Oct. 6 2023 01:00 PM

She is the first Canadian to win the Merle Howard Award.

Savannah Crack became the first Canadian to win the Merle Howard Award when she received the highest recognition a youth showman can receive at World Dairy Expo on Friday. She is the 19th honoree of the award that memorializes the 1954 Klussendorf Award winner and respected dairy industry pioneer.

Crack grew up on her family’s Crackholm Holstein herd in Richmond, Quebec, and joined 4-H as a young person, where she gained life skills as well as cattle skills. She has been able to compete in the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic at the Royal Winter Fair and Holstein Quebec’s Ecole de Preparation, a three-day workshop program with focuses on different aspects of showing success. She is also one of six Canadians to attend the European Young Breeders School in Belgium, which brought together passionate dairy youth from 19 countries.

Crack is a four-time champion at major showmanship contests in Canada and the U.S. This includes being named Overall Champion Showman at the 2023 Quebec Classique and at Quebec’s AJRQ Youth Championship show. She has also topped both the junior (2015) and intermediate (2016) divisions of the Youth Showmanship Contest at World Dairy Expo. Earlier this week, she earned the Overall Fitter Award in Expo’s Youth Fitting Contest.

This year’s Merle Howard winner has graduated from the three-year Farm Management and Technology Program at MacDonald College and became just one of two students to earn the Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal. She returned to the family farm to manage the herd with her father, David.

The Merle Howard Award has been presented since 2004. Seventeen of the previous 18 winners were on hand to congratulate Crack on Friday morning.

Hoard's at Expo is sponsored by Trioliet.