(WKOW) -- Ben Brancel's agriculture career started early when he learned how to manage dairy cows from his grandfather.
"My grandfather did a lot of firsts in his life, my dad did a lot of firsts in his life, and my mom did some firsts as well in her life, and so they've encouraged me to reach out and do things," Brancel said.
In 1975 he purchased the family farm and since then his extensive farming experience has helped him develop a career off the farm in government. He started his government career as a Representative for the 42nd Assembly District and worked his way to Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection. Now he's being recognized as World Dairy Expo's Dairy Industry Person of the Year.
"I don't know who nominated me and I'm not sure what attributes they thought were valuable enough to consider in the selection, but very happy to be recognized."
The recognition is fitting since Brancel was instrumental in the construction of the New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center and can be found every year volunteering at World Dairy Expo.
"It's certainly a national and international recognized, not only event, but recognition program and I think Ben Brancel is certainly a very deserving winner for the 2017 Industry Person of the Year," said Scott Bentley, General Manager of the World Dairy Expo.
Ever humble, Brancel takes the recognition in stride and gives credit to the state of Wisconsin for offering so much to the dairy industry.
"Wisconsin is the hub," Brancel said. "It's the place where you can find the supplies, the services, the technology, the education, the research, that makes everything possible to make us truly America's Dairyland."
World Dairy Expo runs October 3-7 at the Alliant Energy Center. The Dinner with the Stars Recognition Banquet will take place Wednesday, October 4th at 7:00pm.