As we close the year, we invite you to look back with us at the highlights from articles published in 2013. With almost two years logged in, we at The Bullvine are more enthusiastic than ever about the dairy industry people we meet. It is a privilege to share their enthusiasm and insights with our readers. With more than 250 articles to choose from, choosing the best is like trying to choose a favorite from the lineup in the milking parlor. There is something special about each one.  The twelve articles that follow are the ones that we found the most timely, useful or relevant. Many of them struck an emotional chord as well in the areas of cows, people, cattle breeding and the dairy industry. These are the 12 that kept us clicking away day and night so that our readers can catch the enthusiasm.  We hope you enjoyed them!  We certainly did!

12. 30 Sires That Will Produce Feed Efficient Cows

You can’t come to the end of one year and the beginning of the next without making a list.  Dairy breeders love lists. One of the most popular was “30 sires that will produce feed efficient cows.”  With feed the biggest cost on farm, it stands to reason that even minor genetic gains in feed efficiency would resonate with dairy breeders. We couldn’t leave the list dealing with inbreeding out of our choices because with genomics there are rising concerns about inbreeding. So let’s make it a “Baker’s Dozen” and include the popular list “12 Sires to Reduce Inbreeding”.

11. Halter, Pen and Gavel.  That’s Just the Norm

While keeping Bullvine readers updated on the industry events, marketing and science of the dairy industry, one of the highlights for us is getting to know the people working in each of these areas. Whether it’s behind the scenes, in the show ring or in a laboratory there are many fine people dedicated to improving our industry. We treasure the opportunity to share dialogue with the likes of  Richard Caverly (Richard Caverly A Passion for Perfection) and Paul Ekstein (PAUL EKSTEIN – 2013 Recipient of the Prestigious McKown Master Breeder Award). It is one of the special perks of editing The Bullvine that our day to day experiences are touched people such as Norm Nabholz (HALTER, PEN and GAVEL. That’s Just the Norm)

10. Lies, Miss-Truths and False Publication

A true top 12 list from The Bullvine has to recognize that not everything or everyone we deal with in the dairy industry will come up smelling like roses. That’s why we have inaugurated “The Marketing Code of Conduct” and it was certainly the case when we reviewed concerns over accuracy of genomic indexes. “Lies, Miss-Truths and False Publications!”. The Bullvine doesn’t back away from the touchy subjects. These are but two examples of our desire to source, write and share facts that are honest, accurate and a reliable basis for breeder decision making.

9. Lessons from Andrea Crowe. What You Do Every Day Defines Your Life.

Sometimes sunshine and shadow come simultaneously into the human stories that weave their way into our hearts.  Andrea Crowe is one of those stories that both lift our hearts up and breaks them.  Here was a young woman who embodied the real meaning of dairy breeding passion. While her time here was far too short, her enthusiasm for dairying and focus on breeding the Canadian Kind set a shining example for all of us what can be achieved through day to day joyful dedication. (Lessons From Andrea Crowe: What You Do Every Day Defines Your Life!)

8. How Got Milk Became Got Lost

As much as it’s a lot more fun to share only the good news, sometimes at the Bullvine we are required to take the iconic image of milk the perfect food and provide a more realistic view of how the marketplace is evolving.  We have to listen to the end user. We can’t continue to let narrow focus override finding the consumer and serving them the milk products they want. Laying blame won’t stem the downward trend of the dairy industry.  At the end of the day, we are only sustainable if we have consumers who like — and consume — the product we produce. If we fail to meet their needs we might indeed find a reason to cry over spilled milk.  (MILK MARKETING: How “Got Milk?” BECAME “Got Lost” and Got Milk” is becoming “Got More”)

7. Australia: Is Down Under Going Under?

A lot of news is channelled through The Bullvine.  Sometimes as many as 12 articles and news items a day. At one point we picked up on news out of Australia and wrote “Is Down Under Going Under?”  You might say this focus was more provoking than provocative for Australian dairy breeders  Di and Dean Malcolm who took the time to provide their viewpoint on the situation. The bright side is that the resulting dialogue produced two articles “Gobsmacked in Australia” and “Forward in Five Gears”. The continuing correspondence between The Bullvine and the editor of Crazy Cow Magazine has been mutually enjoyable and a fine example of the international connections dairying opens up for us.

6. North Florida Holsteins. Aggressive, Progressive and Profitable

There are many different ways to find success in the dairy business and Don Bennink is clearly forging new paths at North Florida Holsteins. (NORTH FLORIDA HOLSTEINS. Aggressive, Progressive and Profitable!!)  North Florida Holsteins is the single largest dairy in Florida and is home to roughly 4800 cows and 4400 heifers.  Don is passionate about both the possibilities and the problems facing the dairy industry today. “We have tools available to fix the problem within our breed. The future is to be had by those that please the commercial producer and the consumer.”  Bennink`s views on cattle longevity are a wake-up call to all dairy producers.

5. Dairy Farm Moms Are Unstoppable

It’s not every day that the dairy industry makes national headlines or is featured on “Live with Kelly and Michael”. When the popular television show featured Mary Lou King “Dairy Farm Moms are Unstoppable” and it was positive for everyone. Mary Lou was cast into the national spotlight and like “The Farmer” Super Bowl commercial her story has done wonders to portray the dairy industry in a positive light. The past year saw many shining moments for agriculture (Farming with the Stars) and Mary Lou King is a shining example of what makes Dairy Farm Moms are Unstoppable.

4. This Bullvine Son is Unstoppable Too

Speaking of unstoppable, there just had to be a place in my 2013 Editor’s Choice listing for our “unstoppable” son, Andrew. Little did we know twenty-two months ago that the Bullvine would become such a driving force in our day to day lives. Husband Murray and I love agriculture and our careers and home have revolved around dairying.  When Andrew came up with the novel idea of an online magazine, we were excited to join in. The great ideas have kept on coming from contests, to controversy, including this year’s fabulously successful Fantasy Exhibitor Contests at World Dairy Expo and the Royal Winter Fair.

3. KHW Regiment Apple-Red:  Beauty, Performance and Record Accomplishments

No matter how you slice it, dairy history was made in Madison Wisconsin in October 2013. Side by side – three Apples — had their shining moment in the spotlight at World Dairy Expo and set new benchmarks at the top of the ladder of show ring success. (KHW Regiment Apple-Red – Beauty, performance, and even more record accomplishments) Never before was the red carpet so gloriously Red and dominated by a single family!  While the crowd roared their approval of the final placings assigned “Bing, Bang, Boom!” by Judge Michael Heath, the record books took note that for the first time ever one special cow not only earned Reserve Grand Champion but was flanked on each side by the Grand Champion, her clone, and, on the other side by her daughter, the Honorable Mention Grand Champion. Many people are putting the genes of this cherry red Apple into their herds and for good reason. The Apple family are an investor’s dream and – already proving that they are capable of bushels of success.

2. Cassy Krull – Success Without A Stopwatch

At the Bullvine, we are provided with a front row seat from some of the most special moments in the dairy industry.  Being at ringside when Cassy Krull won the Merle Howard Award easily rises to the top of those experiences!  We have shared the successes of many dairy industry icons and two things always stand out when we interview these award winners.  They work hard and they are humble. We were inundated with people who wanted to know more about Cassy Krull and her journey to the winner’s circle. She found it exciting too! “Winning the Merle Howard Award is by far the most humbling achievement I have received. To receive such an honorable award helps put all the hard work into perspective. I like to watch the presentation every year to see who they recognize. Little did I know I would ever be able to stand next to the other amazing recipients of the Merle Howard Award. I am truly honored and blessed to have been selected for this milestone achievement in my life.” A shining example for all to emulate. (Cassy Krull – Success Without a Stopwatch)

1. World dairy Expo Proposal! First Comes Cows Than Comes Vows!

And so we come to the Editor’s Choice that stands out in a year of outstanding experiences. When it comes to connecting with people – and especially in the dairy industry – it is always comes down to the love story! This was never truer than in October 2013 when the cameras flashed capturing Mark Hornbostel’s proposal to Bryn Quick in the timeless dairy setting of World Dairy Expo.  “First Come Cows.  Then Comes Vows!” rocked the romantics, not only of the dairy world, but from coast to coast.  For us, this story represents how dairy dreams can grow into personal fulfillment.  It wasn’t the first time that we spoke to dairy breeders who along with their spouses put dairy cattle first on their list.  For the Bullvine, it is completely natural that the #1 Editor’s Choice would be a heartfelt proposal based on lifelong dairy devotion.  We wish all the best to Mark and Bryn and all the dairy romantics who love dairying with all their hearts.

THE BULLVINE BOTTOM LINE

And so, as 2013 rolls to a close, we thank you our readers for giving us the opportunity to do what we love.  We are constantly inspired by your passion and commitment.   We are grateful to each one of you who took the time from your very busy lives to interview with us. Your insight on the widely ranging facets of our industry inspires everyone! We thank our readers too! It is thrilling to hear your responses that encourage us to constantly strive to push the envelope in the hope of making a difference in dairying. Every day it is our fervent wish that you will pick “the best story ever!”  off of The Bullvine.

 

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