Officers and directors of the USJersey organizations were elected during the Annual Meetings of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) and National All-Jersey Inc. (NAJ) held virtually on June 26 and 27, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.
Jonathan Merriam, Hickman, Calif., was re-elected to a third one-year term as President of the American Jersey Cattle Association on June 27. The third generation of his family to breed and own Registered Jerseys, Merriam is the genetics specialist at Ahlem Farms Partnership, Hilmar, Calif., having previously worked in A.I. sire procurement, extension and education. He has served on the boards of the California Jersey Cattle Association and Jerseyland Sires and was co-chair of the 2016 National Heifer Sale. He was General Chair of The All American Jersey Shows & Sales in 2019, and served as chair of The All American Sale Committee in 2017.
Rebecca Ferry, Johnstown, N.Y., was elected to her first three-year term as AJCA Director from the Second District. She owns and operates Dreamroad Jerseys LLC, an 80-cow Registered Jersey herd, with her sister Sandra Scott. The herd is enrolled in AJCA’s REAP program. Becky was the 2002 National Jersey Youth Achievement winner and received the AJCA Young Jersey Breeder Award with Sandra in 2013. She was co-chair of the 2019 AJCA-NAJ Annual Meetings in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. In addition, she has served as co-secretary and vice president of the New York Jersey Cattle Club.
Karen Bohnert, East Moline, Ill., was re-elected to a second term as Director from the Sixth District. Bohnert and her husband, Scott, and children, Tyler, Cassie and Jacob, own and operate Bohnerts Jerseys with her in-laws and brother-in-law. The 500-cow Registered Jersey herd is enrolled on REAP. Bohnert is currently a member of the Development and Finance Committees on the AJCA board. Bohnert works from home as a dairy freelance communication consultant, known for her monthly column in the Hoard’s Dairyman, “Around the Kitchen Table.”
John Maxwell, Donahue, Iowa, was elected for his first term as AJCA Director from the Eighth District. He and his family own and operate Cinnamon Ridge Dairy, a 185-cow Registered Jersey herd. The herd is enrolled on REAP. The farm has diversified through the years, adding a large agri-tourism business that hosts an average of 7,000 visitors a year. The tours aim to educate visitors on practices of a modern dairy and row crop operation. John received the AJCA Young Jersey Breeder Award in 1997. He is currently serving as dairy superintendent of the Mississippi Valley Fair, a supervisor for Scott County and fire commissioner for the Donahue Volunteer Fire Department. He is a past president of DHIA and the Outstanding Young Farmers Organization. As well he sat on boards for Dairyland Jersey Sires Inc., Iowa State University Extension Council and River Valley Cooperative.
Cornell Kasbergen, Tulare, Calif., was elected to AJCA Director from the Eleventh District. Kasbergen and his wife, Teri, and son and daughter-in-law, Case and Allison, own and operate Rancho Teresita Dairy. The dairy consists of 1,800 acres of farmland; 3,600 Registered Jerseys and 1,400 Holsteins. The herd is enrolled on REAP and has many animals that rank among the elite of the breed for Genomic Jersey Performance Index. Cornell chairs the Milk Producers Council and recently completed 22 years of service on the Land O’Lakes board of directors. He chaired the audit committee for Land O’Lakes and represented the organization on the National Milk Producers Federation board. Kasbergen is a member of the dairy committee for the Agriculture Council of California and the milk producer review board for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. As well he served on the California Dairy Environmental Justice Fund.
Chairs of standing committees for 2020-21 are Bradley Taylor, Booneville, Miss., Finance; Mark Gardner, Dayton, Pa., Breed Improvement; Tom Sawyer, Walpole, N.H., Development; and John Boer, Dalhart, Texas, Information Technology and Identification. Gardner will also serve as vice president for the coming year.
National All-Jersey Inc.
Following the Annual Meeting of National All-Jersey Inc. (NAJ) on June 26, John Kokoski, Hadley, Mass., was elected to continue as president by the Board of Directors. Kokoski has been a member of the NAJ Board since 2007. He heads up the family-operated Mapleline Farm LLC. The enterprise includes a 135-cow Registered Jersey herd enrolled on REAP and a dairy plant that processes and distributes a full line of Jersey milk products to grocery retailers, restaurants and university food service. Kokoski is a past director of the Massachusetts Cooperative Milk Producers Federation and has served more than 25 years on the New England Dairy Promotion Board.
James S. Huffard III, Crockett, Va., was re-elected to a fifth term as Director from District #5. He served as president of the AJCA from 2001-2004. Huffard was honored by World Dairy Expo in 2014 as Dairyman of the Year, and as the Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder by National Dairy Shrine in 2012, He was named Master Breeder of the AJCA in 2008.
Huffard was re-elected as NAJ vice president. Calvin Graber, Hurley, S.D., will continue to serve as Finance Chair.
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. Since 1957, National All-Jersey Inc. has provided services that increase the value of and demand for Jersey milk and milk products and Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics. For more information on AJCA and NAJ services for dairy business owners, visit the website or connect on Facebook.