Reynoldsburg, Ohio, June 16, 2014—Ryan and Jennifer Clark, Tyrone, Penna., will receive one of seven Young Jersey Breeder Awards given by the American Jersey Cattle Association in ceremonies on June 27, 2014, during the association’s Annual Meetings in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Young Jersey Breeder Award is presented to individuals or couples who are at least 28 years old and under the age of 40 on January 1 of the year nominated, who merit recognition for their expertise in dairy farming, breeding Jersey cattle, participation in programs of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc., and leadership in Jersey and other dairy and agriculture organizations.
Jessica Peters, Pennsylvania Jersey Cattle Association secretary, calls Ryan and Jennifer “an inspiration to other young dairy producers looking to start out in this business.” Each discovered a love of Jerseys as teenagers showing at county and state levels. While Jennifer came from a dairy farm, Ryan did not, but worked on neighboring farms through high school and college. Ryan’s purchase of 20 Jerseys started the Windy Lane herd, which has since grown to over 200 head since he began to focus on dairying full time in 2009.
Despite establishing their farm fairly recently, the couple has bred high production animals with great success. The Windy Lane herd had a 2013 lactation average of 22,049 lbs. milk, 1,069 lbs. fat, and 851 lbs. protein on 120 lactations, which ranked seventh in the nation for protein among all herds. Among similar-size herds of 80-149 lactations, they ranked second for protein production, sixth for milk, and seventh for fat.
In 2013, Ryan received the Graduate Production Award from the National Dairy Shrine. This award is given to two- or four-year agricultural graduates to pursue careers in commercial dairying and to gain ownership of dairy cattle with the intent of growing the size of their dairy herd. Ryan and Jennifer currently rent facilities for their Windy Lane herd, but identify the next phase of their business plan as buying a farm and increasing their milking herd to 400 head.
The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance data on Jersey cattle and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics, and Jersey milk and milk products. For more information on the association’s complete line of services for dairy business owners, visit the website at www.usjersey.com or connect at Facebook.com/USJersey.