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Gasper Receives CentralStar's Pioneer Award
Michigan Ag Connection - 01/12/2021

The CentralStar Cooperative board of directors recently selected Ken Gasper of Belding, Mich., as the 2020 Pioneer Award recipient. Established in 1977, the Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who through selfless and dedicated service and leadership have provided the cooperative and its members greater prosperity.

"Ken was a visionary leader for our cooperative," said Paul Trierweiler, CentralStar board president. "His ability to encourage the board to think outside-the-box allowed the cooperative to expand service offerings to provide useful tools to producers which ultimately helped improve farm profitability."

A member of the CentralStar board of directors from 1983 -- 2013, Gasper was president from 1993 -- 2004. In addition, he served on numerous CentralStar committees; as well as the AntelBio board of directors; and represented the cooperative on the Select Sires board of directors for 23 years.

As board president, Gasper led the organization through many changes including transitioning to a stock-based cooperative. At the same time the cooperative grew beyond being singularly focused on genetics and reproduction, with the addition of Dairy Herd Information (DHI) services; dairy records analysis and consulting, diagnostic testing through the creation of AntelBio, and herd management products. As a result of these improvements the cooperative's sales revenues grew by more than $10 million in a shrinking customer base.

Along with contributions to CentralStar, Gasper has been actively involved in several county and state organizations including Ionia County Cooperative Extension Advisory Committee; Michigan Farm Bureau; Michigan Milk Producers Association; and Michigan State University Animal Science Advisory Committee.

CentralStar Cooperative Inc. was established in 2019 as a result of the merger between NorthStar Cooperative Inc. and East Central/Select Sires. The cooperative's goal of enhancing producer profitability through integrated services is fulfilled by incorporating an array of products and services critical to dairy and beef farm prosperity. CentralStar's product and service offerings include Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations and Select Sires genetics; artificial insemination (A.I.) service; genetic, reproduction, and dairy records consultation; DHI services; diagnostic testing; herd-management products; research and development; and more. CentralStar's administration and warehouse facilities are in Lansing, Mich., and Waupun, Wis., with laboratories in Grand Ledge, Mich., and Kaukauna, Wis.

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