The state of Iowa has been fortunate to have been the home of many historical Ayrshire herds. One of the herds that would be at the top of the list would be the Bud and Ruth McHone’s Io-Wayside Ayrshire herd located in Ames, Iowa. The Io-Wayside Flashy Rhyme was truly a legend in her time. She was classified Excellent-94 in 1978 at 10 years of age. In 1979, Rhyme had over 107,000 pounds of milk lifetime. She won many All-American awards and was the highlight in the show ring. The Rhyme was later named the “Ideal” or “Model” Ayrshire cow. The Io-Wayside KD Vee influenced the Ayrshire breed through her sons, Vagabond and Vitality.
The Iowa Ayrshire Breeders Association had their first annual sale in January of 1945 at the Dairy Congress Sale Pavilion in Waterloo, Iowa. Tom P. Whittaker from Brandon, Vermont, managed the sale. In the fall of 1945 another sale was organized. This pattern has continued by the Iowa Club sponsoring a spring and fall sale every year.
At the Iowa State Fair in 1954, Larry Sears had the honor of showing his Ayrshire cow to President Eisenhower and Ezra Benson, Secretary of Agriculture.
The first national convention held in Iowa was in May 1957 at the Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids. Dick Sears was the sale manager and the auctioneer was John Rhodes. Ten years later in 1967 the Iowa Association again hosted the convention at the Hawkeye Downs. In 1983 and 1998 the National Convention was hosted in Cedar Rapids. Five years later in 2003 the Iowa Association took the opportunity to host the National Convention in Dubuque. Once again in 2009 the city of Dubuque is the host of the National Convention with many new attractions and events.
The Iowa recipients of The Distinquished Service Awards given at National Conventions have been Merritt Cook in 1977; Bud and Ruth McHone in 1983; Louis Zumbach in 1984; and Harry Lorenze in 1998.
Three of the Iowa Ayrshire Breeders have had the president title of the National Ayrshire Breeders Association – Merritt Cook 1975-1976; Louis Zumbach 1983-1984 and David Koss 2007-2009.
In the December 1944 issue of the Ayrshire Digest, the Iowa Ayrshire Association had 46 members. There present membership includes over 50 families. Every year the members get together for a summer picnic and enjoy the day and even get to view a few great Ayrshires!