National Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA) honored Mike Hutjens, professor emeritus, University of Illinois department of animal sciences, with its Outstanding Service Award earlier this month in St. Pete Beach, Fla., in conjunction with the association’s annual meeting. Hutjens earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1971 to 1979, Hutjens served as an Extension dairy specialist at the University of Minnesota and then moved on to the University of Illinois. He retired in December 2010 but continues to teach on a part-time basis.

Known for his lively and spirited speaking style, Hutjens gives presentations at 90 to 100 dairy-related events annually. He has traveled to 46 states and 17 countries to share his advice and experiences on topics ranging from transition cow management to feed particle size evaluation. Additionally, he writes feed columns for several publications. Hutjens authored 21 technical journal articles and abstracts, 540 popular press articles, 3 computer programs and 4 videotapes.

Numerous organizations have recognized Hutjens for his excellence and commitment to the dairy industry. Honors include Undergraduate Teaching Purina Award from the American Dairy Science Association, National DeLaval Extension Worker Award, American Dairy Science Association Applied Nutrition Award, Purebred Dairy Cattle Association Superior Service Award, Illinois FFA Honorary State Farmer Award and World Dairy Expo Industry Person of the Year. The American Association of Bovine Practitioners named Hutjens an Honorary Member for his 37 years of service. He is only the third recipient of this national recognition.

Hutjens was raised on a 313-acre, 70-cow grade Holstein farm near Green Bay, Wis. Currently, he resides in Savoy, Ill., with his wife Carol, 5 children and 7 grandchildren. He served 6 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, ending as a Specialist Five with an honorable discharge.

            National DHIA, a trade association for the dairy records industry, serves the best interests of its members and the dairy industry by maintaining the integrity of dairy records and advancing dairy information systems.