david schwartz named first recipient of the earl vander meulen memorial award!!

david schwartz from cookstown, ontario has been honoured by being named the very first recipient of the earl vander meulen memorial award.  earl vander meulen was a stirling, ontario dairy producer and partner in the peninsula registered jersey herd.

vander meulen was a young 49 when he passed away in late july 2006 as a result of a farm accident. friends and admirers of vander meulen decided that a special award should be created to honor his memory and recognize people who shared many of earl’s wonderful personal attributes. to that end a memorial award was established with the first presentation made on november 10, 2007 during the national jersey show at the royal agricultural winter fair in toronto, ontario.


the selection committee received a large number of very worthy applications. they sifted through those applications determined to find the very best match for the extraordinary humility, supportive nature, quiet leadership, good humour, deep faith and caring family attitude of the late earl vander meulen. in selecting david schwartz they did a masterful job of acknowledging the “behind the scenes” hard and smart work of a quiet man who was born to help others succeed.         


schwartz was raised at the famed tannery hill guernsey and holstein farm at king city, ontario. his late father jim schwartz was also a highly regarded herd manager. it was here that david’s life-long passion for working with dairy cattle, and more specifically, high quality registered dairy cattle was forged. after the tannery hill herd was dispersed in 1979 schwartz served as farm manager for the equally famed quality holstein herd maintained by the paul ekstein family at woodbridge, ontario for seven years.  for the last 21 years and david and his family have owned their own herdsman, fitting and hoof trimming service from their cookstown, ontario base.


in his “growing up” years david was an active 4-h member and also a junior farmer member. he founded the south simcoe 4-h fit and clip club and was a leader for five years. he continues to offer services to the club as a resource person. david is also a director of the south simcoe holstein club. he was part of moving the club’s local show to collingwood fairgrounds and continues to assist in organization of the large show. given his profession he was a natural founding member of the ontario hoof trimmers association. 

in addition to enjoying a rich family life with his wife of 21 years martha and sons brian 19 and nathan 17, david is very much involved with his local church emmanuel baptist.       


thos nominating david for this prestigious new award note that: “he has worked with all breeds of cattle and all levels of cattle. david is always professional, humble and courteous. he is soft-spoken and lets his deeds speak for themselves. he is always there to lend a hand without expecting anything in return.” the nominators also note that david’s attributes mirror those of earl vander meulen in that this can be said of both men: “they competed hard but never let competition get in the way of friendship or fair play. they have always ended each day of showing with a smile, a pat on the back and a handshake.”


mrs. sharon vander meulen and daughters diana and jennifer were on hand to present the award with vince brennan, chair of the committee establishing the award announcing the winner and identifying why david was a truly appropriate recipient of the award. david schwartz’s name will be inscribed upon a permanent plaque that will be displayed in the jersey canada office. among the awards he will cherish and keep is a stunning piece of artwork depicting a rural scene created by earl and sharon’s daughter diana.


those who desire more information on the award and making applications and nominations may contact vince brennan at or 613-395-1281. the award committee is working on creation of an additional youth component for the award and will have information on that component by the end of 2007.


attached is a low-resolution photo of the presentation of the award to david.  for a higher resolution copy and caption details, please contact ryan barrett at



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