Berks County Man Earns Dairy Show's Top Honor
Samuel Yoder of Shoemakersville, Berks County, has been named the All-American Dairy Show Obie Snider Award recipient. Agriculture Secretary George Greig will present the award at the show's "got milk?"® banquet on Monday, Sept. 9, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
The award was established in memory of an All-American founding father, Holstein breeder Obie Snider of Bedford County. It recognizes an individual who serves the industry and community and displays high standards of conduct.
"It's fitting that Sam, a founding father of the All-American, is receiving the show's top award during the 50th anniversary celebration," said Greig. "Without his vision and leadership, the show wouldn't have experienced the success and growth it has over the past five decades."
A Milking Shorthorn breeder, Yoder joined forces with Ayrshire breeder Cuthbert Nairn and Snider to develop a national dairy show in Pennsylvania. In 1960, Nairn gained the backing of Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Leland Bull and Governor Scranton's 1963 budget awarded $50,000 to the show.
Yoder served on the All-American's original board of directors as the Milking Shorthorn representative for 30 years. This year marks his family's 50th year exhibiting at the show.
"Seeing the generations come together, the positive changes in the breed and the lasting friendships has been worth every minute," Yoder said.
With wife Phyllis, Yoder established Pinesedge Farm in the 1940's, where they raised their four children Samuel, Nedra, Fred and Wendy. Every season the entire family exhibited their show string of 20-25 head at local, state and national events.
"My father is very proud to be a 50-year exhibitor at the All-American," said daughter Nedra Koller. "He loves to reminisce about showing in the older days, but is elated with the changes and progress of modern times.
"He also takes great pride in the improvement of the Milking Shorthorn breed, and it warms his heart to see Milking Shorthorn cattle tied in with other breeders' show strings."
Yoder encouraged children from dairy farms to show cows. He often hauled their cattle to shows and let them tie in with the renowned Pinesedge show string. In tribute to his work, he is the namesake of the Premier National Junior Show's Supreme Champion Heifer prize, the Samuel G. Yoder Crystal Star.
His family sponsors several classes in the Milking Shorthorn youth shows, as well as the open show including the Best Bred and Owned.
"My father believes breeding a good cow is a real honor," said Koller, adding that as a judge, he has always appreciated a good cow no matter what color.
As a contemporary of the late Obie Snider, Koller said of her father, "Dad and Obie were very close friends and colleagues with a mutual respect for each other. He is very honored to receive this award in his friend's name."
All-American Dairy Show features 22 shows in six days in addition to the nation's only all-dairy antiques show. Last year's event saw nearly 2,500 animals and more than 900 exhibitors from across the nation.