Department Celebrated the 35th Annual Recognition Banquet of the Gopher Dairy Club

A large number of people, including 60 undergraduate students and 110 parents, faculty, staff, and industry representatives, came together for the 35th annual recognition banquet of the Gopher Dairy Club on Sunday, February 17, in the ballroom of the Radisson Roseville, which is north of the St. Paul campus. A one-hour social started at 11:30 am followed at 12:30 pm by a steak dinner and a celebratory program.

Sheila Harsdorf, former Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, received the club's Golden Graduate Award, and Dr. Marshall Stern, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Animal Science, received the club's Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Jim Dickrell, Editor Emeritus of Dairy Herd Management was the featured speaker, and he predicted the future of the U.S. dairy industry and the future career opportunities within the industry.

Student members were recognized during the final half of the program. The University of Minnesota's two nominees for the Senior Student Recognition Program of National Dairy Shrine were announced, and they are Lauren Hendel, Caledonia, MN, and Brooke Roberts, Manitowoc, WI. Kaleb Kruse, Dyersville, IA, received the $2,000 Douglas Siem Memorial Scholarship, because he was the highest-ranking applicant for the club's new student scholarships. Ten freshmen were presented with $1,500 new student scholarships. Emily Annexstad, St. Peter, MN, was announced as the 2019 R. W. Touchberry Outstanding Junior in Animal Science.

Two club members in their sophomore year received the Outstanding Rookie award, which was renamed this year in memory of club member Dylan Fulton, and the recipients were Katherine Gathje, Richmond, MN, and Mikayla Erf, Oakdale, MN. Brooke Roberts, Manitowoc, WI, received the Outstanding Senior award, which was presented in memory of Dr. Bill Mudge, who was a founding co-adviser of the Gopher Dairy Club.


Jeannette Sheehan (right), dairy producer from Rochester, MN, provided the oral citation for Golden Graduate Award recipient Sheila Harsdorf.

Club Secretary Lauren Hendel provided the oral citation for Distinguished Service Award recipient Dr. Marshall Stern.

Senior Student Recognition Award nominees for National Dairy Shrine were presented awards by Judd Hansen (center), representing Genex/CRI, to Brooke Roberts (left) and Lauren Hendel (right).

Katie Thompson, Plainview, MN, who was the 2018 Douglas Siem Memorial Scholarship recipient, provided the oral citation for Kaleb Kruse, who is the 2019 recipient.

Ten freshmen members of the club received $1,500 new student scholarships. Front row (l. to r.): Ellen Harth, Isabelle Lindahl, Bailey Ruen, club Treasurer Mike Slater (presenter), Kjersten Veiseth, and Nick Seitzer. Back row (l. to r.): Carter Herbst, Zach Uter, Leif Annexstad, Matthias Annexstad, and Isaac Nelson.

Emily Annexstad was presented the plaque as the R. W. Touchberry Outstanding Junior in Animal Science by Department Head Mike Schutz, who was the first recipient of the award in 1983.

Katherine Gathje (left) and Mikayla Erf (right) were announced as the Dylan Fulton Outstanding Rookies. Dylan Fulton's family attended the banquet including parents Paul and Kayleen and siblings Wyatt, Mackalyn, and Jenna.

Rachel Coyne (left), Spring Valley, WI, provided the oral citation for Outstanding Senior Brooke Roberts.