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2018 Holstein Canada Annual Meeting Highlights

Le belle province hosted The 134th Annual General meeting of Holstein Canada.  The 135th Annual General Meeting,  was held in historic Quebec City, while a Show and Sale took place in Victoriaville. Three neighbouring areas along the picturesque St. Lawrence River were the setting for this year’s farm tours where Quebec’s passion for the Holstein breed was at the forefront of every activity. Here are some highlights from the business session:

  • Jacobs Goldwyn Britany (Ex-96-2E-7*) was named Holstein Canada “Cow of the Year” for 2018. Britany is bred and owned by Ferme Jacobs Inc., Cap-Sante, Que.

    Anne Louise Carson gave her CEO report and highlighted that 2017 was a very successful year with an increase in classification from 241,469 to 245,940 animals in 2017 showing a 2% increase. Members remained steady with a slight decrease however registrations had an increase of over 8000 registrations with Ontario and Quebec showing the biggest increase overall to contribute to the final 3% increase from 2016. Holstein Canada set a new record for registrations of 294,249 in 2017. In the classification program, 263,057 animals (Holstein and other breeds) were classified in 14,713 herd visits. The number of genomic tests performed by Holstein Canada was down to 18,233.

  • Gerald Schipper gave the financial report and noted the revenue from 2017 was up from 2016 by 772,088 with Expenses only up slightly from 2016 at 274,986. These revenues exceeded budget by 6% and expenses came right in on budget for 2017. The association reported a deficit of 406,045 for 2017. Development fund was well under budget at 13% under. The reserve fund is strong at a total balance of $5,133,887 with a respectable annual return of 3%. The outlook for 2018 is calling for a 4% increase in revenues and stable expenses. These initiatives focus on core services and have the potential for cost reduction, increase revenues and value-added benefits for our members for years to come.
  • Ann Louise noted the importance of moving on and noted that Holstein Canada’s role more than ever is to offer services and tools which bring added value to Canadian dairy producers. She mentioned the evolving partnerships with DFO, Canwest CDN and Valacta as well as the AI companies who continue to help improve our breed.
  • Both Holstein Canada President Orville Schmidt and CEO Ann Louise Carson stressed that “standing still” is not an option for the Association and that it needs to continue to evolve and ensure its services bring added value to members. “Technology is the cornerstone of dairying today and Holstein Canada needs to go down this path with its members. This is not the Association of the past,” said Carson. The challenge, she said, will be how to involve technology, but never lose the “people” part of the Association.
  • Ann Louise outlined 2018 priorities:
    • Proaction cattle assessments working on transitioning success of current contract as DFC service provider into further collaboration.
    • Continued technological enhancements and tweaking of core services to add value to customers
    • Continued collaboration with industry partners and other breeds
    • Continued enhancements to our programs
  • Jacobs Goldwyn Britany (Ex-96-2E-7*) was named Holstein Canada “Cow of the Year” for 2018. Britany is bred and owned by Ferme Jacobs Inc., Cap-Sante, Que.
  • The century of Holstein Awards were given out to Donovan, Island Blend and Maple Grove. The certificate of recognition was handed out to Jean Touchette of Quebec the breeder of Duregal Astre Starbuck and Doug Blair received the Certificate of Accomplishment. Tonight 20 MasterBreeders will be recognized during the gala. They include: Alley, Camphols, Cavanalack, Darwell, Doanlea, Florbil, Hyljon, Krul, Lesperee, Loyalyn, Mabel, Mactalla, Oostview, Outaouais, Pennview, Petitclerc, Rickeen, Seric, Spendcroft and Zimmer.
  • Harry Van der Linden of Lindenright Holsteins, Brierly Brook, Nova Scotia, has been elected President of the Holstein Association of Canada for 2018. His election came at a Board of Directors meeting held following the Association’s Annual Meeting on April 14th in Quebec City, Quebec. Elected as Vice-President and Board Chairman for the coming year was Gerald Schipper of Skipwell Holsteins, Aylmer, Ontario. Élyse Gendron of Val-Bisson Holstein, Saint-Polycarpe, Que., was elected Second Vice-President.
  • Four By-law amendments were approved. The most significant was an amendment that now allows Young Leader delegates the right to vote at the Annual Meeting in the year in which they are Young Leader Convention delegates.
  • In the Classification Advisory Committee update to members, Chairman Ben Cuthbert reported that: 1) Changes will be coming in the classification program in the ideals for Bone Quality and in the weighting for Height at Front-End; 2) Research will be conducted in the Feet and Legs area on the traits of Foot Composite and Front Leg View; 3) Under Dairy Strength, the trait of Angularity on the score card will be changed to Dairy Capacity, and the ideal codes for Stature and Chest Width will be modified; 4) Holstein Canada is looking at the viability of offering heifer evaluations; and 5) The Association will be asking to have Rump Angle included as part of the LPI formula. More information on these changes will be included in the next Info Holstein.
  • In the Show Committee update, Chairman Nancy Beerwort reported on several items. In regard to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 2018, there will be a Red & White Show, the size of the Ring of Excellence is being examined, and there will be no exhibitors meeting. Ari Ekstein has been appointed to the Royal Board of Directors. Named to the Royal Judges ballot for the 2019 Red & White Show are Scott Brethet, Joel Lepage and Chad Ryan, while on the Holstein Show ballot for 2019 are Thierry Jaton, Carl Phoenix and Jeff Stephens. A new procedure will be used for Royal judge voting with ballots now being sent electronically. In the area of show ethics, enforcement rules for spot painting of animals and the use of electricity stimulating machines will now be in effect. The Show Committee is also looking at updating show ethics documents. The committee is continuing to look at class structure at shows; over-uddering; the use of Associate Judges for larger shows; how to communicate better with provincial branches; and the possibility of forming an Adhoc National Judges Committee.
  • Twelve resolutions were considered at the meeting, with half of these dealing with “shows”. Eleven of the 12 resolutions were passed by a majority vote and one ended in a tie (number 5). All will now go to the Board of Directors for further consideration and action:
    1. That genotyping be offered as part of an animal’s registration process.
    2. That Holstein Canada improve the look of its award certificates.
    3. That Holstein Canada look into establishing a new award that would recognize cows who have classified a minimum of 83 points and have completed six lactations.
    4. That all unclassified females, over 30 days in milk, and with registered sons, be classified and not marked as “out of condition”.
    5. In an effort to widen the genetic pool and identify high genetic families, Holstein Canada was asked to investigate whether it would be possible to identify: a) the families of sires that produce great female lines, but not males; and b) families whose offspring are only average producers early in life, but have exceptional later lactations and lifetime production. (Tie vote)
    6. That haplotype information on animals be added to extended pedigrees and published on Holstein Canada’s website.
    7. That Holstein Canada explore the possibility of adjusting the structure of shows, with any changes reviewed by members.
    8. That Holstein Canada support, with continued discussion, the efforts of Atlantic Canada as they make changes to the class structure of their Atlantic shows in an effort to grow, strengthen and make shows more relevant to the industry.
    9. That Holstein Canada investigate the possibility of having show classes based on the age of the animal at the time of the show, instead of using their birthdate.
    10. That Holstein Canada conduct a study of show ages to find the best ages for heifers that would support junior programs and marketing in the future, and that Holstein Canada involve provincial branches in this study and also approach Holstein Association USA with the goal of making this study a North American initiative.
    11. Because of large class sizes and insufficient space in the Ring of Excellence at the Royal Winter Fair, Holstein Canada and the Royal Show Committee were asked to investigate alternative options to the current show schedule for junior and intermediate calves at the Royal.
    12. That Breeder’s Cup competition results (champion and first place in each class) be published on extended pedigrees on Holstein Canada’s website
  • Norm McNaughton the President of CDN addressed the assembly with high regards and mention of the people involved with the partnerships formed. Norm McNaughton said, “I think it is a great tribute to our industry that these boards were able to come together and had the foresight to say WE instead of ME.”

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