American Jersey Cattle Association announces annual breeder awards


REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Donald S. Sherman, Hilmar, Calif., received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Jersey Cattle Association June 24 at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Sherman is one of only 11 people in breed history to receive the two highest awards — the Distinguished Service Award and the Master Breeder award — presented by the association and the first to be presented with them in consecutive years.

Sherman grew up on Orestimba Dairy, a highly regarded registered Jersey herd owned by his parents and uncle, and returned to the family farm in 1970 after graduation from Modesto Junior College and a four-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corp.

He and his wife, Elsa, set out on their own eight years later and established D&E Jerseys with the purchase of 75 milking cows. That herd currently numbers 575 milking cows.

A second dairy, Avi-Lanche Jerseys, was established in 2006 in Dalhart, Texas. This herd of 2,200 cows is owned with son-in-law and daughter, Richard and Jennifer Avila.

Sherman held key leadership positions during much of the period that has been dubbed the “Golden Decade of Jersey Breed Expansion” and helped pave the road for record-breaking performance by the U.S. Jersey organizations since 2000.

Meritorious Service

Also being honored for their service is David E. Parkinson, Sahuarita, Ariz., who received the AJCA-NAJ Award for Meritorious Service.

Early in his career, he worked as a herd manager and a fieldman for the Ontario Jersey Cattle Club. He became one of the founders of the annual calf rallies in Canada and helped establish the Royal International Jersey Futurity.

In 1977, Parkinson was hired as managing editor of the Jersey Journal, then became AJCA-NAJ Area Representative for the northeast United States. He served in that position for a total of 25 years. After managing the Comfort Hill Jersey Farm in Ferrisburg, Vt., and developing the great Greenridge FW Chief Althea-ET, Parkinson rejoined the AJCA staff in 1993.

He helped as Jersey Marketing Service expanded its services into large volume consignment sales in New York and Ohio.

Parkinson also worked with Jersey breeders in various countries as a cattle marketer, judge and type evaluator. Above all, he enjoyed helping young people get started in the Jersey business.

He retired from the Jersey organizations in 2007 and now resides in Arizona with his wife, Sara.

Master breeder

In addition, Dan K. Bansen, Dayton, Ore., is named the 68th recipient of the association’s Master Breeder Award.

Bansen has become a second-generation Master Breeder Award recipient, after his father, Stanley, who won the award in 1990. They are the only father-son duo to win the award in AJCA history.

“Forest Glen is a prefix known and respected around the world,” said Ray and Margaret Schooley, Marshfield, Mo., in a letter of support for Bansen. “Both bulls and cows from this herd have been used widely and have made it possible for many Jersey breeders to significantly improve their herds.”

Bansen returned to the family operation after graduating from Oregon State University in 1973.

The herd became full recorded with the AJCA after Genetic Recovery was introduced in 1976, and gained recognition through enrollment on official performance evaluation programs.

The current Forest Glen herd has 1,500 milk cows and 1,770 heifers. The 2010 AJCA lactation average is 16,529 pounds milk, 737 pounds fat and 614 pounds protein on 1,189 lactations. There are currently 78 Excellent cows and 877 Very Good cows in the herd.

He has been very involved with milk marketing through his involvement as board president of Farmers Cooperative Creamery and with Organic Valley CROPP cooperative. He has also served as a director of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc.

An Ohio breeder was also recognized for their work with the breed.


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!



We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.