2006 Pioneer Dairy Leader Award

2006-KullmannDonald J. Kullmann

Don Kullmann served as a trustee of the Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors Foundation representing the Missouri Dairy Products Association on the Foundation’s Board of Directors until his death in 2006. He was particularly devoted to the enlargement and enhancement of the Dairy Hall of Honors facility in the University of Missouri Animal Science Research Center.

In recognition of Don’s contribution and interest in programs at MU, the Missouri Dairy Products Association funded the Donald L. Kullmann Scholarship in food science at MU. More recently a significant endowment has been established by an anonymous donor to continue to fund the Kullmann Scholarship.

Don was always a Tiger fan and supporter of academic programs at the University.  He credited MU with giving him great opportunities in the marketing of farm commodities and service to the dairy industry.

Don’s career in the dairy industry started in 1964 just before his completion of the master of science degree in agricultural marketing at MU in 1965. His first job was with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Milk Marketing Administration in St. Louis under the supervision of Fred Shipley.

Don’s academic adviser – Stephen F. Whitted – encouraged Don to consider the opportunity although Don had a keen interest in swine marketing.

Prairie Farms welcomed Don as vice president for marketing, procurement, and planning in 1967.  In addition, he did purchasing, pricing, legislative liaison, and related functions.  Don retired as vice president Jan. 1, 2000 but continued to work part time as a consultant and representative for Prairie Farms until his death.

Don represented Prairie Farms on many local, state, national, and international organizations, boards, and committees related to the dairy industry. He served as president of the Missouri Dairy Products Association in 2001-2002 and worked on various committees and task forces for the National Milk Producer’s Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association.  He took part regularly in the Forum.

He was secretary of the St. Louis Dairy Council for 12 years and was treasurer for at least 21 years. He was also a board member of Show-Me Dairy, Inc. In his home community Don served his church, the school system, and civic organizations.

In recognition of significant service the Carlinville Chamber of Commerce named Don Citizen of the Year and the St. Louis Post Dispatch named him Humanitarian of the Year.

As true of many Pioneer Award recipients, Don started life in rural Missouri in a farm home that had no electricity or indoor plumbing until he was 12 years old. He spent his early years near Cole Camp and walked two miles to his one-room school during his first two years of grade school.

His family moved to a farm near Warrensburg in 1945 where he was active in the Future Farmers of America, obtaining the State Farmer degree and showing Spotted Poland China hogs at the American Royal. Don owned the family farm and intended that it be kept in the family for the foreseeable future.

These successes helped Don earn a bachelor of science degree from Central Missouri State University in 1961 at which time he began a six-year term in the Missouri Army National Guard as a helicopter mechanic.

Another significant event occurred in 1961 when Don married Carole Diehl. Of this union was born Carrie and Jeffrey. Daughter Laurie preceded Don in death. Grandchildren are Jacob, Nicholas, and Zachariah.