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After 25 years, NDS banquet returns to Harrisburg

Penn State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- For the first time in a quarter century, the National Dairy Shrine banquet and annual meeting will be held in Harrisburg, Pa. We would like to invite everyone to celebrate this year’s award winners in conjunction with the 50th All-American Dairy Show Golden Jubilee on Wednesday, September 11. The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the PA Preferred Banquet Hall of the Farm Show Complex.

This year’s event will honor a remarkable group of people whose talents span the dairy industry. It is very fitting that Berneta Gable, this year’s Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder, will be honored this year at the All-American. Her family’s Snider Homestead herd has been among the leading exhibitors in Harrisburg for many years. Mrs. Gable has bred many great sires that have had a tremendous influence on the Guernsey breed, and she has provided leadership to a wide variety of organizations.

Two other honorees this year also have strong connections to the All-American. Robert Heilman will be recognized as a National Dairy Shrine Pioneer for his work in marketing U.S. genetics worldwide through embryo exports. He helped establish and currently is chairman of the All-American Dairy Show Foundation, an organization that provides major support to youth activities at the show.

R. Peter Heffering exhibited many outstanding animals at the All-American Dairy Show, including Brookview Tony Charity. This 2013 Pioneer award recipient will be honored posthumously. His Hanover-Hill herd is renowned for its worldwide impact on Holstein genetics.

In addition to Heilman and Heffering, three other industry leaders will be honored as National Dairy Shrine Pioneers. Dr. William Bickert has been an innovator in designing housing and ventilation systems for dairy cattle; Maurice Keene is a well-respected breeder and leader in Holstein USA, and Clarence Olson is an Extension educator who greatly impacted the DHIA program.

This year’s Guest of Honor, Dr. Robert Cropp from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, has had a noteworthy influence on milk pricing and dairy policy.

These honorees will be inducted into the Dairy Hall of Fame in the National Dairy Shrine Museum located in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The Museum showcases the rich heritage of the dairy industry and its continuous advancements while the Dairy Hall of Fame displays all Pioneer, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder and Guest of Honor recipients.

Along with these winners, several dairy producers will be honored at the banquet. The Progressive Producer Award is designed to recognize producers who design sound management and business plans to build a profitable operation, regardless of breed or registry status. This year’s winners are Bill and Kelle Calvert from Wisconsin and Dana Metzger from Ohio.

Likewise, the Graduate Production Award encourages young people to develop and expand their herds after graduation from college. Ryan Clark from Tyrone, Pa., is this year’s recipient.

Each year the Dairy Shrine also awards over $40,000 to future dairy industry leaders attending 2-year or 4-year institutions and graduate programs. At the National Dairy Shrine banquet approximately 40 students will receive scholarship checks to further their education in a dairy related field.

At the National Dairy Shrine annual meeting, which will be held prior to the banquet at 4:30 p.m., members are invited to hear updates from the various committees, reports of National Dairy Shrine activities, and plans for the future. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., and then the banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m.