Ohio couple honored with Guernsey Distinguished Service Award


LANCASTER, Pa. — The American Guernsey Association’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to John and Bonnie Ayars of Mechanicsburg, Ohio, at the National Guernsey Awards banquet held June 20 in Lancaster.


The award is presented annually to an individual or couple who has devoted much of their life to the betterment of the Guernsey cow and the membership of the American Guernsey Association. It is the most prestigious award presented by the AGA to its members.

Bonnie is a dairy program specialist with The Ohio State University. She coordinates all state 4-H dairy programs and serves as coach of the Ohio State and Ohio 4-H dairy judging teams. She is currently a member of the AGA Youth Committee.

John graduated from The Ohio State University, worked as a teacher and operates Land of Living Farm in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. The farm maintains a herd of registered Guernseys but buys and sells all breeds and leases cattle to other dairymen.

Seth Johnson, of Tunbridge, Vt., also received the AGA Distinguished Service Award.

The American Guernsey Association’s annual meeting and convention was held in Lancaster, Pa. June 16-21. Over 575 people attended at least one event during the convention with nearly 400 at the largest banquet celebrating the accomplishments of the junior members.

Junior winners

Junior members competed in a variety of contests during the convention and five different scholarships totaling over $3,200 were awarded. Karen Anderson, of Lester Prairie, Minn., was named the 2010 national outstanding Guernsey youth. Brooke Vander Veen, of Everson, Wash., will serve as the 2010 national Guernsey queen while Ashlee Dietz, of Southington, Ohio, will represent the Guernsey breed as the national princess.

Brad and Berneta Gable, of Snider Homestead Farm in New Enterprise, Pa., were named AGA master breeders. Their son and daughter-in-law, Aaron and Amy Gable, are the 2010 national outstanding young Guernsey farmers.

Leon Zweegman of Lynden, Wash., is the new president of AGA. Duane Schuler, of Platteville, Wis., and Beth Sutton, of Watertown, N.Y., are new board members.


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