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Michigan Cattlemen recognize industry leaders

OKEMOS, MI -- Distinguished individuals and businesses were recognized for their contributions and dedication to the cattle industry during the Michigan Cattlemen's Association (MCA) Summer Round-Up in Jackson. MCA "Member of the Year" was awarded to Dr. Dan Buskirk of Mason; "Agribusiness of the Year" belongs to American Farm Products; Jonathan Harfst of Battle Creek was awarded "Young Cattleman of the Year"; Ed and Paul Dawson received "Purebred Breeder of the Year"; and "Cattle Businessman of the Year" was awarded to Lyle Oesterle of Golden Acre Farms in Mason.

Member of the Year

The Michigan Cattlemen's Association's "Member of the Year" is Dr. Dan Buskirk.Dr. Buskirk has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to MCA since joining the faculty of Michigan State University in 1996.As an Associate Professor and Beef Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science, he provides state-wide leadership in beef cattle production and management.He is a member of the MSU Extension Institute for Agriculture and Agribusiness, the MSU Beef Team, and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.Dr. Buskirk serves as the faculty coordinator of the MSU Beef Center, MCA/MSU Bull Evaluation Program, Michigan Beef Quality Assurance program, and the Michigan Livestock Industry Scholarship Foundation.He serves as an ex-officio on the MCA Board of Directors and works tirelessly to bring education and extension programs to MCA members.

Agribusiness of the Year

The Michigan Cattlemen's Association awarded the distinction of "Agribusiness of the Year" to American Farm Products, headquartered in Ypsilanti, Michigan.American Farm Products carries animal health products including probiotics, direct fed microbials and electrolytes.Territory Manager Arlin Koglin is a strong supporter of MCA activities.Arlin has supported the MCA Summer Round-Up since 2005 and served on the Summer Round-Up committee when the event was held in Bad Axe in 2009.

Young Cattleman of the Year

The Michigan Cattlemen's Association awarded the "Young Cattleman of the Year" honor to Jonathan Harfst.Jonathan Harfst resides in Battle Creek, along with his wife Jessica and daughter Kaytlyn.Jonathan and Jessica own and operate Harfst Cattle, a purebred Hereford operation focusing on producing show cattle as well as elite replacement females and herd sires.Jonathan has been involved in the beef industry since birth, as he is a third generation cattleman hailing from central Illinois.He currently serves as the Michigan Hereford Association Secretary/Treasurer and Hereford Sale Manager at the Michigan Beef Expo.

Purebred Breeder of the Year

The Michigan Cattlemen's Association awarded Dawson Farms of Hanover the honor of "Purebred Breeder of the Year."The Dawson family began breeding registered Angus cattle in 1996.Through artificial insemination and embryo transfer, the herd has grown to over 80 cows.The farm now sells breeding stock, club calves, show calves and freezer beef.The farm consists of Ed and Jeannine, Paul and Chantel, and Joel Dawson.They market bulls through the MCA/MSU Bull Evaluation Program and the Michigan Beef Expo.

Cattle Businessman of the Year

The Michigan Cattlemen's Association selected Lyle Oesterle of Golden Acre Farm as "MCA Cattle Businessman of the Year."Golden Acre Farm started as a registered Angus herd in 1964.In those early years, the Oesterle's owned bulls with Mahogany Farms and Premier Farms in Iowa and fed approximately 400 steers.Lyle Oesterle has always been a strong supporter of MCA marketing programs.He purchased a bull at the very first Bull Evaluation Sale and was also one of the first buyers at the initial MCA Graded/Preconditioned Feeder Calf Sale.Golden Acre Farms has purchased 18 bulls from the MCA/MSU Bull Evaluation sale from 1989 through 2015.