The WHPA honored Clifford Patz of Pound, WI with the 2023 Pioneer Award! Clifford Patz has been a member of WHPA many years and has been a familiar smiling face at countless summer meetings and conventions. He is also an active member of the American Beekeeping Federation and has attended the ABF convention almost every year. Clifford has worked at the State Fair and been a consistent and dependable bidder to provide honey for the Fair for many years. In fact, without his bids, there would have been many years without enough product to supply the booth for the fair. This has involved not only preparing a large quantity of high quality and attractive honey but driving long distances to bring down product, volunteer, resupply halfway through and pick up the remaining inventory at the end. Even in the midst of many personal challenges this year, he made sure that the WHPA State Fair booth was taken care of.
Clifford started his business with his wife by tapping a few maple trees with their sons. As this hobby grew, they built a dedicated state approved kitchen and were tapping over 15,000 trees each spring. Bees were soon added to the mix with a unique twist of housing them in old school buses to protect them from bears. Through innumerable hours on the road and behind a booth at farmers markets and fairs, they built a thriving business and loyal customer base that they consider friends
The WHPA Pioneer Award can be thought of as a “lifetime achievement” award. It is given each year to a member who has shown an unparalleled level of passion and commitment for the WHPA and our industry over the course of their career. The recipient must be a life-long learner and would be someone you would recommend without reservation to mentor a new beekeeper.