National Dairy Shrine names award winners


DENMARK, Wis. — The National Dairy Shrine has named the winners of the Guest of Honor, Pioneer, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder, Graduate Dairy Production and Progressive Dairy Producer awards.

These awards were designed to honor past, present and future dairy industry leaders who have contributed to strengthening and energizing the dairy industry.

Robert Cropp is the guest of honor, the highest award from the National Dairy Shrine. This award goes to an individual who has had a dramatic impact on the dairy industry and its future.

Cropp, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has had a preeminent role in creating industry knowledge on the economic impact of various changes in milk pricing and how the marketing & storage of dairy products has on those pricing mechanisms.

More winners. The NDS Distinguished Dairy Cattle breeder is Berneta Gable from New Enterprise, Pa.Gable’s Guernsey herd carries the Snider Homestead prefix and is known worldwide for producing quality and sought after cattle. Berneta Gable has served on several national & regional Guernsey boards and committees.

William Bickert, Clarence Olson, Maurice Keene, Robert Heilman and R. Peter Heffering were selected as National Dairy Shrine Pioneers.Bickert, of Dewitt, Mich.., a well-respected industry educator at Michigan State University, helped develop many of the innovative dairy housing, stalling and ventilation practices that are now common on every dairy operation in the United States.

Olson, of Madison, Wis., served as an extension educator and was instrumental in developing the DHIA program in Wisconsin and making numerous improvements in DHIA technology and policy. His schools for farm women started an industry trend to include women as working decision makers on every dairy farm.

Maurice Keene, Auburn, Maine., is a well-respected Holstein breeder who developed the Raymau herd to national recognition.Maurice served as president of the Holstein Association USA when it developed many new genetic and classification programs in the early 1980s.Heilman, of Richmond, Va., was one of the true pioneers in the genetic and embryo export business. The formation of American Marketing Services (AMS) led to a nearly 40 year career in the exporting of U.S. genetics internationally.

The NDS Progressive Dairy Producers are Bill and Kelle Calvert in the small-herd division and Dana Metzger in the large herd division. The award is a $2,000 travel stipend to attend an out of state conference or seminar to learn new techniques to improve their dairy business.

The Calverts have a quality herd of Holsteins in Cuba City, Wis.Dana Metzger operates Multi-Rose Jerseys in Rock Rapids, Iowa. With his wife Kary and family they manage a dairy that milk 1,500 cows. Metzger has been very active in the Northwest Iowa DHIA, the Farm Bureau, Western Iowa Dairy Alliance and the American Jersey Cattle Association.

Ryan Clark, Tyrone, Pa. has been selected as the Graduate Dairy Production award winner. This award goes to an active dairyman who has graduated from college in the last nine years and has already demonstrated excellent dairy management ability and financial stability.

Ryan began his dairy operation with a few cows and a dream. While balancing a full time job with Cargill, Ryan built his herd utilizing rented facilities and various loans.Banquet in September. The annual National Dairy Shrine awards banquet will be held Sept. 11 during the 50th anniversary All American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pa.

For more information about the banquet or about students, producers and industry representatives being recognized by National Dairy Shrine, contact David Selner, executive director, at

Information on the National Dairy Shrine mission or membership is also available online at


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.