World Dairy Expo Dairy Woman of the Year is Donna Myers of New Windsor, Maryland. She, her husband and daughter have a 55-cow registered Red & White herd and have sold genetics on four continents. They can trace most of their cattle back to a single Red & White calf she bought when she was young; three of their offspring are at the show this year. Myers is active in the local county fair, the Maryland State Fair and the state and national Holstein Associations.
The International Dairy Person of the Year is Anne Perchard from the Island of Jersey. She and her family have the Ansom Jersey Herd on the Isle where the breed originated. For 200 years, the herd on the island was a closed herd in an effort to protect the integrity of the breed. However, cattle were constantly being sold off the island to the point they are down to just 3,500 cows in 20 herds on the island. The closed herd also meant improvements made to the breed in the United States and other countries were not allowed on the island up until three years ago when purebred semen from overseas was allowed in. Perchard says those two-year-old heifers are showing incredible improvements to the herd.
The World Dairy Expo Dairyman of the Year is actually a family, brothers Alan, Jim, David and Jim’s son, John Koepke of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The 320-cow herd has an RHA of 31,563 milk, 1168 fat and 942 protein. John says having multiple family members involved in the farm allows for them to be involved in other things such as the State Ag Board, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin as well as community groups. The farm is also venturing into making and marketing their own cheese.
The World Dairy Expo Industry Person of the Year is Dr. H. Duane Normal with the USDA Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory. Dr. Norman has been a Research Leader at the lab developing methods for better evaluation of genetics in dairy cattle. Today’s evaluation goes beyond milk, fat and protein to assess economic indices, reproductive trains, dry period length and others.