Dairy industry entrepreneur Dave Lenzmeier returns to the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College this year as the keynote speaker for the 25th annual Bigwood Lecture.
Lenzmeier, who attended M State from 1989-90, brings his message about “Path of Persistence: How You Respond to Life’s Roadblocks, Both Big & Little” to the event at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at Legacy Hall.
The Bigwood Lecture, sponsored by Fergus Area College Foundation, is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with coffee and cookies available.
Lenzmeier grew up on his family’s dairy farm near Kimball and came to M State in 1989 to play football. After three semesters at M State, he earned an ag/business degree at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls and went into the dairy industry after graduation.
He became president of the Human Nutrition division of Milk Specialties Global in 2008. By the time he was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Upper Midwest in 2013, Lenzmeier was CEO of the Eden Prairie-based MSG, which by then had 600 employees and had grown from three manufacturing facilities to nine.
Lenzmeier calls the Fergus Falls campus “a great place to get my educational foothold,” and he says one of his proudest moments was being elected captain of the Spartan football team.
Funded in part through an endowment by Otter Tail Power Company in 1991, the Bigwood Lecture honors the late Bob Bigwood, former power company president and chairman of the board. Bigwood was a leader at Otter Tail Power Company, in the Fergus Falls community and on the Fergus Falls campus of M State, where he was a founder of both the campus and Fergus Area College Foundation. His involvement sets the standard for the annual Lecture’s continuing recognition of engaged leaders and civic participation.
Fergus Area College Foundation was incorporated in 1966. Through the support of donors, the foundation provides resources to enrich learning, living, working and serving. During the 2016-17 academic year, the foundation awarded more than $172,000 in scholarships to more than 90 students and provided over $61,000 in financial support for faculty, staff and college president requests.