Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 26, 1994, Image 25

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    Myers Fills York Dairy Extension Role
York Co. Correspondent
YORK (York Co.) By the
end of the month of January. lory
Myers planned to have visited
nearly half of York County’s 126
dairy farms. But continuing weeks
of bad weather snarled the dairy
extension agent’s progress in
meeting his goal.
Jerry Myers joined the York
Agricultural Extension staff as
dairy agent on November IS. Hav
ing paid calls on more than .10
milk producers during his first se
veral weeks of work, Myers hopes
for improved weather during the
next several weeks to catch up on
his self-imposed goal of personal
ly visiting every York County
dairy farm.
“A lot of our upcoming pro
gram development is still in the
planning stages,” says the dairy
agent “But I do want to meet as
many farmers as possible. People
appreciate getting to know the
person behind the position;
they’re more likely to call if they
have a question or a problem.
Having worked in extension be
fore, I know how important it is to
know the fanners.
“The list of things that we could
to is never ending,” Myers says of
extension owrk, then emphasiz
ing, “But I wanted to have visited
SO farms by the end of January.”
He sees escalating regulations
as being the biggest challenge fac
ed by farmers.
“As agriculture becomes more
limited in numbers, so does our
legislative voice. We get so busy
just doing what has to be done.
Agriculture’s voice must be
heard.” Myers insists.
Even as a teenager growing up
on his family’s farm, Myers re
members having a sense that he
would make career choices based
on people-oriented job opportuni
“l always thought I’d be doing
something woridng with people,”
relates Jerry Myers. "Other people
always gave me support for think
ing in that direction.”
Myers and his sister and bro
Ryder supp
thers were the third generation on
the family dairy farm near West
minster, Maryland. As they grew
up, the Myers siblings were all
quite successful in showing their
registered Holstein cattle and in
4-H showmanship, judging, and
record book activities.
Keeping the people-oriented
job future in mind, Jerry earned
his degree in ag extension educa
tion at the University of Maryland.
Following graduation, he worked
for two years as a Northeast field
'representative for the national
Brown Swiss and Ayrshire cattle
“I put in lots of road time,” he
recalls of the position in which he
worked with members of the two
breed groups in 10 states across
the middle Atlantic and New Eng
land areas.
Returning to school for a Mas
ter’s degree, Myers began his
graduate studies at the School For
International Training at Brattle
boro, Vermont. He found the
small, personalized setting, with
between 100-200 students, many
of them foreign students pursuing
English studies, to be interesting,
enlightening and a lot of fun.
“A requirement of my program
in International Administration,
specializing in advising and train
ing, was to do an internship. I
thought it would be interesting to
evaluate agriculture at an interna
tional level,” he explains.
So, after his six months of on
campus studies, Jerry Myers took
a three-week “crash” course in
Spanish, then packed his bags to
spend the next eight months in
Colombia, South America. His as
signment was with the national
Brown Swiss association, classi
fying cattle, teaching dairy farm
owners how to use sire summary
information in mating programs
and various advisory and training
programs that dovetailed with his
graduate program.
Myers was even asked to judge
several shows during his stay, the
first only about six weeks after his
arrival. Though his Spanish, in
cluding the numerous cow des
York County dairy extension agent Jerry Myers makes friends with a calf while on
a farm visit.
criptive terms, was still rather
halting, Myers managed to an
nounce his reasons for each class
with no major language embar
“It was nice to be able to speak
without having to resort to the use
of an interpreter,” he says in retro
spect of his sudden immersion in
to having to manage public speak
ing in a foreign language.
Living in Colombia also em
phasized to Myers that people
around the world are really very
much the same. Too often, he be
lieves. the media focuses only on
extremes in other countries, when
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Recapping %urßHchie Fountains
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in reality, normal daily family
lives are very similar to those of
After concluding his graduate
program, Jerry returned home for
six months to help with running
the home dairy and crops opera
tion while his older brother, Jason,
was relocating his herd from the
family farm to begin his own dairy
During the summer of 1984,
Myers was asked to lead a national
4-H youth lour to The Nether
lands. For six months after his col
lege graduation, he had lived in
Norway as a participant in the
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forte* Malt anal Isa or hncatee
Utatrs up to 40 cteia/tOO catwa
Ctaclrtc (2MW CSA apprwte)
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, February 26, 1994*A25
4-H’s Inteniational Foreign Youth
Exchange (IFYE) program.
“I love to travel,” Myers quick
ly admits. At 16, he had spent a
month in Europe as a member of
Maryland’s national dairy judg
ing team, touring and practicing
for international competition.
After returning from the
Netherlands visit, Myers accepted
a position with Delaware Valley
College. He was assistant profes
sor in the dairy science depart
ment, teaching, coaching the dairy
judging team, coordinating
DVC’s cattle show participation,
and in charge of the breeding pro
gram for the college’s Holstein,
Brown Swiss and Ayrshire herds.
“I loved working with the stu
dents and got a lot of support from
them,” he says of the challenge
and enjoyment of college teach-
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