John and Pete Kappelman”s contributions to the signature industry in America”s Dairyland have earned them the Honorary Recognition Award from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Manitowoc brothers have crafted a 400-cow family farm that showcases both skillful planning and operational excellence. The Kappelmans” Meadowbrook Farms boasts some of the highest per-cow milk production and lowest cost per hundredweight in Manitowoc County. The farm accomplished these records in part through Peter”s dairy management skills in combination with John”s ability to buy and use the most economical commodity feeds.
The Kappelman brothers have always been quick to adopt profitable new technologies and apply new ideas to reduce costs or increase production. They continually seek to improve their farm using computerized management programs. In 1997 they expanded their facilities to include a new milking parlor and freestall barns. Their careful planning made the operation profitable throughout the transition year, even with milk prices at record lows.
Their willingness to share their expertise with others has been exceptional. They spend much of their free time at educational events such as farmer panels and the Dairy Expansion Round Table discussions, and have hosted “Breakfast on the Farm” to build community awareness of the dairy business.
Despite the demands that their dairy operation places on them, the brothers find time to contribute to the dairy industry.
John has served as president of the Lakeshore Farm Management Association, director and president of the Wisconsin Forage Council, and as a director of World Dairy Expo, Inc. and the Holstein Association.
Pete has served as president of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and as an officer of the Holstein Association, Land O” Lake Dairy Cooperative and the UW Extension Center for Dairy Profitability. He has been active in the Farm Bureau and 4-H at local, county and state levels.
The Kappelman brothers are also active in their church and schools, holding positions at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, and Manitowoc Lutheran High School.
The Kappelmans will receive the award Nov. 5 at a banquet in the Memorial Union on the UW-Madison campus. Also at the banquet, Alfred E. Harper, professor emeritus of biochemistry and nutritional sciences at the UW-Madison, will receive the CALS Distinguished Service Award.
Honorary Recognition, the highest honor bestowed by the College, recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions toward the development of agriculture, protection of natural resources, and improvement of rural living. Since 1909, the College has honored more than 400 people with these awards. For information on attending the banquet, please call CALS Outreach Services, (608) 263-1672.