Clint Collins, III – 2020 Distinguished Service Award

Clint Collins, III, Gulf Shores, Ala., is the 70th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA).

The Distinguished Service Award is presented by the Board of Directors to as many living AJCA members and/or members’ families, who, in their opinion, have rendered outstanding and unselfish service for many years and thereby made a notable contribution to the advancement of the Jersey breed in the United States.

True passion has no end. In fact, it thrives through life changes, blossoms through challenges and most importantly, gives you purpose.

Clint Collins, III, has exhibited a true passion for the Jersey breed throughout his lifetime. This is a trait he inherited from his father, former director and president of the AJCA, C. L. Collins, Jr. Together, they developed Arco Farms into the highly respected Registered Jersey herd it was.

“Clint has a life-long association with the Jersey cow and the organizations and activities associated with promoting the Jersey cow and her products,” Dr. Joseph A. Lineweaver, Blacksburg, Va., wrote in a letter of support. He stated, “Over the years, Clint has been a participant in about every program and activity available to a Jersey breeder.”

A lifetime member of the AJCA, Clint’s involvement with the Jersey cow started at age six. During his 4-H career, he won six Grand Champion banners in Alabama. Clint was also recognized for his show ring success nationally at the All American.

Prior to returning home to the farm in 1973, Clint attended Troy State University where he received a degree in business administration. During his tenure as a Jersey breeder, Clint worked and succeeded in steadily increasing the herd’s milk production and type appraisal scores.

The Collins family did not hesitate to sell the ‘good ones’ as they sold five Kentucky National Grand Champions and three Reserve Champions. Two renowned individuals were Q. Joy Game, who sold for the second highest price at public auction in breed history at the time, and Sybil Surville Jesse. “Jesse” went on to be a two-time National Grand Champion, and her daughter, Quick Jesse, was the dam of W.F. Generator Justin.

Clint was a member of the Alabama Jersey Cattle Club for 20 years, four of which he served as president of the organization. He also received the Alabama Master Dairyman Award five times and hosted the Alabama Holstein-Jersey Field Day.

In 2000, Collins made the difficult decision to disperse the Arco milking herd due to a drought and labor availability. The dispersal was a great success for the family and the new owners of their cattle, as it was the highest average in Jersey history for a dispersal of 400 head or more at that time. Always a supporter of the AJCA, it was the largest dispersal Jersey Marketing Service (JMS) had managed at that time.

For some people, this may have been the end of their involvement with the industry. For Clint, it was only the beginning.

As Herby D. Lutz, Chester, S.C., sire analyst for Select Sires Inc., said in a letter of support, “He [Clint] is a minority in the dairy industry, as he has stayed involved years after he was removed from the day-to-day management of a dairy to provide direction and guidance to the breeders and the association for the continued success of the AJCA for generations to come.”

While Clint did not continue to milk cows at Arco Farm, he did raise replacement heifers for many years. Most of which he purchased through JMS sales. Eventually, JMS and Clint combined forces to host the Deep South/Southeast Heifer Growers South Sale at his facilities. To show his support of JMS and AJCA, Clint would spend a week each year traveling with the JMS manager or field representatives to obtain consignments and promote the event held at the farm. This was an annual occurrence for more than a decade.

Soon after the dispersal, Clint became the second generation in his family to serve on the board of directors for the American Jersey Cattle Association. He represented the Fifth District from 2001 until 2008. While on the board, he served as the registration committee chair for a time, as well as the finance chair and joint operations committee member from 2005 to 2008.

After his board service ended, Clint continued to serve the USJersey organizations by becoming involved with the AJCA Investment Advisory Committee. He has served as the chairman of the committee since 2010.

“Clint has continued to serve on the Investment Advisory Committee to help direct the long-term investments of the Jersey association to position the financial security of the organization,” said Lutz in his letter.

An avid supporter of the AJCC Research Foundation, Clint has served as the chairman of this committee as well. In fact, after the Arco milking herd dispersal, Clint and his family donated the proceeds of the sale of a milk pump—$2,500—to the foundation.

In another unique support of the Research Foundation, Arco Farms and Bush River Jerseys syndicated a bull, Arco-BRJ Jace Boulreguard, JPI -60, during the 2004 Southeast Heifer Growers Sale. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the syndicate shares of 62 breeders made a $11,500 donation to the foundation possible.

One of Clint’s favorite events of the year is the All American Jersey Show.

“I met Clint more than 35 years ago in Louisville, Ky.,” stated Craig Rhein, Pine Grove, Pa. “He was a Jersey supporter then and he still is today as he attends the All All American each year.”

Clint served as the general chair of the 2003 All American Jersey Show and Sale. He also presents an award to the high selling individual at each All American Jersey Sale in memory of his father. His smiling face can be seen in the crowd admiring the best of the best as they parade the shavings during the All American Jersey Shows.

In addition to his involvement with the AJCA, Clint also served on the board of the Alabama DHIA and Southeast Dairy Lab, was a past president of Southeastern Cheese and a lifetime member of the National Dairy Shrine.

Clint is supported in his endeavors by his wife, Julie, and son, Ben. He is the second generation to win this award, as his father, C.L. Collins, Jr., received the distinction in 1982.

Distinguished Service Award Past Recipients
1954   W. W. Trout, Springfield, Ohio*
1955   Harold J. Turner, Bethel, Vt.*
1956   Judge Peter J. Shields, Sacramento, Calif.*
1957   R. C. Calloway, Baton Rouge, La.*
1958   Lynn Copeland, Nashville, Tenn.*
1959   Chester Folck, Springfield, Ohio*
1960   Ernest Greenough, Merced, Calif.*
1961   Paul Jackson, Wilmington, Ohio*
1962   Harriet J. Groos, Vancouver, Wash.*
1963   R. K. Stout, Lansing, Mich.*
1964   Herbert G. Myers, Boise, Idaho*
1965   Charles S. Kelly, Hudson, Wis.*
1966   Joseph F. Sawyer, Galt, Calif.*
1967   Henry P. Knolle, Sandia, Texas*
1968   H. I. Sawyer, Hughson, Calif.*
1969   M. L. Baird, Springfield, Ohio*
1970   E. Lea Marsh, Jr., Old Lyme, Conn.*
1971   Stanley N. Chittenden, New Lebanon, N.Y.*
1972   Arthur Dieterich, Sherman, Texas*
1973   Amzi Rankin, Jr., Faunsdale, Ala.*
1974   Capt. T. J. and Elizabeth Bay, Lynden, Wash.*
1975   Mrs. Thomas H. Carruthers, III, Glendale, Ohio*
1975   Paul Sparrow, Athens, Tenn.*
1976   Wyatt A. Williams, Orange, Va.*
1977   Dr. J. H. Arnold, Newnan, Ga.*
1977   Reuben R. Cowles, Statesville, N.C.*
1978   Jean E. Lemmermen, Tiffin, Ohio*
1979   John Weir Jr., Geuda Springs, Kan.*
1980   Clyde K. Chappell, Knoxville, Tenn.*
1980   Newell Mills, Fallon, Nev.*
1981   Harold Wright, White River Junction, Vt.
1982   C. L. Collins, Jr., Sylacauga, Ala.*
1983   Ray Chamberlain, Wyoming, N.Y.*
1984   Dr. C. A. Ernstrom, Logan, Utah*
1985   J. F. Cavanaugh, Columbus, Ohio*
1986   W. Charles McGinnis, Mountville, S.C.*
1987   G. Joe Lyon, Toledo, Iowa
1988   Dr. John Wilk, Raleigh, N.C.
1989   Robert Lord, Woodstock, Vt.*
1990   Dr. H. Duane Norman, Fulton, Md.
1991   Edwin L. Crotty, Trenton, N.J.
1992   Richard A. Riggs, Evansville, Ind.*
1993   Maurice E. Core, Columbus, Ohio*
1994   John Giacomini, Eureka, Calif.*
1995   W. R. Lutz, Newton, N.C.*
1996   Max Gordon, Winchester, Ind.*
1997   Harold Owens, Frederic, Wis.*
1998   Richard Clauss, Hilmar, Calif.
1999   Elmer D. Larson, Burlington, Wash.*
2000   Dr. J. J. Malnati, Newberry, S.C.*
2001   Harold W. Roller, Weyers Cave, Va.*
2002   Ray R. Schooley, Marshfield, Mo.
2003   D.L. Strandberg, D.V.M., Alma Center, Wis.*
2004   Neal F. Schirm, Canal Winchester, Ohio*
2005   J. Lawrence Benson, New Lebanon, N.Y.
2006   Ted Luther, Mount Ulla, N.C.*
2007   Alvin Moss, Litchfield Park, Ariz.*
2008   David W. Spahr, Findlay, Ohio
2009   Dr. Robert C. and Helene C. Dreisbach, Mercer, Pa.
2010   Paul Chittenden, Schodack Landing, N.Y.
2011   Donald Sherman, Hilmar, Calif.*
2012   John Palmer, Cornish, Maine*
2013   James Ahlem, Hilmar, Calif.
2014   Glen and Marilyn Easter, Laurens, S.C.
2015   George and Shirley Barlass, Janesville, Wis.
2016   Charles D. “Chuck” Ahlem, Hilmar, Calif.
2017   Craig Rhein, Pine Grove, Pa.
2018   David Endres, Lodi, Wis.
2018   Chris Sorenson, Pine River, Wis.
2019   David Norman, Liberty, Pa.
2020   Clint Collins, III, Gulf Shores, Ala.
* deceased

More information about the annual awards given by the American Jersey Cattle Association can be found on their website.