8/24/2013 7:00 AM
By Patti Orton Kuna N.Y./Pa. Correspondent
CASSADAGA, N.Y. — “Fine cows and fine wine, both of the Red and White kind,” was the theme of the National Red and White Dairy Cattle Association convention held in Dunkirk, N.Y., Aug. 13-15.
The convention included tours of the burgeoning local wine industry.
What’s makes the Red and White cow so special? “It’s difficult to get red. They are less common,” said Denise Saxton, owner of Saxton-Hill Holsteins in Cassadaga, N.Y.
An awards banquet took place midway through the three-day conference, honoring a variety of devotees to the breed.
First up was the crowning of the 2013 National Red and White queen. Nineteen-year-old Cecilia Marie Morse from Orcherdhill Holsteins farm, Troy, Pa., took the honor. Her family’s farm is 100 years old and split between apples and dairy.
“We currently raise Red and White Holsteins with a breeding emphasis on high type and polled animals,” Morse said.
The new queen began showing the breed when she was 9 years old in 4-H shows and since then, her interest has bloomed into a passion. Morse is a sophomore at Penn State, double majoring in biological anthropology and employment law. She aspires to go on to law school.
The Don Albrecht Distinguished Service Award was given to Jake Skinner. Skinner was lauded for his 20-year active membership, including service to the board of directors, finance committee and treasury posts. Skinner farms 800 acres, 300 head of cattle at Red-Crest Farm in Mercersburg, Pa. Described during the ceremony as “genuine and kind,” Skinner routinely gives calves away to deserving youth to get them involved. Also evidential of his philanthropy is his upcoming giveaway of custom jackets featuring the seven dairy cow breeds.
It was announced at the convention that the Red & White Dairy Cattle Association is collaborating with its black and white counterpart, the Holstein Association. A first-ever transfer of registration information into the Holstein Association’s database is eminent, said convention host Darren Carlstrom. “Hopefully by the end of this year,” he said. This news is seen as further validation of the Red and White Holstein as a standalone breed.
Richard Green of Greenlea Holsteins in Middletown, Del., was awarded the Larry Moore Master Breeder Award. Green’s accomplishments include two grand champions and two reserve grand champions at the World Dairy Expo. Through his breeding skill, he has boosted sales of the breed, and logged $105,000 of individual sales.
Laura Emerson, presenter of the award and Green’s former farmhand, likened his accomplishments to the softball advice he gave her as a youngster.
“You’ve got to throw the ball through the brick wall,” she said. “He has done just that in breeding the Red and White.”
Convention hosts Darren and Heather Carlstrom, with young daughter Shyanne, were bestowed with the Gary Mayhew Keystone Award. This award recognizes grassroots, behind-the-scenes efforts to promote and preserve the breed. The Carlstroms were recognized for largely planning and organizing this year’s convention.
“I knew if I threw a party, you all would show up,” Darren Carlstrom said. The family runs C & W Farms of Sinclairville, N.Y.
A third-generation breeder, Wayne Cyrus Conard of Sharon Springs, N.Y., was awarded the Junior Breeder Award. The son of Wayne and Jen Conard, the younger Conard is involved in all aspects of his family’s farm. He has won many showing and fitting awards, including triple wins at the World Dairy Expo. The younger Conard is now getting involved in committee work surrounding the breed.
The awards banquet concluded with auctioneer Chris Hill selling off bottles of wine, gift baskets and other donations that will benefit the Red & White Dairy Cattle Association’s youth programs and scholarships.
Next year’s convention marks the 50th anniversary of the Red & White Dairy Cattle Association, and will take place in Wisconsin July 22-26, 2014.