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First-ever Dairy Soccer Cup held in New Holstein, Wisconsin

Progressive Dairy Editor Madison Leak Published on 24 September 2021

A passion for soccer and a love for the agriculture industry sparked an idea in Manuel (Manny) Valenzuela and his son, Josue. The pair designed and executed the first-ever Dairy Soccer Cup in New Holstein, Wisconsin, July 24 and 31, a soccer tournament for local individuals involved in the dairy industry. The hope is to make the tournament an annual event.

Manny, who holds a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science, and Josue, a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Parkside in sports marketing and management and a member of Parkside’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 2 soccer team, wanted to put to the test some of the skills Josue recently learned in school. As someone who’s been employed at a dairy farm for the past two decades, Manny wanted to combine his love for the dairy industry and his passion for soccer into one event. Enter the Dairy Soccer Cup.



With sponsorships from Alltech, Breeze Dairy Group, Gold Star Dairy Farms, Boehringer Ingelheim, Compeer Financial, GPS Dairy Consulting and Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, the Valenzuela’s were able to fund a full tournament, with 12 participating teams.

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“The Valenzuela’s are well connected with dairies in the region,” says Jorge Delgado, a representative with Alltech. “Manuel is well-respected among many dairy workers in the region. These two aspects facilitated the organization of this event and the camaraderie during the games.”

Anyone involved in the industry could play. This included veterinarians, sales representatives, herdsmen, consultants and more. “We were more successful than we were anticipating,” Manny says. “We had around 400 people, which was great, and we’re already making plans for next year.” Manny anticipates an even bigger turn out next year, and he hopes to have more activities for family members and attendees to participate in. “Our goal at the end of the day is to make this a family event,” Manny says. “We want to have something for everyone.”

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“We also wanted people to interact with each other and meet other agriculture workers from the area,” Josue says. “Another area we wanted to hit was to get workers’ heads out of the work area for a little bit. We wanted them to relax and focus on something else. It was amazing to see all the smiles on people’s faces.”

Soccer has been a large part of the Valenzuela’s lives. Manny served as a coach during Josue’s youth, and Josue went on to play in college. The pair always had the idea to start a tournament like this bouncing around in the back of their minds. Though this idea had been in the works for a few years, a global pandemic put a hold on their plans last year.

“We had talked about this event for years and had planned on running it last year, but with COVID, we obviously had to put it on hold,” Josue says. “My father and I decided we were going to run this event about 3 months prior to the actual event, which was a tight squeeze and probably our biggest challenge.”

Lisowe Acres claimed the third-place spot in the tournament, while Gold Star Dairy Farms and Cleveland Dairy battled for the championship title. Gold Star Dairy Farms won on penalty kicks and was named the first-ever Dairy Soccer Cup Champion. Awards were given to the best goalie and the most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament.

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“We believe everyone who came to the event left with a smile on their face,” Josue says. “Whether they lost or won, new connections were born this day because of the event.”


“We’d like to thank to all the sponsors, farmers and the town of New Holstein,” Manny says. “They made this possible, and without them the tournament would not have been successful.”

Plans are being made for the second annual Dairy Soccer Cup. If you are interested in participating or learning more, email Manny or Josue Valenzuela.  end mark

PHOTO 1: Gold Star Dairy Farms took home the first-place trophy.

PHOTO 2: Participants await instruction.

PHOTO 3: A young participant kicks a ball during the tournament.

PHOTO 4: Cesar Fernandez claimed the MVP trophy. Photos by Manuel Valenzuela.

Madison Leak
  • Madison Leak

  • Editorial Intern
  • Progressive Dairy
  • Email Madison Leak