When the competition is fierce, every true competitor hopes to experience the second wind that will propel them to victory. The Patenaude family of Ferme Gillette in Embrun Ontario doesn’t have to wait. They have bred their own Gillette Blitz 2nd Wind VG-88-3YR-CAN 34* and again and again she breezes her way to the top of every competitive list. In a herd that is renowned for exceptional cattle she holds her own and thus has earned her nomination as 2011 Cow of the Year.
Eric Patenaude points with pride to a list of 2nd Wind’s achievements:
In the cattle business a great cow needs to have great mates and here, as well, Eric feels she is exceptional. “I must admit pretty much every mating has worked well on 2nd Wind but by far the best has been Bolton. Gillette Bolton 2nd Sleep and Gillette Bolton 2nd Motivation two full sisters are both 89 points and Gillette Bolton 2nd Rain (split sister to Sleep) who is now deceased was 87 points but I’m pretty sure she would have moved up to 89 as well with another calf.” His confidence in breeding to 2nd Wind sends him into rapturous descriptions. “These Bolton daughters are just beautiful to look at with big dairy frames and a tremendous will to milk in those incredible udders which have become 2nd Wind’s trademark!. We love them so much that we have IVF’d her to Bolton again and now have 5 more beautiful heifers to work with.” The 2nd Wind comes through on the bull side as well for the Patenaude’s. “Stanleycup and Windhammer are examples on the bull side of how well Bolton has worked on her. Having said that, FBI has worked well too producing also exceptional son Gillette Windbrook.”
It is hard to see any downside to this cow even when Eric explains, “Unfortunately 2nd Wind wasn’t a big embryo producer. That is why she only has about 15 milking daughters. And also a reason why she has so many split offspring. We tried to make the most of her. Once we sent her to Transova she responded pretty well to IVF! We have about 40 heifers from this. With bulls like Garrett, Super, Aftershock, Evolve, Ross, Niagra, Observer, Jordan, Lauthority, Bolton, Iota, Shamrock, Sudan, Triumphant, Levi and Hero.” Talk about getting a second wind!
The two Bolton sisters are now 5 years old and are still in continuous demand. They are on a steady flush program with IVF in between. There is an FBI daughter in Japan that is apparently transmitting really well with daughters scoring high and putting bulls into A.I for our great partner in 2nd Wind and 2nd Snooze Toshiaki Yamada of T-wave Holsteins.. Her “Bolton” daughter, Gillette Bolton 2nd Sleep (VG-89), was the number one GLPI cow in April and August 2010 and is currently tied as the top cow for conformation in Canada at +19 and she was Res. Grand in Kemptville this past year.
Progeny from 2nd Wind keep making exceptional headlines such as this one: “Split Embryo Twins Burst onto the Scene Emerge at #5 LPI!” This refers to identical twins from a split embryo – Gillette Wildthing and Gillette Willrock – who made their Top 10 LPI entrance at position #5. The twins became the first under the new rule to have their progeny pooled to generate an equivalent proof for each bull (2377 LPI).
“Not to take anything away from the other nominees as they are all great cows but with 5 class extra sons that came out this year which has NEVER been done before, 2nd Sleep being #1 in august and 2nd Snooze being #2 right now what 2nd Wind as accomplished this year alone to us is what truly defines a cow of the year. Her genes will have impact for many years to come and her name will appear in most major pedigrees of the world!
Since we own the cow with Mr. Yamada, much of the embryos she produced that were not implanted at the farm went to Japan. Some have gone to Europe. But the good news is with the bulls she is putting out now the whole world can benefit from her genes!”
And so 2nd Wind’s record of achievements will continue to be as prolific as she is. Eric notes “At 9 years of age and still alive she has already matched Gypsy Grand at 37*. With 40 more daughters on the ground that haven’t calved yet and 2 more bulls awaiting proof who knows how many stars she will get? It would surely be nice to surpass the 50* mark.” 2nd Wind Second to None!
Over the next few days we will be profiling the nominees and encourage you to get your vote in before Fridays deadline. There are 4 ways of voting— Voting options include mail in ballot; faxing your ballot; emailing your vote to firstname.lastname@example.org; or voting online through your Holstein Canada account. Check out the other nominees; Stadacona Outside Abel, Smithden Allen Alison and Lindenright Morty Delicio.
Bullvine writer, Karen Hunt, is a dairy-farm wife who is an author, entrepreneur and champion of all things rural and family farm. Karen loves the wordy side of life. Husband, three children, eight grandchildren, thirty cows and Jack Russell terriers are her inspiration!