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Figuring out which sires to use can be challenging enough, let alone trying to decide which genomic sires will hold their numbers and which sires are going to drop.  Based on our analysis of the genomic sires in April 2011 compared to theirs indexes in April 2014, we have identified key trends that the sires that held, versus the sires that dropped.  (Read more: The Genomic Roller Coaster – Hold on it’s going to be a bumpy ride).  We have taken this analysis and applied it to the current genomic sires who should be receiving an official daughter proof by April 2016. Our analysis identifies the following 12 sires that are most likely to top the lists.

Co-Op Bookem Yowza (April 2014)YOWZA

Co-Op Bookem Yowza-ET
Bookem x Boliver x Bret

Yowza is an extreme outlier sire.  His DGV’s for NM$ are 20% higher than in his official genomic evaluation and almost 30% higher than his parent average.  In fact, it’s his lower parent average that is currently keeping him from being higher on the lists.  As we identified in the sires from April 2011, the most accurate indicator of genetic potential is their DGV’s versus over inflated parent averages, or, in Yowza’s case, an underestimated parent average.  In fact, both Yowza’s dam and sire have DGV’s higher than their parent averages.  While Yowza’s +6 for PL is likely to decline, his 1400 lbs of PTAM is likely to hold.  Due to his underestimated parent averages there is actually a good chance the Yowza’s TPI is likely to increase slightly with the addition of daughter information into his genetic evaluations.  Yowza will need to be protected on his high pins and size and stature.

De-Su Bkm Mccutchen 1174 (April 2014)MCCUTCHEN

De-Su Bkm Mccutchen 1174-ET
Bookem x Shottle X O Man

Continuing the precedent set by Bookem, Observer, Gulf and Gillespy comes three new high genomic sires, Balisto, Mccutchen & Topsy.    McCutchen is actually a Bookem son that has been heavily used already as a sire of sons.  While is NM$ of 655 might concern some, his DGV’s are actually 107 points higher at 762 (18% higher).  The part that is somewhat worrisome is his 3.6 PL since earlier our analysis has demonstrated that Genomic Parent Average for Productive Life was the trait that showed the greatest variability compared to actual daughter data (50% range).  What we did find is most sires did tend to be closer to their DGV’s for Productive Life than their Parent Averages.  Since Mccutchen has a DGV for PL of 3.6, it is reasonable to expect that he will end up around the 3.0 mark.  Most likely Mccutchen will end up being a 700-725 NM$ sire and a 2350 TPI sire. This would certainly have him in the top 5 TPI sires.  Mccutchen will need to be protected on his milk volumes and DPR.

Michigan Bumblebee (April 2014)BUMBLEBEE

Michigan Bumblebee-ET
Bookem x Bronco X Shottle

Another Bookem son that should ring the bell as a proven sire, Bumblebee may not have been on most breeder’s radar.  At +2386 gTPI, Bumblebee is currently number 431 on the top 500 gTPI sires.  This is pretty far down for most elite breeders to have paid much attention to him, especially with other Bookem sons much higher.  While Yowza and Mccutchen may ring the bell higher than Bumblebee, he will certainly have many breeders regretting that they did not incorporate him into their breeding programs.  The hidden stinger that this Bumblebee possesses are DGV’s that for NM$ that are 107 points higher than his gPA’s and 17% higher than his parent averages. He also gets a significant portion of his genetics from his father. This is something that we have seen to be a reliable indicator of those sires that will hold their genomic values when daughter data is added.  Bumblebee will need to be protected on his loin strength as well as rump angle and bone quality, though he should sire desirable udders, solid feet and legs and acceptable dairy strength.

De-Su 11236 Balisto (April 2014)BALISTO

De-Su 11236 Balisto-ET
Bookem x Watson x O-Man

Balisto is the second of the sires on our list from De-Su. Balisto has been heavily used based on his genomic indexes and come April 2016 will have a high reliability daughter proof. The one challenge that Balisto does have compared to the trends we have seen is that he gets 61% of his genetics from his mother.  Normally this would scare us, but since the maternal line in question here is that of Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET TV EX-92 3E GMD DOM that has proven itself time and time again genomically. Balisto should make out just fine.  Balisto will need to be protected on his loin strength, rump angle and rear teat placement, though he should sire more protein and overall pounds of milk than his current genomic proof would indicate.

Val-Bisson Doorma (April 2014)DOORMAN

Val-Bisson Doorman
Bookem x Shottle x Goldwyn

Another Bookem son on our list, Doorman’s calves already impress their breeders.  While he certainly will not be a milk sire, anyone using Doorman initially would have been aware of this limitation.  What Doorman does have going for him are his extremely high type numbers.  While there is a chance that Doorman could be the next Gold Chip and see his proof fall by over 450 TPI points, one difference between the two sires is that Doorman gets most of his genetics from his father, Bookem, who, judging by this list, should be a good thing.  While Doorman will never be a high NM$ sire, he will certainly sire high type acceptable production and will end up with a proof very similar to that of Mccutchen.

De-Su 11228 Topsy (April 2014)TOPSY

De-Su 11228 Topsy-ET
Bookem x Watson x Oman

If you are noticing a trend that is because, there is a strong dominance of Bookems on our list.  In fact 7 of the 12 sires on our list are Bookem sons.  Now to be fair, Topsy is the full brother to Balisto, so it’s not surprising that we would have both on our list.  However, unlike Balisto, who had a stronger contribution from his maternal line, Topsy received a greater contribution of his genetics  from his sire Bookem.  Not a bad thing considering Bookem’s dominance so far.  In fact, depending on just how these two sires end up, this could be another strong indicator about the importance of contribution.  (Read more: Why Braedale Goldwyn Wasn’t a Great Sire of Sons and Sire vs. Dam – Which has a Greater Impact on Your Herd’s Genetic Improvement?).  Similar to Balisto, Topsy will need to be protected on his loin strength, rump angle and rear teat placement, though he also should sire more protein and overall pounds of milk than his current genomic proof would indicate.  Topsy should end up with a slighter lower Productive Life evaluation than Balisto.

Ocd Mccutch Slick Willie (April 2014)WILLIE

OCD Mccutch Slick Willie-ET
Mccutchen x Ramos x Oman

The first non Bookem son on our list is in fact a Bookem grandson.  So if Mccutchen were to drop, Willie would be sure to follow.  Fortunately for Willie all indicators are that Mccutchen should hold just fine and so Willie himself should hold on well as well.  In fact, if we had not accounted for the reliability of the sires in each sires stack, Willie would have been near the top of our list.  Though given that his sire is Mccutchen, he is very likely to hold his numbers, we still had to discount Willie for this.  In fact, Willie is the third highest outlier sire on our list, behind Yowza and Balisto, of the more than 250 sire we looked at.  Willie’s DGV’s for NM$ are 107 points higher than his gPA and 23% higher than his parent averages. This has you considering “Have we regressed young sires from a young sire enough?” or if you believe that his sire is the real deal, then you should have all the confidence in Willie as he has some of the highest DGV’s in the world today.    Look for Willie to sire high production, type and fitness, while just needing to be protected on teat length and milking speed.

Mountfield Ssi Dcy Mogul (April 2014)MOGUL

Mountfield SSI Dcy Mogul
Dorcy x March x Oman

Another popular sire of sons that should hold his genomic numbers pretty well is Mogul.  This Dorcy son gets a substantial contribution of his genetics from his sire.  As one of the first ART program bulls from Select Sires, it will be interesting to see how well Mogul does as a proven sire.  (Read more: Select Sires vs. Semex – A Contrast in Cooperatives).  Mogul is one of the all-around solid sires that has solid numbers in all aspects of his genomic evaluation. Hence, his popularity as a sire of sons and bull mothers.  It will be interesting to see if he can hold over the magic 1,000 lbs. of milk though he should come in around there.   His type numbers should hold around the 2.50 points though he does need to be protected on Daughter Pregnancy Rate.

Morningview Bookem Lucid (April 2014)LUCID

Morningview Bookem Lucid-ET
Bookem x Shottle x Oman

The seventh and final Bookem son on our list is Lucid.  Though Lucid has the same sire stack as Mccutchen, he has a much different breeding pattern.  Lucid’s maternal line has demonstrated that they can deliver genomically and goes back to Whittier-Farms Lead Mae EX-95 3E GMD herself.  A great sire for commercial use, Lucid daughters should milk more than Mccutchen daughters, though Mccutchen daughters should have slightly better udders with more dairy strength.



Seagull-Bay Supersire (April 2014)SUPERSIRE

Seagull-Bay Supersire-ET
Robust x Planet x Shottle

There is no question that Supersire has proven himself as a genomic giant.  His extreme values for Milk, and Components have made him an extremely popular flush sire.  Now with many of his progeny being genomically tested, it is becoming apparent he can pass on his high genomic values. The question becomes will he be able to live up to these expectations when he receives an official daughter proof?  Our analysis shows that he should.  He does possess strong genomic values compared to his already pretty high parent averages. Even with a very potent maternal line, he still gets a strong contribution from his father, and his progeny are demonstrating that they are also getting extreme genomic values.  There are the three dominant characteristics that become evident in our analysis.  While Supersire daughters will not be winning many shows, his no holes type linear and strong production make him a strong commercial sire that will have a huge impact on genetics around the world.

Stantons Camaro (April 2014)CAMARO

Stantons Camaro
Epic x Freddie x Lucky Star

Camaro is a very interesting sire to come to the top of our list.  First we have the factor that Stanton bulls in Canada sampled between Aug 2009, and Aug 2012 dropped an average of 50% from their parent averages, (Read more: The Hot House Effect on Sire Sampling) and then you add in the fact that his sire Epic is from a genomic outlier in his own right. On top of that, while Camaro comes from the Sher-Est S-Wind Saturday EX-90 GMD DOM family which has produced such sires as Sacrates, Mr. Sam and Sidney it is not exactly an extreme sire proving family, given the number of sons that have been sampled out of it.  So how does he make our list?  Well, it’s hard to deny his extreme numbers.  At over +952 for DGV NM$ and high productive life, even if his numbers drop, as I expect they will especially for productive life, he should still be among some of the top sires come April 2016.  While breeding strong mammary systems and feet & legs, Camaro will need to be protected on his dairy strength and rumps.  He is for sure an extreme sire for health and fertility.

Vieuxsaule Flame (April 20140FLAME

Vieuxsaule Flame-ET
Numero Uno x Freddie x Bolton

From the emerging cow family at Vieux Salue Holsteins, Flame was the first sire to put Vieuxsaule Allen Dragonfly EX-94-2E 14* on most breeders genetic radars. (Read more: Vieux Saule Holstein: Rooted In Family Values and VIEUX SAULE ALLEN DRAGONFLY: 2013 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee)  While most of the time it takes a few sons to receive an official proof before a cow family really hits, genomics has certainly made the identification of such cow families much stronger.  Flame is one of the highest PA TPI sires that should be receiving an official daughter proof by April 2016. All indications are that he should remain among the top sires, once he achieves his official daughter proven evaluation.  While his milk numbers may scare some producers, the one thing we found in our analysis of sires from April 2011 receiving genomic evaluations in April 2014 were that it was the extreme genomic production sires that saw the most significant declines, while those sires that were lower, such as Flame, actually held their production values pretty well.  While I do expect to see his Productive Life values decline as well, his high components, something that has proven to hold well, and high type (also proven to hold well), should have him as one of the top proven sires.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

As we found out in our analysis of the top genomic sires from April 2011, it’s not always the top ones that produce the highest daughter evaluations.  (Read more: The Genomic Roller Coaster – Hold on it’s going to be a bumpy ride)  Identifying which sires are most likely to hold their numbers or relative rankings and which ones are going to take you on a rough ride is probably one of the greatest challenges to breeding programs in the world today.  Based on the trends that we have identified, these 12 sires stand the greatest chance of holding their numbers and being near the top of the official daughter proven evaluations come April 2016.

*TPI is a trademark of Holstein America

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Vieux Saule Holstein: Rooted In Family Values

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

The most successful family dairy operations have strong values that are deeply rooted in shared goals and memories.  Every generation looks back fondly on that special purchase, special ribbon or memorable record or classification score! These are the underpinnings of the decisions that are made every day at Vieux Saule Holsteins were the family roots have physical representation in the 100 year old willow tree that inspired the farm prefix.

The Perreault Family Farm: Around the Ring to Around the World

Lynda, Mario and Jimmy Perreault operate a 200 acre family farm in Saint-Esprit, in the Lanaudière region of Quebec.  This Master Breeder herd milks 44 cows and grows seed corn, silage corn, hay and oats. In 2009 they built a new barn.

Show Winning Inspiration

Everyone has a vision of what they would like their dairy breeding success to look like.  For Jimmy Perreault it was the first taste of success in the show ring that reinforced the passion he shares with his father, Mario who is his biggest mentor. “In 1993 I first showed Vieux Saule Prelude Josiane (great grand dam of Vieux Saule Malicieux EX, #6 TPI bull in 2008). I started in the 4H and always washed, walked and clipped heifers from our family farm back them. The dream started when in 2003 I went for the first time at Hays Classic Royal Toronto (now known as Canadian Dairy Classic) and showed Vieux Allen Dragonfly. When Dragonfly finished 2nd in a class of 91 spring yearlings, I was on a cloud. After in 2008 I went with Vieux Saule Dolman Shaina (Dolman x  Dragonfly) I finished 3rd and 5th in the open Royal show. It gave me the taste of showing and meeting people.” Today they emphasize, “We love to show at the Royal and Madison.” And, like their family generations, one success begets another one, “We export to 26 countries.”

Vieux Allen Dragonfly

The Speed of Genetic Change

Having been bitten by the show bug, Jimmy was also bitten with the passion for breeding exceptional cattle. This too presents challenges and opportunities. He recognizes that show winners have their value but to put it simply, “If you don’t have a bit of genomics, it is hard to sell.” Having said that there are challenges in changing your breeding approach.  “To adjust your breeding program quickly and see results can be time consuming. Now, with genomics, we ask ourselves, what do we choose, gLPI or gTPI? Personally I like both systems even though I still have questions. Which system will produce the cow the world would like to milk?”  If only all winners were easily identified. Jimmy looks back on his favorites. “Three bulls that I respect the most are Comestar Outside, Sandy Valley Bolton and Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie. I love what they bring to the breed. Although very different, what I like is how they have changed the breed and the way they are consistent.”

Vieux Saule Genomics:

In 2008 when genomics arrived is when it all started for Vieux Saule. “We tested 60 offspring in the Dragonfly family and we were surprised at the high results and consistent offspring. Dragonfly had 4 daughters by Toystory 2 went 85 2yr and 2 86 2yr we didn’t know which one to flush so we flushed them all.”

Hail to Haley

Genomics is still a new learning curve for many and that also happened for Vieux Saule. “The one that tested higher wasn’t the fanciest one but we discovered that she was our hidden card in 2013. Her name is Toystory Haley she starts her legacy with one 86 2yr Freddie, one 85 2yr Freddie,  one Man o Man (at Bryhill),one Freddie and super are 83. We expect two 86 2yr next week (2 other Freddies). Haley has more than 200 embryos produced sold in 11 countries and has 7 Bulls in AI. She transmits her health trait very strongly. Now we work with her daughters to make numbers and show ring. Freddie Isabella NC finished fourth junior 2 at Rive Nord Show 2013. She has daughters by Shamrock, Freddie, Super, Sid, Atwood in the barn we can count 56 females!!

Hurrah for Halia

Jimmy emphasizes that Halia VG 87 2yr must not be left out of the success story. “This beautiful Bolton daughter transmits genomics on both side of the border. So far she has one 86 2yr Bogart, 2VG Freddies, one 83 Freddie. We expect 3 more VG x Freddie next week.  Halia sold for 72 000 in the Sale of Stars in 2009. Her offspring sold very well last year now the third generation from Halia are well known all around the globe with August new sensation Vieux Saule Flame (Uno x Freddie Felicia). One of our favorite bull is out of Freddie Cynthia her Mogul son is Vieux Saule Madden over 3450 DGV +15Conf 16MS 114 HL (was 2434 GTPI in April) no Goldwyn, no Shottle, no Planet and no Man o Man which is very rare these days. Madden is born in November. His Brother x Lexor (Vieuxsaule Cynique) is at GenerVations over 3300DGV +15 conf +16 MS and 400health and fertility


GPA LPI 2973 DGV 2991 GTPI 2286
Her son Vieuxsaule Flame is the #1 GTPI Genomic Young Sire at + 2561

Seeing Red at Vieux Saule

On the Red side Vieux Saule has sold 2 Red bulls Vieux Saule Lucas Red (Shaquille x Salto Rouquine Ex 91- 1*) and Vieux Saule Toppi (Mr Top x Salto Rouquine Ex 91- 1*) same family as Prelude Josian and Vieux Saule Malicieux. Vieux Saule Toppi is very popular +16conf +16 MS DGV and Red (August proof).  Toppi sold to Browndale sires.  Jimmy points out that they also have a notable red carrier cow. “One cow that we put a lot of emphasis on is Vieux Saule Destry Dreamy RC  VG 87 2yr 88MS she is 2024GTPI and 2.84Type + she is the #1 GLPI and Type Destry in Canada.”


Vieuxsoule Salto Rouquine Ex 91- 1* Dam of Toppi at Browndale Sires

Vieuxsoule Salto Rouquine Ex 91- 1*
Dam of Toppi at Browndale Sires

Moving with the Times

Polled is coming at Vieux Saule we have a Dolo P brother to Flame that will be tested in September. We have several pregnancies x Venture Freddie Maria P RC #5GLPI polled cow in Canada (around 1900GTPI). Her Red and polled Ladd daughter is at 2180GTPI and over 2800 GLPI.” Sometimes the most special attributes a cow can have are because of what she is missing. “We love her. She has no Lawnboy, Colt, Magna, Mitey, Goldwyn, Man o Man, Planet or Shottle in her pedigree.”

While they firmly move with the marketplace of today, they also look ahead to the future. “We work currently with Freddie daughters from Haley and Halia and also Lexor daughters out of Freddie Cynthia. Later we will work with Day x Seagull Bay Planet Pauline and Determine and Shan x Freddie Felicia.”

At Vieux Saule the main bull lineup is as follows:Vieux Saule Toppi, O Style, Long P, Vieux Saule Madden, Vieux Saule Flame, Atwood, Aftershock, Goldwyn, Sid and Destry

As they look toward the future Jimmy sees changes in the marketplace. “    I see less players for genomics but more competition probably more investors and I see also that all breeders in the world will play an important role and the AI will have to adjust to buy those superstar bulls.”

Planning: Based on Parents, Partnerships and Programs

“We have partnerships and investors and we try to diversify our revenue streams by providing good cow families that are outcross or different. We work both the show side and genomics.” This family operation is entering its third generation and Jimmy gives credit to his father Mario for his support and encouragement. “My dad is the one who had the biggest influence on me. He challenged me every day. He let me buy sell and he let me travel in Europe and US so I could learn from the best ambassadors of the breed.” Jimmy also learns from the advice of others in the breeding business. “Several AI persons, mainly from Semex, Genex, ABS and TAG, have helped me make decisions.”  For those new to the industry he advises, “Listen to the mentors.  Analyze your options. Then make it happen.” But he cautions that staying grounded is important. “Most of all, even if you finish first at the Royal or breed that great bull, always stay simple and be yourself.”

The You Tube Point of View

Vieux Saule put videos on YouTube. When their videos hit more than 40,000 visits, Jimmy reports with classic understatement. “That is pretty cool I think.” Cool indeed. When considering Vieux Saule achievements he goes back to their vision. “Our show successes with genomics combined have been quite an accomplishment I think.” Jimmy sums it up his personal feelings this way. “To have Mary Sol at 14 years of age in December and 12 Year old Dragonfly watching their progenies having success is pretty exciting.”

The Bullvine Bottom Line

The pace of change is a challenge for everyone but Jimmy Perreault shares his best Vieux Saule advice.”Try to be in the show market and Genomics and make room for family values even though this world moves fast and makes less and less time for family farms. I still believe Family is first and Cows second, but it is a drug and it’s hard to walk away from it — even for the new generation.” Whether it’s cow families or farm families, at Vieux Saule the family tree is the focus that keeps them successfully rooted and growing their dairy business.

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