Russell Gammon Named 2017 Recipient of the Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Distinction Award


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The Board of Directors of Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) announced on June 29th its selection of Russell Gammon, Fergus, Ontario, as the 2017 recipient of the Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Distinction Award. This award is given annually on behalf of the industry partners, members of CDN, to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Canadian dairy cattle sector.

Russell Gammon was born and raised in Nova Scotia, where he started his energetic career of 39 years in the dairy cattle improvement industry. For 30 of those years, he was employed by the national Jersey breed association, known today as Jersey Canada. Starting as the Associate Editor of the Canadian Jersey Breeder magazine, and as fieldman, Gammon is best known for his passion and dedication as Executive Secretary - an industry leadership role he fulfilled so capably from 1985 to 2011. Always seeking new challenges and embracing change, he took on a new role with significant international exposure as the Jersey Program Manager for the Semex Alliance from 2011 to April 2017.

CDN Board Chairman, Norm McNaughton, commented on this year’s recipient selection: “Russell Gammon, also known as ‘Mr. Jersey’, is an excellent example of leadership and vision that the industry aims to recognize with this award of distinction. His positive attitude, strong motivation and ‘Go for it!’ approach to every opportunity is contagious to all that know him.”

During his 26-year tenure as Executive Secretary of Jersey Canada, Russell Gammon played a pivotal role in many accomplishments, both for the Jersey breed and the Canadian dairy cattle industry in general. For the breed, he promoted increased use of young sires, artificial insemination, registration, milk recording and type classification as well as expanded the presence of Jersey cattle in many dairy herds across Canada. For the industry, Gammon’s foresight and vision was critical in establishing the Multi-Breeds Classification System in 2005, which has become an industry success story nationally and envied internationally. In 2001, he was elected as the first chairman of the Industry Standards Committee of CDN and filled that role for the first four years of his 6-year contribution. He also held leadership positions with the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) and the World Jersey Cattle Bureau at the global level.

Canadian Dairy Network is the national genetic evaluation centre for dairy cattle and provides services to Canadian dairy producers and member organizations including breed associations, DHI agencies, A.I. organizations and Dairy Farmers of Canada. The award will be presented to Russell Gammon during the 2017 Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Forum on September 20th at the Deerhurst Inn in Huntsville, Ont., in advance of the 22nd Annual General Meeting of CDN the next day.