The fundraising campaign to establish a permanent scholarship honoring Morris B. Ewing will be formally kicked off at the 2014 Annual Meetings of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc. in Alexandria, Va.
The Morris Ewing Genetic Performance Scholarship will honor the dedication Morris had to what he described as "a truly unique and beneficial breed," and stand as a testament to his dedication to increasing the productivity and profitability to the Jersey cow and Jersey genetics.
The scholarship has been established under the AJCA Educational, Youth Activities & Special Awards Fund. Contributions are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) tax deductible charitable gifts.
Once fully funded, the scholarship will be awarded annually to a junior or senior undergraduate student seeking a career in genetics, dairy production, large animal veterinary medicine or milk marketing.
ABS Global Inc. has announced its commitment by designating a series of exciting high genomic young bulls for the fund drive, with a portion of the sales going into the Ewing Scholarship Fund. The first bull in this initiative, 29JE3897 Forest Glen Visionary Marker, has just been released and would rank in the top 20 of genomic sires on the April summary.
This coincides with publication of Ewing’s autobiography, A Time With Jerseys, a 70-page volume that recaps the major highlights in the evolution of dairy cattle breeding in the 20th Century and progress in the development of the Jersey breed within the U.S. dairy industry.
"This book will raise awareness of this scholarship fund drive," says committee chair David C. Thorbahn, CEO of Select Sires Inc., who counted Ewing as a career mentor. "It remembers Morris’s legacy as a geneticist, a supporter of the Jersey cow, and a friend to all he met."
Adds ABS senior sire analyst Dick Smith, "For those who knew and worked with him, his autobiography will bring back many pleasant memories. For those who never had the opportunity to know or work with Morris Ewing, his recollections will provide a better background on what happened in the Jersey breed on its way to an increasingly important role in the dairy industry of the 21st Century."
The book will be released Friday, June 27 in conjunction with the benefit auction for the AJCC Research Foundation. Proceeds above the retail price and shipping will be directed to the scholarship fund.
As senior dairy sire analyst from 1974 through 1989 for American Breeders Service (now ABS Global, Inc.), Morris Ewing exerted considerable influence on genetic resources available to Jersey owners during a critical period in U.S. Jersey history. He was quick to secure sons of three impact sires: Milestones Generator, a bull that stood at ABS; and Observer Chocolate Soldier and S.S. Quicksilver of Fallneva, paternal half-brothers and sons of Secret Signal Observer, a bull that a brief A.I. career at ABS in the late 1950s. Ewing’s acquisitions for ABS included two bulls honored with special issues of Jersey Journal (A-Nine Top Brass and Highland Duncan Lester), as well as Briarcliffs SS Early Settler, the maternal grandsire of Mason Boomer Sooner Berretta.
An analyst, communicator and "people person" of the highest degree, Ewing was voted Honorary Membership by the Board of Directors of the American Jersey Cattle Club in 1989, then received the first AJCA-NAJ Award for Meritorious Service in 1999. He remained interested in and connected with the dairy genetics industry until his passing on October, 30, 2013 in Tucson, Ariz.
Direct contributions to this fund may be made at any time, with checks payable to the AJCA Scholarship Funds, with Ewing Scholarship in the memo line. Donations to date have come from Dr. Robert E. Walton, De Forest, Wis.; Richard G. and Nancy M. Smith, Waunakee, Wis.; Maurice E. Core, Columbus, Ohio; Sara L. Gaetz and David E. Parkinson, Sahuarita, Ariz.; Mary Jane DeWeerd, Alexandria, Va.; Nancy Ellis, Morrisville, Mo.; George J. and Margaret Ann Gluski, Tucson, Ariz.; Louise M. Hamre, Portage, Wis.; and Dayton and Ann Sederquist, Sun Prairie, Wis.
In addition to its chair David Thorbahn, CEO of Select Sires Inc., the Morris Ewing Genetic Performance Scholarship Committee includes breeders Bill Barlass, Barlass Jerseys LLC, Janesville, Wis.; Dan Bansen, Forest Glen Jerseys, Dayton, Ore., and Libby Bleakney of Highland Farms Inc., Cornish, Maine; sire analysts Dick Smith and Herby Lutz, Select Sires; and Neal Smith, Cherie Bayer and Allen Carter (retired) of the AJCA staff.
For more information or to make contributions, contact the AJCA Development Department at 614/322-4456 or email [email protected]
Source: American Jersey Cattle Association