Holstein Association USA Honors Outstanding Breeders and Industry Leaders at Annual Convention Banquet
Holstein Association USA honored several individuals during the closing banquet at the 2012 National Holstein Convention last week in Springfield, Mo., for their contributions to U.S. Registered Holsteins® and the greater dairy industry.
Distinguished Young Holstein Breeders
Jonathan and Alicia Lamb of Oakfield, N.Y., were recognized as Holstein Association USA's 2012 Distinguished Young Holstein Breeders. This award is given annually to a Holstein Association USA member or partnership of members between the ages of 21 and 40, recognizing the significant accomplishments of young Registered Holstein breeders, and their commitment to preserving the dairy industry and achieving excellence in their daily lives. Winners receive paid travel and lodging expenses to the National Holstein Convention and a $2,000 cash award.
The Lamb family milks almost 6,000 cows between their three dairy operations, 1,600 of which are registered in the Holstein herdbook, with the remainder enrolled in Holstein Association USA's Basic ID program to track ancestry. The herd participates in the Holstein COMPLETESM program, and they use official Holstein ear tags for identification on all farms. Most of their elite cattle are housed at Lamb Farm #2, with some show cattle housed at other farms.
Jonathan and Alicia work to provide cattle for many different sectors of the market. Their primary goal is to breed a cow that is the dairyman's dream; a profitable, trouble-free animal that can work well in various management situations. They are using approximately 75 percent genomic young bulls in their breeding and flush programs, as well as genomic testing many calves as soon as they are born to assist in marketing decisions. The Lambs' progressive strategy is paying off, with 46 cows currently found on the Locator List, and over 70 bulls marketed to A.I. They utilize an intense ET and IVF program, implanting over 2,800 embryos in the past year, and performing in vitro work at least twice a month in their certified on-farm IVF satellite facility.
Active members of their county and state Holstein associations, Jonathan and Alicia have been longtime advisors for the Nioga County Juniors and enjoyed serving as dairy bowl coaches for both Junior Holstein and 4-H teams. Individually, they're both active with several local, state and national agricultural organizations. Jonathan is on the Erie-Niagara Insurance Association board and has served as a Holstein Association USA director for the past three years, recently re-elected to his second term. Alicia currently serves on the boards of the National Holstein Women's Scholarship Organization (NHWSO) and National Dairy Shrine, and has been an official at the national dairy judging contests at World Dairy Expo and the North American International Livestock Exposition.
The Regan family of Regancrest Farm in Waukon, Iowa, was honored as the 2012 Elite Breeder award recipients. The Elite Breeder award annually recognizes a Holstein Association USA member or partnership who has bred quality Registered Holstein cattle, improving the overall quality of the breed.
Regancrest was established in 1951, by William & Angella Regan and family, and today the operation continues strong as a partnership between their four sons, Ron, Charlie, Bill and Frank. Many grandchildren are also an integral part of day-to-day operations on the dairy, with each family member playing a key role. This team approach has garnered numerous accolades, including being named National Dairy Shrine's 2006 Distinguished Cattle Breeder, and World Dairy Expo's 2007 Dairymen of the Year. In 1999, work was completed on a new facility with milking capacity of 600 cows, and the Regans are currently planning an expansion to 900 cows. Their rolling herd average is currently over 25,000 pounds of milk with 3.8% fat and 3.1% protein, and the farm participates in several Holstein programs, including Holstein COMPLETE and Tag ID. Regancrest's BAA sits at 107.1 on 375 cows, ranking them first in the nation for herds their size in 2011. To date, more than 260 Excellent cows and bulls carry the Regancrest prefix. They are a 21-year Progressive Genetics Herd, with an average CTPI last year of +1740, over 75 of their cows have been recognized as Dams of MeritSM (DOM), and more than 50 have earned Gold Medal DamSM (GMD) status.
With over 430 bulls sold into AI through the years, Regancrest is leaving an undeniable stamp on the Holstein breed worldwide. It was recently reported that, in the Interbull global database, there are more than half a million Holsteins sired by a Regancrest-bred bull. Possibly the most well-known and highly regarded Regancrest bull is Regancrest Elton Durham. In 2007, he became the only bull to win the World Dairy Expo Premier Sire banner at five consecutive International Holstein Shows, and he's known around the world for siring cattle with great type and a strong will to milk.
One of Regancrest's most notable cows is Snow-N Denises Dellia, who the Regans purchased in 1991, as a two-year-old, from Robert Snow in Wisconsin. She eventually went on to score Excellent-95 3E, earned Gold Medal Dam and Dam of Merit recognition, was named the 2005 Global Cow of the Year by Holstein International and was a runner-up in the Queen of the Breed contest. With progeny by 29 bulls, Dellia produced 21 Excellent daughters, two at 94, and 39 classified Very Good, and had 10 Excellent sons, two at 95. Her great-grand daughters are still having a solid impact at the farm today, continuing the tradition of excellence in the family.
Distinguished Leadership Award
Dr. Robert E. Walton of De Forest, Wis., was announced as the 2012 Distinguished Leadership Award honoree. This award is given annually to an individual who has provided outstanding and unselfish leadership to the Holstein Association, or dairy industry as a whole.
Dr. Walton was raised on his family's dairy and livestock farm in Shattuck, Okla. He obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees from Oklahoma State University then went on to earn his Ph.D. at Iowa State University. From there, he headed to University of Kentucky where he was a professor and successful dairy judging coach; his teams won the 1958 Chicago International and the 1959 National Championship at Waterloo.
In 1962, Bob moved to De Forest, Wis. to join American Breeders Service (ABS), as a geneticist. His goal was to find a way to measure the genetic value of bulls, developing Progeny Test programs. Through his use of this population genetics data, he came up with a calculation for "Estimated Daughter Superiority" which was adopted in 1965 by USDA, and known to all of us today as "Predicted Difference."
Walton has given his time to numerous organizations through his decades of service in the industry. He was a founding member of the Holstein Foundation board of trustees, and remains a generous supporter today. He also is World Dairy Expo's longest seated board member, serving from 1971 until 2008. His leadership accolades have been recognized by many, and he has been honored as the 1982 World Dairy Expo Industry Person of the Year, 1985 National Dairy Shrine Guest of Honor, 1986 National Association of Animal Breeders Distinguished Service Award winner, and received the 1991 American Dairy Science Association Distinguished Service Award. A culmination of his career at ABS, their Distribution Center was named in his honor in 2005.