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Sixteen Registered Holstein® breeders have earned the distinction of 2018 Herd of Excellence by Holstein Association USA. There are three herd size divisions, Small Herd (10-99 cows), Medium Herd (100-499 cows), and Large Herd (500+ cows). Each division is based on the number of cows included in Mature Equivalent (ME) production averages for each herd.

The Herd of Excellence designation honors Registered Holstein breeders who have developed Holstein herds that excel in both production and type.

To be recognized with this accolade, herds must have classified within the last year and have an age-adjusted average classification score of 83 points or higher; have at least 70 percent of the herd homebred; and be enrolled in the Association's TriStarSM production records program. Additionally, qualifying herds must meet the following production criteria:

  • Large Herd Division - 15 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein
  • Medium Herd Division - 20 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein
  • Small Herd Division - 25 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein

Of the 16 herds, two are first year recipients – Charles M. Maurer, Maurer Farm, Chilton, Wis. and Darrell & Bonita Richard, Darita Holsteins, Goshen, Ind.

Bruce, Brenda & Bret Long, B-Long Holsteins, New London, Wis. and Hilrose Holsteins, Sherwood, Wis. both received the award eight years. Thomas J. Kestell, Ever-Green-View Farms, Waldo, Wis. is a nine-year recipient.

This year’s honorees are:

Large Herd Division:

- The Siemers Family, Siemers Holstein Farms Inc, Newton, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 35,750M 1,389F 1,070P

- The Migliazzo Family, Dinomi Holsteins, Atwater, Calif.

ME Production Averages – 35,344M 1,331F 1,129P

- Bradley Cates, Co-Vale Holsteins, Preble, N.Y.

ME Production Averages – 31,164M 1,256F 970P

Medium Herd Division:

- The Koepke Family, Koepke Farms Inc., Oconomowoc, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 34,719M 1,430F 1,042P

- The Koester Family, Koester Dairy Inc., Dakota, Ill.

ME Production Averages – 33,856M 1,343F 1,059P

- Daniel J. & Nancy Pagenkopf, Paradise-D Holsteins, Lancaster, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 32,694M 1,359F 1,003P

- Charles M. Maurer, Maurer Farm, Chilton, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 32,734M 1,251F 998P

Small Herd Division:

- S. Scott & April D. Cooper, Appealing Holsteins, Delta, Pa.

ME Production Averages – 37,484M 1,395F 1,127P

- George Malkemus & Anthony Yurgaitis, Arethusa Farm LLC, Litchfield, Conn.

ME Production Averages – 37,110M 1,349F 1,158P

- Bruce, Brenda & Bret Long, B-Long Holsteins, New London, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 35,341M 1,332F 1,092P

- Thomas J. Kestell, Ever-Green-View Holsteins, LLC, Waldo, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 40,015M 1,592F 1,219P

- Grafton County Farm, Grafco Holsteins, North Haverhill, N.H.

ME Production Averages – 33,970M 1,347F 1,051P

- Jeffrey A. & Kate Hendrickson, Jeffrey-Way Holsteins, Belleville, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 33,695M 1,256F 1,061P

- Joseph A. Brantmeier, Hilrose Holsteins, Sherwood, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 33,420M 1,254F 1,001P

- John W. & Evelyn A. Hamilton, Hill-Ton Holsteins, Cuba City, Wis.

ME Production Averages – 35,181M 1,322F 1,082P

- Darrell & Bonita Richard, Darita Holsteins, Goshen, Ind.

ME Production Averages – 34,402M 1,565F 1,067P

Since its beginning in 2008, the Herd of Excellence honor has become one of the most coveted Holstein Association USA awards. These 16 Holstein breeders are acknowledged for having mastered the art of breeding balanced cattle – exceptional conformation paired with high production. Congratulations to the 2018 Herd of Excellence honorees.

The awards will be presented during Holstein Association USA’s 134th Annual Meeting in Appleton, Wisconsin on June 26, 2019.

Read more about these remarkable herds in the Spring 2019 issue of The Pulse. Select pages of The Pulse are available online at under the Latest News tab, then click The Pulse.

Holstein Association USA, Inc.,, provides products and services to dairy producers to enhance genetics and improve profitability–ranging from registry processing to identification programs to consulting services.

The Association, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vt., maintains the records for Registered Holsteins® and represents approximately 30,000 members throughout the United States.