2012 Bruce Cottington Award
The 2012 Bruce Cottington Award recipient is known to probably every dairy farmer in Minnesota. When you think of passionate dairy producer advocates, Sherry Newell quickly rises to the top of the list. In her 33 year career in Minnesota agriculture, she has provided strong support for agriculture in general, for dairy producers and for Minnesota Milk.
As a farm broadcaster at WJON/WWJO in St. Cloud in the 80’s, Sherry covered Minnesota Milk conventions and policy actions and she served as both a speaker and an emcee on several occasions. In 1992 she began a new role as Minnesota Industry Relations Manager for Midwest Dairy. She spearheaded Midwest Dairy’s relationship with Minnesota Milk through their involvement in our annual meeting and convention. Over the years, she also facilitated joint efforts and communication between the two organizations including a Milk Stand project at the State Fair where dairy producers and industry supporters were recruited as volunteer servers.
When Minnesota Milk created its committee structure in 2002, Sherry was one of the original participants of our Membership committee. She helped organize the first three years of the Leadership Development activities which included a joint launch of Midwest Dairy’s SpeakOut! program. She was also an integral part in establishing Minnesota Milk’s Scholarship program and our Dairy Connections program.
In her current role as Director of Communications, Sherry is responsible for producer and agriculture media outreach across 10 states and conducts numerous workshops for dairy youth and farmers to help them become dairy advocates. And she still remains co-manager for Midwest Dairy’s Minnesota State Fair operations.
To any person, you would think this is plenty to do for the dairy industry and for agriculture. But, true to her nature, this is only a fraction of her dedication. Throughout the years, her volunteer activity has included serving as a 4-H key leader, coaching 4-H and FFA dairy judging teams and public speaking contestants, serving as a Dairy Knowledge Bowl assistant and an FFA Career Development Event judge. She is also a Mentor for the University of Minnesota’s College of Food and Natural Sciences.
Sherry is a person that truly represents the spirit and passion of the Bruce Cottington Award for Friend of Minnesota Dairy Producers.