The Pennsylvania Holstein Pioneer Memorial Award is given posthumously to an individual for their contribution to the Holstein Industry at the local, state and National levels. The 2017 Pioneer Memorial Award goes to Frank Reist, Sr.
Frank Reist Sr owned and operated Ferndale Farms, in Lebanon County, which was founded by his Grandfather Frank Fernsler in 1913.
The herd was well known locally, statewide and nationally for top quality registered Holsteins which featured Dunloggin bloodlines.
Frank served many years on the Lebanon County Holstein Board of Directors and did serve as President of the Board.
He also served on the Lebanon Fair board, and helped start the county Holstein show, which today is one of the top county shows in Pennsylvania. Frank was one of about 15 people who donated money to help purchase the land for the Lebanon County Fairgrounds. Frank also served on the Lebanon County DHIA board; he helped organize the county Holstein club’s heifer sale, as well as hosting field nights and judging schools at Ferndale Farm.
Frank serves on the Pennsylvania Holstein Association Board of Directors; he helped organize and showed at the Southeast District Show when it was held at Hershey Park Stadium and at Atlantic Breeders headquarters in Lancaster. Frank also helped organize the PHA State Fall Show. He tallied points for the Premier Breeder and Exhibitor for the state show for many years. Frank was also involved with the purchase of the PHA farm in Middletown, and later helped with export orders.
In 1948 Frank was awarded the Keystone Farmer and Star Dairy Farmer awards by FFA.
Frank served as a Pennsylvania delegate to the National Holstein Convention several times, and served on a committee when Pennsylvania hosted the National Convention in Philadelphia in 1976.
Frank dispersed his herd in 1969. The buyers list included many well know breeders of that time from central Pennsylvania and Maryland. A new herd was started when Frank’s two oldest sons returned from college. Frank passed away in 1982. His son Frank Jr continued milking that herd until 2013.
Quotes from people who knew Frank including Hall of Fame member Robert Gitt:
“Frank was a man who took pride in his work and his farm. He was well liked and a good man. I was impressed by how immaculate his herd and facilities.”
From Horace Backus:
“Frank had a wonderful personality, and enlivened any sale, show or meeting he attended. He helped the breed in many ways and is very deserving of this award.
From Donald Krall:
“In my opinion Frank Reist was equal to other Lebanon County breeders of his day including
Hubie Miller and Howard Weiss, both of whom are in the PHA Hall of Fame.
Frank is survived by his wife Eunice Fedder Reist.
The couple had four sons, Carl, Frank Jr, Donald, and Gary who is deceased. There are 10 grand children, and 5 great grandchildren.
Mr. Frank Reist, Sr., the 2017 PA Holstein Association Pioneer Memorial Award Winner.
Accepting the Pioneer Award this evening in Frank’s honor are two of his sons, Carl Reist and Frank Reist, Jr.