Ashtabula County honors top dairies

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JEFFERSON, Ohio – The 57th annual Ashtabula County dairy banquet was held March 10 with 175 people attending at the Williamsfield Community Center.
Local dairy farmers were recognized for their milk production achievements. Two of the most coveted awards given were the Most Improved Dairy Herd award and the High Energy Corrected Milk (ECM) award.
This year’s most improved herd was Alfa-Creek Brown Swiss Farm, owned by the Robin and Debbie Boggs family of Andover; and the top ECM herd award went to Alfa-Creek Farms, also owned by the Boggs family.
The Ashtabula Count Dairy Service Unit board of directors also presented an award to Robert and James Wilson of Wilson Dairy Farm of Jefferson for the Ashtabula County herd with the lowest somatic cell count.
Top family. In 2000, in honor of Dick Johnson from Monroe Township, the Ashtabula County Dairy Service Unit board of directors established the Ashtabula County Farm Family of the Year award to recognize a farm family that displays excellence in milk production, genetics, herd health and community service. This year’s award winners were Chris and Cindy Zaebst of Bossy’s Way Farm, New Lyme Township. They have been cornerstones of the dairy industry for many years.
The top 10 herds in Ashtabula County for 2006 were: Alfa-Creek Farms, Bossy’s Way, Inc., Gaylord Millard and Son, Alfa-Creek Brown Swiss, Wilson Dairy Farm, Byler and Sons Farm, Springer Dairy Farm, Struna Holsteins, Marrison Farms and Whitetail-Glen Farm.
Top farms. Eight farms were recognized for having top cows in Ashtabula County by breed and age. Alfa-Creek Brown Swiss and Ringbyre Jersey Farm led the way with 16 award winners; followed by Alfa-Creek Farms with 11 awards; Gaylord Millard and son with 10; Wilson Dairy with four winners; Destiny-M Holsteins with three; and Bossy’s Way, Inc., Struna Holsteins and Hemlock Ridge, all with one winner.
Gaylord and Scott Millard had the top producing cow in 2006, which produced 42,630 pounds of milk last year – almost 5,000 gallons.
An additional highlight of the banquet was the crowning of the 2007 Ashtabula County Dairy Princess. Elisha Comp of Jefferson was selected as the 2007 Dairy Princess, and Sarah Sunberg was selected as the runner-up.
The Stuart Struna Memorial 4-H Extra Effort award was also presented. Finalists recognized were: Justin Butler, Denmark Pioneers; Deanna Comp, Kids ‘n Cows; Justin Eldred, Demark Pioneers; Abbey Hamilton, Kids ‘n Cows; and Kevin Snyder, Grand Valley Dairy Club. Each received a trophy and Craig Butler was selected overall winner.
Essay contest. The 4-H dairy committee also presented the winner of its registered calf essay contest. The contest is for 4-H’ers between 10 and 15 who compete to win a registered calf. Rachel Kalas and Cody Fetters were chosen as the winners.
Joel Baldwin, Tom Mazzaro and Ed Struna were elected to serve two-year terms on the Dairy Service Unit board of directors. All three are returning for another term on the board.

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