Dennis Buege, long time UW-Extension meat specialist and UW-Madison animal sciences professor, was inducted into the Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame, posthumously, on Saturday, Nov. 6 during the second annual WI 4-H Hall of Fame celebration.
Buege was born and raised in Juneau, Wisconsin. He received a B.S. degree in meat and animal sciences from UW-Madison, an M.S. degree from Cornell and a Ph.D. in meat science from UW-Madison. In 1977, he became the UW-Extension meat specialist and worked at the UW until he retired in 2005.
Buege enjoyed a long and distinguished career at UW-Madison. Despite a very busy schedule of extension work with small meat plant operators and extension educators, one of his greatest joys was working with youth. Buege along with Bernie O’Rourke, UW’s extension youth livestock specialist, led the 4-H Meats Judging Contests, through which he engaged with youth across Wisconsin. In addition, Buege led the FFA Meats Judging Contest. Buege was constantly mentoring and advising in a positive way. He worked tirelessly, setting up meat evaluation contests and working closely with youth. His easy-going manner and warm sense of humor made him a popular extension specialist among 4-H youth and volunteers.
He was a dedicated member of the Statewide 4-H Animal Science Committee and was key in the development of Youth Livestock Days, the forerunner of today’s Area Animal Science Days.
Dr. Buege’s legacy is most evident today through the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction at the Wisconsin State Fair. Dennis was the impetus behind this event, now in its 24th year, to benefit 4-H. He served as advisor to the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors. His vision forged a partnership between the Processors and the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation which brought about a successful annual fundraising event. The Processors enter their meat products into a competition and then the winning entries are auctioned at a State Fair event to supportive individuals and businesses with the proceeds flowing to the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.
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