meta Phillip and Sue Ferry AJCA 2023 Master Breeder Award Winners :: The Bullvine - The Dairy Information You Want To Know When You Need It

Phillip and Sue Ferry AJCA 2023 Master Breeder Award Winners


Phillip “Flip” and Sue Ferry, Johnstown, N.Y., were awarded 2023 Master Breeder Award by The American Jersey Cattle Association on June 24 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

The Master Breeder Award is bestowed annually to a living AJCA member, family, partnership, or corporation that, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, has bred outstanding animals for many years and thereby made a notable contribution to the advancement of the Jersey breed in the United States.

Since the mid-1960s, the Ferry’s have been building a great reputation for breeding type and production cows. Their decade-long resume is quite impressive, which includes breeding 137 Excellent cows from their small herd of just 60 head. This also includes one 96-point cow and three 95-point cows. “Very few breeders can point to 137 Excellent cows,” commented John Ferry, D.V.M., of Milk Street Dairy, LLC. “Far fewer can point to 137 Excellent cows that are also high producers.”

Dreamroad’s breeding decisions and pedigree lines have garnered the attention of many across New York, the nation and the globe, resulting in sales to 16 domestic states and two foreign countries. Success of these cattle have continued with Flip’s motto to breed high-production cows who are also win within the show ring. This way of thinking was greatly admired by his peers.

“The Ferry family has always had a great group of production cows who could show,” commented Moira Tierney Poitras, Brimfield, Mass., in a letter of support. “Although “Flip and Sue started from very meager beginnings, they have taken a start from nothing and turned it into something very special.”

In their small, but mighty herd of 60 Jerseys, Dreamroad’s breeding objectives have proven to be incredibly successful, especially noting that over half of their producing herd is appraised Excellent-90% or higher. Of the 31 Jerseys that are categorized as such, there are a handful that standout due to their exceptional production records, show ring appeal and impressive appraisal scores.

Flip grew up loving dairy. He has shown Jerseys competitively on a local, regional, and state level. He then decided to study dairy science at Cornell University. It was around this time that he met Sue, his soon to be wife. She was not familiar with the farm lifestyle, so the early mornings and late nights took her by surprise. She did not let this change turn her away. She quickly fell into place and familiarized herself with the farm and chores.

In 1981 the couple placed a small herd of jerseys on a piece of land they bought it Adams Center N.Y. Later on, they both took on roles as herd managers at Dream Street, a Holstein farm in Walton N.Y. that is nationally known. Flip and Sue enjoyed their time on this farm and value the lessons and relationships they have gained along the way. After their time at Dream Street came to an end, they worked as herd managers in New York’s Hudson Valley and Finger Lake regions.

Christine Sheesley Rozler of Potsdam, N.Y., owner and operator at Cowbell Acres, shared her perspective on the breeding objectives of Dreamroad in her letter of support, “Flip and Sue made many breeding decisions early on based on the semen they could afford, but they were quite picky. Flip wasn’t about to use the ‘trendy’ show bulls. He wanted boatloads of milk out of his cows, high components, beautiful udders and good feet and legs.”

John Ferry wonders how to define a Master Breeder. After thinking it over, he decides it is someone who achieves extraordinary results with ordinary input and loves the Jersey Breed. It is clear to see Flip and Sue both meet these criteria. 


Send this to a friend