Dr. Tera Montgomery, professor of dairy and animal science at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was selected for the 2020 Carol Sue Butts Woman of the Year Award. Named for the provost emeritus and former interim chancellor who served at UW-Platteville from 1998 until 2010, the award recognizes female employees and students who make a difference in the lives of women.
“I am very honored to have received this award,” said Montgomery. “When I look at past recipients and I think of all of the other hard-working women on campus, I am humbled to be the one chosen this year. It definitely makes me want to continue my work and consider more ways that I can engage in a meaningful way with students and other faculty and staff.”
Montgomery joined the UW-Platteville School of Agriculture faculty in 2009. Over the years, she has engaged in many high-impact activities with students, including leading a study abroad trip to explore agriculture in Romania, advising the Pioneer Dairy Club and coaching the Dairy Challenge Team. Montgomery was also instrumental in helping the university launch a dairy science major in 2016.
Montgomery said one of her proudest achievements is helping to bring the Dairy Innovation Hub to the university, and seeing the transformative impact it will have on both the university and region.
“We have already been able to hire two new faculty, engage more faculty and students in dairy-related research and attract attention to our university thanks to the Hub,” said Montgomery. “One of the best things so far has been the conversations and collaboration that has happened across the three campuses – Platteville, River Falls and Madison – to try to bring the best research, education and outreach to Wisconsin and the Tri-State region. When we can work together to leverage our expertise across more than just our institution, we can solve real challenges, from all four priority areas. Who knew that we could potentially use whey proteins from milk for 3D printing or create a fresh look at welfare for our calves? There are so many opportunities, and while we have a long way to go, our farmers and others in the dairy industry are worth the effort.”
Throughout all initiatives Montgomery has been an instrumental part of, she said she hopes to make a difference in the lives of women at UW-Platteville.
“I want women to see that you do not have to compromise who you are and what makes you unique to make a difference,” said Montgomery. “Over the last 10 years I have found a balance for all of the things that are important to me, and because I have been true to myself, I have been able to see real opportunities arise for our students and for the university as a whole. I hope that I can pay it forward for others who I encounter through my day-to-day life.”