Winners of the 2019 Young Breeder Award
Darin & Katie Hill, Hills Valley Farm, Cattaraugus, NY
Beloit, WI -- During The National Brown Swiss Convention, Darin & Katie Hill of Cattaraugus, NY, were announced the 2019 Young Breeder Award winners. The Young Breeder Award recognizes an individual or member and spouse who have shown an expertise in dairy farming and Brown Swiss cattle breeding, participated in Association programs and events, and held leadership roles in the community both in agricultural and non-agricultural organizations.
Darin was born and raised on his family farm, Hill’s Valley Dairy, in Cattaraugus, NY, where he formed a parentship with his parents, Richard & Donna Hill. Katie grew up on her family dairy farm, Voelker Swiss Farms, in Perryville, MO, with her parents, Charlie & Nancy Voelker. They met at the National Brown Swiss Convention in 2007 and married in 2011. Darin & Katie are the third generation on the farm and are raising the fourth generation with their four children.
While Darin & Katie have been on the dairy, they have expanded from 75 to 150 milking cows and added an eight-stall step-up parlor with a recent addition of two more stalls. They also built a compost-bedded pack barn to house the milking cows. They farm 250 acres of crops which include: 110 acres of corn for silage, 60 acres of alfalfa, and 80 acres of grasses. Darin is responsible for feeding the cows and yearling heifers, milking, herd health, breeding, and genetics. Katie’s farm responsibilities include: milking, feeding and calf care, vaccinations, and registrations.
Hill’s Valley Dairy has bred and exhibited many distinguished Brown Swiss throughout the years. Some of their awards include: All-American nominations and winners, national production awards, and champions at the national shows. Both Darin & Katie have shown tremendous leadership in the dairy industry and community. Darin served on the Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau Board and was elected President from 2017 & 2018. He was also a New York Farm Bureau Young Farmer State Committee Member from 2015 to 2017. Katie was a member of the University of Missouri Block & Bridle and served as President from 2007 to 2008. She has also served on the Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee since 2014. Katie was a Co-Chairmen for the 2019 National Brown Swiss Convention. They both serve on national Brown Swiss Association committees; Katie is on the Cow Recognition Committee and Darin the Show Committee.