Guernsey enthusiasts from across the nation will gather in Middleton, Wis., from June 26 through June 30 for the National Guernsey Convention. The event, which is being held at the Madison Marriott West Hotel, is jam-packed with activities, including tours, meetings, youth contests, workshops, seminars and a cattle auction.
"We are looking forward to a great week and welcome all dairy producers to attend," says Seth Johnson, executive secretary of the American Guernsey Association, Reynoldsburg, Ohio. "It's a very exciting time for the breed.
"Breeders made it a goal several years ago to improve strength and feet and legs," he reports. "Great progress has been made - progress that was validated when the Guernsey, Indian Acres MM Pistachio Pie, was named Supreme Champion of the 2007 World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., and 2007 All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Penn."
Dairy producers are taking note of these advances. Guernsey registrations have risen the past three consecutive years. Sale prices are also at unprecedented levels with the 2007 national convention sale averaging $4,879 and a top seller of $23,000.
"We're anticipating another record-breaking sale in 2008," says Johnson. "We have a top-notch line up with daughters and embryos selling from the best in the breed."
The sale is being held at City Slickers Farm in Cross Plains on Monday, June 30, with a noon start time. You do not need to be registered for convention to attend the sale.
Other activities for the week include early bird farm tours being held on Thursday, June 26. Tour stops include: Donnybrook Farm, Platteville; Shullsburg Creamery, Shullsburg; and Woodale Farm, Janesville. A dinner with Alice in Dairyland will be held that evening. Youth contests, adult committee meetings and a welcome dinner will be the focus on Friday, June 27. Saturday, June 28, begins with an awards breakfast followed by tours. The first stop is Gurn-Z Meadow Farm in Janesville, followed by National Dairy Shrine, Hoard's Museum, Nasco and Hoard's Dairyman Farm all located in Fort Atkinson.
On Sunday, June 29, attendees can attend educational seminars, workshops, the sale cattle parade at City Slickers farm and the youth annual banquet. The convention wraps up Monday with the American Guernsey Association annual meeting and National Convention Sale.
The convention is being hosted by the Wisconsin Guernsey Breeders Association. Complete event details and registration forms are available at www.wiguernsey.com. For questions, call the Wisconsin Guernsey Breeders Association office at 608-534-6010.