Norval and Jean Dvorak’s legacy will live on through the mission of the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center (WAEC). Today, the entire WAEC family is humbled and honored to announce the Dvorak family is making a $100,000 gift the capital campaign.

Steve & Melanie Dvorak have come together to honor their parents’ vision for agricultural education in our region. The family, along with their business, DVO, Inc. and D&D Equipment want to ensure not only their parents’ story is told but also the story of the countless farm families and industry leaders they worked with and alongside all their lives.

Norval was an agricultural pioneer whose impact was both local and global in nature. His efforts may have started in Manitowoc County but soon spread across Wisconsin, the Midwest and eventually to Eastern Europe.

Perhaps one of his greatest contributions to the agricultural industry was launching the cooperative movement which resulted in improved prosperity on Wisconsin farms. He was the visionary behind and helped to establish Lake-to-Lake Cooperative, Lakeland Egg Marketing Cooperative and Poland’s first ever agricultural cooperative.

For this reason, the family and WAEC is proud to name the “Pioneer” exhibit in Norval and Jean’s honor. This exhibit will be housed under the “Agri-CULTURE, How Are You Connected?” educational theme. Now visitors will be able to learn about and celebrate Norval’s historic impact and the impact of other notable industry innovators.

“Norval was a visionary and it was his vision of educating people about modern day agriculture and food and fiber production that inspired the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center.” said Scott Gunderson, Manitowoc County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent and WAEC Board Member. “Norval and his family devoted thousands of hours of this project. This gift is another testament to their unwavering commitment to WAEC’s success.”

Sadly, Norval and Jean Dvorak did not live to see their WAEC dream come to fruition. This gift, in addition to the numerous gifts given in Norval, Jean and their son, Dick’s honor, brings the Dvorak Family Memorial Fund to $ 112,548. This collective generosity is helping WAEC realize their dream.

Norval and Jean will be remembered as true stewards of agriculture. Their indelible mark will endure for generations and in some way they will live on through all of us who continue to invest in the prosperity of the agricultural industry.

To learn more about WAEC or to make a gift to the capital campaign, visit

More about the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center:

The Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center will be a state-of-the-art agricultural education center located in Manitowoc County.  It will provide visitors with the opportunity to connect to the industry by better understanding where their food comes from, and why agriculture is so important.  The Center will include a discovery center that features hands-on learning opportunities through many displays, and an opportunity to tour Grotegut Dairy Farm, which focuses on sustainability and best farming practices while milking 2,400 cows three times a day.  A highlight for visitors will be the chance to view the birth of calves from Grotegut Dairy Farm at the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center’s Land O’Lakes Birthing Barn.

For more information contact: Melissa Bender, Director of Education and Programming, 1290 North Avenue, Cleveland, WI 53015, at 920.693.1372 or

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