Feb. 28 2012 06:24 AM

Genetic and genomic giant, Picston Shottle, has added one more credential to his long list of accomplishments.

Picston ShottleWith a stronghold on the Holstein Association USA's TPI List, Shottle stood on top for seven consecutive sire summaries. He remains a top 25 TPI sire himself and has seven sons who join him on the TPI List. Housed and collected in the United Kingdom, this industry icon has produced over 1 million units of semen, raising the total number of bulls accomplishing this feat to 43. With the addition of Shottle, ABS Global now has 11 millionaire sires, tying Semex.

The first millionaire sire was Fisher-Place Mandingo-Twin, who reached 1 million units in 1994. Comestar Holsteins of Quebec, Canada, has bred four millionaire sires, leading all prefixes. The Kentucky herd of Lutz-Brookview has bred a pair of millionaire bulls, Bell Rex and Burt. Also with influence on the list is Paradise Valley Farm of Ohio with two bulls, Mathie and End-Road-PVF Boliver.

When looking over the bulls, one wonders what has elevated them to millionaire status? To reach this level, bulls must have top genetic transmitting ability, appeal to numerous cattle breeders, be structurally sound to withstand years of semen collection, excel at semen production, and have an ideal temperament for frequent handling. It goes without saying that a strong international marketing program is also needed, as some bulls have sold their semen in over 50 countries.

There are several lineage combinations represented. A three-generation millionaire sire stack includes Aerostar, his son, Rudolph, and Rudolph's son, Champion. Blackstar is the leading sire with three sons in the group. Valiant, Bell, Starbuck, Aerostar, Manfred, Mtoto, Atlas (NZ) and BW Marshall each have two sons represented.

So, while there are only a few sire/son combinations, some key bulls appear on both sides of the pedigree. The reasons for their individual popularity are as unique as the bulls themselves. The honors for transmitting superior genetics are included in the chart for U.S. and Canadian sires. Gold Medal, Class Extra, Superior Type, and Superior Production honors are seen in all but nine sires; however, eight of them are from New Zealand and the Netherlands where these honors do not exist.

Listing of bulls producing over 1 million units of semenClick on the image to download the pdf. The bulls are listed by birthdate and bulls in bold have achieved production of 1.5 million units. Original listing of bulls compiled by Holstein International (2010).

Descriptions of honors:
Gold Medal Sire recognition is given by the Holstein Association USA twice each year. Bulls must meet the minimum TPI level. They also must have a reliability of at least 90 percent for PTA Fat and PTA Type. The third requirement is that the bull must be free of undesirable recessive and enzyme deficiencies. Gold Medal status is a permanent honor.

Class Extra- Holstein Canada recognized sires as Class Extra, which requires elite standards for both production and conformation.

Superior Production - Holstein Canada honors sires having combined genetic indexes for Fat and Protein in the top 5 percent of the Canadian sire population. Sires must have a reliability of at least 85 percent.

Superior Type – Holstein Canada also honors bulls that transmit type. Sires winning this award are within the top 5 percent of the sire population for their type proof (Conformation, Mammary System, Feet & Legs, Dairy Strength, Rump) and with a reliability of at least 85 percent.