May 30 2012 09:37 AM

The National Dairy Shrine teaches, awards and rewards on behalf of the dairy industry.

National Dairy Shrine

Do you enjoy money, knowledge or friends? This is not a multiple-choice question, as you can have all three through a prominent dairy charity. National Dairy Shrine is a 17,000-member nonprofit charity working to serve everyone in the dairy industry.

Shrine is more than a trophy room

While the name may sound like a room with pictures and trophies, National Dairy Shrine (NDS) is an organization and museum headquartered just two blocks from the Hoard's Dairyman offices in Fort Atkinson, Wis. Membership in NDS is $50 lifetime for anyone in the dairy industry from producer to processor to professor.

At its Fort Atkinson museum, NDS has a 17-minute audio and video display catered to kids of all ages. The exhibition explains where the dairy industry started, how it developed, and where it stands today. Working there this week, the presentation was followed by many inquisitive questions from area fourth graders. As we asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up immediately following the presentation, many of them shouted, "Veterinarian!" "Dairy farmer!" or "Milk truck driver!" It was great to see them thinking dairy, at least for the minutes following their tour.

Also at the museum is the Joe Eves room. The Eves room is the display of all the current winners of dairy trophies like the Klussendorf and dairy judging awards. Downstairs is a display with every breed champion dating back to 1906, dairy production and processing museum pieces, and portraits of NDS Guests of Honor (a contemporary dairy leader with outstanding contributions and accomplishments) and Pioneers (those providing a foundation for the dairy indusry). These awards are given yearly at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Adult award applications are due March 15 located at

NDS provides over $40,000 in scholarships yearly to high school and college students pursuing a dairy education. The scholarships also have categories to ensure scientists, marketers and dairy producers all are represented in the yearly winners. Scholarships are due on April 15 each year. But the next few months are a great time to ensure your materials are in order for next year's scholarship applications.

To become a member or if you are thinking about donating, visit

National Dairy Shrine is on the web at and Facebook.