Dairy banquet honors

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Front Row: 2018-2019 Alt. Junior Dairyman: Kody Moeller, 2018-2019 Junior Dairyman: Blake Hunt, 2018-2019 Little Miss Squirt: Crystal Goodrich, 2018-2019 Alt. Little Miss Squirt: Jennifer Smith. Back Row: 2017-2018 Alt. Iowa Dairy Princess: Josie Buddenburg, 2018-2019 Alt. Clayton County Dairy Princess: Tess Hilgerson, 2017-2018 Clayton County Dairy Princess: Brianna Lucey

The 2018 Clayton County Dairy Banquet was held April 6 in Elkader. Following is a list of special honors and awards presented that evening.

Scholarship Winners:

This is the second year the Clayton Co. Dairy Promotion Committee has offered scholarships to support our county’s youth education beyond high school. 

Brianna Lucey and Cody Mueller each received a $500 scholarship:

Brianna Lucey is the daughter of Marcia Harbaugh of Guttenberg. She is a 2018 Clayton Ridge High School and plans to attend Northeast Iowa Community College for agricultural business and dairy science. She is currently the President of the Garnavillo Hawks 4H Club and has held several other offices within the club. Brianna currently owns two registered Jerseys and a handful of registered Holsteins. Her ultimate career goals include taking over the family farm and becoming an animal nutritionist. 

Cody Mueller is the son of Jason and Kelly Mueller of Strawberry Point. A 2018 Central Community High School graduate, he plans to study agricultural diesel mechanics in college. He has been a very active member in 4H and FFA all while achieving academic letters and being on the supreme honor roll. Cody has also served on Central’s Compost Team, which recycles and composts waste from the school’s lunch reducing waste by about 90 percent. His goal of becoming a diesel mechanic is led by his initiative to help others.

Appreciation Award

The Clayton County Dairy Promotion Committee annually honors a person or business that supports the dairy industry. This year’s recipient is Dr. Ryan Royer 

Ryan Royer graduated in 1998 with his Animal Science degree from Iowa State University. In 2002, he graduated from ISU College of Veterinary Medicine. He practiced in a mixed animal practice for a year in Cresco, IA before moving to the Elkader Veterinary Clinic in 2003. Ryan was married in 2003 to his wife Jen and they grew their family here in NE Iowa. They have a son, Daniel, 13, and two daughters, Lizzie, 11, and Katie, 10. 

In 2008, Ryan and his family moved to Dalhart, Texas for two years where he practiced veterinary medicine with large dairy herds. They returned in 2010 and since then Dr. Royer has focused primarily on learning and growing his dairy and beef expertise. Heis also employed by Purina Animal Nutrition, where he provides nutrition consulting and ration formulation to herds throughout NE Iowa. 

In January 2017, Dr. Royer and his partner, Dr. Michelle Christenson, purchased the Elkader Veterinary Clinic from the previous owner, Dr. John Pries. Drs. Royer and Christenson are committed to providing the best possible care and service to those they work within the community, as well as actively growing the small and large animal practice. 

Dr. Royer is currently a member of the AABP and as well as the IVMA, where he is serving his second term on the executive board for the Iowa Veterinary Medicine Association. He is an active community member and enjoys working and collaborating with the ISU extension; NE Iowa Community College, where he serves on the Large Animal Vet Technician and Dairy Science Advisory Board; local 4H clubs, and his church family. Dr. Royer can also be found volunteering his time at the Clayton County Fair each year where he provides inspection services.

Outstanding Young 

Dairy Producer 

   The Outstanding Young Dairy Producer Award is a sincere effort to honor young dairy producers who have achieved excellence in managing their dairy enterprise, and have contributed leadership in the dairy industry and their communities. Nominees must be 40 years of age or younger to be eligible. This year’s honoree is Megan Schoulte, Farmersburg.

Daughter of Jerald and Mary Kleve, Megan grew up on a dairy farm and participated in various dairy-showing competitions. She graduated from NICC in 2003, majoring in Dairy Science. She and her husband, Josh, were married May 17, of 2003. 

Megan and Josh started milking in 2003 with 50 cows and 130 acres of farmland. Schoulte Family Farm is now home to 65 grade Holsteins and over 1,100 acres owned/rented. In addition to the cows, Josh and Megan have a beef cow/calf operation. 

Megan handles all the herd management on her farm including but not limited to milking, hoof trimming, herd health, calf feeding, bedding, breeding, and scraping along with the help of her daughters. 

Megan is leader and active parent of the Mendon Hustler/ Peppy Pals 4-H Club. She and Josh have four children: Cassidy (17), Dacia (13), Adrianna (9) and Dominic (3).

Distinguished Dairy

 Producer Award

The Distinguished Dairy Producer Award honors dairy families and individuals who have achieved excellence in managing their dairy enterprise while contributing leadership to the dairy industry and their communities. Honoring these outstanding producers serves as a tribute to the time and effort they have put forth in advancing the dairy industry. 

This year’s Distinguished Dairy Producers, Scott and Suzy Hilgerson of Elkader, both have deep roots in Clayton County and the dairy industry. Both grew up on farms and were very active in the community. They currently farm together with their four children, milking 62 registered Holsteins, and raising corn, oats, and alfalfa as well as finishing out dairy steers.  The family owns 120 acres and rents an additional 250 acres. 

Scott grew up on his family’s dairy farm in St. Olaf with his parents, Robert and Ruth, and three sisters. When he graduated high school in 1984, he farmed on thirds with his father until he purchased his own farm outside of Elkader. Scott moved into his own barn in March 1985. Starting with 17 cows, and slowly building the herd since then, Scott filled the 62-cow tie-stall in 1990. 

Suzy grew up on the Hoth farm outside of St. Olaf with her parents, Leon and Joyce, and her two sisters. The Hoth farm raised beef cattle, hogs, and chickens. 

When Scott graduated high school his father wasn’t yet ready to sell the farm. So Scott began to look for his own place. When the opportunity to buy the current dairy farm on highway 128 arose, Scott realized the opportunity and bought the property, which made him a fourth generation dairy farmer. 

After high school, Suzy took courses at Iowa State University for two years, and lived and worked in Cedar Rapids, as a bank teller before returning to Elkader where she married Scott.

Scott and Suzy married on May 22, 1993. Since then, Scott maintains a herd of 62 cows and Suzy plays a key role on the farm as well. They have four children Sam, Shana, Ted, and Tess. 

As the kids grew, they started helping out around the farm. Each took their turn in the buddy seat of a tractor, helping to feed calves, and worked their way up to milking cows and operating equipment. Scott and Suzy both helped their kids become involved in 4-H and complete projects in almost every area. Suzy firmly believed that all the kids should be able to cook and sew, and used 4-H as an avenue to enforce this, making all the kids complete projects this area. Sam, Shana, and Ted all attend Iowa State University pursuing degrees in agriculture. Tess is currently a junior at Central Community Schools and will graduate in May 2019.

Senior Dairy 

Professional Award

The Senior Dairy Award honors individuals who have provided outstanding support to the dairy industry and producers. Honored in this category are Robert and Joyce Hillers, Guttenberg .

The Hillers started farming in 1971 by renting a dairy farm near Greeley. In December 1977 they moved to a farm north of Colesburg where they farmed for six years. On November 19, 1983 they purchased a farm near Millville where their dairy farm continues to operate. 

Bob and Joyce both graduated from Maquoketa Valley High School. During their first few years of farming Bob worked at Cashway in Manchester. Joyce played an active role on the farm, but in her spare time would substitute as a teacher’s aide at school.  he also continues to work as a seamstress out of their home. Additionally, Joyce has been working with special needs individuals at Unlimited Services for the past 10 years.

Their son Jeff returned home to help run the operation in 2000. He and his wife Jess now own the family farm with their children Tim and Becca. Bob continues to help on the farm almost daily, but has taken some time to enjoy a few vacations and time with their grandchildren.

Hillers’ Dairy Farm is home to 80 registered and grade Holsteins and nearly 300 acres owned/rented. The cows are housed in a freestall barn that was built in 1999. In 2008 a double 8 parabone parlor was added. The cows are milked twice a day and their milk is marketed through Prairie Farms. 

Bob and Joyce have received many quality milk awards over the years. Bob loves to bowl in his spare time and Joyce was active on the Clayton Co. Dairy Promotion Committee for years running the royalty program. 

2018 Royalty

Little Miss Squirt—Crystal Goodrich

Crystal Goodrich is the 8-year-old daughter of Tony and Jamie Goodrich of St. Olaf. She just finished the third grade at Central Elementary where she enjoys art, music, geography and science. She loves to sing and dance and play with her brother. Her parents help operate Westrich Dairy, a herd with 160 milking Holsteins.  Crystal sponsor is Steve Schuety with Genex. 

Alternate Little Miss Squirt—Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith, 9, is the daughter of Scott and Cindy Smith. She also just completed third grade at Clayton Ridge Elementary where her favorite subjects are science, math, reading, music and art. Her hobbies include Girl Scouts, 4-H Clover Kids, Dance, Gymnastics and showing calves at the fair. Her family milks 10-15 Jerseys and Holsteins. Her sponsor is MDR Trucking. 

Junior Dairyman—Blake Hunt

Blake Hunt is the 8-year-old son of Chad and Erin Hunt of Elkader. He recently completed the third grade at Central Elementary where his favorite subjects in school are science, math and art. His family milks 75 registered Holsteins. His hobbies include being a member of the Highland Helping Hands Clover Kids, Iowa Jr. Holstein member, showing cattle, hunting, fishing, drawing and riding his bike. His sponsor is Wes Moore-Moore Trucking of Dairy Farmers of America. 

Alternate Junior Dairyman—Kody Moeller

Kody Moeller, 10, is the son of Chris and Kallie Moeller of Postville. He just finished fifth grade at Postville School where his favorite subjects are PE, social studies, science and band. His hobbies include brushing and feeding the horse, helping his dad with chores, learning about animals by reading books and watching animal programs on television. His sponsor is MAARS Dairy Mark and Rondee Troester Family. 

Dairy Princess—Brianna Lucey

Brianna Lucey, 18, is the daughter of Robert Lucey and Marcia Harbaugh of Guttenberg. She recently graduated from Clayton Ridge High school. Brianna is active in 4-H and FFA. She currently holds the office of President for the Garnavillo Hawks 4-H Club but she has held the offices of secretary and historian in the past. She enjoys milking on the home dairy farm of 150 head of Registered Holsteins and Jerseys. Her other hobbies include competing in several cattle shows, riding horses and going on the river in the summer.  She plans to attend NICC for Dairy Science and Ag Business. Her sponsor is Rose-Maar Dairy of Garnavillo. 

Alternate Dairy Princess—Tess Hilgerson

Tess Hilgerson, 16, is the daughter of Scott and Suzy Hilgerson of Elkader. This fall, will be her senior year at Central High school where she enjoys individual and large group speech, FFA, 4-H, softball and band. Reading is a favorite hobby along with spending time with her animals. Her family milks 62 Holsteins. Tess future plans include attending either Luther or Iowa State University to major in computer science and play softball. Her sponsor is Elkader Vet Clinic.









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