Milk-n-More Tequila Naomi, a 7-year-old Jersey bred and owned by Milk-n-More Farms of Cecil, Wis., was named the 2019 Wisconsin Cow of the Year. Naomi was recognized with the honor at a special ceremony Oct. 2 during World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. The award was presented to the family by Brad Pfaff, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and 72nd Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin.
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. The honor rotates among Wisconsin’s seven major dairy breeds — Guernsey, Ayrshire, Holstein, Red and White Holstein, Brown Swiss, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn — with the Jersey recognized this year.
Milk-n-More Farms is owned by Ron and Nicolle Wussow, who purchased the fifth-generation farm from Nicolle’s parents, Roy and Mary Ellen Fischer, in 1999.
Nicolle says family members, who have been showing Jerseys competitively since 2005, “knew Naomi was special from the time she was in the hutches. It was easy to see she was a complete calf, and she went on to use that overall style, balance and correctness in the show ring.”
After a successful summer show season, Naomi was named 2012 reserve junior All-American winter calf at the All-American Junior Jersey Show, and reserve junior All-Wisconsin winter calf. In 2014, she showed true promise as a senior 2-year-old and again won reserve junior All-American and reserve junior All-Wisconsin laurels. As a 4-year-old, she won 2016 All-Wisconsin honors. In 2017, she earned grand champion honors at the Junior Show at the Wisconsin Spring Showcase, and she placed ninth in the 5-year-old class at the All-American Junior Show.
While Naomi’s show ring career is impressive, she also is productive on the farm. She has a lifetime production record of 115,010 pounds of milk; 5,068 pounds of fat; and 3,796 pounds of protein. During her top year, she produced 28,560 pounds of milk, with a 4.2% fat test for 1,208 pounds of fat and 3.2% protein for 910 pounds of protein, with a total cheese yield of 3,141 pounds. Her first appraisal score was Very Good-89%, was later raised to Excellent-91%, and in 2017 was Excellent-93%.
Nicolle says Naomi has been a blessing to the family throughout the years. “She was one of our children’s favorite 4-H project animals, with her sweet disposition and seeming love to compete at the shows,” she says.
The Wussows’ daughter, Kaila, is a University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate who works for the American Jersey Cattle Association as assistant director of communications. She resides in Twentynine Palms, Calif., with her husband, Joseph Tauchen, a graduate of UW-RF and a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Wussows’ son, Colin, is a sophomore at UW-RF majoring in ag business with minors in dairy science and crop science. The Wussows are active members of the Wisconsin Jersey Breeders Association.