This year’s Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder is encouraged by her family’s history and is committed to advancing the dairy herd into the future. Holstein Association USA is proud to recognize Sheri L. Regan-Danhof of Waukon, Iowa, as the 2019 Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder.
Sheri’s grandparents, William and Angela, started the farm with Guernsey and grade Holstein cows in 1951. In those early years, it was William’s progressive vision that advanced the herd. William was the first in the county to participate in DHIA testing, to use artificial insemination and employ embryo transfer.
The foundation William instilled in his children and grandchildren remains the core of what they do at Regancrest. They work every day to be better and perfect the art of breeding.
With 1,200 acres as her childhood playground, Sheri always enjoyed days spent on the farm, whether it was feeding calves, milking cows or helping with registrations and classification. Working alongside her dad, Frank Regan, she was provided with a lot of learning opportunities.
After attending Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar to study business, Sheri returned to the farm and is now a partner in Regancrest Holsteins. She is actively involved in the genetics side of their operation, working to breed a better cow with each generation.
Sheri’s thirst for genetics stems from many visits with people from countries like Japan, Korea or China, who came to the farm for sought-after genetics. She enjoyed that side of the business and it is important to her that they maintain their position in the domestic and international genetic marketplace.
Currently, the 900-cow herd at Regancrest Holsteins is milked three times a day in a double-16 herringbone parlor. They made the decision to go to three-times-a-day milking five years ago, in an effort to maximize stall space, parlor load and the number of cows in the herd. Overall herd health has improved since cows are being seen more often, Sheri says.
At Regancrest, one of the most instrumental cows for Sheri was Regancrest-PR Barbie. Barbie epitomized the type that the breed was needing at the time, alongside the high index. She became a well-known name worldwide and helped advance herd genetics for dairy producers around the globe.
Sheri describes Barbie as a well-balanced cow, with a wide rump and beautiful udder, and perfect feet and legs. Barbie was the foundation for cows that are thrifty, adapt to their environment and don’t require a lot of extra work.
“Being part of Holstein USA, I think it is very simple to say that they offer the opportunity to maximize and bring added profit to your cows,” Regan-Danhof says. “They combine so much data that is out there for us to use, which in turn helps us to merchandise our best cow’s progeny. We’ve really seen that true since the start of our farm back in the 50’s through today.”
Sheri and her husband, Jason, share an enthusiasm for breeding, owning and developing fine animals. Together, they have developed the Danhof prefix.
When Sheri returns home each night, she knows that tomorrow is a new day — calves will be born, representing new opportunities for the herd. She knows there is always more to learn, to experience and goals to set for the operation’s future.
About the Award
The Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award recognizes significant accomplishments of young Registered Holstein® breeders for their commitment to preserving the dairy industry and for achieving excellence in their daily lives. Regan-Danhof was recently honored during the 2019 National Holstein Convention in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Holstein Association USA, Inc., www.holsteinusa.com, 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.