State College, PA – On a cold Saturday in March, Pennsylvania Jersey Cattle Association (PJCA) members from all around PA gathered to celebrate distinguished breeders, encourage youth, and socialize with each other all thanks to their love of the Jersey cow.
Following a new format, Jersey enthusiasts attended the annual meeting, the upcoming national meeting planning session, youth contests, and the annual Youth Awards Banquet all on Saturday, March 11, 2017.
During the annual business meeting, three prominent breeders were honored with awards. The 2017 PJCA Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual or individuals who have spent their lives honoring the Jersey breed. This year’s recipient was Beverly Gruber. Bev is involved in many organizations via her company SCS Management, including the PA Campground Owners Association and the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs. She has nurtured a longtime love of the Jersey breed and has funneled that love in the PJCA via the Jerseys East Newsletter since 2004. The membership has been greatly appreciative of her efforts through the newsletter and found the award greatly deserved. The 2017 Young Jersey Breeder Award is given to a young breeder between the ages of 28-40 years old who has dedicated their life to working with and bettering the Jersey breed. This year’s recipients are brother and sister, Cole & Jessica Peters. Cole and Jess are owners of Spruce Row Farm Inc. with their parents (Jeff & Janet Peters) in Meadville, PA. Cole is the farm’s main mechanic with a degree in Diesel Mechanics from Penn Tech University and Jess is the herd manager for the farm’s 280 Jersey cows. Jess is also the executive secretary of the PJCA and both are active in local agricultural groups and in using social media to advocate for the dairy industry. The last award of the afternoon was the 2017 Norman Genetic Award which is awarded to the Jersey herd in PA with the highest average Jersey Performance Index (JPI). This year’s award was given to Daniel Mains of Mount Rock Jerseys, LLC in Newville, PA. Mount Rock has a herd of 395 Jersey cows and a herd average JPI of 72 which makes them one of the top 35 Jersey genetic herds in the country.
Other breeders were honored through their top cows and herds! Each year, the PJCA honors the top production animals in each age category. The cows yielding the highest cheese yield dollars are awarded top honors along with each herd in four different size categories for milk, fat, and protein. The top cow in each age category is listed in the table below. Top Jersey herds were also honored at the meeting. There are four size categories and top herds for milk, fat, and protein within each category are honored. For herds size 7-29 cows, Country Path Jerseys – Scott & Karen Nolt (Bradford County), were awarded top honors for milk, fat, and protein with 22,256lbs of milk, 1123lbs of fat and 819lbs of protein. JD Brand Farms (Berks County) was top in the 30-59 cows category for 19,197lbs of milk. In the same category (30-59 cows), Dare E Land Farm (Snyder County) was awarded for 965lbs of fat and 700lbs of protein. For herd with 60-99 cows, Cedar Acres was top with 941lbs of fat and Matt & Alicia Derr of Heavens Blessings Jerseys (Lycoming County) were top with 19,226lbs of milk and 701lbs of protein. South-Mont Farm (Bradford County) was top with 1029lbs of fat for herd of 100 cows and over while Vanderfeltz Jerseys (Susquehanna County) won top honors for 21,757lbs of milk and 864lbs of fat. Vanderfeltz Jerseys also was honored for the highest protein cow (VanFel TBone Jalisa 750 – the winning 6 & 7 year old cow) and the highest protein herd for 2016. Year after year the PJCA production contest proves that PA Jersey breeders are constantly striving for excellence and are easily competitive with Jersey cows and herds all over the country.
|Age||Cow Name||Owner||Milk||Protein||Fat||Cheese Yield ($)|
|Sr. Yearling||JX Wingerts Zebulon Azura 3980||Wingert Farm||28,449||840||1,250||$3.89839|
|Jr. 2 Year Old||JX Wingert Hendrix Noel 3895||Wingert Farm||25,297||922||1,405||$4,250.66|
|Sr. 2 Year Old||JX Wingerts Hendrix Gidgette 3715||Wingert Farm||26,651||1028||1,404||$4,509.41|
|Jr. 3 Year Old||JX Wingerts Hendrix Gia 3785||Wingert Farm||26,837||987||1,363||$4,364.04|
|Sr. 3 Year Old||Windy Lane Stone Freeda||Windy Lane Jerseys||24,105||1026||1,285||$4,319.56|
|4 Year Old||JX Wingert AllStar Acorn 3369||Wingert Farm||30,362||1079||1,707||$5,065.14|
|5 Year Old||Nevertell Govenor Laguna||Vanderfeltz Jerseys||30,854||1180||1,499||$5,032.95|
|6 & 7 Year Olds||VanFel Tbone Jalisa 750||Vanderfeltz Jerseys||36,906||1322||1,344||$5,230.67|
|8 & 9 Year Olds||SV Heaths Citation Maple||Jessica Nolt||26,727||940||1,398||$4,300.12|
|10 Years & Over||VanFel PJS Christine 503||Vanderfeltz Jerseys||23,759||832||1,120||$3,654.71|
Saturday night was devoted solely to the PA Jersey Juniors and celebrating their many accomplishments. The winners of the scrapbook contest were Audrey Staples of Mercer County (Jr. division) and Willow Voegtlen of Bradford County (Sr. division). The first year project award is given to a PA Jersey youth 8 to 12 years of age who have completed their first project year in 2016. This year, Ethan Knapp of Venango County was honored with a handwritten story entitled ‘Highlights of My First Jersey Project Year.’ The Youth Achievement awards are given to recognize youth’s accomplishments with registered Jersey cattle. Applicants must own one or more registered Jersey cattle and fall into one of the three different age categories. This year’s Junior Achievement award was given to Blaine Warburton of Sullivan County, Intermediate Achievement was awarded to Jordan Anderson of Centre County, and Hannah Diehl of Mifflin County was honored with the Senior Achievement award. One scholarship was awarded to a Willow Voegtlen.
The Jacob M. Brunges Production contest honors youth’s efforts to keep their Jersey cows productive and the first place youth and her cow, Elsbree Marshal Arkansas have proven their ability to do just that. Arkansas and Jessica Nolt, of Bradford County, have won first place in the youth Product Contest for four consecutive years. The top 10 winners, based on m.e. protein, are listed below.
|Youth||Cow Name||Cow Age||Milk||Protein||Fat||m.e. Protein|
|1||Jessica Nolt||Elsbree Marshal Arkansas||5-01||28,788||975||1,348||946|
|2||Katelyn Nolt||Country Path Governor Dora||4-05||22,386||877||1,214||868|
|3||Sarah Diehl||Musser Run Galvanize Lollipop||2-01||17,547||621||761||801|
|4||Allison Younker||MVF Mason Joanie 2065||2-03||17,736||637||967||790|
|5||Naomi Diehl||Musser Run Dawson Sweetpea||3-00||20,243||703||834||772|
|Wesley Noble||Nobledale GB Fire Vanessa||1-11||14,711||568||720||772|
|6||Kaylee Knapp||Cover Girl HG Cashmere||1-11||16,410||615||862||754|
|7||Carley Fries||Chyle Land Brazo Crisp||6-02||20,554||714||870||750|
|8||Lily Fries||Chyle Land Louie Lily||4-02||18,376||687||1,057||735|
|9||Riley Thompson||Cerenity Dandy Envy E43||2-04||14,126||571||725||691|
Aside from the production contest, youth were encouraged to come to the meeting and compete in the speech and dairy jeopardy contests. The speech contest took place in the morning with 20 youth competing in three different age divisions. Youth were asked to prepare speeches based on any aspect of Jersey business, including current affairs and dairy industry trends. In the junior division, third place went to Ainsley Staples of Mercer County, second to Blaine Warburton of Sullivan County, and first place was awarded to Zachary Diehl of Mifflin County. In the intermediate division third place was awarded to Mason Davis of Fayette County, second to Audrey Staples of Mercer County, and first place was given to Riley Thompson of McKean County. Lastly, in the senior division third place was awarded to Sawyer Whitenight of Columbia County, second to Ayla Blatt of Berks County, and the first place senior speech was delivered by Willow Voegtlen of Bradford County.
Dairy jeopardy, hosted by the Penn State Dairy Science Club, included two age divisions and over 15 participants. Third place in the junior division was Jillian Anderson of Centre County, second to Maxwell Knapp of Venango County, and first place was Jordan Anderson of Centre County. In the senior division, third place was Hannah Diehl of Mifflin County, second place was Willow Voegtlen of Bradford County, and first was Ayla Blatt of Berks County. The last youth contest of the evening was the crowning of the 2017 Pennsylvania Jersey Queen. This year, two contestants competed with a quiz, an interview, a speech, and an impromptu question delivered in front of the attending PJCA members for the honor of 2017 PA Jersey Queen. After short remarks from the 2016 National Jersey Queen, Maria Jo Noble, and farewell remarks from the 2016 PA Jersey Queen, Brooke Ostrander, the 2017 PA Jersey Queen was crowned. Lane Kummer of Butler County was given the title of PA Jersey Queen and Jaydyn Isiminger of Crawford County was named the PA Alternate Jersey Queen. Throughout the event, PJCA members donated then bid on items via a silent auction with all proceeds to benefit the PJCA Youth Fund. Members generously raised over $600 for the fund.
This June 21-24 in Gettysburg PA, Jersey lovers from all over the country will gather to celebrate each other and the Jersey breed. The PJCA is working hard to make sure that they know exactly how wonderful the agricultural industry in Pennsylvania is. Attendees will enjoy farm tours along with local historical and agricultural tours. As the meeting is a large undertaking, the PJCA is still accepting sponsorships and volunteers to help the event run smoothly. In addition to the adult program, there will be separate educational and fun youth tours as well as a youth dairy jeopardy contest. If you have any interest in the event, comments, or additional questions, please contact Jessica Peters, PJCA executive secretary at [email protected]. All photos were taken by Renée Norman-Kenny.
Lastly, a big thank you to all sponsors of the event: AgChoice Farm Credit, COBA/Select Sires, and Select Sire Power.
Follow PA Jersey news on Facebook at the Pennsylvania Jersey Cattle Association or for more information about Pennsylvania Jersey youth follow Pennsylvania Jersey Juniors.
Source & Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Jersey Breeders Association