Last Modified:

May 15, 1998


By Heather Piehl

UW-RF News Bureau

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences named the late Kenneth Sipple of Wausau as its 1998 Distinguished Agriculturist.

Sipple was killed in a car accident in February. His family accepted the award on his behalf during the College's recent awards banquet.

After graduating from UW-River Falls in 1964, Sipple provided outstanding leadership and had active involvement in many Wisconsin agricultural organizations, according to Dean Gary Rohde.

In 1996 he served as chair of the executive committee for Wisconsin Farm Progress Days in Marathon County, he was a past chairperson of the Wausau Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Committee and he was a member of the board of Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program at the time of his death.

Sipple was also a valued consultant to foreign banks on managing loan portfolios through the Ag Co-op Development Institute, which is a division for the U.S. Agency for international Development. In the past two years he traveled to Poland and Russia to teach farm finance in the Farmer to Farmer Program.

UW-River Falls also benefited from Sipple's involvement and leadership, Rohde said. He served as secretary of the board of directors of the UW-River Falls Agricultural Alumni Association from 1992-1995 and served as president from 1995-1997. He was also a council member of the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences Advisory Committee.

For nearly 30 year Sipple was employed in various capacities within the Farm Credit System. He began his career as a branch manager for Farm Credit Services in Chilton, tjem was the farm records manager for Farm Credit Services in Fargo, N.D. From 1973 to 1988 he worked in various positions for the Farm Credit Bank of St. Paul, including vice president of audit and reviews, vice president of credit and operations, and interim association of chief executive officer for Farm Credit of East Central Michigan.

In 1988, Sipple was employed by Farm Credit Services of North Central Wisconsin as vice president of credit and chief credit officer. After semi-retirement in 1993, he continued to work for the service on a part-time basis as an internal auditor.

The award is presented on behalf of the College and the Student Agriculture Advisory Council. Candidates who were nominated for this award have made significant contributions and demonstrated a vision for long-term growth and success of Wisconsin agriculture, Rohde said.

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