Jason and Donna Myers, New Windsor, Md., have been selected by the Klussendorf Association as the fourth Robert "Whitey" McKown Master Breeder Award winner. The honor was presented at the 46th World Dairy Expo. This award recognizes a well managed breeder herd who has been successful at showing and judging and emphasizes all qualities of the Klussendorf Award, including ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship. Serving in a number of leadership roles and sporting many years of breeding success, the Myers fit every criteria of the McKown Master Breeder Award. Their two daughters, Kelly and Kristin, have been involved with the operation over the years, and Kelly is a full-time partner on the farm.
Both Jason and Donna were born into a life of dairying. Jason's family raised and milked Holsteins at Del-Myr Farm near Westminster, Md., and Donna's family had Guernseys at Maple Spring Farm in Montgomery County, Md. After getting married in 1974, the couple partnered with Del-Myr Farm for 10 years. In 1984, they moved to their New Windsor farm and established Windsor Manor Holsteins.
Highlighting the New Windsor prefix is the well-known Holstein "Zip" family as well as the stand out Red and White "Ruby" family. For their breeding efforts, the Myers have bred All-American nominations in three breeds and have garnered All Americans in two breeds. They bred the breed's former top productive life (PL) cow, Windsor-Manor Rud Zip, and a former No. 1 TPI bull, Windsor-Manor Machoman. Not to mention, the herd has recorded 107 excellents, 11 Gold Medal Dams and 16 Dam of Merits over the years.
A number of milestones further emphasize the Myers dedication to the quality of the cattle they breed. In 1980, Jason and Donna earned the Maryland Holstein Junior Breeder Award, and in 2000, they were presented the Senior Breeder Award. In 2006, they were honored with the Maryland Holstein Distinguished Service Award, and in 2011, received the Dairy of Distinction Award. Last year, they were inducted into the Maryland Dairy Shrine. Last year, Donna was recognized as Dairy Woman of the Year at World Dairy Expo.
The Robert "Whitey" McKown Memorial Breeder Award was made possible by the family and friends of the 1997 Honorary Klussendorf honoree. Whitey joined the Holstein World staff in 1956 and became widely respected as he traveled nationally and internationally, reporting on shows, sales, meetings and other Holstein events. The 1987 National Dairy Shrine president also developed MooKown Holsteins in Belleville, N.Y. Whitey had great admiration for the farmer breeder.
The Klussendorf Memorial Association, considered by many as the Hall of Fame for Dairy Cattle Exhibitors, began in 1937 in memory of Arthur B. Klussendorf, considered the outstanding dairy cattle showman of his time. Each year, the Klussendorf Association votes to add a new dairy cattle exhibitor to its roles with lifetime membership for their cumulative works including ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship.