Richard H. Vilstrup
Dick Vilstrup, a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 27 years and Professor Emeritus since 1989, is an outstanding educator whose work has touched thousands of people worldwide. He has a unique ability to teach and motivate people, and has used his talents to develop, form and improve the cooperative way of doing business.
Vilstrup has also been an active board member of the Central Livestock Association, Land O' Lakes, Farm Credit Services, and served for 18 years on the MSI Board. Using his talents and experience, he developed the National Cooperative Leadership Program used in director training programs throughout the country.
He has also encouraged cooperation among co-ops. He guided Farm Credit Service associations into developing combined services for members, assisted credit union leaders in adapting new member services, served on the team that developed the first co-op holding company, and facilitated several major efforts to coordinate and merge producer co-ops in the Midwest and Western states.
In addition, Vilstrup completed multi-state research projects addressing improved communications and leadership for co-ops, was one of the original founders of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives and Cooperative Development Services, and has served as the key resource to many livestock marketing co-ops.