Dairy Industry Honors Hutjens

URBANA, US - A leading dairy industry group has named University of Illinois Extension Dairy Specialist Mike Hutjens as the 2008 Industry Person of the Year, writes Bob Sampson. World Dairy Expo, Inc. will present the award Oct. 1 during its annual exposition in Madison, Wisconsin.
calendar icon 19 August 2008
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World Dairy Expo is the world's largest dairy event. "No one has been more instrumental in raising levels of knowledge" about the dairy industry than Hutjens, the awards committee noted. The award recognizes Hutjens' role in "building a worldwide industry connecting people, technology, and commerce."

Robert A. Easter, dean of the U of I College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, said that Hutjens' career, as well as the award, reflect the university's dedication to helping agriculture meet new challenges.

"He is the essence of the land-grant university mission"
Robert A. Easter, dean of the U of I College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

"Mike is a good example of taking research information to the people who can apply it to their enterprises and lives. He is the essence of the land-grant university mission," he said.

Neal Merchen, head of the Department of Animal Sciences, agreed.

"Over the past 30 years, I can't think of anyone who represents the face of academia to the dairy industry more than Mike Hutjens," he said. "This recognition is especially important because it is presented by the stakeholders in the industry and attests to the impact that Mike has had in sharing his knowledge with the producers."

Although he has received numerous honors during his three decades in Extension dairy work, Hutjens termed the World Dairy Expo award as "unique."

"This award is from the industry--the companies, dairy managers, agri-business, and producers--that I serve," he said.

Born and raised on a 313-acre, 70-cow dairy farm near Green Bay, Wisconsin, Hutjens received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1971 until 1979, he was an Extension dairy specialist at the University of Minnesota. Joining the U of I Department of Animal Sciences in 1979, Hutjens has served as a faculty member and Extension specialist.

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