The late Donnie Sherman was the fourth generation Sherman to dairy in central California's San Joaquin Valley. His great-grandfather, H. F. Sherman, operated Pioneer Dairy and Cheese Plant, the first dairy in Stanislaus County, from 1888 to 1898. Cheese went by rail to Stockton, then by boat to San Francisco for market.
Donnie grew up on the well-known Orestimba Dairy, which was named after a local native American tribe. His parents, Bob and Ruth, and uncle, Raymond, owned the dairy and brought the first Jersey to the place in 1938.
Donnie purchased his first Registered Jersey as a 4-H project in 1960 and then started working with his father and uncle 10 years later, after he was discharged from the United States Marine Corps.
Photos from the April 1952 issue of The Western Dairyman. H. F. Sherman's Pioneer Dairy and Cheese plant and Donnie's uncle and father at Orestimba Dairy.
Eight years later, Donnie and his wife, Elsa, branched out on their own and started D&E Jerseys, with the purchase of 75 milking cows. The dairy was expanded in 1981, with a 50-head purchase from New England Jersey breeders.
In October 1996, the Shermans started up D&E Jerseys Too by purchasing more than 200 head from New England and Tennessee. In February 2007, D&E Jerseys and D&E Jerseys Too were consolidated in February 2007. Today, the two herds reside at facilities in Texas.
D&E Jerseys continues to purchase a few top-quality foundation animals and sells 8-10 annually in high-visibility consignment sales, such as the National Heifer Sale, The All American Jersey Sale and the Pot O'Gold Sale.
Over the years, the Sherman's breeding efforts have been recognized. In 1981, they received the AJCC's Young Jersey Dairyman Award. In 1999, they were honored with the CJCA's Senior Breeder Award. In 2010, they were honored with the AJCA Master Breeder award during the AJCA-NAJ Annual Meetings in Portland. Click here for an article carried in the Jersey Journal.
The Shermans are active in service to the dairy industry. Donnie served as president of the AJCA from 2004-2007. He also is past president of the California Jersey Cattle Association (CJCA) and the Central Valley Jersey Breeders Association. He received the AJCA Distinguished Service Award in 2011. Click here for an article published in the Jersey Journal.
As always, the Sherman family is dedicated to continuing the legacy that began four generations ago.