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Holstein Association USA Members Prepare to be “Charmed” at National Holstein Convention

Brattleboro, Vermont (June 9, 2016)...The stage is set in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. for the 2016 National Holstein Convention and the Holstein Association USA’s 131st Annual Business Meeting from June 27 to July 1. This event themed “New York Charm…City to Farm” to be held in the picturesque Saratoga Springs known for health, history and horses is poised to offer Holstein enthusiasts of all ages from the U.S. and beyond a charming experience to remember.

Early Bird Session – “Can We Breed to Increase Feed Efficiency?” Thursday, June 30, 7:30 a.m.

Dr. Michael VandeHaar, professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University, will shed light on a multi-state feed efficiency research project that he is directing in the Early Bird Session at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 30. Holstein Association USA has contributed type evaluation services for this USDA-funded project. The universities participating in this project include Michigan State University, Iowa State University, University of Florida, Virginia Tech, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and universities in the Netherlands and Scotland. The study, which is scheduled to run through the end of 2016, is measuring individual feed intake of 8,000 Holstein cows 70 to 100 days postpartum and is focused on delivering genomic breeding value estimates for dry matter intake and residual feed intake.

Dr. VandeHaar grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa and has a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. His research has focused on nutrition and feed efficiency, and he has taught nutrition to over 3,000 students. Along with directing this project to improve dairy feed efficiency, he serves on the National Research Council committee to revise nutrient requirements for dairy cattle.

Annual Meeting Keynote – “A Futuristic Look at Animal Genetics,” Thursday, June 30, 1:55 p.m.

The keynote speaker for this year’s Annual Meeting is Dr. Jennifer Garrett, Senior Associate at the Context Network, a premier global and agribusiness consulting firm in advancing agriculture. As a professional at identifying and prioritizing opportunities that might be coming down the road, Dr. Garrett’s presentation entitled, “A Futuristic Look at Animal Genetics” will examine and enlighten attendees on the future of animal genetics.

Jennifer Garrett has over 30 years of leadership and business experience in agriculture, food and nutrition. As Senior Associate at the Context Network, her business background as a farmer, academic, scientist, educator, communicator and nutrition advocate brings a unique and practical perspective to clients with interest in navigating business opportunities from farm to table.

She grew up on a dairy farm in Kentucky and received her Ph.D. in Dairy Nutrition from Virginia Tech, and her MS and BS in Animal Sciences at the University of Kentucky. She started her career as assistant professor of Animal Science and State Extension Dairy Specialist at the University of Missouri in Columbia. From 1995 to 2005, she held various U.S. and global leadership roles in the Monsanto Dairy and Monsanto Corporate Engagement businesses.

For the last ten years, Jennifer held senior positions with the Kellogg Company, then McCain Foods, working with executives, scientists, marketers and policy-makers to advocate for science-based food policy and communications. In January 2015, she returned to her agricultural roots when she joined the Context Network, a global agricultural consulting firm focused on management and strategy consulting for advancing agriculture. Jennifer is passionate about effective communications from farm to table that improve understanding, relationships and business results.

Holstein Honors

Four elite dairies will be recognized as Herds of Excellence and the distinguished Star of the Breed will be honored on Thursday, June 30th. Other recognitions for the day will include 40-year Members, Elite Performers and Holstein COMPLETE™ acknowledgements. Holstein Association USA Executive Chief Executive Officer John M. Meyer will also reveal the New Ideal Holstein True Type Model.

Director Elections

Delegates to the 131st Annual Meeting of the Holstein Association USA will be electing directors on Friday, July 1. The 2016 candidates for the Holstein Association USA board of directors include Peter Dueppengiesser of New York and Steven Keene of Maine from Region 1; James Cook of Virginia and Benjamin J. Newberry of Georgia in Region 4; and Mark Kerndt of Iowa as an incumbent in Region 6. Those vying for the Director At-Large position include: Dan Berry of Washington, Chris Hannan of Connecticut, Reid Hoover of Pennsylvania and Jim Rickert of Wisconsin.

Directors retiring from the board this year include, from Region 1, Peter B. Waterman, Maine; Region 4, Gayle Carson, Tennessee; and At-Large, Corey A. Geiger, Wisconsin.

Highest Recognition at Awards Banquet

The culmination of the Annual Convention will occur at the Awards Banquet on Friday, July 1, when the coveted Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Distinguished Leadership, and Elite Breeder award recipients will be honored. The evening will be capped off by entertainment from a New York favorite band – The Refrigerators.

National Holstein Youth

The National Junior Holstein Convention will run concurrently, but separate from the National Holstein Convention. The nation’s top Holstein youth will be showcasing their talents as they compete in various contests throughout the week. The Association will also name its prestigious National Distinguished Junior Member finalists and recognize Young Distinguished Junior Member finalists, among other honors.

Follow the Events

Holstein Association USA staff will be providing coverage throughout both conventions with updates and photos. Be sure to follow Holstein Association USA on Facebook or visit www.holsteinusa.com for the latest updates, including junior competition results, award winners and election results. For a complete schedule, lodging information and convention registration, visit, www.nyholsteins.com/2016convention.