A Very Humbling Experience’

10/20/2012 7:00 AM
By Marjorie Struckle New York Correspondent

NY Showman Named Klussendorf Winner



MADISON, Wis. — Although Buddy Fleming lives in Cortland, N.Y., not far from his birthplace, he has worked with cattle breeders in 40 states and all the Canadian provinces.

His talent at selecting, caring for, preparing and showing cattle was recognized at this year’s World Dairy Expo when he was named the 71st winner of the Klussendorf Trophy, the highest honor given to a dairy showman.

Fleming will have his name included on the $20,000 trophy housed at the National Dairy Shrine. He also received a watch and a plaque.

“This is a very humbling experience for me. Those at the World Dairy Expo always ask who will win the trophy, there is no need to say the award,” Fleming said.

He is full of stories of the people, animals and places he has worked.

“I have worked with an impressive group of people. I try to help and teach others,” he said.

Fleming’s innovations have helped shape how cattle are fitted for shows. He was the first to set the toplines of the animals, a practice which has been replicated and practiced by those preparing cattle for shows and sales today.

Fleming also developed a ventilation system to improve air quality for the animals.

His cattle experience began working alongside his father and other esteemed dairymen.

“Since I was in high school, I was absent the month of October to go to the national shows in Harrisburg, Pa., Madison, Wis., and Columbus, Ohio,” he said.

This started his travels across North America, first as a fitter at shows, sales and classifications and later as the sale manager of the elite state and national convention sales.

Later, he joined with Dreamstreet Holsteins of Walton, N.Y., as a fitter and worked his way up to manager and onto vice president of cattle operations. In addition, he has spent years with organizations such as Hanover Hill, Paclamar and others working with 28 All-American and 14 reserve All-American animals.

“The most memorable event at World Dairy Expo is when I received the award,” Fleming said. “For years I have worked with great cattle and exhibitors.”

Today he is semi-retired, traveling with his wife, visiting with fellow dairymen at the shows and dealing with the commercial end of dairying as a broker of dairy cattle.

Fleming said he appreciates the honor of being included in the élite group of Klussendorf Trophy winners.

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