For 35 years Don Shaw of the Te Awamutu Jersey Club has been a TOP Inspector/Classifier — but at age 81 this year he decided in March not to re-certify, drawing the curtain on a distinguished career.
Don's service was recognised by the Board of Jersey NZ with a Special Member Recognition for Services to TOP and Classification.
The board acknowledged it can be a difficult task to thank and recognise someone who has contributed so much and has already received the highest recognition the organisation can bestow.
Don's contribution to Jersey New Zealand and the wider dairy industry is well known and has been profiled in national publications.
His custodianship, with his family, of the Kiwi and Anchor Jersey studs at Ōhaupō achieved them national prominence and as a CRV Ambreed consultant, he has had a positive influence on the genetic gain and balance of many breeders' herds.
His record for service and longevity as an AI technician is legendary.
In 1996 Don and his wife Lynne were awarded an Honorary Life Membership of Jersey New Zealand for their work in the field of Youth Training, Youth Exchange and Youth Development Seminars.
Through tragedy and heartbreak, Don has remained steadfastly loyal to Jersey NZ, always presenting thoughtful and challenging ideas and comments and is a current Jersey NZ Ambassador.
With this "Special Member Recognition", the Board of Jersey NZ and Classification Convenors past and present, would all like to thank Don sincerely for his time and expertise in his work as a TOP Inspector and Classifier.
Through the years of his involvement as a classifier, Don has seen and adjusted to all of the changes that have taken place in this field.
From being one of the original "paper boys", to using the first hand-held units to collect linear information and ultimately the new handhelds and new awards system, Don has taken it all in his stride.
He has travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand classifying dairy cows, with his contribution, in the last few years, being classification work closer to home.
As he parks his classifiers' boots in the garage, Don can reflect on a job well done.