Livestock News

Well-known Wisconsin dairyman dies in Indiana plane crash


A prominent member of the Wisconsin dairy industry was killed Thursday night in a plane crash in Carroll County, Indiana. The plane was bound for Green Bay.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has confirmed that John Pagel and his son-in-law Steve Witcpalek were among the victims who were on the plane that crashed near Rossville.

On Thursday night at approximately 7:39 p.m., officers from the Indiana State Police, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, and conservation officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources responded to a reported plane crash, in a field, near Carroll County Roads 500 West and 600 South.

The preliminary evidence indicates the plane was a Cessna 441 Conquest Turboprop which had taken off from the Eagle Creek Airport in Indianapolis. At this time it is not known how many people were on board the plane.

Due to recent heavy rains, the crash scene was very muddy and extremely hard to walk through. Because of that and darkness, officers from the Indiana State Police and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department created a perimeter to secure the crash scene overnight.

The Pagel family manages about 8,500 acres and milks 5,300 cows. They also have a farm in Kansas that milks about 4,500 cows. Pagel was also president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, the nation’s sixth-largest dairy cooperative. 


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