John W. Schouten, Special Projects Manager and long-time CEO for World Wide Sires will receive the 2022 Dairy Shrine Guest of Honor award. This annual award represents the highest level of recognition from the Dairy Shrine and recognizes exemplary dairy leaders for their accomplishments and contributions to the dairy industry.
Prestigious dairy leaders unanimously describe Schouten as hard-working, passionate and innovative, citing both his personality and work achievements throughout his 40-plus-year career in the dairy industry.
Schouten grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Southern California. Upon graduation from Cal Poly, Schouten returned to the family farm for a brief time before joining the World Wide Sires team. He completed an intensive German language course through Goethe Institute in Germany and dove head-first into the international dairy scene. Since 1986, Schouten has held various roles within World Wide Sires, leading it through rapidly changing times with astounding success.
After beginning his career as an Area Director of Marketing – International Sales, Schouten progressed into the role of Vice President Marketing in 1993. He became CEO of World Wide Sires in 2001 and remains on the Special Projects team today. Since 2001, the company’s sales have increased by more than 500 percent.
Nominator Tony Evangelo, World Wide Sires Area Director of Marketing notes, “John led the company successfully through several downturns in the global dairy industry while continuing to embrace new technologies and ideas. His leadership in guiding the World Wide Sires team and his cultivation of the culture of the company has created an extremely loyal team of professionals who work as a cohesive unit while traveling the globe.”
Schouten has led World Wide Sires to be one of the best-respected global bovine genetics companies in the world. Throughout his career, he also served as chairman of the NAAB International Marketing Committee (IMC). He had the foresight to understand how the industry’s largest global barriers were non-tariff trade barriers, and he worked tirelessly alongside NAAB and other industry leaders to break down those barriers. Schouten also worked closely with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to open new doors for U.S. genetic imports and exports.
Evangelo adds, “John’s vision for the development of the U.S. dairy genetics industry has been a global vision from the beginning. He has recognized the benefits that farmers around the world have received by using U.S. genetics, and he has ensured that as many global farmers as possible have been able to access those genetics. John’s dedicated efforts have opened markets around the world and expanded the global reach for all U.S. dairy genetics industry exporters.”
According to Select Sires President and CEO David Thorbahn, Schouten’s leadership through World Wide Sires has enabled export of bovine embryos and semen from the U.S. to more than 90 countries. “Schouten’s effort, integrity and success has allowed him to grow to be one of the industry’s most respected leaders by dairymen, businessmen and government officials,” Thorbahn says. “Schouten worked on behalf of farmer owned cooperatives to pioneer opening and growth of markets in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.”
John Schouten will receive the Guest of Honor award at the Dairy Shrine awards banquet on Monday, October 3rd in Madison, Wisconsin. His portrait will then be displayed in the Dairy Shrine Dairy Hall of Fame and Museum in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. For more information about the Dairy Shrine, the banquet or this year’s award winners, please contact the Dairy Shrine at [email protected] or visit their website.