Cherry Knoll Farm Fosters Sense of Quality in Youth During NJAA LEAD Conference

08-Aug-2014

West Grove, PA – August 8, 2014 – Cherry Knoll Farm is a name synonymous with quality. Their Black Angus cattle operation, located just outside of Philadelphia, PA, operates with only 50 head of cattle, yet their bulls, cows and calves continue to win top honors at Angus Shows across the nation. It is the exemplary breeding program that made Cherry Knoll Farm the number one farm choice for the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) Conference venue, for more than 150 juniors from across the country and Canada.

Forefathers & Farmers: Cultivating Angus Youth was the theme of the 2014 LEAD Conference. This annual event provides an open line of communication for members of different associations to share ideas, exchange plans and establish goals. Each year, the participating juniors collectively choose a highlight location to visit, and Cherry Knoll Farm was at the top of the list.

In 1989, the Dupreys moved to their current location in West Grove, PA. At that time, Margaret’s passion was focused on high performance dressage horses. When Brian Fitzgerald came into the picture as the Cherry Knoll Farm manager, Margaret’s focus expanded to include Angus cattle.

Brian, Margaret and Bob began to cultivate the herd and, shortly, Cherry Knoll owned a nationally respected herd that turned heads in the livestock industry. Following a nine-year tenure, Brian passed the baton to his brother, Tim, who currently curates the prize-winning herd and manages all the cattle operations

“Tim was working at a farm in West Virginia, and had taken a raw piece of land and turned it into a fine Angus company. The facility owner was looking to sell, and Tim wanted to stay in the business,” Margaret explained. “I went down to visit Tim in West Virginia during a sale, and we decided to talk. It’s all history now!”

Margaret recalled the conversation with Tim that would become the foundation for Cherry Knoll Farm’s cattle operation. I explained to Tim that we only had this much land which prevented us from accommodating the large herd that he’d been used to. We had to keep the herd manageable — so we should focus on quality not quantity.’ This is how we developed the cattle we have.”

Cherry Knoll cattle are bred to fit a variety of programs, with a primary focus on high profile genetics, proven cow families, and the elite sires of the breed. Cherry Knoll Farm’s clientele include Angus breeders, NJAA, 4-H and FFA exhibitors, as well as commercial producers seeking the added benefits of utilizing advanced, contemporary Angus genetics. The Cherry Knoll breeding program strives to meet the goals of its customers and is recognized for its unique ability to raise cattle to fit all of these markets.

Owners Bob and Margaret Duprey are passionate supporters of the NJAA. The Dupreys sponsor various Angus events, as well as selling their cattle to many of the juniors during their annual Fall Sale. “We support the NJAA because the children are the future of the Angus industry, the future of America and the future of the world,” Margaret said.

The afternoon LEAD session kicked off with Margaret and Bob Duprey sharing the story of Cherry Knoll Farm with the participants. Margaret told of her passion for high performance horses and led the group on a guided tour of the barn, introducing them to the horses in residence.

Following the tour, the juniors enjoyed a delicious barbeque dinner catered by local eatery Triple Fresh. During dinner, several of the juniors took the opportunity to introduce themselves to the Dupreys, and thank them for their generosity as sponsors, as well as hosts.

“Although I do not have kids of my own, my family and I feel it is vitally important to support the younger generations. We know education plays a very important part of the future and we do what we can to help out as much as possible,” Margaret said.

After dinner, the juniors were invited to view calves from the current calf crop. The calves, grouped by age, were identified by ear-tags color coded by sire. Tim Fitzgerald, Manager of Cherry Knoll Farm’s cattle program, accompanied the juniors and answered any questions about the calves. Pens scribbled on paper, cameras clicked and phone calls were made as the juniors eyed the calves slated to be offered in the Fall sale October 22, 2014.

Fitzgerald openly discussed the day-to-day operations of Cherry Knoll Farm, their breeding philosophy and strategy, as well as the rising concerns the economy forces breeders to confront. He acknowledged that Cherry Knoll Farm is an exceptional facility and credited the success of the operation to Margaret and Bob’s philosophy, vision and generosity.

“I really wanted to show the kids that you can work for beautiful people, in a beautiful place and give back to the community,” Fitzgerald said. “Cherry Knoll Farm is a special place, and we are thrilled to host the NJAA. We have the greatest set of babies ever raised, and it is our philosophy of quality over quantity that has allowed for us to succeed. It was important for these kids to see that you don’t need 3,000 head of cattle to compete against the big guys.”

Fitzgerald continued, “I think that having the kids see Margaret and Bob as approachable, and real people meant the world to them. Margaret is so much more than an owner… she is there at the in-gate, as well as helping to breed animals that get this close to perfect.”

Although the youth visited Modern Mushroom Farms, the Herr’s Potato Chip factory, attended leadership workshops presented by the NJAA Board, and met industry professionals, it was clear that Cherry Knoll Farm was the highlight of their stay in Pennsylvania.

Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc. will compete at the West Virginia State Fair ROV Angus Show beginning August 12, 2014. Shortly after, the team at Cherry Knoll Farm will prepare for their Fall Sale held October 22, 2014. For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm, please visit www.cherryknollfarminc.com.