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Glen Shirk Named 2004 Distinguished Dairy Science Alumnus

Posted: March 19, 2008

Glenn A. Shirk, Landisville, PA has been selected by the Penn State Department of Dairy and Animal Science to receive the 2004 Dairy Science Distinguished Alumnus Award. Shirk, a retired senior extension agent, will be honored at the Penn State Dairymen’s Club banquet on Friday, November 12, in State College and at other departmental events that weekend.

Mr. Shirk’s Pennsylvania extension career spanned over forty years. He served as assistant county agent in Somerset County and, after two years of service in the U. S. Army, he served as interim county agent in Snyder County. From late 1964 until 1979, he held the position of Chester County Agent. In Chester County he developed an active dairy program and also handled dairy 4-H responsibilities. From 1979 through 2002, Glenn was Lancaster County’s Senior Extension Agent. He was responsible for developing educational programs and materials for dairy farmers, agribusinesses, and 4-H members. Glenn was able to communicate with Lancaster’s 1800 dairy farmers through visits, newsletters, and newspaper columns such as “Glenn’s Udderings” which appeared in Farmshine and Lancaster Farming, and “Focus on Dairy” for Lancaster Farming.

Over the years, he helped organize numerous educational meetings such as Lancaster Dairy Days, Animal Housing Expos, Ag Computers and Electronic Expos, and workshops on dairy reproduction, calf and heifer management, herd health and biosecurity, dairy feeding and nutrition, milking management, and many others.

Mr. Shirk received his B.S. in Dairy Science from Penn State in 1959, followed by his M.S. in Dairy Science in 1961. He served as the Penn State Dairy Expo Manager and was a member of Coaly Society, Alpha Zeta, and Gamma Sigma Delta as an undergraduate.

Throughout his professional career, Mr. Shirk's professional associations were numerous and included membership in the National Dairy Shrine, Epsilon Sigma Pi, National Mastitis Council, and Council of Agricultural Science and Technology. He served as president, vice-president, and secretary of the Pennsylvania Association of County Agricultural Agents. Among his many awards are the 2002 George C. Delp Award from the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the 1988 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and the 1982 Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association Extension Award.

Since retiring from extension in 2002, Mr. Shirk and his wife Carole have continued to live in Landisville, where he is a self-employed consultant for Shirk’s Dairy Sense. He enjoys fishing, traveling, and “puttering” around his home.