Harrisburg – Three key dairy industry men were inducted into the Pennsylvania Dairy Hall of Fame during the dairy show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show on Friday, Jan. 13.
The first recipient Donald Ace, of State College, Centre County served as a member of the Penn State dairy extension team at the University Park campus, after starting his extension career in Allegheny County.
While focused mainly on calf and heifer management, Ace’s work also encompassed dairy goat production and management.
Ace served as an advisor and historian for the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association for many years. His leadership brought new ideas and was instrumental in developing the successful milkshake business at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
He also served the state Farm Show as a volunteer breed superintendent, a role he also filled at the All-American Dairy Show for many years. He can often be heard emceeing the annual show. Ace has worked to promote youth participation and education at every level through the shows and his extension work.
“Don is an outstanding individual who has worked quietly behind the scenes, getting work done without a great deal of recognition,” said his nominator. “His calm, serene demeanor has helped him promote and advance new ideas and dairy farm practices.”
The second inductee, William C. Nichol of State College, Centre County, spent 38 years as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Holstein Association, growing the program into the largest state association in the country. He focused on membership service, shows, sales, education, breed promotion, and encouraging the association’s embryo transfer program. With his state board of directors, Nichol helped drive domestic and export cattle sales, opening many international markets that are still used today.
Nichol was also instrumental in initiating the weekly dairy publication Farmshine in 1979, revitalizing the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Program in the late 1960s, and developing the All-American Dairy Show.
The 2012 All-American Dairy Show’s Obie Snider Award winner, Nichol and Snider developed the concept of building an agricultural arena at Penn State to be used for local and statewide educational, promotional and service events. Since 1981, the on-campus Snider Ag Arena has been the site of many activities thanks to the benefit sale that raised $126,000 to fund the project.
Building youth programs has always been a priority for Nichol, by fostering the growth of the state junior Holstein Association, now the largest in the country.
“Bill was at the forefront in developing ideas that would make people want to be a part of a grassroots effort,” said his nominator. “His leadership and dedication to the dairy industry make him a deserving nominee.”
The final 2013 Hall of Fame winner is Samuel G. Yoder of Leesport, Berks County. Yoder developed Pinesedge Farm and its nationally renowned herd of Milking Shorthorn cattle. He served two terms as director of the National American Milking Shorthorn Society, serving as president in 1965, and the Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic Milking Shorthorn societies.
Yoder was instrumental in the inception and execution of the All-American Dairy Show, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013. Pinesedge Farm is one of six farms that has exhibited at each of the 50 shows and has annually been a class sponsor.
Other involvement includes serving on the Pennsylvania Farm Show Dairy Committee, 30 years as livestock superintendent for the Kutztown Fair and 14 years as a 4-H leader and dairy judging coach. Yoder has judged dairy shows at the local, state, national and international levels.
He has been known for supporting Pennsylvania dairy youth by hosting dairy judging practices and providing quality dairy project animals that he cares for and hauls to shows.
“Sam exemplifies the qualities and attributes that make him worthy of this prestigious award,” said his nominator. “He is a modest man who truly enjoys doing for others, especially youth.”
The new inductees will receive a crystal award and their photos will be placed on the Hall of Fame wall outside the Large Arena at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Exposition Center.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 5-12 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.