Lakeshore News

WAEC Receives Another Donation

Norval and Jean Dvorak’s legacy will live on through the mission of the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center (WAEC). Today, the entire WAEC family is humbled and honored to announce the Dvorak family is making a $100,000 gift the capital campaign.

Steve & Melanie Dvorak have come together to honor their parents’ vision for agricultural education in our region. The family, along with their business, DVO, Inc. and D&D Equipment want to ensure not only their parents’ story is told but also the story of the countless farm families and industry leaders they worked with and alongside all their lives.

Norval was an agricultural pioneer whose impact was both local and global in nature. His efforts may have started in Manitowoc County but soon spread across Wisconsin, the Midwest and eventually to Eastern Europe.

Perhaps one of his greatest contributions to the agricultural industry was launching the cooperative movement which resulted in improved prosperity on Wisconsin farms. He was the visionary behind and helped to establish Lake-to-Lake Cooperative, Lakeland Egg Marketing Cooperative and Poland’s first ever agricultural cooperative.

For this reason, the family and WAEC is proud to name the “Pioneer” exhibit in Norval and Jean’s honor. This exhibit will be housed under the “Agri-CULTURE, How Are You Connected?” educational theme. Now visitors will be able to learn about and celebrate Norval’s historic impact and the impact of other notable industry innovators.

“Norval was a visionary and it was his vision of educating people about modern day agriculture and food and fiber production that inspired the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center.” said Scott Gunderson, Manitowoc County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent and WAEC Board Member. “Norval and his family devoted thousands of hours of this project. This gift is another testament to their unwavering commitment to WAEC’s success.”

Sadly, Norval and Jean Dvorak did not live to see their WAEC dream come to fruition. This gift, in addition to the numerous gifts given in Norval, Jean and their son, Dick’s honor, brings the Dvorak Family Memorial Fund to $ 112,548. This collective generosity is helping WAEC realize their dream.

Norval and Jean will be remembered as true stewards of agriculture. Their indelible mark will endure for generations and in some way they will live on through all of us who continue to invest in the prosperity of the agricultural industry.

To learn more about WAEC or to make a gift to the capital campaign, visit


Lakeshore News

Another Donation to the WAEC

The Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative announced that it will donate $50,000 to the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center (WAEC). Through education and advocacy, this new partner will help support the shared mission of connecting the non-farming public to agriculture.
“The farming community can no longer assume that the person in the aisle at the grocery store understands what went into making the food on the shelves,” said John Pagel, a dairy farmer and president of the Wisconsin-based cooperative (DBMMC). “We need to commit to transparency in our food system so we can build trust with customers. We have an incredible story to tell, and the center will help us tell it,” he said.
A key educational theme within the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center will focus on Wisconsin as America’s Dairyland. With hands-on learning experiences, the center will put an emphasis on the dairy community in Wisconsin, which is home to 9,400 dairy farms and contributes $43 billion each year to the state’s economy. Tours of a dairy farm will be offered and visitors will have the chance to watch the birth of calves at the center.
“Thanks to DBMMC’s incredible support, we have reached 84 percent of our goal,” said Annette Ostrom, co-chairwoman of the WAEC capital campaign. “We are so grateful for this visionary investment in our agricultural community’s future.”
“As a dairy producer, I am excited to recognize DBMMC as a generous supporter of WAEC. We need to come together to educate the public on the importance of our work and how it is critical to sustaining the public’s health and livelihood,” shared Julie Maurer, WAEC Board of Directors and owner of Soaring Eagle Dairy in Newton, Wis. “There is not one life on this earth that isn’t touched by agriculture.”
To learn more or to make a gift to the campaign, visit

Lakeshore News

Lakeside Foods Gives Donation

Enthusiasm for the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center’s (WAEC) mission continues to build this holiday season. WAEC is pleased to announce Lakeside Foods, Inc. has committed $100,000 to the Create. Cultivate. Educate. capital campaign

Founded in 1887 as a one plant pea canning company, Lakeside has grown into a leading international food producer of diverse products, employing an average of 1,700 people in 12 manufacturing plants and six distribution centers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio.
“We at Lakeside believe strongly in the mission of the WAEC,” shared Glen Tellock, Lakeside’s CEO. “We wholeheartedly support agricultural education. Our industry produces products that fit in nicely with the needs and wants of today’s health conscious society.” We hope future visitors to WAEC walk away with a keen appreciation for agriculture’s role in their daily lives.”

“Lakeside Foods has always been a generous leader in our community, especially supporting causes that help nourish our neighborhoods,” said Julie Maurer, WAEC president. “Their partnership will help us create an educational opportunity in our region that is good for agriculture and our ability to connect with consumers who want to know the origins of their food.”

In recognition of Lakeside Foods’ leadership gift the atrium within the Discovery Center will be named in their honor.

“Thank you, Lakeside Foods, for your support. We are so excited to count this regional leader with global reach among our top donors to our capital campaign,” Kim Kowieski, WAEC Director of Operations, gratefully expressed, “This investment with us will help build a state-of-the-art agricultural educational asset that our industry and larger community will benefit from for many years to come.”

To learn more about WAEC or to make a gift to the capital campaign, visit