Patsy Gifford Receives Holstein Association USA’s 2020 Distinguished Leadership Award

Holstein Association

The 2020 Distinguished Leadership Award honoree is Patricia Gifford of Groton, N.Y. Patsy’s unselfish leadership has motivated young Holstein enthusiasts to set goals, achieve them, and work to create new ones. Simply put, she inspires others to be good human beings.


Patsy’s intrinsic love and support for the Registered Holstein® cow and the dairy industry are evident to those who know her. Patsy became the first woman to classify cattle for the Holstein Association USA.

For Patsy, classifying cattle seemed to be an almost natural and deep-seated talent. She was on the road for nearly two decades scoring thousands of cattle, all the while explaining her decisions with great satisfaction from those whose cattle she was evaluating.

This Holstein enthusiast is a role model to many young people who are finding their way in the dairy industry. She has a knack for putting the right people together and encourages them to stay engaged.


After her career of classifying cattle for the Holstein Association USA, Patsy became the Executive Director of the New York Holstein Association. She had the vision for, secured, and executed the creation of the New York Holstein Reserve Fund. Since its inception, the fund has helped to ensure the long-term success of the New York Holstein Association.

Whether working on a dairy farm classifying cattle, or working in the office, Gifford always approached her career with enthusiasm and commitment. Farm families with whom she worked over the years consider Patsy their cheerleader, confidant, and trusted advisor.

About the Award

This award recognizes an individual who has made a career of providing outstanding and unselfish leadership for the betterment of the dairy industry.


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