Viginia Holstein Membership Spotlight
Margie Ann Dick
By Lois Skeen, presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting
We are honoring Margie Ann Dick for her 35 years of service to Virginia Holstein Association as Secretary Treasurer. But her involvement with Holsteins began long before that. Margie Ann is the only child of Ned and Florence Sutphin, and grew up on her family’s dairy, Flatlick Farm in Chantilly, in Fairfax county. She preferred being outside and helping on the farm to inside duties. She remembers as a young girl in 1945 there were Germans from a nearby prison camp that worked on their farm during WWII. The family kept in touch with them for years.
Margie Ann’s first 4-H calf was Hartog Sunshine Gerben. She showed her the first time when Sunshine was 10 weeks old and Margie Ann was 10 years old at the Tri County Dairy Show (Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince Wm counties). Sunshine and Margie Ann went through 11 years of 4-H together. Sunshine lived to be 18 years old, so she was obviously well- cared for.
It was at that first show that Margie Ann first met George Miller, then a 4-H member from Loudoun county, who became a lifelong friend. Through her 4-H years Margie Ann enjoyed showing with and against Ben Middleton, Jim Eustace, William Harrison, and Ralph Fields, who were in the same region.
In the 1950s Margie Ann received many awards for her 4-H and Holstein projects, including first place in the National Holstein Girl Champion Production Record Keeping Contest in 1956. She received the Virginia Holstein Friesian award three times, and was also a State winner in Dairy Achievement which resulted in a trip by train to National 4-H Congress in Chicago. Margie Ann was tapped as a Virginia 4-H All-Star in 1952. Later, her son Dale, daughter Patty, and all three granddaughters, Sarah, Katie, and Elizabeth were also named 4-H All-Stars.
In 1955 she was on the Virginia 4-H dairy judging team with Mary Jane Benedum, Kenneth Rutrough, and Mark Bowman. They were coached by Emory Burbaker, and Bill Patterson was the 4-H Dairy Extension Specialist. Margie Ann placed 14th at the National Contest in Waterloo, Iowa.
Margie Ann’s teenage years were not all about farmwork and cows. When she was a young girl, her Dad built a new barn and held a barn dance before the first hay crop was put in. The dancing continued every spring for almost twenty years. Margie Ann took a liking to one of her dance partners, and decided to ask Albin Dick to be her prom date. They went to her Senior Prom together, were married three years later and the dance went on.
The newlyweds lived with her parents and grandfather on the farm. Albin commuted to D.C. where he worked as a vehicle mechanic for Washington Gas Light Company. Since he drove back and forth to DC every day, he told Margie Ann she would be doing all the other driving, and drive she did. They bought a trailer and hauled cattle for people to shows, and sales. They loved traveling in their camper and have camped in every state except Hawaii and New Jersey, as well as all the Canadian Provinces except Newfoundland. They also enjoyed fishing together, and often took their boat to Lake Anna for fishing trips.
In 1958 they reduced the herd size with a production sale in Catlett. Margie Ann remembers that Marlin Hoff bought a cow from her that day that later became his first Excellent cow. George Miller recalls that Coldsprings Elevation Fagin, a popular Select Sires bull in the 1980s, had a cow with Margie Ann’s Flatlick prefix in his maternal line.
In 1962 Margie Ann and her Dad sold the rest of the cows and heifers at public auction and moved to Turkey Run Farm in Warrenton. As Dale and Patty grew up the family continued to be active in Holstein activities, and the favorite was going to shows. Margie Ann used to haul cows to the WV State Fair for Riley & Barbara Wagner, and then stayed and helped at the show. They developed a close and long lasting friendship. She also helped Jim Eustace at the NC State Fair in the 1980s. It’s hard to tell if they spent more time working or having fun playing tricks on the spectators with a fake rat killing routine.
In the years prior to becoming Sec.-Treas. of Virginia Holstein Assoc, Margie Ann served on the Junior Committee, and was in fact at the meeting when the Juniors became organized and helped them set up their bylaws. She later served as Membership Secretary and managed the Holstein World account. Then in 1979 Dan Myers stepped down as Secretary Treasurer, and Margie Ann was asked to take over. In the 35 years since, she has dedicated a large part of her life to Virginia Holstein Association. She has worked with a variety of committee chairpersons, clerked sales for half a dozen different sale managers, kept countless Presidents straight. She has watched programs change, and played a key part in developing many of them, such as the Field Day. Her knowledge of the history of the Association has been invaluable to every board of directors. As part of her Secretary duties she was an Advisor to the Junior Association, and occasionally took juniors to the SE Youth Retreat or to the National Conventions.
She says she enjoyed the sales and shows most. Occasionally some conflict arose, particularly in those two events. Margie Ann enforced the rules and policies of VHA that she was directed to uphold with equal consideration to everyone.
The list of things Margie Ann has done for the Association is much too long to list. Perhaps the most important thing she did was to always be there. She was the person we could count on to do her job, guide us in doing our jobs, and to occasionally do someone else’s job when they failed to do it themselves.
We are not the only group to benefit from Margie Ann’s talents. She has served on the Junior Committee for VSDA and received an award from them for Outstanding Youth Leader. She has served on the Board for Fauquier County Fair and is active with the Virginia Association of County Fairs. She serves as Co-Superintendent of the Virginia State Fair Dairy Show and lends her talents to the beef show there as well.
Margie Ann viewed her Secretary-Treasurer duty as much more than planning meetings, taking minutes and preparing financial statements. She represented VHA and she took that responsibility seriously. She and Albin put many miles on the car. They rarely missed attending District club events and Twilight Meetings, committee meetings, board meetings. Margie Ann was the face and the voice of Virginia Holstein Association at regional and national events. She estimates she has attended 20 National Holstein conventions, often serving as a delegate from Virginia. She often put her responsibilities ahead of her own personal agenda. She attended meetings when she was not feeling well from health issues. And she was at the Field Day in July when Albin was ill and at the Summer Show in August the week that he passed away, without making much mention of it at the time.
Perhaps part of the reason she showed up for us even through tougher times is because Margie Ann values the many, many personal friendships she has made, and enjoys both the support and the camaraderie of her Holstein circle of friends. You often see her at funeral homes, weddings, anniversary parties, and the like. So on behalf of the Virginia Holstein Association as an organization, and more so on behalf of all of your many friends within it, we heartily thank you, Margie Ann Dick, for your service, your dedication, and your guidance over the last 35 years.