Joe Horner, MU Extension dairy economist and executive secretary of the foundation, announced this year’s honorees:• Chris Hackman, Dairy Leadership Award. He is general manager of the Central Dairy division of Prairie Farms. He represents the third generation of the Hackman family to serve in a leadership role for Central Dairy. He began his career at the dairy, working part-time, while pursuing a degree in business from MU. He serves on the State Milk Board Advisory Committee and is past president of the Missouri Dairy Products Association. He continues to serve on the board and is legislative liaison. He is past president of the All Star Association board. He and his family live in Jefferson City.
• John Denbigh Jr., Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award. Denbigh is farm manager of MU’s Foremost Dairy Research Center near Columbia. He is responsible for the breeding, milking and feeding of the 205-head herd. He also participates in teaching and research activities at the farm. He manages five full-time employees and up to 12 student workers each year. Under his leadership, the dairy received the Progressive Genetics Herd Award from Holstein USA in 2015 and 2016. Since 2014, the dairy has earned 17 All-Missouri and Reserve All-Missouri awards from Missouri Holstein Association. He and his wife live in Columbia.
• C.H. Eckles, Pioneer Dairy Leader Award (posthumous). Eckles served as the head of the newly organized dairy husbandry department at MU, where he established the Holstein breed. One of the heifers produced 26,861.5 pounds of milk containing 740 pounds of butterfat in one year, the second-highest amount on record at the time. Eckles left MU to become chief of the division of dairy husbandry at the University of Minnesota. He was a founding member of Missouri Holstein Association and American Dairy Science Association. He died in 1933.
The Missouri Hall of Honors Foundation was established in 1988 following the merger of the Association of Missouri Dairy Organizations and the Missouri Dairy Association. The foundation recognizes outstanding leadership and achievement in the Missouri dairy industry and preserves its records and memorabilia through cooperation of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
For more information, go to MissouriDairyHallofHonors.com.