September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Minnesota PDCA Distinguished Breeders were recognized with displays in the Holstein History Room. They are Devoine and Linda Kruse, Dev-Lin Holsteins, Caledonia; Norbert, Jr., and Sandy Sonnek, Sonnek Farms, Foreston, Holstein; Jan and Jerry Albrecht, Albrecht Holsteins, Watertown; and Alan Overland, Balsam Grove Dairy, Sturgeon Lake, Guernsey.
The Holstein History/Dairy Bar Room also featured a display of Minnesota Junior Holstein history, including record books prepared by outstanding juniors over the years.
Friday evening's banquet included the presentation of a number of top awards.
Dale and Judy Mill of Pennsota Dairy of Lewiston, Minn., Winona County, received the outstanding Jersey Breeder Award. The Mills moved to southeastern Minnesota from Pennsylvania in 1975, hence their farm name. They have 150 Registered Jerseys, with a rolling herd average of 19,216 pounds milk, 825 pounds fat, and 661 pounds protein on three-time milking. They breed for production and functional type, but also favor polled genetics. Ninety-plus percent of the calves born on the farm are polled. The Mills built a new pack barn, with a double-eight parallel parlor, in 2005. Dale has been a Minnesota Jersey Cattle Club board member for more than 20 years and Judy is the current treasurer.
Five Holstein awards were presented at the banquet.
Dale Mackenthun of Brownton received the Minnesota Holstein Longtime Meritorious Service Award. Mackenthun has been involved in nearly every aspect of the state association-serving as a state director, vice president, and president; winning the state membership award three years in a row; co-chairing two state conventions, two state shows, and a national convention; breeding, owning, and showing a two-time All-American; judging county 4-H and FFA shows; hosting judging schools and twilight meetings, and much more.
Madge Alberts of Pine Island received the Person of the Year Award, presented to someone who volunteers without thought of recognition. Alberts stepped forward to complete the Minnesota Holstein History 1990-2010-a project many years in the making-this past year.
Jason and Katy Lang of Hutchinson received the 2012 Minnesota Distinguished Young Breeders Award. Although both work full time off the farm, they are dedicated to the cows-and to their family. The Langs were not able to attend the convention to receive their award as they were at a state qualifying youth wrestling tournament where their son was wrestling.
Two youth members were recognized by the Minnesota Holstein Association. They received awards sponsored by Jerry and Jan Albrecht.
Jacob Achen received the Distinguished Junior Member Award presented to youth ages 17 to 21. Achen, a junior at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, lived with his family on a Holstein/Brown Swiss/Ayrshire farm near Sauk Centre until the fall of 2010 when the family relocated to Indiana. Jacob is president of the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association, a member of the Gopher Dairy Club, and a member of the University of Minnesota dairy judging team.
Sierra Swanson of Stewart, McLeod County, received the Young Distinguished Junior Award, presented to youth through age 16. She is involved in KurthHaven Farms, owned and operated by her grandparents, LeRoy and Sue Kurth. An uncle, an aunt, Sierra's mother, and her sisters all share in the responsibility of working on the farm.
In a presentation made at Saturday's concluding luncheon, Floyd Marti of Sleepy Eye claimed three of the top four placings in the Holstein Futurity XXXV Production Award program. His animals placed first, third and fourth. A cow owned by David Hallberg and Stephanie Larson of Pennock placed second.
In elections held during the Holstein annual meeting, one director was re-elected and four new directors elected. Kenn Mueller of Arlington was elected to a second term on the board. Newly elected board members are Adam Johnson of Pelican Rapids, Megan Herberg of St. Peter, Paul Swenson of Nicollet, and Elwin Brands of Edgerton. Recognized for serving nine years on the board were Gale Hoese and Jim Paulson. Hoese was also presented with the President's Award. Rod Close and Mark Schmitt were recognized for serving six years.[[In-content Ad]]