Forty years of doing the right thing for his country, fellow producers and the dairy industry has led this award winner to recognition for his global vision and innovation. The 2010 World Dairy Expo International Person of the Year is Tadanaga Komori of Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan.
Komori is one of four leaders who will be honored this month at World Dairy Expo, the world’s largest dairy industry event. This highest industry award celebrates the innovation and leadership that are reflected in their success.
The other 2010 World Dairy Expo recognition award winners are: Dairy Woman of the Year—Liz Doornink of Jon-De Farm, in Baldwin, Wis.; Dairyman of the Year—Donald T. Bennink of North Florida Holsteins, in Bell, Fla.; and Industry Person of the Year—Horace A. Backus of Backus Pedigree Company, in Mexico, N.Y.
After graduating from the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Komori was content to return to his family’s home farm. But the drive to improve Japan’s dairy industry led him to take every golden opportunity to innovate and lead.
A trip to the U.S. for training and tours began Komori’s lifelong love affair with quality cattle genetics. He began by importing just five cows and proceeded to establish All-Japan Breeders Service in 1976.
Komori took on the Japanese government to overturn the state-controlled artificial insemination importation laws. Once the private sector was open to import frozen semen, Komori created a livestock products import company, Japan Livestock Trading Corporation, in 1984. The company’s exclusive marketing agreement with American Breeders Service (now ABS Global) improved genetic merit for the dairy industry in Japan. Komori has increased semen imports from 1,200 units in 1986 to more than 260,000 units in the fiscal year of 2009 (April 2008 to March 2009).
Komori spearheaded the very first sale of American dairy genetics in Japan. He was also instrumental in creating the sister-city partnership between Madison, Wis., and Obihiro, Japan, in 2006.
One of his crowning achievements is his support of fellow producers by publishing Hoard’s Dairyman in Japan. Komori is personally responsible for the careful translation of the articles, and the publication has helped teach and encourage dairy producers throughout Japan.
The 2010 World Dairy Expo International Person of the Year award is sponsored by Merrick Animal Nutrition, Inc., and ABS Global.
The four recipients will be honored during World Dairy Expo at a special “Dinner with the Stars,” held on Wednesday, Sept. 29, in the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Tickets for the event are $30. Reservations are required by Tuesday, Sept. 21. For information about the event, visit the Expo Web site at www.worlddairyexpo.com or call (608) 224-6455.