Local Brown Swiss Showman Earns Accolades

Pictured: Norman C. Magnussen (left), Lake Mills, receives the 2023 A.C. “Whitie” Thomson Memorial Award by World Dairy Expo Board President, Bill Hageman (right).

The 2023 A.C. “Whitie” Thomson Memorial Award goes to Norman C. Magnussen of Lake Mills.

Thomson was known for his exemplary leadership and sportsmanship in the showring. This honor goes to a herdsman or showman who exhibits the same attributes the Memorial Award was founded on.

Magnussen, executive secretary of the Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association, has had a connection to World Dairy Expo for more than its 56-year history. His father, Norman E. Magnussen, was one of the handful of Wisconsin dairymen who prompted creation of the global dairy show and was instrumental in finding funding for its first years. The senior Magnussen put together a fundraiser cattle sale at the World Food and Agricultural Exposition — the show’s name in the spring of 1969.

Norman C. Magnussen, at the age of 22, took over the Brown Swiss Sale Service after his father’s untimely passing and hosted his first of five national Wisconsin sales that averaged more than $3,000 with the high seller being Norvic Telstar at $17,000.

For the next 38 years, Brown Swiss Sale Service LLC managed sales in 17 states including 16 national sales. The World Premier Brown Swiss Sale held during World Dairy Expo always features top-of-the-line cattle desired by breeders worldwide. While the name may say “Brown Swiss,” it represents all breeds of dairy cattle.

From showing at a young age to judging shows across the world, Norman C. Magnussen has a rich history in the Brown Swiss Breed. He was one of the first Bell Ringers in the Wisconsin Bell Ringer Contest in 1970. Magnussen has led multiple Grand Champions, Reserve Grand Champions, and Junior Champions here at Expo including Arbor Rose Strech Spicy, Betta Vue Matt Nadine, 2x Lyndale Convincer Elaine, and Bridge View Jade Katrina. He has judged shows on all levels including multiple national and four international shows.