June 12, 2006
Butterfass wins student ag award
By Liz Hellmann
Growing up on a dairy farm in Howard Lake, Bret Butterfass has always given time and energy to the dairy industry this year the dairy industry gave back.
Butterfass was selected by the students and faculty of the Agricultural Department at Ridgewater College in Willmar to receive the Farm Operations Management Student Award for 2005-06.
This award is special because it takes into consideration the student’s character and personality, as well as academic achievement and attendance.
The award is considered the most distinguished honor a Ridgewater College agricultural student can receive.
“I was really surprised,” Butterfass said. He thought he might be a candidate for the award, but also thought he wouldn’t get as many students’ votes because he was always working after school, and couldn’t hang out with people as much.
But Butterfass also did his part in contributing to receiving the award.
Active in the Postsecondary Agriculture Students, Butterfass served as treasurer for the organization.
He also became an agricultural ambassador, who showed prospective students around campus.
Butterfass felt is was important to give these students an inside look at the program through the eyes of someone who was in it an opportunity he was happy to get.
“I had met with some people who had graduated from the program and they were very happy with it and how it ran,” Butterfass said.
With one of the most prestigious awards from the agricultural department under his belt, Butterfass went on to graduate in May, and is still giving back to the dairy world.
Butterfass is currently helping his parents, Dennis and Nancy Butterfass, on their farm.
At the end of June, Butterfass will travel to Costa Rica for a 10-day trip that he was awarded for being one of four finalists competing in the Dairy Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency award program.
While on his trip, he will observe how agriculture operates in Costa Rica.
“It’s the last thing I will receive from FFA,” Butterfass said. “But I’m looking forward to staying involved in the FFA alumni program.”
Butterfass is part of the next generation of dairy farmers, and he seems up to the challenge with all he has accomplished, and is ready to do.
When he returns from his trip, he will be helping his parents prepare for an expansion to their dairy farm.
“Right now, we are about average in size for the state,” Butterfass said, of their approximately 100 cow operation.
They will be adding to that number 90 more cows the first of July.
Regardless of what the future holds, Butterfass has set his philosophy for the dairy industry for years to come.
“Just be a good herdsmen. If you take care of the cows, they’ll take care of you,” Butterfass said.