Maryland Dairy Convention honors dairy producers, awards youth
By Laurie Savage
FREDERICK, Md — The Maryland Dairy Convention was hosted by the Maryland Dairy Industry Association and the Maryland Dairy Shrine Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Frederick Fairgrounds. The event featured a daytime educational program and awards and an evening banquet to spotlight stars of the industry.
Highlights of the day included the awarding of Dairy of Distinction designations to two Frederick County dairy farms and the induction of two couples into the Maryland Dairy Shrine.
Shafdon Farms, LLC, of Jefferson, operated by the Denny and Teresa Shafer family, and Tulip Pond Farm, of Union Bridge, operated by the Dave and Carole Doody family, were named 2012 Maryland Dairies of Distinction.
Six hundred acres encompasses Shafdon Farms, where 220 Holstein and Brown Swiss cows are milked. The herd boasts a rolling herd average of 20,000 pounds of milk. The Shafers have been honored with premium awards from their milk cooperative for producing quality milk. The family, which includes parents Denny and Teresa, son Brent and daughter-in-law Dee, work together as a team to make the farm profitable and sustainable for future generations. The Shafers emphasize milk quality and herd health.
Dave and Carole Doody and their daughters Carissa and Cathleen farm 154 acres owned and 600 acres rented. They milk 160 Holsteins with a rolling herd average of 23,000 pounds of milk. In 2010, the Doodys were recognized as Master Farmers. They earned milk quality awards from Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative and in 1993 were the soil conservation Cooperators of the Year, as well as the 2007 Maryland Holstein Association Outstanding Senior Breeders. The family says the secret to their success is keeping a positive attitude, especially when it comes to what the weather brings.
Robert and Ginger Knutsen of Rising Sun and Clayton and Shirley Smith of Jefferson were inducted into the Maryland Dairy Shrine during the organization’s annual banquet.
The Knutsens milk 55 registered Holsteins and raise 50 replacement heifers on their 180-acre Lovdal Farm. They have three children.
The Lovdal cows boast a rolling herd average of 23,000 pounds of milk and a BAA of 105.7. The family enjoys showing at the county fair and at one time had several bulls at studs and exported embryos. The Knutsens dedicated their lives to service to Maryland Holsteins and the state’s dairy industry. Robert Knutsen was involved with the Eastern Shore Showcase calf sale for 29 years and served as president and vice president of the Maryland Holstein Association. Both Knutsens co-chaired the Maryland state show committee for 10 years and served on several other committees, including export and merchandising and state convention, as well as the publicity and advance information committee for the 1981 national Holstein convention. The Knutsens were recognized as Farmers Home Administration Farm Family of the Year, Farm Bureau Farmer of the Year and Maryland Extension Pioneer. The dairy farmers also served as 4-H leaders and started the Farm Bureau Young Farmers group. They are active church members, having served as Sunday School teachers and lay leaders.
In 1951, Clayton Smith began farming on this own farm at age 18. Shirley and Clayton married in 1958 and have been a team in operating OCS Dairy since that time. OCS Dairy hosted visitors from Africa and Australia, school field trips, judging practices and 4-H events and leased animals to 4-H members. The Smiths have been recognized for many accomplishments in the Holstein and Guernsey breeds. They were honored with the Maryland Holstein Association Senior Breeder Award and were top producers for Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association. Shirley and Clayton Smith made many contributions to the dairy industry. Clayton Smith served as a delegate to National Holstein Convention, director of Frederick County DHIA and president of Frederick County Holstein Club. He also served on the Maryland Holstein Show Committee. Shirley Smith was president of the Maryland Guernsey Association and director of Maryland Dairy Shrine. She helped with the awards and youth program for the Maryland Guernsey Association.
The Smiths are active members of Jefferson Lutheran Church. They have seven children, most of whom are involved in the dairy industry.
Also during the daytime program, keynote speaker Dr. Paul Rapnicki presented “Managing Animal Patterns for Improved Cow Comfort and Profitability.” Other presenters discussed the topics of dairy safety, farm vehicle tags and licensing, dairy policy and milk pricing and steps for improved dairy quality assurance. Afternoon breakout sessions focused on animal traceability, euthanasia and improving meat quality.
Billy Sutton of Delmarva Feed and Farm Service in Kennedyville, Diane Flickinger of Flickstead Farm in Union Bridge, Scott Hood of Hoodstead Farm in Middletown and Paul Coblentz of Deerspring Dairy Farm in Middletown were elected to the MDIA board of directors.
Carissa Doody of Union Bridge was awarded a $1,000 Boyd Cook Memorial Scholarship from MDIA. Jason Zimmerman of Littlestown, Pa., and Tracey Forsythe of Hagerstown received $500 scholarships. Doody and Zimmerman attend Virginia Tech University, while Forsythe is a student at Delaware Valley College.
Just over 30 youth participated in a junior dairyman contest in conjunction with the day meeting that consisted of a written test, evaluating a milk record, identifying equipment and feeds, and naming the parts of the dairy cow.
The top four winners in each category are as follows:
Junior – 1-Madison Spurrier; 2-Todd Allen; 3-Robert Hahn; 4-Zachary Spurrier
Intermediate – 1-Sarah Manning; 2-Charlie Sasscer; 3-Katelyn Allen; 4-Josiah Manning
Senior – 1-Carissa Doody; 2-Maggie Buckmeier; 3-Shelby Sasscer; 4-Brent Zimmerman
During the evening banquet, Carissa Doody was awarded the Mid-Maryland Dairy Vets Scholarship, and Jason Zimmerman won a Maryland Dairy Shrine Scholarship. Also winning shrine scholarships were Sarah Davis of Union Bridge and Andrea Steyer of Oakland. Davis attends James Madison University, and Steyer is a student at West Virginia University.
During the MDS business meeting, directors Kathy Hoff, Ed Fry, Marcia Molesworth and Charles Iager were re-elected to the board.
John Rotz of the Maryland State Highway Administration discusses the use of farm trucks during his talk at the Maryland Dairy Convention held Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Frederick Fairgrounds.
The Maryland Dairy Industry Association presented three Boyd Cook Memorial Scholarships during the Maryland Dairy Convention to Carissa Doody, Jason Zimmerman and Tracey Forsythe. Pictured are Brent Zimmerman accepting for Jason Zimmerman and Carissa Doody.
The Dave and Carole Doody family of Union Bridge and the Denny and Teresa Shafer family of Jefferson were honored by the Maryland Dairy Industry Association as Dairies of Distinction during the Maryland Dairy Convention. Pictured are, from left, Alternate Upper Chesapeake Dairy Princess Josie Dallam, Carole Doody, Cathleen Doody, Carissa Doody, Dave Doody, Carroll County Dairy Princess Amber Lippy, Ruth Shafer, Teresa Shafer with Atley Shafer, Denny Shafer, Dee Shafer with Aubree Shafer, Brent Shafer and Alternate Maryland Dairy Princess Danielle Anderson. Each family receives a Dairy of Distinction sign from MDIA and a framed farm photo taken by Edwin Remsberg and given by Lancaster Farming newspaper.
Clayton and Shirley Smith of Jefferson were honored during the Maryland Dairy Convention as Maryland Dairy Shrine inductees. Pictured are, from left, Robert Morris representing Maryland Dairy Shrine, Shirley Smith and Clayton Smith.
Robert and Ginger Knutsen of Rising Sun were honored during the Maryland Dairy Convention as Maryland Dairy Shrine inductees. Pictured are, from left, Ginger Knutsen, Robert Knutsen and Robert Morris representing Maryland Dairy Shrine.