Linda Geist

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors Foundation inducted six members Feb. 2 during an awards ceremony at the University of Missouri Animal Science Research Center.

Joe Horner, MU Extension dairy economist and executive secretary of the foundation, announced this year’s honorees:

Chris Hackman, Dairy Leadership Award. He is general manager of the Central Dairy division of Prairie Farms. He represents the third generation of the Hackman family to serve in a leadership role for Central Dairy. He began his career at the dairy, working part-time, while pursuing a degree in business from MU. He serves on the State Milk Board Advisory Committee and is past president of the Missouri Dairy Products Association. He continues to serve on the board and is legislative liaison. He is past president of the All Star Association board. He and his family live in Jefferson City.

John Denbigh Jr., Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award. Denbigh is farm manager of MU’s Foremost Dairy Research Center near Columbia. He is responsible for the breeding, milking and feeding of the 205-head herd. He also participates in teaching and research activities at the farm. He manages five full-time employees and up to 12 student workers each year. Under his leadership, the dairy received the Progressive Genetics Herd Award from Holstein USA in 2015 and 2016. Since 2014, the dairy has earned 17 All-Missouri and Reserve All-Missouri awards from Missouri Holstein Association. He and his wife live in Columbia.

Stacy Dohle, Meritorious Service Award. She is senior industry relations manager of the Midwest Dairy Association, a 10-state regional checkoff organization. In her position with Midwest Dairy Association, she has taken part in more than 300 dairy farmer presentations and farm tours in the past six years. This will be her 18th year of managing the Gerken Dairy Center at the Missouri State Fair. She is a charter member of Missouri Farmers Care and belongs to numerous other agriculture organizations. She, her husband and their son live on a farm near Pleasant Hope where they raise beef and dairy cattle.

Gene Wiseman, Meritorious Service Award. Wiseman is executive secretary of the Missouri State Milk Board. Prior to that, he worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture as manager of domestic and international marketing programs. He serves on the executive committee of the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipment, is past president of the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials and Missouri’s representative at Pacific Southwest Regional Milk Seminar. He belongs to the Missouri Dairy Products Association and Missouri Dairy Growth Council. He and his wife live in Jefferson City.

C.H. Eckles, Pioneer Dairy Leader Award (posthumous). Eckles served as the head of the newly organized dairy husbandry department at MU, where he established the Holstein breed. One of the heifers produced 26,861.5 pounds of milk containing 740 pounds of butterfat in one year, the second-highest amount on record at the time. Eckles left MU to become chief of the division of dairy husbandry at the University of Minnesota. He was a founding member of Missouri Holstein Association and American Dairy Science Association. He died in 1933.

Kenny Lenz, Pioneer Dairy Leader Award (posthumous). A lifelong Cooper County resident, Lenz earned a dairy science degree from MU. Upon graduation, he and his brother set up a dairy farm in 1968. He was a leader in the dairy industry, specifically with Mid-America Dairymen and Dairy Farmers of America. He received the Kansas City Dairy Council Oscar Award, State Fair Family Award, Cooper County Farm Management Award, Mid-Am Outstanding Young Dairyman, Ralston Purina Distinguished Dairyman Award and more. He died in 2014.

The Missouri Hall of Honors Foundation was established in 1988 following the merger of the Association of Missouri Dairy Organizations and the Missouri Dairy Association. The foundation recognizes outstanding leadership and achievement in the Missouri dairy industry and preserves its records and memorabilia through cooperation of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Photos available for this release:
Stacy Dohle.
C.H. Eckles
Chris Hackman
Kenny Lenz.
John Denbigh Jr.
Gene Wiseman.