One of the highlights planned for the upcoming National Holstein Convention, June 24-28, in Dubuque, IA is a panel discussion with Holstein breeders, "The Future of the Dairy Industry from Young Holstein Breeders' Perspectives." The insightful and inspiring forum will take place at 1:45 p.m., Friday, June 27, at the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark in Dubuque, headquarters for the convention.
This forum could serve as a catalyst for young people, and perhaps others of all ages, to get involved in the dairy industry. The innovative dairy producer panelists are: Ashley Abbott, Fort Edward, NY; Dan Bolin, Clarksville, IA; Jeff Brantmeier, Sherwood, WI; Diesel Hitt, Adams Center, NY; and Brent Schuler, Fleetwood, PA. They represent a wide array of dairy operations from around the country, in terms of management systems and number of cows. These individuals could be successful in many professions, but they have decided to cast their lot in the dairy industry as actual dairy producers.
The panelists will discuss why they chose to make a career of dairying and share their perspective on the future of the dairy industry. Additionally, they will address how they got started, what makes their dairies unique, and their management philosophies.
Ashley Abbott, Fort Edward, NY, received her associate's degree in agricultural business from SUNY Cobleskill and bachelor's degree in animal science from Cornell University. In addition to her work at AllenWaite Farm, Easton, NY, a 1,800-cow herd, Ashley and her husband own JoyRide Farm in White Creek, NY, where they have 65 head.
Dan Bolin, Clarksville, IA, graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in dairy science. After graduation he worked as a herdsman for a small farm with a processing center, and later began work as a carpenter for a short time. He then moved to Turkey for two years before returning to his home farm. He now works alongside his parents milking 65 cows. He is working to build a new farmstead with two robotic milking units.
Jeff Brantmeier, Sherwood, WI, received his bachelor's degree in dairy science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jeff is now part-owner of Hilrose Dairy, LLC, Sherwood, WI, where they are currently milking 90 cows with a rolling herd average over 31,000 pounds of milk. The farm has been named Premier Breeder and Exhibitor of the District 10 Holstein show and honored as a Holstein Association USA Herd of Excellence five times.
Diesel Hitt, Adams Center, NY, attended SUNY Cobleskill, then transferred to Cornell University. After graduation, he worked for Scipio Springs Dairy in Union Springs, NY, then went on to purchase Windsong Dairy, LLC with the partners of Scipio Springs, Bill Morgan and Jon Gilbert. He is currently the operating manager of their 600-cow dairy.
Brent Schuler, Fleetwood, PA, earned a degree in animal science from Pennsylvania State University, along with a minor in agricultural business management. After graduation, he worked for a short time as a professional fitter. He is now a full-time partner on Schuler Farms LLC, milking 100 head. Under their S-Pine-Lawn prefix, Brent has bred numerous All-Pennsylvania and Junior-All-American nominated cattle.
The Holstein Association USA Annual Meeting is open to all of those interested in the dairy industry.
For more information, contact Rachel Pomeroy at 800-952-5200, ext. 4165 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.