Portage Co. honors cream of crop

RAVENNA, Ohio – It was just a matter of time before Linda Rufener received Portage County’s Friend of the Dairymen award.

Rufener has years of volunteering to her name, and the award solidified her county’s gratitude in front of more than 200 people at the county’s March 2 dairy banquet.

Rufener is involved with everything from the dairy boosters and 4-H to Farm Bureau and the county fair.

But her involvement goes beyond paying yearly dues and attending monthly meetings. Almost always she takes a leadership role, too.

She’s been a 4-H adviser for more than 20 years, and encourages children to take animals from her own farm so they can show at the fair.

Rufener and her family own Congress Lake Farm in Suffield, Ohio, where they farm 2,400 acres and milk more than 450 Holsteins.

Honored dairymen. To their surprise, Wayne and Sally Viall of Ravenna, Ohio, received the Sherman Brockett Honorary Dairymen award.

But it shouldn’t have been a shock; the Vialls were involved with dairy a lifetime before selling their cows several years ago.

In addition to driving school buses for 30 years, Wayne and Sally spent 25 years showing cattle at Portage, Summit, Lake and Cuyahoga county fairs.

Now the couple has eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren who plan to carry on the Viall showing tradition.

Cream of the crop. Taking home the highest dairy production honors was Grac-Glen Farm in Ravenna, Ohio. The farm, owned by David and Rick Alger, received three DHIA Holstein Elite Herd awards for milk production, fat and protein.

Grac-Glen also led production with 31,072 pounds of milk, 1,071 pounds of fat, and 936 pounds of protein with 209 Holsteins – making the herd No. 1 in the state, on official DHI test, for milk production in 2003.

David Winchell’s 20-head Holstein herd came in second on official test with 19,542 pounds of milk, 713 pounds of fat, and 603 pounds of protein.

The Rufener family’s Congress Lake Farm topped the list of on-the-farm-computer production with 24,700 pounds of milk. Herchek Dairy Farm in Randolph, Ohio, was second with 22,350 pounds of milk.

Princess Winchell. Becky Jasinski of Mantua, Ohio, passed her dairy princess title to 17-year-old Jessica Winchell of Garrettsville.

Winchell, daughter of David and Polly Winchell, is a junior at James A. Garfield High School and also takes post-secondary courses at Kent State University.

She shows registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss at local, state and national contests.

The 2004 dairy princess is a 10-year dairy 4-H member.

(Reporter Kristy Hebert welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 23, or by e-mail at khebert@farmanddairy.com.)


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