As Mike Austin wrapped up a short program Sunday introducing the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm host family, the local Dairy Promotion Committee surprised him with a special lifetime achievement award.
Austin has been a fixture in local media since he started doing agricultural reports on WGEE (now WTAQ) radio in 1980, and he also is part of the WFRV-TV Channel 5 family, covering the local farm scene.
“Mike Austin has been the voice of agriculture and dairy in this area,” J.J. Pagel of the Breakfast on the Farm Committee said as applause grew for the longtime broadcaster. “He spent a lot of Father’s Days here with us in Kewaunee County.”
Pagel presented a plaque and a gift basket of Kewaunee County products in recognition for “all your years of hard work and dedication” to a clearly surprised Austin.
“We just wanted to show our appreciation, how much you mean to us, how much you mean to our community and all of our farm families,” Pagel said. “So I just wanted to say from me to you, we thank you.”
Austin may have been caught off guard, but he recovered enough to finish with one of his trademark puns.
“I really appreciate being able to work with the best people in northeastern Wisconsin and in the state, you can’t say enough about our agriculturists,” Austin said. “I’m just glad that people have listened to me and watched me and gotten something out of the 40 years I’ve been in the area, because in all honesty, as I mentioned to you, J.J., you know, I’m just a Mike, I’m not a speaker.”