Bonnie Mohr Named National Dairy Shrine Guest of Honor
DENMARK, Wis.– Bonnie Mohr, owner and president of Bonnie Mohr Studio in Glencoe, is the first woman to receive the National Dairy Shrine’s most prestigious Guest of Honor award. This award, presented annually, recognizes a contemporary dairy leader for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the dairy industry.
Mohr will receive the Guest of Honor award at the National Dairy Shrine banquet on Thursday, October 5th in Madison, Wisconsin.
“If an image, or in this case painting, is worth 1,000 words…Bonnie Mohr has written more novels than any other person in the history of this great American dairy industry,” Corey Geiger, Managing Editor of Hoard’s Dairyman wrote of Mohr. “She inspires others through her paintings, creates ideals that we can all move toward and encourages the next generation to enter the dairy industry.”
Mohr, a native of St. George, is the daughter of Fred and Marianne Bianchi. She graduated from New Ulm High School in 1980 and went to school at U of M Waseca for Dairy Production with a minor in Communications.
As a self-taught artist, Mohr’s career began in 1988, when Select Sires commissioned her to paint a few of their most famous bulls. Since that initial project, she has gone on to become the one of the world’s most popular and most respected dairy artists. Today, her paintings adorn the walls of dairy farm homes and businesses throughout the United States, Canada and some 30 countries around the world. Through all of her success, she has remained true to her roots and focuses her work on rural scenes, especially cows and farm animals. Currently, Mohr creates an average of five to 15 original pieces of artwork each year and sells 2,000 to 3,000 reproductions annually.
Some highlights of Mohr’s career include painting a recreation of the famous Purina Mills Dairy Breeds of the Northern Hemisphere poster, painting the modern-day Foster Mother of the Human Race portrait for the 125th Anniversary Celebration of Hoard’s Dairyman, painting modern-day True Type Ideal Model Cows for four of the breed associations, updating the famous Norman Rockwell “National County Ag Agents” Extension image as well as painting and donating an original oil painting “The Beautiful Cow” to the National Holstein Foundation to fund youth and young adult programs, which raised $90,000. She has also been a long-standing exhibitor at World Dairy Expo for 31 years.
Most recently, in 2015, Mohr authored her first children’s book, “Once There Were No Cows.” She created 16 oil paintings for it and wrote the story about the beginning of time and God’s creation of the cow. It has sold over 5,000 copies and there are plans for it to be reprinted. Over the past 15 years, Mohr has broadened her painting perspective to also include general Rural American and Inspirational artwork, which has allowed her to reach a larger and broader customer base.
In addition to becoming an exceptional dairy artist, Mohr also is an incredible giver of her time, money and skills. She has taken helping others to a level most will never reach by supporting over 100 charities through donated artwork. Over the years, these charities have comprised of many dairy-based organizations including 4-H, FFA, breed associations and fundraisers for farm families following tragedy. She also donates to cancer and diabetes efforts.
Mohr’s dedication to the greater dairy community and the agriculture industry are clear in her actions and praise from her peers. David Thorbahn, President and CEO of Select Sires shared, “It is clear that Mohr’s skills as an artist has helped portray the majestic and beautiful image of the dairy cow and shared the caring and hardworking image of America’s dairy farmer to the agricultural industry and to the buying consumer worldwide. Her amazing contributions over the last 28 years through her artwork, advocacy and her paying forward to the dairy industry make her worthy of this great honor.”