The Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents recently recognized several members during their 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 University of Wisconsin Division of Extension programs; provide assistance for agents to seek and participate in professional improvement opportunities; and recognize and promote superior achievement.

Those who received top communication awards included Lyssa Seefeldt, Marquette County Agriculture Agent; Greg Blonde, Waupaca County Agriculture Agent; Tina Kohlman, Fond du Lac County Dairy & Livestock Agent; Katie Wantoch, Dunn County Agriculture Agent, along with Jerry Clark, Chippewa County and Mark Hagedorn, Eau Claire County Agriculture Agents; Stephanie Plaster, Washington/Ozaukee County Agriculture Agent; Heather Schlesser, Marathon County Dairy and Livestock Agent; Adam Hady, Richland/Crawford County Agriculture Agent; and Sara Mills-Lloyd, Oconto County Agriculture Agent.

Mills-Lloyd also received the Achievement Award as recognition of her excellence in the field of professional Extension among WACAA members with less than ten years of service.

Clark received the Agriculture Awareness and Appreciation award for helping develop a farm safety program using a 35-mile bike ride with farm stops that featured various safety training information for both farmers and the public.

Wantoch also received a Search for Excellence Award for her work developing a Sustainable Agriculture Recognition Program.

Ryan Sterry, St. Croix County Agriculture Agent and Mark Hagedorn received the Search for Excellence in Livestock Production for their work a joint research and publication project with colleagues across the state comparing both cost and efficiencies between traditional and automated dairy calf housing/feeding systems.

Hagedorn also received the Distinguished Service Award for his excellence as a WACAA member with more than 10 years of Extension service.

Jenny Vanderlin, UW-Madison Center for Dairy Profitability, was recognized for more than 25 years of Extension work providing outstanding support for farm financial management and succession planning programs.

Don Drost, former Barron County Agriculture Agent (1976-97) also received the National Association of County Agriculture Agents Hall of Fame Award for his lifelong leadership and support to both the WACAA and NACAA.

Dr. Chris Baxter, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist at UW-Platteville along with Dr. Shawn Conley, Extension Soybean Specialist at UW-Madison received the annual WACAA Second Mile Award for their exceptional effort supporting Wisconsin County Agricultural Agents in carrying out their educational programs.

Julie Gabris, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin; Peg and Randy Urness, Fine Bine Farms, Rosholt; and Ron and Beth Fruit, WROC Radio in Richland Center; received the annual Friend of the County Agent award for their outstanding support of County Agents and their Extension programs.

The WACAA annual awards are sponsored by Hoard’s Dairyman, Wisconsin Agriculturist, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, The Country Today and A&T Industries.