Producers, Industry Members Honored During 2015 Expo

The Wisconsin Pork Association recently recognized producers and industry members for their dedicated service at the 2015 Pork/Corn/Soy Expo, held on January 29-30 in Wisconsin Dells.  

Producer Honoree Award
Each year, the Wisconsin Pork Association presents a Distinguished Service Award to a fellow individual whose contributions to the Wisconsin swine industry merit special recognition. 
The 2014 WPA Producer Distinguished Service award was presented to Dave Wade, Spring Green. Wade started with the Pig Improvement Company in 1988 as their Wisconsin regional production manager in Spring Green. He continued with PIC in another role in Oklahoma, returning to Wisconsin in 1997 as the Director of Operations for The Hanor Company. In his current position, he oversees Hanor’s sow farms, boar studs and the company environmental program. He is also responsible for the implementation of the genetic improvement program for the company.

Wade is a member of the Wisconsin Pork Association and Oklahoma Pork Council. He has served on the environmental committee, and is currently active on the WPA Swine Health Committee. His on-farm experience has been valuable to this committee in providing a state and national perspective to animal health and dealing with costly diseases like PRRS and PEDv. His guidance and input on biosecurity and other practices has allowed WPA to continue to help Wisconsin pork producers deal with existing or emerging on-farm disease issues. He also serves on the NPPC environmental committee, is an Operation Main Street speaker, and is the President for St. John the Evangelist Parish Council.

Dave and his wife Lori reside in Spring Green. They have one son, Ryan, daughter in law Kelsey and 3 month old grandson Matthew who reside in Waukesa. Their daughter Anna lives in Maryland. 

Industry Honoree Award
The pork industry is fortunate in having many industry representatives who are dedicated to promoting and serving the industry. The Wisconsin Pork Association honors these individuals and companies by presenting them with the Distinguished Service Industry Honoree Award. The recipient of the award for 2014 is Warren Wilson. 

Wilson has worked in the veterinary profession for the last 45 years. He started as an associate veterinarian in Wisconsin, and then Minnesota. In 1972 he purchased a solo vet practice in Plain and built the new state of the art large animal River Valley Vet Clinic. As senior managing partner, the practice grew to nine veterinarians. Under Wilson’s leadership, the River Valley Vet Clinic served many swine clients in several counties for many years and continues to serve swine clients today. They were one of the first clinics to accept interns from the new Wisconsin Veterinarian School and have helped train dozens of large animal veterinarians over the last 40 years. In addition, Wilson was an active consultant for Pig Improvement Company for over 20 years and actively involved in dairy and swine production practice. 

Following his time in the Plain practice, Wilson joined industry as a technical service veterinarian for Miles Animal Health. Over the years, these companies changed and consolidated, so his final employer was Merck Animal Health, which he retired from this past year. 

Wilson has served on the WPA Swine Health Committee for a number of years, and has provided sound advice and input as the pork industry has dealt with disease issues like PRRS and PEDv. During his time in private practice, he worked with pork producers to provide certification through the Pork Quality Assurance program. 

Wilson and his wife, Marilyn, have six children and 17 grandchildren.

Distinguished Public Service
Each year, WPA presents the Distinguished Public Service Award, which recognizes a legislator who provides outstanding support to the pork industry. Representative Keith Ripp was presented the award this year.

One of the few remaining farmer-members of the State Legislature, he was recently sworn into his fourth term in the Wisconsin State Assembly, serving the 42nd assembly district. He is the chair of the transportation committee, and also serves on the following legislative committees: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage, State Affairs and Government Operations, and Workforce Development. In 2010, Governor Scott Walker appointed Rep. Ripp to the WI State Fair Park Board, since he has participated in and understands the value of fairs to agriculture and tourism in our state. 

Through his board experience and as a state representative, along with the Corn/Soy Expo, Ripp has worked closely with the many members representing the pork industry. He has also served as a Swine Superintendent for the past 12 years at the Dane County Fair, volunteers at the Lodi Agricultural Fair and works during the Junior Swine Show at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Rep. Ripp and his wife, Lori, are 3rd generation farmers and have been running the family farm for over 30 years. On their farm, they custom feed dairy replacement heifers for a local dairy, crop about 600 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and rye and raised their 3 children in the lifestyle they so valued. They are the proud parents of Rochelle, married to Evan Schnadt; Ryan, engaged to Brianna Ditzenberger; and Radley Ripp, who followed his father’s footsteps and is a student at UW-Madison Farm Industry Short Course.