WAUPUN, Wis. — CentralStar Cooperative, serving dairy and beef producers in the upper Midwest, hosted their annual CentralStar Team Member Awards Program on Oct. 23, 2022. The event recognizes and honors employee team members who’ve gone above and beyond during the recent fiscal year.
CentralStar’s employee team includes artificial-insemination (A.I.) specialists, Dairy Herd Information (DHI) milk-testing specialists, sales, consultants, laboratory technicians, research scientists, and office staff. They award team members for everything from work anniversaries to sales, service, and outstanding-effort achievements.
Nick Fischer, Germantown, Wis., was honored with Area Sales Manager of the Year. Mike Ronnfeldt, Arpin, Wis.; Derek Marcks, Tigerton, Wis.; and Andrew Greenfield, Waupun, Wis., all received A.I. Specialist of the Year awards. Kyle Sprengeler, Marshfield, Wis., was named Team A.I. Technician of the Year, and Julie Retzlaff, Elroy, Wis., was Runner-Up Team A.I. Technician of the Year. Susie Martin, Brooklyn, Wis., was awarded Consultant of the Year.
Continuing with CentralStar’s DHI-milk-testing business unit, DHI Specialist of the Year recognition went to three individuals: Cindy Milligan, Parma, Mich.; Christine Riehle, Edgar, Wis.; and Brenda Dilly, Montour, Iowa. First-Year DHI Specialist of the Year recipients include Makayla Ricketts, Mason, Mich.; Jesse Steinhorst, Kewaunee, Wis.; Emmy Kickbusch, Kewaunee; and Sabrynn Dague, Dubuque, Iowa.
The company-wide honorable outstanding-effort award was presented to Team Leader Jessica Jakubik, Prescott, Mich.
Teams are critical to CentralStar’s success. Employee team members are asked to vote for Team Star-Member Award winners who exemplify teamwork, dedication to customers, and overall enthusiasm for the company. Team Star-Member Award winners include Ben Slack, Viroqua, Wis.; Derek Marcks; Jess Jakubik; Kyle Sprengeler; Mark Affolder, Berne, Ind.; Brent Beeker, Constantine, Mich.; Mohammed Touir, Madison, Wis.; Chelsie Nichols, Charlotte, Mich.; Ally Jeske, Menasha, Wis.; and David Wing, Charlotte, Mich.
CentralStar recognizes A.I. specialists and team A.I. technicians for number of A.I. services. Achieving major A.I.-service milestones during the last fiscal year: Casey Degnitz, Fredonia, Wis., 100,000 A.I. services; Derek Marcks, 100,000; Jim Neuser, Cato, Wis., 100,000; Jeremy Konen, Mazomanie, Wis., 150,000; Doug Rake, North Freedom, Wis., 175,000; Eric Gudex, Oakfield, Wis., 175,000; and Syd Behm, Cambria, Wis., 200,000 A.I. services.
In CentralStar’s DHI business unit, employees are honored for number of cows tested. Major milestones in this area include those who’ve tested 1 million cows so far in their careers: Mike Bradley, Oshkosh, Wis.; Cassie Lorge, Bear Creek, Wis.; Chelsea Smith, Falmouth, Mich.; Danielle Schlueter, Hortonville, Wis.; and Hannah Naundorf, Eau Claire, Wis. In addition, Annie Wisner, Yale, Mich.; Loretta Broecker, Decker, Mich.; and Nate Harmon, North Branch, Mich., were honored for testing 2 million cows; Brad Lorge, Bear Creek, Wis., and Jessica Bradley, Oshkosh, Wis., 3 million cows; and Rick Huth, Green Bay, Wis., 7 million cows.
CentralStar Cooperative has tremendous longevity among employees, and several were honored for major levels in years of service. Those with the most tenure include James Early, Kaukauna, Wis., 25 years; Sandy Hoppmann, Wilton, Wis., 25 years; Jason Ossmann, Greenleaf, Wis., 25 years; and David Sarbacker, Edgerton, Wis., 25 years. Celebrating 30 years: Kurt Barnes, Kiel, Wis.; Tom Mahoney, Glenwood City, Wis.; and Chris Meyer, Loganville, Wis. Several employee team members hit the 35-year mark: Brenda Dilly; Jim Galstad, Westby, Wis.; John Hulbert, Monticello, Wis.; Doug Lehman, Spencer, Wis.; and Ken Montsma, Rosendale, Wis. Rounding out the work-anniversary milestones: Jim Sipiorski, Wausaukee, Wis., recently celebrated 40 years.
CentralStar’s goal of enhancing producer profitability through integrated services is fulfilled by incorporating an array of products and services critical to dairy-and-beef-farm prosperity. CentralStar’s product and service offerings include Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations, and Select Sires genetics; extensive A.I.-technician service; genetic, reproduction, and dairy-records consultation; DHI services; diagnostic testing; herd-management products; research and development; and more. CentralStar’s administration and warehouse facilities are located in Lansing, Mich., and Waupun, Wis., with laboratories in Grand Ledge, Mich., and Kaukauna, Wis. The cooperative serves dairy and beef producers throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana, with additional DHI territory in various surrounding states. For more information, visit CentralStar Cooperative Inc. at www.mycentralstar.com.
— CentralStar Cooperative