David Patrick of Maple-Dell Ayrshires, Woodbine, Maryland, is National Dairy Shrine’s Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award recipient for 2020. This annual award goes to an active, progressive dairy breeder whose expertise in managing a dairy herd, based upon sound genetic and business principles, is a model for others.
David Patrick, who will celebrate his 90th birthday in August, is the patriarch of Maple-Dell Farm. His grandfather started this dairy farm in 1928. In 1941, David’s father bought him two Ayrshire heifer calves for a 4-H project. By 1955 those two calves had grown into a herd of 45 registered Ayrshires.
Today David and his wife Ann, along with two sons, Mike and Denny, and a grandson, Derek, operate Maple-Dell Farm. The family also breeds Registered Holsteins under the prefix Md-Maple-Dell. The Patrick’s own 450 acres of land and farm 1200 acres. They milk 165 cows in a double-eight parlor and raise over 160 heifers. Cows are fed a TMR and housed in free stalls with sand bedding or on a bedded pack. The herd has been on production testing for over 60 years and classified for 40 years. Productive cows with solid feet and legs, and highly scored udder traits, are the goal of this breeding program.
The Maple-Dell herd has set a standard for excellence in the Ayrshire breed. David received the Ayrshire Association’s Master Breeder award in 2010. He has earned 14 Constructive Breeder awards for the herd’s outstanding production and type. Over 100 cows have classified Excellent, including one at 95 points. There have been 17 All-American and 18 Reserve All-Americans carry the Maple-Dell prefix. The herd has put numerous bulls in A.I. Many cows have ranked on the Cow Performance Index (CPI) List and produced high lifetimes of milk.
David started showing Ayrshires at 11 years old. He has been exhibiting at local, state, national and international shows now for over 75 years. He has shown at the All-American Dairy Show in Pennsylvania for over 50 consecutive years and in 2006 won the show’s Obie Snider Award. He has had 12 grand champions at Maryland State Fair. David had back-to-back grand champions at World Dairy Expo (WDE) with Maple-Dell Luby winning in 1981 and Ardrossan Kellogg Soft Eye in 1982. In 1995, Maple-Dell I.R.S. Sweetnine was junior champion Ayrshire at WDE and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Canada, a first in breed history. David has had two more junior champions at WDE – Maple-Dell BBK Shea in 2006 and Maple-Dell Diligent Gift in 2007.
David has bred and developed many prominent Ayrshires. Maple-Dell Hi-Kick Sweet Pea (Ex-91-3E) was the Ayrshire representative on the Purina Mills “Dairy Breeds of North America” painting by Bonnie Mohr. Grand champion at the 1988 Eastern National Show, she is the dam of Maple-Dell Soldier, a popular A.I. sire. Maple-Dell Trident Song (Ex-91), grand champion at the Mid-Atlantic National Show and reserve grand at WDE in 2003, had two sons in A.I., Maple-Dell Avenger Sarge and Maple-Dell Shipley. The most notable cow family recently has been the “D’s” led by Maple-Dell Zorro Dafourth (Ex-95-2E), 2006 All-American Dairy Show grand champion and WDE reserve grand champion. Four generations of this family have now ranked high on the CPI Cow List. Two of Dafourth’s sons, Maple-Dell Modem Drew and Maple-Dell Modem Diego, and a grandson, Maple-Dell O Dixon, have seen A.I. use.
A great teacher and mentor to young people. David was a key founder of the Maryland 4-H dairy leasing program that gives “urban” 4-H members the opportunity to show and work with cattle. Started in 1989, this program continues to thrive with David leasing over 20 calves from his farm every year to local 4-H members.
David has been very active in breed and farm organizations. A member of the U.S. Ayrshire Breeders’ Association for 73 years, he was Association president in 1998-99 and received their Distinguished Service Award in 2002. He is a past president of the Maryland Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, Wills Fair Association and Maryland/Delaware Ayrshire Association, and was a longtime All-American Dairy Show Board Director. He was inducted into the Maryland Dairy Shrine in 1994 and earned the Maryland Dairy of Distinction Award in 2014. In 2007, Maple Dell Farm was inducted into the Maryland Governor’s Agricultural Hall of Fame. In addition to his farm responsibilities, David has been an A.I. inseminator for over 60 years.
A man of great integrity, deep faith and love of family, David Patrick’s portrait will be displayed at National Dairy Hall of Fame at the National Dairy Shrine Museum in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Mr. Patrick will receive the Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award at National Dairy Shrine’s 2021 Awards Banquet on Thursday, September 30th in Madison, Wisconsin.
For more information about National Dairy Shrine, the banquet, or the students and dairy industry leaders being recognized this year, contact National Dairy Shrine’s office at [email protected] or visit their website.