Former Markesan Guernsey breeder elected to Dairy Hall of Fame

Wisconsin State Farmer

DENMARK, WI - Former Markesan dairy farmer and Guernsey breeder Arnold Knight will be inducted into the National Dairy Shrine along with four other dairy industry pioneers during a special ceremony this fall.

Arnold Knight

Knight is being recognized for his service to the dairy industry with the coveted Pioneer Award.

"(Knight) is an outstanding representative of the dairy industry and the individuals recognized as Pioneers of the National Dairy Shrine only adds to the honor roll of leaders in the National Dairy Hall of Fame," Dairy Shrine officials noted in a news release.

Knight served in numerous leadership roles within the dairy industry. He started his career as a dairy farmer, but his leadership skills were soon noticed by others. In 1977, Knight and his wife, Joan, successfully dispersed their registered Guernsey herd so, that he could take on the role of Executive Secretary/Treasurer for the Wisconsin Guernsey Breeders Association. Later, he also served as a Director of the Wisconsin Purebred Dairy Cattle Association and World Dairy Expo.

Throughout his lifetime, Knight fought for, encouraged and assisted his fellow dairy farmers as a breed fieldman. His pioneering work in Wisconsin spread beyond the state and benefited the entire dairy industry.

Under his leadership, the Wisconsin Guernsey Breeders Association organized a young sire proving program focused on proving sires with high protein genetics. Knight, already recognizing protein was the most valuable milk component, knew in the future dairy farmers would be paid for their protein production.

He also was one of the first dairy leaders to encourage farmers to test their herd for Johne’s. In fact, he was instrumental in seeing that all the cattle consigned to the Great Northern Guernsey Classic test negative or be vaccinated for Johne’s. This was one of the first sales in the country to make such a requirement. Shortly, dairy farmers and sales in other states followed his example.

In addition, Knight became especially active in the development of multiple component pricing programs for dairymen. He travelled all over Wisconsin calling on cheese plants explaining the benefits of this new pricing system. He hosted countless meetings with dairy farmers explaining the need to price milk based on components, especially protein.

He worked very hard to convince the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to approve protein testing of milk. His efforts were successful-- protein premiums and cheese yield pricing were soon noticed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Multiple component pricing was written into the federal orders providing equal equity throughout the entire dairy industry.

Knight has also been 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. Knight was a member of National Dairy Shrine and served on the Board of Directors. He really enjoyed working with dairy youth serving as a mentor to numerous young farmers. Several dairy farmers are recognized each year with awards in his honor.

Knight along with fellow industry pioneers Frank Kosikowski, Edward Guthrie, Jack Remsberg and Larry Tande are known not only for what they have personally achieved, but also what they have contributed to the industry and other dairy professionals throughout their careers. These honorees will receive their awards at the annual National Dairy Shrine awards banquet, held on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.