Location: Garnavillo, Iowa
My dairy’s history: I am a fifth generation farmer at Rolling Prairie dairy, where we have a milking herd of 200. I farm full time with my parents, Dan & Ann Walther and my two brothers, Jordan Walther and Jaaron Walther. Registered Guernseys have been a continuous part of our family farming operation since 1924.
If I wasn’t a dairyman, I would be … I would likely be an accountant. However, I have a passion for broadcast journalism, particularly radio – which would suit me well as I rarely seem to be at a loss for words.
I have been a member of the American Guernsey Association for … I was a Junior Member in the American Guernsey Association and became a senior member 12 years ago.
I joined AGA because ... As a breeder of registered Guernseys, joining the American Guernsey Association was the logical thing to do! The AGA keeps official documentation of all registered animals and that database of information is priceless if you are a true Guernsey enthusiast.
A little-known fact about the beginnings of AGA is … One unique accomplishment by the AGA is that we have the oldest dairy breed publication in the U.S. “The Guernsey Breeders’ Journal” celebrated it’s 100th anniversary last year. It’s remarkable that a promotional venture started over a century ago is still going strong today.
My favorite AGA representative/friend is ... An impossible question! There are so many good people involved with the AGA on all levels. I have had the good fortune to be able to work with an abundance of talented individuals and fondly call them “friends”
What AGA does best is … One of the strongest aspects of the AGA is the commitment to Guernsey youth. The programs in place for the junior members provide excellent opportunities to showcase their talents and ultimately promote personal growth and development. The AGA recognizes that these young people are the future of the Guernsey breed and making their involvement a priority is a sound investment.
I feel valued as a member when ... When someone contacts me for information about Guernseys or how to become more involved. I may not always have the answers they are looking for, but I do know exactly where to refer them. Networking with other Guernsey breeders and/or AGA staff to help new people get involved is very rewarding.
An influential person whom I’ve met through AGA and he/she is helpful/influential because ... I have met numerous people who have influenced me. When I was elected to the AGA Board of Directors in 2007 there were two veteran Directors who offered me thoughtful advice. I learned a great deal by observing them in those early months…. their conduct, their wisdom, their dedication. I will keep the lessons learned through those experiences with me always.
My worst struggle in dairying is/was … 2009 is still very fresh in my memory. That was a year of setbacks….
I hope my legacy through the Association is/will be … I guess I’m not concerned about my legacy. What is important to me is the legacy of the Association itself. I believe in Guernseys. I think that people with an inclination for Guernseys will find a way to be successful and profitable. It is all about effort, discipline and attention to detail.
If I were running AGA, I would … Develop new ways to increase revenue and always look for ways to streamline expenses. It’s all about efficiency. Since the AGA is a member based association keeping the services we provide our members affordable is very important. Promote the Guernsey cow to commercial dairies and inform them that high component Guernsey milk is an asset.
My advice to all dairy producers is … Stay focused but find some humor in every day. This is a labor-intensive lifestyle and the demands are substantial but each and every one of us has so much to be thankful for! PD
American Guernsey Association
1224 Alton Darby Creek Road, Suite G
Columbus, OH 43228
Year organized......................... 877
Number of active members.......697
Number of junior members.......780
Types of benefits and activities available to members: Classification services, cattle, semen and embryo marketing assistance, Golden Guernsey products marketing, production recognition, pedigree verification and recording, and national shows.
Types of benefits and activities available to junior members: Four national junior shows; production recognition programs; national convention contests including quiz bowl, public speaking and essay, photo and folding display contests; and a scholarship program (five scholarships are awarded annually.)