CentralStar Cooperative, supporting dairy and beef producers across the upper Midwest, broadcasted their annual CentralStar Team Member Awards Program on Oct. 23, 2023. This event serves as a platform for acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of team members who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment throughout the past fiscal year. The CentralStar team includes a diverse array of professionals, including artificial-insemination (A.I.) specialists, Dairy Herd Information (DHI) milk-testing experts, sales representatives, consultants, milk-analysis technicians, research scientists, and administrative personnel. Awards are presented to team members for a wide range of accomplishments, including work anniversaries, sales achievements, exemplary service, and outstanding efforts in their respective roles.
Dave Lindberg, Mayville, Mich., was honored with Area Sales Manager of the Year. Garret Carnahan, Hilbert, Wis.; Jeremy Konen, Mazomanie, Wis.; and Becky Spatz, Kewaskum, Wis., all received A.I. Specialist of the Year awards. Nathan Ellerbrock, Osseo, Wis., was named Team A.I. Technician of the Year, and Zach Zernicke, Marinette, Wis., was Runner-Up Team A.I. Technician of the Year. Carla Stetzer, Alma Center, 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: Jayne Steuer-Birkholz, Elkhart Lake, Wis.; Autumn Martin, Rives Junction, Mich.; and Shellie Volker, Sumner, Iowa. First-Year DHI Specialist of the Year recipients include Rachel Donlin, Hull, Iowa; Rachel Keuning, Avoca, Mich.; and Kyle Peissig, Edgar, Wis.
The company-wide honorable outstanding-effort award was presented to Area Sales Manager Harvey Stieve, Dodgeville, Wis.
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 Lisa Loos, Appleton, Wis.; Arianna Vantine, Durand, Mich.; John Wasson, Okemos, Mich., Leroy Gingerich, Kolona, Iowa; Harvey Stieve; Scott Malueg, Black Creek, Wis.; Charley Bogart, Sumner, Mich.; Doug Lehman, Spencer, Wis.; Tim Schmidt, Warren, Ind.; Pam Thom, Peck, Mich.; and Vanessa Ponterio, Fond du Lac, Wis.
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: Mark Wallace, Wild Rose, Wis., 100,000 A.I. services; Joel Franke, Hillsboro, Wis., 100,000; Tim Trones, Mondovi, Wis., 100,000; Mohammed Touir, Madison, Wis., 100,000; Steve Otteson, Arlington, Wis., 150,000; Eric Gudex, Oakfield, Wis., 200,000; Jason Ossmann, Greenleaf, Wis., 200,000; and Duane Nowak, Medford, 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: Kaitlyn Dillenburg, Shawano, Wis.; Christine Riehle, Edgar, Wis., and Kris Kimball, Seymour, Wis. In addition, Danielle Schlueter, Hortonville, Wis., and David Kohn, Medford, Wis., were honored for testing 2 million cows; Roger Sweeney, Ubly, Mich., 4 million cows; Jayne Steuer-Birkholz, 5 million cows; and Rick Huth, Green Bay, Wis., 8 million cows.
CentralStar Cooperative has tremendous longevity among employee team members, and several were honored for major levels in years of service. Those with the most tenure include Deb Giese, Waupun, Wis., 25 years, and Michelle Haarer, Lansing, Mich., 25 years. Celebrating 30 years: Dan Zernicke, Bonduel, Wis.; Darlene Cipcich, Bonfield, Ill.; Ed Nichols, Lansing, Mich.; and Bob Radke, Banger, Wis. Several employee team members hit the 35-year mark: John Wasson; Scott Ellevold, Emerald, Wis.; and Steve Otteson. Rounding out the work-anniversary milestones at 40 years with the cooperative: Harvey Kuehn, Green Bay, Wis.; Harvey Stieve; and Mark Rude, Ridgeland, Wis.
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.
Dave Lindberg, Mayville, Mich., was honored as the CentralStar 2022-2023 Area Sales Manager of the Year during the cooperative’s recent employee-recognition program. CentralStar recognizes team members for everything from work anniversaries to sales, service, and outstanding-effort achievements.