We lost some great ones in century’s first decade: James F. Cavanaugh


James F. Cavanaugh

James F. Cavanaugh, executive secretary of the American Jersey Cattle Club from 1956 to July 1, 1985, and the founding executive secretary of National All-Jersey Inc., died April 6, 2010.

A hallmark of Cavanaugh’s career was his efforts to expand and improve markets for Jersey milk. In the early ’50s, he recognized the value of the All-Jersey milk program and pioneered its national expansion. In the mid-’70s, the Equity Project was developed, returning untold millions to Jersey milk producers and setting the stage for implementation of multiple component pricing as a part of federal order reform on Jan. 1, 2000.

Another non-traditional program molded by Cavanaugh was Genetic Recovery, in which superior unregistered Jersey females could be brought into the AJCC herd register.

Numerous honors were bestowed upon Cavanaugh in addition to the AJCC Distinguished Service Award, including Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, National Dairy Shrine Guest of Honor, The American Jersey Cattle Club Lifetime Membership, The Ohio State University Dairy Science Hall of Service and distinguished service awards from National Pedigreed Livestock Council, National Association of Animal Breeders, World Jersey Cattle Bureau, National DHIA, National Society of Livestock Records Association, Kansas State University and The American Dairy Science Association.

His passion in later years was to edit the Gotham Herdsman books and newsletters, chronicling the lives of the Borden Boys, the college students who cared for the dairy cows of all breeds displayed in the Borden’s Dairy World of Tomorrow exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair. In 1999, he was present for Elsie’s 60th anniversary in New York City, then again in June of 2007 for the 150th anniversary of the Borden Company and to celebrate the donation of Borden Boys’ personal memorabilia to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.


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