2023 Dairy Hall of Service Recognition

Dr. Maurice Eastridge, Professor and Senior Associate Chair, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

In 1952, The Dairy Hall of Service was formed at The Ohio State University to recognize individuals who have made a substantial and noteworthy contribution toward the improvement of the dairy industry of Ohio, elevated the stature of dairy farmers, or inspired students enrolled at OSU. Two recipients were recognized on Tuesday, April 18 during the Department of Animal Sciences’ Celebration of Excellence program held at the Fawcett Center on the Columbus Campus.

  Mark Henry is a second-generation dairy farmer where he took over the family operation in West Liberty, OH in 1980 milking 60 cows. Over the course of 23 years, they expanded the herd to 120 cows.  Then in 1995, Henry Farms expanded their herd to 300 cows and began milking three times a day. In March 2023, the dairy averaged 622 registered Holstein cows with a rolling herd average of 28,972 lb milk/cow with a 4.2% fat and 3.1% protein. The dairy has received many production and quality awards over the years, including lifetime production cow for Brown Swiss and Gold Standard DFA members.  

Mark has served the dairy industry in many avenues. He has served on the COBA Board of Directors since 2015, including serving as Vice President. In March of 2019, he joined the Select Sires Board of Directors. He as very active in leadership at the Union Chapel Community Church, where he and his wife, Joan, attend.

For many years, Mark Henry has graciously opened up his dairy farm to University faculty and students. These visits have included class trips, use of his PCDart records for class, training students for Dairy Challenge programs, CVM capstone course for veterinary students, and the many veterinary students being at his farm while on their rotation at the OSU Large Animal Services in Marysville. In addition, faculty have conducted research on his farm. He also supports 4-H and FFA groups and has provided many farm tours to school-age children, church groups, and Farm Bureau events.

As provided by one of his nominators, “Mark is a great family man with deep personal convictions and morals. He is a friend and mentor to many and has contributed in countless ways to the education and betterment of Ohio State students too numerous to count”. Another nominator expressed that “He never stops trying to learn, become a better dairyman, and be a better steward of his cows.”

 Dianne Shoemaker received her BS from the OSU Department of Dairy Science in 1982, and a MS in 1986 from OSU on “Factors Affecting the Profitability of Northeast Ohio Dairy Farms”. In 1986, became a county Extension Agent in Agriculture and Natural Resources. She became a District Dairy Extension Specialist in 1999, and in 2003, she was promoted as an Extension Dairy Specialist statewide. In 2012, she became a statewide Field Specialist in dairy production economics with providing leadership to the Ohio Farm Business Analysis and Benchmarking Program and retired in July 2022.

She really enjoyed working with the Dairy Excel Team, traveling, learning, developing curriculum, and teaching Managing for Success and Farm business management modules. She worked with the ODA Dairy Division, state veterinarians, CVM, county and state Extension personnel, and others to address the needs of Ohio’s dairy industry. She provided leadership to many workshops, such as “So Your Dairy Client Wants to Expand”, dairy certificate programs for veterinarians, neonatal calf and heifer management, and labor management.  Her leadership was invaluable to the publication of the 15 Measures of Dairy Farm Competitiveness, Farm and Dairy Business Analysis Summaries, and development of factsheets to help farmers understand the rapidly emerging programs during COVID in 2020.  She provided leadership to the Dairy Working Group, dairy articles in the Farm and Dairy, and constant updates on dairy marketing and pricing.

Dianne and her husband, Steve (also an OSU graduate), operate a dairy farm in Columbiana County with 180 cows and 133 replacement heifers. The herd averages about 20,000 lb/cow, 4.87 % fat and 3.67% protein. They have two sons, Austen who graduated from OSU Agronomy and Ben who graduated in civil engineering from Youngstown State University. Dianne’s life has continuously invested into Ohio’s dairy industry. Her teamwork and leadership with agricultural agencies and OSU colleagues have led to lasting impacts to farmers, students, and Ohio’s agricultural industry.