Cooperative Network taps Smith

Daniel Smith has been selected to lead Cooperative Network as its President & CEO, effective Feb. 28, 2018. In this role, Smith will direct all activities of the two-state operations. His primary duties include working with all cooperative sectors, membership recruitment, directing the legislative and regulatory agenda in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, and working closely with cooperative directors, managers and employees.

Smith has spent the last four years serving as the Agricultural Development Division Administrator at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Smith was tasked with farm and agri-business development services and marketing on a state, national and international level.

Smith succeeds John Manske who has lead the organization for over 25 years.  

Manske was instrumental in the support of legislation that furthered the cooperative way. He helped establish the Dairy Investment Tax Credit and Co-op Care, which allowed farmers to form a cooperative for the purpose of purchasing health insurance. He also led efforts to modernize the two statutes that govern cooperatives in Wisconsin: Chapters 193 and 185

Hansen, Solverson accept new roles

Amanda Solverson and Leah Marie Hansen will share management responsibilities following the retirement of Roger Hanson, longtime laboratory manager for Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires at the Westby. Solverson will take on the new role of semen processing and packaging coordinator. She will supervise laboratory personnel in processing semen and will also collaborate with the staff in Westby to develop and coordinate semen collection schedules for conventional and sex-sorted product lines.

Hansen joined the Hanson laboratory team in 2006 and will transition into the quality control and quality assurance manager. In this role, Hansen will work to ensure that all Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires semen meet quality standards. She will also oversee daily quality control data and maintain all laboratory equipment.

Dell new CEO at Landmark Services Coop

Landmark Services Cooperative board of directors has appointed James (Jim) Dell as the new chief executive officer, effective March 5, 2018. Dell has comprehensive management experience spanning 30 years in the cooperative system.

Most recently, Dell served as the vice president of grain at Cooperative Producers Incorporated in Hastings, NE, managing 82 million bushels of grain storage, and leading the transportation division consisting of a 55-vehicle fleet.

Peiffer wins Young Professional Award

Coleman Peiffer, business and investment attraction director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has received the 2018 Young Professional Award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA).

Recipients of the award are selected based on creativity, leadership and positive results toward economic development goals and objectives within Wisconsin. Peiffer, who has been with WEDC since June 2016, was selected in part because of his role in attracting the Foxconn Technology Group and HARIBO to Wisconsin in 2017 – two of the state’s largest economic development projects.

Barganz steps down

Bruce Barganz, Jefferson, is being honored as he steps down after 14 years of service on the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Council (ACCP). The six-member council meets quarterly to advise the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on its operation of the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program. As an employee of Insight FS, a division of Growmark Inc., Barganz represented pesticide dealers and commercial applicators on the council.

Galloway to serve on ice cream board

A Wisconsin dairy processor has been chosen to serve on the National Ice Cream Mix Association's (NICMA) board of directors. Ted Galloway, who serves as general manager of Classic Mix Partners, LLC in Neenah, was elected to a three-year term on the panel during the group's annual meeting in Florida this month. Galloway previously served as a member of the WI DATCAP's Raw Milk Policy Working Group. He is also past president of the NICMA, WDPA and the Trade Association of Proprietary Plants.

Boatman, Andrae achieve A.I. milestones

Two East Central/Select Sires artificial insemination technicians achieved significant milestones in their careers. Bob Boatman, Darlington, made East Central/Select Sires history by being the first to achieve 200,000 A.I. services. Rod Andrae, also of Darlington, was honored for achieving 150,000 A.I. services.

A celebration in Boatman’s honor was held at Prairieland Dairy, Belleville. Andrae's was hnored at Highway Dairy Farms, LLC., Darlington. Andrae worked with Accelerated Genetics for 16 years prior to joining EC/SS.

Retirements noted at APHIS

Three leaders at Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service have retired. Leaving the agency are Jere Dick, Associate Administrator since 2013; Bill Clay, who led Wildlife Services for 17 years; and Beverly Simmons, Deputy Administrator for APHIS’ International Services (IS), who was responsible for our operations abroad.  Assuming leadership roles in the wake of the retirements are: Cheryle Blakely as Deputy Administrator for International Services; Janet Bucknall will take over as Deputy Administrator; and Willie Harris, as WS’ Eastern Region Director. 

Olson, Gall join MorganMyers

MorganMyers has added Kristi Olson, senior associate, and Jordan Gaal, associate, to the team. Olson brings nearly 10 years of marketing and communication experience with agricultural associations and cooperatives to MM, including stints with organizations such as Illinois Farm Bureau and Landmark Services.

Gaal will join MorganMyers in May, upon graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in life sciences communication and a minor in digital studies. Gaal recently served an internship at Post Consumer Brands.

Okray heads up UPGA

Dick Okray is the new chairman of the United Potato Growers of America (UPGA). Okray assumed the 2-year position on Jan. 9, 2018, at the Potato Expo in Florida.  He succeeds outgoing chairman Jed Ellithorpe.  The new chairman runs Okray Family Farms in Plover.

Ax is dairy specialist for Vita Plus

Ty Ax has been named a Vita Plus Kennan dairy specialist.  Ax will work out of the Vita Plus Kennan facility and service livestock producers in north central Wisconsin.  He will use the most up-to-date ration formulation software to provide high-quality rations and cutting-edge solutions to help producers reach their goals.

Jolly-Breithaupt hired at Double S

Double S Liquid Feed Services welcomed Melissa Jolly-Breithaupt as Director of Research & Technical Services. In this new leadership position, Jolly-Breithaupt will provide technical expertise, support the sales team, design new trials and help shape the direction of the company’s product offerings. In addition, Jolly-Breithaupt will provide High Brix Agronomy Solutions (a division of Double S) tech and sales support, as well as organize, implement and analyze field trials.

Hagemann inducted into Hall of Fame

Following a 35-year career, Bob Hagemann has been inducted into the Wisconsin Auctineer’s Hall of Fame. The owner of Bob Hagemann Auction & Realty Service LLC was given the title during the WI Auctioneers Association Convention on Jan. 29. In addition to his latest honor, Hagemann is also a member and former president of the WAA. He is also a member of the Waterford FFA Alumnu and was recently elected president.

Simon named agri-business consultant

Matt Simon recently joined the consulting team at Agri-Business Consultants LLC.  Simon will provide business and consulting services for dairy producers located in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Some of his responsibilities include developing business plans for dairy modernization, enterprise consulting, business monitoring, financial training for staff and financial benchmarking.

Equity welcomes Klitzke

Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association welcomed Julie Klitzke to the team as Executive Administrative Assistant. Klitzke brings over 30 years of experience to her new role. She will provide administrative support in an organized and timely fashion and will be a valuable asset to the organization's Board of Directors and Executive Management Team.

Krieg joins Holstein Foundation trustees

Dieter Krieg is the newest member of the Holstein Foundation Board of Trustees. The board oversees the direction of the Holstein Foundation's youth and young adult educational and leadership development programs. Born in Germany, he came to the United States as a 10-year old boy and enjoyed life growing up with Registered Holsteins®. He is a Penn State graduate with a degree in dairy science.

Gage takes on new role at WEDC

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced that Mary Gage, senior director of economic development, has been named to the board of the Mid-America Economic Development Council (Mid-America EDC). The council is a multi-state association that serves as a key resource for education, networking, and information sharing for economic development professionals and organizations in 12 states. Gage has been with WEDC since the organization was created in July 2011.

Adamson is new dairy goat specialist

Sarah Adamson has recently joined Vita Plus as a dairy goat specialist.  Adamson will take the lead to develop and grow the Vita Plus dairy goat program.  She will serve as the primary resource for all questions related to dairy goat nutrition and management and she will work closely with other Vita Plus staff, facilities, and dealer partners to service dairy goat customers in the existing marketing area.

Findlay to lead ASA

The American Soybean Association announced the selection of Ryan Findlay as its new Chief Executive Officer. Findlay replaces Stephen Censky, who left ASA in October of 2017 after confirmation by the U.S. Senate as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. The new CEO formally worked with Syngenta and the Michigan Farm Bureau.

Giacomini retires from CRI

Pete Giacomini, senior vice president of business development for Cooperative Resources International (CRI), retired Feb. 12, 2018. Throughout his career, Giacomini dedicated 32 years to the cooperative and contributed much to the dairy industry.

In 1985, Giacomini began employment with Wisconsin DHI Cooperative which later became known as AgSource Cooperative Services. For 27 years he served as the cooperative’s chief operating officer. In 2012 he accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Business Development with CRI, parent company of AgSource.

Walsh is operations coordinator at Equity

Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association has hired Kadence Walsh as the cooperative’s commodities team. Walsh will also work with the cooperative’s lamb pool and assist with online lamb auctions. She will also prepare cattle contracts and private treaty deals for producers.


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