The National Dairy Shrine honors past and present leaders of the dairy industry for their contributions. Recently inducted into the National Dairy Hall of Fame are Jay Mattison, Guest of Honor, and David Patrick, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award. Their portraits will be displayed at the National Dairy Hall of Fame at the National Dairy Shrine Museum in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. 

The National Dairy Shrine also named four 2020 Pioneer Award recipients. Please see accompanying articles.

The National Dairy Shrine’s highest recognition, Guest of Honor, is being presented to Jay Mattison, CEO of the National Dairy Herd Information Association. The award recognizes a contemporary dairy leader for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the industry.

Mattison graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science from Iowa State University. He earned in 1983 a masters’ degree in animal production and breeding, with a minor in agricultural economics. He began his career in dairy science for the Iowa State University-Extension. He served from 1983 to 1986 as director of genetic programs for the National Association of Animal Breeders and spent the next six years as genetic-program manager for Federated Genetics-Eastern A.I. Cooperative. Between 1991 and 1995 he served as a senior research associate for Cornell University’s Program on Dairy Markets and Policy.

Mattison and his wife, Mary Mattison, founded and have operated ReQuest Ltd., their own management consulting company, for the past 25 years. He also is CEO of the National Dairy Herd Information Association and its two subsidiaries – Quality Certification Services Inc. and DHIA Services Inc.

Mattison’s leadership was instrumental when – in 2012 – the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding transitioned from an industry cooperating body to a nonprofit responsible for the world’s largest dairy database and calculation of genetic evaluations for the U.S. dairy industry. A member of the council’s board for the past 16 years, he has served two different terms as vice-chair and chair.

He took a lead role in rewriting the council’s bylaws, structured the nonprofit, and moved U.S. dairy-cattle genetic and genomic-evaluation services from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service to the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding. He also served as the liaison between the federal government’s dairy genetics and management laboratories, administration and the council’s board.

Since 2006 he has served on the board of the International Committee on Animal Recording, the international standards and certification organization for animal identification, recording and genetic evaluation. President of the committee since 2017, he has contributed to numerous international collaborations. Those collaborations have resulted in further efficiencies among member organizations as a result of pooled efforts and resources.

Mattison served as a lead in writing bylaws for the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium, a nonprofit that works to protect animal health through livestock and premises identification and traceability. He served six years as the consortium’s treasurer and helped develop the business plan for premises assignment in Wisconsin. He has served as the administrator of the U.S. National Committee of the International Dairy Federation. He also has served on the board of the U.S. Animal Health Association.

Patrick selected distinguished breeder

David Patrick of Maple-Dell Ayrshires near Woodbine, Maryland, has earned the Dairy Shrine’s Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award. The award honors a progressive breeder whose expertise in managing a dairy herd, based upon sound genetic and business principles, is a model for others.

Patrick will celebrate his 90th birthday in August. He is the patriarch of Maple-Dell Farm. His grandfather established the farm in 1928. Today the farm is operated by David Patrick, his wife, Ann Patrick, their two sons, Mike Patrick and Denny Patrick, and a grandson, Derek Patrick.

The family breeds Ayrshires and Registered Holsteins with the prefix Md-Maple-Dell. They milk 165 cows and raise more than 160 heifers. They’ve conducted production testing for more than 60 years and have classified cattle for 40 years.

David Patrick in 2010 received the Ayrshire Association’s Master Breeder award. He has earned 14 Constructive Breeder awards for the herd’s production and type. More than 100 of the farm’s cows have classified Excellent, including one at 95 points. Seventeen All-American and 18 Reserve All-American cattle have carried the Maple-Dell prefix.

Patrick was a founder of the Maryland 4-H dairy-leasing program that gives urban 4-H members the opportunity to show and work with cattle. Started in 1989 the program continues to thrive. Patrick has leased to 4-H members more than 20 calves.

A member of the U.S. Ayrshire Breeders’ Association for 73 years Patrick served as its president in 1998 and 1999. He received its Distinguished Service Award in 2002. He is a past president of the Maryland Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, Wills Fair Association and Maryland-Delaware Ayrshire Association. He also was a longtime board director of the All-American Dairy Show. He was inducted into the Maryland Dairy Shrine in 1994 and earned the Maryland Dairy of Distinction Award in 2014. Maple Dell Farm was inducted into the Maryland Governor’s Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2007.

David Selner is the executive of the National Dairy Shrine.