Archive for March 2012

Weekly Show and Sale Recap– 3/31/2012




    Ontario Spring Holstein Show
    Mar. 29, 2012
    Ancaster, ON
    Judge: Adam Liddle, Argyle, NY

    • Junior Champion: Petitclerc Alexander Abrico (Golden-Oaks ST Alexander), 1st summer yearling, Air America Dairy LLC., NY
    • Res. Junior Champion: Benrise Spirte Diamond (Cedarwal Spirte), 1st spring yearling, Benschop Farms, Bowmanville, ON
    • Intermediate Champion: Lorneva Paramount Dee (Stanhope Paramount), 1st Jr. 3-year-old, Adam Clarke & Aaron Eaton, ON & NY
    • Res. Intermediate Champion: Valleyville Rae Lynn (Genn-Mark Stmatic Sanchez), 1st Sr. 2-year-old, Quality Holsteins, Graja Ponderosa, Al-Be Ro Land & Cattle, ON & Italy
    • Grand Champion: Ricardo Dundee Dawnette (Regancrest Dundee), 1st mature cow, Hodglynn Holsteins & Ricardo, Galton & Moo York Cattle, Kincardine, ON
    • Res. Grand Champion: Salem Astronomical Justine (Oseeana Astronimcal), 2nd mature cow, Martincroft & Piggot Farms, Bright, ON
    • Premier Breeder: Kingsway Farms, ON
    • Premier Exhibitor: Mapelwood Holsteins, ON
  • Ontario Spring Jersey Show
    Mar. 28, 2012
    Ancaster, ON
    Judge: Mike Phoenix
    • Junior Champion: Bridon Comerica Victoria (Comerica), Bridon Farms, ON
    • Reserve Junior Champion: Leachland Kit Kt K (Minister), Colin & Karen Leach, ON
    • HM Junior Champion: Willow Creek Iatola Majesty (Iatola), Willow Creek Jerseys, ON
    • Intermediate Champion: Trent Valley Rose (Hired Gun), Trent Valley, Cybil Fisher, Jason Mell, ON, WI
    • Reserve Intermediate champion: Bridon Iatola Polish (Iatola), Bridon Farms, On
    • HM Intermediate Champion: Meadow Lynn Comerica Nel (Comerica), Meadow Lynn Farms, ON
    • Grand Champion: Glen Caro Nan 2 (Millenium), Trent valley Holsteins, Cybil Fisher & Jason Mell, ON, WI
    • Reserve Grand Champion: Bridon jades Achieve (Jade), Bridon Farms, ON
    • HM Grand champion: Trent Valley Rose (Hired Gun), Trent Valley, Cybil Fisher, Jason Mell, ON, WI
    • Premier Breeder & Exhibitor: Willowcreek Jerseys, ON
    • Breeders Herd: Bridon Farms, ON
  • Ontario Spring Show Showmanship Classes
    • Junior Showmanship
      1. Matt Lange
      2. Mikayle Ringelberg
    • Intermediate Showmanship
      1.Peter Leach
      2. Cameron Stockdale
    • Senior Showmanship
      1.Christine Armstrong
      2. Steven Stockdale
    • Grand Showman: Peter Leach
    • Reserve Grand Showman: Christine Armstrong
    • HM Grand Champion: Cameron Stockdale
  • Calgary Dairy Classic Show Results
    Mar. 24 – Calgary, AB
    Judge- Gerald Coughlin, Peterborough, ON
    • Junior Champion: Starcrest Rhyme Casablanca (Markwell Durham Rhyme), 1st fall yearling, Starcrest Holsteins & Wendon Holsteins, Innisfail, AB
    • Res. Junior Champion: Vandyk-K Gold Preppie (Braedale Goldwyn), Kenbert Acres & Jordan Konkel, Drake, SK
    • Grand Champion: Crestomere Lou Victoria (Jenny-Lou Marshall P149), 1st 4-year-old, Crestomere Holsteins, Ponoka, AB
    • Res. Grand Champion: Wendon Dundee Divina (Regancrest Dundee), 1st 5-year-old, Wendon Holsteins, Innisfail, AB
    • HM Grand Champion: Lakefield Winston Jet (Sunday Dur Hyman Winston) 2nd 5-year-old, Continental Holsteins, Leduc, AB
    • Premier Exhibitor (tie): Continental Holsteins
    • Premier Breeder: Skycrest Holsteins
  • Atacama and Pepita Swiss Champions
    At the National Holstein Show in Bulle, Switzerland, two candidates from the mature cow class fought for the championship. The French-born Du Bon Vent Stormatic Atacama of Marc & Erhard Junker ultimately triumphed due to her extra quality in dairyness and rear udder. Reserve went to the mighty and balanced cow Ptit Coeur Iron Dirona of GS Alliance. Honorable Mention went to the stylish and youthful Lystel Bolton Lorana of Swisslor.In the Red Holstein Show, two young milking cows drew lots of attention; the refined and super-uddered Bopi Talent Lotanie of Oberson & Savary and the flawless and open-ribbed La Waebera Acme Sublime of Michel Clément. In the finale they finished in second and third respectively and only had to bow for the winner of the queen’s class: Pepita (photo). The reigning European Champion of Everdes Holsteins combined strength with capacity and lots of quality in her udder and legs. (
  • Ohio Spring Dairy Expo- Red & White Show Results
    Mar. 29, 2012
    Columbus, OH
    Judge: Denny Patrick, Woodbine, MD
    Total Head: 47

    • Junior Champion: Richman Destry Dina R28-Red (Scientific Destry-ET*RC), 1st spring yearling, Richman Farms, Lodi, OH
    • Res. Junior Champion: Co-Vale Dusk TYA 3845-Red (Scientific SS Dusk-ET*RC), 2nd spring yearling, Clay, Cora, Curtis, Carlie Gunkleman, Medina, OH
    • Intermediate & Res. Grand Champion: Semler Advent Scarlett-Red (KHW Kite Advent-Red-ET), 1st Sr. 3-year-old, James Semler, Yellow Springs, OH
    • Res. Intermediate Champion: MS Starmark Con Racy-Red-ET (Patience Showline Contender-Red), 1st Jr. 2-year-old, Starmark & Mark Rueth
    • Senior & Grand Champion: Miley Advent B Gem-Red (KHW Kite Advent-Red-ET), 1st 4-year-old, Anna Miley, West Salem, OH
  • Great Lakes Spring Show Champions
    Mar. 24 – East Lansing, MI
    Judge- Barclay Phoenix, Uxbridge, ON
    102 Head Shown

    • Junior Champion: Minsu Tee Off Bubble (Rietben Tee Off-ET), 1st spring yearling, T&H Dairy, Fowler, MI
    • Res. Junior Champion: Mapel Wood Fever Bombino (Crackholm Fever), 2nd spring yearling, Hardys Holsteins, Tipton, MI
    • Intermediate Champion: Tri-Koebel Roy Elaborate (Roylane Jordan), 1st Sr. 3-year-old, Greta Koebel, Three Oaks, MI
    • Res. Intermediate Champion: Minsu Lucky Star Kathy (Bofran Lucky Star-ET), 2nd Sr. 3-year-old, T&H Dairy, Fowler, MI
    • Grand Champion: Tri-Koebel Fear This-ET (Sunnylodge Linjet), 1st Aged Cow, Tera Koebel, Three Oaks, MI
    • Res. Grand Champion: Hardys Goldwyn Destiny-ET (Braedale Goldwyn), 1st 4-year-old, Parker Hardy, Tipton, MI
    • Premier Exhibitor (tie): Long-Haven Farms, Hardys Holsteins
    • Premier Breeder: Long-Haven Farms
  • Pennsylvania Spring Show
    March 24, 2012
    Harrisburg, PA
    Judge: Chip Savage

    • Junior Champion: Sweet Peas Asteroid Amber (Asteroid), 1st Winter Yearling, Matthew Pease
    • Reserve Junior Champion: Rolling Spring Schz Ella-ET (Sanchez), 1st Spring Yearling, Charles Bean
    • Intermediate Champion: Windy Knoll View Pollyanna (Laramie), 1st Senior 3 Year Old, James & Nina Burdette
    • Reserve Intermediate Champion: Heart&Soul C Me Im Radiant (Contender), 1st Junior 3 Year Old, Douglas & Jennifer Boop
    • Grand Champion: Windy Knoll View Panini-ET (Goldwyn), 1st 4 Year Old, James & Nina Burdette
    • Reserve Grand Champion: Valleys-End Leader Emily (Leeder), 1st Aged Cow, Mark Hough
    • Premier Breeder & Exhibitor: Windy-Knoll-View
  • Winning first crop daughter
    It is not often that a first crop daughter triumphs in the show ring. At the RMV Schau in Germany, that was exactly what Grandiose did. The very fancy looking, second-calver daughter of the German Goldwyn son Gunnar comes from the herd of Am Recknitztal. The Reserve title went to the fifth-calver Derry daughter BcH Biggi of Augustin. (


  • Taste of Ontario Tag Sale 2012
    March 26th to 29th, Cranston Farms, Hosted by Cranston Farms and Jeff Stephens
    • Lot 3 – December ’11 Sanchez x EX 90 Goldwyn x The Spotties SOLD TO GLEN KRANTZ CLAREMOUNT HOLSTEINS
    • Lot 4 – Sold to Rick Allyn, CT for $6,000
    • Lot 8 – Windbrook x VG89 Goldwyn x 4 more VG/EX Dams. Sold to Brad Eggink, Niagara ON for $7,500
    • Lot 9 – Sold to Jake Jansema, Niagara ON.
    • Lot 11 – December ’11, Lot 11 Goldwyn x EX Dundee from Leachland Gold Medal Family. Sold to Brook and Lindsay Clarke, NH. $7500
    • Lot 12 – Sold to John Hedden, ON. $6,500
    • Lot 13 – 1st Choice sold to Greg Archibald, NB for $10,000. 2nd Choice available.
    • Lot 14 – Sold to Gary Troup, Vale-O-Skene, Dean Mcmorrow, Jason Pegg, Rick Carberry for $25,000
    • Lot 16 – Sept ’11 Goldwyn x Fleury Formaton Lauria EX95 3E. Full Sister to Brainwave Goldwyn Lauramie- SOLD TO DAN DEWITT, WI $12,50
    • Lot 18 – also sold to Larry Krantz, Carldot Farms, Stratford , ON
    • Lot 20 – Sold to Adam Clarke
    • Lot 27 – June ’11 Aftershock x VG 86 2yr Goldwyn x EX93 Aspen -SOLD TO ALLSTAR GEN $7000
    • Lot 28 – Sold to Larry Krantz, ON for $6,500
    • Lot 29 – June ’11 Goldwyn with 3 EX dams – SOLD TO JUSTIN HINZ, NY $10,000
    • Lot 38 – June ’11 Windstorm X VG86 x EX Outside x EX Astronomical SOLD TO TODD FREEMAN INDIANA, USA $6000Lot 50 – Sold to Lesperron Holsteins & Ferme Yves Croteau, Que for $25,000
    • Lot 59 – Sept ’10 Primetime x Pleasant Nook Sambo Teal EX94 5E. Due September 14/12 to Impression SOLD TO RAPID BAY JERSEYS, QC $10,000
    • Lot 60 – Furor Sept Calf x 1st Foundation W Rose VG-88 x Bovilact Grove Primrose EX-90 plus 3 more VG or EX Dams -SOLD TO MT ELGIN DAIRY, ON $4000
    • Also 2 of the Florian display daughters sold
  • Premier Edition Sale Averages $2,860
    The Premier Edition Sale was held Friday, March 23, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Managed by Western Dairy Connection, Erik & Carla Klugkist, the sale averaged $2,860. The top seller was a 54 inch super fancy R&W summer yearling by Secure from a VG-87 Advent, with the next 5 dams all EX back to Raven. This heifer brought $13,700, consigned by Morcrest Farms of Didsbury, AB and bought by Westcoast Holsteins of Chilliwack, BC. (
    Following is a list of other high sellers:
    • $5700- Lot 7A -1st Choice of 5 Secure female pregnancies (full sisters to top seller) due June 2012 x Markwell Advent Raina VG-87 x Jr Rainbowd Red EX-90 2E with 4 more EX dams including Raven
      Buyer: Wrightside & Rod York, AB, SK
      Consignor: Morcrest Holsteins, AB
    • $4200- Lot 70 (added entry) Willowest Durham Faith VG (Durham x Markwell Outside Fay EX x Rudolph Rarity x Thor Renee x Raven)
      Buyer: Searock Dairy, AB
      Consignor: Prinse Farms, BC
    • $4100- Lot 62 Coytee Shottle Brandi (Shottle due Jun 2012 to Dempsey x Bienert Gibson Bambi VG-87 plus 6 more gen VG or EX)
      Buyer: Shane Straub, AB
      Consignor: Coytee Holsteins & Bienert Holsteins, AB
  • Earthquake
    A fantastic average of $13,740 (over more than 100 lots) was achieved at the California Earthquake Sale with the top seller going for $150,000. This was a daughter of the Freddie son Lewis from Ladys-Manor Planet Shandra. The runner-up ($125,000) was the show cow Pierstein Goldwyn Frisou. (
    Top 10 prices more high sellers on the day below photos:
    • Lot 13 – $150,000 – Furnace-Hill Lewis Shes Sam +2617 GTPI Lewis daughter of Ladys-Manor Pl Shandra-ET (VG-85 GTPI +2400) – #4 GTPI heifer in the breed!
    • Lot 1 – $125,000 – Pierstein Goldwyn Frisou VG-89-CAN – will show as a 5-Year-Old this year!
    • Lot 14 – $70,000 – Bacon-HIll Ostyle Monica-ET, a 12/11 O-Style at +2380 GTPI out of Unique-Style Bolton Money (EX-91 GTPI +2296)
    • Lot 17 – $62,000 – Pencroft-Ammon GC Cierra-ET, a 10/11 Gold Chip that is the #1 Type heifer in the breed at +5.00T. Her dam – Ammon Farms Mac Classic-ET is now EX-90.
    • Lot 21 – $58,000 – 1st choice Numero Uno out of Sandy-Valley Robust Ruby-ET +2575 GTPI out of VG-87 Planet Sapphire
    • Lot 2- $50,000 – 1st choice Goldwyn due 9/2012 from 2011 All-American 4-Year-Old RockyMountain Talent Licorice (EX-92)
    • Lot 23 – $42,000 – 2nd choice Numero Uno or Epic from De-Su 199 Chart Topper-ET +2650 GTPI – the #1 GTPI female in the breed
    • Lot 18 – $38,000 – Le-O-La Shamrock Pebbles-ET, a 10/11 +2407 GTPI Shamrock – the #12 Shamrock in the breed
    • Lot 15 – $36,000 – Farnear Gold Chip 1407, a 12/11 Gold Chip +2435 GTPI out of Ms Apple Brandy-ET +2188 GTPI Shottle daughter of Apple!
    • Lot 38 – $35,000 – Butlerview SR Juna-ET, a 12/11 Shamrock at +2431 GTPI out of Coyne-Farms Feddi Jeven-ET +2269 GTPI
  • Best Sunrise ever
    Many happy faces in Karow, Germany: With a sale average of €8065 the 17th Sunrise Sale was the best edition ever. The top-selling calf was Morsan Observer Dolly (Observer x Socrates x Goldwyn) selling for €27,000 to Genes Diffusion in France. A Snowman from the Jocko Benge family sold for €22,000. (
  • Waupaca-Waushara Show Opportunity Sale Averages Over $1,900
    A Snowman fall calf consigned by Sandy-Valley Farms, Scandinavia, topped the 26th annual Waupaca-Waushara Show Opportunity Sale at $5,000. Hosted by the Waupaca-Waushara Holstein Breeders Association, the sale took place March 17th at the Waupaca County Fairgrounds, Weyauwega. The sale averaged $1,936 on 45 lots. (
    • The top seller, Sandy-Valley Snowcam-ET, carries a GTPI of +2145, and is out of Shema Mac Camille-ET VG-86, who has several daughters with GTPIs over +2200. She was purchased by Michael Hughes, Pickett.
    • Luke Erb, Shiocton, paid $4,300 for the second-high seller, Stone-Front Gold Pinto-ET, a July heifer consigned by Andrew and Lynette Buttles, Lancaster. The maternal sister to this heifer is the renowned Stone-Front Iron Pasta EX-96 2E, the Reserve Grand Champion of the International Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo in 2010. Pasta was the All-American 125,000-pound cow in both 2010 and 2011 and was also All-Canadian Mature Cow in 2011.
    • Sandy-Valley Farms also consigned the third-high seller for $3,200 with Sandy-Valley Bokm Britny-ET, who carries a GTPI of +2038. Purchased by Debbie Garcia, Scandinavia, her dam is Regancrest G Beauty-ET, the #4 PTAT Cow of the breed since Dec. 2011. The next dam is the well-known Regancrest-PR Barbie-ET, the Honorable Mention Junior 3-year-old in 2004.
  • Gala II at Glen Valley Sale a Success!
    The Gala II at Glen Valley Sale was held March 24th in Atglen, PA, at the home of Ken & Marilyn Umble and family and averaged $2885 on 141 full lots. The 22-year PBR award winning herd sold with a last DHI test day average of 90 lbs. High selling animal of the day was Lot 10, Golden-Rose Shot Romance-ET, a just-fresh Shottle who is a potential 17th generation EX! Romance is out of Oakfield Pronto Ritzi (EX-90), who made a 3-01 record of 290d 31,104 3.4 1055 3.0 943 (Inc.), and traces back to the world-famous Pinehurst Royal Rosa (2E-91) family. Romance was purchased by The Romance Partners, c/o Eric Evans, Buhl, ID, for $10,000. Also highlighting the sale were her 2/12 Goldsun daughter selling for $5300 and her 1/12 Goldwyn with GTPI 2030 selling for $6800. Many members of the Glen-Valley Win Caprice (3E-93 GMD-DOM) family sold, including the second and third high sellers at $7600 and $7000 respectively. Glen-Valley Ross Caliste is an Altaross daughter of Glen-Valley Lou Calixte-ET (EX-91). Caliste was carrying an ultrasound female by Epic and has a GTPI of 2095. Her first choice Numero Uno was then sold, with buyer’s choice of females from 2 pregs due 9/12 and 3 more transfers on 1/12. A special moment in the sale came when two lots from the Glen-Valley Rubens Sprinkle (2E-91) family sold. Sprinkle was owned by Jordan Umble, Ken & Marilyn’s middle son who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2006. Proceeds from CC-Jordan Snowstorm-Red and a Braxton choice from Sprinkle (totaling $6450) went to the Jordan M. Umble Memorial Mission Fund. The standing room only crowd was treated to complimentary home-made ice cream, and a pre-sale coffee & donuts social hour. The sale was managed by The Cattle Exchange, with David Rama and Horace Backus working the box, assisted by Dan Brandt, David J. Lentz, Nick Raggi, Dave Bitler and Don Welk in the ring. (
  • Border & Lakeland Club Show & Sale – Boclair Tops With Elegance
    The March Border & Lakeland Dairy sale held at Borderway Sale Centre once again proved to be a top event with both buyers and sellers going home with their goals achieved. The show was judged by one of the breeds more experienced personalities Mr Tecwyn Davies from the Caeremlyn herd in South West Wales.
    • His Champion was Boclair Dancer Beatrice 2, a strong powerful heifer with a super udder bred from three Excellent dams with yields over 13,000kgs. The Champion was consigned by David Brewster and was purchased by JB Marshall, Auchenleck, Castle Douglas.
    • Mr Davies Reserve Champion was Holywood Scooby Crimson bred by Robert Whiteford and consigned by David Hodgson from the Wormanby herd. She was a silky black heifer with a lot of style and sired by Go-Farm Allen Scooby-Duu and sold for 2,500gns to N&SJ Sanderson, Burtholme Farm, Brampton.
    • Winning the Junior heifer in milk class was another heifer from David Brewster, Boclair Bolton Elegance was bred from the world renowned Krull Broker Elegance EX96. This heifer is potentially the sixth generation of Excellent and she sold for the top price of the day 3,200gns to Messer Bryson, Whiteflatt Farm, Ayrshire.
    • The Telfer family from High Branchal, Bridge of Weir had a special offering from their popular Branchal herd. Topping this wonderful consignment was a heifer sired by Aquila Patron Lucente from the Divina family, she now joins the herd of J Baxter, Gibblaston Farm, Renfrewshire for 2,550gns. Another Branchal heifer sold for 2,500gns going to N&SJ Sanderson, Burtholme Farm, Brampton she was a daughter of Annandale Keiser from the Katkin family.
    • Other consignments included a truck load from N. Scott from the Niscot herd in Aberdeenshire they sold to an average of just over £2000 with top price of 2,500gns for a daughter of the up and coming Firth Bullion. This heifer was Niscot Bullion Joan bred from a VG88 dam with over 70 tons of milk lifetime, she now joins the herd of A&I Lamont, Sandieston Farm, Renfrewshire.

Business Ethics and Marketing Dairy Cattle Genetics

Let’s make something very clear from the start. This is not a discussion about the ethics of genetic tools to increase the rate of advancement. If you are not clear about our position on this, read the many articles on the benefits of genomics. This is a discussion of the almost daily decisions breeders have to make, when it comes to the promotion of their herd. They are faced with many tough decisions and often ethics comes into play. Breeders must choose between taking the high road at a perceived financial loss or taking the low road and becoming a perceived “winner.”

There is no question that, when it comes to promoting your genetics, ethics plays a huge role in how you do it. From getting cattle ready for the show ring or the classifier and feeling the pressure to make sure she looks her best, or sometimes even better than her best, to the ethics of photo manipulation. Many of these questions can shake you to your moral core.

Show Ethics

For years there has been great debate about what is acceptable and what is not. I can still remember as a young child watching a grown man whom at the time I had admired greatly (will remain nameless) threaten my father with physical harm, because Dad was enforcing the code of ethics at the Royal Winter Fair (part of his job at the time). It actually was a pretty scary moment for me. I was convinced it was going to come to punches. Knowing that this man was much larger than my father and that Dad has a pit-bull mentality, I was convinced it was going to get messy.

Everyone has the wants to win. There is no question about that. However, for some, the desire to win, and the perceived financial gain that comes with it can make them do things that you would never normally consider doing. Having worked on the “show circuit” I have heard the full range of justification for the actions that some (and I do say some as it is by far not all) are willing to take.

Just before ultrasounds were introduced into the Royal, many on the show circuit made comments similar to “They should just throw the rules out the window and let the best man win”. I have never forgotten that comment, or the person who made it. It was person who I have a very close friendship with and a great deal of respect for, but on this issue I could not DISAGREE more. Not for the reasons you may think. I disagree for the effect that it has on our ability to market cattle internationally. If all our cattle are perceived as fake then why would people want to buy progeny out of them? Since the chances of you getting an animal as good as what you’re seeing is, obviously, very unlikely.

Photo Ethics

Has Photo Enhancement Gone Too Far?This leads into another touchy subject that I set off the other day with our article “Has Photo Enhancement Gone Too Far?” but ties in to the same core issue. If buyers or potential buyers cannot be confident that the animal or genetics they will get is what they see, are you really winning? I am sure in the minds of those who make these changes they think they are doing the correct thing. Are they really? Are you really helping the breeder sell more? Or are you hurting the industry as a whole because you are causing some to distrust the legitimacy of the image? Yesterday at Ontario Spring Discovery, I had a talk with Patty Jones about this issue, a woman whose passion for dairy cattle is second to none. Patty has probably done as much for the marketing and promotion of cattle as anyone in the world. Moreover, (while not quoting Patty directly) there is no question (as there never is when it comes to Patty’s position on anything) that Patty sees the harm that those who have gone over the line are doing to the rest.

Am I saying that it is not possible that on that day they got a great shot? No. I have been there and had it happen. We use to kid that a cow had to look great twice in her life, once on classification day and once on photo day. Photographers like Patty are great at what they do. There is no question that when we call Patty to picture our cattle there is no question she will do her best to get the shot. However, she does so within her moral boundaries. That means yes, she will put shaving cream in the topline or make-up on the udder to make the veins stand out (much like a beautiful woman does before going out). But that is where she draws the line. She never puts veins that were not there, or “extends” their depth of rib or height of rear udder.

Even though we all know the technology is there to do so much more, Patty believes that it’s not worth the cost of her name. While it’s often been said that damn Patty got a great shot of that cow, it has never been at the expense of her ethics. It’s for that reason that people (myself included) have such respect for Patty.

Genetic Ethics

Has Genomics Knocked Out the Hot House Herds?As we pointed out in our article, “Has Genomics Knocked Out the Hot House Herds?” Genomics has greatly changed the ability or a breeder to affect how their cattle rank on the top indexes. Having said that, there are still many ethical debates that a breeder must face. I have seen very strong moral based breeders be pushed to their limits to achieve success. The need to provide for your family or win can be a very challenging choice indeed.

While you know that, they are pushing the limits, the number of excuses for why it is ok start to be many. For me it becomes a more a question of the system than certain players. For the most part these breeders know how the system works and are working within the system. Is the answer to punish these breeders for working the system? Alternatively, is there a need to adjust the system itself? Having grown up in a household where the system was talked about on a daily basis, there is no question that I believe the system can evolve and adjust to account for changes. Much like the NHL had to change, as the players got bigger, stronger, and faster, so does the proof system. Genomics takes a great step forward in this process, but there are also many other changes that can still be made.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

When it comes to marketing dairy cattle genetics, breeders face many ethical questions. This is no different from many other industries where the ethical position is changing. In the corporate world, there has been a huge trend to transparency and accountability. I think this is what we are starting to find a call for, when it comes to marketing dairy cattle. There is a huge potential for “new” money to come into the marketplace. Many breeders who were afraid to spend on top cattle because they were afraid to be “scammed” are now starting to look at it again. Genomics has done a great deal restore confidence to the market place. By being transparent and accountable, the potential profits far outweigh current levels. We see the amazing potential for well-informed breeders to breed and market great cattle. That is the reason why we started “The Bullvine”.

To get a copy of the Dairy Marketing Code of Conduct please click here.

If you believe that there is a need for a ethical standard in marketing dairy cattle genetics please like and share this post.

Yvon Chabot: Invest In The Complete Package

The complete package can mean different things to different people. Yvon Chabot, President and General Manager of Cormdale Exports Ltd., has  many years of experience in the dairy industry judging, investing and working in sales. For him, the complete package must include type, pedigree and genomic potential.

 1. TYPE

At the top of Chabot’s list is type. “She doesn’t need to have show type, if it is an animal with numbers, but she needs to have good functional type, good feet and legs, good udder promise, width to her and a solid top line. She needs to be showing good development for her age.”




“Pedigree and sire line up” are second on Yvon’s criteria for a complete package. As an example, Yvon points to a purchase he made in February 2008 with Ferme Fleury of Victoriaville in Quebec. “We purchased Calbrett Shottle Lisamaree. She was a promising fresh two year old out of Shottle, who was emerging as a superstar with his second crop.” The investment has been very good. “We have sold daughters for top dollars, sold nearly 100 embryos and over 12 sons to AI. She is due now for her third calf and we hope to get her EX after she calves.”  Type and pedigree in the same package.


“In the past, I would have liked to buy milking young cows out of the hot sire of the moment. That is what happened when we bought Lisamaree.” But that was before genomics. In the changing marketplace, Yvon responds to new demands. “Now, most of the genetic business is done with virgin heifers in order to produce the next generation of high indexing animals. Now, I would say, that heifers between 4-8 months would be the age group where I would like to buy into.” Young sires with high genomics are used extensively in flushing. Everybody wants to have the #1 heifer/bull of the next generation.


  • Do your own homework
    You’ve heard it before, but Yvon says it again. “Look at sales reports from the last 6-12 months, to see which cow families, which offspring of which bull and what level of indexes bring top dollars .This will give you an indication   of the possible returns on potential investments. Talk to merchandisers, export agents and AI people to gather as much information as possible on cow families, what sires are being used and so on.
  • Be patient
    Don’t expect your investment to be paid for in full within six months. Think long term. Sometimes, if flush performance is not great it may take longer to see a return. You might not be able to move too many embryos, but, with time, merchandising live offspring could make your investment valuable.





It is a proud day when everything you’re looking for comes together in one animal as it did for Chabot and his partners when they purchased Lylehaven Lila Z. “We purchased her the week after I had placed her at the Royal Winter Fair in 2002. It was kind of special as it was the first significant investment I was making on my own. She had been purchased with Gen-I-Beq group and Mary Inn Holsteins.” She went on to perform, winning the All-Canadian title in the Junior Yearling class. “We later sold Lila Z for a significant amount of money to Albert Cormier and Genervations a few months before she was due with her first calf.” For Chabot, Lila Z’s impact did not end with her sale. Yvon bought her daughter at the Comestar Sale in 2006. “I invested in Comestar Goldwyn Lava, the Goldwyn daughter of Lila Z along with Groupe Gen-I-Beq and a friend from France Frédéric Lepoint. We still own Lava. She has been a great donor and has become a great brood cow. We have been able to merchandise over 100 embryos from her and she has over 20 sons in AI around the world, many offspring have been sold for good money and we are working with her daughters .Her son Lavaman has been the top GLPI bull for a couple of proof rounds.” Lila Z certainly represents investing in the complete package.




The Bullvine Bottom Line

Success in cattle investing happens when you find the total package: “Lila Z wrote an impressive story. I am proud to be part of it.” Yvon Chabot




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The fairy-tale ending was a lifelong dream for all the Jacob’s family members. “Driving thirty hours with your bred cow to go to try to get this banner at the most popular show on earth is something that we always dreamed of.” To achieve their dream only seven years after entering the show ring for the first time marks the peak of their goals but it is only the beginning says Ysabel Jacobs who is in charge of calf raising, paperwork and promotion for the herd.  More than twelve members of the family share her passion for detail when it comes to breeding and showing cattle. “To get a show cow ready every detail is important. It starts from the breeding program and continues until she dies.  We had a great time at World Dairy Expo this year and it gave us such good exposure.”


This family farm is strong on family whether it is their own family team or the cow families that they have built their herd around.  There are different ways to build a show and breeding program.  Ferme Jacobs Inc., Cap-Santé, Que. has had tremendous success at doing both:

  • 2011 1st 4-Year-Old Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
  • 2011 Grand Champion EIHQ
  • 2011 All Canadian Breeders Herd
  • 36 VG, 18 VG first lactation. 10 new EX, 6 multiple EX

“The marketplace is really strong right now.  Everyone is looking for the great one.”  Wanting to breed that special cow means that there is a tremendous market out there for Holsteins.”




A tremendous amount of planning goes on behind the scenes at Ferme Jacob. “We look for every detail that is important at the show and at the farm. We start 4-H at 4 years-old and never stop after that.”  The next generation is starting young too. Yan’s two daughters and Ysabel’s daughter showed their first calves last summer at the county show. ”I think they like it is as much as we do.”  We could see it at the EIHQ! Last fall when Britany was named Grand Champion.  They ran up to the ring to get in on the action!”  And the teamwork extends beyond the family to the extended work team. Ysabel points out. “I have to thank our crew that works with us at the farm and at shows.  It is always great to work with people who have the same passion for cows as we do.  We have been working with some of them for a long time.”


Ferme Jacob knows what they are looking for in dairy cattle and they feel their customers agree. “We breed for type.  We love good udders with nice texture and great feet and legs. Usually when they have those characteristics, they continue on in a good way.” Of course, it isn’t easy and there are lots of decisions and challenges along the way.  Ysabel sums up the family philosophy, “There is nothing more fun than working with great animals day to day!”


This family’s path to success always comes back to the foundation that has been built on strong cow families. “We bred Valsie that was All-Canadian 4-Year-Old in 2004 and 4 years later her daughter Jacobs Dundee Voltage was All-Canadian Milking yearling.  That was a really good accomplishment for us and now Voltage has a Goldwyn daughter that looks interesting for the future.  Once she wins, we will have a market for her until she produces and also a good market for her family.”




Ferme Jacobs knows their market. “We have a really good embryo market around the world right now, stronger for us since we won World Dairy Expo.  When a cow has a good flush we keep some available for the market.  We have done that for many years and our clients like to follow us that way. We use a lot of Gillette Jordan, Sid, Alexander and Goldwyn.   Those are the ones that sort out the most right now.” Returning customers are the measure of success for Ferme Jacobs. “If the cross is good enough for us than it will be good enough for them.  We sell a few of the family after she wins and we try to keep some for our own embryo market.”


Ysabel also has a clear idea of what is needed to achieve success in the show ring. “You need a lot of patience.  For us it has always been an ambition to get this title. We never thought it would come this fast. `Now there is more pressure because people expect more.  At the same time, we like pressure and we will try to handle it.” Obviously, it takes a lot of hard work to achieve the goals Ferme Jacobs has set for themselves and they thank their parents for getting them started.


“Our mom and dad have always supported and encouraged us.  Hard work always pays off one day and nothing is impossible, if you believe in something you will accomplish it one day” That is something they taught us. “Ysabel Jacobs

Has Genomics Knocked Out Hot House Herds?

For years there has been an unspoken awareness that some herds appeared to be able to “work the genetic indexing system.”  These herds clearly understood how genetic indexing systems work in their country and how to manipulate the composition of their herd in order to achieve the highest ranking possible for some top members of the herd.  It was possible to pick these herds out, they had top females and even though they had many sons sampled out of them, seldom were able to produce a top ranking sire, especially for total merit.  This scenario played out in all major countries that use the BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Prediction) system.  Fast forward to the top total merit rankings since genomic testing has become available.  At first glance it appears there might be a lot less of those animals on the list.  The question is: “Has genomics knocked out all of these animals from the top lists?”

How It Was Done In The Past

First it is necessary to understand what was happening in the past.  Since indexing calculations are based on the variance compared to herd and genetic base, the greater the difference the greater the gain or loss in the result.  Putting that into practice takes two areas: conformation and production evaluations.  The following is a breakdown on how both were done.


In order to get maximum results from their genetics programs, many top programs needed to have their top cattle score significantly higher than the other animals scored that same day.  While many people deemed these herds “Hot Houses”, in reality they are just working the BLUP system to get maximum results.  Since the calculations also took into account the genetics of the other animals scored, these “hot house” herds needed to have daughters of high type bulls that would score lower than the selected cattle that were typically sired by bulls with lesser conformation scores.  For example, you have a low value cow sired by a +14 conformation sire that goes 79 points, and a high conformation cow sired by a +6 conformation sire that goes 86 points.  This would provide the selected cow with the greatest difference over the expected value and have significant improvement in their EBV for conformation and thereby in their overall total merit.

It’s in these herds that you may have seen a “good group” and a “bad group” of the herd, with a corresponding difference in management and presentation of the groups.  While it’s normal in any herd to have the high value or “family favorites” get some level of preferential treatment, these herds took it to a new level.  While this sounds bad, in reality it was necessary in order to achieve top rankings.  For the classifier visit the good group was show ready and the bad group was ready to head for beef.  (Though if you read “Tom Byers: It’s Classified” you realize that this really does not make that big a difference for the professional classifier).

In contrast to the “hot house” herds who try to have a high herd average score (for example the average 2yr old score of 83+ points) find it very hard to get high indexing conformation females.  With very little difference in scores from the top to bottom of the herd, there is less herd variance, contributing to a lowering of their overall rankings.  Since these herds where not a cross section representation of the breed population and BLUP treats them as if there were, these cattle actually get somewhat penalized for being a member of a great herd.

In order to have maximum impact, herds wanting to have high index’s needed to have maximum within herd variance. This meant that they have to have a true cross section of the breed present in their herd, as opposed to just the best of the best, like many of these breeders would have liked. It’s also for these reasons why niche type sire sampling programs need to be used in all types of herds not just high conformation breeding programs.


The story is not that different on the production side.  Here the comparisons are for milk, fat and protein yields on a within test day basis.  Adjustments are made for a cow’s age, lactation number, stage of lactation, month / season…etc.

In order to maximize the increase in production genetic evaluations, these “hot house” herds needed to  have underperforming  daughters of high production sires, that were being out produced by the selected females that were typically sired by more balanced sire who’s production index may not be as high.  In Canada, this is where you would see females with very high (i.e. +200 and more) BCA deviations.  Sometimes you would see deviations that were greater than even their herd average BCA.  You ask yourself “How could one cow on the same feed, same treatment, same exact program, produce twice as much milk as another cow?” While it sounds unrealistic, it was necessary in order to gain maximum results.  All breeders have seen cows that can out produce herd mates by 30, 40 even 50%, but when you see them doing more than double (100%) it raises questions in the minds of people with practical cow sense.  Hence why some herds are stamped as “Hot House’s.”

How Genomics Has Changed Things

relative weighting for Direct Genomic Value (DGV) compared to traditional Estimated Breeding Values (EBV)With the introduction of genomic evaluations in August 2009, the effects that any “hot house” efforts can have has been reduced in the genetic indexing systems.  This is because for young cows in first or second lactation, the relative weighting for Direct Genomic Value (DGV) compared to traditional Estimated Breeding Values (EBV) is roughly 55:45 (Source: Canadian Dairy Network).  What that means is that if a “hot house” cow would have had a 300 point jump from these types of efforts, they now would only see a 165 point jump.  While it would still have an effect, genomics has greatly decreased the “hot house” effect. Remember that the female family members of each cow are being re-evaluated as well.  Additionally those females formerly lower on the listings, but that were in herds where practices are normal, could now move up the genetic index rankings.

The other factor that Genomics has brought into play is that, if a particular animal is not gifted with the best genomics her parents had to offer, she will also see a significant drop.  So let’s say that a cow has an EBV-PA of +2500 LPI or TPI, but her genomic panel comes back with a LPI or TPI value of +1500.  That cow would see a drop of about 450 points.  Dropping her  to an LPI or TPI of +2050. This takes her  from being near the top of the list to almost out of consideration.  All this is outside the control of any on-farm practices.  It’s for these reasons I am sure that some owners now get nervous when opening their genomic results letters.  This single test can have the biggest effect on the genetic profitability of any cow.  It can even have a greater effect than the classification.  With GLPI’s and GTPI’s now over 60% reliable, adding animal performance information now has much less influence than in the past.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

The great news is that genetic indexes that contain animal genomic information are not as influenced by preferential treatment or herd variance as traditional genetic indexes are.  Since genomic values are based on evaluations of thousands of cattle in many different herds, in many different environments, and in different countries, the ability of a “hot house” to greatly change results has been significantly diminished.  That is not to say it has been totally removed.  Remember that 45% of the new GLPI formula is still based on an animal’s performance compared to contemporaries.  Therefore, these efforts will still have an effect.  It is for these reasons that you see some previously prominent cows and cow families are now absent from the top female lists.  Am I saying that these cattle may not be great investment?  No, what I am saying is consider these factors when making your purchase decision.  Do your homework before selecting, breeding, merchandising or buying.  GLPI’s, GTPI’s and DVG’s will help you make more informed decisions, but remember they are just a tool.
The Dairy Breeders No BS Guide to Genomics


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Tom Byers, who is in charge of classification for Holstein Canada knows a lot about the differences in cattle. “The show ring cow, with the emphasis on red carpet style is more the extreme. This is exactly what she should be. When you see her at the Royal in that ring every Holstein breeder in Canada wants to own her whether he thinks he’s commercial or not . Good breeders know that. They appreciate a good cow, show ring or barn.” Having said that, Tom points out that the Canadian classification system does not reward extremes.  He goes on to point out where they are similar. “There are two things that make the show cow and the cow in barn the same, when it comes to being judged or classified. Those two things are the two most important traits – udders and feet and legs.”

Tom Byers - Ferme GilletteUDDERLY EXCELLENT

Byers has classified many amazing cows but, when it comes to udders, he tells about one cow that got him excited. “It was at Ferme Gillette and it was the old Smurf cow who is the new World Champion for Lifetime production. We were walking past her stall when I asked Louis, ‘What is that cow classified?’ He gave her a pat on the rump and she immediately got up. Faster than some two year olds I might add. When I saw that udder and felt the texture I could have stretched it from Ferme Gillette to the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa and it would have sprung right back. Looking at her spring of fore and rear rib, I knew I had to make her EX.” Classification doesn’t reward extremes but Byers can sure describe them!


Tom doesn’t really think it is necessary to have cows ready for the previously mentioned red carpet when the classifier comes. “The simple answer is ‘No!’ it’s not necessary.  But I do think it makes a difference to the Holstein member. A self satisfaction if you will. Classifiers always appreciate good housekeeping.” Having said that, he goes on, “If you mean getting up in the middle of the night to have their udders full and most times over full to present to the classifier, I would just like to quote an old colleague and mentor of mine, Don Aylsworth “Feed the cow and the udder will fill itself.” Classified information indeed!

Future of Dairy Cattle ClassificationFACING FORWARD WITH CLASSIFICATION

Dedicated to his career and the members he serves, Byers takes his customary positive approach to the future. “I think we will continue to evolve our program to meet the needs of the dairy producer. Classification is without a doubt a very important animal welfare program and by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the individual, we can corrective mate to help the next generation take care of herself in the different environments we ask her to work in. We have always combined science and cow sense as we have made changes.”


Byers feels that “Classification will be the conformation verification of our Genomic selected sires.” He is justifiably proud of the dairy industry, “We must always remember that the world comes to Canada for its cow.  If Genomics can enhance our accuracy of genetic selection that will be a bonus! Our cow in Canada has never been better than she is today.  She is calving from 22 to 25 months of age. For the first time her udder is 5 inches above her hock and she wants to milk 40 plus liters.” That’s “Oh Canada” as sung by classifier Byers.


Tom Byers feels it has been his privilege to represent Canada domestically and internationally and to build lasting memories with his colleagues and Holstein Breeders.


Weekly Show and Sale Recap– 3/24/2012


  • California Earthquake Sale Shakes Out $13,740 Average
    A great lineup of cattle at the California Earthquake Sale with a balanced mix of high genomic individuals and the high type showring kind appealed to all markets and at the end of the day, the unofficial average was $13,740. Managed by Butler-Fellers Auctions, Inc., the sale grossed $1,786,300. Sale hosts Frank & Diane Borba, Frank & Carol Borba, Leo & Cheryle Durrer and Chris & Ellen Durrer and Wayne & Beth Glaeser provided the finest hospitality all week long and capped off the event with a post-sale party that many, many sale attendees stayed to enjoy. (Source: Holstein World)
    High Sellers:
    • Lot 1 – $125,000 – Pierstein Goldwyn Frisou VG-89-CAN – will show as a 5-Year-Old this year!
    • Lot 13 – $150,000 – Furnace-Hill Lewis Shes Sam +2617 GTPI Lewis daughter of Ladys-Manor Pl Shandra-ET (VG-85 GTPI +2400) – #4 GTPI heifer in the breed!
    • Lot 14 – $70,000 – Bacon-HIll Ostyle Monica-ET, a 12/11 O-Style at +2380 GTPI out of Unique-Style Bolton Money (EX-91 GTPI +2296)
    • Lot 17 – $62,000 – Pencroft-Ammon GC Cierra-ET, a 10/11 Gold Chip that is the #1 Type heifer in the breed at +5.00T. Her dam – Ammon Farms Mac Classic-ET is now EX-90.
    • Lot 2- $50,000 – 1st choice Goldwyn due 9/2012 from 2011 All-American 4-Year-Old RockyMountain Talent Licorice (EX-92)
  • East to West Tag Sale Averages $5,892
    The East to West tag sale has wrapped up at Hanalee Holsteins achieving an average of $5,892 on 30 lots. (Source: Holstein World)
    • Topping the sale was Kingsway Goldwyn Advertise at $15,000.  She is a spring yearling granddaughter of Kingsway Terrason Allie EX-95 2E *2, was consigned by Kingsway, Trent Valley and Jason Mell, and sold to Hanalee, Colin Meulendyk of Millbrooke Holsteins and Ethan McMillan.
    • Also bringing $15,000 was Hanalee Boxer Cherrio, another spring yearling with a GLPI of +2597.  She is a daughter of Willsona Bolton Chelsea VG-86 2yr, was consigned by Hanalee and purchased by John Hazeleger.
    • Third high seller at $10,000 was Hazbro Sanchez All Spark, a summer yearling great granddaughter of Kingsway Terrason Allie.  She was consigned by Hazbro and sold to Walkerbrae.
  • Ontario East-Central Tag Sale
    15 lots sold for average of $4137 (Source: Cowsmopolitan)
    Top Seller
    • Sharp Acres S T Maeve, Lot #2. $15,000.
      Consignor: Sharp Acres Holsteins, Roselandvale Farms, Prospect Holsteins, and Boxcar Holsteins.
      Buyer: Simon Lalande, Blondin Holsteins
    • 2nd High Seller
      Velthuis Snowman Elvena, Lot #40  $9,000.
      Consignor: Velthuis Farms Ltd.
      Buyer: Fricosons Holsteins
    • 3rd High Seller
      Elmcroft Attic Mavis, Lot #17 $5,800.
      Consignor: Elmcroft Holsteins
      Buyer: Sikmadale Holsteins
  • March Madness Sale Highlights
    March 17, 2012, Frederick, MD , Unofficial Average $10,286 (Source: Cowsmopolitan)
    Top 5 High Sellers
    • $50,100 – Lot C – 1st choice female out of Welcome Bookem Etty-ET whose 50K GTPI 2573 making her the #7 GTPI female of the breed 12/11. MAS – flush will be made on 3/21/12
    • $50,000 – Lot B – 1st choice female from April flush to Numero Uno or MAS out of Tranquillity AC Dreary Trac-ET GTPI 2518
    • $45,000 – Lot F – Ryan-Crest Shamrock Exciting-ET GTPI 2487 3.63T, a January 2012 Shamrock out of Nova-TMJ Golden Erin-ET (VG-89 DOM) GTPI 2128
    • $44,000 – Lot L – 1st choice Mogul female out of Larcrest Comical-ET 50K GTPI 2546
    • $39,000 – Lot A – 1st choice Epic from 8 pregnancies due May 2012 out of Ladys Manor Ruby D Shawn-ET EX-90 DOM GTPI 2167
  • Boclair Tops With Elegance
    The March Border & Lakeland Dairy sale held at Borderway Sale Centre on March 21st once again proved to be a top event with both buyers and sellers going home with their goals achieved.   The show was judged by one of the breeds more experienced personalities Mr Tecwyn Davies from the Caeremlyn herd in South West Wales.  His Champion was Boclair Dancer Beatrice 2, a strong powerful heifer with a super udder bred from three Excellent dams with yields over 13,000kgs.  The Champion was consigned by David Brewster and was purchased by JB Marshall, Auchenleck, Castle Douglas. (Source: Holstein World)
    • Mr Davies Reserve Champion was Holywood Scooby Crimson bred by Robert Whiteford and consigned by David Hodgson from the Wormanby herd.  She was a silky black heifer with a lot of style and sired by Go-Farm Allen Scooby-Duu and sold for 2,500gns to N&SJ Sanderson, Burtholme Farm, Brampton.
    • Winning the Junior heifer in milk class was another heifer from David Brewster, Boclair Bolton Elegance was bred from the world renowned Krull Broker Elegance EX96.  This heifer is potentially the sixth generation of Excellent and she sold for the top price of the day 3,200gns to Messer Bryson, Whiteflatt Farm, Ayrshire.
    • The Telfer family from High Branchal, Bridge of Weir had a special offering from their popular Branchal herd.  Topping this wonderful consignment was a heifer sired by Aquila Patron Lucente from the Divina family, she now joins the herd of J Baxter, Gibblaston Farm, Renfrewshire for 2,550gns.  Another Branchal heifer sold for 2,500gns going to N&SJ Sanderson, Burtholme Farm, Brampton she was a daughter of Annandale Keiser from the Katkin family.
  • Iowa Spring Sale Highlights!
    Beautiful weather and a full house crowd contributed to a record breaking day at the Iowa State Sale on Saturday, March 17, 2012 in West Union, IA.  The sale earned an impressive average of $4,963 on 82 lots!  It was fitting for three Shamrock calves to top this St. Patrick’s day sale, starting with Lot 7, Far-R-La Anaheim Angelie-ET*RC GTPI+2429 who sold for $68,000.  Angelie is a Shamrock from Far-R-La Anaheim Angels-ET and descends from the Altitude family.  She was consigned by Rauen, Demmer & Simon and sold to Daisy Dairy of Dallas, TX with Cross Genetics, LLC contending. Second high seller was Lot 8, another *RC Shamrock with high genomics, KHW Shamrock Aralyn-ET.  She has a GTPI of +2407 and is a November 2011 daughter of KHW Goldwyn Aiko-ET VG-86 x Altitude.  She was consigned by High Altitude Genetics, WI and purchased by Cross Genetics, LLC, IL.  Third high seller was Lot 2, Butlerview Shamrock Jeve-ET GTPI+ 2402 at $25,000.  She is a Shamrock daughter of Coyne-Farm Freddie Jeven-ET GTPI+2269, was consigned by Jeff Butler and purchased by Daisy Dairy of Dallas, TX. (Source: Holstein World)
  • Ohio Holstein Association Convention Sale Averages $2639
    The day was beautiful, the cattle looked great, and a nice crowd was on hand for the Ohio Holstein Association Convention Sale held Friday, March 16, 2012 at the Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield, Ohio.   Sixty (60) live lots sold for an average of $2639.  One choice lot sold for $2600 and two embryo lots averaged $825. (Source: Holstein World)
    • Topping the sale at $7000 was  Lot # 4, Pine-Tree Planet Suela, classified Very Good 86, a daughter of Ensenada Taboo Planet-ET, she had a nice record in progress, sold with contracts, and was open and ready to flush.  Purchased by Steven Gasser, Creston, Ohio, she was consigned by Matthew Steiner, Rittman, Ohio.
    • Selling for $5100 was Lot # 6, Congress-LK GWN AKE2877-ET, a fall calf sired by Braedale Goldwyn from a Very Good 87 daughter of the well known Tri-Day Ashlyn-ET  Her buyer was Gene Iager, Fulton, Maryland and she was consigned by Congress Lake Farm, Mogadore, Ohio.
    • Pine-Tree Spearmint Marie, Lot # 19, a big, strong daughter of Pine-Tree Spearmint showing a nice udder promise and due to calve at anytime, sold for $5000 to Austin Trbovich, Waynesburg, Ohio.  From a VG 85 Bolivar daughter with records of 32,970 milk 1256 fat and 1022 protein, she was consigned by James Kemp, West Salem, Ohio.


  • Spanish champions
    Two major shows were held in Galicia, Spain, with the Open Show resulting in a nice victory for Badiola Goldwyn Megate, a Goldwyn daughter from the well-known Megate family of the Badiola herd in Asturias. At the Fefriga Show, held at the same time, Blanco Duplex Sonia 315 of Blanco de Lalin from Pontevedra triumphed. (Source: Holstein International)
  • Cabon successes
    Drake daughter Caroline of Gaec Cabon was made Grand Champion by judge Joseph Le Tinnier at the Finistère Show in the French coastal city of Quimper. This was the culmination of a tremendous show for the Cabon herd, as with Sanchez daughter Gold, Goldwyn daughter Elwood, and Roumare daughter Decision, they had won all the other titles! (Source: Holstein International)
  • Miss Ostfriesland
    Immertreu was chosen as the new Miss Ostfriesland at the Excellentschau in Leer, Germany. Immertreu, sired by Sinatra son Sindbad, and owned by Gerhard Tammen, had won the Intermediate title earlier on, while Lentini daughter ZMB Tobine captured the senior title. In the junior classes, daughters of Roy and Charts triumphed. (Source: Holstein International)

Should A.I. Companies Own Females?

The debate is back! While Artificial Insemination companies have owned females for many years, with recent dominance by some AI breeding programs on the TOP GTPI list in the US and the upcoming ability for breeders to sample their own bulls, the debate is at the forefront again!

Lessons from the Past

Over the years there have actually been many examples, with mixed results when A.I. companies have owned their own female bloodlines.

  • AltaGenetics
    Back in 2001 Alta Genetics caused considerable  stir when they planned to take their embryo program and convert it into a 1000 elite females test herd to have sires sampled through 100 contracted progeny test herds.  While the program had many supporters from the genetic advancement side, it was seen as very risky and ultimately was put on hold when Alta purchased Network Genetics.  The herd was then dispersed to farms owned by Alta in Canada and Holland and in four independent herds in the U.S.
  • GenerVations
    GenerVations is probably a great example of an A.I. program that has had a lot of success owning their own female bloodlines.  Starting with Albert Cormier’s part ownership of Skys-The-Limit Claire where he was able to maximize profits from both sides, thanks to Champion.  Continued by GenerVations part ownership of Lylehaven Lila Z, owning female bloodlines has been what enables GenerVations to compete on a global scale.  Not being able to have a large sampling program, GenerVations has had to focus on potency rather than volume.  Selecting on the very top bloodlines and putting all your eggs in a few baskets means GenerVations has to take a larger risk than the big A.I. companies.  Owning top females has helped them manage the risk.
  • Genex CRI
    The Genex CRI Genesis program has been around since 1989.  While heavily focused on top Index cattle they have been able to achieve success on the female side with such cattle as MS Pride Plnt Tasket 788-ET who tops TPI and Lifetime Net Merit lists.  On the male side, the Genex program has proven to be very stable in their bull program.  The 54 Co-op prefix bulls averaged a mere $1 drop in Lifetime Net Merit (LNM) as they transitioned from genomic-only genetic evaluations in August 2010 to daughter-proven genetic evaluations in December 2011 (minimum of 40 daughters).  The average change among the 1,879 bulls industry wide over the same time period was a $22 decrease.
  • St. Jacobs ABC
    While the St. Jacobs ABC’s Judges Choice program has been around for many years marketed in partnership with ABS Global. They have more recently entered into the ownership of top female bloodlines with the purchase of Ashlyn, Hezbollah, and Barbara.  Choosing to focus on established show cattle has meant that the Judges Choice program has been focused on young sire sales with sires achieve proven status being an added bonus.
  • Select Sires
    Probably the A.I. Company making the biggest waves today is Select Sires.  Select has been very aggressive in the ownership of top genomic females to the point that on the December Top 200 Genomic Female list they owned 18% of the top 50 new genomics heifers in the US.  With Ladys-Manor PL Shamrock and others, Select Sires is investing heavily in ownership of top genomics females in order to produce the next generation of top TPI Sires.

The Genomic Game Changer

The biggest reason this issue is coming up again is because genomics is changing the prominence of industry sires with no daughter proof data, and virgin heifers are now in heavy demand as for contract matings.  Genomics has deceased the risk to such a level that it can be very economically viable for these A.I. companies to invest in top bloodlines and increase their genetic advancement rate faster than their competition.  By being able to control the matings on these top females and use top (often unproven ) genomic sires on these virgin heifers they will be able to greatly increase their rate of advancement over their competition, and in fact fast than even top breeders.  That is because they will have access to their own top genomics young sires sooner. They  can use them on contract matings far faster than any breeder can.  This gives  them a distinct competitive advantage over both other A.I. companies and over breeders.

The Question of Ownership

A.I. companies owning females seems to be a very touchy issue for many breeders.  While many of these companies are perfectly within their rights legally, it comes down to a question of public perception.  Many companies, such as Semex, have taken a very vocal position that they do not own females.  Given that Semex is a member owned co-operative, it’s understandable that they do not want to be in competition with their breeders, many of whom are the top suppliers of sires to many A.I. companies worldwide.  However, Select Sires is also a federation of nine farmer-owned-and-controlled cooperatives.  You could not have two more extremely opposite positions from two very similarly owned companies.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Genomics has changed the breeding world.  However, it has also created a wild wild west environment where both breeders and A.I. companies are figuring out what the new world will look like.  Will A.I. companies be nothing more than service companies that deliver genetics from many sources (much like a Wal-Mart) where they are more based on quality of service and customer experience than the genetics they have to offer?  Will more and more top breeders try to increase their own profits and sample their own sires? (Watch for articles on these issues coming shortly)  The important  thing to note is that some A.I. companies have taken early steps to control the source and supply top genetic animals to their customers.  The world is changing and so will  the inter-relationship between breeders and A.I. companies, in many cases they are no longer just a customer they are now a competitor.

What do you think?  Leave your comments in the box below.

Lindenright Morty Delicio: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

Naming offspring of great cow families is partly marketing, partly alphabetical and often quite fun. When Lindenright Holsteins of Antigonish, Nova Scotia was faced with naming a heifer from the influential Daurel family, they foresaw great things ahead and chose the uniquely descriptive name “Delicio”.

Delicio and Goldwyn Are the Lindenright Recipe for Success

Lindenright Morty Delicio EX-93-2E-CAN 8* never disappointed owner Jason Van der Linden when it came to successful breeding. “Like most cows of this decade, Goldwyn daughters have been the best from Delicio.  They are her highest scoring daughters and also her highest ranking daughters on the GLPI list.” He adds, “We also really like the Toystorys.  They are her best producing daughters.”



Stirring Things Up with Delicio

It is always a good idea to push the envelope and Lindenright Holsteins are up for that too. “We use a wide range of bulls on the Delicio family.  We are trying to develop branches with different and/or unique sire stacks.  We typically use more genomic bulls then proven bulls and try to do only one or two flushes with any one genomic bull.”

Delicio Brings Genomic Ranking to the Table

Lindenright watches the changing cattle industry.  Jason notes. “With the introduction of genomics it seems the higher the GLPI, the higher the demand for sons/ eggs.” Says Jason. He points out. “Goldwyn’s have been very popular along with Lindenright Toystory Destiny VG-97-4YR-CAN.  This past year granddaughters like Lindenright Baxter Delish VG-86-2yr-CAN, Lindenright Planet Discovery VG-86-2yr-CAN, Lindenright Manifold Delighted, and Lindenright Super Dedicated have been creating interest.”  The process is ongoing. “Beacon Discover, a daughter of Planet Discovery is our next Delicio to work with.” Jason’s confidence is born out by the statistics. Delicio and her descendants have risen high on the genomic charts.  With twelve daughters in the top 1000 on the GLPI list, Delicio is tied for second for most daughters. Delicio herself is the highest ranking nine year old with her position at #253.



Delicio is Heating Up on World Markets

Change happens all the time and Van der Linden has welcomed this latest development in Delicio’s career. “Being nominated for 2011 Cow of the Year has brought global and national recognition to Delicio and her descendants.” That’s pretty great on its own Jason admits but he goes on to say, “It has also raised the popularity of the La Presnetation Daurel 55* family.  Canada’s all-time leading star brood cow.” Business thrives on word of mouth and it is working for Lindenright Holsteins. “Initially we sold some Goldwyn embryos to Quebec and marketed some bulls to Semex.  In the past year we have sold some family members in the Maritimes and are beginning to market eggs internationally.  In the beginning of developing the family we held on to members of the family to create branches at home.  Now that the family is gaining popularity and size we are selling members and eggs.”



Delicio’s Got Milk

Attention for your great cow families is highly sought after by dairy breeders.  However the bottom line always comes back to producing milk.  Jason is more than pleased with Delicio in this area. “Delicio produces incredible volumes of milk.  She does it consistently and easily in our free-stall set up.  She is a dream to work with herself and she is transmitting her abilities to her offspring.”

Delicio Daughters are Chart Toppers



Delicio Delivers the Complete Package

Jason points with pride to her achievements. “Delicio has excelled at everything measurable.  She has calved 4 times and is scored Ex-93-2E. In 2010 She was the honor role leader for six year old cows in Canada, for total performance.  She is top cow in Canada for most daughters in the top 1000 on the GPLI list.” For him the proof is in her perfection “We think that Delicio is one of the most complete cows ever to be nominated for Canadian Cow of the Year.”

Make Your Vote Count

Over the next few days we will be profiling the nominees and encourage you to get your vote in before Fridays deadline.  There are 4 ways of voting— Voting options include mail in ballot; faxing your ballot; emailing your vote to; or voting online through your Holstein Canada account.  Check out the other nominees; Stadacona Outside Abel, Gillette Blitz 2nd Wind and Smithden Allen Alison.

Stadacona Outside Abel: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeGillette Blitz 2nd Wind: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeSmithden Allen Alison: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

Smithden Allen Alison: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

There was a time when certain dynasties were described as empires on which the sun never sets. It works for special cow family’s too especially if they are led by Smithden Allen Alison VG-88-5YR-CAN 17*. The matriarch of this dynasty is still active in the Smithden herd, owned by Jim, Pat, Jeff and Sarah Smith of Woodstock, Ontario and continues to extend her global reach. “Generation after generation of this family produces extremely well.” says Jim Smith naming just a few of the countries that they have sold Alison’s genetics too. “Breeders from Italy, Argentina, Spain, Estonia, France and Germany have all been satisfied customers.”  Smith takes pride in the excellent product that has made Alison so sought after. “Everyone has benefited because of this family’s ability to transmit quality udders and correct structure in their feet & legs.”

Alison’s Daughters are Also Rising Stars



Popular daughters include Smithden Goldwyn Alexandra (VG-89-5yr-2*), a Goldwyn full sister to Admiral and Aaron. Alexandra is the dam of Smithden Bolton Alexandria (VG-86-2yr) —the #3 GLPI cow in April 2011. Alison also has milking daughters by Titanic, Modest, Pagewire, Shottle, Goldwyn and Salto including a VG-88 Shottle in Germany. Alison’s daughter Dairyno Royal Goldwyn Pinta (VG-89-3yr-ITA) has become a prominent bull mother in Italy!



Alison Shines as a Star Brood Cow

It is great when you have the right product and she’s a great producer too! Jim looks back at some of Alison’s achievements. “In her first two lactations she averaged 12 embryos per flush.  To date, she is a 7th generation star brood cow all with the Smithden prefix.” The list goes on as her daughters and granddaughters are consistently proving themselves with the attributes of top genomics, type and performance.  “She has 17 brood stars and has proven that she knows how to work.  In three lactations, Alison has produced more than 74,556 kgs of milk with a 4.0% F and 3.6% P. with two Superior lactations.” Alison is obviously built to last and has transmitted these qualities to her offspring.  “Alison has 20 daughters with an ME average over 14,873 kgs of milk.” That’s great. “Fourteen of the twenty daughters, score VG or EX.” That’s awesome Alison all right!

Alison Sons Also Shine

Alison has four sons in AI with a total of six VG at 2 years old. Smithden Admiral (VG-88-5yr EXTRA’11) was the #1 LPI sire in August 2011 and continues to rank high in the LPI chart, along with Smithden Aaron (EX-91 SP’11), who ranked #18 on the December 2011 LPI listing. The Smith family is justifiably proud. “These Goldwyn sons have now become sires of sons — proving what was transmitted from Alison will now be passed on to further descendants of her offspring.”

 Alison Strikes Gold with Goldwyn



The accolades for Alison continue when you consider the bulls she has worked well with. “The best mating on Alison” says Jim “has been undoubtedly Goldwyn. That mating resulted in three 89 point 3 year olds, an 89 point 2 year old in Italy,  three more 2 year olds that have scored 87, 86, 85, and two more 2 year olds that are 84, 83.  Admiral and Aaron are VG and EX Goldwyn sons respectively.” For offspring of Alison the Smith family have several they’re working with. “We are currently using Sudan, Snowman, Mural, Numero Uno, Artes, Windbrook, Stanleycup.” Demand for this family his high. “At Smithden the largest demand is for Alison’s daughter, Smithden Goldwyn Allegra, and her granddaughters, Smithden Shottle Autumn, Blondin Planet Arcadia, and Blondin Planet Alexandria. They are driving the largest demand these days.” Jim highlights a growing list. “Other popular donors are Alison’s daughter Smithden Goldwyn Alexandra at Blondin, granddaughter Smithden Bolton Alexandria at Zimmers and daughter Smithden Goldwyn Ashley at Hanalee.”



Award Winner Alison Also Lights up the Marketplace

The Smith family who earned their second Master Breeder shield in 2010 give a good share of the credit to the success of Alison and her family members. “She has had a tremendous impact on our herd in terms of genetic advancement and the attention that the herd has received both domestically and internationally.” Jim is happy to add, “She is doing it again with her nomination for Cow of the Year!”

Alison Puts the Spotlight on the Canadian Kind

Smithden Holsteins recognize that Alison’s achievements go well beyond Woodstock, Ontario. Jim describes her far-reaching impact. “It still surprises us how many International people come to Smithden to see Alison.  Many times they want to get in the pen with her and have their picture taken with her.  With her width of chest, depth of rib and femininity, she has been referred to as a truly “Canadian Cow”!  She has become an international star and an ambassador for Canada and the Canadian Holstein.”


Make Your Vote Count

Over the next few days we will be profiling the nominees and encourage you to get your vote in before Fridays deadline.  There are 4 ways of voting— Voting options include mail in ballot; faxing your ballot; emailing your vote to; or voting online through your Holstein Canada account.  Check out the other nominees; Stadacona Outside Abel, Gillette Blitz 2nd Wind and Lindenright Morty Delicio.

Stadacona Outside Abel: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeGillette Blitz 2nd Wind: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeLindenright Morty Delicio: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

Gillette Blitz 2nd Wind: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

When the competition is fierce, every true competitor hopes to experience the second wind that will propel them to victory. The Patenaude family of Ferme Gillette in Embrun Ontario doesn’t have to wait. They have bred their own Gillette Blitz 2nd Wind VG-88-3YR-CAN 34* and again and again she breezes her way to the top of every competitive list. In a herd that is renowned for exceptional cattle she holds her own and thus has earned her nomination as 2011 Cow of the Year.

2nd Wind is First Class Time and Time Again

Eric Patenaude points with pride to a list of 2nd Wind’s achievements:

  • Five times in five years she made the top 10 of the GLPI/LPI cow list (May 2005 to April 2010).
  • Six times she was the number one LPI cow.
  • Four times, she was the leader for type.
  • Three times, the leader for milk.
  • Five times, she has been the leading dam of top 1000 GLPI daughters. with up to as many as 14 daughters appearing in any one proof round.

Bolton Number One for 2nd Wind

In the cattle business a great cow needs to have great mates and here, as well, Eric feels she is exceptional. “I must admit pretty much every mating has worked well on 2nd Wind but by far the best has been Bolton. Gillette Bolton 2nd Sleep and Gillette Bolton 2nd Motivation two full sisters are both 89 points and Gillette Bolton 2nd Rain (split sister to Sleep) who is now deceased was 87 points but I’m pretty sure she would have moved up to 89 as well with another calf.” His confidence in breeding to 2nd Wind sends him into rapturous descriptions. “These Bolton daughters are just beautiful to look at with big dairy frames and a tremendous will to milk in those incredible udders which have become 2nd Wind’s trademark!.  We love them so much that we have IVF’d her to Bolton again and now have 5 more beautiful heifers to work with.” The 2nd Wind comes through on the bull side as well for the Patenaude’s. “Stanleycup and Windhammer are examples on the bull side of how well Bolton has worked on her. Having said that, FBI has worked well too producing also exceptional son Gillette Windbrook.”



Making the Most of 2nd Wind

It is hard to see any downside to this cow even when Eric explains, “Unfortunately 2nd Wind wasn’t a big embryo producer. That is why she only has about 15 milking daughters. And also a reason why she has so many split offspring. We tried to make the most of her. Once we sent her to Transova she responded pretty well to IVF! We have about 40 heifers from this. With bulls like Garrett, Super, Aftershock, Evolve, Ross, Niagra, Observer, Jordan, Lauthority, Bolton, Iota, Shamrock, Sudan, Triumphant, Levi and Hero.” Talk about getting a second wind!

The Impact of 2nd Wind

The two Bolton sisters are now 5 years old  and are still in continuous demand. They are on a steady flush program with IVF in between. There is an FBI daughter in Japan that is apparently transmitting really well with daughters scoring high and putting bulls into A.I for our great partner in 2nd Wind and 2nd Snooze Toshiaki Yamada of T-wave Holsteins..  Her “Bolton” daughter, Gillette Bolton 2nd Sleep (VG-89), was the number one GLPI cow in April and August 2010 and is currently tied as the top cow for conformation in Canada at +19 and she was Res. Grand in Kemptville this past year.



Split 2nd Wind

Progeny from 2nd Wind keep making exceptional headlines such as this one: “Split Embryo Twins Burst onto the Scene Emerge at #5 LPI!” This refers to identical twins from a split embryo – Gillette Wildthing and Gillette Willrock – who made their Top 10 LPI entrance at position #5. The twins became the first under the new rule to have their progeny pooled to generate an equivalent proof for each bull (2377 LPI).

Extra! Extra! Unprecedented Five Class Extra Sons Plus #1 and #2 LPI Daughters

“Not to take anything away from the other nominees as they are all great cows but with 5 class extra sons that came out this year which has NEVER been done before, 2nd Sleep being #1 in august and 2nd Snooze being #2 right now what 2nd Wind as accomplished this year alone to us is what truly defines a cow of the year.  Her genes will have impact for many years to come and her name will appear in most major pedigrees of the world!

Since we own the cow with Mr. Yamada, much of the embryos she produced that were not implanted at the farm went to Japan.  Some have gone to Europe. But the good news is with the bulls she is putting out now the whole world can benefit from her genes!”

And so 2nd Wind’s record of achievements will continue to be as prolific as she is. Eric notes “At 9 years of age and still alive she has already matched Gypsy Grand at 37*. With 40 more daughters on the ground that haven’t calved yet and 2 more bulls awaiting proof who knows how many stars she will get?  It would surely be nice to surpass the 50* mark.”  2nd Wind Second to None!


Make Your Vote Count

Over the next few days we will be profiling the nominees and encourage you to get your vote in before Fridays deadline.  There are 4 ways of voting— Voting options include mail in ballot; faxing your ballot; emailing your vote to; or voting online through your Holstein Canada account.  Check out the other nominees; Stadacona Outside Abel, Smithden Allen Alison and Lindenright Morty Delicio.

Stadacona Outside Abel: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeSmithden Allen Alison: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeLindenright Morty Delicio: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

Stadacona Outside Abel: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

Modest beginnings to Happily Ever After!

Once upon a time, Stadacona Outside Abel  VG-88-4YR-CAN 26* was purchased for $5200 by Bloyce Thompson of Eastside Holsteins and Jamie Lewis of Lewisdale Holsteins. In 2002, they were mainly considering her for the show ring says Bloyce. “Abel was bred by Stadacona Holsteins of Quebec and had had some early show success.  We were looking to build on that at the fall shows.” Until then this big, strong calf’s future value had been discounted because she had two GP cows behind her VG dam. However, soon enough, they could see that Abel had potential. “She calved out with an Integrity heifer that was a successful show calf and then a Champion heifer that was nominated All-Canadian.” Her brood cow career which didn’t begin until she was three years old was largely an “after-thought” says Thompson. Today, he would probably call it a happily-ever-after-thought.

Abel Goes From “Nearly Missed” to “Never Misses!”



Looking back, it is hard to imagine Abel as anything but the belle-of-the-ball. With 26 VG 2-year-old daughters, she is leading a super-princess lineup that includes 11 VG 88 daughters, 2 VG 89 daughters and an amazing 3 EX daughters. Her proud owners foresee that “Abel could challenge for the title of the most EX daughters in Canada.”  Having said that, there is no need to wait to start recording Abel’s outstanding lineage.  Her daughter, Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy EX-95-CAN, hasn’t missed a step in her year-after-year march to the podium.

  • 2008    Missy undefeated on the show circuit
  • 2009    Missy first junior 3 at Madison and Reserve Intermediate Champion
  • 2009    Missy sold for 1.2 million in November
  • 2010    Missy produces 30 daughters and 24 sons from IVF flush program
  • 2011    Missy Grand Champion in Madison
  • 2011    Missy Grand Champion at Royal Winter Fair


Abel has the Formula for Mating Magic

There are many reasons that Thompson and Lewis love the success they have had with Abel.  High on the list they point to her breeding ability. “She just one of those cows that has been able to mate to any bull and throws a good one.” The numbers certainly support this claim. Abel has sixteen high scoring daughters scoring from VG-88 to EX-95.  Four Champions; Three Goldwyns, Three Dundees; Two Damions; Two Astronomicals; one Integrity and one Magical.  Currently they have a sire plan they are using on the Abel family. “Stanley Cup on the Goldwyns.  Numero Uno to add some index.  And we’re adding Goldwyn on the members that don’t have Goldwyn in it.”



Abel is always in Demand.  Perfectly Amazing Internationally Too!

Abel’s success story has been shared with many very happy cattle breeders.  “As embryo producers, the family has been phenomenal.  Abel produced over 150 embryos while she was alive.  Since the border was closed we sold most of them throughout Canada. There is huge demand these days for Missy’s full sisters Eastside Lewisdale G Perfect, and another full sister Lewisdale Eastside Gold Amaze.” Amazing is right! Bloyce continues “Amaze embryos have been sold to more than 20 countries around the world. We have had over 350 embryos from her and just had 23 in a flush last week. She came along when Missy started gaining notoriety and has ridden that wave.” Of course he adds, “Perfect took up where Amaze left off.”






A Crowning Achievement for Abel

Looking back at Abel, who passed last year, Bloyce says “She is every dairyman’s dream cow. She could have been in anyone’s barn and she would still have achieved what she has accomplished.  She has so many offspring all across Canada in many, many different herds.  Her legacy was totally out of our hands and yet the success achieved in all those herds, attests to Abel’s breeding ability.” With so many successes already in the record books, Bloyce and Jamie agree, “It’s an honour to have Abel nominated for Cow of the Year. This will be the last jewel in her crown. We are very proud of her.  She has a lot of friends out there so we are hoping for the best.” It would be a classic fairy tale ending.


Make Your Vote Count

Over the next few days we will be profiling the nominees and encourage you to get your vote in before Fridays deadline.  There are 4 ways of voting— Voting options include mail in ballot; faxing your ballot; emailing your vote to; or voting online through your Holstein Canada account. Check out the other nominees; Gillette Blitz 2nd Wind, Smithden Allen Alison and Lindenright Morty Delicio.

Gillette Blitz 2nd Wind: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeSmithden Allen Alison: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year NomineeLindenright Morty Delicio: 2011 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee

Weekly Show and Sale Recap– 3/17/2012


  • Clandeboye & Relough Herds Reign Supreme
    A dream champion which would compete anywhere in the world was how Welsh judge Andrew Jones described the winner of the 2012 Irish National Holstein Show. Mr Jones who runs the 100-cow Rossett herd based at Wrexham, awarded the supreme overall championship ribbons, sponsored by Cookstown Dairy Services, to Clandeboye Champion Francesca VG89, a senior second calver brought out by Mark Logan, herd manager at Clandeboye Estate in Bangor, County Down. “This is an exceptional cow which would be capable of winning her class at any show around the world. She is a modern, well-balanced Holstein with a super mammary system, and moves well on a great set of feet and legs,” said the judge, who was undertaking his first judging appointment in Northern Ireland. Clandeboye Champion Francesca VG89 also scooped the exhibitor-bred championship ribbons, sponsored by Holstein UK. This was her third show, having previously won the intermediate championship, honourable mention and exhibitor-bred awards at the Irish National Holstein Show and Balmoral Show in 2011. Bred in Lady Dufferin’s 70-cow Clandeboye herd, this much-admired cow calved in December and is yielding 55 kilos daily. During her heifer lactation she produced 11,800 kilos in 305 days, and has a calving index of 380 days. She is by Calbrett IHH Champion, while her dam Clandeboye Francesca EX94 has produced her eighth calf and has given over 100 tonnes of milk. Claiming the reserve overall championship and reserve exhibitor-bred award, was the third calver Relough Deuce Danna 2 EX93, exhibited by the Ronald McLean, and sons Malcolm and Barry, from Donaghmore, County Tyrone. Sired by Scientific SS Deuce, she hails from the renowned Danna family, and is one of 280 cows in the noted Relough herd. Calved in November she is giving 47 kilos daily. Andrew Jones added: ”This is another really good cow with length, dairy strength, and tremendous width.” The honourable mention award went to the junior heifer in-milk class winner Kilvergan Duplex Ethel VG86 (2yr), owned by Stephen Haffey, and sons Timothy, David and Aaron, who milk 180 cows at Lurgan in County Armagh. Making her showring debut she also scooped the intermediate championship ribbons, sponsored by Genus ABS. Calved in December at two-years-old, this heifer is currently producing 34 kilos per day. Sired by Mesland Duplex PI ET, her dam is the noted Bricknell Rubens Ethel 3 EX93, who has produced 70,000 kilos in four lactations at 4.75%BF and 3.43%P, and was honourable mention winner at the RUAS Winter Fair in 2008. “This heifer has a great future ahead of her,” added the Andrew Jones. “She is a nice youthful heifer, well- balanced and full of dairyness.” The father and son team of Philip and Simon Haffey, Portadown, County Armagh, claimed the reserve intermediate championship, sponsored by Genus ABS. Glasson KJ Jasper Sara VG87 was described the judge as an extremely tall dairy heifer, with a long body and super feet and legs. This senior heifer is a daughter of Wilcoxview Jasper PI ET, and is bred from the noted Copywood Goldwyn Sara 2 ET – reserve champion at last year’s Irish National Holstein Show, and supreme champion at Balmoral in 2011. Honourable mention in the intermediate championship line-up was the Picston Shottle daughter, Hilltara Shottle Reann 3 VG85, a junior in-milk heifer from Sam and John McCormick’s Hilltara herd based at Bangor, County Down. The junior championship was sponsored by McLarnon Feeds, with the plaudits going to Jason Booth, Stewartstown, County Tyrone, for the home-bred Beechview Advent Lalita Red ET. Sired by KHW Kite Advent Red PI ET, she is bred from Ourway SS Larissa Red ET. “This in-calf heifer is another splendid example of the breed. She is angular, stylish and well- balanced, “said Mr Jones. Standing in reserve position was Sahara Jasper Regenia owned by Conor McAufield from Lisburn, County Antrim. Sired by Wilcoxview Jasper, her dam is Keofon Shot Reggnia 7. Honourable mention in the junior line-up went to Sam and John McCormick’s Hilltara Monsoon Lulu. Sired by the Innwood Terrason son, Hilltara Monsoon, her dam is the VG88 Dale Valley Astronomical A Lulu. The Hilltara herd also claimed the premier breeder and premier exhibitor awards which were sponsored by John Thompson and Sons Ltd. Concluding Andrew Jones said:” “I would like to thank Holstein Northern Ireland for inviting me to judge. It has been a privilege and the hospitality has been excellent. This has been a great show, and I’ve been very impressed with the standard of cattle forward and the level of enthusiasm shown by many of the younger exhibitors. The future of the dairy industry and the Holstein breed lies in the hands of our youth, and I am delighted to see that the Northern Ireland club has a large number of young exhibitors and members. “ Holstein NI chairman Alan Cleland thanked Andrew Jones for officiating as judge and presented him with a token of the club’s appreciation. “I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners and thank all of the exhibitors who participated in this year’s show. A special word of thanks to our valued sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible. Thanks also to the organising committee, and everyone who contributed to the success of the event.” The 2012 Irish National Holstein Show, held at the Pedigree Sales Arena, Moira, attracted almost 200 spectators, and an entry of over 70 pedigree Holsteins from more than 20 exhibitors.
  • Red Champion in Austria
    For the first time ever, a Red Holstein won Austria’s National Show organized last weekend within the scope of the Dairy Grand Prix. In the battle for the Grand Champion title, Regiment daughter Linde of Alois Bliem triumphed over well-known Starleader daughter Saly of Margit Grosspötzl. Tipped as favorite, Saly claimed Reserve in an exciting finale. While the Champion title in the Intermediate classes went to the Goldwyn daughter Romina of Elisabeth Riegler, judge Erhard Junker awarded the red Carmano daughter ScH Zamara of Rupert Wenger Junior Champion. Within the scope of the National Show, the Dairy Grand Prix Sale took place, where 22 lots averaged €5,722. Sale topper (€17,000) was Teemar PG Airline (2349 gTPI), an Observer daughter out of Teemar Shottle Aloha from the cow family of Aaron. At €15,000, a 1st choice Epic or Explode out of Perk Rae’s Goldwyn daughter Golden-Oaks Perky-P RC was the second-most expensive lot.



  • Budjon ‘Get In The Game Sale’
    March 10, 2012,
    Fond du Lac, WI
    Unofficial Average $3,636

    • $23,000 – Lot 112 – Budjon-Vail Adv Dessert-ET *RC, a Junior 2 Year Old Advent daughter Budjon Redmarker Desire EX-96-3E GMD the Grand Champion of the International Holstein Show in 2005. Dessert is a sister to Budjon-Nitzy Destiny-Red EX), who has been nominated All-American R&W numerous times.
      Buyer: Gen-Com Holsteins, QC
    • $9,000 – Lot 5 – Budjon-JK Atwood Egypt, a September 2011 calf out of Budjon-JK Laurin Embassy-ET GP-84 VG-MS. Her 2nd dam is Budjon-JK Durham Embrace-ET EX-95 2), the Reserve All-American 4 Year Old in 2008, her 3rd dam 2E-95 Electra, then 3E-96 Elegance.
      Buyer: Budjon Farms & Peter Vail, WI
    • $8,700 – Lot 7 – Budjon-JK Sanchez Exchange-ET, a March 2011 Sanchez daughter of Rolling-Spring G Escence-ET EX-94-2E who was nominated All-American 4-Year-Old in 2010.
      Buyer: Jason Lloyd, NY
    • $8,500 – Lot 10 – Budjon-JK-RS Atwood Eavie, a June 2011 Atwood from Rolling-Spring Embrace-ET EX-92, her 2nd dam is Budjon-JK Dur Esquisite-ET EX-92, her 3rd dam 2E-95 Electra, then 3E-96 Elegance.
      Buyer: John Lora, OH
    • $7,400 – Lot 1 – Bujdon-JK Gold Elgoma-ET, a December 2010 Goldwyn from Budjon-JK Durham Embrace-ET EX-95-2E, who was Reserve All-American 4-Year-Old in 2008.
      Buyer: Shawn Vervoort, ON
  • The Franchise Kind Sale a Success!
    March 11, 2012
    unofficial average is $4,160.
    It’s been a great day in Wooster, OH for Jersey Breeders across the US, and Canada as the Franchise Kind Sale took place that was managed by Dusty, Nicole, and Wyatt Schirm.

    • Topping this prestige event was lot 1 for $24,000 Laurick Giller Missie owned by Schirm, Mckay, and Brewer of Chebanse, IL. Missie was the 1st Place Senior 2 Year old at the 2011 Royal Winter Fair. Missie now resides on the other side of Illinois at River Valley.
    • Second high seller was lot 3 for $12,000 Rock Ella Impressive Crystallite bred by Lorne Ella of Hornby, ON. Crystallite is now owned by ST Jacobs & Franchise.
    • Also in the top 3 was Lot 8a for $10,500 Chilli Bailout Celebrity-ET owned by Ehrhardt & Heath of Baldwin, MD. Celebrity now is owned by Appleton Valley Farms, MA.
  • Vente Classique Sale Highlights
    March 9, 2012
    Victoriaville, QC
    Unofficial Average $4,608

    • $12,200 – Choice of a Goldwyn calf to be born in September or a calf by a mutually agreeable sire from Garay Alexander Destiny VG-89-USA-2YR. Destiny was the All-American and Honourable Mention All-Canadian Milking Yearling in 2011.
      Consignor: Mike & Julie Duckett, Rudolph, WI, & Frank Phillipson, Cumbria, England
      Buyer: Ferme Paninou, Mirabel, QC
    • $11,800 – Dubeau Dundee Sosa, an April 2011 Dundee who is a full sister to Dubeau Dundee Hezbollah EX-92, the 2009 All-Canadian and All-American Senior 2 Year Old and 2011 Reserve All-American 4 Year Old.
      Buyer: Kevin Doeberiener, Wooster, OH, and Adam Hodgins, Kincardine, ON
      Consignor: Dubeau, Ste-Elizabeth, QC
  • BC Spring Sales
    At the Spring Sale in British Columbia, show cow Bernalta Goldwyn Jade left the ring as sale topper ($71,000). She was purchased by Woodmansee, Crasdale, T&L, and Blondin. Sired by Observer and out of Cosmopolitan, Larcrest Chevelle (2341 gTPI) fetched the second-highest price. At $34,000 she went to Cedarwal, Wistleview, and Premier West. A total of 84 lots averaged $7,548.

Has Photo Enhancement Gone Too Far?

Some men prefer boobs and others legs.  The debate has gone on since the stone ages.  Modern photography can enhance either choice – or both. But when it comes to photo enhancement in dairy cattle, technological advances in the past 15 years have really ramped up the discussion.  Through programs like Adobe Photoshop graphic designers can pretty much create anything you want. Where do you draw the line?  What is acceptable?  What is not?

Changing Backgrounds

First let’s take a look at what’s possible.  The ability to remove a background has been many breeders dream. Now they can picture their cow any time of year when the cow is at her best and without any bad weather or safety issues.

The right background can be an art form to do  effectively.  Let’s look at how different backgrounds can change how a cow looks.  The picture below is the photographer’s final image sent to the breeder after picturing inside the barn (Please note: cow used will remain nameless since it is irrelevant to this discussion and that in no way was the picture of the cow herself ever touched or altered).

VG 2yr Old Base Background


Very nice picture of an outstanding VG-2yr old.  But let’s take a look at how changing the background can affect the look of the picture.

Let’s say we wanted to make the cow look taller.  Well then we would lower the horizon on this image.

Lower Background


Notice how the cow looks taller, and also that it does not accentuate the fact that she is a little shallow in the fore rib.

Now let’s say we wanted her to look like a show winner.  We could simply place the cow at one of the major shows backgrounds.

Royal Background


And then there is the ever-so-trendy, stick them in front of a mountain scene.

Mountain Background


All effects have their merits and can greatly enhance the image of the cow.

Composite Image

Shine vs. No Shine

Another effect that has become extremely popular in recent years is the ability to enhance the colour saturation and add “shine” to the images.  Here are the exact same 2 pictures with just the saturation and the colour range enhanced.

Notice how the enhanced picture on the right jumps out at you with more clarity and detail and her udder shows much greater veination.  The cow herself was not altered in anyway, but enhancing the tonal range that is already in the image, you are able to make sure all the details that make that cow great show up.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Ultimately it comes down to the ethics of the designer or photographer who is working with the image.  My position has always been, as long as the cow herself has not been altered then it’s okay.  Please understand in all these images the conformation of the cow has not been changed in any way. That means changing backgrounds and enhancing shine are where we draw the line.  In an era where social media and breeders chat is easy and instantaneous, having an image of a cow that the cow cannot live up to does not do anyone any good.    That means you need to work with the greatest photographer, not the one that is great in Photoshop, but rather that one that understands how to get the best possible original image.

What are your thoughts?  Please share in comments box below.

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CRASDALE COMMON SENSE: Go for the Total Package

Informed Viewpoint: Brian Craswell from Hunter River PEI often has the best seat in the house when it comes to studying cattle.  With his wife Amber, he has built Crasdale Farms Inc. into a thriving dairy operation. This lifelong on the job education has been further enhanced by his other business, Brian Craswell Auctions Ltd. Positioned behind the microphone he has the clearest sight lines in the building as great opportunities come and go in sales ring.  Over and over again he witnesses the thrill of getting in on an opportunity or the defeat when that opportunity is missed when the final hammer falls before a decision was made.  His other centre-of-the-showring position as show judge is probably the best view of all.  Brian has judged the Royal Winter Fair (2003) and World Dairy Expo (2010). He has traveled to many countries around the world to share his talent for ranking cattle. Of course Brian Craswell is well positioned to have an informed viewpoint on dairy cattle investing.

Winterbay Goldwyn Lotto  EX-95-5YR-USA

Winterbay Goldwyn Lotto EX-95-5YR-USA

Stick to a Winning Strategy:  When looking to invest in dairy cattle Brian starts with his own feelings. “First I have to like them.” In today’s market, he then looks for two other attributes:  cow family and genomics. “I want the total package.” Says Brian who points to Winterbay Goldwyn Lotto as the best investment he ever made in terms of profit and how the animal turned out.

Be Willing to Walk Away: Brian admits that not every deal has been perfect.  He says, “I heard about a cow once and made myself like her.  She wasn’t what I liked and she didn’t turn out.”  He probably wishes he had followed some good advice he was given. “An older dealer told me one time that if you have to make yourself like them, then walk away.”

You Don’t Win Every Time:  Despite knowing what to look for and Brian acknowledges that sometimes you walk away from a deal and sometimes the deal walks away from you. He recalls that this very thing has happened a few times.  “I almost bought Lacoulee Justine Goldwyn when she was a December calf and 4th at a show.  I didn’t and she went on to be Jr Champion at the Royal.  I was runner up on the Jr Champ from the Royal Winter Fair last year when she sold in The Canadian National Convention Sale.” He goes on, “I also was runner-up on Pineland Goldwyn Tidbit when she sold in our Opportunity East Sale as a 2 year old.” You don’t win every time.



Take Calculated Risks: Craswell Holsteins has invested in both young stock and already proven cattle.  Going back to his focus on cow families Brian points out, “I will not hesitate to buy young ones from great families that I like. Sometimes the calculated risk of buying them younger enables you to pay a little less.”

Keep Up With the Changing Marketplace:  In the past five years Brian sees that the marketplace “has changed immensely with the emphasis that is being placed on genomics.  This has driven the price of high genomic animals up and, in particular, the younger high animals.” He recognized that debate is going on. “Some would say that genomics has devalued animals.  I would argue that it has raised the bar on the high ones and widened the spread.”

Brian says, “In This Business, You Don’t Have a Crystal Ball”: But then he goes on to say “Genomics is here to say and the use of it will find its place.  Right now it is almost everything in the high end market.” He often refers to his philosophy of balance in the cow business and he foresees “genomics coming into balance with great cow families with numbers”.  Again he focuses on the complete package.

Know the market. Know your customer: There is so much to learn in this business and Brian encourages those who are starting to invest in dairy cattle to “try to find a member of one of the great cow families that has that total package and invest at the top end of genetics right from the start.” Of course this is expensive but by focusing on these top animals “you can cash flow it with embryo sales, while you build your own branch.”

BULLVINE BOTTOM LINE: It’s all about the package.

“You need to have the package that people want to successfully market your cattle business.” Brian Carswell, Crasdale Holsteins.



Not sure how much to spend on that great 2 year old?
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6 Ways to Invest $50,000 in Dairy Cattle Genetics

If you are like many breeders who see the opportunity to invest in high-end genetics cattle but you’re not quite sure what way to do it, this article is for you. The days of finding that $40,000 2yr old and only having to pay $20,000 are far behind us.  Genomics has changed everything and those who have the top cattle know they have the top ones.  The following are six ways you can invest in top cattle.  We take a look at the risk in relation to the return as well as the outcomes you should expect.

1. The Complete Package – Invest in a $40,000 to $50,000 2yr old

This means you go out and buy the single best 2 year old you can afford in the $40,000 to $50,000 price range.  This means she is the complete package.  She has already calved, will score, or has already scored VG and is from a high in demand genomic family that has proven to be decent flush cattle.  Also remember not to sacrifice sire. It is very important that is animal not only has the top female side, but also the top sire stack.

Based on the above here are the expected inputs: Using the Dairy Cow Investment Calculator here is the expected performance:
Purchase price $50,000.00 Total Revenue per flush $9,187.50
Boarding expense per day $10 Total cost per flush $4,062.50
Years of productive embryo production 3 Total profit per flush $5,125.00
Flushes per year 4 Total heifer sales per year $7,654.50
Flush strike out ratio 25% Total boarding expense $11,460.30
Base cost per flush $650.00 Total promotional expenses $4,000.00
Cost per embryo $150.00 Total Revenue $84,463.50
Recipient price $1,500.00 Total Profit $19,003.20
Conception rate of recipients 45% Return on investment 38%
Sale price per embryo $2,500.00
Sale price per live heifer $12,500.00
Advertising expense/year $1,500.00
Other promotion expense $500.00
Number of embryos per flush 7
Ratio grade A/B embryos 70%
Ugly duckling rate 40%


By purchasing the complete package you limit your risk while still delivering about a 12% return per year.


2. Hedge Your Bets – Invest in two $20,000 to $25,000 2yr olds

This means you go out and buy two potential VG two year olds that are decent flush potential, and while their progeny will not be sale toppers they will fit the mid-market.  Warning, buying the 4th best daughter of a cow, or maybe not a popular sire, thinking it will not matter, is a big mistake.

Based on the above here are the expected inputs: Using the Dairy Cow Investment Calculator here is the expected performance:
Purchase price $50,000.00 Total Revenue per flush $4,4100.00
Boarding expense per day $10 Total cost per flush $4,062.50
Years of productive embryo production 3 Total profit per flush $347.50
Flushes per year 4 Total heifer sales per year $11,022.48
Flush strike out ratio 25% Total boarding expense $20,920.60
Base cost per flush $650.00 Total promotional expenses $4,000.00
Cost per embryo $150.00 Total Revenue $41,407.44
Recipient price $1,500.00 Total Profit $(34,513.16)
Conception rate of recipients 45% Return on investment -77%
Sale price per embryo $1,200.00
Sale price per live heifer $9,000.00
Advertising expense/year $1,500.00
Other promotion expense $500.00
Number of embryos per flush 7
Ratio grade A/B embryos 70%
Ugly duckling rate 40%


Contrary to popular belief this mid-market strategy just does not work.  With the increased expenses from double the number of animals as well as the much lower sale price of animals, this strategy actually causes you to lose money.


3. They Could Be Big Time – Invest in two $20,000 to $25,000 heifers

This means you go out and buy the two best heifers you can find. That when calved you stand a strong chance of one going VG and is from a high in demand genomic family that has proven to be decent flush cattle.  This equation equates to one of the two turning out and the other one being just an average cow.  Remember: Don’t sacrifice sire stack.

Based on the above here are the expected inputs: Using the Dairy Cow Investment Calculator here is the expected performance:
Purchase price $50,000.00 Total Revenue per flush $9,187.50
Boarding expense per day $10 Total cost per flush $4,062.50
Years of productive embryo production 3 Total profit per flush $5,125.00
Flushes per year 4 Total heifer sales per year $9,185.40
Flush strike out ratio 25% Total boarding expense $11,460.30
Base cost per flush $650.00 Total promotional expenses $4,000.00
Cost per embryo $150.00 Total Revenue $89,056.20
Recipient price $1,500.00 Total Profit $23,595.90
Conception rate of recipients 45% Return on investment 47%
Sale price per embryo $2,500.00
Sale price per live heifer $15,000.00
Advertising expense/year $1,500.00
Other promotion expense $500.00
Number of embryos per flush 7
Ratio grade A/B embryos 70%
Ugly duckling rate 40%


By investing in two heifers you do increase your risk compared to buy a complete package 2 year old but you also increase your potential reward.


4. Heifer Hedge Your Bets – Invest in four $10,000 heifers

This means you go out and buy 4 heifers that have potential to be VG two year olds that have decent flush potential, and while their progeny will not be sale toppers they will fit the mid-market.  While the temptation may be to buy heifers of lesser demand sires, the risk in this play is very big.

Based on the above here are the expected inputs: Using the Dairy Cow Investment Calculator here is the expected performance:
Purchase price $50,000.00 Total Revenue per flush $4,410.00
Boarding expense per day $10 Total cost per flush $4,062.50
Years of productive embryo production 3 Total profit per flush $347.50
Flushes per year 4 Total heifer sales per year $11,022.48
Flush strike out ratio 25% Total boarding expense $20,920.60
Base cost per flush $650.00 Total promotional expenses $4,000.00
Cost per embryo $150.00 Total Revenue $41,407.44
Recipient price $1,500.00 Total Profit $(36,513.16)
Conception rate of recipients 45% Return on investment -81%
Sale price per embryo $1,200.00
Sale price per live heifer $9,000.00
Advertising expense/year $1,500.00
Other promotion expense $500.00
Number of embryos per flush 7
Ratio grade A/B embryos 70%
Ugly duckling rate 40%


Again similar to the mid-market cow strategy this approach just doesn’t work.  With the increased expenses from double the number of animals as well as the much lower sale price of animals, this strategy actually causes you to lose money.


5.  Go for the Gusto – Invest in best 15 embryos you can find

This means you go out and contract a high-genomic mating from a high in demand genomic family that has proven to be decent flush cattle.  Also, consider that you need to purchase recipients and raise the heifers, leaving you with 7 calves.  For the sake of this equation we will leave the bulls out of it and expect that one of the 3 females turns out as a two year old.

Based on the above here are the expected inputs: Using the Dairy Cow Investment Calculator here is the expected performance:
Purchase price $50,000.00 Total Revenue per flush $9,187.50
Boarding expense per day $10 Total cost per flush $4,062.50
Years of productive embryo production 3 Total profit per flush $5,125.00
Flushes per year 4 Total heifer sales per year $9,185.40
Flush strike out ratio 25% Total boarding expense $11,460.30
Base cost per flush $650.00 Total promotional expenses $4,000.00
Cost per embryo $150.00 Total Revenue $89,056.20
Recipient price $1,500.00 Total Profit $13,595.90
Conception rate of recipients 45% Return on investment -27%
Sale price per embryo $2,500.00
Sale price per live heifer $15,000.00
Advertising expense/year $1,500.00
Other promotion expense $500.00
Number of embryos per flush 7
Ratio grade A/B embryos 70%
Ugly duckling rate 40%


While there is a little less return than going out and buying a 2yr old complete package, when you factor in the X factors of the bulls as well as the fact that 1 of the other 2 heifers could turn out this opportunity provides the maximum return but comes at the maximum potential risk.

6. Embryo Hedge Your Bets – Invest in 30 mid-market embryos

This means you go out and buy 30 embryos from VG two year olds that are decent flush potential, and while their progeny will not be sale toppers they will fit the mid-market.

Based on the above here are the expected inputs: Using the Dairy Cow Investment Calculator here is the expected performance:
Purchase price $50,000.00 Total Revenue per flush $4,410.00
Boarding expense per day $10 Total cost per flush $4,062.50
Years of productive embryo production 3 Total profit per flush $347.50
Flushes per year 4 Total heifer sales per year $11,022.48
Flush strike out ratio 25% Total boarding expense $20,920.60
Base cost per flush $650.00 Total promotional expenses $4,000.00
Cost per embryo $150.00 Total Revenue $40,407.44
Recipient price $1,500.00 Total Profit $(56,513.16)
Conception rate of recipients 45% Return on investment -113%
Sale price per embryo $1,200.00
Sale price per live heifer $9,000.00
Advertising expense/year $1,500.00
Other promotion expense $500.00
Number of embryos per flush 7
Ratio grade A/B embryos 70%
Ugly duckling rate 40%


This is probably the worst investment you could ever make.  With the mass numbers of animals you have to care for as well as the limited return, this strategy is a no go from the start.


The Bullvine Bottom Line

While everyone looks at these sales toppers and wonder how they ever make money when they pay so much for these animals, as our return on investment analysis above shows, it’s actually the other way around.  Buying the best genetics you can possibly afford limits your risk and delivers your maximum return. In reality the price difference between the top cattle and the mid-market cattle is actually not large enough.  Remember this analysis is for total return on investment, not overall herd genetic gain.

1. The Complete Package 2. Hedge Your Bets 3. They Could Be Big Time 4. Heifer Hedge Your Bets 5. Go for the Gusto

6. Embryo Hedge Your Bets

Strategy Best 2yr old Two 2 yr olds Two best heifers Four heifers Fifteen best embryos Thirty embryos
Revenue $84,463.50 $41,407.44 $89,056.20 $41,407.44 $89,056.20 $41,407.44
Profit $19,003.20 $(34,513.16) $23,595.90 $(36,513.16) $13,595.90 $(56,513.16)
Risk Low Low Medium Medium High High
Yearly Return On Investment 12% (25)% 12% (20%) 5-25% (18)%
Notes Least risk with a positive reward Biggest loss potential with only limited up side But does have the potential of 24% if both heifers turn out The dream of buying that one that might surprise every one is just that  – a dream.  Genomics has caused that bubble to burst When you factor in that you could have higher conception rates and sale of bulls, this scenario actually has the largest up side, but at the highest risk There is just nothing to say about this. Unless your goal is to improve the overall level of your herd in the shortest amount of time possible.

The bigger question should be whether to buy the best 2 yr. old you can afford, the best heifer, or the best embryos.  The answer  depends more on how fast a return you would like and how much risk you are willing to take.  If you want instant return with the least amount of risk, buy the can’t miss 2 year old.  If you want the maximum return over the long term, buy the best embryos you can get.  And of course if your goals are  somewhere in between, buy the best two heifers you can afford.

The big thing this analysis shows “GO BIG OR GO HOME.”


What has your experience been?  Please share in comments box below.



Not sure how much to spend on that great 2 year old?
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Cristy Nurse: From Show Ring Beauty to World Class Rower

Whether it`s at the Royal Winter Fair or The World Rowing Championships Cristy Nurse aims high! In September 2011 she was part of Canada’s women’s eight team and brought home the silver medal from the World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia. Today she is giving everything she’s got to earn a spot on the team that will compete in the 2012 Olympics in London, England. Focused, excited and committed to standing on the podium, she modestly gives a lot of credit to her farm background for the opportunities that have opened up for her.


Cristy Nurse ShowingTwenty-five year old Cristy grew up on her parent’s dairy farm, Monteith Holsteins, in Georgetown, Ontario. “My parents exhibit both dairy cattle and Clydesdale horses, so I became involved with competing at an early age. I also began competing in hunter/jumper competitions when I was young and continued to keep a horse and compete until late in high school. Through 4-H my sister and I also acquired and began breeding and showing sheep, so we truly had a well-rounded experience in terms of animal care and competition.”


Cristy is well aware that many kids from farms don’t get to compete in a lot of sports or activities because of their responsibilities at home and then she adds, “For me, it was the exact opposite. My dad would always say ‘You can milk cows for the rest of your life if you want to, but you only get a chance to do these things once. He often stayed home and would do chores alone so my mom could take my siblings and me to our practices and games. I really could not have achieved much in sport without that kind of support from both my parents.”


Jeff and Kenda Nurse deflect praise saying, that “From the time she was a little girl, Cristy always gave 110%.” Both parents are qualified judges but they are quick to note. “Cristy started showing young but we never pushed her into it. She started showing at several small fairs, where it was fun and she was successful. She would get nervous but not frightened. We always had Cristy show her own calves at all the major open shows we went to as well.” Jeff feels strongly, “I think it is a mistake to bring in a ‘ringer’ to show a 4-H member’s calf. This gave her confidence that we believed in her ability.”


Beyond their obvious family fondness for livestock, the Nurse family enjoys watching and participating in sports and have always been big fans of the Olympic Games. Cristy recalls that “Rowing was a sport we watched together and I always found it exciting to see how much the country gets behind its athletes during those big Olympic moments but I never had access to a club.” Fortunately, as Cristy proceeded toward her career goal of becoming a lawyer she was able to give rowing a try. “In 2006, I got a summer job interning at a Mississauga law firm that was reasonably close to the Don Rowing Club, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity.”

As Cristy Nurse prepares for the Olympics she shares three medal winning success secrets:


After playing a year of varsity basketball at the University of Guelph, I was looking for a new sport and a new challenge. At the Don Rowing Club Cristy recalls, “I took to the sport very quickly and began to have race and physiological testing results that caught the attention of the national team coaches. By 2010 I was invited to move to the National Training Centre in London, Ontario.” This has meant raising the bar on her goals. “Right now, I am in Olympic Selection Camp, which is essentially a narrowed-down group of athletes who are still in contention for spots on the Olympic team. I won’t know until the end of May if I will be on the Olympic team, so my biggest goal right now is to be re-selected to the women’s 8. And, of course, to stand on the podium at the London games if I do so.”


Cristy points to her farming background as the place she first learned her work ethic. “Work ethic is engrained pretty early on. Few things can harden your resolve to improve like being left on the outside of the ring in a showmanship class or not making the cut at a major show.” Far from being discouraged by these experiences, Cristy is grateful. “My parents were always very big on sportsmanship and they definitely would not indulge us if we wanted to pout after getting beat, whether it was at a cattle show or in athletics. “ She advises those who are following their dream: “Learn to take criticism from a coach or teammates and use it to improve rather than get upset about it. This has been crucial in my development, and that’s something that a childhood of competition prepared me for.”


Everything is a competition. You are constantly being watched and compared to your peers. I try to remember that – every workout is its own “race”, and I just keep trying to be the best competitor I can be. One of Cristy’s early coaches, Paul Westbury, told her “You are only limited by what you are willing to put into the sport. To which this rising medalist adds, “He taught me to never settle for small results – to believe that I could wear the maple leaf one day and always keep striving for that.”

Cristy Nurse : Sportsnet magazine - The Beauty Issue

Cristy Nurse : Sportsnet magazine - The Beauty Issue


Cristy’s focus at present is totally on intense training. “The summer is closing in so fast. I train 5-6 hours a day, eat and try to rest as much as possible so I can perform my next workout.” She admits that this schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time for fun, in the usual sense, but says she feels fortunate that several of her close friends from undergrad, who are also the girls she grew up showing cattle with, live and work relatively close by. As her focus narrows to Olympic tunnel vision, the media focus is shifting to Cristy herself and she was included in Sportnet Magazine’s “30 Most Beautiful Athletes on the Planet” in its March 12 issue. “I hope the photo helps bring some attention to rowing leading into the summer Games, because we have a very strong team on both the men and women’s sides, who deserve the coverage.” Having said that, she immediately restates where her full focus is at the present: Training for the Olympics!


“I try to make sure every decision I make at this stage puts rowing first so that when I’m sitting in the start gate of the Olympic final: I will have absolutely no regrets” – Cristy Nurse

Want to support Cristy and the Woman of Canadian Rowing as the drive to bring home gold in 2012?

Dairy Cattle Marketing Lessons from Lady Gaga

Now I know the title may sound cheesy, but there are actually some important lessons that many breeders can learn from Lady Gaga when marketing their dairy cattle.  She speaks to her audience with understanding and connects with them in a very personal way.  Instead of just saying here is my song now buy it, Lady Gaga is relentless on building her brand and making sure she has a message that resonates with her audience.

The following are some lessons many marketing lessons dairy breeders can learn from Lady Gaga:

  • Don’t be afraid to have an opinion
    Lady Gaga regularly speaks out on any issue she feels passionate about.  In doing so, she not only keeps herself in the public eye but she is attracting the right kind of people for her type of music.  Remember a couple of years back when she wore a dress made out of meat?  Yeah, she probably ticked off more than a few animal rights groups, but her flaunting about in that dress made the news for several days.  The point is, Lady Gaga is not afraid to take a stance on an issue and make sure that everyone knows it.  In the dairy cattle marketing world, that means make sure you have a position that your buyers can understand.  If that means you are going to be the greatest source for genomic cattle than be so. Talk it up! Alternatively, if that means you are going to be the source for great show cattle, than make sure your market knows.  Stand up and stand out! You cannot be the jack-of-all-trades who does everything ok but nothing special.  You need to make sure that your prospective buyers know why you are special and what you stand for.
  • Leverage the power of social media
    Lady Gaga has over 20 million Twitter followers and over 48 million Facebook fans.  That does not come by accident.  She works very hard to engage her community.  She personally tweets directly to her fans and is always engaging them in conversation.  She understands that the power of her brand is to engage her community.  A lesson many dairy breeders need to remember.  Dairy farming has always been about community.  It’s probably the greatest thing that keeps most breeders so passionate about their work.  The biggest change is how social media, especially Facebook has taken the community online.  The numbers of breeders that are on Facebook is outstanding.  While they maybe got on Facebook for family or personal reasons, it’s hard for them not to let their passion for breeding great cattle show.  You need to leverage the power of social media to join the community and engage them.  In doing so you will probably find the greatest source for information as well as reward for the work that you do.
  • Be Different
    Lady Gaga has built her brand by being different.  Not because she wants to be something she wasn’t.  Actually, it’s the exact opposite.  Lady Gaga is was not afraid to be herself and promote not just how she is cool and hip, but rather how she is different.  Many dairy breeders are too afraid to stand out as different and  they just become one of the many.  With so many breeders wanting to market their genetics these days, you need to make sure that you have something  unique to offer the marketplace.  Embryo transfer and especially IVF has caused a flood of top genetics into the market place.  Knowing how you are different and  letting other breeders know how you’re different can make a big difference in your profitability. What’s your difference?
  • Produce killer product
    Gaga writes amazing music.  She doesn’t produce a huge amount of music, but everything she does is done very well and is worth talking about.  The same is true for your breeding program.  There is no substitute for breeding great cattle.  With genomics and the increased access to information (such as,, locator lists, etc.) great cattle can always be found.  You can have the greatest marketing in the world, but if you don’t have great genetics to offer, it will not have the same effect.

Gaga and the PR and marketing experts behind her did not reinvent the wheel.  They just took what works best and used it to their advantage.  The same is true when it comes to marketing your breeding program.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, what you need to do is use the tools that are out there to make sure your marketplace knows who you are, how you’re different and why they should buy from you.  Determine  what you stand for and the larger impact it has on the market outside of the individual animals you have for sale. What Lady Gaga teaches us is that it’s important to stand out in the crowd!

Want to take your marketing to the next level, download our free guide “The Dairy Breeders Guide to Facebook“.

Weekly Show and Sale Recap– 3/11/2012


  • Spring Show Grand Champs

    Grand Champion - Silvermaple Damion Chamomile – Stanhope-Wedgwood, Silvermaple Farms & Reserve Grand Champion - Lake-Prairie Advent Ava-Red – Westcoast Holsteins

    2012 BC Spring Show
    March 8th – Abbotsford Exhibition Park
    Judge: Micheal Heath, Westminster, MD
    Total shown: 120

    • Fall Calves (12)
      1. Hamming Goldwyn Stella – Hamming Holsteins
      2. Southrise Redliner Debra – BC Spring Sale
      3. Skycrest Seaver Prairie Chick – Skycrest Holsteins
    • Summer Yearlings (19)
      1. Benbie Dusk Lexi – Benbie Holsteins
      2. Blondin Goldwyn Kalhua – Sunny Vale Farm
      3. Kamlake Alexander Riana – T & L Cattle
    • Spring Yearlings (14)
      1. VanDyk-S Atwood Everly-ET – VanDyk-S Holsteins, T & L Cattle, Kingsway
      2. Lavendar Goldwyn Fiona – Willswikk Farms
      3. Hammingview Fever Abbie – BC Spring Sale
    • Winter Yearlings (6)
      1. Nicrest Braxton Bumbleberry – T & L Cattle, Kingsway, Wendon
      2. Cedarwal Shottle Sydney – Cedarwal Farms
      3. Willswikk Duplex Connie – Meadow Green Farm
    • Fall Yearlings (10)
      1. Greenlane Destry Laurel-Red – Westcoast Holsteins
      2. Goldenset Hamming Darla – T & L Cattle, Cormdale, Rob Heffernan
      3. KHW Regimnt Apple A-Red-ETN – Westcoast Holsteins
    • Junior Group of Three (6)
      1. Cedarwal Farms
      2. Added Entry
      3. Skycrest Holsteins
    • Junior Champion
      Benbie Dusk Lexie – Benbie Holsteins
    • Reserve Jr Champion
      Greenlane Destry Laurel-Red – Westcoast Holsteins
    • Jr 2 Year-Old (1)
      1. Telford Sharla Shampoo – Telford Farms
    • Sr 2-Year-Olds (9)
      1. Bernalta Goldwyn Jae – Clark Woodmansee
      2. (BU) Valleyville Sanchez Renate – Sunny Vale Farm
      3. (B&O) Wedgwood Pepper Jasper – Stanhope-Wedgwood
    • Jr 3-Year-Olds (5)
      1. (BU, B&O) Wedgwood Lavina Goldwyn – Stanhope-Wedgwood
      2. Tolamika Goldwyn Madeleine – T & L Cattle, Cormdale, AL-BE-RO Cattle
      3. VanDyk-S Image Lynzie – VanDyk-S Holsteins
    • Sr. 3 Year Olds (9)
      1. (BU) Fradon Redbull Jingle – Elmbridge, Nicrest, Stanhope-Wedgwood
      2. Haddington H M Retro Danica – T & L Cattle, Wendon
      3. (B&O) Willswikk Frankie Candice – Willswikk Farms
    • Intermediate Champion
      Wedgwood Lavina Goldwyn – Stanhope-Wedgwood
    • Reserve Int Champion
      Fradon Redbull Jingle – Elmbridge, Nicrest, Stanhope-Wedgwood
    • 4 Year Olds (17)
      1. (BU, B&O) Silvermaple Damion Camomile – Stanhope-Wedgwood, Silvermaple Farms
      2. Sherona-Hill-I KKA Red Clover – Westcoast Holsteins
      3. Tuytel Gold Luxury – Bert Tuytel
    • 5 Year Olds (9)
      1. (BU) Lake-Prairie Advent Ava-Red – Westcoast Holsteins
      2. (B&O) Wedgwood Dellia Jordan – Stanhope-Wedgwood
      3. Stoneden Goldwyn Candace – Westcoast Holsteins
    • Mature Cows (8)
      1. (BU) Butz-Butler Durham Amy-ET – Westcoast Holsteins
      2. Hon-Lu Talent Regina-ET – Westcoast Holsteins
      3. Jenny-Lou Hi Metro 1782 – T & L Cattle, Dennalie Holsteins
    • Best Bred & Owned
      Silvermaple Damion Chamomile – Stanhope-Wedgwood, Silvermaple Farms
    • Senior & Grand Champion
      Silvermaple Damion Chamomile – Stanhope-Wedgwood, Silvermaple Farms
    • Reserve Sr & Grand Champion
      Lake-Prairie Advent Ava-Red – Westcoast Holsteins
    • Premier Breeder: Stanhope-Wedgwood
    • Premier Exhibitor: Westcoast Holsteins
  • UK Dairy Expo Holstein Show
    Borderway, Carlisle, England
    March 3, 2012
    Judge: Donald Dubois
    • Junior Champion
      Highoaks Jordan Roxy 15 (Jordan), Bob Lawrence, Cumbria
    • Reserve Junior Champion
      Knowlesmere Sanchez Chancel (Sanchez), A & J Whittaker, Shropshire
    • Intermediate Champion
      Riverdane Newz Sara (Newz) Riverdane Holsteins, Cheshire
    • Reserve Intermediate Champion
      Sterndale Goldwyn Rae (Goldwyn), Sterndale Holsteins, Derbyshire
    • Senior & Grand Champion
      Weeton A Lheros A Balise (Lheros) J & I Wilson, Fife
    • Reserve Senior & Reserve Grand Champion
      Sterndale Shottle Ghost (Shottle), Sterndale Holsteins, Derbyshire
    • Best Udder Champion
      Weeton A Lheros A Balise (Lheros) J & I Wilson, Fife
  • UK Dairy Expo Coloured Breeds Results
    March 5, 2012
    Borderway, Carlisle, England
    March 3, 2012
    Judge: Brad Sayles
    • Ayrshire Classes
      • Junior Champion
        Syke Glencairn Lolita (Crown Napier), R & W Templeton, Glencairn Ayrshires & Rory Timlin, Ayrshire
      • Reserve Junior Champion
        Syke Bonnie Sybil (Kellogg) R & W Templeton, Ayrshire
      • Grand Champion & Best Udder
        Heydale Winsome 109 (Ice Man) D W Beresford & Son, Derby
      • Reserve Grand Champion
        Cuthill Towers Zola 12 (Potter) A & S Lawrie, Kinross
    • Jersey Classes
      • Junior Champion
        Bluestone JJ Louise (Chairman), JD & J S Jones, Lancs
      • Reserve Junior Champion
        Syke Shy Dawn (Shyster), R & W Templeton, Ayrshire
      • Grand Champion & Best Udder
        Whispering Springs Iatola Sally (Iatola) J & I Wilson, Fife
      • Reserve Grand Champion
        Enchanted Iatola Ariel (Iatola), J & I Wilson & A Timbrell, Fife
    • Short Horn Classes
      • Junior Champion
        Marleycote Daffodil 14 (Blizzard), G G Baynes & Son, Hexam
      • Reserve Junior Champion
        Churchroyd Bronte Wildeyes 32 (Watzon), I R G Collins, West Yorks
      • Grand Champion & Best Udder
        Churchroyd Heather 24 (Jerom), I R G Collins, Dewsbury, West Yorks
      • Reserve Grand Champion
        Strickley Geri 15 (Watzon), G G Baynes & Son, Slaley, Hexam
    • British Friesan Classes
      • Grand Champion & Best Udder
        Lismulligan Lucy 57 (Prince 2), B Lawson & Sons, Fife
    • Red & White Classes 
      • Junior Champion
        Sterndale Sterling Jodie Red (Sterling) Sterndale Holsteins, Derby
      • Reserve Junior Champion
        Sterndale Roses Mahogany Red (Reflection) Firth Holsteins, Dumfries
      • Grand Champion & Best Udder
        Corringham Bob Roxy Red (Jordan) Riverdane, Erie, Chapelhill Holsteins, Cheshire
    • Brown Swiss Classes 
      • Grand Champion & Best Udder
        Kedar TD Reia (Ridge) T Lochead & Sons, Dumfries
      • Reserve Grand Champion
        Kedar TD Christina (Ridge) T Lochead & Sons, Dumfries
  • 2011 All-Britain Winners Announced
    • Junior Maiden Heifer
      CH – Feizor Jordan S Flo 2, W A & A Booth
      RES – Knowlesmere ISM Miss Linda I, S & M Whittaker
      HM -Aintree Ford Wendy 2, Aintree Holsteins
    • Senior Maiden Heifer
      CH –   Sterndale Goldwyn Rae, W J Nadin & Y K Bradbury
      RES – Sahara Goldwyn Sara 2, Showgirl Holsteins
      HM – Nobold Alexander Joan, M Roberts
    • Junior Heifer in Milk
      CH -Berryholme Golden Flo, H Wright & Son
      RES -Erie Maplerose PS Lustre I, Morgan & R James
      HM – Errolston Lotto Sarah 2, B & V Davidson
    •  Senior Heifer in Milk
      CH – Blythbridge Elegant Christabel ,   Blyth Farms
      RES – Willsbro Goldwyn Kitty, A H Wilson & Son
      HM – Riverdane Newz Sara, Riverdane Holsteins
    • Junior Cow (Junior)
      CH – Richaven Shottle Squaw, R A Bown
      RES – Sterndale Shottle Ghost, W J Nadin & Y K Bradbury
      HM – Thuborough Zenith Vereylight, W H Ley & Partners
    • Junior Cow (Senior)
      CH – Castellhyfryd Spirte Rosina, S P & S R Davies & K & C Thomas
      RES – Richaven Goldwyn Adrienne, R A Bown
      HM – Richaven Goldwyn Birdy, R A Bown
    • Senior Cow
      CH – Wiltor Goldwyn Lausine, James Patterson
      RES – Wimboldsley Brad Sara, J R Edge
      HM – Bestfed Golden Countess, P Findley
    • Mature Cow
      CH – Saxelby Goldwyn Rose, R & E Butterfield
      RES – Weeton Oralie Talent, Pedran Holsteins
      HM – Corringham Bob Roxy Red,Riverdane Holsteins, I Morgan & T Bourke


  • BC Spring Sale
    March 7, 2012
    11am – Abbotsford Exhibition Grounds, Abbotsford, BC
    Avg on 84 lots – $7,548
    • High Seller
      Lot 51: Bernalta Goldwyn Jade $71,000
      Goldwyn x Bernalta Dante Jenny (EX-91) x Bernalta Carlton Jay (EX) x CRF Pete Mars Joel (EX-3E)
      Consignors: Crasdale Farms & Bienert Holsteins
      Buyers: Woodmansee, Crasdale, T&L Cattle, Ferme Blondin
    • 2nd High
      Lot 8: Larcrest Chevelle-ET $34,000
      Observer x Larcrest Cosmopolitan (VG-87) x Larcrest Oside Champagne-TW (EX-90) x Larcrest Juror Chanel (EX-93)
      Consignors: Rockymountain Holsteins
      Buyers: Cedarwal, Wistleview, Premier West
    • 3rd High
      Lot 17: Butz-Butler Gold Brandy-ET $27,000
      Godwyn x Regancrest Brasilia-ET (EX-90) x Regancrest-PR Barbie-ET (EX-92) x Regancrest Juror Brina-ET (EX-92)
      Consignors: T&L Cattle
      Buyers: Stanhope-Wedgewood Holsteins
  • Fradon Selext Tag Sale Highlights
    The Fradon Select Tag Sale took place February 28 – March 1st at the farm in Branchton, ON and they saw a ton of traffic move through the sale over those three days! When it all totaled up, they sold 31 animals for an average of $7,290.
    • High sellers include:
      • Lot 2 Dymentholm Sunview Sephora $22,500
      • Lot 3 Goldwyn X Fleury Formation Lauria $15,000
      • Lot 8 Fradon Attitude Jodie $10,000
      • Lot 10 Sid X Idee Goldwyn Lulu $9,500
      • Lot 16 Lindenright Bellton Mystery $9,000
      • Lot 28 Scosim Sterling Penelopy $9,000
      • Lot 40 Devans Denzel Angela $10,000
      • Lot 46 Fradon Shaq Jude $12,000
      • Lot 50 Brainwave Shottle Laurasia $13,000
      • Over 100 embryos were also sold during the week.
  • Sterling Hits Peak at Global Classic Sale
    The inaugural Borderway UK Dairy Expo Global Classic Sale averaged £4,357 ($6,600) with a top price of 10,000gns ($15,000) achieved for Sterndale Sterling Josie Red ET. The powerful September 2010 heifer sired by Ardross Sterling and consigned by Bill and Yasmin Nadin, Buxton, Derbyshire, was purchased by Andrew Bunting, Newabbey Holsteins, Dumfries. Descended from nine consecutive generations of Excellent or VG scored dams, the sale topper carried a confirmed pregnancy to Scientific Destry. Sterndale breeding dominated the leading prices as the packed Friday night sale arena witnessed a 6,000gns ($9,000) bid from Rebecca Robertson, Bristol, and Richard Bown, Richhaven Holsteins, Worcs, to secure Sterndale Fever Ashlyn ET. The high type GLPI nine month old heifer offers +15 Canadian Conformation score and a PLI of £200. Sired by Crackholm Fever; her dam is Smiddiehill Drum Ashlyn Ex, a Regancrest Durham daughter of the former All-American and All-Canadian Tri-Day Ashlyn EX96 2E. The Nadin-stable hit “triple” top with another 6,000gns ($9,000) bid for Sterndale Lauthority Ghost and sold to an undisclosed buyer in Scotland. This stylish five-month old calf is descended from 11 consecutive generations of Excellent or VG dams. Sired by Comestar Lauthority; her dam is Picston Shottle Ghost VG89, Nominated All Britain Junior Cow 2011. Graham Scott, Lanarkshire, purchased Denmire Windbrook Pamela 25 for 5,000gns ($7,500). A descendant of the iconic Portlea Ned Pamela cow family, this four-month old heifer calf is descended from eight consecutive generations of Excellent or VG dams and is sired by Gillette Windbrook. Commenting on the sale, Harrison & Hetherington auctioneer Glyn Lucas said. “The inaugural Global Classic showcased many of the UK’s leading cow families. I’d like to congratulate the consignors for offering these elite animals as part of the Borderway UK Dairy Expo event. The quality of the animals offered is exceptional in terms of type and genomics with no fewer than 18 consignments featuring in the Expo show ring this weekend. The Global Classic has helped promote UK breeding to a large audience and we wish the new owners continued future success with their purchasers,” he said.
  • Top-selling type genetics
    At C$30,500, Morsan Miss Bentley was the top-selling animal during the Island Sensation Sale in Canada. With her pedigree of Braxton x Eastside Lewisdale Missy, buyer Ferme Blondin obtained plenty of type genes. The Goldwyn show-calf Weeksdale Real Deal sold for C$21,000. On average C$5595 was paid for 63 lots

PATTY JONES: Picture Perfect!

Patty JonesPatty Jones has a passion for cows and for people who share that passion.  “I work with a lot of new young farmers.  I tell them off the bat what they need to do.”  And she says they listen and pay attention. No doubt they recognize that with nearly forty years of experience photographing between 60 and 65000 cows, she knows what she’s talking about. Even longtime clients of Canadian Livestock Photography occasionally forget details.  Patty says the young guys know this is important. “I wouldn’t be working if I didn’t help my clients make money.  They’re not just taking pictures for the hell of it”! She is sincere about what everyone is aiming for. “If I can help farmers, especially the younger guys, to get going and make a little bit more out of their investment.  What the heck?  That’s what I do it for.”


Once the preparation details have been discussed Patty hopes to arrive and find the heads have been tied up they are all cleaned and everything goes ahead on schedule. If picture taking is new to the breeder Patty has a couple of suggestions: “Pick out the top mother cows.” Looking at the changing industry she adds” Nowadays, of course, pick the genomic heifers.” What a change this has made in the industry and for Patty. “My business has really increased in photographing heifers because of genomics.”


The secret to great pictures according to Patty comes down to “Patience”. Patty is emphatic about this and gives an example. “Daughters of Goldwyn have taught a lot of people patience.” This is a lesson learned over time. “Twenty years ago we wouldn’t have known what to do with them. Today we know the secret. Patience!” She says she even practices this while waiting at stop lights. “Waiting for five minutes … Patience is a virtue.”


Good photography is taking the same old picture, cow, situation … and looking at it from a different angle. “Good pictures have always been the key to cattle marketing.” Wherever breeders talk marketing they are told a picture is worth a thousand words.  “A lot of farms like Roybrook and Glenafton knew the importance of pictures and made good use of them.” She feels the industry knows it isn’t a choice.  Just do it.


Stepping back from the camera lens Patty points out that there are some changes in the perspective of the modern dairy farmer that she thinks are good for the longevity of the cattle breeders themselves, “The biggest change that I see with the young guys is that I would call them smart farmers.  This is not to say that previous generations were not smart.  But these new guys are not focused on fourteen hour days of manual labour.  We will have a lot healthier and older farmers. As it has with cameras, mechanization has come into play. Modern farm families see that it is very important to be able to get away.  Kids, wives and husbands need that time away to get renewed.” She supports this by quoting advice she gave a young farmer who complained that relief milkers can be awfully expensive. She pointed out, “So can losing half the farm!”  “Stop and smell the flowers” is something that she preaches and tries to practise.


A world traveller who gets to know new countries from the very best location – people’s barns and kitchens.” How did she get these opportunities? “I never had specific goals but as I look back on my career, I can see that everything built on ability and passion. Everything has led me to where I am today.  I live for this.  Every morning I wake up and wonder what I’ll see today.”  She recalls doing a picture for the Pope at his summer residence. She explains, “Special arrangements had to be made.  After the third time that I crossed the helicopter pad I asked myself, “How many Popes have stood on this same spot.” Awesome she admits but not the most memorable ever because she says, “Hopefully I haven’t had it yet!|


Patty points to a career that is still evolving and teaching her new things about people, places and cows:


Want to take your marketing to the next level, download our free guide “The Dairy Breeders Guide to Facebook“.

Spring Show Madness – The 2012 Show Season is HERE!

Let the insanity begin!  With the BC Spring show starting today, the 2012 show season officially begins.  While everyone gets really excited about spring shows and finding that diamond in the rough 47-inch summer yearling.  I find myself asking, “Does spring show really matter that much?”

To find answers to this question I checked out the results of the 2011 All-Canadian contest to see which animals were exhibited at spring shows last year:

A Closer Look

Therefore, thirteen of twenty-eight, or forty-six percent (46%) were at spring shows.  Let’s take a closer look.  Consider that, other than 2 year olds and milking yearlings, most cattle that were exhibited were well-established show cows.  The ones that were not were either too late in their last lactation or calving in the summer for the fall show season.  In addition, most 2 year olds and for sure milking yearlings have not calved yet.  These facts make it’s hard to consider the cow classes as an indicator of the relevance of spring shows.

By far the most interesting result is that of the 12 All-Canadian or reserve heifers 9 of them were exhibited at a spring show.  That’s 75% of them that were found by spring show time.  Most people think that the great show heifers are found as diamonds in the rough through the summer and the county fair show season, While I am sure the guys that run the roads looking for that next great one are looking just as hard all year long, it goes to show that by spring show time, many of the great show calves have already been found!

The Bullvine Bottom Line

As you head out to the spring shows, keep a close eye on the heifer classes.  Chances are you will see many of the same animals at the top of the class come Expo and Royal time!

CARSCADDEN: The Royal Footsteps

Brian Carscadden grew up on a dairy farm in eastern Ontario. Between the ages of nine and eleven he started down the path that would eventually lead him to a dream come true – Judging the Holstein Show at the Royal Winter Fair.  He recalls. “I was nine or ten and I remember distinctly going with our neighbour Jack James, a sheep farmer, to Ormstown Fair.  I watched the cattle show for a while and I was mesmerized by the judging process.”


Brian defines the three steps that it takes to fulfill a dream such as his.  “You start out with a dream about going to the Royal.  Then comes the dream about showing at the Royal. Then you dream of owning an animal that show at the Royal.  The next step is the dream to be the judge at the Royal.  That is the hardest to acquire.”

For Brian the dream started young.  “When I was eleven I had never been to the Royal.  My dad and grandfather came back that year and talked about it and I said to myself, ‘You know what? I want to go that show!’ The third step was the real beginning. “The next year I went to the Royal and I’ve been there every year since!”  And so it is that Brian fulfilled his childhood dream. “Every young Canadian Holstein enthusiast dreams of that. I started at lower level shows and worked my way up to the big shows to where the Royal was the only big show I hadn’t judged.” In 2011 he was the Royal Holstein Judge. “There’s very few that actually get the opportunity to follow through! The whole experience was very emotional for me.”

Brian congratulating 2012 Grand Champion Eastside Lewisdale Goldwyn Missy

Brian congratulating 2011 Grand Champion Eastside Lewisdale Goldwyn Missy


You know that a lifelong dream doesn’t happen just by luck.  Brian was focused on the goal and had a plan for how to make it come true. He advises judges who aspire to the Royal or Madison to be prepared. In Brian’s case, “Prior to Madison I watched videos from the past twenty years to give myself familiarity with the Show.  I saw different ways of doing things because I felt I needed to be aware of them.  Even terminologies that other judges used were an interesting part of the learning process.”  Carscadden then goes on to the physical side of things.  “A lot of the judges are farmers and are busy and in good shape. Callum McKinven is one of the toughest guys I know.  But I’m from the city.” Brian had a plan and he took his fitness to the next level. “Before Madison I started running and got up to ten to twelve miles a day.  At the show, I wore a pedometer.  I walked fourteen miles in two days of judging.” You might ask why Brian felt this was necessary.  He is emphatic. “You can’t judge well if you’re physically exhausted.  This is such an important show to the industry; you must do the best job you can!” Brian epitomizes the reason that Canada sets the benchmark for cattle judging worldwide!


We all wonder what the Judge in the middle of the show ring is thinking as he places the cows we are so passionate about. We want to know what he was thinking. Brian says, “Reasons are pretty important. I’m fortunate that, since the age of ten, I have had microphones in my hand. It is important to justify what you have just done.  If you can tell the crowd and satisfy them as to why their animal didn’t win, they may not agree but they can’t argue with you.” Brian says that his experience as a sire analyst and judge is the foundation that he has built on.”


Brian has always held himself to a high standard in all areas of his work. “I’ve learned the value of being professional.” He is aware that all eyes are on him, both in and out of the ring. “The biggest thing is to give an honest opinion.  Judge each cow on the day: not six months ago or three years ago.” For Brian, this kind of integrity applies outside the ring too.”Before the show, it is important to keep your nose clean.  I do not visit a farm within a month of the show. I don’t go to other shows. You must go into the ring with an open mind.”

At the Royal this year I topped the four year old class with a black cow from Jacobs.  Afterwards, Dave Crack came to me and said, ‘Jacob’s will be happy. That was the cow that was grand last week.’ I didn’t even know who she was.”

Brian Carscadden and Assoicate Judge Dave Crack

Brian Carscadden and Associate Judge Dave Crack


Brian Carscadden knows why he has the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to be a tireless cattle judge in Canada and around the world: “For me it’s a passion.  To be in the middle of the ring and see these great cows coming at you. It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck —IT’S A RUSH” Brian Carscadden

Why Breeding Recommendations are like Butts

It’s all depends on the genes.  Still determining what sire to mate your cattle to can be very challenging.  Your local A.I. representative will probably tell you to mate the cow to their highest ranked sire or whatever bull seems to be the flavor of the month.  Your neighbor will tell you to mate your cow to whatever sire worked well in their herd. In addition, the local feed salesmen or cattle dealer are no different they all have an opinion.  So what is a breeder supposed to do?

Do you mate for production, do you mate for index or maybe it’s the next great show calf?  No matter what your goals are, you need to have  clear ones.   Due to heritability of traits, t can take many generations to improve certain traits significantly.    That’s why you can often infuse production into a pedigree in 1 or 2 generations, but it can take 3-6 generations to have a significant effect on calving ease, feet and legs and other less heritable traits.

You will often find that the A.I. studs will contract top cattle to the extreme sires, leaving the breeders with the risk of getting the duds.  That’s not because they want to screw up your breeding programs.  It’s because they are looking for the extremes.  They are typically working with the donor population that has proven to excel in both type and production, and are looking to produce that extreme sire.  They are willing to sample 2-3 sons out of cow to get that one that hits the mark.  For their profitability and breeding program that is a measured risk that they are willing to accept.

On  the other hand, as the cattle breeder who wants to gain maximum genetic gain as well as marketability can you afford to use these extreme cases?  The answer is most likely,  “No!” From a genetic standpoint by having, “dud” females hit your donor’s proof you end up hurting her index.   From a marketing standpoint having “less than attractive” daughters of your top cattle can be a sales killer.

This  is why you always need to protect the matings on your top donors.  While it would be worthwhile to do one or two matings for the extremes to produce the next generation of bull dams or donor cattle you really need to mate to the balanced approach as well.

With that in mind, we have prepared balanced mating recommendations for 50 of the top in demand sires in the world.

Hanover Hill Holsteins: Peter Heffering 1931-2012

We regret to report that R. Peter Heffering passed away Saturday at age 80. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this tough time. The Holstein breed has truly lost a legend who will never be forgotten. In honor of Peter’s legacy we have prepared the following history of Peter’s life in the dairy cattle industry.

Setting the Bug

From a young age, Russell Peter Heffering knew he wanted to be a farmer.  Who knew that his passion would lead to shaping the Holsteins breed and in partnership with Ken Trevena, Hanover Hill Holsteins would be the epicenter of the Holstein world from 1973 to 1998 and become the most influential Holstein herd on the planet.

Peter’s doctor father always told Peter, “Decide what you want to do with your life and go at it full tilt.  And if you’ve decided on agriculture, so be it.”.  Moreover, go full tilt is exactly what Peter did.  After a family vacation in Vermont, it was decided that Peter would spend a summer working on a sheep farm, and with that, the life path for Peter would be set.  In an exchange of labor with a neighbor, it was decided that Peter would help them prepare their Jersey’s for the local show.  Through much coaxing of Peter he was able to talk them into allowing him to show one heifer.  While the heifer finished at the wrong end of the class, young Peter would get the “show bug” and find his calling with dairy cattle.

The show bug, when it hits, sometimes hits hard.  In Peter Heffering, the bug has maybe never hit harder.  Over the next few summers, Peter would continue to work on the Jersey farm as well as a neighbor Ayrshire farm, this time starting to sit at the top of the class.  With this, Peter now knew how he would spend the rest of his life.  In high school classrooms during the years that followed, he would often seem distracted.  When he graduated, he told his teachers that he would be buying a dairy farm, and he would own a herd of show cattle.  Man was that an understatement.

The Beacon Research Farm

After finishing high school, with his parents blessing, enrolled in the animal husbandry program at the New York State University.  He graduated in 1951 and took his first job with The Beacon Research Farm for $125 per month.  The Beacon Research farm was used by a milling company for research and to demonstrate recommended farm management best practices.  While Peter would be very busy with his daily tasks, evenings would find Peter prepping the show herd or training the herd’s show prospects out on the lawn beneath the yard light.

Peter Heffering met his future wife on a summer’s night at a dance by a lake at Auburn, New York.  He was married June 1952.  At that time, his beacon salary was $168 per month and his wife, a nurse, brought home $125.  The family’s long-range plan was to own a dairy farm and to that end, they scrimped and saved.  The sum of $15 per week was allocated for purchase of groceries, and food for the baby came first.  If the total at the grocery store checkout came to more than $15 the surplus was taken back to the shelves.

The Forming of One of the Greatest Partnerships of All-Time

The Beacon organization, aggressive on feed research, manufacturing and marketing, had tightened the purse strings when it came to showing cattle.  However, despite the challenges Peter was able to help them win four All-American awards in his time with them.  But probably the most notable development while Peter was in 1958 when he hired Ken Trevena as a herdsman.  And when Peter left Beacon in 1961 to partner with James Houlahan and his Tara Hills program, Ken went with him.

Success came quickly, in 1962, they had five animals nominated All-American.  The years that followed continued to grow on that success.  However, in 1967 at the urging of his neighbor/actor James Cagney, and despite the success that Heffering had brought him, Houlahan decided to break up the partnership.

In the Tara Hills Dispersal , 205 head averaged $1,900, and would see the first of Heffering and Trevena’s world record prices set by Future Hope Reflection Blacky, who sold to Rowntree Farms for $44,0000.  Also in that sale, Heffering and Trevena paid $127,250 for forty-one head.  The two would rent an investment farm from Hanover Hill Guernseys in Amenia to house and develop these cattle.

The Amenia Farm

At the new farm, Heffering and Trevena followed the old road map; an impeccably managed stable; a well-travelled show herd; a breeding program intelligently planned; and back cover Holstein World advertising.  By July 1968, they were able to advertise, “We think we have one of the finest groups of foundation Holsteins ever assembled.  Our milking herd averages just under 90 points.”  In the first year of operation, they had one All-American and one reserve.

Nevertheless, nothing lasts forever.  The lease ran out on the Amenia farm on January 1, 1973, forcing a move.  The partners decided to sell their herd.  The 1972 Hanover Hill Dispersal equaled in scope and profile the breed’s epic events.  In it, six world records were broken.  With 286 head selling for $1,143,675, a $3,998.86 average, it was the first purebred dairy cattle dispersals to gross more than one million dollars, Johns Lucky Barb (EX) and her eight-member family sold for a record of $350,5000, an average of $43,812.50.

The Move to Canada

Through the 1950’s and 60’s Heffering and Trevena had purchased many cattle In Canada as well as shown at the Royal Winter fair.  They had made numerous sales of cattle to Canadian exporters and breeders and admired the Canadian panache in the development of worldwide markets.  Another reason for an emigration to Canada was clash of philosophies.  In the early 1970’s, the United States artificial insemination industry, backed by the U.S. scientific community as represented by its geneticists, was placing an ever-increasing emphasis on single lactation production.  The all-important factor according to these people was index.  Peter always felt that the index system, which he called “the numbers game,” should be treated not as a gospel but as another  tool available for dairymen’s use.

In addition he felt that the manipulation of the numbers did not ensure that the best product, and while people around the world may have felt that the index system was infallible, statistics had shown otherwise. The Heffering-Trevena breeding approach, which stressed the importance of strong cow families, type, style, and longevity, wasn’t designed to produce high index sires, and Hanover Hill bulls were therefore not attractive to the U.S. industry.  On the other hand, the Canadian attitude paralleled theirs, so that these men where certain that the bulls bred by them would appeal to the Canadian A.I. industry.

For these reasons, Heffering and Trevena in 1973 decided to pull up their New York stakes and move their operation to Canada. They purchased a 150-acre spread of rolling land near Port Perry, Ontario in the heart of cow country.  The Hanover Hill next-door neighbors were Murray and Barney Holtby, and the High Point farms of the Smith brothers and the Roybrook farm of Roy Ormiston were nearby.

Twenty-five years later the partners would say that the decision to move to Canada had been the right one. By taking a balanced breeding approach, Hanover Hill was able to produce bulls that Canadian A.I. units appreciated and used. Bulls that in many instances would have not been for young sire proving programs in the United States were greeted with open arms by the Canadian studs.

Taking Things to a Whole New Level

The Hanover Hill modus operandi called for Ken Trevena handling the day-to-day management of the herd, while Peter Heffering looked after the showing, merchandising and business end of things. They worked together on the breeding program. The herd consisted of about 375 head, of which 100 cows were  in milk.  Embryo transfer was also used extensively, and for that, they needed to have a large number of recipients around.  Their goal was to develop a deep pedigreed herd, all of its members with three or more generations of Very Good or Excellent dams, and producing 20,000 lbs milk with 3.7% fat test or better.

From the start, they knew that for Canada to compete on the world markets of the future, it would be necessary to push cows for higher production, which involved feeding them more grain. When Heffering and Trevena came to Canada, they felt that the feeding policies of most breeders where behind the times compared to the United States.  For Canadian Holsteins to continue to compete on a world basis, Heffering realized, things would have to change, and quite drastically.  One other fact stood out with clarity in his mind: any innovation in the United States, history had shown, within five years would inevitably reach Canada.

The Hanover Hill Cow Families

  • Johns Lucky Barb (EX-97-4E-GMD 5*)
    Transmitting primarily through the female side, she became one of the breeds primary money getters.  In the fullness of time, the Barb family would shatter eight world price records in public auction offerings.
  • Mil-R-Mor Roxette (EX-GMD-30*)
    As a business proposition, Roxette was a money tree.  She had nine family members sold for a total of $491,500 at the 1985 Dispersal; at the 1987 sale, seven-teen ET daughters under two years of age brought $85,700; at the 1989 Hanover Hill Dispersal, thirty-seven members of her family, including eighteen daughters, fetched $601,900; and at the 1991 Bond Haven Dispersal, nine daughters and six granddaughters sold for $113,400.
  • Tora Triple Threat Lulu (EX-GMD-11*)
    In the final years of the Hanover Hill herd, the Lulu`s and the Roxies were its beating heart.
  • Overlook Farm Anna Marquis (EX)
    Her Astronaut daughters were among the best the breed has produced.
  • Cathland Countess (EX-7*)
    Her Hollywood looks approximated the true type model of the time.
  • Brookview Tony Charity (EX-97-USA-11*)
    Often described as Incredible Perfection, compiled a record not soon to be equaled – six superior production awards, nine times All-American and All-Canadian, never defeated in class. Most importantly, Charity takes her place in history as the only female to win grand champion honors at the Royal Winter Fair four times, and only one to four time take the Supreme Championship at Madison.

The Show Record

For Hanover Hill Farms, the road toward the mountaintop passed through the show ring. In sum the Hanover Hill herd earned 140 All-American nominations resulting in 31 All-Americans and 31 Reserve winners, while 87 nominations for All-Canadian resulted in 23 All-Canadians and 21 Reserve prizes. The farm garnered Premier Exhibitor banners at the Royal Winter Fair six times and at Madison thrice. Heffering and Trevena are the only men to exhibit six Supreme Champions as Madison.

Nine Class Extra Sires

The proof of any genetics program often can be told through their male lines. In breeding nine class extra sires Peter and Ken established the record for their era, since bettered by Ferme Gillette.

  • Hanover Hill Starbuck (EX-Extra)
    The first Class Extra sire for Hanover Hill, his influence, particularly through his sons and grandsons, has extended to every corner of the globe.
  • Hanover Hill Inspiration (EX-Extra)
    Sire of Boulet Charles (EX-ST) as well as the dam of Maughlin Storm (VG-Extra)
  • Hanover Hill Raider (EX-Extra)
    With Hanover Hill breeding on both side of his pedigree (Starbuck x Roxette) Peter considered Raider one of the best bulls ever bred by them.
  • Hanover Hill Lieutenant (EX-Extra)
    Another Class Extra sire with Hanover Hill on both sides of his pedigree (Starbuck x Hanoverhill Chief T Lulu)
  • Hanover Hill Lincoln (Ex-Extra)
    A bull with the ability to transmit type and high component yields, Lincoln had a full brother, Hillstar, who became one of Germany’s rated conformation sires.
  • Hanover Hill-SS Clyde (EX-Extra)
    Make this #3 Class Extra sire with Hanover Hill on both sides of the pedigree.
  • Hanoverhill  Stardom (VG-Extra)
    #4 Class Extra sire with Hanover Hill on both sides.
  • Hanover-Hill Mirage (EX-Extra)
    #5 Class Extra sire with Hanover Hill on both sides of the pedigree.  In fact Mirage complete 3 generations of Hanover Hill Class extra sires (Starbuck, Raider, Mirage)
  • Hanoverhill Premier (EX-Extra)
    The final Class Extra sire for Hanover Hill.

This is not to say the farm’s influence came solely through these nine bulls.  Hanover Hill Triple Threat (VG-GM) was not a class Extra sire, yet his impact was substantial.  In addition to the nine Class Extra sires, twenty-one Hanover Hill bred bulls earned Superior Type recognition and seven of them carried away Superior Production honors.

The 1985 Hanover Hill Dispersal

With the 1968 Internal Revenue Code still in place propelling the North American Holstein industry into frenzy and a very optimistic economic climate, Heffering and Trevena decided to hold a sale, and what a sale it was.  Held at the farm on July 15 and 16 1985, before an audience of 2,500 people, the world’s best-known herd at the time, went under the gavel of auctioneer Bob Shore. Records tumbled. 302 head grossed $7,039,200 for an average of $23,308.61 to make this the highest volume and highest averaging sale ever held in Canada at the time. On the 2nd day, Brookview Tony Charity (EX) became the first dairy animal to sell for over a million dollars when she brought $1,450,000 selling to Steve Roman of Romandale Farms.

The 1987 Hanover Hill Dispersal

The strong results of their embryo transplant program had pushed heifer numbers to the point where another sale was held on July 13th and 14th 1987. An average of $7,203.73 was realized on 201 head, eighty percent of which were females under milking age.

The 1989 Final Chapter Sale

By 1989, the time had come for Hanover Hill’s final chapter. At the sale held on July 10 and 11th at the farm global interest in the Hanover Hill bloodlines was apparent. 107 head sold to Canadians; 115 to United States breeders as well as buyers from Spain, England, Japan, Brazil, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, and Argentina. 341 lots sold for an average $14,711.73, a total of $5,016,700. The average was the third highest in Canadian history at the time surpassed only by their own 1985 dispersal and the Cormdale Dispersal held earlier that year.

The 1998 Hanover Hill Dispersal

As Peter and his son, David’s focus had shifted to standardbred horses, the complete dispersal was held on July 14th and 15th 1998. 289 head sold for an average of $8,415.22 for a total of $2,432,000.  Again breeders from all over the world came to get their last chance at these great bloodlines.  At the sale’s opening legendary pedigree man Horace Backus said, “In the history of the Holstein breed, there have only been four or five herds that have created a distinct bloodline. Today we are selling a distinct bloodline herd.”

The Success Continues in Harness Racing

In 1989, Heffering made his entrance into harness racing and enjoyed great success. He owned, either in whole or in part, an impressive list of horses that included Precious Bunny, Riyadh, Pacific Rocket, Kadabra, Strong Yankee, and Majestic Son. His champions won the most coveted races in the sport, including the Little Brown Jug, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity, Breeders Crown and numerous Ontario Sires Stakes events.

In 1996 he and his son David opened Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, Ontario, that is today one of North America’s premier Standardbred breeding operations. In 2012, 11 stallions stand in their state-of-the art stallion barn.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

There is no doubt that the partnership between Peter Heffering and Ken Trevena changed the dairy breeding industry world. From show records that have stood the test of time to sires that set the pace of their generation, Hanover Hill is certainly one of the 4-5 greatest breeding programs in history. In building Hanover Hill, Peter Heffering was extremely astute, driven, and modest. Always quick to credit others in accepting a Certificate of Superior Accomplishment from the Holstein Association of Canada in 1992, Heffering paid tribute to the many young men and woman dedicated to the purebred industry that helped make Hanover Hill a success”.  The final recognition by his Canadian peers came when he was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Today a man gone but his examples will not soon be forgotten.


For a full history of the Canadian Holstein breed check out “The Chosen Breed” by Edward Young Morwick.

Weekly Show and Sale Recap– 3/4/2012


  • Crackholm Spring Fever Sale II Results
    The Crackholm Spring Fever Sale took center stage in Saint-Hyacinthe, QC on March 1st. The snow storm brought March in like a lion, but the averaged also “roared” to an unofficial average of $6,913.  The highest price of the event was realized from the 1st Choice from 3 Snowman or 1 Bookem (due 9/11) out of Tramilda-N Baxter Emily-ET (VG, 2y) GLPI +2738 KG +2109M +88F +65P.  The first tested daughter of Emily has the following results: GLPI +3025 +2635M +77F +78P The 2nd dam is Wabash-Way Evett-ET (VG-86, 2y) who is a Shottle daughter, out of Crockett-Acres Elita-ET (VG-87 DOM 2*) and followed by nine VG or EX dams. Consigned by Skyreach, she was struck off to Matt Kimball, Maryland, USA, for $30,000. Second highest price paid for the day was a Siemers Windbrook Rozina-ET GPA LPI +3128 DGV +3423, a September 2011 Windbrook and out of Cherry Crest Manoman Roz GTPI +2140 GPA LPI +2772. She sold with bull contracts to Alta and Semex. The next dam is Whittier-Farms HE Rebecca-ET (VG-89), then Whittier-Farms Outside Roz (2E-95 1*) and the next four dams 2E-92, 2E-91, EX-90, VG-88. She was consigned by Siemers Holsteins, WI and purchased by M. Coomboona of Australia on a bid of $28,000. Ferme Jacobs of Quebec, offered added entry Jacobs Goldwyn Kasual. Fresh on 2/20, she looked the part of a show contender for 2012 and bidding was anything but casual from an appreciative buying public as she soared to $26,500. Her dam is MS Elmvue Durham Kara-ET VG-(88, 3y). Her 2nd dam is Country-Wood Encore Kaley (EX-94) All-American Sr-3-Yr-Old 2004. She is now owned by Ferme Bon-Accueil, Quebec.
  • Top prices in Pennsylvania
    During the Pennsylvania Convention Sale, the PSU Syndicate paid  $45,000 for a first choice Mogul out of Shamrock’s full sister, Ladys-Manor Shandra. The second-highest, too, has a connection with Shamrock. Wishing Shamrock Becca, out of Bree (the Million daughter of Regancrest Brasilia), went for $28,500 to Daisy Farm. On average $5,368 was paid for 84 lots.
  • Wisconsin and Iowa
    Great averages and individual prices during the Convention Sales in Iowa (avg.: $12,236) and Wisconsin ($6,306). In Wisconsin a first choice Snowman or AltaIota or O-Style out of Larcrest Mac Constance attracted the top price of $27,000. In Iowa, two top prices were paid for first choices out of Roorda OB McKenzie ($25,000) and out of Co-Vista Atwood Desire ($23,000).
  • German Top Sale
    With an average of €6,273 (33 lots) the Schau der Besten in Germany has made the headlines. Top seller at €26,000 was a Snowman daughter of the well-known Goldwyn Konny that went to the Netherlands. A first choice Numero Uno out of Goldwyn Lilac’s Airraid daughter Lila B changed owners for €24,000. The third-highest lot (€14,000) was a Sudan out of Comestar Lautellia Goldwyn.

Times have changed. Why hasn’t the way you market your dairy cattle?

You wouldn’t breed your top genomic cow to Rudolph. So, why are you marketing your cattle the same way you did 10 years ago?

That is the biggest question I am having trouble understanding. Genomics has revolutionized the breeding industry but, for  the most part, nothing has changed in the way most breeders, and especially most breeder magazines are marketing cattle.

Ten years ago marketing was largely print media based. Technological developments have changed the way people buy things.  This does include the way buying cattle.  According to Google over 12,000 people search for terms related to the dairy breeding industry.  More importantly than that, over 4,000 people per month search for terms such as dairy cattle embryos, Holstein embryos, Holstein semen, dairy cattle genetics That clearly shows that they have the intent to buy genetics.

Here are some examples of breeders who are embracing change and doing it right:

Avonlea Genetics

Avonlea Genetics keeps an active and up-to-date website that has the latest news.  More importantly they also do a newsletter to keep their followers up to date on what is going on as well as upcoming consignments or sales.

Avonlea Genetics

La Ferme Gillette Inc.

Keeps an active Facebook page where they are always updated on recent events at the farm as well as letting fans and potential customers get to know the people behind the name.

La Ferme Gillette

Ferme Jacobs

Ferme Jacobs really gets it.  They have started using the power of video and YouTube to show potential buyers just how their animals walk and look.  It’s does not have to be a big fancy production.  A simple video shot on your smart phone can do the trick.  Never under-estimate the power of video.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

These are just a few of the examples of how you can adopt your marketing to stay in touch with your marketplace.  It does not mean you have to spend huge dollars. Each of these potential marketing channels are very cost effect.  Some cost  nothing more than your time.  The big thing to remember is that times have changed. There are more ways to market your cattle than just some big expensive print ad, that is out of date in no time and barely remembered by most of your potential buyers.


Want to take your marketing to the next level, download our free guide “The Dairy Breeders Guide to Facebook“.

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