DelVal Herd Named Best in Nation

Feb 06, 2008

Delaware Valley College's Ayrshire Herd was recently named top herd in the United States by the National Ayrshire Breeders Association. Each year, this award is given to a herd of 5 to 14 milking Ayrshire dairy cattle.

The DelVal herd, composed of 12 animals, produces an average of 23,300 pounds of milk per animal, per year. This production level, which averages to nearly 64 pounds of milk per day, is considered exteremly high for an Ayrshire dairy herd, according to Larry Morris, Dairy Science Department Chair.

Ayrshire cattle are a breed of cattle originally bred in Ayrshire, Scotland. An average adult animal weighs between 1000 and 1250 pounds. The animals can be identified by their red markings and are considered very hardy and efficient dairy cattle.

In other news, DelVal's Dairy Judging team, composed of sophomores Joshua Detweiler, Eric Forgy, Matthew Puskas and senior Tara Fetzer, placed second in the 2007 North American International Livestock Exposition's Dairy Judging Team contest.

The competition, held in Louisville, KY, requires students to look at the traits that make a good milking cow. The participants must then defend their choice in an oral argument before a panel of judges. These responses are then measured against the ratings the judge panel gave the dairy cattle.