United Dairy Industry of Michigan recognizes Clinton County couple During the Michigan Dairy Expo/Youth Dairy Days, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) honored dairy producers George and Shirley Hazle of St. Johns for their many years of dairy industry leadership. This year marks George’s 61st year and Shirley’s 56th year as a 4-H club leader and volunteer. “We both started young and never stopped,” Shirley said.

George has worked with dairy cattle for his entire life – first as a herdsman, then as an A.I. technician and milk tester – before starting his own dairy herd when his oldest daughter started participating in 4-H.

Shirley, a crop farmer’s daughter who swore she’d never marry a dairy farmer, took on dairy farming as a full-time career after working 30 years as a milk tester.

The couple, who will celebrate their 62nd anniversary in November, are still actively dairy farming at their rural operation where they milk 60 head of registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss animals.

George and Shirley's faces are familiar in local, regional and state dairy industry circles.


George is the current president of the Michigan Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association and the Michigan Purebred Dairy Cattle Association. Shirley has served on the UDIM dairy diplomat advisory committee for nearly 30 years. She is also a founding member of the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference committee.

—From UDIM news release

Firkins presented with Ruminant Animal Nutrition Award
Jeffrey L. Firkins, Ph.D., an expert on ruminant animal nutrition and production, was awarded the Dairy Science Ruminant Animal Nutrition Award by the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA).

Firkins is a professor of animal science and director of nutrition for The Ohio State University.

His focus is the supply of microbial protein to the small intestine of dairy cattle to reduce losses of nitrogen and emission of methane into the environment. His research helps to improve the fatty acid composition of milk to improve consumer acceptance and profitability of dairy production.

Firkins earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science and his master’s and doctorate degrees in ruminant nutrition from the University of Illinois.

His past honors include the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Junior Faculty Research Award, the ADSA Applied Dairy Nutrition Award and the Research Award of Merit of the OSU chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta.

In addition to authoring and serving as reviewer for numerous academic journal articles, Firkins is the associate editor of the British Journal of Nutrition and has served as editor of the invited papers and ruminant nutrition sections of the Journal of Animal Science. PD

—From American Feed Industry Association news release

George and Shirley Hazle, St. Johns, are recognized by United Dairy Industry of Michigan board president and Jeddo, Michigan, dairy farmer Jim Reid (right) during Michigan Youth Dairy Days award ceremonies held at this year’s Michigan Dairy Expo. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Milk Producers Association.