Andrew Coon Named AGA Sowerby Intern
Andrew is a freshman at Cornell University studying animal science with a focus in dairy science and management. He also plans to minor in agribusiness and is taking engineering courses to complement his dairy management focus. Andrew grew up on a dairy farm in Amenia, a small town on the border of eastern New York. The name of his family farm is Coon Brothers Farm, LLC, and they currently milk 230 Holsteins and 120 Guernseys for a total of 350 cows. They have around 400 replacements on site as well. They also farm two thousand acres of land, with corn, soybeans, hay and wheat being their main crops. Growing up showing Guernseys and being a member of the New York Guernsey Breeders Association, Andrew has always had a strong passion for the Guernsey breed. Aside from his studies, Andrew also is a member of C.U.D.S, the Cornell University Dairy Science club. They put on a sale every year and sponsor trips to expand their knowledge on the dairy industry and stay up with current events. He is also a brother of Alpha Gamma Rho Zeta Chapter, a social-professional fraternity for those with a passion for agriculture. Andrew is a fan of musical theatre and is part of a musical theatre troupe called Anything Goes on campus. Andrew believes there is a bright future for the Guernsey breed and he is very excited to work alongside others who share this passion.
The Mert Sowerby Internship was named for the late dairy industry pioneer. Sowerby was a legendary judge, herdsman, contest official and classifier renowned for his expertise in evaluating cattle. Raised on a farm in Michigan, Sowerby never considered the dairy industry his future until he began 4-H and FFA judging. He went to college at MSC (now Michigan State) and competed on their judging team as well. In 1946, Sowerby began his first career in the Guernsey industry managing the Brays Island Guernsey Farm in South Carolina. After their dispersal, Sowerby moved on to the Woodacres Guernsey Farm in New Jersey, where he became a legend in the Guernsey fraternity. During his career at Woodacres, Sowerby sat on the AGCC Board of Directors and was a member of the Type Committee. Shortly after the Woodacres dispersal, he transitioned to becoming a national Guernsey classifier. By the end of his career, he classified more than 200,000 cows and judged shows in 28 states and three foreign countries. In 1953, Sowerby was recognized with the Klussendorf Award, and in 2011, he received the National Dairy Shrine’s Pioneer Award. He was also recognized as a distinguished member of the American Guernsey Cattle Club. Sowerby passed away in July 2014, but his legacy lives on. With the right encouragement as a youth, Sowerby was pushed in the direction of the dairy industry. The American Guernsey Association hopes this internship dedicated in his name will be a similar start for Andrew and future recipients.
The American Guernsey Association is based in Columbus, Ohio, and is dedicated to the advancement and promotion of Guernsey dairy cows. The association claims over 700 active members nationwide.