Meeting on Feb. 8 at the Hilmar Cheese Company in Hilmar, Calif., some 90 members of the Jersey Cattle Association in the Golden State for the 48th annual awards luncheon and annual meeting. A highlight was the presentation to Bill Hobby of the Distinguished Service Award as he retires from a dozen years at the dairy program at Modesto Junior College. His work as teacher and judging team coach has earned friendship from students, former students and parents. The award caps his career with his earlier work with Jersey genetics and as herd manager of the famed Arlinda Holsteins. He says with a smile that in retirement he’ll continue to develop his growing herd of meat goats. Outgoing state president and meeting toastmaster Jim Quist did the honors.
Other senior awards went to Young Breeder Tyler Boyd and Senior Breeder Mike Wickstrom. Boyd represents Merced County on the national Jersey board.
Junior winners are pictured above including Achievement award winners Kylie Konyn, senior division; Kiara Konyn, intermediate division; and Jax Souza, novice. Junior production award winners are Kylie Konyn, Leah Sanders, Kiara Konyn, Hannah Sanders, Haleigh Farris, Kennedy Souza and Jax Souza. Hartley Silva is the newly crowned state Jersey Queen succeeding Kylie Konyn.
Representing the national association, Executive Secretary Neal Smith and field staff members Seth Israelson and Emma Sills spoke about Jersey activities. In 2019, 120,394 Jerseys had been registered and in ten years of genomics, 408,694 Jerseys had been tested. California is home to 40% of the Jerseys registered over the past three years.
From the board perspective, Californian Jonathan Merriam is current president and running for another term. He also serves on the state board. Merriam credited Jersey breeders with continued progress on higher production but said the breed’s reproductive efficiency had not shown similar improvement. He urged Jersey breeders to include DPR in their sire selection criteria. Tyler Boyd represents Merced County, ground zero for registered Jerseys as the home of the Hilmar herds. Rodger Herrara is on the National All Jersey board. Jim Ahlem reported for the national research committee which had awarded $97,500 for studies in the past year.
The featured speaker at the luncheon was J. P. Cativiela, Sacramento, who is the administrator of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP), a not-for-profit organization of more than 1,130 Central Valley dairy families. Formed in 2010, CVDRMP conducts groundwater monitoring studies at dairy farms, to assess dairy farm protection of groundwater, toward recommending improved practices where needed. He spoke about the new efforts to safeguard water quality in the Central Valley under the SALTS program (Salinity Alternatives for Long Term Sustainability), as the name implies, working to manage salinity and nitrates in ground water.