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Wisconsin Holstein members convene at Wisconsin Dells

2 cows facing each other in straw
SALE TIME: The Wisconsin Convention Futures Sale averaged more than $6,000 on 18 choice and live lots.
Craig Carncross of Lodi was elected 2018 president of the association.

The District 5 Holstein Breeders, in coordination with the Wisconsin Holstein Association, hosted the annual Adult Holstein Convention at the Wintergreen Resort and Conference Center in the Wisconsin Dells. Nearly 300 Holstein breeders from across the state were in attendance for meetings and to receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments in 2017.

The convention kicked off with a National Wisconsin Delegate Meeting and a Holstein USA town hall forum. Boyd Schaufelberger, Holstein Association USA president, and John Meyer, chief executive officer of Holstein Association USA, kicked off the forum with updates from the national association. Attendees asked questions and then headed to committee meetings following the forum.

The 2017 Wisconsin Top Performer cows were announced. Recognized were cows owned by Selz-Pralle Dairy, Humbird, and Tom Kestell, Waldo. Receiving the overall Top Performer title was Pam Selz-Pralle and Scott Pralle’s 5-year-old cow Selz-Pralle Aftershock 3918 VG-88, with a record of 64,930 pounds of milk, 3,918 pounds of fat and 1,943 pounds of protein. Aftershock 3918 is also the nation’s record holder for milk yield. Also recognized were owners of cows that have produced 300,000 pounds of lifetime milk.

Futures sale
The ninth annual Wisconsin Convention Futures Sale was sponsored by Wisconsin Holstein’s Young Adult Committee. The sale averaged more than $6,000 on 18 choice and live lots, and more than $2,200 on 13 embryo lots. High seller at $49,000 was Lot 5, Pine-Tree 5976 Achi 7691-ET, consigned by Pine-Tree Dairy and purchased by Sexing Technologies Genetics. This heifer is one of the highest net merit$ females to sell at public auction with +1057NM. This consignment also set a sale record for top seller.

The second highest seller was Lot 2 from Siemers Holstein Farms, Newton, at $6,100. Siemers Flagship Brooke 28130 comes from Goldwyn’s maternal line and is +2814 GTPI and +4.4 DPR. She sold to Jason Faria of Dumas, Texas.

Rounding out the top three was Lot 4 at $5,900, Langs-Twin-Elm Dtr Aries-ET, consigned by Floyd and Lloyd Baumann. This June 2017 Detour daughter is +935NM$, +2771 GTPI, +153 CFP, +8.1PL, +2.2 DPR and +2.01 UDC. Her dam, View-Home Jo Amanda-ET, has a +2890 GTPI son. Sexing Technologies was the buyer.

This year there were numerous embryo lots, with the high seller being Lot A, a package of four embryos from Our-Favorite Unlimited EX-93 (two by Crush and two by King Doc) at $4,400. The lot consigned by Todd Stanek.

Robotic milking panel
A panel discussion on robotic milking was held. Attendees heard from dairy farmers Randy Nigh, Viroqua, and Larry Mayer, Chilton, on their experiences using robotic milking systems. The panel also included Kevin Coffeen, a banker and Wisconsin Holstein member, regarding the financials behind robotic milking.

The annual WHA business meeting was held and included committee reports from board members who head the various WHA committees, plus a report on the financial status of the association. Two new board members were elected to serve three-year terms: Ryan Weigel, Platteville, and Robert Cramer Jr., Juda. Pam Selz-Pralle, Humbird, and Craig Carncross, Lodi, were re-elected to serve three-year terms. Retiring board members included Kevin Jorgensen, Waupun, and Bill Calvert, Cuba City.

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 Margaret Rasmussen; the cow Ripvalley NA Bell Tammy, bred by the Rippchen and Ossmann families; and the bull Emerald-Acr-SA T-Baxter, bred by the Ossmann family and Scott Armbrust.

Wall of Fame inductees
Rasmussen is the first woman to be inducted into the WHA Wall of Fame. She and her husband, Norm, helped shape the association into what it is today. Rasmussen was the longtime editor of the Wisconsin Holstein News, a position she grew with as the publication expanded to six times per year. During the 25 years the Rasmussens were active in the association, county and state membership grew and the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association was formed. Rasmussen retired from her role in 1983.

Ripvalley NA Bell Tammy EX-94 GMD DOM was bred by the Rippchens and owned by the Ossmans. To date, Tammy as 1,500 maternal descendants in nine generations and is rated among Bell’s best daughters. Tammy came around in the time protein was just starting to be tested and recognized. This cow was especially good at transmitting type and protein to her offspring. She had 30 daughters and 45 sons, with 33 in AI — eight of these bulls had careers in Japan. Bulls descending from Tammy’s family include Target (by Arlinda Carl), Tonic (by Cletius), Patrick and Baxter, the 2018 Wall of Fame bull.

Emerald-Acr-SA T-Baxter EX-91 found his home at Alta Genetics. A Blitz from Emerald-Acr-SA T-Mallory VG-87 (Mtoto), Baxter was known to create all-around good type cows with solid production. In May 2016, Baxter became a proven sire, and the following year, he was ranked the No. 9 TPI bull. Baxter has the genetics that breeders in Wisconsin, Canada and Europe want and that continue to impact the breed today.

Following the awards luncheon, farm tours to So-Fine Bovines LLC, Westfield, and Walk-Era Farms, Wisconsin Dells, were held.

Banquet honorees
Honored at the banquet were this year’s Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service and Distinguished Holstein Breeder award winners. The Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award recognized Joe and Sarah Sarbacker, Fischerdale Holsteins, Verona.

Joe Sarbacker returned to the family farm after he graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 and now farms with his wife, Sarah, and three daughters. Sarbacker breeds for high type, production and components. He enjoys the challenge of breeding a cow that is profitable in the barn but can also compete in the show ring. This philosophy has garnered two All-American and nine Junior All-American nominations from three homebred cow families, as well a sixth-generation excellent homebred cow. Sarbacker lays out a marketing plan each year to sell genetics. His goal is to improve production to 30,000 pounds of milk and 1,000 pounds of fat and protein, as well as increase his breed age average to 111.

The Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service award honored David Selner of the National Dairy Shrine. Selner is a longtime Wisconsin Holstein supporter. Growing up on his family’s registered Holstein dairy, Selner grew his love for the agriculture industry. He graduated from UW-Madison with bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in dairy science and dairy nutrition, but started his career in the field of genetics working for Midwest Breeders and then Alta Genetics. He has played a large role in the startup of the Badger Dairy Club and was a founding member of the Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge. Currently, Selner is the executive director of the National Dairy Shrine.

The 2018 Wisconsin Holstein Distinguished Breeder award recognized Don and Liz Mayer of Mayerlane Holsteins, Bloomer. The Mayers purchased their farm in 1990 with 20 cows and big dreams. Numerous remarkable cows have made Mayerlane home, including Mil-R-Mor Valiant Velma, Golden-Oaks Mark Prudance, Pinehurst Royal Rosa and the famous Whittier-Farms Lead Mae. All have had a significant impact on their herd and merchandising efforts. The Mayers blend high-type, deep-pedigreed cows with the best proven sires and are now tapping into genomic sires.

The WHA board of directors met at the conclusion of the convention to elect officers for the upcoming year. Craig Carncross of Lodi will serve as president. Vice president is Heather Jauquet of Pulaski, and secretary is Erica Ullom of Bloomer. Steve Endres, Waunakee, and Bryan Stremcha, Bangor, also will serve as executive committee members.

Source: Wisconsin Holstein Association

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