Jerome Family Honored Again

Lawrence F. Jerome has been posthumously named the 2024 Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Jerome was the owner of Jerland Farms until his passing earlier this year.

The award was presented to Jerome’s family at the 58th Annual Scholarship and Awards Program. It drew a crowd of more than 200 students, donors, faculty and staff.

CAFES Dean Michael Orth, asked Emeritus Professor of Animal Science, Gary Onan, to say a few words. Onan had nominated Jerome. He described Jerome as a true Renaissance man. He was an accomplished musician, a highly regarded motivational speaker, a person of strong faith who embraced a diversity of cultures, and a very talented and successful animal breeder.

“Larry was so good at animal selection and planning appropriate matings that it was almost as if he was born with an advanced degree in animal breeding,” said Onan.

Jerome was most noted for his work with Holstein cattle, Arabian horses and German Shepherd dogs. He also had herds of Shorthorn and Main Anjou beef cattle from time to time. Other interests included Brown Swiss dairy cattle and Belgian horses. Jerland dairy genetics, Jerland Arabians and Jerland dogs are found around the world.

Jerome had numerous class champions and at least one Supreme Champion at World Dairy Expo, and two premier Arabian stallions whose offspring have garnered at least 46 national championships. For his work with Arabians, Jerome was honored with the World Cup Top Five Breeder Award and as a Breeder of Distinction, and in 2023 with the Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award.

Onan first became acquainted with Jerome at the Barron County Fair. He said there, at the fair, you saw Jerome’s long-standing commitment to youth livestock programs. He worked with 4-H, FFA and the Barron County Fair.

Jerome was always interested in technological advances too. He personally funded and oversaw a project to install a state-of-the-art scanning system. It helped provide immediate visual feedback for exhibitors. It was the most sophisticated system at any fair in the state and possibly the nation.

The Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist Award was established in 1970 to recognize individuals who have provided leadership, service and other contributions to the broader agricultural community.

The family was presented with a framed copy of the charcoal sketch of his portrait that hangs in the Agriculture Hall of Fame in the Agricultural Science building on campus. Visit to see previous honorees, which include Wallace H. Jerome, Larry’s father. They are the second father and son to receive the Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist Award.