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David Fischer
David Fischer is the deserving recipient of Holstein Association USA’s 2021 Distinguished Leadership Award. He spent his career helping dairy farmers while working in extension for the University of Illinois. Dave’s passion for the people, the dairy industry, and the Holstein cow shines through in everything he does.

Dave’s career as an Agricultural Advisor and State-wide Dairy Educator with the University of Illinois Extension spanned four decades. His work has touched the lives of many dairy enthusiasts, young and old, in Illinois and across the nation. Speaking at Dairy Day workshops, serving as a consultant for farmers, and developing educational programs were all part of his role.

Working with 4-H youth programs has always been important to Dave. He coached highly successful dairy quiz bowl and dairy judging teams for over 30 years and served as a judge for many shows. He also spearheaded youth development programs such as the Superior Young Producer Award and Illinois 4-H Quality Assurance and Ethics program.

Dave was raised on a farm in the heart of dairy country in southern Illinois, where participation in the 4-H dairy program sparked his interest in dairy. He received his bachelor’s degree in animal and dairy science from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in 1971. Ten years later, he earned his master’s degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on livestock waste management from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.

He stayed true to his early interest in Holsteins, remaining active in the Clinton County Holstein Club and Illinois Junior Holstein Association. Dave was recently named to the Holstein Foundation board of trustees and 2021 will mark his tenth year serving as the moderator of the dairy bowl contest at National Holstein Convention.

Dave is a member of the American Dairy Science Association and has served on the board and committees for the Midwest Section. Over the years, Dave’s selfless leadership has been recognized with numerous dairy, agricultural, and extension awards.

Just as influential as the incredible service Dave has given during his career, is his character. Dave brings joy to every situation, is known as a confidant and friend, and is a spokesperson for dairy youth. Dave’s impact on the dairy community has been seen for many years and will continue through his service and cultivation of future dairy leaders.

About the Award

The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has made a career of providing outstanding and unselfish leadership for the betterment of the dairy industry. Dave Fischer will be recognized during the 2021 National Holstein Convention in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.