Sept. 18 2023 08:00 AM

Leaders recognized and scholarships presented

Tonight, the National Dairy Shrine will honor Industry Pioneers, a Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder, a Guest of Honor, and numerous outstanding college students at their annual banquet held at World Dairy Expo.

The Guest of Honor is Les Hansen, a professor at the University of Minnesota. Hansen is considered an expert in dairy cattle genetics – especially in the area of crossbreeding. He has traveled extensively internationally and presented to dairy producers and allied industry representatives in 21 countries. His students have won numerous judging accolades, and Hansen mentored graduate students in dairy cattle genetics who have secured careers in the industry and are contributing to its ongoing advancement.

The Industry Pioneers include George Heersche Jr., Dick Saacke, Charlie Sniffen, and Pearse Lyons. Sniffen will be honored at the banquet, along with members of the Heersche, Saacke, and Lyons families.

A Wisconsin couple, Jerry and Phyllis Luttropp, will be recognized with the Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder award. Their Lost-Elm Farm has been home to four breeds: Ayrshires, Holsteins, Brown Swiss, and most recently Jerseys.

College students will be presented scholarship monies to continue their education. A total of $48,500 will be handed out at tonight’s banquet.

To learn more about National Dairy Shrine, visit

Patti Hurtgen

The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars, podcasts, and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.