WDE Recognition Awards

Expo is once again honoring dairy industry leaders in three different categories including Dairy Producer of the Year, Industry Person of the Year, and International Person of the Year. 

2024 Expo Recognition Awards are presented in the following categories:

Dairy Producer(s) of the Year: Presented to a dairy producer whose primary source of income is derived from his or her dairy farm. This producer excels in efficient production and the breeding of quality dairy animals while incorporating progressive management practices. Award recipient’s community, government, marketing and World Dairy Expo involvement will also be considered.

Industry Person(s) of the Year: This award is presented in recognition of an individual’s excellence in research, development, education, marketing, manufacturing or other fields, which are a part of an industry or institution that provides goods or services to the dairy industry. A resident of the United States, this award recipient may be an active dairy producer whose primary achievements are industry focused.

International Person(s) of the Year: Living primarily outside of the United States, the individual who receives this award will be recognized for his or her contribution to international research, development, education, marketing, manufacturing or other fields, which are a part of an industry or institution that provides goods or services to the international dairy industry.

Congratulations to the 2024 Recognition Award honorees!

Dairy Producers of the Year Industry People of the Year International Person of the Year

Mike Larson, Ed & Barb Larson, Sandy Larson & Jim Trustem
Larson Acres, Inc.

Evansville, Wis.

Jim Barmore, Marty Faldet, and King Hickman
GPS Dairy Consulting, LLC
Lakewood, Minn.

Paul Larmer

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Recognition Awards Banquet

World Dairy Expo Recognition Award recipients are honored each year during the Recognition Awards Banquet during World Dairy Expo. This event will take place on Wednesday, October 2 at 7:00 p.m. in The Tanbark. A social hour will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in The Tanbark. 

Tickets can be purchased here until September 24, 2024. 

For questions, please contact Lisa Behnke at lbehnke@wdexpo.com or (608) 224-6455. 

Dairy Producers of the Year
Mike Larson, Ed & Barb Larson, Sandy Larson & Jim Trustem, Evansville, Wis., Larson Acres

The Larson family, Evansville, Wis., has been farming in southern Wisconsin for nearly a century. Focusing on three key pillars – quality, pride and family – Larson Acres is truly a superior example of modern dairy farming. Milking 2,800 Holsteins in both a conventional double-20 parallel parlor and a cross-ventilated double-22 parallel parlor, the herd averages 109 pounds of energy corrected milk daily, with a 4.68% fat, 3.4% protein and 56,000 somatic cell count. In addition to stellar production records, Larson Acres has bred 130 Excellent cows, 16 Gold Medal Dams, 40 Dams of Merit, four Gold Medal Sires and 16 regional and/or national Elite Performer Award recipients. The cows play a pivotal role at Larson Acres, but the people are just as important to the Larson family, opening their barn doors to welcome community members, industry leaders, fellow dairy producers, international guests, school children and more. 

Industry People of the Year
Jim Barmore, Marty Faldet, and King Hickman, Lakewood, Minn., GPS Dairy Consulting LLC

The three original partners, Jim Barmore, Dr. Marty Faldet and Dr. King Hickman, founded GPS Dairy Consulting LLC, an independent dairy nutrition and full management consulting business, from ground zero in 2009. GPS Dairy Consulting is an integrated team of over 15 independent consultants with additional support staff who work closely to provide a broad offering of services, educational events, tools, and expertise to deliver success to dairies in 10 states and internationally and has impacted more than 110 clients and 400,000 animals. Working and collaborating closely with many of the best dairies in the industry has yielded numerous nationally recognized and prestigious awards for dairy clients of GPS Dairy Consulting, such as Aldo Leopold conservation practices leading land and water sustainability, milk quality, herd reproduction, cheese quality, WDE Dairy Producer of the Year and more. Aside from helping their clients’ farms be successful, inspiring change and growing leaders in the dairy industry is the hallmark of success for GPS Dairy Consulting.

International Person of the Year
Paul Larmer, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Semex

Paul Larmer, of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, has dedicated his professional life to dairy cattle genetics, making a valuable global impact. Working specifically in the genetics industry since 1984, Larmer held positions at United Breeders Inc., Semex Alliance, and Alta Genetics Inc. before rejoining Semex in 2007 as Chief Executive Officer. As Semex’s CEO, his efforts culminated in an unprecedented 17 consecutive years of record-breaking sales and revenues, as well as delivering six Millionaire Sires to the industry. He oversaw multiple ground-breaking research and development projects that increased efficiency, profitability and sustainability for dairymen worldwide. These projects included enhancing dairy technology and genetics in China, establishing production center(s) in Hungary and Brazil, and most recently delivering a first-in-class Methane Efficiency Index to clients globally to increase industry sustainability. As of December 2023, Larmer retired from his position as Semex’s CEO and has transitioned into the role of Executive Advisor.

Past Recognition Award Winners

Dairy Producer of the Year

2024 Mike Larson, Ed & Barb Larson, Sandy Larson & Jim Trustem, Evansville, WI
2023 Randy Kortus, Lynden, WA
2022 John Ruedinger, Van Dyne, WI
2020 Jim Ostrom, John Vosters and Todd Willer, Kaukauna, WI 

Industry Person of the Year

2024 Jim Barmore, Marty Faldet, and King Hickman, Lakewood, MN
2023 Tom Morris, Amery, WI
2022 Shelly Mayer, Slinger, WI
2020 Steve Eicker, King Ferry, NY, & Connor Jameson, Tulare, CA
2019 Dr. Randy Shaver, Madison, WI
2018 Dr. Dan Hornickel and Dr. Chris Keim, Whitewater, WI
2017 Ben Brancel, Endeavor, WI
2015 Jim Dickrell, Monticello, MN
2014 Dr. Curtis P. Van Tassell, Beltsville, MD
2013 Dr. Ken Nordlund, DVM, Madison, WI
2012 Dr. Sheila M. McGuirk, Madison, WI
2011 Dr. H. Duane Norman, Fulton, MD
2010 Horace Backus, Mexico, NY
2009 Maurice Core, Columbus, OH*
2008 Dr. Michael Hutjens, Urbana, IL
2007 Steve Larson, Fort Atkinson, WI
2006 Gary E. Hanman, Kansas City, MO
2005 Maurice Mix, Brattleboro, VT*
2004 Peter Blodgett, Bensalem, PA*
2003 Calvin Covington, Ocala, FL
2002 Gregory Blaska, Sun Prairie, WI*
2001 David A. Wieckert, Middleton, WI*
2000 Miles R. McCarry, Deltona, FL*
1999 Roger L. Ripley, Baraboo, WI
1998 Dr. Neal Jorgensen, Luck, WI*
1997 David A. Morrow, State College, PA*
1996 Donald Storhoff, Baraboo, WI
1995 Richard H.L. Chichester III, Falmouth, VA
1994 W. Terry Howard, Madison, WI*
1993 Doug Wilson, Shawano, WI
1992 Leland Allenstein, Whitewater, WI*
1991 Robert McKown, Sandy Creek, NY*
1990 Richard E. Nelson, Brattleboro, VT*
1989 Arthur Nesbitt, Fort Atkinson, WI
1988 Eugene Meyer, Fort Atkinson, WI*
1987 James W. Crowley, Madison, WI*
1986 Robert Thayer, Madison, WI*
1985 Thomas L. Lyon, Shawano, WI*
1984 Willard G. Clark, Hanford, CA*
1983 Elmer Woelffer, Oconomowoc, WI*
1982 Robert E. Walton, DeForest, WI
1981 Glen H. Lake, North Branch, MI
1980 Harold E. Kaeser, Columbus, OH
1979 Robert H. Rumler, Brattleboro, VT*
1978 Truman F. Graf, Madison, WI*
1977 James F. Cavanaugh, Columbus, OH*
1976 Herbert L. Forrest, Washington, DC
1975 Kenneth A. Wallin, Shawano, WI
1974 Harold E. Calbert, Madison, WI*
1973 Harry A. Herman, Columbia, MO
1972 Glenn Pound, Madison, WI*
1971 David Parr, Little Rock, AR*
1970 William Knox, Fort Atkinson, WI*
1969 Truman Torgerson, Manitowoc, WI*

International Person of the Year

2024 Paul Larmer, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
2023 Bonnie Cooper, North York, Ontario, Canada
2022 Mark Comfort, Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
2020 Wijnand Pon, Garnwerd, Groningen, Netherlands
2019 Dr. Julio A. Brache Arzeno, Santo Domingo, DN, Dominican Republic
2018 Alastair Pearson, Beijing, China
2017 Derrick Frigot, Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
2015 Kevin D. Lang, Howick, South Africa
2014 Lowell D. Lindsay, Guelph, ON, Canada
2013 Pedro Hugo Testa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2012 Dr. Abelardo Martinez, Tlalnepantla, Mexico*
2011 Mrs. Anne Perchard, St. Martin, Jersey, C.I., United Kingdom
2010 Mr. Tadanaga Komori, Hokkaido, Japan
2009 Dr. Jan Philipsson, Uppsala, Sweden
2008 Dr. Hubertus Diers, Altenberge, Westfalia Germany
2007 Dr. Juan A. Debernardi, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2006 Dr. Joao Floriano Casagrande, Barretos, SP, Brazil
2005 Shinichiro Nosawa, Tokyo, Japan*
2004 Gonzalo Maldonado Gomez , Bogota, Colombia
2003 Peter Padfield, Essex, United Kingdom
2002 James Thwaites, Taranaki, New Zealand
2001 Pieter Nicholas Pentz, Cape Town, South Africa
2000 Heinrich Meli, Switzerland
1999 Holger Moritz Hansen, Kerteminde, Denmark
1998 Jan Bierma & Han Hopman, Steins, The Netherlands
1997 Dr. (Miss) Amrita Patel, Vallabh Vidyanagar, India
1996 Robert H. Rumler, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, United States*
1995 Jake Chardon, The Netherlands
1994 John Edward Moffitt, United Kingdom
1993 Verghese Kurien, Calicut, India
1992 Roland Singy, Posieux, Switzerland
1991 Gonzalo F. Cevallos, Urueta, Queretaro, Mexico
1990 Julio R. Brouwer, Key Biscayne, Florida, United States*
1989 Lajos Szaleczky, Budapest, Hungary
1988 Giuseppe Santus, Brescia, Italy
1987 George Murray Clemons, Brantford, Ontario, Canada*
1986 Gunther Rath, West Germany
1985 Maria Stolzman, Warsaw, Poland
1984 Tsutomu Utsunomiya, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
1983 Gustav Wilke, Fockinghausen, West Germany
1982 Galo Plaza, Quito, Ecuador*

Dairy Woman of the Year 
(Award category has transitioned to Dairy Producer of the Year)

2019 Janina Siemers, Newton, WI
2018 Jeannette Sheehan, Rochester, MN
2017 Marilyn Hershey, Cochranville, PA
2015 Rosalie Geiger, Reedsville, WI
2014 Pam Bolin, Clarksville, IA
2013 Karyn S. Schauf, Barron, WI
2012 Mary Shank Creek, Hagerstown, MD
2011 Donna Myers, New Windsor, MD
2010 Liz Doornink, Baldwin, WI
2009 Daphne Holterman, Watertown, WI
2008 Marion Barlass, Janesville, WI
2007 Deborah Lee Reinhart, New Holstein, WI
2006 Janet Shank Stiles, Boonsboro, MD
2005 Donna Sharp, Bath, SD
2004 Cris Peterson, Grantsburg, WI
2003 Linda Hodorff, Eden, WI
2002 Rita Kennedy, Valencia, PA*
2001 Judy Iager, Fulton, MD
2000 Berneta Snider Gable, New Enterprise, PA
1999 Deanna Stamp, Marlette, MI
1998 Mary Lou Topp, Botkins, OH
1997 Joann Hartman, Waterloo, IL*
1996 Harriet M. Brown, Hastings, MN*
1995 Barbara Spoon, Broken Arrow, OK*
1994 Bonnie Jo Ayars, Mechanicsburg, OH
1993 Joyce Bupp, Seven Valleys, PA
1992 Joan Brown, Hughson, CA
1991 Myrna Sue Jones, Marshall, WI*
1990 Norma Lyon, Toledo, IA*
1989 Beatrice Moons, Chino, CA
1988 Esther Welch, Polk, OH
1987 Imogene Woodside, LaCenter, WA
1986 Virginia Boyke, Fond du Lac, WI*
1985 Doris Hetts, Fort Atkinson, WI*
1984 Ardath DeWall, Shannon, IL
1983 Gloria Conant, Richmond, VA*
1982 Alice Oosterhof, Mt. Vernon, WA
1981 Audrey Sickinger, Cato, WI*
1980 Ann Randall, Balsam Lake, WI
1979 Arlene Becher, Berne, IN*
1978 Jocelyn Rhein, Brownsville, WI*
1977 Joyce Whitis, Stephenville, TX*
1976 Barbara Hasfurder, Eminence, KY
1975 Laura Beane, Fort Atkinson, WI*
1974 Jane Skogman, Cambridge, MN
1973 Virginia Benton, Lebo, KS

Dairyman of the Year
(Award category has transitioned to Dairy Producer of the Year)

2019 Steve Maddox, Burrel, CA
2018 Pete Kappelman, Two Rivers, WI
2017 Charles Ahlem, Turlock, CA
2015 Hank Van Exel, Lodi, CA
2014 James S. Huffard III, Crockett, VA
2013 Velmar Green, Elsie, MI
2012 John B. Fiscalini, Modesto, CA*
2011 Alan, Jim, David & John Koepke, Oconomowoc, WI
2010 Donald Bennink, Bell, FL
2009 David Hileman, Tyrone, PA
2008 Charles, George, Tom & Mark Crave, Waterloo, WI
2007 Frank Regan, Waukon, IA
2006 Louis E. “Red” Larson, Okeechobee, FL*
2005 Marvin Nunes, Windsor, CA*
2004 Donald T. Peterson, Cashton, WI
2003 Tom Camerlo, Florence, CO*
2002 Wally Lindskoog, Turlock, CA*
2001 Richard* & Gerald Coyne, Avon, NY
2000 Howard Voegeli, Monticello, WI*
1999 Niles & Elmo Wendorf, Jr., Ixonia, WI
1998 Samuel Minor, Washington, PA*
1997 Robert “Bob” Giacomini, Point Reyes Station, CA
1996 John Selz, Humbird, WI*
1995 Richard Clauss, Hilmar, CA
1994 Obie Snider, Imler, PA*
1993 Clarence Boyke, Fond du Lac, WI*
1992 Jack Hardesty, Berryville, VA*
1991 Donald V. Seipt, Easton, PA
1990 David Younger, Yorktown Heights, NY*
1989 Richard Shade, Rockton, IL
1988 Norman Barker, Pratt, KS*
1987 Russell J. Wirt, Lewiston, MN*
1986 W. Charles McGinnis, Mountville, SC*
1985 Eugene Nelson, Union Grove, WI*
1984 David G. Smokler, Lancaster, TX*
1983 John L. McKitrick, Plain City, OH*
1982 G. Joe Lyon, Toledo, IA*
1981 William A. Powell, Princeton, MO*
1980 Lyle F. Viney, Evansville, WI*
1979 Keith King, Oneida, IL*
1978 Ivan K. Strickler, Iola, KS*
1977 Wesley N. Sawyer, Waterford, CT
1976 Lyman D. McKee, Madison, WI*
1975 Edward A. Reed, Lyons, KS*
1974 Avery A. Vose, Antioch, IL*
1973 J. Homer Remsberg, Middletown, MD*
1972 Louis Longo, Glastonbury, CT*
1971 John Moser, Louisville, KY*
1970 Melvin Sprecher, Sauk City, WI*