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Success and leadership recognized on and off campus

The William M. Etgen Young Alumnus Award was presented to Aaron Horst, right, by Jason Zimmerman, who was voted most likely to succeed.

Virginia Tech Dairy Club

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Numerous special recognitions were noted at a banquet following the 86th Annual Virginia Tech Little All American Show, including a brand new award that recognized a long-time friend and influential leader in Virginia’s dairy industry.

The Dairy Club presented the first Virginia Dairy Pioneer Award to Dr. Jim Nichols, one of the most respected dairy educators in the country. Dr. Nichols came to Virginia Tech in 1964 to serve as the department head for dairy science. He was responsible for hiring many of the dairy science faculty who gave the department national prestige and recognition. He served on the faculty at Virginia Tech from 1964-1992, eventually becoming dean of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Dr. Nichols also had an extremely large impact on the dairy industry, taking a leave of absence from Virginia Tech to help create the Select Sires federation of A.I. cooperatives before returning to the faculty to serve as dean until his retirement. This award presented to Dr. Nichols was created to recognize an individual who made major innovations and had a resounding impact on the Virginia dairy industry.

Other awards presented were:

The Virginia Dairy Industry Achievement Award was presented to Larry Kibler of Luray, Va. Kibler ran Ken-Wan Farms, along with his brother, Wayne, which can be noted for their achievements with the Holstein Association’s Top BAA Herd Lists over recent years. Kibler was a long-time showman and a judging enthusiast. He hosted dairy judging practices at his farm for many decades and shared his experiences with 4-H and collegiate judging team members. Kibler’s claims to fame also include owning dairy cattle with John Lennon of the Beatles. While Kibler unfortunately passed away in 2013, he is fondly remembered by all who knew him and is a very deserving recipient of this year’s award. Wayne Kibler accepted the award on Larry’s behalf.

The William M. Etgen Young Alumnus Award was presented to Aaron Horst from Pennsylvania. Aaron was very involved in 4-H and FFA growing up and was extremely involved in the Dairy Club while at Virginia Tech. During his college career, Aaron held two internships with ABS Global and began a full time position with them following his graduation from Virginia Tech in 2009. He has been very successful with ABS, recently becoming a Jersey sire analyst and continuing to judge ocal dairy shows.

The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award was presented to Mari Lehtimaki. Mari was the teaching assistant for Mammary Immunology in 2012 and 2014. Her students appreciate Mari for her attention to detail, preparedness, and willingness to help. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mari works closely with many students in the dairy science labs, teaching them research techniques and scientific thinking.

While the awards banquet served as the venue to recognize the achievements and contributions of dairy leaders mentioned above, it was also the occasion for student recognitions. After all, the dinner was the culminatiing event of the 86th Virginia Tech Little All-American Dairy Show in which 46 exhibitors participated. (Highlights of the show were presented in the May 2 edition of Farmshine, page 21.

Following is a summary of award presentations to students:

The Herdsman Award was presented to the exhibitor who went above and beyond in helping others and making sure that everything was running smoothly at the barns. This year’s recipient was Clayborne Zimmerman from Walkersville, Md.

Club awards:
• Outstanding club member: Lyndsey Royek, Corry, Pa.
• Outstanding male: Daniel Fugate, Whitesburg, Tenn.
• Outstanding female: Lauren Woloohojian, Greene, R.I.
• Senior Service Award: Ashley Felock, Stafford, Va.
• Most likely to succeed: Jason Zimmerman,
Littlestown, Pa.
• Outstanding freshman: Emma Reeves, Pulaski, Va.
2014-2015 officer team:
• President: Hayley Potts, Purcellville, Va.
• 1st vice president: Jessica Sentelle, Jefferson, Md.
• 2nd vice president: Jenna Hardy, Bedminster, Pa.
• Secretary: Allie Sivak, Rockville, Md.
• Treasurer: Emma Reeves, Pulaski, Va.
• Reporter: Miranda Cox, Galax, Va.
• Recruiting representative: Joy Nystrom, Falls Church, Va.
• SGA representative: Caroline Warns, Keezletown, Va.