Wisconsin dairy plays a significant role within rural communities; many who work in dairy are also community leaders, serving on boards for their schools, towns, counties and numerous other organizations.
This year, the Dairy Business Association and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin collaborated to unveil a new honor for dairy men and women who prioritize building trusted relationships with their neighbors and the surrounding community.
At DBA’s annual Dairy Strong conference tonight, the groups announced Doug Grotegut as the inaugural recipient of the Community Builder Award.
“I really enjoy sharing my farm with everybody,” Grotegut said in front of an audience at the KI Convention Center. “Reach out to people. It’s not just your farm, it’s your community. Do whatever’s right to help out.”
Grotegut co-owns and operates Grotegut Dairy Farm Inc., a third-generation family farm in Newton, Wis., and has long been a leader in the dairy community. The farm milks about 3,500 cows and manages about 3,350 acres of land.
Notably, Doug played a pivotal role in hosting the Manitowoc County Breakfast on the Farm, drawing thousands to the farm and educating the public about dairy farming in Wisconsin. His commitment to transparency is evident through the farm’s partnership with the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center. Each year, the farm hosts tours with individuals from across the globe, giving them an up-close-and-personal experience of what Wisconsin dairy is all about.
“Doug Grotegut’s dedication to his community and Wisconsin dairy is exemplary,” Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin CEO, said. “His efforts to engage the public, promote sustainable farming and actively engage in community events make him — and the entire Grotegut family — a remarkable recipient for the first Community Builder Award.”
Grotegut accepted the award from DBA President Lee Kinnard in front of family, friends and industry peers.
“The Community Builder Award is a testament to individuals’ or families’ role as a pillar of the community — exemplifying leadership, responsibility and a deep-seated commitment to their community,” Kinnard said. “(Doug) perfectly exemplifies what it means to build and give back to your community.”
More than 450 farmers representing over 280,000 cows, along with allied professionals, attended Dairy Strong. The two-day conference features presentations from leaders in dairy policy, farm management and sustainability.