Glen D. and Marilyn Easter, Laurens, S.C., will receive the Distinguished Service Award of the American Jersey Cattle Association on June 25, 2014 in Alexandria, Va.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented by the Board of Directors to as many living AJCA members and/or members’ families, who, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, have rendered outstanding and unselfish service for many years and thereby made a notable contribution to the advancement of the Jersey breed in the United States.
The presentation will be made at the Breeders’ Recognition Banquet, the opening event of the AJCA-NAJ Annual Meetings, which run through June 28 at the Holiday Inn & Suites-Historic District.
Glen and Marilyn Easter found their lifetime passions for service within the dairy industry in a way that complements each other’s abilities. In all they do, Glen and Marilyn provide a positive presence for the Jersey breed as they unselfishly give their time and energy to build a stronger dairy industry.
Glen’s focus has been on business of dairying, directed at shaping the programs, tools, and policies that aid herd improvement and profitability.
Glen was a founding member of Dixieland Jersey Sires, Inc. the first breeder-directed young sire sampling cooperative established in 1985. Almost 30 years later, he continues to serve on its Board of Directors. Dixieland Jersey Sires paved the way for creation of four more regional Jersey sire proving groups. To date, the five groups have sampled 345 bulls and returned royalties in excess of $1.7 million to their members.
Glen has provided decades of service to herd testing programs. He was elected President of the South Carolina DHIA in 1984. When that organization merged with the North Carolina and Virginia associations in 2000 to form the United Federation of DHIAs, Glen was elected as a director. As President of United DHIA since 2001, he continues to lead its efforts to deliver accurate and affordable testing to dairy producers. From 2004 through 2010, Glen served on the advisory board for Dairy Records Management Systems, Raleigh, N.C., which annually processes more than half of the cow records in the United States. As chair from 2008 through 2010, he guided that body’s work as it set guidelines for DRMS program development.
"Through his leadership roles as an elected officer within the DHIA organizations, accompanied by his committed service on our Advisory Board, I have come to appreciate Glen’s approach to the business of dairying," comments Dr. John Clay, DRMS Director. "His selection for these roles indicate the high level of respect he has earned among dairymen milking all breeds of dairy cows."
Highlights of Glen’s involvement in milk marketing and dairy promotion organizations include Southeast Council member of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), serving in recent years as First Vice-Chair; member of the DFA Corporate Board since 2007, and serving on its Fluid Marketing, Value Added (new product development), Legal and World Dairy Export committees; Southeastern United Dairy Industry Association (SUDA) since 2005 and serving as Chairman since 2012; and the United Dairy Industry Association and Executive Committee of Dairy Management, Inc.
Marilyn is equally involved in her efforts to foster opportunities and success for the next generation of dairy leaders and advocates. She has been active in Jersey youth programs at many levels, serving as chair of the Junior Activities Committee of The All American Jersey Show & Sale and also for the Youth Activities Committee at the 2000 AJCA-NAJ Annual Meetings. Her effective work with Jersey youth led to an invitation to serve on the Holstein Foundation’s advisory committee for the creation of the Young Dairy Leaders Institute in 1991. Over 21 years, Marilyn helped mentor the first seven classes consisting of over 500 students before her retirement in 2012.
Local, state, and national Farm Bureau provide Marilyn with a voice in dairy and agriculture advocacy. With her media training from the Southeastern United Dairy Industry Association, Marilyn extends her positive presence into areas of agricultural promotion and media communications, through farm tours, school career days, and serving as a resource person with media pursuing agricultural stories.
The couple has operated Eastglen Farm since 1964. From the start, Glen and Marilyn made an effective team in managing this dairy business, being named the National Grange Young Couple of the Year in 1966. In 1978, they moved the operation from Vermont to South Carolina, drawn by the All-Jersey® milk market. The farm was singled out for an outstanding small business award by the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce in 2012.