The Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents recognized several members and supporters during its recent annual banquet in Wisconsin Dells.
An affiliate of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, WACAA is a professional organization for county, area and state Extension professionals to encourage excellence and professionalism in their work, improve effectiveness of Wisconsin Extension programs, provide assistance for agents to seek and participate in professional improvement opportunities, and recognize and promote superior achievement.
Those receiving top communication awards were Sara Mills-Lloyd, Oconto County agriculture agent, for her Personal Column entry about dairy barn fan maintenance and her Published Photo and Caption entry of a county fair beef exhibitor; Jennifer Blazek, Dane County dairy and livestock agent, for her Computer Generated Graphics Presentation entry on human resources training for dairy farms and her Feature Story about forage inventory evaluation; and Katie Wantoch, Dunn County agriculture agent, for her Farm City Day program entered in the Promotional Piece category.
Also honored were Richard Halopka, Clark County crops and soils agent, for his Individual Newsletter entry; George Koepp, Columbia County agriculture agent, for his Team Newsletter with local partners; Trisha Wagner, Jackson County agriculture agent, and Liz Binversie, Brown County agriculture agent, for their Video Production on safe handling of ag chemicals for Spanish-speaking employees; Amanda Young, Dodge County dairy and livestock agent, for her Fact Sheet about everyday genetics for dairy producers (finalist for the NACAA national award); agriculture agents Sandy Stuttgen, Taylor County, and Sara Mills-Lloyd, Oconto County, for their co-authored publication about gastrointestinal parasites in cattle; Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County agriculture agent, for her website design; and Heather Schlesser, Marathon County dairy and livestock agent, and Sandy Stuttgen, Taylor County agriculture agent, for a two-day farm financial management Learning Module they developed and delivered along with three other state Extension specialists (finalist for the NACAA national award).
Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County, also received the WACAA Search for Excellence in Livestock Production for her work developing and implementing an outstanding dairy hoof health extension education program through a joint research and publication effort with colleagues in northeast Wisconsin. Joy Kirkpatrick, UW-Madison Center for Dairy Profitability, received the WACAA Distinguished Service Award for her more than 10 years of work as a member of Cooperative Extension providing outstanding support for farm transfer and succession planning programs. Katie Wantoch, Dunn County agriculture agent, also received the Agriculture Awareness and Appreciation award for her work with the Chippewa Valley Farm-City two-day event, as well as the WACAA Achievement Award for Agriculture Agents with less than 10 years of experience for her work providing outstanding programs and support for farm business management and rural economic development in west-central Wisconsin.
Brian Luck, Extension farm machinery specialist in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at UW-Madison, along with Patty McManus, Extension fruit crop disease specialist and chair of the Department of Plant Pathology at UW-Madison, received the annual WACAA Second Mile Award for their exceptional effort supporting Wisconsin county agriculture agents in carrying out their educational programs. Corey Geiger, managing editor for Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine, was recognized as the annual “Friend of the County Agent” for his sponsorship and support of the annual WACAA communication awards, as well as his continued support for Extension through Hoard’s multimedia dairy industry print and digital publications.
In addition to Hoard’s Dairyman, WACAA awards are also sponsored by The Country Today, the Wisconsin Agriculturist, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and A&T Industries.