The University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences has named Jim Wysocki its 2009 Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist.

“I am humbled to be recognized with such an award," the Stevens Point, Wis., grower said in a news release. "As a member of a second-generation family farm, I look at my actions as an opportunity to carry forward my family’s life work while also building a legacy for my children that I hope they will continue. I understand that our company’s future is dependent not only on our own success, but the overall prosperity of the industry.”

The award, presented annually since 1970, recognizes indivuduals who have madesignificant contributions and demonstrated a vision for the long-term growth and success of Wisconsin agriculture.  

Wysocki has spent more than 25 years in the family's potato, onion and dairy business.

As chief financial officer of Wysocki Produce Farm Inc. in Plainfield, he helps manage subsidiary companies so they'll be in business for generations to come.

As part of that effort, Wysocki helped develop a business plan that includes not only company growth, but a vision for sustainable agriculture.

The family has developed a 3,000-head dairy in Juneau County that uses bioresources, such as manure, to reduce the use of commercial fertilizers. They also recycle methane to produce green energy.

As a result, Central Sands Dairy is able to produce enough energy to meet all of its electrical needs while Wysocki Farms has decreased their annual commercial fertilizer costs.

In addition to his efforts on the farm, Wysocki has donated his talents to the Washington, D.C.-based National Potato Council and the Antigo-based Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, where he has held a variety of leadership roles.

where he has held a variety of leadership roles, been recognized for his achievements and been instrumental in lobbying for new policy related to the Wisconsin agriculture industry.