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Wisconsin Holstein Spring Barn Meetings to Feature Show Calf Care and Nutrition

Baraboo, Wis. – March 4, 2014...The Wisconsin Holstein Association invites all members and area dairy farmers to the 2014 Spring Barn Meetings. Bella-View Holsteins of Marion, Wis., Oeh-My Farm of Abbostford, Wis., and Walk-Era Farms of Wisconsin Dells, Wis. will open their barn doors to interested Holstein breeders. The focus of this year’s barn meetings is show heifer management, and host farms will open their facilities for tours and be on hand to answer questions. Nick Uglow, a nutritionist with Vita Plus, will speak at the meetings on show heifer nutrition.

Bella-View Holsteins, Marion, will host a meeting on Monday, March 17. Bella-View Holsteins, Marion, is a family-run operation owned by Lynn and Sara Harbaugh. Lynn and Sara have been involved in the Registered Holstein industry their entire lives, and their children Jacob (8), Logan (6), and Madison (3), are just starting to become involved with Junior Holstein and 4-H activities.

The Harbaughs currently own about 50 head of Registered Holsteins, and they house as many as 25 in our facilities at any one time depending on age and size. They do occasionally house a show heifer for others, but own part interest in nearly all the heifers they care for. Most of their milking females are housed at Forest-Ridge Holsteins and the balance of the heifers live there as well. The Harbaughs have a few partnership cows housed elsewhere. Most of the chores at Bella-View are covered by the family. They do have occasional help from a neighbor if they need to be away from home.

The goal at Bella-View is to grow and develop heifers from deep pedigrees to their highest potential. They do a small amount of IVF flushing on select cows and flush a few heifers conventionally with sexed semen. Most embryos are implanted at Forest Ridge and Car-Cor Holsteins with resulting calves owned in partnership.

The facilities sit on 20 acres, of which 13 are grass hay and the balance is pasture and the buildings. The barn consists of a shavings bay, manure storage, heifer housing and an office. They also have a machine shed that is utilized to store hay and other equipment.  

Lynn and Sara are excited to be working with several deep-pedigreed cow families. Some of these families include the Roxys, Elegance, Ashlyn, DRA August, Apple, Laurie Sheik, Rubens Marlene, Talent Limited, Durham Juba, Integrity Dixie and Go for Gin. Members of all of these families have produced All-American nominations. They have daughters from these families sired by Durham, Goldwyn, Braxton, Sid, Dundee, Dempsey,
Aftershock, Gold Chris *RC, Talent and Advent.

Heifers bred by Bella-View had a remarkable show season in 2013, topped with three summer yearlings placing first, second and third at the Wisconsin Championship Show. Bella-View Alex Ashanti-ET was purchased by Paige Vossekuil in last spring’s Quest for Success sale, hosted by Lynn and Chad Ryan. Ashanti was the All-Wisconsin and Junior All-Wisconsin Summer Yearling as well as being named Junior Champion of the Junior Show and Reserve Junior Champion of the Open Show. Ashanti is an Alexander from Kingsmill Ashlyns Ashore-ET, EX-92.

Reserve All-Wisconsin Summer Yearling was Bella-View Angels Apple-ET, owned in partnership with Cory and Cara Biely. She is a Dempsey from Ms Angelina Angashock-ET, a granddaughter of Apple-Red. Finally, placing third was Bella-View Goldwyn Julip-ET, a Goldwyn from Wilstar Shotle Jacquie-ET VG-85. These three heifers were Nominated All-American Junior Best Three Females. Two of the three heifers will be on display at the barn meeting, as well as some of their spring sale consignments.

The Harbaughs do a limited amount of work with genomic families, but are working with an Epic daughter of Curr-Vale Goldwyn Delicious.

All heifers at Bella-View are cared for the same. They are housed in group pens of three to five on a shavings bedded pack. Each pen has access to dirt exercise lots. The barn has curtain side-walls to maximize natural ventilation. In addition, there are five individual box stalls for heifers on flush shots or specialized feeding programs during the show season. The box stalls and wash area have rubber flooring to ensure optimal footing.

They feed a protein pellet and free choice dry grass hay with corn supplemented in the winter months. Hoof trimming is done on all heifers in early March with additional trimming done as needed throughout the year. All heifers are clipped four to five times a year, with show heifers getting extra attention throughout the year. The show heifers are washed daily and are also under fans during the show season.

Lynn and Sara believe in a strong vaccination program to promote maximum health and growth. All heifers get three doses of Bovi-Shield prior to their first breeding and Inforce 3 is given before leaving to go to shows. In addition, all heifers are poured with a dewormer in spring and fall.

Lynn and Sara are excited to be hosting a barn meeting and look forward to visitors on March 17. The farm will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. To get to the farm, take Highway 45 north of Clintonville or south of Marion to Equity sale barn. Turn east on Magolski Rd., two miles to farm. Bella-View is located at N11912 Graetz Rd, Marion.

The Oehmichen family will host a meeting on March 20 in Abbotsford. Oeh-My Farms, Abbotsford, is owned by Craig and Christy Oehmichen and their children, Chase (11) and Willow (8). Christy grew up on her family farms of Mayerheim in Deer Park, and Pepst Farms in Centuria. She attended UW-Madison and earned a degree in dairy science. Following graduation she worked for a reputable dairy company but always knew her dream was to have a herd of her own. In 2008 Christy and Craig purchased the farm just down the road from where Craig grew up. The couple hassince built a very reputable herd. They also co-own Short Lane Ag Supply, a full service agronomy business with locations in Colby and Mishicot.

On the farm, Christy primarily manages the cows while Craig takes care of the crops. The kids complete daily chores and are getting more and more involved as they become older. Additionally, Christy has been able to mentor high school students through a youth apprenticeship program and shares her love of showing with younger children by allowing them to exhibit animals at area shows. Chase and Willow are also taking a liking to the show ring and have participated at shows such as the Central Wisconsin State Fair, Wisconsin State Fair, District Holstein Show and the Wisconsin Championship Show and the Wisconsin Jersey State Show. They also attend the annual Cow Camp and the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention.

Oeh-My Farm is located on 174 acres, 135 of which are tillable. They also rent an additional 145 acres. The herd consists of 85 head, including youngstock. The milking herd includes 30 Registered Holsteins and three Registered Jerseys with a rolling herd average of 22,604 milk with 3.8% 854 pounds fat 3.0% 683 pounds protein. Cows are milked in a tie-stall barn that holds 39 cows and heifers are raised in a recently constructed heifer facility.

The Holstein herd includes 24 head that go back to the Mark Maui family and eight head that descend from the Elegance family. Christy breeds for type and selects sires with high type, udder composite and foot and leg composite numbers. She is currently using Gulf, Brokaw, Richman, Moregold, Guthrie, Armani, Absolute, Atwood, Shot and Spur.

Frozenes Durham Velma, EX-94 3E and a daughter of Frozenes Broker Vidalia EX-94 GMD DOM, is one of the farm’s top brood cows. She has daughters by Absolute and Atwood. Velma has a deep show record including being first aged cow and Reserve Senior Champion at the District 5 Show in 2009. She was also the second place four year old at the Midwest Fall National Show in 2007 and Nominated All-American Winter Calf in 2003.

Some of the other herd highlights and favorite show cows include Ms Drake M-Azement, EX-91, who was the winning 5 year old at the District 4 Show and Central Wisconsin State Fair in 2012. She has daughters by Atwood, Sid and Dempsey. Four-of-a-Kind Mich Miracle, EX-92, is a granddaughter of Four-of-a-Kind Jolt Justine, EX-94 2E, and was the first 5 year old and Reserve Senior Champion at the 2013 District 4 Show. She was also the first 5 year old, Grand Champion and Reserve Supreme Champion at the Central Wisconsin State Fair. Miracle has an Atwood daughter due in March. Kietz Sanchez Blondie, EX-90, also has an Atwood daughter and was second place as a Junior 2 year old and Junior 3 year old at the District 4 Show. She was also first Junior 3 Year Old and Reserve Intermediate Champion at the Central Wisconsin State Fair.

The Oehmichens have had much success with their show heifers over the last few years. Oeh-My Hero Ebony, from an EX-90 Ross, was the winning fall calf, Junior Champion of the Junior Show and Reserve Junior Champion of the Open Show at last summer’s District 4 Show. She was also the first fall calf and Reserve Junior Champion at the Wisconsin State Fair. Oeh-My Dempsey Molly comes from the Maui family and was the second place and first junior spring calf at the 2012 District 4 Show. She followed that up as the second spring yearling in 2013 and was the first place spring yearling at the Central Wisconsin State Fair and Wisconsin State Fair open show. Finally, Oeh-My Richman Eliza, from the Elegance family, is a perennial winner at the District 4 show. She was the first spring calf and Reserve Junior Champion of the Junior Show in 2011, second spring yearling in 2012 and first Junior 2 year old of the junior show in 2013.

Oeh-My Farm was the Premier Exhibitor at the 2013 District 4 Show and exhibited the Junior Best Three Females in 2012. They have exhibited the Supreme Champion at the 2012 and 2013 Central Wisconsin State Fair and won the Herdsman Award the last two years.

Christy has continually enhanced her heifer raising program. The new barn is a pack barn and is very versatile. This allows her to separate show heifers or heifers that need to be fed differently and each pen has access to a pasture. A variety of bedding is used with decisions made based on weather, price and availability.

Newborn calves are fed colostrum from Johne’s and leukosis negative dams at birth. If this isn’t available, Secure colostrum replacer is used. Calves are raised in hutches and fed whole milk from Johne’s and leukosis negative cows until they are ten weeks old. In the winter they are fed milk three times per day  supplemented with Vita-Lyte and are started on a 20% starter and fed soft hay only. As animals get older, a higher protein hay is made available to heifers. Pellet feed and hay is adjusted according to manure, weight and availability. At breeding age, a ground protein mix is added. The effective, yet costly Fermentin protein is limited to potential show heifers only. Long dry hay is always fed free choice and not limited.

The Oehmichen family has mostly shown younger calves as the neighborhood kids that show with the farm are pretty young. Christy selects potential show animals early and ties these animals up to work with them each time they need to be vaccinated or cared for on an individual basis. She believes the key is to start this process early. A bunch of the nicest looking heifers are tied up early in the spring and are clipped off as soon as weather allows. This gives her a chance to see how the heifers look and also how the kids relate to each heifer. Each kid selects the calf or calves they are going to work with during the year. Christy has the group of kids practice leading as schedules allow. The heifers are washed a couple times a week but are sprayed off as often as possible. Christy also trims feet on all show cattle early in the year and then has the hoof trimmer on the farm once every six weeks to do any feet that need more maintenance. Prior to any show, calves are tied up on a pack to get used to things like being watered, having a fork underfoot and people walking up between them, etc.

The Oehmichen family would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who is able to attend the meeting and appreciate the Wisconsin Holstein Association for this opportunity. It’s always an honor to have people to the farm. They love what they do and couldn’t do it without the help of the countless friends and mentors who have helped along the way. First and foremost, they’d like to thank their parents – Jim and Carlene Mayer and Larry and Carol Oehmichen. Also special thanks to Joey Kietzman, Joe and Belle Sigwarth, Chad Ryan, Lynn Harbaugh, Perry Phend, Tim Rau, Kim Bremmer, Matt Dorshorst, Tom Steive, and many others for their role in developing this herd.

The Oehmichens are excited to welcome area Holstein enthusiasts to the farm on Thursday, March 20. The farm will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. To get to the farm, head 1 mile west of Abbotsford on Hwy 29. Turn south on Badger Ave. From south/east: Hwy 39/51 N to 29 West to Badger Ave., south just after the two Abbotsford exits. From west: Hwy. 29 east to Badger Ave. south just before the Abbotsford exits. Farm is located at N14350 Badger Ave, Abbotsford.

Finally, Walk-Era Farm will host area Holstein enthusiasts on Thursday, March 27, in Wisconsin Dells. Built on family and faith, Walk-Era Farms of Wisconsin Dells is truly where dreams of excellence are coming true. The Walker family has been located in the Wisconsin Dells area since Erwin and Ella Walker arrived from North Dakota in 1936. In 1957, their son Dean married Doris, and they purchased the farm from Dean’s parents. At that time, the farm consisted of 240 acres, a 23-cow stanchion barn, 20 grade and three Registered Holsteins.

The farm has come a long way since its birth in Wisconsin. In 1963, a free stall barn and double four swing parlor were built, and the herd number grew to 70 cows. Dean and Doris’ sons slowly grew the number of Registered Holsteins through involvement in 4-H and showing over the years, and by 1983, the decision was made to improve and expand facilities. That year a 100-cow stall barn was built, with a double five herringbone parlor. The decision to build a stall barn rather than free stall was a simple one for the Walker boys, as their desire to show and merchandise their cattle trumped the poorly designed free stalls that were being built in the 70’s and 80’s.
John and his wife Marci, along with children Alli, 14, and Brett, 11, are heavily involved in the cows, as John takes care of the breeding and the family works with the show animals and feeds calves. John is a graduate of UW-Madison and Marci from UW-River Falls. Marci is very active in the industry, serving as president of the Wisconsin Holstein board, and providing her leadership to the District Five junior Holstein delegation.

Tim and Tracy, along with their children Gracie, 11, Libby, 8, and Emmy, 4, are excited to continue getting their children involved in the farm. Tim helps with both the cows and crop work, and is also a graduate of UW-Madison. Tracy is a graduate of Cal Poly/Fresno State, and was a nurse before becoming a stay at home mom.

Tom and Jackie have a daughter Nora, age 2 and a 4 month old son Nash, and look forward to the day they will be able to show and help on the farm. Tom focuses on the crops, is a graduate of UW-Platteville in engineering, and Jackie is a physical therapist.

Walkers milk 100 cows in a double-five herringbone parlor and the cows are housed in a 4-row wide tie-stall barn. The bred heifers and dry cows are housed in a freestall barn. The herd boasts a rolling herd average is 23,748 3.86 947 3.16 751 and a BAA of 109.2% with 24 EX, 49 VG and 37 GP cows. Over the years, the Walkers have bred 92 Excellent cows, received the PBR Award 9 times, had six All-Wisconsin and Reserve All-Wisconsin winners, five animals place in the top 10 at World Dairy Expo, and have won Premier Breeder or Premier Exhibitor honors at the District 5 Show five times.

There are several key families that have contributed to the Walk-Era success over the years. The Rose family matriarch is Pearmont-LTD Mandingo Rose, EX-91 3E and backed by four generations of Excellent, was purchased as a yearling heifer in 1988. Her pedigree includes Spring Farms Citation Rosetta, a cow that was Grand Champion at the Royal Winter Fair in 1977. Rose has over 30 Very Good and Excellent descendants, including four Excellent daughters – two by Raider, one by Kite and one by Roy.

Carldot Raider June, EX-91 in Canada, had three Excellent daughters for the Walkers, but her best was Walk-Era Counselor Jena, EX-93 3E. A prominent show cow, Jena had six daughters that included EX-92 Linjet Justine. Justine’s record at 4-05 and 365 days included 30,639M with 3.8 1206F and 3.2 990P. Justine is a tremendous brood cow in her own right and has produced one Excellent and three VG-87 Goldwyn daughters that are all excelling as young cows in other herds. The Walkers sold all but one of the VG daughters, and are excited to flush and work with Walk-Era Just a Dream VG-87. Raider June has over 20 VG and EX offspring to date. She has transmitted phenomenal udders and style to her progeny, and has welded on some of the best udders in the Walker herd. In addition to Jena, June had another Excellent Counselor and an Excellent Broker.

The next foundation family is backed by Cherown Strategy Marsha, EX-92 3E. Her dam was an EX-94 Raider and granddam the EX-92 Mark Ruperta. Marsha also has over 20 VG and EX descendants in the Walk-Era herd – including two EX daughters by Champion and two by Outside. These four Excellent daughters have combined for an EX-92 Damion, two EX-91 Durhams, an EX-91 Advent, and an additional EX-90 Durham. Marsha’s most notable daughter, though, has been Walk-Era Champion Matrix, EX-90 2E. Matrix was Nominated All-American as a winter yearling in 2005, standing second at both the Midwest Fall National and Midwest Spring National shows that year. Her record at 6-0 2x 365d yielded 35,845M with 4.6 1665F and 3.3 1174P. Her best daughter has been Walk-Era Durham Monarch, EX-90, who was second 4-year-old and Reserve Grand Champion at the District 5 Holstein Show in 2011. Her record at 3-02 2x and 365d totaled 34,026M with 4.3 1448F and 3.4 1143P. Monarch has milking Windbrook and Fevers.
Holbric Ravage Orsmby, EX-93 3E is another matriarch that was added to the Walk-Era herd. Nominated Junior All-American as a four-year-old, Orsmby was flushed to Dundee early on and her daughters have packed a punch in the show ring. Walk-Era Dundee Oh My, VG-87, was All-Wisconsin Winter Yearling in 2011 and ninth at Madison. As a senior 2-year-old in 2012, Oh My was first senior two-year-old at the Midwest Spring National, first and Reserve Intermediate Champion at the District 5 Holstein Show, and seventh in class at the WI Championship Show.

Walk-Era Dundee Oreo-ET, EX-90, is another prominent Dundee from Orsmby. Oreo was 1st Spring Yearling & Reserve Junior Champion at the Midwest Spring Show, Junior Champion at the WI Championship Show, 4th at WDE, Nominated All-American Spring Yearling in 2009. She has a VG milking Aftershock daughter and a Sid Winter Yearling. Orsmby also has two exciting heifers for 2014 by Fever and Goldsun.

Other cows leaving their mark in the Walk-Era herd include Liessels Outside Allie, EX-91, and her nine daughters; KHW Distorted Humor, an EX-90 Jasper from the Altitude family and an eighth generation EX; and Miss Triumphant Kandy-ET, EX-91, who has milking daughters by Durham, Atwood and Aftershock.
All calves at Walk-Era are given the same ration and opportunity to develop in their calf barn up to 10-12 months of age. They begin with whole milk and calf starter in indoor or outdoor hutches, depending on the season. At weaning they move into groups of no more than seven head per pen, transition to grass hay and 20% starter and then at 6 months of age are transitioned to a protein pellet. Those that display show potential are moved to our show barn where we have four separate pens and are able to monitor feed intakes with more precision and handle them easier for halter breaking. The facility also has a wash rack, fans and pasture access.

The Walker family would like to welcome you to their barn meeting. There will be an open barn from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon with lunch available from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nick Uglow with Vita Plus will give a presentation on show heifer nutrition at 12:30 p.m. followed by an overview of the Walk-Era show heifer program and a tour of the heifer facilities. Walk-Era’s nutritionists, James Hoffman with Frontier FS, Argyle, and Lisa Peterson with Allied Coop, Adams, will also be on hand to answer questions.

To get to the farm from Portage, take the Hwy 16 west toward Wisconsin Dells about 8 miles. Turn right onto Lewiston Station Road. Go 1.8 miles and the farm will be on the right at N9036 Lewiston Station Road. From Wisconsin Dells, take Hwy 16 east about 6.5 miles and turn left onto Lewiston Station Road. Go 1.8 miles and the farm will be on the right at N9036 Lewiston Station Road.

All barn meetings are open to any interested Holstein breeder. Any other breeders wanting to host similar barn meetings should call the Wisconsin Holstein Association at 1-800-223-4269 and we’ll work with you to set one up for your local breeders.