DATCP Secretary Jim Harsdorf to Receive 2002 Outstanding Service Award
UW-River Falls has named Secretary James E. Harsdorf of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as the recipient of its 2002 Outstanding Service Award.
Harsdorf will receive the award during the University Commencement ceremony on Dec. 22.
In announcing the award, Chancellor Ann Lydecker expressed her appreciation of Secretary Harsdorf's contributions to the University as both a public policy leader in Wisconsin and as an educator.
"Jim Harsdorf has been integral to this University. For the past two decades he has served this region and the University as a state legislator, as a community member, as a dairy farmer and as our Wisconsin Secretary responsible for agriculture.
"He has always provided us with sound advice, shared his insightful counsel on our curriculum and building projects, loaned his profound expertise in agriculture and has been an advocate for us for many years.
"But just as important to us is his enthusiasm at being a teacher and mentor to our students. Jim has been an advisor to our many students who have interned in his dairy operation. And he has been a continuing visitor to campus. Despite all of his significant obligations, he has always joyfully accepted our invitations to lecture to students in a classroom, or to attend advisory meetings to the College. The pleasure he finds in working with young people is always apparent when you see him taking the time to share advice with an inquisitive student. He even taught classes here from time to time over the years.
"To UW-River Falls, Jim Harsdorf is more than the Secretary of Agriculture. Jim Harsdorf has been and always will be our valued friend."
Former CAFES Dean William Anderson in nominating Secretary Harsdorf for the Outstanding Service Award noted that the Secretary for the past six years has played an important role in the College's Advisory Committee, serving as its vice chair.
"He encourages Board members to think holistically about Wisconsin agriculture and the College's role in regional economic development. His frequent suggestions and questions contribute meaning to our college planning processes. He has been a champion for the College, the University and the community for years."
Secretary Harsdorf entered public service by representing the 30th District in the Wisconsin Assembly from 1977 to 1980 after having served as a member of the UW-RF Academic Staff in 1975-1976. In 1980 he was elected to the State Senate to represent the 10th District and served for eight years. He was the Senate's minority leader for two years. After leaving the Legislature he later served on the Board of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection from 1986 to 1996, including three years of service as its chair. He was appointed Secretary by Gov. Scott McCallum in March 2001.
Since 1970, he has maintained Trim-Bel Family Farms, his dairy operation in Beldenville, in partnership with his sister, State Senator Sheila Harsdorf.
Secretary Harsdorf was previously honored by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. In 2001, the College recognized his contributions to Wisconsin's agriculture industry with its Distinguished Agriculturalist award.
The Secretary holds a bacheloršs degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota. The UW-RF Outstanding Service Award was established in 1983 to recognize those who have made significant contributions to the University in the form of personal time and energy, leadership, support, and/or monetary donations.
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