2020 Retiring AJCA Directors Address

The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) Board of Directors recognized three directors who had terms expire at the 2020 virtual Annual Meetings. Alan Chittenden, Schodack Landing, N.Y., Eddie Kirchdoerfer, Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Kelly Moss, Litchfield Park, Ariz., all served two consecutive three-year terms, bring each individuals total to six years of service to the AJCA.

Executive Secretary Neal Smith invited Directors Chittenden and Moss to the front of the room, as Director Kirchdoerfer was attending the annual meetings virtually from Missouri. Smith went on to say a few words about the service of these individuals.

“These gentlemen have served on the AJCA board for six years. After working with someone for six years, you gain a lot of respect for someone, and that is certainly true for all three of these gentlemen. They have done tremendous work as board members. We have called on them to represent us at meetings staff could not attend, as well asked them to take stands on issues. They never disappoint. Honest truth, all three of them have tried to sincerely represent you as breeders to the best of their abilities. There’s been a lot of change in the last six years. We’re going to miss you and appreciate your service,” said Executive Secretary Smith.

Retiring Addresses

Smith then invited each Chittenden and Moss to come forward for their retiring address.

Alan Chittenden, Schodack Landing, N.Y.

“I’m usually a man of few words. I was thinking back and the three of us have served each of these six years together. We first came to service at the AJCA Annual Meeting hosted by the AJCA in Alexandria, Va. We have served with 20 other directors during our six years here. I can say it has been a pleasure and privilege to work with those directors. 

We had some heated debates and big discussions in our early years, it’s been a little slower the last couple. We addressed some pretty major issues. But the passion for the Jersey breed came through in every one of us. We have to keep that moving forward. It’s going to be changing times coming for all breed associations over the next few decades. We need to remain relevant and provide services that benefit our membership.

I would like to thank the staff. They are fantastic, second to none as far as loyalty, dedication and their commitment to the Jersey breed. Thank you!”

Kelly Moss, Litchfield Park, Ariz.

“People often say diversity is our strength and and that’s just a cliché. However, I think for the USJersey organization it is true in the fact that small or large herds, we are all treated with the same respect. We all have a voice, which is encouraging and made it a pleasure to serve. I feel honored to have been able to serve on the National All-Jersey Inc. (NAJ) board first and then this board (AJCA). It seems like close to 18 years that I have been coming to these. My only hope is that at least in a little way, I hope I contributed to the success of the organization. It’s brought a lot of fond memories for me and my family. 

One of the things that I was thinking about was how conventions were always a highlight for my family. My wife and I were talking about the conventions and trying to remember where each one was. She kind of marks them by which child we were expecting or who was a baby at that convention. We would always try to combine our convention trip with a family vacation. One year when we were near New York City, afterwards we went and visited a family friend of ours in NYC who also had small children like ours. 

Our kids were playing together and our friend asked our kids, “What are you guys doing this far away from home?” So my kids said, “Well my dad is a director on the board of directors at the USJersey association.” Our friends responded with, “Wait, so your dad is important?” So I guess now I get to go back to being unimportant now that my service is finished.

As Alan said, we have seen a lot of changes. There has been a number of giants in our breed that have passed away, staff members that have come and gone and board members that have rotated through. It was kind of hard to remember all the different people. We have had some tough meetings, it’s never been boring to come to these. I have really enjoyed it. When I started 18 years ago, I felt like a youngster. Well that ship has sailed, I don’t feel that way anymore. In closing, I do thank you all for the opportunity to serve you in the capacity on both boards. We’re working with great people, a great organization and a great staff. Thank you.”

Eddie Kirchdoerfer, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

As Director Kirchdoerfer was unable to attend the meetings in-person, Jersey Journal staff called him for a comment regarding his service after the event.

“Serving on the AJCA Board of Directors was a very eye-opening, learning experience. I really enjoyed it and you are able to learn a lot about the Jersey cow. It was also great to be able to meet people from all over the country.” 



Closing Remarks

In the closing remarks of this section of the meeting, AJCA President Jonathan Merriam, Hickman, Calif., thanked the three retiring directors for their service.

“Thank you again to Eddie, Kelly and Alan. I have had a couple years to work with them and it’s been a pleasure for me to serve with all the board of directors. The examples they set for how much they want to serve the membership is outstanding. I look forward to working with our new directors.”