Each year the Dairy Business Association (DBA) honors those who have made significant contributions to the dairy industry by recognizing them with either the DBA Advocate or DBA Leadership awards at the Annual Business Conference held Nov. 29 and 30. This year DBA recognized Dr. Don Niles and Secretary Ben Brancel.

Don Niles, DVM is co-owner and manager of Dairy Dreams, LLC in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. Dairy Dreams is a 2,800-cow dairy with a rolling herd average of 28,000 pounds of milk production per cow. The dairy has a methane digester that provides enough electricity to power over 700 homes.

"Don really deserves recognition as DBA's Advocate of the Year," commented Jerry Meissner, president of DBA. "He has consistently engaged his community and elected officials in a dialogue on farm sustainability and modern food production, whether it was one on one interaction as he delivers over a thousand cookies to neighbors or when he hosted over 6,000 guests for the Kewaunee County Dairy Breakfast."

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel was given the DBA Leadership Award for his role in protecting and promoting the dairy industry. Most recently, Secretary Brancel took the lead in defending Wisconsin's dairy industry by requesting federal lawmakers consider an economic study on a proposed policy change.

"As a former dairy farmer, Secretary Brancel knows the struggles involved in farming," said Laurie Fischer, executive director of DBA. "We are very fortunate to have a DATCP Secretary that is willing to take the lead to continue to move our state's largest industry forward." PD


—From DBA news release