Baraboo, Wis. – March 2, 2017…The Calumet County Holstein Breeders, in coordination with the Wisconsin Holstein Association, hosted the annual Adult Holstein Convention at the Radisson Paper Valley in Appleton, Wis., February 24-25, 2017. Over 200 Holstein breeders from across the state were in attendance for meetings and to receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments in 2016.
The convention kicked off Friday afternoon with Wisconsin Holstein committee meetings, held to discuss new and old business for 2016 and the upcoming year ahead. Following meetings, Andy Junkin of Agriculture Strategy led a discussion on farm transition, and how Wisconsin Holstein producers can improve communication among family members to keep the family name on the mailbox through the shift in farm ownership. Andy shared valuable insight on how Holstein breeders can work together to resolve conflict and keep their businesses intact for generations to come.
At the Friday evening meal, the 2016 Wisconsin Top Performer cows were announced. Recognized were cows owned by Legacy Farms of Shell Lake and Tom Kestell of Waldo. Receiving the overall Top Performer was Tom Kestell’s five-year-old cow, Ever-Green-View Etax-ET, EX-90, with a record of 48,224 pounds milk, 2526 pounds of fat and 1628 pounds of protein. Also recognized were owners of cows that have produced 300,000 and 400,000 pounds of lifetime milk.
After the Friday evening dinner, the eighth annual Wisconsin Convention Futures Sale kicked off, sponsored by Wisconsin Holstein’s Young Adult Committee. The Futures sale averaged just over $6,100 on 26 lots that included heifers and choices from some of the state’s most prominent cow families. High seller at $33,500 was Lot #2, consigned by Larson Acres of Evansville, and purchased by Cal-Roy-AI Partners of Tracy, California. Lars-Acres Jedi Forest-ET, a June 2016 Jedi heifer with a GTPI of +2765 is an exciting young female from the Markwell Durham Felice family.
Second high seller was Lot #1 from Shiloh Dairy and the Speirs family of Greenleaf, Wis., at $33,000. Shiloh-USA Flagship Calia-ET is the number three Flagship heifer in the breed from a Kingboy dam due in April. Calia has a GTPI of +2802 and a ton of promise for her new owners, Siemers Holsteins of Newton, Wis.
Rounding out the top three was Lot #8 at $12,500, MS Spknj H-Time Victoria-ET. Victoria is an April 2016 Hang-Time daughter from the Adeens, with +2716 GTPI. She was purchased by John Prososki of Wittenberg, Wis., and consigned by Neil McDonah of Trempealeau, Wis.
The Futures Sale also featured an embryo lot to benefit the Wisconsin Holstein Juniors. Mayerlane Holsteins, Fritzy Ullom and Buchner Embryo Transfer of Bloomer, Wis., generously donated a package of four embryos from Ladinodale Burns Athena-ET*RC, EX-91. Athena hails from the Dreamstreet Enhancer Alicia family, and is backed by eight generations of Excellent dams. This embryo package was purchased by Joseph and Megan Schuh of Freedom, Wis.
Saturday morning kicked off with a round panel discussion on farm transition and was led by Agriculture Strategy founder Andy Junkin. The panel included four Wisconsin Holstein members: Tony Brey of Cycle Farms, Sandy Larson of Larson Acres, Jim Rickert of Rickland Farms, and Dawn Haag of Haag Dairy and Badgerland Financial. Farm transition is not always an easy topic to address, but Andy and the panel did a fantastic job answering the tough questions relating to financials, estate and more.
The annual WHA business meeting was held, and included committee reports from board members who head the various WHA committees and a report on the financial status of the Association. Four new board members were elected to serve a three-year term: Sherry Siemers-Peterman of Newton, Erica Ullom of Bloomer, Sara Feldmann of Howards Grove and Craig Krohlow of Black Creek. Retiring board members included Chad Ryan of Fond du Lac, Kent Wendorf of Viroqua, and Tracy Nelson of Ellsworth.
Following the annual meeting, 40-year and 50-year members and Wall of Fame inductees were honored. This year’s Wall of Fame inductees were the late Elroy Borgwardt of Valders, the cow Scientific Debutante Rae, bred by Matt and Mandy Nunes of Chippewa Falls, and the bull Sandy-Valley Bolton, bred by Sandy-Valley Holsteins and the Bauer family of Scandinavia.
Elroy Borgwardt came from modest beginnings and, along with his brother, took the farm over from their parents. Elroy developed a passion for Registered Holsteins at an early age, and helped to breed and develop one of the industry’s most recognized homebred herds, Sunnyside Holsteins. Over the years, Elroy and his wife Lucinda hosted several Japanese trainees. In addition to developing a great herd, Elroy was extremely active in community affairs, as a long-time member of the school board, a church elder, and chairman of the UW-Madison Dairy Science Advisory Committee for several terms. In 1977, Elroy was awarded the first Wisconsin Distinguished Breeder Award. He was elected President of the WHA board of directors, as were both of his sons, and his grandson served two terms as a board member. Few people have given more resources, time and talents to the industry and their community, and our Holstein industry, and we are honored to recognize Elroy Borgwardt and his efforts.
Scientific Debutante Rae-ET, EX-92 *RC GMD DOM, has made an undeniable impact on the Registered Holstein industry. Bred and developed by the Nunes family of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Debutante excelled in the show ring, taking first four-year-old, best bred and owned, and Reserve Senior and Reserve Grand Champion honors at the 2005 International Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo. An influential dam in the Red and White breed, she was named Holstein International’s Red Impact Cow of the Year in 2010. Debutante had 37 daughters that average 89 points, and 11 sons with ten or more milking daughters. Names of recognizable bulls include Destry, Demo, Director, Drama, Dynasty, Dean, Dusk and Deuce, Dagger and Demello. Debutante and her incredible impact on the Registered Holstein industry are precisely why she is so deserving of Wisconsin Holstein’s Wall of Fame Cow honors.
Sandy-Valley Bolton-ET, bred by brothers David, Patrick, Greg and Frank Bauer of Sandy-Valley Farms in Scandinavia, Wis., was the first bull to ever produce one million units of semen prior to reaching second-crop status. In May 2006, he graduated from ABS’s Cornerstone® program as a daughter-proven sire, and topped the Holstein USA TPI list in August 2006, becoming the first bull to ever top the +2000 TPI mark. Bolton was a top 20 TPI sire for 12 consecutive sire summaries. Bolton’s influence on the breed continues in many dairy segments around the world through his sons – De-Su Gillespy, Coyne-Farms Dorcy-ET, and grandsons Mountfield SSI Dorcy Mogul. Bolton’s ability to sire extreme type, udders and production, along with his ability to produce large volumes of semen, definitely makes him a once in a lifetime kind of bull and very deserving of Wall of Fame honors.
Following the awards luncheon, the afternoon was highlighted by farm tours to Hilrose Holsteins, the Brantmeier family of Sherwood, Wis., and Fer-Crest Holsteins, the Brandon and Shi Ferry family of Hilbert, Wis.
Honored at the Saturday evening banquet was this year’s Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Distinguished Service, and Distinguished Holstein Breeder award winners. This year’s Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award recognized Tree-Hayven Holsteins, Adam Borchert of Auburndale, Wis. Honored with Distinguished Service recognition was Rick and Paula Bovre of Fond du Lac, Wis. Receiving the prestigious Distinguished Breeder honor was Car-Bon Holsteins, Carl and Bonnie Werner of Beaver Dam, Wis.
Adam, Chelsey and Aaliayh of Tree-Hayven Holsteins are a family that is passionate about raising, showing and selling happy, registered animals. Adam purchased his farm in 2001, and his herd now consists of 185 Holsteins, with a rolling herd average on almost 70 cows of 24,659 lbs milk. The herd BAA is 110.7. Showing cattle is where a lot of Adam’s hard work pays off, and Tree-Hayven has had some great showring success stories over the years. In 2016, Tree-Hayven Moregold Design, a winter yearling heifer was named Reserve Junior Champion of the WI Championship Show. In addition, Tree-Hayven Integral Declan had an outstanding run in the Junior Show ring in 2016, and was Nominated Junior All-American. Adam has also bred some outstanding brood cows, including an EX-93 Charles daughter, Tree-Hayven Peppermint Pati. Pati has had a tremendous impact on the herd, and Adam has been able to market many members of this family in sales statewide. A true student of the industry, Adam learned early on that improvement is an essential part of the business. He has never been satisfied with the status quo and works to educate himself on new trends and advancements in the dairy business. Adam’s commitment as a young Holstein breeder shows with the tremendous herd of females he has developed in his Auburndale, Wis., barn.
Webster’s Dictionary defines service as the action of helping or doing work for someone. This year’s recipients of the Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service Award have spent their entire lives working with Registered Holsteins. Rick and Paula Bovre have given countless hours of their time to our industry’s greatest asset, our youth. They have given many hours to their local Holstein club, assisting with area district shows, hosting the state Holstein show, and helping for more than 25 years with the county Holstein sale. Rick and Paula are managing partners in a very successful sales management business, and promotion of the Holstein cow is always their focus. From opening their barn doors to host the first National Judges Conference to hosting showing and fitting clinics, to conducting their 840th sale at the Great Northern this past month, the Bovres always conduct their events with the highest level of professionalism and integrity. Rick and Paula Bovre are a tried and true example of what it means to provide service to the Holstein industry and those professionals and breeders that have had the chance to work with them.
Distinguished Breeders Carl and Bonnie Werner of Car-Bon Holsteins have an incredible passion for breeding great cows. For more than 50 years, Carl and Bonnie have been striving to breed profitable and eye appealing cows with great longevity. The matriarch of the Car-Bon herd, Car-Bon Pete Abby, EX-93-4E, can be traced in 75% of the herd’s pedigrees. The Werners have bred 64 Excellent cows and 208 Very Good cows in a herd of 40 head. They have also had 17 Car-Bon-bred cows recognized with Gold Medal Dam or Dam of Merit status.
Carl and Bonnie held a herd dispersal in 2012 that was one of the most successful sales in the nation. This would have been the end for most breeders, but they kept a few brood cows back to do ET and IVF work on and built a new heifer barn. The Werners continue milking a small herd of cows still today – it’s a passion that is hard to get out of their blood and just one more reason they are so deserving of the Distinguished Breeder award.
Also honored at the Saturday evening banquet were outstanding advertisements in the Wisconsin Holstein News in 2016. Taking top ad honors for the year was Elegance Futures of Lomira.
The WHA Board of Directors met at the conclusion of the convention to elect officers for the upcoming year. Kevin Jorgensen of Waupun, Wis., will serve a second term as President. Vice President will be Craig Carncross of Lodi and Secretary Erica Ullom of Bloomer, with Pam Selz-Pralle of Humbird and Heather Jauquet of Pulaski also serving as Executive Committee members.
The Wisconsin Holstein Association holds its annual convention each year in February. For more information on this or other events, check out the website at www.wisholsteins.com, or call 1-800-223-4269.