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Pennsylvania Jersey breeders celebrate achievements

PJCA Youth Achievement winners pose for a photo with the First Year Project Award winner. From left to right are Maria Jo Noble, Caroline Arrowsmith and Nicole Arrowsmith.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Jersey Cattle Association (PJCA) held its annual meeting here over the weekend of March 28 - 29 at the Holiday Inn. Jersey breeders from all over the state gathered to celebrate the breed and each other as they watched Pennsylvania Jersey youth contests and praised those breeders who achieved high levels of success in the past year.

Youths competed for various honors. Winners were:
• First place scrapbook: Katelyn Taylor
• First Year Award: Nicole Arrowsmith.
• Junior Achievement: Caroline Arrowsmith
• Senior Achievement: Maria Jo Noble
• PJCA scholarships: Austin Acel and Jennifer Groff

Jaylene Lesher, the 2013 Pennsylvania Jersey Queen, passed her crown to her successor, Maria Jo Noble of Gillett.

Youth awards night was an excellent example of the future of the Jersey breed in Pennsylvania and answered the central question of the PJCA Board meeting held earlier in the day: “What’s the future of the Association?”

Saturday’s breakfast banquet was dedicated to the breeders. The first award of the morning was the Norman Genetic Award, the longest running state Jersey genetic award in the country. This year’s award was earned by Spruce Row Farm and the Peters Family of Meadville, Pa. This was Spruce Row Farm’s third year to win the award.

The PJCA awarded two Distinguished Service Awards. Receiving them were Bill and Sally Eick of Troy and Roy Watson from Columbia Cross Roads, all of them Bradford Countians.

As a past Jersey breeder, Roy was very active within the Association. He was a past president, the chairman of several Pennsylvania sales and a big asset to the Association, breed, and industry.

Bill and Sally Eick are respected long-time Jersey breeders. They were multiple year winners of the Norman Genetic Award as the highest JPI nationally ranked herd in Pennsylvania. They sold the herd just a few years ago.

The PJCA was proud to award its Pennsylvania Young Jersey Breeder Award to Adam and Kelly Vance of Cotton Spring Farm near Alverton, Westmoreland County. Adam and Kelly were also awarded this year’s National Young Jersey Breeder Award.

Annual lactation awards were presented to the owners of the top cow in each age category. Also honored for production were the owners of high herds, based on cheese yield.

The highest Pennsylvania Jersey for protein was Vanfel Laser 640, owned by Vanderfeltz Jerseys of Susquehanna County with 1162 pounds. The high state herd for protein belongs to David Myers of Cambria County with 19 cows averaging 766P.

The PJCA Board of Directors announced several decisions of importance to Junior members. One, the Association will be paying the registration fees for the top placing youths of the speech and dairy jeopardy contests to attend the national Jersey meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, in June. Two, changes have been made to the youth Louisville trip the Association sponsors every November. Jersey youths will now be able to sign-up their animals for the trip instead of having to qualify, providing they are willing to meet the guidelines set in place.

A silent auction was held throughout the weekend to help raise money for the Pennsylvania Jersey Youth Fund. Over $600 was raised this year.