Extension educator wins dairy honor

Dr. Craig V. Thomas, Michigan State University Extension dairy educator, became the recipient of the Jim Frey Memorial Award. Given in the memory of Sanilac County dairy producer Jim Frey, the award honors one individual each year who exhibits outstanding leadership and involvement in the Sanilac County dairy industry and who is outstanding in his or her participation in other community, state and national activities.

 Dr. Thomas received the award at the 75th annual Sanilac County Dairy Banquet Jan. 15.

 Says Dr. Thomas, “I consider this the highest of honors since it comes directly from the dairy producers I seek to serve. It is very humbling also, especially when considering the award is a memorial of Jim Frey and the many wonderful Sanilac County people who have received the award before me.”

 The Extension educator did his undergraduate work at Purdue University, majoring in animal science with an emphasis on dairy farming. After graduating with honors, he went on to obtain a master’s degree with an emphasis on veterinary physiology from Louisiana State University. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a doctorate in dairy science and agricultural economics. Throughout his career, Dr. Thomas has been involved in extensive research, has published in professional journals and popular press publications, and has produced Extension bulletins.

 Besides working with a milking machine manufacturing company in California, managing a large dairy farm in Florida and serving as director of the Florida Dairy Management Project with the University of Florida Dairy Science Department, Dr. Thomas has vast Extension experience.

 Early in his career, he worked as a dairy and livestock agent with the University of Wisconsin Extension Service and later as dairy and forage crops advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension Service.

 In 1995, Dr. Thomas became MSU Extension dairy educator for Sanilac and St. Clair counties. While with MSUE, he has developed many important programs in dairy farm business management and milk marketing. He has helped dairy producers with numerous issues while winning many awards in the process. He currently has dairy educator responsibilities in eight counties: Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Sanilac and Tuscola.

 Congratulations to Dr. Thomas on this well-earned award.

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