Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association Hall of Fame inductees

Photo: Dr. Les Hansen's oral citation was provided by four siblings, all former students in Animal Science. L - R: Lana Olson ('08 B.S. Animal Sciences), Elizabeth Olson ('12, B.S. Applied Economics/ Animal Sciences), Les Hansen ('73 B.S.; '78 M.S. Animal Sciences), Sarah Olson Schmidt ('10, B.S. ESPM), and Luke Olson ('07, B.S. Animal Sciences). 

The 119th Annual Meeting of The Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association was held March 19, in the St. Paul Student Center, North Star Ballroom.

The Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame inductees for the year included: Russell Seath (deceased), who was a great leader in the development of the artificial insemination industry of dairy cattle in southern Minnesota in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was also involved with coaching dairy judging teams, was a Steele County Extension Agent, and served as General Manager of one of the first breeding cooperatives.

The second inductee was Leslie Hansen ('73 B.S.; '78 M.S. Animal Sciences), a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota. He is widely recognized for his research on dairy cows; particularly on the potential of rotational crossbreeding for commercial milk production. He teaches a semester course in dairy cattle genetics that is unique for US universities. He also has been an extremely successful coach of collegiate dairy cattle judging teams, with both the teams and individuals doing well nationally. In addition, he advises many students in dairy production and has served as the advisor for the Gopher Dairy Club since its inception 32 years ago.

The third inductee(s) were Mark and Al Schmitt, Rice, MN. Mark and Al formed a partnership in 1987 and they raise purebred Holstein dairy cattle, with their herd tracing back to one great foundation cow, RALMA JUROR FAITH-ET. They currently milk 100 cows and they’ve won many awards, including Progressive Breeder’s Award, Progressive Genetics Award, and the International Holstein Magazine Global Cow of the Year(RALMA CHRISTMAS FUDGE).

The fourth inductee(s) were Joe ('68, B.S. Animal Sciences) and Evelyn Stransky, dairy farmers from Owatonna, where they raise Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss and Red & White cattle. Their significant contributions were via leadership and volunteerism, particularly in dairy youth growth and development. They coached six state champion dairy judging 4-H teams and their national teams won many honors, including high individual in the nation and high team oral reasons. They have won many awards in the show ring and both served with many organizations, both locally and on the state level.

The portraits of these four inductees join other Livestock Hall of Fame members in Haecker Hall, where they are all displayed for the public to view.