More than 60 Jersey enthusiasts gathered at the visitor’s center at the Hilmar Cheese Company in Hilmar, Calif., on February 9, 2019, for the annual meeting of the California Jersey Cattle Association (CJCA). Members held a brief business meeting, honored achievements and heard from industry guests.
Scott Wickstrom, Hilmar, received the Senior Jersey Breeder Award. He operates Wickstrom Jersey Farm Inc. with his father, Duane, and brother, Mike, and Red Top Jerseys with Mike and the Nyman Brothers. The combined dairies milk more than 6,000 cows. Both are enrolled on REAP and rank among the top 25 herds in the country for genetic merit, with herd average JPIs over +80. Both have 2018 m.e. lactation averages over 22,000 lbs. milk, 1,050 lbs. fat and 810 lbs. protein, measures that rank among the top 10 large herds (750 or more cows) for all measures of production. Wickstrom Jersey Farm is also a charter member of Project Equity, contributing to the equitable milk pricing movement for more than four decades.
The dairies regularly consign to leading Jersey sales, including the All American Jersey Sale, the Pot O’Gold Sale and the National Heifer Sale.
Scott sat on the AJCA Board from 2002-2008, chairing the organization’s Breed Improvement Committee during his second term. He served the CJCA as president and currently sits on the board. He and Mike received the AJCA Young Jersey Breeder Award in 1988.
Dr. Frank Mitloehner, a professor and air quality extension specialist with the University of California-Davis who is becoming known as the “Green Guru,” was the guest speaker. One of the nation’s foremost authorities on air emissions in agriculture, Dr. Mitloehner urged dairy producers to share facts about their businesses with the community to counteract arguments from anti-agriculture groups. Dairy producers are ideally positioned to dispel myths because consumers view them as food-growing and cow-care experts.
Dr. Mitloehner encouraged his audience to use information from sources like the environmental study he and his team recently conducted, which shows dairy cattle contribute just 5% of the total greenhouse gases emitted in California versus 50% for transportation―a magnitude 10 times higher.
Read more about other award winners and industry guests attending the California meeting here.