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World Dairy Expo® is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2024 Expo Recognition Awards. Nominated and selected by their peers, these individuals have made remarkable contributions to the dairy industry and their communities. Honorees will be formally honored during the Recognition Awards Banquet at World Dairy Expo on Wednesday, October 2, 2024. Banquet tickets will be available at beginning on July 1.

Dairy Producers of the Year

Mike Larson, Ed & Barb Larson, Sandy Larson & Jim Trustem, Evansville, Wis., Larson Acres

Larson Acres, Evansville, Wis., has been selected as the 2024 Dairy Producers of the Year. Front row, (L to R) Mike, Ed, Barb and Sandy Larson, back row (middle) Jim Trustem. Also pictured are Luke, Dane and Brooke Trustem.

The Larson family, Evansville, Wis., has been farming in southern Wisconsin for nearly a century. Focusing on three key pillars – quality, pride and family – Larson Acres is truly a superior example of modern dairy farming. Milking 2,800 Holsteins in both a conventional double-20 parallel parlor and a cross-ventilated double-22 parallel parlor, the herd averages 109 pounds of energy corrected milk daily, with a 4.68% fat, 3.4% protein and 56,000 somatic cell count. In addition to stellar production records, Larson Acres has bred 130 Excellent cows, 16 Gold Medal Dams, 40 Dams of Merit, four Gold Medal Sires and 16 regional and/or national Elite Performer Award recipients. The cows play a pivotal role at Larson Acres, but the people are just as important to the Larson family, opening their barn doors to welcome community members, industry leaders, fellow dairy producers, international guests, school children and more.

Industry People of the Year

Jim Barmore, Marty Faldet, and King Hickman, Lakewood, Minn., GPS Dairy Consulting LLC

Marty Faldet, Jim Barmore, and King Hickman, of GPS Dairy Consulting LLC in Lakewood, Minn., have been selected as the 2024 Industry People of the Year.

The three original partners, Jim Barmore, Dr. Marty Faldet and Dr. King Hickman, founded GPS.

Dairy Consulting LLC, an independent dairy nutrition and full management consulting business, from ground zero in 2009. GPS Dairy Consulting is an integrated team of over 15 independent consultants with additional support staff who work closely to provide a broad offering of services, educational events, tools, and expertise to deliver success to dairies in 10 states and internationally and has impacted more than 110 clients and 400,000 animals. Working and collaborating closely with many of the best dairies in the industry has yielded numerous nationally recognized and prestigious awards for dairy clients of GPS Dairy Consulting, such as Aldo Leopold conservation practices leading land and water sustainability, milk quality, herd reproduction, cheese quality, WDE Dairy Producer of the Year and more. Aside from helping their clients’ farms be successful, inspiring change and growing leaders in the dairy industry is the hallmark of success for GPS Dairy Consulting.

International Person of the Year

Paul Larmer, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Semex

Paul Larmer, former CEO of Semex,
from Guelph, Ontario, Canada, has been selected as the 2024 International Person of the Year.

Paul Larmer, of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, has dedicated his professional life to dairy cattle genetics, making a valuable global impact. Working specifically in the genetics industry since 1984, Larmer held positions at United Breeders Inc., Semex Alliance, and Alta Genetics Inc. before rejoining Semex in 2007 as Chief Executive Officer. As Semex’s CEO, his efforts culminated in an unprecedented 17 consecutive years of record-breaking sales and revenues, as well as delivering six Millionaire Sires to the industry. He oversaw multiple ground-breaking research and development projects that increased efficiency, profitability and sustainability for dairymen worldwide. These projects included enhancing dairy technology and genetics in China, establishing production center(s) in Hungary and Brazil, and most recently delivering a first-in-class Methane Efficiency Index to clients globally to increase industry sustainability. As of December 2023, Larmer retired from his position as Semex’s CEO and has transitioned into the role of Executive Advisor.

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo is the premier forum for the global dairy community to learn, share, create commerce and showcase competition. The annual event will return to Madison, Wis. October 1-4, 2024, where dairy producers near and far can experience the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, a world-class dairy cattle show, attend seminars, meetings and presentations highlighting the latest and greatest in the industry and connect with other producers. Download the World Dairy Expo mobile app, visit or follow WDE on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Spotify, or YouTube for more information.