News Release

Friday, October 6, 2023

CONTACT: Lisa Behnke, Communications Manager,
                   Jenna Langrehr, Communications Specialist,
PHONE:      608-224-6455

Quebec Holstein Youth wins the 2023 Merle Howard Award

MADISON, WIS. – Savannah Crack was named the 19th Merle Howard Award winner at the 56th World Dairy Expo on Friday, October 6. Crack joined 4-H early in life and immediately began learning important life skills such as responsibility and accountability. As her 4-H career took off, she was afforded the opportunity to compete in the Royal Winter Fair’s TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic. The Richmond, Quebec native also was selected to attend Holstein Quebec’s Ecole de Preparation, which is a three-day program with theoretical and practical workshops about exhibit displays, fitting and clipping, nutritional needs during shows, and showmanship skills. In addition, she became just one of six Canadians to attend the European Young Breeders School that was held in Belgium and had attendees from 19 countries around the globe.

When it comes to her showing career, this Holstein youth excels in both the barn and in the Showring. She is a four-time champion at major showmanship competitions on both sides of the Canadian and U.S. border. When it comes to World Dairy Expo, Crack has been attending youth competitions for eight years and is a two-time showmanship winner having topped the Junior Showmanship Contest in 2015. The very next year, this Quebec native repeated that feat by winning the Intermediate Showmanship competition on the colored shavings.

In her home country, Crack was named Overall Champion Showman at the 2023 Quebec Classique. Additionally, she won Grand Champion Showman honors at Quebec’s AJRQ Youth Championship Show. Equally talented in cattle preparation, this Richmond, Quebec, resident was named the Overall Champion at the Michael Heath Youth Fitting Competition at this year’s 56th World Dairy Expo. What’s more, she, along with her brother Kolton, also showed the second place Spring Holstein Calf and the fifth place Yearling in Milk at the 2023 International Junior Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo.

With a strong passion for dairy and with clear vision for her future, Crack already graduated the McGill University’s Farm Management and Technology Program at MacDonald College. Upon graduation from this three-year program, she became just one of two students to earn the Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal. With her diploma in hand, Savannah has returned to the family’s Crackholm Holstein herd in Richmond, Quebec, to manage the herd with her father, David Crack.

Nearly all the previous award winners of the Merle Howard Award were on hand for the award presentation. They include: 2004, Robert Teixeira, Turlock, Calif.; 2005, Matthew Mitchell, Speedwell, Tenn.; 2006, Greta Koebel, Poplar Grove, Ill.; 2007, Brandon Ferry, Hilbert, Wis.; 2008, Kelly Lee Reynolds, Corfu, N.Y.; 2009, Kyle Natzke, Fond du Lac, Wis.; 2010, Stephanie Aves Schroeder, Lancaster, Wis.; 2011, Karen Anderson Johnson, Litchfield, Minn.; 2012, Cy Conard, Sharon Springs, N.Y.; 2013, Cassy Krull, Lake Mills, Wis.; 2014, Jade Jensen Kruschke, New Richmond, Wis.; 2015, Jared Dueppengiesser, Oshkosh, Wis.; 2016, Doug Boop, Millmont, Pa.; 2017, Dawson Nickels, Watertown, Wis.; 2018, Kyle Barton, Copake, N.Y.; 2019, Kaleb Kruse, Dyersville, Iowa; 2021, Kylie Nickels, Watertown, Wis.; and 2022, Keenan Thygesen, Tunbridge, Vt.

Merle Howard was a respected dairy industry pioneer. Winner of the 1954 Klussendorf Award, Howard was a herd manager, Holstein classifier, and later a sales and export businessman. Howard also served on the first National Dairy Shrine Board of Directors.

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. The global dairy industry will return to Madison, Wis. for the 56th event, October 1-6, 2023, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Download the World Dairy Expo mobile event app, visit or follow WDE on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Spotify, Instagram or YouTube for more information.