Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture laureates honored

Siehl Prize LaureatesAn internationally renowned bee expert, the former leader of one of Minnesota’s most diversified dairy companies and an innovative leader in pork production are this year’s recipients of the prestigious Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture. The prizes were awarded on May 26 at McNamara Alumni Center.

The prize is awarded annually by CFANS. Recipients are chosen in three categories: knowledge (teaching, research and outreach); agribusiness; and production agriculture. This year's winners, pictured here from left to right, are:

Marla Spivak (knowledge):
Her tireless advocacy for bees and what they do for the world’s food supply has made her a well-known speaker, but at its core her work is about understanding how bees behave, breeding new lines of disease resistant bees and finding the causes behind Colony Collapse Disorder and other threats to bees. She’s been a U of M faculty member since 1992 and thanks to her leadership a new bee and pollinator research center will open on the U’s St. Paul campus later this year.

Mark Davis (agribusiness):
The former chairman and CEO of Davisco Foods International started as a milk truck driver for his family’s creamery and eventually led the company’s expansion into a multinational agribusiness. Davisco is known for its innovations in the dairy industry, including new products and markets as well as a state-of-the-art dairy educational partnership with the U of M’s College of Veterinary Medicine at its farms near New Sweden, Minn.

Don Buhl (production agriculture):
The Tyler, Minn., pork producer has been a leader in state and national pork organizations over the past three decades, helping to develop programs for people new to the industry and to expand U.S. pork exports. He began farming in 1976 and has grown operations significantly since then. He was a founding member of the “Pipestone System,” a production model aimed at allowing independent family farms to remain competitive through shared ownership and increased efficiencies.