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Milking Shorthorn from Oconomowoc is 2017 Wisconsin Cow of the Year

Kathy DeBruin Mapleton Valley Farms’ cow “Loola"
COW OF THE YEAR: Mapleton Valley Farms’ cow Loola will be honored at a ceremony during World Dairy Expo.
Mapleton Valley Farms’ cow will be honored Oct. 3 at World Dairy Expo.

Mapleton Vly LT Borroloola, a 7-year-old Milking Shorthorn bred and owned by Mapleton Valley Farms LLC of Oconomowoc, Wis., is the 2017 Wisconsin Cow of the Year. Borroloola will be recognized with the honor at a ceremony on Oct. 3 during World Dairy Expo.

Rotating honor
Each year, a different Wisconsin purebred cattle association selects a cow to represent her breed as the Cow of the Year at World Dairy Expo, with the honor rotated annually among the seven major dairy breeds: Guernsey, Ayrshire, Holstein, Red and White Holstein, Brown Swiss, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn. The Milking Shorthorn will be recognized this year.

Affectionately known as Loola, the 2017 Cow of the Year has Australian roots. In 2008, the Agnew family, owners of Mapleton Valley Farms, purchased a heifer consigned by the Alpha Syndicate featuring outstanding embryo-transfer offspring of several breeds. The heifer, Alfa Treble Bailey EXP ET, resulted from embryos imported to the United States from Australia by the Alpha Syndicate. The Australian Illawarra donor, Meadowhaven Blossom 460th, was champion at the Melbourne Show.

This heifer, Bailey, offered at public sale, presented Mapleton Valley with an opportunity to add a special cow family to its herd. Loola is Bailey’s natural calf and is classified 3E-92 at 7 years old. She is sired by an All-American, Innisfail Lothario. Loola’s embryo transfer sister sold in World Dairy Expo’s World Premier Colored breed sale a few years ago, and Mapleton Valley sold Loola’s first heifer calf privately to a junior dairy enthusiast to start his Milking Shorthorn herd. Born Sept. 10, 2010, Loola recently earned her third E (Excellent) rating. In her first four lactations, she has produced 85,887 pounds of milk with 3.9% fat and 3.0% protein.

Pat and Phyllis Agnew, their daughter Katie and son Tom, Tom’s wife, Keely, and their children Bryn and Blake, all contribute to farm operations at Mapleton Valley Farms. Their 60-cow milking herd has been on the Dairy Herd Improvement Association with the Dodge County Testing Association since the early 1960s. The farm has been in the Agnew family since 1907. Pat and Phyllis started their Milking Shorthorn herd in 1978, receiving their first animal as a wedding gift from special friends. Both Pat and Katie have served as AMSS national directors, and Tom has judged shows from local to national levels. Katie is a high school science teacher, and Tom also owns a dairy farm supply company.

Wisconsin Cow of the Year is a special honor for the Agnews, as Phyllis’ family bred and owned the first Milking Shorthorn to be honored. Willard and Sylvia Gerner, along with their son Jeff and his wife, Monica, showed Weg Acres Major’s Faith at World Dairy Expo as the breed’s first recipient of the honor in 1983.

What’s in a name?
The Agnews decided to choose unique Australian city names for the offspring from Bailey — thus, Borroloola.

The Cow of the Year ceremony is organized annually by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The 2017 ceremony will be held at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison during the Milking Shorthorn Heifer Show. The award will be presented by the interim DATCP secretary and 70th Alice in Dairyland Crystal Siemers-Peterman.

This year’s World Dairy Expo is Oct. 3-7 in Madison.

Source: Wisconsin DATCP

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