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Bongards' Bernice Genoch earns Dairy Service Award

For the Bongards Creameries plant, 2007 has been a good year.

In addition to the cheesemaking honors collected over the year, one of Bongards' Perham staff members was honored with the annual "Dairy Service Award."

Bernice Genoch was recognized for 36 years in the dairy business. The award is presented by the Upper Midwest Dairy Association.

Most of her career had been with Land O' Lakes, until it was sold to Bongards Creameries in 2003.

"Our cheese is tested 14 times before it goes out the door," said Genoch, who started working in 1969 when it was a Land O' Lakes operation.

"Day in and day out, Bernice works with individuals involved with every aspect of the dairy industry," wrote her colleague Christa Schlosser, in her nomination. "Producers, inspectors, milk haulers, field people, quality assurance and customers have come to rely on her knowledge and expertise."

Genoch is a lab technician at Bongards, and in that role, she has worked continually to improve milk quality and finished product quality. She encourages producers to take responsibility for their milk quality issues and acts as a resource to them when needed. Bernice was an asset in helping Bongards in Perham get the equipment necessary to provide quicker results to our milk patrons, added Schlosser, on her nomination form.

The Dairy Service Award is based on achievements, contributions and expertise in improving milk quality. The Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting the industry by providing information, educational services, networks and contests that encourage the improvement of dairy products. It has more than 170 members, mostly from Minnesota, but also North and South Dakota, and Iowa.

In the community, she has been a member of the Perham Memorial Hospital and Home board of directors. Bernice enjoys working with her grandchildren in their 4-H programs, in particular their horse projects. She has also been active in the community and her church.