Aug. 4 2011 07:08 AM

Homebred Iowa Holstein herd ranks near top for type

Vernice and Dan Moon, Monona, Iowa, have been named the third Robert "Whitey" McKown Master Breeder Award winner which will be presented at the 45th World Dairy Expo.

The winner of the McKown Master Breeder Award is chosen by the members of the Klussendorf Association. The award honors a well-managed breeder herd who emphasizes all qualities of the Klussendorf Award, including ability, character, endeavor, and sportsmanship.

Vernice and Dan Moon's Moondale Holstein herd fits every criteria of the award. Vernice and Dan, along with Vernice's wife, Bev; Dan's wife, Nancy; and Dan and Nancy's children, Kyle, Emily, and Ryan, also are involved with Moondale Holsteins. (Shown in the 2005 photo is the Moon family who provided the Holstein Class for the 75th Anniversary Hoard's Dairyman Cow Judging Contest.)

The Moondale prefix began in 1962 when Dan's father, Vernice, began buying registered Holsteins. Since that initial purchase, the 50-cow herd has become a well-recognized breeding establishment. In the past 50 years, the Moons have bred 134 Excellent cows. Of those, 23 are Excellent 92; 11, EX-93; 5, EX-94; and 2, EX-95 with the highest being EX-95 4E. In addition, the herd has bred six Gold Medal Dams (GMD) and five Dams of Merit (DOM).

The Moons are 17-year recipients of the Progressive Breeders Registry (PBR) Award given annually to the nation's top type and production herds. This past year, the Moon's homebred herd averaged 112.4 breed age average (BAA) for type which ranked them in the top 25 herds in the nation.

At their most recent classification, they had a 113 BAA with 26 Excellent cows, 20 Very Good, with none lower. In the past, the Moondale herd ranked as high as fifth nationally for BAA competing side-by-side with operations that have a higher percentage of purchased animals.

No stranger to the show ring, the Moons have won the Premier Breeder banner at the Iowa State Holstein Show for 16 of the past 19 years. Additionally, they have been Premier Breeder 11 times. In 2007, Moondale Stephanie was Reserve All-American 5-Year-Old Cow after placing second in her class at World Dairy Expo.

The Robert "Whitey" McKown Memorial Breeder Award was made possible by the family and friends of the 1997 Honorary Klussendorf honoree.