The 33rd annual Dairy Fashion Sale, the longest running student-assisted sale in the United States organized by the SUNY Cobleskill Dairy Cattle Club, happens Saturday April 5 at 11:00 a.m. in the hangar guest stables building at the Equestrian Center, next to the Dairy Barn. The high-end cattle consignment sale, “where quality cattle are always in style,” is being chaired this year by Mary Beth Shults. Approximately half of the club’s 85 members participate in the sale, spending the entire week preparing the cattle—washing them, feeding them, milking them, and grazing them—according to Samantha Hayes, President of the Dairy Cattle Club and a senior graduating in May 2014.
This year, 105 cattle will be sold, arriving the week prior to the sale and coming primarily from the Northeast and New England, including Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and as far away as Canada. Cattle sales provide the owner, the Dairy Club and Auctioneer Dave Rama from the Cattle Exchange a percentage. A total of $3.4 million in gross receipts has been generated in the past from the sale, supporting 120,000 scholarships and partial sponsorship of the dairy judging team, which allowed them to travel to Scotland last year.
John Tryon (“JT”), who has been educating young men and women both inside and outside of the classroom for more than 32 years, has advised the Dairy Cattle Club, coached numerous dairy judging teams to victory, and taken students on field study trips to Holland, England, France, and Canada, as well as ten states. In April 2013, friends and alumni set up a scholarship fund in his name, with a kickoff at the 32nd annual sale. The scholarship was initiated to recognize returning students perusing a career in the dairy industry. Alumni and farmers offered to donate a calf for sale with proceeds from that sale adding to the scholarship fund.
A dinner on campus will be held in honor of Professor Tryon’s retirement on the night before the sale. For more information, go to Coby Connection on the SUNY Cobleskill website.