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1408 PD: Penn State celebrates pride and passion at silver anniversary sale

Published on 29 September 2008

Over the course of more than two decades, the Penn State Dairy Science Club has continued to improve upon their annual consignment sale, the Nittany Lion Fall Classic.

However, one aspect has remained the same since the sale was established 25 years ago – the passion of the people behind the sale.

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“This is one of the longest-running sales in collegiate history,” says Nathan Heim of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the 2008 Fall Classic chair. “Every year students and dairy industry colleagues come together to celebrate their common passion in life – working with registered dairy cows.” In the past 24 years, nearly 1,500 consignments have been sold for an average price of $2,009 and a total volume exceeding $3 million, according to Dairy Science Club adviser, Dale Olver.

The 25th Annual Nittany Lion Fall Classic Sale will be held at the Snider Agricultural Arena in State College, Pennsylvania, on November 8, 2008. The Penn State Dairy Science Club works with the Pennsylvania Holstein Association (PHA) to prepare for the sale. Students on the Fall Classic selection committee choose almost all of the animals, with most consignments coming from Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The chair and other club members coordinate advertising and promotion of these animals with the help of Ken Raney and David Lentz of PHA.

Heim says the chair is elected by club members a year in advance to serve as an assistant to the current chair and to “learn the ropes of the sale.” This year’s assistant and 2009 Fall Classic chair is Joe Leslie of Connoquenessing, Pennsylvania.

As animals arrive to the arena the week before the sale, students devote their time to feeding, milking, washing and fitting the animals. The barn manager, who is selected by the chair of the sale, coordinates and manages these activities. The 2008 barn manager is Aaron Hoover of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Anthony Sharp of Stoystown, Pennsylvania, will serve in 2009. Club members also prepare for the sale by arranging and decorating the arena and coordinating a pre-sale breakfast.

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At this year’s breakfast, the club will invite back all previous sale chairs and others involved in the sale’s history. With the assistance of the Dairymen’s Club, a PSU alumni organization, Heim will present special recognition to these hardworking contributors.

“There’ve been a lot of people who have helped with the sale, some of them for more than 20 years,” Heim says. “We want to honor these individuals for helping make the sale what it is today.”

Among those being recognized will be two of the leaders who worked with students to establish the first Fall Classic in 1984: William Nichol, former Executive Secretary of PHA, and Dr. Lawrence Muller, professor emeritus at PSU. Muller believes the support of alumni and the active involvement of the students has and will continue to contribute to the success of the Fall Classic.

“Year after year, the teamwork of the students is remarkable,” Muller says. “They have a lot of fun, and when [the sale] is over, they have such a feeling of pride and accomplishment.”

Heim agrees with Muller and knows many of his fellow club members are looking forward to November just as much as him.

“You can never relive the week of Fall Classic!” he says. PD

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Emily Caldwell
Staff Writer
Progressive Dairyman

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