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World Dairy Expo to Honor Brancel as Industry Person of the Year
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/15/2017

Long-time Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel will be recognized by World Dairy Expo this fall as its 2017 Industry Person of the Year.

Brancel is a fifth-generation beef producer from Endeavor, where he raises Angus beef cattle on a 290-acre farm with help from his wife, Gail. After serving on the Marquette County board of supervisor and local school board, he was elected to serve in the State Assembly's 42nd district in 1987. Over the following decade, he would rise through the ranks and become Assembly Speaker until 1997 when then-Governor Tommy Thompson tapped him to run the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

He was later appointed by the Bush Administration in 2001 to serve as the director of the Wisconsin Farm Service Agency. For a short time, Brancel was as the state relations liaison for the University of Wisconsin-Madison's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, a position funded from donor resources. He returned to the DATCP when Governor Scott Walker was inaugurated in early 2011 and asked him to lead the agency for a second time.

Other award honorees at this year's World Dairy Expo will be Charles Ahlem, California, Dairyman of the Year; Marilyn Hershey, Pennsylvania, Dairy Woman of the Year; and Derrick Frigot, United Kingdom, International Person of the Year.

A formal awards presentation will take place during the 'Dinner with the Stars' banquet on October 4 in Madison.

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