National Dairy Shrine names winners


DENMARK, Wis. — The National Dairy Shrine has announced the winners of the Guest of Honor, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder, Pioneer, Progressive Dairy Manager and Graduate Dairy Production awards for 2014.

These awards were designed to honor past, present and future dairy industry leaders who have contributed to strengthening and energizing the dairy industry.

Bernard Heisner is the Guest of Honor, the highest award. This award goes to an individual who has had a dramatic impact on the dairy industry and its future.

Bernard “Bernie” Heisner, general manager of COBA/Select Sires, has had a major role in dairy industry through his company and also the related industry organizations. In more than 20 years with COBA, the company has grown to more than $24 million in sales and 130-plus full-time employees.

COBA offices have also been utilized by the American Guernsey Association, Ayrshire Breeders Association, DHI Cooperative, Inc., Purebred Publishing and National Dairy Shrine, as headquarters over the years.

Heisner has served the industry in many roles and shared his communication and writing skills with numerous dairy groups.

Heisner has previously received recognition from the Ohio State Fair, Ohio 4-H Leadership Award, Ohio PDCA, The Ohio State University Dairy Service Award, Red & White Dairy Cattle Association and the National Dairy Shrine 4-E Award.

Dairy breeder

The NDS Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder is the Paul Chittenden Family from Schodack Landing, N.Y. The Chittenden Jersey herd carries the Dutch Hollow prefix and is known worldwide for producing high quality genetics and cattle with the popular polled gene.

Paul Chittenden has served on the national AJCA board (four years as president) and numerous committees.

The NDS Progressive Dairy Producers are Amanda Stiles Lutz, in the small herd division, and Peter Dueppengeiser, in the large herd division. They received a $2,000 travel stipend to attend an out-of-state conference or seminar to learn new techniques to improve their dairy business.

Peter Dueppengeiser operates Dueppengeiser Dairy Co. in Perry, N.Y. Peter and his brother, Michael, manage a Holstein dairy that milks 1,200 cows.

Graduate winner

Luke Huysman, of DeRuyter, N.Y., has been selected as the Graduate Dairy Production winner. This award goes to an active dairyman who has graduated from college in the last nine years and has already demonstrated excellent dairy management ability and financial stability.

Huysman, who did not grow up on a farm, became involved with the dairy industry by working on local dairies in the summer and soon decided on a dairy future.

During his college years he found time around classes to work 40-45 hours a week at local dairies. After graduation, he went to work as a dairy farm manager at Hermdale Farms in Seneca Castle, N.Y., and started acquiring his own herd.

The annual National Dairy Shrine awards banquet will be held Oct. 2 in Madison, Wis. during World Dairy Expo.

For more info. about the banquet or about students, producers and industry representatives being recognized by National Dairy Shrine, contact David Selner, executive director, at

More about the National Dairy Shrine mission and membership is also available online, at

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