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The Dairy Breeders Christmas Wish List

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Are you stymied about what to buy your father, wife, brother, sister, best friend or hired help?  Sure they would all love to get a national show winning cow or early release genomic young sire semen, but we all know that is not possible.  In order to help you with this most important holiday challenge, we have assembled a list of top 10 unique gift Ideas for the dairy enthusiast in your life.

expo photo book thumbnail2013 World Dairy Expo and 2013 Royal Winter Fair Holstein Show Photo Books

The response to our photos from this past year at World Dairy Expo and The Royal Winter Fair has been quite humbling.  We have had over 50 different pictures used in ads and as special Christmas gifts.  After a special request from one of our readers, we decided to release these pictures in two special commemorative photo books.  These 90 page 10”x8” coffee table books each contain over 200 hi-resolution photos.  You can relive all of the action and excitement of the 2013 World Dairy Expo Holstein Show and The Royal Winter Fair 2013 Holstein Show with these one-of- a- kind photo books.  Check out these photo books here.


Legends of the Tanbark TrailLegends of the Tanbark Trail by Tim Baumgartner

Dairy cattle have been on exhibit for nearly 200 years and taking home the coveted title of National Grand Champion has always been a compelling force.  Tracing the first 100 years of U.S. national dairy cattle shows, Legends of the Tanbark Trail is a salient account of the people, the places, and the superb and unparalleled animals that have graced the show ring throughout its history.  Be sure to get your show enthusiast their copy of this special book.


936758_151665811679208_797367680_n[1]The Dairy Queen: A History of the Jersey Breed Worldwide

This 300-page book is a great Christmas present for anyone interested in the Jersey breed.  It chronicles the origins and development of the Jersey breed through detailed text and photos.  Be sure to check out our interview “THE DAIRY QUEEN” HAS ALL THE ANSWERS! with Co-Author Derrick Frigot.  He tells how this book came to be and what makes it so unique.  Supplies are limited, so be sure to check out their Facebook page and order your copy for the Jersey breeder in your life.



Emma's recent painting "Hailey" of the great RF Goldwyn Hailey.Prints by Emma Caldwell

Probably one of the most talented young artists I have ever come across, Emma Caldwell is well on her way to becoming a worldwide household name.  Though just starting out in her career, she has already done some amazing paintings of Hailey, Smurf, and Francesca.  Check out our feature interview with Emma, Emma Caldwell’s Art Stirs Mind and Heart, as well as her many great prints available from her web shop.






Millionaires in the Cornfield: The Glory Days of the National Dairy Cattle Congress by Norman Nabholz.

For me Norm is probably one of the greatest cattle minds of the past 50 years.  It only takes a few moments of chatting with Norm to recognize his passion for this business we all love.  His book is easy to pick up but hard to put down.  Not only does it recount the achievements of legendary breeders and showmen with words and countless pictures, the background information and behind the scenes look are most entertaining and interesting.  The Bullvine had a chance to sit down and interview this multi-talented man in our feature article – HALTER, PEN and GAVEL.  That’s Just the Norm.


The Dairy Breeders Guide to FacebookFacebook Page for Their Farm

Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars on a web page that no one will ever read, give the dairy breeder in your life a Facebook page that will reach the world.  The best part about it, it’s free.  That’s correct, it will cost you nothing.  All you need to do is download this simple guide, The Dairy Breeders Guide to Facebook and you will be well on the way to helping the dairy breeder in your life market to the world.


Puttin on the Ritzy

Paintings by Gary Sauder

Since the first time I saw Gary’s work on Facebook, I was amazed by the super-realism of his paintings.  His passion and understanding of what great dairy animals look like comes through in each and every one.  We had the chance to interview Gary in our feature article – GARY SAUDER: The Muse in His Studio. To order some of Gary’s fine art work visit Cow Art and More.


first-christmas-bonnie-mohrPrints by Bonnie Mohr

For a long time Bonnie Mohr has been the industry standard for great dairy paintings.  Like many, our family has had the opportunity to appreciate Bonnie’s great work.  My wife has purchased me a Bonnie Mohr print every year on our anniversary.  That is why when we had the opportunity to interview Bonnie – Bonnie Mohr – Science and Art Together Creates a Holstein Love Story-; it was an honor for us.  Be sure to check out her website for more extraordinary fine art from rural America.



Edward Young Morwick

The Chosen Breed and The Holstein History by Edward Young Morwick

Anyone who likes history, even in the slightest, will greatly appreciate either the US history (The Holstein History) or the Canadian History (The Chosen Breed) by Edward.  Each of these books is so packed with information that they are each printed in two separate volumes.  We had a chance to interview Edward – Edward Young Morwick – Country Roads to Law Office and you get a true sense  of his passion and quick wit and they  also come shining through in his books.  Be sure to get your copies of amazing compilation of Holstein history in these books.


Don't Bother Me While I'm Milking Sleevless T-shirtsBULLVINE T-Shirts

That is correct! The shirts that have had the Holstein world buzzing are now available for sale!  After thousands of requests, The Bullvine has finally decided to put some of our amazing shirts up for sale.  Here is your chance to get that dairy breeder in your life exactly what they have been asking for.  New shirts are being added all the time, check them out.


The Bullvine Bottom Line

Instead of buying the tie that they might only wear for weddings or funerals, or the work gloves that could get lost the first time they are worn, consider these 10 great gift ideas.  Not only do they connect them to their dairy passion, but also the thoughtfulness will touch dairy breeder’s hearts and make lasting memories this Christmas!

Be sure to LIKE and SHARE this post on Facebook to let your friends and family know just what you are wanting for Christmas.


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“Okay people, please clap or do something, because this seems very awkward to me” This is how artist, Bonnie Mohr, describes the long pause of silence that was the initial reaction of the large crowd present for the June 29th unveiling of the Ideal True Type Holstein Bull and Cow paintings  at the Holstein USA annual meeting. .”I am much more at ease in my studio or with a small group of people.” Explains the well-known agricultural artist but she needn’t have worried. As with any supreme achievement the first reaction is one of awe. The crowd was initially busy studying the paintings but then broke into enthusiastic and sustained applause.  Still, Bonnie is modest, “I think they were well received…”

Bonnie Mohr -  Ideal True Type Holstein Cow

Ideal True Type Holstein Cow

Bonnie Mohr - Ideal True Type Holstein Bull

Ideal True Type Holstein Bull

 Everyone loves to look at beautiful cattle and, as you would expect, the paintings indeed were well received. As summer slips into fall, we begin looking forward to the show season and parades of beautiful cows to celebrate.  Of course, if you can’t wait for Madison or the Royal Winter Fair, there is an alternative.  At The Bullvine we have celebrated graduations, engagements, new homes and new babies with the beautiful animals painted by Bonnie Mohr. And now with these commissioned paintings, Bonnie turns cow science into cow art for everyone to collect, admire and strive for.

Celebration of Cows

Celebration of Cows

A labour of love.  The paintings were commissioned by Holstein Association USA. Discussions about what the new Model cow and bull would look like began at World Dairy Expo in 2011.  She outlines the process. “The month of December was preliminary painting sketches, and January through June 1st was spent painting the two pieces.  Since they were very large -each painting measures 36” x 48” – and with extreme detail in the animals, it took longer than a normal painting time.  I would guess I averaged 30-40 hours per week of painting time from January 1st to June 1st.”

Bonnie Mohr - Ideal True Type Holstein Cow

Ideal True Type Holstein Cow – The Beginning

Matchmaking. From the outside, it might seem unusual for an artist to work with input from others or, in this case, the True Type Model Panel.  However Bonnie says that was never a problem. “Because of my extensive background in the dairy industry, it seemed as though we were both on the same page from the beginning.  Input from the committee was necessary, so I would have a clear vision of what they wanted.  The more detail and information I could get up front, the better the paintings I would produce.”

Bonnie Mohr - Ideal True Type Holstein Bull

Ideal True Type Holstein Bull – The Beginning

A Brush with Great Expectations. Bonnie does acknowledge that there were some changes from her usual routine. “Normally I would start with some loose background and then get to the main subject.  In this case, I painted the animals each to about a 75% completion point to be sure we could really focus on them against a white background.” There were other differences too. She shares her experience. “I would have to say that the size of these paintings did throw me for a loop.  I have never painted so large, and I did underestimate the amount of time they would take.  Also, any time you are working on a commission, there is a certain level of added stress, because you know in the end, it has to be exactly what the committee is expecting.”

Bonnie Mohr - A love story

Bonnie Mohr – A love story

A love story. Looking back, Bonnie points out that the experience continued to evolve beyond the routine and developed into a very special project.  A highlight of the commissioning came about when she made the decision to name the Bull and Cow, Romeo and Juliet.  “Because I spent so much time with these paintings, they just seemed to come alive the more I worked on them.  They became REAL to me, and it just seemed like the right thing to do…give them names.”  Bonnie isn’t sure what came first: the naming of the subjects or the way the two paintings related, not only to her, but to each other. “They honestly seemed to connect to each other as well, and I think I accomplished my goal of making them seem like a real nice couple – as though they could be married.  And so….thus came the names Romeo & Juliet.”

Bonnie Mohr - Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect.    “I did have pictures of both cows and bulls to work from as I created these New Models.  All of the animals I studied from and the pictures that I worked from, had key points of exceptional correctness, and it was very helpful for me to use them in creating the Models.” And so, from part science and part art, models were created for everyone to aspire to.  Of course when we see Romeo and Juliet they appear to be right at home. “The committee and I collectively arrived at an outdoor, ‘anywhere USA’ setting, that resembled summer and a sense of pasture.  We all felt this would be a typical and natural setting for the animals.”

Bonnie Mohr - Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Where there any difficult moments with Romeo and Juliet?  Seeing the twosome in all their glory it is hard to imagine that there were moments that were less than romantic but Bonnie assures us that there were. |” Absolutely.  I have mentioned this before…and I’m not sure why, but Romeo almost seemed to paint himself.  He just came together beautifully and I had very little trouble making him ‘work’.  Juliet was my bigger challenge.  Probably the mammary system and milk well veining is where I struggled the most.  Too much veining, not enough veining, too much length to the fore udder and then too little, too small of a teat – make it bigger, and then a little plumper…..”  Every cattle breeder can relate to Bonnie’s goal.

Bonnie Mohr - Desire for Perfection

Desire for Perfection

Desire for Perfection

“The committee was great in their advice and direction…I personally as an artist just struggled with getting it just right.”  It wasn’t easy.  “When you study cow pictures….they can look a thousand different ways, depending on how closely the udder is shaved, how much sunlight they are photographed in, how much milk they have, etc., etc.  And I wanted to try and paint the universal look, that every dairy farmer would be happy with…milky enough and yet strong in type, and so I would have to say this was definitely my biggest challenge. “In the same way that the total environment affects everyone who raises cattle, this project went beyond simply painting the models themselves. “ Making sure the backgrounds on the two paintings were fairly matched and similar was the other challenge, because they were so large and painted over a 5 month period.  Every time you mix new paint, you have new colors… I had to go back and rematch or repaint some things to be sure they had a similar thread all the way through.” A labour of love.

Bonnie Mohr - A Brush with Great Expectations

There’s love behind the Scenes Too!

There’s love behind the Scenes Too!

“My husband John has been the biggest influence in my career.” says Bonnie as she looks back on the inspiration for her successful vocation. “He has supported and believed in me from day 1.  He believed in me more than I believed in myself some days.  He is the reason I kept painting, even when I really wasn’t sure this whole ‘painting thing’ would work out.  Other than that, I give God the thanks and credit for the skills I have been blessed with and the determination to know that hard work can pay off.”


And so, in painting the True Type Models, Bonnie crosses an item off of her Bucket List. “No doubt she will face her next goals with the same enthusiasm, “I will always love cows and will continue to think of new ways to paint them!”  A Holstein Love Story continues ……..

Be sure to check out Bonnie Mohr studio’s Facebook page where you can help them reach 3,000 likes and be entered in a draw for a framed print valued at $200, as well as check out their website for more extraordinary fine art from rural America .



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