Dean Dohle of Halfway, Mo., was presented the 29th Klussendorf-MacKenzie Award during the 53rd World Dairy Expo, in memory of Duncan MacKenzie, the 1961 Klussendorf winner. While year’s Duncan MacKenzie winner has an impressive dairy résumé, it is most important to note that Dohle exemplifies the standards that made Duncan MacKenzie the forbearer of this award.
While this year’s Duncan MacKenzie was raised on a beef cattle and hog operation, everything changed when Dohle began helping his aunt and uncle on their Guernsey dairy farm. That’s when he fell in love with the dairy cow.
At age 21, without any work lined up, the Missouri farm boy headed to Madison, Wis., and walked through the barns and eventually found work that year and more importantly found a lifelong vocation. For the past 27 years, Dohle, who took a leap of faith on that first trip, has not missed a World Dairy Expo ever since.
Fitting every attribute of a Klussendorf-MacKenzie winner, Dohle is always willing to help others. No matter the breed, or where he might stand in the class, he always sports a smile and helping hand because he appreciates and is humbled by the confidence others have placed in him.
Over the years, this year’s winner has been fortunate to work with breeders and cows from 35 states, Dohle serves on the World Dairy Expo Exhibitors Committee, and still gets as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning as he waits for the next World Dairy Expo to unfold.
As others quickly came to appreciate his talents, Dohle began to work with some of the greatest cows including the Brown Swiss, Timberline Jetway Toni EX-95; the Holstein, Woodfield Inspiration Lou EX-96; the Jersey, Responses Cheryl EX-95; the Brown Swiss, SCF James Vix EX-94; and his very own World Dairy Expo Grand Champion, the Milking Shorthorn, Oak Grove Nikolia.
With a keen eye for great dairy cattle, Dohle also has judged shows in 28 states and Mexico. He has twice served as associate judge for the International Brown Swiss show at World Dairy Expo and has judged six breeds at the North American International Livestock Show.
As Dean made his way to the colored shavings on the Friday of World Dairy Expo, he most certainly would recognize that it takes a team to run a dairy. With that in mind, Dean would be quick to thank his wife, Stacy, and son, Grant, who help run their 50-cow Starstruck Dairy in Halfway, Mo.
Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, returned to Madison, Wisconsin for the 53rd annual event, October 1-5, 2019, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more were on display. Visit worlddairyexpo.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube for more information.
The author is the managing editor, and he brings 22 years of industry leadership to our readers overseeing all editorial content and production of the magazine. His degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison combined dairy science and agricultural economics.