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‘Where have all the Guernseys gone?’

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. -- “Where Have All the Guernseys Gone?” is the question Duane E. Young answers in his recently published book for which the question serves as the title. Devoting nearly a decade of his time and unlimited passion to his vast journey of research, the author chronicled the breed’s history from its origins on the Island of Guernsey to current status in present-day America.

Duane farmed with his parents until the age of 29 when Interstate-90 bisected their dairy farm in the rich, fertile Coulee Region of western Wisconsin and they dispersed their registered Guernsey herd. His father and grandfather were instrumental in the promotion of registered Guernsey dairy cattle and the formation of the La Crosse County Guernsey Breeders in the early 20th Century.

Duane has multiple degrees in agriculture and business from the University of Wisconsin and has worked in various areas in support of the farmer. He retired in 2004 after 23 years as an accountant with the American Farm Bureau Federation. He and his wife, Kathy, reside in the Chicago suburb of Mount Prospect.

Duane begins his book with a chapter titled “Remembering” - a personal account of his upbringing and his love for the farm life that he enjoyed as a youth. Guernseys, especially, made a lasting impression on him and they became the inspiration for his desire to write a book.

“I broke down in tears when I knew it was time to quit dairying after the Interstate highway bisected our farm,” Duane wrote. And while listing what he would not miss, he noted: “The Guernsey was the only compelling reason not to quit.”

Although the author never farmed after that fateful day, his interest in Guernseys stayed loyal and strong. Researching the breed’s history, including prominent American herds and the people behind them became a labor of love, culminating in a book that sheds light on the question: “Where Have All the Guernseys Gone?