Ripley Named National Outstanding Guernsey Youth
The National Guernsey Convention has long been recognized for the many exciting opportunities and contests that it offers youth to participate in. Youth from across the country traveled to the convention in Dubuque, Iowa, to compete in the many contests and recognition programs offered by the American Guernsey Association. At the recently concluded National Guernsey Convention, numerous awards were presented for outstanding performance within the Guernsey breed.
This year’s winning National Outstanding Guernsey Youth is Daniel Ripley of Ripley Farms, Moravia, New York. Daniel is the 19-year-old son of Dan and Shari Ripley of Ripley Farms. He is a student at Morrisville State College studying Animal Science with a focus on dairy. Daniel has been extensively involved in the Guernsey breed throughout the years. In 2017, he was awarded the Junior Progressive Breeder and Junior Gold Star Breeder awards, along with the title of President of the American Guernsey Youth Association. Throughout the years, he has participated in Dairy Quiz Bowl, Dairy Judging and showing on the local, state and national levels.
Daniel plays a large role on the family farm where he is in charge of caring for the calves. He makes the decisions on what rations to feed the calves, what treatments should be done and overall calf care to insure a healthy start for all. Daniel writes, “I absolutely love my job and the beautiful Guernsey calves I get to work with.”
Daniel writes, “Most Guernseys possess a moderate-sized frame, mild temperament and the prevalence of the A2 gene,” when writing of the strengths of the Guernsey cow. He believes the Guernsey breed has a high likeliness because of the A2 gene, which is something he looks for when breeding. He also breeds for the traits of productive life and daughter pregnancy rates.
When asked what new technologies Guernsey breeders should use to promote, Daniel writes, “Facebook Live Videos,” so the gentleness of the Guernsey breed could be shown at any time. Daniel plans to be extremely involved in the Guernsey breed after graduation, as he wants to continue the developments of the family A2/A2 Guernsey herd and bottling plant.
This year’s Runner Up National Outstanding Guernsey Youth Candidate is Lauren Robison. Lauren hails from Hartdale Guernseys in Mulberry Grove, Illinois. She is the 20-year-old daughter of Kevin and Emily Hartmann. Lauren, her parents and two younger brothers operate a 100% registered bred and owned herd of Guernseys in southern Illinois. Lauren just completed her Associates in Applied Science Degrees in Animal Science and Agribusiness from Kaskaskia College in May. In the fall, she will be transferring to Murray State University to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness Economics. Lauren currently serves as the AGYA Vice President and the 2017-2018 National Guernsey Queen. She has been actively involved in many AGYA and Guernsey Convention activities over the past 13 years.
Lauren’s Guernsey calves, dry cows and heifers are housed at their home farm in Mulberry Grove, Illinois. All cows are freshened at the home farm and milked there for several weeks until the cows have transitioned well. The cows are then milked by Lauren’s grandfather at his farm in Kentucky. The herd is milked twice a day and has a rolling herd average of 18,500 lbs. The cows are housed on pasture and in a free stall barn facility where they are fed primarily a hay-based ration with a commodity-based grain mix. The herd consists of 15 milking and dry cows with an average classification score of 87.7 points. All cows are scored VG or EX (84-92). The herd is enrolled in the TPE program and on DHIA. Lauren frequently consigns breeding stock to multiple sales throughout the year. She feels her breeding program focuses on DPR, good udders, strong cow families and a balance between type and production.
The American Guernsey Association is dedicated to the advancement and promotion of the Guernsey dairy cows. The American Guernsey Youth Association boasts membership of over 700 young people nationwide.