2024 Dairy Hall of Service Recognition

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

A person in a suit and tieDescription automatically generatedIn 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. The 2024 recipient is David Thorbahn, President and CEO of Select Sires, Inc., and he was recognized on Friday, April 19 during the annual banquet of the Buckeye Dairy Club held at the Nationwide 4-H Center on the Columbus campus.

David Thorbahn was born and raised on Crimson Lane Registered Holsteins in Vickery,
Ohio, where his desire and passion to improve the dairy industry originated. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from The Ohio State University majoring in Dairy Science, where he received the University’s highest honors as a recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award. In addition, he has been recognized by Ohio State with the Young Professional Achievement Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dave worked for 15 years in the artificial insemination industry as a sales manager, sire analyst, and manager of dairy sire selection. He began his employment at Select Sires Inc. in August 1999 as President and Chief Executive Officer. During the past 25 years in this role, he has shaped the business plan of Select Sires to achieve growth in sales and lead the organization through many significant milestones.

In addition to his own accomplishments, Dave encourages others to pursue excellence and to enhance their careers, including promoting opportunities for countless college students to gain knowledge of the dairy industry and find careers within. He is proud that Select Sires fosters the next generation of dairy leaders through multiple internships and scholarships through FFA and other avenues. He has been a speaker for the Buckeye Dairy Club, and always encourages students to visit the Select Sires facilities. He was one of the founders of the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) which began in 2002 at Michigan State University. Since its formation, the NAIDC program has grown to include four regional programs and the Dairy Challenge Academy held at the same time as the national contest. Dave was awarded one of the NAIDC Founder Awards in 2017. After being off of the Board of Directors for a few years, he has again joined the Board.

He has served as a board member for World Wide Sires (Chair), National Association of Animal Breeders (Chair), U.S. Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding, and National Dairy Shrine. He is a former board member of World Dairy Expo and The Ohio State University Dairy Science Advisory Committee, and he is a current member of both the Ohio Holstein and National Holstein Associations. Within the community, he was a founding member of the Union County Agriculture Association (Chair) and has served as a member of the Marysville FFA Advisory Committee. Dave and his wife, Nancy, live in Plain City, OH. They have two grown daughters, Jenna and Kelsey, who are both registered nurses.

Nominators of David for the award shared reflections of “notorious for investing in the education of employees for the future of the cooperative and the industry by encouraging others to pursue excellence and to enhance their careers. On a personal level, Dave has always been a humble and caring person.” and “Dave recognizes that our greatest asset lies within our people. Dave’s leadership transcends profit margins’, it’s about empowering minds, fostering growth, and leaving a legacy that extends far beyond the board room.” With his many contributions to leadership in the dairy industry, developing opportunities and fostering people to work in the dairy industry, encouragement to students, and service within his local community, David Thorbahn is a most deserving recipient of the Dairy Science Hall of Service.