Based on anecdotal exit polls, the Guernsey calf may have been helped by anti-Jersey sentiment, rather than actual Guernsey love.
by Lucas Sjostrom, Associate Editor, Hoard's Dairyman
Hundreds of votes are in from all over the world; in a landslide election, our Guernsey calf beat our Jersey with a final tally of 55.6 percent to 44.4 percent at 8 a.m. After the polls officially closed, the Jersey calf began to battle back.
Obviously, the race came down to the swing states. In this case, as Ohio went, so went the country. With headquarters for both the Jersey and Guernsey camps, we expected more of a race. But Guernsey overtook Ohio by a 2-to-1 margin over Jersey.
Dairy-minded states like Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Vermont all had higher than expected voter turnout. Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland also contributed in a higher-than-expected proportion.
Amazingly, Jersey herd strongholds California and Wisconsin were very weak for the Jersey calf. California was won by the Guernsey calf, following suit of Oregon and Washington. Wisconsin actually leaned to the Guernsey calf 2-to-1 over the Jersey calf.
Canada went Guernsey, as did Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan. The Jersey calf triumphed in New Zealand, Singapore, Holland and Kenya.
Pro-Guernsey calf, or anti-Jersey sentiment?
As with all contentious elections this year, we never know if people are voting for a candidate, or just against one they vehemently disagree with. Of the dozens of comments received, nearly 15 percent mentioned a breed not even competing in this election (Holstein, Brown Swiss and Normande).
Others used slang terms like "Guerndogs" and "Swamp-goats" to describe the breeds, leading us to believe that those who did not own Guernseys or Jerseys were simply betting against their least favorite breed.
Now that the campaigning is complete, the Guernsey calf out of Grumpy will be on its throne until the next election. Votes spanned over 35 states and 5 of the 6 inhabited continents (South America had no votes) in just 20 hours time.
Webinar next Monday: Transition cows are a focus of every farm. Are yours being fed and handled correctly? On Monday, June 11, Jim Drackley of the University of Illinois will present "Feeding and handling of transition cows" in the June edition of the Hoard's Dairyman webinar series. Tune in Monday at noon Central time by registering today at www.hoards.com/webinars. This webinar is brought to you by Elanco and its portfolio of dairy products.
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