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Wisconsin Holstein Celebrates 125 Years at Adult Convention in Hudson

Baraboo, Wis. – February 25, 2015...The Pierce and Pepin County Holstein Breeders, in coordination with the Wisconsin Holstein Association, hosted the annual Adult Holstein Convention at the Hudson House Grand Hotel in Hudson, Wis., February 20-21, 2015. Over 200 Holstein breeders from across the state were in attendance for meetings and to receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments in 2014.

Wisconsin Holstein was fortunate to have several members of Holstein Association USA in attendance to give an update on the national association, including Regional Directors Corey Geiger and Paul Buhr, Jr., as well as CEO John Meyer, Executive Director of Genetic Services Lindsey Worden, and Executive Director of Holstein Identification and Member Services Jodi Hoynoski. Also in attendance was Dr. Michael Bishop, Senior Market Development Specialist at Illumina. Dr. Bishop reported on what is new in the world of HD (High Density) and LD (Low Density) Chips that are used for genomic testing. Following the national meeting, breeders attended committee meetings to discuss new and old business for the upcoming year.

New at this year’s convention was a young breeder panel, sponsored by Wisconsin Holstein’s Young Adult Committee. Three young dairy producers were featured: Danae Bauer of Sandy-Valley Farms, Scandinavia, Matt Johnson of Matcrest Holsteins/Johnson Dairy, Baldwin, and Trent Hendrickson of Trent-Way Genetics, New Glarus. The panelists provided their insight on topics from herd sires to management and setting up their operations and involvement on their home farms.

At the dinner that evening, the 2014 Wisconsin Top Performer cows were announced. Recognized were cows owned by Tom Kestell of Waldo, Gary Housner of Elroy, and Carl Lippert of Pittsville. Receiving the overall Top Performer was Tom Kestell’s cow Jeta Bambi-ET, VG-85, with a record of 51,238M with 3179F and 1753P. Also recognized were owners of cows that have produced 300,000 and 400,000 pounds of lifetime milk.

Friday evening concluded with the sixth annual Wisconsin Convention Futures Sale, sponsored by Wisconsin Holstein’s Young Adult Committee. The Futures sale averaged $5,000 on 29 lots that included heifers and choices from some of the area’s most prominent cow families. High seller at $14,000 was Lot #1, consigned by Matt and Brad Johnson of Baldwin, and purchased by the Globe Syndicate of Roberts, Wis. This choice of two Montross females born October and November 2014 was from Schillview M-O-M Genally-ET, VG-86 DOM, with the heifers having GTPI’s of +2505 and 2474. This choice hails from a prominent AI family; the same as Gabor, Gerard, Garrett and Alta1stClass. Second high seller was Lot #2 from Bomaz Farms of Hammond, Wis. at $11,500. This heifer, Bomaz Jacey 6245-ET, a Jacey daughter with +2481 GTPI from a VG-85 Robust, was born January 2014 and has already been flushed with success. She was purchased by Shea Dairy, Inc. of Viola, Wis. Rounding out the top three was Lots #3 and #12 at $9,000. Lot 3 was a +2510 GTPI Troy daughter consigned by Jon Wynveen of Baldwin, Wis., and was purchased by Select Sires, Inc., Plain City, Ohio. Lot 12 was a Supersire with +2428 GTPI consigned by Select Sires, Inc., and was purchased by Laverne Lepak of Custer, Wis.

The Futures Sale also featured a lot to benefit the Wisconsin Holstein Juniors, and one to benefit the Horace Backus Fund through the Holstein Foundation. Hilltop Dairy LLC and Andrew Greenfield generously donated a pick of four pregnancies due in May 2015 from Mil-R-Mor Fever Krishna-ET, VG-87. The Holstein Foundation lot featured embryos by Accept-P from Derrwyn Outside Millie-ET, EX-90. These two lots generated over $3,000 for youth funds.

Saturday morning kicked off with a round panel discussion on marketing embryos by Steve Berland of GenElite and Hendrik Albada of Holstein Plaza. Following Berland and Albada’s presentation, the annual WHA business meeting was held, and included committee reports from board members who head the various WHA committees and a report on the financial status of the Association. Two incumbent board members were re-elected to the board of directors: Kevin Jorgensen of Waupun, and Bill Calvert of Cuba City. Two new board members were also elected, as Matt Lippert and Todd Stanek fulfilled their maximum number of terms. New board members include Pam Selz-Pralle of Humbird and Craig Carncross of Lodi.

Following the annual meeting, 40-year and 50-year members and Wall of Fame inductees were honored. This year’s Wall of Fame inductees were Merle Howard, the cow Stookey Elm Park Blackrose-ET, developed by Bob and Karyn Schauf and Mark and Nicky Rueth, and the bull Townson Lindy, bred by Richard, Ruth and Steve Towns.

Merle grew up on his family’s southeastern Wisconsin dairy farm and graduated from UW-Madison before returning to the home operation. He worked with a bull stud in northern Illinois, and was selected as a Klussendorf winner in 1954.  In 1958 he became a classifier for Holstein USA, and in 1969 joined the Piper brothers’ auction organization. Following his tenure in the auction business, he began working in insurance. Merle was a great proponent of the Holstein industry and a leader who gave a tremendous amount of time and passion to the business.

Stookey Elm Park Blackrose-ET, EX-96 3E GMD DOM, was developed by Bob and Karyn Schauf of Barron, Mark and Nicky Rueth of Oxford, and Mark Van Mersbergen of Washington. Mark purchased Blackrose as a calf through a sale at the Great Northern in 1991. She was named All-Time All-American Junior Two-Year-Old and Junior Three-Year-Old Cow and won the Royal Winter Fair and was Reserve All-American Five-Year-Old in 1995. She had 24 EX offspring, and two of her most well known sons were Kite and Redmarker.

Townson Lindy, a late Valiant son from an EX-93 Elevation, had only 38 daughters in his initial proof. He ended his career at over 16 years of age and over 30,000 daughters in North America. Of his daughters, he had 376 score Excellent in Canada and an additional 5,200 Very Good. Lindy was scored EX, and his semen was marketed in 48 countries worldwide with sales totaling over $25 million (CDN).

Following the awards luncheon, the afternoon was highlighted by farm tours to Honeycrest Farms, Huppert Brothers, Inc., and Hinz Holsteins.

Honored at the Saturday evening banquet was this year’s Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Distinguished Service, and Distinguished Holstein Breeder award winners. This year’s Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder recognized Nobland Farms, Troy and Jaime Noble of Lancaster, Wis. Honored with Distinguished Service recognition was the late Brian Krull of Lake Mills, Wis. Receiving the prestigious Distinguished Breeder honor was Bob and Kathy Traynor of Honeycrest Farms, Spring Valley, Wis.

Troy Noble entered a partnership with his father after graduating from UW-Platteville. He and his wife Jaime and their family currently farm 1000 acres, with 155 milking Holsteins and 100 head of beef cattle. Their herd includes 10 Excellent cows, with 47 Very Good and 69 Good Plus cows scored. The current rolling herd average is 24,419 pounds milk with 922 fat and 733 protein. Troy and Jaime’s herd also includes 10 Gold Medal Dams, eight Dams of Merit, and the Nobland herd has had 26 animals surpass the 200,000 pounds lifetime milk mark. The Nobles developed Weigland Highlight Dutches, an EX-95 DOM Highlight that finished second in the nation for milk with a record over 65,000 pounds milk. A dual threat, she was also named Grand Champion at the District 3 Holstein Show in back-to-back years. Another prominent dam the Noble family bred was Nobland Mandel Abercrombie, EX-94 GMD, the 2001 All-Wisconsin Four-Year-Old. Troy and Jaime are outstanding leaders in local organizations and their community, including the county Holstein associations, their local 4-H club, and county boards. They are truly passionate about having their kids involved in the industry and their home operation.

Brian Krull was a Holstein breeder with undeniable leadership and a passion for the Registered Holstein industry. He was a gifted and steady leader, guiding organizations with a sound mind and steady hand. He welcomed others to voice their opinions and made decisions with the greater good in mind. A humble man, Brian was an outstanding leader that always heard everyone and never took credit for his own ideas. Brian served as president on the Wisconsin Holstein Board of Directors twice, and served on multiple committees in various capacities.

Distinguished Breeder Robert Traynor and his wife Kathy of Honeycrest Farms have been a vital part of the Wisconsin Holstein family. Bob is a tireless promoter of the breed with a true passion for juniors and young adults of the association. At age 15 he took over the mating on his family’s farm, and his development of the “Everything but Famous” Kathryn family put Honeycrest on the map. The farm is home to 1700 acres, a beef herd, and steers, in addition to the 125 dairy cows with a rolling herd average of 25,000 pounds milk. The herd’s BAA is 107.5%, and has been a Progressive Genetics Award herd for 19 years and Progressive Breeder Award herd for 15 years. Bob has bred 45 Excellent cows, 23 Gold Medal Dams, 23 Dams of Merit, and 22 cows with records over 40,000 pounds milk. Honeycrest has sent 106 bulls to AI, with 12 making the active lineups, and many additional sons still waiting for proofs.

Also honored at the Saturday evening banquet were outstanding advertisements in the Wisconsin Holstein News in 2014. Taking top ad honors for the year was Ryan-Vu Holsteins of Fond du Lac, Wis.

AlphaGenetics and the Young Adult Committee also sponsored 10, $100 awards for first-time convention attendees that were selected at random. These funds were awarded to help cover costs to attend the convention. Winners included Lindsey Hoffman, Katie Knegendorf, Amanda Szama, Jason Kjos, Aaron Thibauld, Kristin Klossner, Andy Wolf, Tom Knegendorf, Reuben Schloneger and Erik Warmka.  

The WHA Board of Directors met at the conclusion of the convention to elect officers for the upcoming year. Newly elected officers are President Paula Bovre of Fond du Lac, Vice President Dan Cnossen of Hatley and Secretary Kent Wendorf of Viroqua, with Chad Ryan of Fond du Lac and Todd Borgwardt of Valders also serving as Executive Committee members.

The Wisconsin Holstein Association holds its annual convention each year in February.  For more information on this or other events, check out the website at www.wisholsteins.com, or call 1-800-223-4269.  Images of the award winners are available upon request.