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Department of Animal Sciences


AGA Seeks Mert Sowerby Summer Intern for 2017

The American Guernsey Association is seeking candidates for the 2017 Mert Sowerby Summer Internship position. Motivated college students with an interest in the dairy industry should submit their resume and a cover letter to no later than March 8, 2017.

The Mert Sowerby Internship was named for the late dairy industry pioneer. Sowerby was a legendary judge, herdsman, contest official and classifier renowned for his expertise in evaluating cattle. Raised on a farm in Michigan, Sowerby never considered the dairy industry his future until he began 4-H and FFA judging. He went to college at MSC (now Michigan State) and competed on their judging team as well. In 1946, Sowerby began his first career in the Guernsey industry managing the Brays Island Guernsey Farm in South Carolina.  After their dispersal, Sowerby moved on to the Woodacres Guernsey Farm in New Jersey, where he became a legend in the Guernsey fraternity. During his career at Woodacres, Sowerby sat on the AGCC Board of Directors and was a member of the Type Committee. Shortly after the Woodacres dispersal, he transitioned to becoming a national Guernsey classifier. By the end of his career, he classified more than 200,000 cows and judged shows in 28 states and three foreign countries. In 1953, Sowerby was recognized with the Klussendorf Award, and in 2011, he received the National Dairy Shrine’s Pioneer Award. He was also recognized as a distinguished member of the American Guernsey Cattle Club. Sowerby passed away in July 2014, but his legacy lives on. With the right encouragement as a youth, Sowerby was pushed in the direction of the dairy industry. The American Guernsey Association hopes this internship dedicated in his name will be a similar start for this year’s internship recipient.