by Steven E Smith
A love for Jersey cattle brought NY State Jersey Cattle Club members to Johnstown, NY, on July 27 to attend the club’s summer picnic at Dreamroad Jerseys owned by Phillips and Susan Ferry and family.
The NY Jersey Cattle Club gathers for a State Picnic at different breeder farms. Members enjoy discussing the latest news about Jersey cattle and farming as well as catching up with families and friends. Excitement amongst those who recently attended the American Jersey Cattle Club and National All-Jersey Inc national meetings in Amarillo, Texas was evident at this year’s picnic.
During the picnic, different presenters also shared updates to the members. Charles Luchsinger, National District Director representing New York gave a report on the latest issues within the breed. Luchsinger indicated that the breed continues to make significant gains in marketing using the P value calculation as an excellent ranking system for comparing the percentile rank of a replacement heifer to the P value of her peers born during the same year. Luchsinger also advised breeders there would likely be changes to the National Jersey tag system to integrate Radio-active Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies to the tags that would work in concert with the USDA program for the national identification. In addition, Paul Chittenden, accomplished Jersey breeder who also attended, encouraged everyone as he spoke about the national meeting. “To tour Dalhart Jersey Ranch where 27,000 Jersey heifers are housed on 320 acres and thriving in the heat while not requiring shade is very memorable. If you have never been to this national meeting, you should plan to attend.”
Along with the discussion of current events and relevant club topics, the club highlighted successes within their youth membership. The club had an excellent representation of youth members who were recognized for making genetic progress with their cattle. Youth production awards were presented based on official dairy test results that were used to measure the value of milk in dollars and the calculated cheese yield pounds.
In addition, NY President Brian Chittenden requested that National Jersey Youth Academy participants Emily and Meghan Chittenden tell the group what outstanding experiences they had attending the event. Designed as an intense one week long college style course nicknamed by some as “Jersey Boot Camp”, 35 students from across the nation took part of the fully funded program at The Ohio State University. By gaining in-depth perspectives on the dairy industry with a Jersey breeder focus coupled with the important networking opportunity amongst students, both youth members explained that the event was a great experience. Meghan concluded her comments with the profound declaration that “I have decided to change my college major.”
Expressing her bond to Jersey cattle made stronger with the nuzzle of another newborn Jersey calf, Rebecca Eischort of Truxton, NY, presented her candidate prepared speech in contention for the title of NY State Jersey Queen. As a dedicated member of her family’s registered Jersey farm, Eischort discussed her commitment to promoting the Jersey breed as well as bringing attention to the dairy industry. As a part of the club’s summer picnic, Eischort was crowned the NY State Jersey Queen for 2013-2014.
Sara Barlass, AJCA Area Representative spoke to the group about marketing opportunities available to the group. As a state breeder club with a proven history of bringing quality cattle to the state and regional shows as well as performance genetics, Barlass informed the audience there are regional buyers as well as international orders for registered Jersey cattle that meet specific genetic and health testing criterian. As a staff person involved in the Jersey Marketing Service, Barlass spoke of the future of cattle marketing such as the Virtual Auction concept which was used at the National Heifer Sale this year. Instead of bringing animals to the national meeting, a virtual sale uses of video recording of consignments to demonstrate the phenotype of animals to be auctioned off. Barlass indicated that breeders are saying that “The days of trucking cattle to traditional sales facilities may have come to an end.”
Dreamroad Jerseys was the host farm for the New York Summer picnic. Dreamroad Jerseys was started in 1985 with a focus on breeding for the best udders and feet and leg traits while increasing component production.
After the picnic and business meeting, Jersey enthusiasts toured the barn finding Dreamroad Iatola Card EX 93, who is from the Dreamroad Lester Carly EX 95 family. From a different “C” family; Dreamroad & ZBW Iatola Cracker, backed by the next two dams who each scored EX 94; caught the attention of many as well. Further down the barn, Dreamroad Barber This One, EX 94 gave breeders something to talk as they observed her balance of size and scale of frame coupled with dairy quality and correctness.
Members of the NY State Jersey Cattle Club used the opportunity of the Summer picnic to catch up with other families and old friends. As breeders of Jersey cattle, these relationships are born from years of showing cattle, participating in clubs sales and other activities. As is often the case at these events, club members had the chance to share knowledge on the Jersey breed as well as the dairy industry as a whole. The summer picnic featured Jersey beef from Dreamroad Jersey steers and prepared by Cripple Creek BBQ with donations of Duncravin Farm bottle milk and Cabot Cheese.
As a part of the American Jersey Cattle Club, NY Jersey breeders continue to be well represented by their high caliber cattle that are recognized for their production performance, genetic superiority and elite show quality along with the dedication and leadership of their members. According to the New York Jersey Cattle Club website, NY Jersey breeders registered 4,246 animals in 2012; ranking seventh in the U.S. More information is available at http://jerseysites.usjersey.com/newyorkjerseys/welcome.html
by Steven E Smith