Veronica Steer, Cottage Grove, Tenn., 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.
Veronica’s work with the Jersey breed started at a young age as she would follow her father Charles around when she was little, opening gates, counting heifers, or watering calves. In 2001, Veronica was the winner of the National Jersey Youth Achievement Contest. Her Jersey experiences encouraged her to pursue a degree in dairy science at Virginia Tech, from which she graduated in 2003.
Since Veronica returned to her home farm, Sunbow Jerseys, in 2005 she has taken over many of the day-to-day responsibilities and management decisions. The 2013 lactation average on the 97-cow herd was 17,783 lbs. milk, 782 lbs. fat, and 618 lbs. protein. Currently, five cows in the herd rank on the Top 1.5% traditional Jersey Performance Index™ list.
Veronica has consistently utilized young sire programs. For 2013, 85% of matings were to genomic young sires and she sold her first bull into A.I. Veronica is the current President of Dixieland Jersey Sires Inc. James Huffard, Huffard Dairy Farms, Crockett, Va., commented on Veronica’s involvement with the program: “She is one of those young Jersey minds that you definitely want on the team.”
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.