The Wood Area Holstein Breeders, in coordination with the Wisconsin Holstein Association, hosted the annual Adult Holstein Convention at the Holiday Inn in Marshfield, Wis., February 19-20, 2016. Over 200 Holstein breeders from across the state were in attendance for meetings and to receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments in 2015.
The convention kicked off Friday afternoon with Wisconsin Holstein committee meetings, held to discuss new and old business for 2015 and the upcoming year ahead. Following meetings, Kim Bremmer of Ag Inspirations led a discussion on sustainability in agriculture, and how Wisconsin Holstein producers can better help people understand how their daily tasks may be better aligned with consumer values than previously thought. Kim shared valuable insight on how Holstein breeders can share their stories with the consumer to promote the dairy industry and food production in its entirety.
After the Friday evening dinner, the seventh annual Wisconsin Convention Futures Sale kicked off, sponsored by Wisconsin Holstein's Young Adult Committee. The Futures sale averaged just under $5,500 on 25 lots that included heifers and choices from some of the state's most prominent cow families. High seller at $21,000 was Lot #7, consigned by Golfing Partners of Fall Creek, and purchased by Dennis and Charlene Dehnke of Fall Creek, Wis. Golfing Danetta Rae-Red-ET, a September 2015 heifer with a GTPI of +2513 and the number six GTPI Red heifer of the breed, is an exciting young female from the Debutante family.
Second high seller was Lot #1 from Synergy Farm LLC of Pulaski, Wis., at $13,500. The lot included a choice of two Rubicon daughters from Synergy Suprsre Strategy-ET, a cow with two sons at Alta Genetics and 11 daughters over +2.00 for Udder Composite. She was purchased by TJR Genetics of Farley, Iowa.
Rounding out the top three was Lot #3 at $8,500. Lot 3 was a choice of two, September 2015 Atwood heifers from Blondin Goldwyn Subliminal-ETS, the EX-95 Supreme Champion of the Junior Show at World Dairy Expo. The pick was purchased by Brian Greenman of Waukesha, Wis., and consigned by Budjon Farms and Peter and Lyn Vail of Lomira.
The Futures Sale also featured an embryo lot to benefit the Wisconsin Holstein Juniors. Wilstar Holsteins and Troy Opsal generously donated a package of four Defender embryos from Cava-Lanes Merlin Dolly-ET, EX-92 2E DOM. Dolly has a son at International Protein Sires and her offspring have consistently genomic tested higher than parent average. This embryo package was purchased by Aaron Hass of Evansville, Wis.
Friday night was capped off with an outstanding presentation from former Green Bay Packer, Mark Tauscher. Tauscher told his story of growing up on the farm and the struggles and challenges he faced on his path to playing for the Wisconsin Badgers and in the National Football League. WHA members were able to ask questions following his talk, which featured topics from concussions in football to the quirks and differences of the two elite quarterbacks he was able to play with in the NFL. Having the opportunity to listen and talk with Mark was one of the highlights of convention for many attendees.
Saturday morning kicked off with a round panel discussion on milk production, including Wisconsin Holstein breeders Steve and Amanda Killian, Tom Kestell, and Dan Siemers. This was a fantastic opportunity for attendees to get input from high-producing herds in the state.
Following the round table presentation, the 2015 Wisconsin Top Performer cows were announced. Recognized were cows owned by Aaron Hass of Evansville, Siemers Holsteins of Newton, Legacy Farms of Shell Lake, Valley Drive Holsteins LLC of Campbellsport and Tom Kestell of Waldo. Receiving the overall Top Performer was Tom Kestell's cow, Farnear Shottle Favorite-ET, VG-87, with a record of 48,434M with 2724F and 1424P. Also recognized were owners of cows that have produced 300,000 and 400,000 pounds of lifetime milk.
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. Four new board members were elected to serve a three-year term: Steve Endres of Waunakee, Joseta Halbur of Eden, Heather Jauquet of Pulaski and Bryan Stremcha of Bangor. Erica Ullom of Bloomer was elected to fill a one-year term vacated by Dan Cnossen. Retiring board members included Paula Bovre of Fond du Lac, Marci Walker of Wisconsin Dells, Chris McCullough of Juda, and Todd Borgwardt of Valders.
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 John D. Weuthrich, the cow Krull Broker Elegance, bred by Brian and Cindy Krull and developed by Budjon Farms and Joel Kietzman, and the bull KHW Kite Advent-Red-ET, bred by KHW Genetics and developed and marketed by Wayne Glaeser.
When people hear the name John D. Wuethrich, many think of Grassland butter, the largest independent butter creamery in the U.S. The John that the Clark County Holstein breeders knew and loved was referred to as Mr. Holstein. John D. knew butter was his business, but Holsteins were his love. He was a cultivator of people in the Registered Holstein business, and served as a mentor and promoter to many in Clark County and his family. From a 4-H dairy leader helping kids trim their show heifer's hooves to taking a car load of people to National Holstein Convention each year, John D. was a supreme advocate of the Registered Holstein industry, living out his love affair while the members of the Holstein industry were able to benefit from it.
Krull Broker Elegance, EX-96 3E GMD DOM, was developed into a Holstein matriarch with the help of Budjon Farms and Joel Kietzman. This All-American dam has descendants that have made an impact worldwide. She is the only cow that is a member of three generations of EX-95 scored cows that were all nominated All-American. With 68 classified daughters, an outstanding 94 percent of them have been scored VG or EX. Elegance is also the only cow whose descendants alone won the Premier Breeder banner at World Dairy Expo six times. There are very few cows in the breed that have had an impact like Elegance, and her credentials more than qualify her for the recognition of becoming a Wall of Fame cow.
KHW Kite Advent-Red-ET, bred by Ryan Weigel, Platteville, and Ryan Kamps, Belmont, has produced 22,000 daughters in nine different countries, including 4,000 in Japan. A seven-time Premier Sire at World Dairy Expo, he has over 12,300 classified daughters and has maintained +1.66 PTA for Type. Advent has sired countless show winners, All-Americans and All-Canadians. Holstein breeders Wayne and Beth Glaeser of JLG Enterprises in Oakdale, California, took a chance on Advent after he failed his initial health tests for Select Sires, and with the help of their distribution network, he was able to become the prominent red sire he is known as today.
Following the awards luncheon, the afternoon was highlighted by farm tours to Honey-Pine Holsteins, the Pat and Mary Ledden family, Duckett Holsteins, the Mike and Julie Duckett family, and Tree-Hayven Holsteins, the Adam Borchert family.
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 award recognized Smithcrest Holsteins, Matt and Kate and Travis and Holly Smith of Watertown, Wis. Honored with Distinguished Service recognition was the late Bill Hageman of Fond du Lac, Wis. Receiving the prestigious Distinguished Breeder honor was Jeff and Kate Hendrickson, Jeffrey-Way Holsteins of Belleville, Wis.
Twenty years ago, Matt Smith made the decision to purchase his first Registered Holstein heifer. In 1996, he and brother Travis began breeding under the Smith-Crest prefix, and in 2005, the Smith brothers began farming in partnership. They currently milk 92 cows with a rolling herd average of 25,514 pounds milk, with 1080 pounds fat and 816 pounds protein. The herd includes 31 Excellent, 50 Very Good and 11 Good Plus cows, with none lower. The Smiths have had seven national show class winners, and five national championship show winners. Exhibiting their Registered Holsteins at shows has been the most beneficial marketing strategy for Smith-Crest Holsteins, as it has increased awareness and interest in the herd throughout the industry. The Smith family focuses on breeding and developing balanced cows capable of high production and classification scores. Smith-Crest has had success with cow families founded by Rotesown Gibson Ideal, EX-94 and Willows-Edge Durham Virgo, EX-91, with Miss Hot Mama-Red-ET exhibiting a tremendous amount of promise as an up-and-comer. The Smiths look forward to the future opportunities these cows and other matriarchs in their herd will bring.
Bill Hageman was a proud, honest and compassionate man who cherished his family, his faith, and the Holstein cow. His passion for farming and love of the Registered Holstein cow encouraged the challenge of the perfect mating on cows in the Hageman herd. Bill was a mentor to many young dairymen, and credits Gene Nelson of Gray View Farms for being his mentor and supporting and encouraging his passion for breeding strong cow families. Bill was a dedicated Wisconsin Holstein member, being named Outstanding Holstein Boy in 1960 and serving as a state director for six years and association president in 1988. He served as a volunteer for more than 20 years at World Dairy Expo in the make-up area, measuring and checking the topline hair on every animal at the show. Bill served Wisconsin Holstein in a similar capacity, as he was a treasured volunteer at both the spring and state shows for many, many years.
Distinguished Breeders Jeff and Kate Hendrickson of Jeffrey-Way Holsteins are the definition of a family farm. The Hendricksons have been recognized with Progressive Breeder recognition for 23 years, and Progressive Genetic recognition for 19 years. They have merchandised embryos and bulls around the world, and have bred or developed 146 Excellent cows to date, with one scoring EX-95 and an additional eight at EX-94. They have also bred or developed 21 Gold Medal Dams and four Dams of Merit. With a BAA of 112.1, their herd of 93 cows has a rolling herd average of 28,4567 pounds milk, with 4.02% 1143 fat and 3.19% 908 protein. The Hendricksons credit Inwood Taffy Apollo, an EX-93 daughter of Wayne-Spring Fond Apollo that Jeff purchased from John Auestad of Argyle in 1982 for paving the way, as 90 percent of the current herd can be traced back to her. The Hendricksons focus on breeding high-scoring cows with high production over a number of lactations. They have been tremendous leaders in the industry, serving on boards, hosting tours, and serving as mentors to their children that have entered the industry on their own.
Also honored at the Saturday evening banquet were outstanding advertisements in the Wisconsin Holstein News in 2015. Taking top ad honors for the year was Ragnar Holsteins, the Mark and Angie Ulness family of Valders, Wis.
The WHA Board of Directors met at the conclusion of the convention to elect officers for the upcoming year. Newly elected officers are President Kevin Jorgensen of Waupun, Vice President Chad Ryan of Fond du Lac and Secretary Kent Wendorf of Viroqua, with Pam Selz-Pralle of Humbird and Craig Carncross of Lodi 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.
Wisconsin Holstein is a not-for-profit membership organization with the purpose of promoting the Wisconsin Registered Holstein Breed and its breeders and owners. For more information visit the WHA website at http://www.wisholsteins.com.