Zeloski To Be Honored By The College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences

Dennis J. Zeloski of Lake Mills, a leader of Wisconsin”s potato and vegetable industry for more than 30 years, will receive an Honorary Recognition Award from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Zeloski is president and owner of Muck Farms, Inc., (a 2,200 acre diversified vegetable and mint farm and an Eagle River certified seed potato farm) and Zeloski Farm Supply Company, Inc.

Like his father, Zeloski recognizes the value of staying close to the research that helps support his farming operations, and he has always welcomed University scientists to his farms for research on mint, potatoes and vegetables. He works closely with CALS researchers and extension specialists, as both advisor and student.

“The advice and support I receive from Dennis is instrumental in my being able to maintain the worldwide reputation for quality that is enjoyed by the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program,” says program director Thomas German. “He visits our Elite Seed Farm several times a year, interacts with the personnel, visits our Florida winter test plots and discusses research and new cultural practices with us on a regular basis. Dennis has a curiosity to learn that keeps him at the forefront of the seed potato industry.”

Zeloski has always had an eye to the future of the industry, and has eagerly supported innovations that have helped keep Wisconsin”s producers at the forefront. For example, when he was president of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, he recognized early on that Wisconsin needed to adopt and adapt tissue culture technology and testing for viruses and bacteria in seed stocks. His support helped to establish a quality-control program that was instrumental in establishing pathogen-free seed potatoes.

Nationally, Zeloski is active in the Mint Industry Research Council and the National Potato Council, and a regular participant in the National Potato Seed Certification Program. He is an outspoken advocate of commodity-supported research and extension.

In Wisconsin, he has served as an officer of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association, Wisconsin Potato Industry Board, Wisconsin Muck Farmers Association, and Wisconsin Mint Board.

Zeloski, who earned his degree in agricultural economics and business from the UW-Madison, served on the CALS Board of Visitors from 1994 to 1998.

Zeloski 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.