AFTER more than 50 years of service to the dairy industry, former Dairy Vale manager Peter Thiele has been recognised for his efforts by being named the inaugural winner of the Brenton Higgins Memorial Award at the recent South Australian Dairy Awards.
The trophy was created in honour of former Golden North owner Brenton Higgins, who passed away last year after 30 years in the dairy industry.
Mr Thiele began his career in the dairy industry at Amscol, Mt Torrens, in 1952, collecting milk in cans to assist in making cheese.
Click the image above for our full gallery from the award night.
He worked his way up through the ranks with Amscol and then when the company was taken over by the South Australian Farmers Union and Dairy Vale in 1978.
From 1997 until to his retirement in 2000, he was the quality control and customer service manager for Dairy Vale.
Mr Thiele was also affiliated with a number of other organisations, including the Dairy Technology Society from 1995 until an amalgamation into the Dairy Industry Association of Australia in 1986.
He was named the inaugural State president of DIAA in 1986 and was made Australian president in 1992.
Since 2000, Mr Thiele has assisted with the judging of the dairy product awards at various country shows, Royal Adelaide Show and the Perth Show on two occasions.
He has been a life member of DIAA since 1996 and was also awarded the John Bryant Memorial Medallion, in recognition for his outstanding service to the industry.
This year, the John Bryant award went to Dairy Authority of SA chief executive officer Steve Rice.
Mr Rice joined the Department of Agriculture (now PIRSA) in 1972 and was involved in developing dairy industry policy and legislation until 2000. He was also deeply involved throughout deregulation.
He is also a judge in the SA Dairy Awards, at Cheesefest, and is a regular member of the judging panel for the Australian Grand Dairy Awards.
Scooping the pool at the awards was local chocolate retailer Bracegirdles House of Fine Chocolate, which took home champion chocolate, best chocolate product and most successful chocolate exhibitor.
It was the company's first win at the awards after only three years of taking part in the competition.
* Full report and winner in Stock Journal, August 19 issue.