National Dairy Shrine has the privilege to honor five individuals for their lifetime service with the coveted Pioneer Award.
These gentlemen are outstanding representatives of the dairy industry. Their recognition as Pioneers of the National Dairy Shrine only adds to the honor roll of leaders in the National Dairy Hall of Fame.
One of this year’s honorees is the well-known Brown Swiss leader George Harris. George Harris of New Milford, Connecticut, has had an outstanding career with the Brown Swiss breed and was a proud supporter of agriculture education.
Upon graduating from Radcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture in 1954, George returned to the family farm in Wethersfield. In 1958 George and his wife Vivian moved to New Milford, Connecticut and began Harris Hill Farm, continuing to breed registered Brown Swiss that his grandfather had imported from Switzerland. He developed an outstanding herd of Swiss and furthered the industry by breeding one of the elite sires of his day Harris Hill Tom Jones and the great brood cow Harris Hill Tina L (4-E), as well as several other show winning females.
George started working with the National Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association in 1981 as a part-time Eastern Field Representative. He began working full time later that year as a field representative and classifier through 1987. George then became the Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the National Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association in 1988, moving to Beloit, Wisconsin. He retired from that position in 1994 and continued working part time as a classifier until 2005.
George has continued to be very active with the Brown Swiss breed. He served as a member of the Brown Swiss Sire Committee for Eastern A.I. and co-chaired the 2001 National Brown Swiss Convention with his wife, Vivian. George has also been invited to judge shows in multiple countries.
George has always been a proud supporter of youth work and education in agriculture. George and his neighborhood friends were instrumental in starting the Winding Brook 4-H Club in Wethersfield as youth leaders in the mid-1940s. Continuing on with the New Milford club as an adult leader, George has offered many 4-H members the opportunity to exhibit calves at the fair and coaching them for the show ring.
The Harris Hill farm now surrounded by urban sprawl is still operated by the Harris Family and puts on numerous educational events for local students. Each October the farm hosts approximately 1200 school children for an educational harvest event.
George Harris will receive the 2018 Pioneer Recognition at the annual National Dairy Shrine Awards Banquet on Thursday, October 4th in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information about the banquet or about students, producers and dairy industry individuals being recognized by the National Dairy Shrine, please contact National Dairy Shrine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on the National Dairy Shrine membership is also available online at