National Dairy Shrine (NDS) is pleased to announce the winners of the Guest of Honor, Pioneer, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder, Graduate Dairy Production and Progressive Dairy Producer awards for this year. These awards were designed to honor past, present and future dairy industry leaders that have contributed to strengthening and energizing the dairy industry.
Dr. Robert Cropp is the Guest of Honor, the highest award from the National Dairy Shrine. This award goes to an individual that has had a dramatic impact on the dairy industry and its future. Robert Cropp, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has had a preeminent role in creating industry knowledge on the economic impact of various changes in milk pricing and how the marketing & storage of dairy products has on those pricing mechanisms. His tireless monitoring of dairy supplies and reporting dairy marketing facts to the industry is exemplary. He was one of the true pioneers in the area of milk marketing and dairy economic analysis. Dr Cropp has been a featured speaker and contributor to numerous dairy organizations. He has served as a vital resource to numerous state and federal agencies focused on dairy policy.
The NDS Distinguished Dairy Cattle breeder is Berneta Gable from New Enterprise, Pennsylvania. Gable’s Guernsey herd carries the Snider Homestead prefix and is known worldwide for producing quality and sought after cattle. Berneta Gable has served on several national & regional Guernsey boards and committees. She has served on the American Guernsey Association board of directors and was President of Purebred Publishing. Her ability to breed top show animals as well as breed leading sires is legendary. Berneta has also been active in her local church.
Through an anonymous selection committee, William Bickert, Clarence Olson, Maurice Keene, Robert Heilman and R. Peter Heffering were selected as National Dairy Shrine Pioneers. This year’s honorees are an exemplary display of what this award is about. William Bickert, Dewitt, MI., a well respected industry educator at Michigan State University, help develop many of the innovative dairy housing, stalling and ventilation practices that are now common on every dairy operation in the US. Clarence Olson, Madison, WI, served as an extension educator, was very instrumental in developing the DHIA program in Wisconsin and making numerous improvements in DHIA technology and policy. His schools for farm women started an industry trend to include women as working decision makers on every dairy farm. Maurice Keene, Auburn, ME., is a well respected Holstein breeder that developed the Raymau herd to national recognition. Maurice served as president of the Holstein Association USA when it developed many new genetic and classification programs in the early 1980’s. His leadership is exemplary and he has passed that on to his children. Two of his daughters have been National Dairy Shrine Presidents and his son was named a National Distinguished Holstein Young Breeder in 1997. Robert Heilman, Richmond, Virginia, was one of the true Pioneers in the genetic and embryo export business. The formation of American Marketing Services (AMS) led to a nearly 40 year career in the exporting of US genetics internationally. He opened many doors for US genetics all over Europe. Mr. Heilman has most recently been involved in raising funds for several dairy industry foundations. R Peter Heffering, Port Perry Ontario, Canada is one of the giants of the Holstein industry. His Hanover Hill program has international recognition and the genetics he developed have literally influenced every major dairy country in the world. Peter was also well known for his accomplishments in the show ring and was honored as a Klussendorf award winner in 1985.
The NDS Progressive Dairy Producers selected for this year are Bill & Kelle Calvert in the small herd division and Dana Metzger in the large herd division. This award is a $2000 travel stipend to attend an out of state conference or seminar to learn new techniques to improve their dairy business. Bill & Kelle Calvert have an excellent herd of Holsteins in Cuba City, Wisconsin. This young couple is very involved in the dairy community. Both have had leadership positions in state and county breed associations. In addition they have been very active in dairy youth activities receiving the Wisconsin Holstein Friend of Youth Honor in 2004. Dana Metzger operates Multi-Rose Jerseys in Rock Rapids, Iowa. With his wife Kary and family they manage a dairy that milk 1500 cows. Mr. Metzger has been very active in the Northwest Iowa DHIA, the Farm Bureau, Western Iowa Dairy Alliance and the American Jersey Cattle Association. The Metzger family takes great pride in their superior family dairy operation.
Ryan Clark, Tyrone, Pennsylvania has been selected as the Graduate Dairy Production award winner. This award goes to an active dairyman who has graduated from college in the last nine years and has already demonstrated excellent dairy management ability and financial stability. Ryan began his dairy operation with a few cows and a dream. While balancing a full time job with Cargill, Ryan built his herd utilizing rented facilities and various loans. In 2009 he resigned his job to become a fulltime dairyman. He operates a 160 Jersey cow operation with plans to move to 240 cows at the current rented facilities. Mr. Clark will receive a $2500 award sponsored by Elanco to be used toward the purchase of cattle to improve his herd.
The annual National Dairy Shrine awards banquet will be held on September 11 during the 50th Anniversary All American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA. For more information about the banquet or about students, producers and industry representatives being recognized by National Dairy Shrine, please contact Dr. David Selner, Executive Director, at [email protected] Information on the National Dairy Shrine mission or membership is also available online at www.dairyshrine.org. Dairy enthusiasts are encouraged to become a part of the most important organization honoring our dairy heritage, inspiring future leaders and promoting the dairy industry.