California Jersey Cattle Association Meeting

Joel Hastings

More than 60 Jersey cattle enthusiasts gathered on Feb. 9 at the beautiful visitors’ center of the Hilmar Cheese Company in Hilmar, Calif.  This small central California town is probably  “ground zero” in the U.S. Jersey industry given the concentration of large Jersey herds in the area.

Several awards were presented and the recipients are shown in the accompanying photos below by Joel Hastings of

President Jim Quist conducted the business meeting which saw the reelection of board members Gary deGraaf and secretary Cathy Sanders.  Also reelected was Jonathan Merriam who is serving as national president of the American Jersey Cattle Association.  National Association CEO Neal Smith was on hand from headquarters in Ohio to report on actions of the Jersey leadership and the board of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding, which will be offering genomic and genetic evaluations of crossbred cattle later this year. He also introduced Jersey field reps for California, Emma Seals and Seth Israelson.

Carol Ahlem gave an update on the national promotion program, Dairy Management, Inc., encouraging California dairy producers to consider applying for board membership.

State treasurer Kate Garcia reported expenditures of nearly $12,000 in 2018 and the fund balance stands at just under $63,000.  The group will be donating $2000 for the Spring State Jersey show to be held Apr. 18 in Turlock.  The show is held with the state Holstein show and Mike Duckett from Wisconsin will be tying the ribbons for both breeds.   The state association is also donating $500 for the Western Dairy Classic, a very successful junior show, coming up Mar. 1-3 in Hanford.

Semex was the primary meeting sponsor. Paul Kreuger, Semex vice president for key accounts and solutions strategy based in Madison, Wis., gave a presentation on Immunity +,   the company’s patented program offering genetics for disease resistance,

Featured speaker at the 47th awards luncheon was Dr. Frank Mitloehner of UC Davis, the self-described “green-house gas guru” who has probably done more than any other individual to correctly assess the carbon footprint of animal agriculture in the face of the virtual avalanche of misinformation about the environmental impact of milk and meat production.  He encouraged everyone in ag to share the facts, notably that animal ag only contributes four percent of U.S. green-house gas emissions.

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