AmericanFarm.com

Dairy conventioners urged to spend wisely

By CARYL VELISEK
Staff Writer

FREDERICK, Md. (March 10, 2015) — “Positioning Your Dairy For the Future” was the theme of the 2015 Maryland Dairy Convention at the Francis Scott Key Holiday Inn Conference Center on Feb. 28.
Featured speaker, Gary Sipiorski, of Vita Plus in Madison, Wis., kicked off the program by discussing “What to do with 2014’s Dairy Profits.”
“Use it wisely,” he said. “You need to be smart.
“Don’t buy a new pickup,” he urged, “but repair and replace needed equipment and pay down loans and invest well,” he said.
Concurrent breakout sessions included troubleshooting mastitis and milk quality problems with veterinarian Roger Thomson, of Battle Creek, Mich.;  Mistakes That Impede a Farm Transition to the Next Generation, with Paul Goeringer of the University of Maryland; and Dairy Advocacy Using Social Media.
Franceska Lynch,  social media manager for the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, and Katy Dotterer Pyle, a Carroll County dairy farmer, spoke about using social media to promote not only dairy but ones own operation.
Facebook has more than 1.28 billion users, Lynch said, and Google has more than a billion and those numbers are increasing.
“People love farm animals. Tell your unique story but use care in what you post,” Lynch said.
During the business meeting the following directors were nominated:  Billy Sutton, Scott Hood, Diane Flickinger, Megan Keyes, and Betsy Herbst.
Shelby Hahn was awarded the $1,000 Boyd Cook Scholarship, and Julia Doody and Kaitlyn Allen received $500 scholarships.
Three farms — Flowing Springs, Creekside Dairy and Friendship Ridge — were awarded Dairy of Distinction honors at the convention.
The Arbaugh family’s Flowing Springs, located near Union Bridge, is operated by Steve and Diane Arbaugh. They milk 300 Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns, with 14 Excellent and 85 Very Good classified cattle.
They farm about 341 acres and rent an additional 600 and have about 400 replacement heifers. The family has won junior and reserve champion honors at the All-American Dairy Show and the Dairy Carousel in New York. The Arbaughs are a third generation farm with the fourth generation coming up. The family’s goal is to grow the business and putting emphasis on herd improvements while keeping the family involved.
Friendship Ridge, also near Union Bridge, milks 80 head of Holsteins and Jerseys on 140 acres and is operated by Frank and Pam Thompson and family.
They were a Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers 25-year member and in 2013 were named Cooperator of the Year for the Frederick Soil Conservation District. The family said they try to present a clean farm to the public to show their food comes from a farm that is clean and that they care about the waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
Creekside Dairy, operated by Michael and Robert Martz in Boonsboro, Md., encompasses 520 acres.
The Martzes milk 180 Holsteins, five Brown Swiss and one Jersey. Creekside Dairy earned the Washington County Soil Conservation District’s Conservationist of the Year award in 2001 and 2013 and have received the Dairy Farmers of America Gold Standard Dairy Award. The Martzs priorities on the farm are keeping cows clean and healthy at all times and keeping their employees responsible and knowledgeable so the farm runs above standards, while respecting the cattle.
Winners of the Junior Dairymen Contest that was held concurrently with the morning meeting are as follows:
Juniors: First: Jessica Martin; second: Kaitlyn Iager; Intermediate: First: Catherine Savage; second: Shelby Iager;  Senior: First: Cory Zinmmerman; second: Shelby Hahn.
Scholarships were presented to Ian Doody of Gaithersburg (Vet student); Julia Doody of Gaithersburg (Biiology); Amber Lippy of Westminster (Ag Ed Teacher); and Ian Doody, Gaithersburg (Large animal Vet).
It was also announced that, after searching for several years, the Maryland Dairy Shrine will have a new permanent home at the Howard County Living Heritage Museum in West Friendship, Md.
The Shrine will be housed in a 3,000 square foot metal building where all breeds can hold meetings and other events as well.
The Guest of Honor Induction Ceremony was presided over by dairy shrine chairman, Frank Allnutt and the two new inductees are Scott and Judy Hood and daughter, Nicole, of Hoodstead Farm in Middletown, Md., and Arthur and Peggy Johnson of Artie-Jay Farm in Dickerson, Md.
Scott Hood took over his family farm after the death of his father in 1975.
Both Scott and Judy have been active members and officers of numerous organizations including the National FFA, Maryland Farm Bureau, Maryland and National Dairy Shrine, Maryland and national Holstein and Brown Swiss associations, Capitol Milk Producers, Maryland-Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Associaition, and Maryland Dairy Industry Association. They have both served as 4-H leader and are active in their church and have bred more than 20 All-American Nominations.
Arthur and Peggy Johnson were both born into dairy farms. Arthur is the ninth generation on his family’s dairy farm and Peggy was the fifth on hers.
Both were raised with Holsteins and continue to raise them and farm with their son, Bobby, with 150 registered milking cows, heifers and calves on 180 acres. Their Artie-Jay Farm has exhibited several Supreme 4-H Champions as well as Junior and Grand Champions of the Open Show at Montgomery County Fair. Arthur is president of the Maryland Holstein Association and both Arthur and Peggy have served as co-chairpersons of the Holstein Dairy Scholarship committees for 20 years and on numerous other committees in the Holstein Association.
Peggy has also been co-chair of the South Central Dairy Princess committee for more than 20 years and Holstein 4-H Club for almost 40 years. Both have worked with the Montgomery County Fair and Arthur served as fair president in 1985.