NY Boy Gets Head Start With Donated Calf

4/27/2013 7:00 AM
By Marjorie Struckle New York Correspondent

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Devin Kuhn of Grand Gorge, N.Y., can't stop smiling.

As the recipient of the New York State Holstein Association Calf Scholarship, Devin received Quiet Brook Pioneer See during the New York Spring Dairy Carousel held last week at the state fairgrounds.

Typical of many 12-year-olds, Devin participates in soccer, basketball, Science Olympics and 4-H. He also is active in Dairy Bowl Challenge, is a New York Junior Holstein member and exhibits Holstein cattle.

"This calf will make a difference in showing," he said.

There are no purchased animals on Devin’s home farm, Walterna Farm, and many are not registered, so they are not eligible for showing.

John and Denise Dickinson of Ideal Dairy Farms in Hudson Falls, Washington County, N.Y., donated the calf. Ideal Farms is home to Quiet Brook Holsteins and Cookie Cutter Holsteins.

"Devin seems like a good kid and this (calf) should help him reach his goal of building an all-registered herd of Holsteins," Denise said.

The annual event matches donated animals with worthy youth.

"Quiet Brook is one of the best-run large freestalls in the country with adamant attention given to cow care and comfort. One beautiful, happy cow after another," said Patsy Gifford, executive manager of the New York Holstein Association.

The December calf is out of a 92-point Leduc with more than 200,000 pounds of milk for her lifetime. Her twin sister is Quiet Brook Pioneer Saw, and the sire is the Accelerated Genetics bull Pioneer from Fly-Higher Holsteins.

"He will be a good recipient of the calf,” Denise said of Devin. “We will keep the other twin; he got the better of the two. The mother was a special cow for us.

"It was hard to pick a calf who will do fairly well. A lot can change with the feeding program during the show season. But the mother did well at the tri-county local shows," she said.

Ideal Dairy Farms is no stranger to promoting dairy farming to the public. In addition to assisting Devin in his goal, they send a newsletter to local nonagricultural neighbors.

With a herd size of 950, including 850 milking cows, Quiet Brook has bred 90 excellent and 620 very good cows. Many All-New York and Junior All-New York nominations have risen from the herd. In addition to the breeding, the farm concentrates on superior milk production, receiving Gold Standard Dairy honors and quality premiums for quality milk.

The Dickinsons believe everyone makes a difference, giving credit to each of their 18 milkers and herdsmen. That philosophy extends to donating the calf for Devin to create a herd of Registered Holsteins.

Besides helping youth, the farm promotes a healthy agricultural appearance to the consuming public in their town.

"We are getting ready to send out our newsletter to the non-ag neighbors who don't understand we are really a family farm and why we do the things we do," Denise said.

Devin will pick up the calf around May 1, and he’s not the only one who hasn’t stopped smiling. Neither has Denise, knowing that the future of agriculture is continuing.

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