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MHA Elects New Leaders to Board of Directors; Honors Award Recipients

The 2023 Minnesota All Breeds Convention took place March 3-4, 2023, and was hosted by the MN PDCA and MN Ayrshire Association at the Treasure Island Casino and Resort in Red Wing, MN. The event welcomed dairy cattle enthusiasts for a weekend itinerary featuring Minnesota Purebred Dairy Cattle Association (PDCA) meetings, respective breed association meetings, award presentations and networking.

For the Minnesota Holstein Association (MHA), the weekend was highlighted by the MHA Annual Meeting on Saturday, March 4. During the meeting, five new board members were elected or re-elected to fill seats vacated by expired terms, retiring or resigning board members. New or re-elected board members include:

  • Nate Donnay, Glencoe, MN
  • Trevor Ekkel, Pipestone, MN
  • Tony Kohls, Arlington, MN
  • Jacob Pehrson, St. Peter, MN
  • Chris Schulze, Holland, MN

The 13-member board also voted to fill the following leadership positions:

President: Kris Gruenes, Richmond, MN

Vice-President: Randy Gross, Lake Benton, MN

Finance Chair: Ashley Swenson, Nicollet, MN

Executive Committee Members:

  • Randy Gross, Lake Benton, MN
  • Darrel Rennich, Bruce, SD
  • Tracy Schaefer, Lafayette, MN
  • Eric Sonnek, Foreston, MN
  • Ashley Swenson, Nicollet, MN

Retiring board president, Randy Gross, was recognized for his outstanding service to the organization.

During the banquets on Friday and Saturday, the following Minnesota Holstein Association members were also recognized for exceptional accomplishments.

MN PDCA 2022 Distinguished Breeder Award Recipients:

Arnie and Kris Gruenes, Richmond, MN

2022 Person of the Year Awards, in Memory of Bernie Schmitz:

Darrel Rennich, Bruce, SD

Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder Award:

Cory Schmidt, Cosmos, MN

Longtime Meritorious Award

Devoine and Linda Kruse, Dev-Lin Holsteins, Caledonia, MN

MHA’s President’s Award:

Tony and Maizie Scheffler, Zumbrota, MN

Minnesota Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) Applicants:

Jacob Schaefer, Little Falls, MN

Golden Gopher Production Futurity XLV Winners

1st Place: CIRCLE-DRIVE GLITTR DOORMAN, owned by McKenzie Swanson

2nd Place: THREESISTERS JUMP4JOY DBACK, owned by Shelby Swanson

3rd Place: LONE-OAK-ACRES BLUE RATCHET, owned by John Sauber

Kenny Mueller also provided a memorial presentation for the beloved Minnesota Holstein Association members and supporters who have passed away in recent years.

2023-2024 MHA Board of Directors

Front row (L to R): Chris Schulze, Rebecca Groos, Randy Gross, Kris Gruenes, Ashley Swenson
Back row (L to R): Tracy Schaefer, Nate Donnay, Trevor Ekkel, Darrel Rennich, Jacob Pehrson, Tony Kohls, Eric Sonnek, Lucas Plamann

Committee Members
Randy Gross – Chair
Ashley Swenson
Eric Sonnek
Tracy Schaefer
Darrel Rennich

Marketing & Communications
Eric Sonnek – Chair
Rebecca Groos
Tony Kohls

Nate Donnay – Chair
Lucas Plamann
Trevor Ekkel
Tony Kohls

Junior Activities
Eric Sonnek – Chair
Jacob Pehrson

Darrel Rennich – Chair
Tracy Schaefer

Randy Gross – Chair
Darrel Rennich

Tracy Schaefer – Chair
Trevor Ekkel
Nate Donnay

Breed Activities/YAC
Lucas Plamann – Chair
Chris Schulze

Chris Schulze – Chair
Ashley Swenson

Rebecca Groos – Chair
Jacob Pehrson

Ashley Swenson – Chair