For many that are aspiring to breed the next great show cow or 97-point cow, there is no question that it is not all about the genomic tests.  Finding the WOW Factor is as much an art form as it is a science.  It can take generations of corrective matings to reach the ultimate goal of standing in the center of the ring at World Dairy Expo, The Royal or any of the other top shows around the world. That kind of success comes with careful selection of the right sires.  While indexes, like PTAT and CONF, are ideal for producing consistent barn cows, it takes an exceptional type of sire to stamp out daughters that can win on the Tanbark Trail.  With that in mind, we asked seven of the top show breeders and cattle dealers what sires were standing out for them. 

Our panel includes:

Ysabel Jacobs: Partner in Ferme Jacobs, a three-time Master Breeder herd that has been Premier Breeder at World Dairy Expo and The Royal Winter Fair several times. Their successful breeding philosophy is based on type. They have earned numerous show accolades and marketed cattle and embryos worldwide.  Ferme Jacobs has bred or owned some extreme notable cows, including World Dairy Expo Champion – BONACCUEIL MAYA GOLDWYN and Royal Winter Fair Grand Champion – JACOBS GOLD LIANN.  As well they breed and showed JACOBS GOLDWYN VALANA, Reserve Champion at WDE in 2015. (Read more: FERME JACOBS: SUCCESS IS ALL IN THE FAMILY! and FERME JACOBS 2013: A JOURNEY OF MAGIC, MAYA AND MASTERY!)

Aaron Eaton: along with my wife Caitlin and daughters Avery & Evelyn own and operate Eaton Holsteins in Syracuse, NY. Where they currently milk 30 elite type registered Holsteins and a select group of jerseys. Their main objective is developing, marketing and caring for these special individuals daily along with an additional 35 head of young stock and dry cows. Over the past 5 years they have made boarding elite show cattle for others a huge part of their business as well, approximately 30% of the cattle residing at their farm are board cattle. Their herd currently holds the #1 Rank for BAA in NY, 114.8 ( top 10 Nationally) consisting of 18 EX and 14VG, of those Ex cows 13 are max scored, 2 at 95pts and 1 @96pts. Over the past 8 years they have had many success stories in the show ring garnering numerous All American and/or All Canadian Nominations as well as having 3 jerseys go on for new owners to become national champions, 3 Royal Winter Fair Holstein Jr championships and also two Holstein cows named Intermediate champion or reserve at World Dairy Expo. Aaron has since had the opportunity to judge many state and regional shows over the past 5 years. Prior to farming full time, Aaron spent 10 years as a cattle fitter traveling to many shows across the US, Canada, South America and Europe.

Ari Ekstein : Ari is a partner in Quality Farms with his father, Their focus is to breed and exhibit a combination of the best typed and pedigree cows in the world. They presently milk 72 cows and own approximately 220 head. They believe in the true modern dairy cow that combines balance, strength, and style with a natural will to milk from great udders. They use a combination of high type genomic bulls and proven bulls that have the ability to consistently breed the type of cow they want to work with every day. They choose their bulls based on a combination of numbers, maternal line, and sire stack. They have a long history of breeding and exhibiting many All Canadians. They are very proud of one of their most recent accomplishments. Bosdale Gold Luster and Quality Solomon Lust were both class winners at last year’s Royal Winter Fair. This All Canadian dam and daughter pair are a perfect example of what they love to work with and breed from. (Read more:  QUALITY HOLSTEINS – WELL-DESERVED CONGRATULATIONSQUALITY CATTLE LOOK GOOD EVERY DAY and QUALITY HOLSTEINS – NUMBERS THAT STILL COUNT – DAIRY BREEDER INTERVIEW)

Barclay Phoenix: He bred his first All-Canadian Nomination in 2012- Phoenix GoGo Sanchez. Barclay is also heavily involved in showing and merchandising elite Holstein cattle. Barclay has had or has merchandised over 170 All-Canadian or All-American nominations in the past 17 years. In 2001 he was co-owner of the Reserve Champion at the World Dairy Expo. In 2004 and 2005, he and his partners exhibited Junior Champion and Intermediate Champion at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Toronto. He was also co-winner of the Premier Exhibitor Banner at the Royal in 2004, co-owned the Junior Champion at the 2008 World Dairy Expo, and the Reserve Intermediate Champion at the 2012 Red and White Royal Winter Fair. (Read more: TAG – YOU ARE IT! HOW AND WHY TAG DAIRY SALES ARE SUCCESSFUL)

Ethan McMillan: With his family, Ethan operates two-time Master Breeder herd, Kingsway Holsteins. Kingsway has taken home many Premier Junior and Senior Breeder Banners at World Dairy Expo and The Royal Winter Fair. Much of Kingsway’s success comes from the  Kingsway Terrason Allie EX95-2E-*4 family, responsible for 47 nominations in All-Canadian, All-American and All-Britain contests since 2006.  Another influential family that has helped build the herd is that of Kingsway Lheros Chelsie VG89-2YR-*4, with five generations of All-Canadian nominations, all tracing back to Chelsie in their pedigrees. Kingsway Mark Chief EX-6E-*12 is another influential family. One recently notable descendant of that family is Kingsway Airlift Gosling VG-88-2yr, the stunning white heifer that captured attention when she won All-Canadian Intermediate Yearling honors in 2015.

Michael Heath: Michael has made a living as a cattle merchandizer and breeder. He started as a cattle fitter which enabled him to have the contacts to start in his cattle marketing business. Heath has managed many sales over the years, most recently ‘Rendezvous at River Valley’ which was the 2nd highest Jersey sale average of all time. In the beginning, two Holstein cows got Heath up and going in the Holstein business: Freundly Acres Linjet Murphy, EX96 and Kingstead Cheif Adeen, EX94. On top of this Michael has owned and sold many All-Canadian and All-American Nominations over the years. Currently, Heath owns approximately 75 head of Holsteins and 60 head of Jerseys. Heath has judged Shows Internationally in Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, Holland, Mexico, Brazil and Canada, Argentina, and the UK.

Simon Lalande: Owner of Ferme Blondin, Simon Lalande is the 6th generation on the farm with his sons now the 7th generation. Blondin is currently milking around 135 head of Holsteins with an additional 500 head of heifers on the farm. This extra number of animals is due to extensive flushing being done on the farm and the constant need for recipients. Ferme Blondin attends 7-8 shows per year including World Dairy Expo and the Royal Winter Fair. Blondin sells over 600 head of fresh young cows per year. Whether for the freestall environment or for that special show cow, they are always buying and selling animals. Because of this Simon spends a great deal of time on the road, looking for recipients or for that next great one! Annually he logs thousands of miles through numerous provinces and states. In March Ferme Blondin started the construction of a new 265 head freestall It will house the milking herd along with all show animals. (Read more: FERME BLONDIN “PASSION WITH A PURPOSE BUILDS SUCCESS”FERME BLONDIN – “BUILT ON TEAMWORK” – DAIRY BREEDER VIDEO INTERVIEWS and COGENT BREEDING ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT PARTNERSHIP WITH BLONDIN SIRES INC)

What bulls are siring the heifers that are standing out in heifer pens? 

QUALITY SOLOMON LUST

While impressive type numbers and an excellent pedigree are nice, nothing compares to seeing the heifers from the top sires to determine if they have what it takes.  The first test of this comes when the calves hit the ground and start to develop.  One sire that is certainly impressing is Walnutlawn SOLOMON.  This Doorman son for the GLEN DRUMMOND SPLENDOR family (Read more: Marketing Lessons from Glen Drummond Aero Flower) has certainly impressed many breeders with his stylish daughters.  One such daughter is the Royal Winter Fair winner and 2016 Breeders Choice Award Winner, QUALITY SOLOMON LUST from Quality Holsteins (Read more: 2016 BREEDERS CHOICE AWARDS – TANBARK TRAIL EDITION RESULTS).  Ari Ekstein comments “The Solomon heifers are extremely balanced heifers with tremendous rumps and a great combination of style and strength.”   Simon Lalande from Ferme Blondin adds “Solomon is one of our favorite sires of heifers at the farm. They are hard topped and have a beautiful side profile.”   “Solomon is definitely the bull that stood out the most in the heifer pens right now. They are long, with great bone quality and great legs. They look so feminine” comments Ysabel Jacobs.  Ethan McMillan comments “The best heifers in our heifer pens are Goldwyns and Solomons. They are the most growthy calves, and they have correct rump structure with style and balance.” 

KHW REGIMENT APPLE-RED

Another sire that is catching the eyes of our panel is Dymentholm Mr Apples AVALANCHE.  Avalanche is a McCutchen from a clone of KHW REGIMENT APPLE-RED.  (Read more: KHW REGIMENT APPLE-RED – BEAUTY, PERFORMANCE, AND EVEN MORE RECORD ACCOMPLISHMENTS) Barclay Phoenix notes that “Avalanche is siring heifers that jump right out in the heifer pens all over the country.  They are long necked and have dairy strength with great feet and legs.” Ari Ekstein adds “The Avalanche heifers are young but are definite standouts, when they come out of the hutches.”  Aaron Eaton reports that Avalanche daughters “are long framed, balanced and dairy with good feet and legs for the most part.”

Some other sires that are starting to turn the heads of our panel are Mr Ansly ADDICTION-P-RED.  A Red, polled grandson of KHW REGIMENT APPLE-RED, “Addiction P heifers also look like they have great udder makeup and they have lots of style” comments Barclay Phoenix. “I also like the look of BEEMERS – they are square cut with lots of width, great foot and have great thurl placement.  I think they could make long-lasting cows.”  Ari Ekstein seconds Barclay’s comments about Pol Butte Mc BEEMER daughters “The Beemer heifers are consistently stylish with beautiful long necks with a dairy cut.” 

  • Aaron Eaton
    • Dymentholm Mr Apples AVALANCHE
    • Stantons HIGH OCTANE
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Mr Ansly ADDICTION-P-RED
    • Cycle Doorman JACOBY
  • Ari Ekstein 
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Quality Doorman MARIO
    • Pol Butte Mc BEEMER
    • Stantons HIGH OCTANE
    • Butz-Butler Atwood BRADY
    • Maple-Downs-I G W ATWOOD
    • Dymentholm Mr Apples AVALANCHE
  • Barclay Phoenix
    • Dymentholm Mr Apples AVALANCHE
    • Pol Butte Mc BEEMER
    • Mr Ansly ADDICTION-P-RED
  • Ethan McMillan
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Braedale GOLDWYN
  • Michael Heath
    • Val-Bisson DOORMAN
    • Dymentholm Mr Apples AVALANCHE
    • Mr D Apple DIAMONDBACK
    • Stantons HIGH OCTANE
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Pol Butte Mc BEEMER
    • Mr Ansly ADDICTION-P-RED
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Mr Chassity GOLD CHIP
    • Oh-River-Syc BYWAY
  • Simon Lalande
    • Dymentholm Mr Apples AVALANCHE
    • Cycle Doorman JACOBY
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • KH CINDERDOOR
  • Ysabel Jacobs
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • KH CINDERDOOR
    • Mr Chassity GOLD CHIP

What sires daughters are catching your eye as they are calving in/maturing?

Comestar Lamadona Doorman

While Val-Bisson DOORMAN daughters were certainly impressive as heifers, they are now starting to impress our panel members in milking form.    (Read more: SIRE REPORT: VAL-BISSON DOORMAN – OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING) Aaron Eaton comments that “I really like some of the second crop Doormans. The ones I’ve seen are balanced and good uddered. I know some people were skeptical about milking speed, but for me, the ones that are out of the better cows are calving now, and it’s hard to deny he is going to make some great young cows”.  Ari Ekstein adds “Most of our Doorman’s are out of Goldwyn’s and the Goldwyn’s help transmit the dairy quality that some of the Doorman’s can lack.”   Simon Lalande adds  “Doorman adds the strength and width that many cows need with the Goldwyn blood. He is also low SCS which every breeder likes.”

A sire that has impressed with his second crop daughters is Lirr Drew DEMPSEY.  Simon Lalande notes that “He can make some very special ones. We did not use a lot of him, but the ones we have seen are very special. Great udders! “ Barclay Phoenix adds “Dempsey’s seem to be long lasting rugged cows with lots of dairy strength.“  

Jacobs Gold Liann

Rounding out the top sires, that are impressing our panel, is Mr Chassity GOLD CHIP.  A sire that certainly worked well for Ferme Jacobs producing last year’s Royal Winter Fair Grand Champion, Jacobs Gold Liann. (Read more: THE 2016 ROYAL WINTER FAIR HOLSTEIN SHOW – THE SHOW EVERYONE WILL REMEMBER FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS)  Ysabel Jacobs comments “We love those dairy heads and necks that are feminine all the way throughout. They have excellent udders on them and great rump and legs.  It all comes down to the same thing. If you can make a cow with a good rump, good legs and udder, she should last for you. When a cow as an excellent udder you can go everywhere… you need that excellent udder to sell a cow, not a huge frame.”  Barclay Phoenix comments that “I like the way that Gold Chips are developing as second and third calvers.” While Michael Heath adds that he “loves the Gold Chip bred heifers and young cows.”

  • Aaron Eaton
    • Val-Bisson DOORMAN
    • Stantons HIGH OCTANE
  • Ari Ekstein 
    • Maple-Downs-I G W ATWOOD
    • Pine-Tree SID
    • Val-Bisson DOORMAN
  • Barclay Phoenix
    • Mr Chassity GOLD CHIP
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Croteau Lesperron UNIX
  • Ethan McMillan
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Val-Bisson DOORMAN
  • Michael Heath
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Mr Chassity GOLD CHIP
    • Ms Atlees Sht AFTERSHOCK
  • Simon Lalande
    • Val-Bisson DOORMAN
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Braedale GOLDWYN
  • Ysabel Jacobs
    • Monument IMPRESSION
    • Mr Chassity GOLD CHIP
    • Gillette WINDBROOK
    • Regancrest REGINALD

What bulls are you currently using?

For many breeders looking to breed the next great one, the proof comes when the calves hit the ground. It is not surprising that Walnutlawn SOLOMON tops the list of sires currently in use.  His impressive calve,s combined with a cow family that has consistently sired outstanding udders, he has the promise and the proof in sync.  It’s also not surprising that some early Solomon sons make our list, like Blondin Zimmer CAPTURE.  “He is the first available Solomon son, his genomics are outstanding for type, and he should make the special kind,” comments Simon Lalande.  Another Doorman son that is getting attention is KH CINDERDOOR.  Ysabel Jacobs says that “early Cinderdoor daughters look a lot like Solomon daughters but maybe with a little more rib.”

Wendon Dempsey Prude

Many of the breeders on our panel are also going back and using Lirr Drew DEMPSEY. Michael Heath comments that “It seems like Dempsey from Sids is a really good cross.”  Ysabel Jacobs adds that Dempsey is a “builder bull, so we have been using him. We use him because we found our breed has a problem with their thurl’s too far back. So now we use a bull like Dempsey to help with that.”

Since Goldwyn on Dundee has proven to be a magic cross, Aaron Eaton has gone back and used Dundee on a few Goldwyn’s and Gold Chip’s. “I don’t think you can go wrong with balanced breeding while maintaining great udders, balance, dairyness and good feet and legs.” Comments Eaton. 

  • Aaron Eaton
    • Val-Bisson DOORMAN
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Cycle Doorman JACOBY
    • Walnutlawn SLATER
    • Braedale GOLDWYN
    • Regancrest DUNDEE
  • Ari Ekstein 
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON (sexed)
    • Quality Doorman MARIO
    • Maple-Downs-I G W ATWOOD (sexed)
    • Dymentholm Mr Apples AVALANCHE
    • Toc-Farm FITZ
    • Pine-Tree SID (sexed)
    • Cycle Doorman JACOBY (sexed)
    • Stantons HIGH OCTANE
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Ocd 1stclass CALLEN
  • Ethan McMillan
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Croteau Lesperron UNIX
    • Morningview Mcc KINGBOY
    • High Genomic Type Sires (For problem breeders)
  • Simon Lalande
    • Walnutlawn SOLOMON
    • Blondin Zimmer CAPTURE
    • Val-Bisson DOORMAN
    • Crasdale CHILL
    • Woodcrest King DOC
    • Cycle Mcgucci JORDY-RED
    • Farnear-Tbr BH 1ST GRADE
    • Stantons CHIEF
  • Ysabel Jacobs
    • Monument IMPRESSION
    • Jk Eder-I CONTROL
    • Stantons HIGH OCTANE
    • Lirr Drew DEMPSEY
    • Minnigan-Hills DAY

 

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Figuring out exactly what sire to use can be a tough decision.  For many pedigree breeders, the goal is to consistently produce great cows that have show ring appeal.  While genomic type numbers can help you narrow down the list, the real proof comes when you see the daughters.  The challenge for most breeders is getting the opportunity to see many different daughters in different herds. It can be really hard to do.  Thanks to the contributions of our panel members, we are able to get some critical insight into some of the top sires. We have learned how are being used and how they are performing on top cattle.  While some sires can make an average cow better, the real question becomes “Which sires can make great daughters from good cows?”  That is the question these panel members have helped us to answer.

 

 

Get original “Bullvine” content sent straight to your email inbox for free.