Following a year’s absence due to the coronavirus, Alltech – a multi-dimensional agricultural company that provides, animal feed, herd analytics quality forage, cow comfort and talent development – brought its dairy school back to Lambeau Field in early December.
More than 150 dairy producers, farm employees and other agriculture industry professionals from throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota were on hand for the daylong event that began with a panel discussion on animal welfare.
“The Comeback – Stronger, More Innovative, Forward Thinking” – was the theme of the event, which reflected the strong return of the dairying following the pandemic’s effect on the industry in 2020.
Informative sessions presented valuable information on measuring the cost of milk production and raising calves to reach their genetic potential and tips for building a stable and high functioning dairy team.
Importance of employees
The dairy school also honored several employees who were nominated by farm owners or managers.
“Today, more than ever we know those who work in the dairy industry are essential,” declared Jorge Delgado with Alltech’s Training and Talent Development program for dairy workers. “The best employees add value to the dairy by thriving in their roles, cultivated by a positive on farm culture of teamwork and accountability.”
As a way to highlight the hard work of those on the farm, Alltech developed the Most Valuable Employee award for dairy workers. This award recognizes individuals on dairy farms who possess an exceptional work ethic, exhibit integrity, and truly engage in their responsibilities.
The top three candidates for this year’s Alltech’s MVE Award were: Sheila Leider from Soaring Eagle Dairy of Newton; Ian Manthe from Stony Creek View Dairy of DeForest and Alex Araugo from Paramount Calves, Darlington.
Leider was nominate by Julie Maurer, who said, “She is considered nothing short of part of the family at Soaring Eagle Dairy. Her hard work for the last 35 years, working around men from different cultures, and three family generations has been critical to the success of the operation.”
Mauer added, “Sheila is dedicated, timely and has an eye for the details that make her irreplaceable – not to mention that she is a great baker, which is now celebrated as Treat Tuesday on Soaring Eagle Dairy. Sheila is the kind of team member we can all hope to have, one that makes everyone around her better.”
Manthe was nominated by his sister Libby, who noted that Ian stepped up this year right away when his family needed him the most. After losing their father in a farm accident, Libby and Ian have taken over their family’s 450-cow dairy.
“Right away, after losing Dad, Ian became the go-to person while exceeding all the expectations of those around him,” she said. “His main responsibilities are maintenance of all the equipment, repairs around the farm, and field work. He has been willing to learn and grow in many aspects around the farm immediately using everything he learned from Dad.”
Araujo, who is the Livestock Manager of Paramount Calves, was nominated by Sarah Daugherty. “As a manager, Alex has set the example as someone that is dependable, organized, caring, and sets the standard for integrity. It takes a special person to see the details in managing calves while also providing strong leadership to a team – and that is what Alex has done,” said Daugherty.
She described him as “an exceptional person who has carried out his role caring for the farm and calves with the same standard of excellence.”
The 2021 winner of the Most Valuable Employee award for dairy workers was Ian Manthe from Stoney Creek View Dairy, Deforest. Manthe received a check for $500, as well as an engraved plaque.
“Alltech congratulates each of these employees on their nomination for this award,” said Delgato. “We acknowledge the dedicated work that they do every day. Alltech Wisconsin is very thankful with the dairy owners and managers for fostering the right environment for their employees to thrive. Thank you to the individuals who nominated each employee and for recognizing their dedication and talent.”
Source: Wisconsin State Farmer