Sandy-Valley Farms, located in central Wisconsin, is owned and operated by three brothers, David, Patrick and Frank Bauer Jr.  A fourth brother, Greg, helps with the breeding and marketing programs.  Frank’s daughter Danae manages the calf program and assists Greg with the breeding and marketing programs. The Bauer family farms 1500 acres and milks 450 Holsteins in a free stall set-up. Embryo transfer and IVF are important tools in their program. We are already familiar with Sandy Valley families which include names like Sandy Valley Bolton, the outstanding sire with top daughters and now sons. It is exciting to talk with Greg about the future they are building toward at Sandy Valley.

Start with Clear Goals and Go Beyond

In talking about their success, Greg clarifies the breeding goals that are the basis they build from at Sandy Valley Farms. “We aim to breed a cow that can respected by the commercial dairymen, yet admired by the type enthusiast.” As simple as that sounds Greg acknowledges that it can be complicated. “When you set your breeding goals it is easy to play it safe.  However it is going to take new genetic strategies to meet the needs of the new genetics marketplace.” He says with encouragement knowing that it is only by taking risks that Sandy Valley is making progress. Pine-Tree Monica Planeta-ET is an example of a foundation cow that has the potential to launch superstar generations.



Attracted by Planetas

Hindsight is always 20/20.  That’s why it’s great to hear from breeders who have the good fortune to pick a winner. Greg ticks off the points that attracted Sandy Valley to Planeta: “She was from a proven sire;  possessed a high genomic rank in comparison to age-mates and paternal sisters; and she was from a cow family that had has brought us success in the past.”  Greg then describes why she fits so well with the Sandy Valley breeding goals, “Planeta is a modern freestall cow.  Moderate in stature with plenty of strength and width.  She has a nice spring to her rib, a silky hide and an attractive cut to her front end and shoulder.  Her udder is soundly attached with great cleft and teat placement.  She has somewhat more set to her rear leg than optimal but possesses a clean, flat bone.” He saves the best adjectives for last, “Planeta tracks beautifully and almost glides when she walks.”

New Genomic Stars at Sandy Valley Revolve Around Planeta

First let’s take a look at Planeta’s own record:

  • Pine-Tree Monica Planeta
  • Sire: Planet
  • VG-85 VVV+V @ 2-7 DOM
  • 2-01 2x 184 15564 3.8 598 3.3 508 (incomplete)
  • GTPI +2239 gTPI 697 NM$ 2.88 PTAT
  • In August 2012, Planeta was the #12 GTPI cow and dam of the #2 GTPI heifer.  She had 4 daughters over 2400G, a Numero Uno son over +2500 and a Sudan son over +2400 GTPI.
  • The starts in her orbit expanded with the December 2012 Proof Indexes.  She now has 9 daughters over DGV LPI 3000: 5 Numero Unos; 2 Epics; 1 Armitage and 1 Banco daughter. Outstanding!

Planeta Daughters Start Their Own Outstanding Orbits

The numbers definitely proclaim that Numero Uno has been the best cross on Planeta. Looking at those first six daughters, there were three over +2400 gPA TPI.

Penelope (Numero Uno) +2647 gPA TPI +3.50 PTAT  +3716 gPA LPI +4156 DGV LPI
Paxton (Numero Uno) ++2524 gPA TPI +2.64 PTAT +3463 gPA LPI +3713 DGV LPI
Precious (Numero Uno) ++2503 gPA TPI +3.22 PTAT +3509 gPA LPI +3892 DGV LPI
Paisley (Numero Uno) +2447 gPA TPI +3.30 PTAT +3282 gPA LPI +3483 DGV LPI

Planeta & Ammon-Peachey Shauna:  These Genomic Hits are Both “Miss”es

Even while we stand in awe of the offspring of Planeta, research tells us that it really could or should have been expected because of Planeta’s shared lineage with the outstanding Ammon-Peachy Shauna (Read more – AMMON-PEACHEY SHAUNA – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist). Three generations back Shauna and Planeta trace their heritage to Wesswood MH Rudy Missy and her daughters, Miss Martha, in the case of Planeta, and Miss. Monica, for Shauna. They have the exact same sire stack: Planet x Shottle x Oman x Rudolph. Definitely Planeta is a fully functioning contributor to an all-star family.



Other Prominent Cow Families at Sandy Valley

You know that Sandy Valley has high goals in mind that includes establishing other great cow families. Greg lists them for us:  “The Barbies, Dellias, Rudolph Missy, Ravens, Bolton Music, Terry Tory, Juror Faith, Cosmopolitans, and Oman 6121.

Using Genomics to Look Toward the Future

Greg has a simple viewpoint on why you should use young sires on top cow families. “Use young sires to maximize genetic progress.” He states emphatically and then looks into the future realistically, “Granted all high G young sires won’t stay high but then neither do all high proven bulls once their second crop is in the system.” Sandy Valley Farm looks for certain attributes for all young sires they use. “GTPI ranking and overall transmitting pattern are taken into account, as well as the cow family they stem from. We also prefer those out of proven sires such as “Freddie, Man-O-Man, Massey, Snowman and Super.” He notes that  “We are currently using a wide variety of high G young sires and a few of the highest GPTI proven sires.

Advice for Those Seeking Sky High Success

Every great herd starts with a plan and Greg advises everyone to start with this end in mind. “Consider your goals.  If you’re most interested in building a sound, functional herd with few ‘2yr old mistakes’ stay with proven sires, especially those with 2nd crop information.” Greg then goes on to suggest another option. “If you’re interested in working at the cutting edge of genetic improvement, incorporate some of the high G young sires.” Like all other parts of the discussion, he rounds out the advice: “When using young sires, it’s often best to spread your risk and use more than just one.” Cautionary and visionary at the same time.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

It is always wonderful when we can benefit from the insights of great cattle breeding families.  Sandy Valley Farm is building their success on a solid cow family foundation.  We wish them well as they take Planeta and go where genomics has never gone before!


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