near West Bend and most recently was 2015 co-chair of the United Way of Washington County with his wife, Patty. His family is so very proud of all his accomplishments and the wonderful example he set.
A Mass of Christian Burial in honor of Tom will be held Monday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in West Bend. Visitation will be at the church from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Memorials to the St. Francis Cabrini Education Endowment Fund, c/o St. Francis Cabrini Church, 1025 S. 7th Ave., West Bend, WI 53095, or the charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated by the family.