Holstein Association USA’s Elite Performer™ recognition is given to cows that any dairyman would love to milk – cows with desirable conformation, who calve in consistently and produce high volumes of milk components. In the award’s seventh year, 330 cows have earned National Elite Performer honors, and 324 cows have been designated as Regional Elite Performers.
For a cow to qualify for the Elite Performer recognition, cows must meet the following criteria to be considered: complete at least three lactations in a herd participating in Holstein Association USA's TriStarSM program, completing the most recent lactation in the previous calendar year; be classified Very Good-85 or higher; and be at least 87% Registered Holstein Ancestry.
Eligible cows across the country are then ranked based on pounds of combined fat and protein per day in milk. The top one percent receive the National Elite Performer award. Those National Elite Performers are then removed from consideration and the top one percent of eligible cows from each of the nine regions are honored as Regional Elite Performers. Elite Performer recognition is a lifetime award. The cut-off for combined pounds of fat and protein produced per day in milk for the National Elite Performer list was 8.23. The highest ranking 2020 National Elite Performer cow produced an incredible 11.84 pounds of fat and protein per day in milk.
The 330 National Elite Performers are owned by 78 different breeders from 14 different states. The 324 Regional Elite Performers are owned by 162 different breeders from 23 different states, and the regional counts break down as follows: Region 1 (NY & the New England states) – 47 cows; Region 2 (DE, MD, NJ, PA, & WV) – 54 cows; Region 3 (MI, OH, IL, & IN) – 37 cows); Region 4 (Southeastern states) – 10 cows; Region 5 (WI) – 90 cows; Region 6 (IA, MN, ND, NE, & SD) – 32 cows; Region 7 (AR, KS, MO, NM, OK, & TX) – 12 cows; Region 8 (CO, ID, MT, OR, UT, WA, & WY) – 13 cows; and Region 9 (AZ, CA, & NV) – 29 cows.
You can view a complete list of both National and Regional Elite Performer honorees at www.holsteinusa.com, then click on Awards in the main menu, and select the Elite Performer tab.