Dustin and Carrie Gingerich, Shippensburg, Pa., were recognized awarded with the 2023 Young Jersey Breeder Award by The American Jersey Cattle Association on June 21 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
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.
The Gingerich family has put a lot of work to turn Rocky Ridge Jerseys into a successful 140-cow farm. Dustin graduated high school in 2000 and decided to join his grandfather’s farm by milking 26 Jerseys. Three short years later, Carrie and Dustin got married and now have four daughters, Hannah, Abigail, Lydia, and Leah. When she is not teaching, Carrie is on the farm helping with the chores and showing their daughters how to get the job done too.
By 2012 the family had outgrown their facility and began renting a larger one. From the time Dustin first joined the farm, the number of cows jumped to 100. Not too long after this, dreams came true. The family now owns their own farm with 140 cows housed in free stalls and milked in a swing-10 parlor.
Overall, 90% of the herd scored Very Good or Excellent. These scores are thanks to Gingerich’s sire selection and the use of the Jersey Mating Program. Rocky Ridge Jerseys has brought up five Hall of Fame cows. On top of these high scored cows, the farm’s products have also been recognized. One of their more notable awards was a Dairy of Distinction Award in May 2022.
In addition to helping with chores, The daughters have also taken on an interest in shows. Their parents did not grow up in this part of the dairy industry, so the girls have turned to mentors and do their own bull breeding research. They also utilize REAP and type traits appraisals.