Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) members elected Clint Al-Ag, Blue Sky Farms, Friona, Texas; Emily De Benetti, Oxford Cattle Co., Woodstock, Ont., Canada; and Jorge Delgado, dairy specialist with the Alltech On-Farm Support team; to the organization’s board of directors. Al-Ag represents the Southwest; De Benetti represents the Northeast; and Delgado serves as an allied industry director. Tamilee Nennich Adolph retired as a DCHA board member.
Al-Ag grew up on a dairy in the Texas Panhandle and enjoyed working with calves and heifers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from West Texas A&M University and participated in the U.S. Dairy Education and Training Consortium. Through this program, Al-Ag interned with Blue Sky Farms, which paved the road to his current position as heifer yard manager. He finds value in DCHA membership and involvement because the organization provides networking opportunities with other producers and offers a platform to learn about new practices, technologies and worldwide calf-centric research.
The Oxford Cattle Co. calf manager, De Benetti obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Guelph. Previously, she worked at Grober Nutrition as a young animal specialist. These experiences cultured her interest in evidence-based calf health management. “I thoroughly enjoy problem solving and the application of science-based best practices on farm, while working with animals and the people who work with them,” she said. “The calves bring me much joy and seeing them healthy and growing can be celebrated by the camaraderie of the team of people we have working with them.”
Originally from Ecuador, Delgado comes from a family of dairy farmers. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and dairy science from EARTH University in Costa Rica. Delgado spent 10 years in Ecuador, representing a genetic company through consulting, sales and training. In 2002, he moved to the United States and worked on dairies as a herd manager. Currently, Delgado leads Alltech’s Training, Talent Development and Retention program, and shares his expertise to help dairy producers with employee management practices, herd health, milk quality, calf management, protocol customization and animal welfare.
The DCHA board of directors reorganized and the new president is Elizabeth Quinn, Schaghticoke, N.Y. Other executive committee members include Past President T.J. McClure, Johnson, Kan., Vice President Sam Gardner, Huddleston, Va.; and Secretary/Treasurer Jamie Franken, Sutherland, Iowa. The remaining DCHA board members are Northeast Regional Director John Balbian, Amsterdam, N.Y.; Western Regional Director Megan Kissel, Wendell, Idaho; Academia Director Terri Ollivett, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.; and Company Director Kerry Nieuwkoop-Yanez, Merck Animal Health, Chowchilla, Calif.
The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With a national membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.