Holstein Association USA Board of Directors Meets during National Holstein Convention

The Holstein Association USA board of directors met June 26 and 27, 2012 in Springfield, Mo. President Chuck Worden chaired the meeting held in conjunction with the National Holstein Convention and Annual Meeting at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center.

During a dinner on June 26, the board honored retiring Directors Robert Nigh of Viroqua, Wisc. and Hank van Exel of Lodi, Calif. Vice President Glen E. Brown of Coalville, Utah presented each with a framed resolution, highlighting their service on the board.

Update on 2012 Business Plan

During the meeting, staff presented updates on the 2012 Management-by-Objective Business Plan and year-to-date financials. Three updates of interest on year-to-date activity include:
· Registrations totaled 157,338, up 2,209 showing a 1.3 percent increase from the same period in 2011
· Transfers totaled 31,775, which were up 3,412 (12 percent) from 2011
· Holstein COMPLETESM enrollment stood at 277,695 cows and 1,845 herds. Compared to June 2011, these numbers represented a 12 percent increase in cows and a 3 percent increase in herds.

2012 Financial Update

During the meeting, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Barbara Casna presented the Association's consolidated financial statements through the end of May, 2012 and reviewed the reserve fund report for the same period. The Association and its subsidiaries show year-to-date profit on operations of $245,000.

AgriTech Analytics (ATA)

AgriTech Analytics (ATA) General Manager Bill VerBoort reported May 2012 enrollment of 901,825 cows, which is an increase of 22,500 cows over December 2011 numbers.

Other Board Action

The board reviewed the proposed Cooperative Agreement between USDA and the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding along with the draft Business Plan. Discussions centered on the impact of creating an alliance which could ultimately privatize the entire U.S. dairy genetic evaluation system. Inherent differences among the current Council members and how those differences drive conflicting goals became a focus of those deliberations. The board voted to support a resolution presented by the Pennsylvania Holstein Association which was later passed by the delegates of the 2012 Annual Meeting:

Whereas: The United States Dairy Genetic Evaluation program is the best in the world due to its unbiased nature.

And Whereas: The cost to continue the program at USDA is less than 1% of the current USDA budget.

And Whereas: The current system is beneficial to the United States dairy farmers and to consumers alike.

Therefore, be it Resolved: That Holstein Association USA Inc. encourages USDA to continue performing dairy genetic evaluations for the dairy industry.

The Holstein Association USA, Inc. board of directors also passed a motion which states, "The Holstein Association USA, Inc. board of directors is committed to keeping the U.S. dairy genetic program at USDA-AIPL (U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory)."

Finally, the board approved several recommendations made by the Type Advisory Committee, for the classification program:

  • That 56 inches in stature be the ideal for first lactation Holstein cattle, and that stature for first lactation Holstein cattle be evaluated as a two-way trait with an intermediate optimum.
  • That first lactation cows have an acceptable range for stature of 53-59 inches.
  • That the linear trait Stature be rescaled so that 56 inches equals 25 points.
  • Change the weighting of the Feet and Legs breakdown to 20 percent of Final Score, with 5 percent deducted from the Front End/Capacity breakdown.
  • That classifier staff make a deduction for short teat length and close rear teat placement.
  • That the Genetic Advancement Committee consider placing teat length in the Udder Composite formula.

Watch for more information about these changes to the classification program in the upcoming Summer 2012 issue of the Holstein Pulse.

Next Meeting

The Holstein Association Board will meet November 14 and 15, 2012 in Chicago, Ill.