Archive for December 2019

Top 9 of 2019 – The Bullvine’s Most Popular Articles of the Year

It has been a tough time for many in the dairy industry and most are looking forward to a better year next year.  This list reflects content published from January 1st, 2019 through December 18th, 2019 and is based on Google Analytics with over 3 million monthly views from almost 3 million unique yearly visitors.

Top 9 Features Articles:

  1. Ideal Rump Structure – Does It Actually Matter?
  2. The Jersey Future is Now
  3. ATTENTION: Dairy Farmer Cooperatives – Align, Merge or Die!
  4. Four Steps to a Workable Herd Genetic Improvement Plan for Profit Focused Milk Producers
  5. How Jersey Breeders Can Take Over The Holstein World
  6. Is it Time to Quit Dairy Farming?
  7. KHW Regiment Apple-Red-ET – Everything and more
  8. Ferme Jacobs – “Dreams without goals are just….dreams”
  9. Forget the past, dairy cows in the future will look very different…or will they? 

Top 9 News Stories of 2019:

  1. Prayer Requests for Carlie Ostrom
  2. Holstein Journal Announces Final Edition
  3. New A2 milk clinical trial with children has big implications both for child nutrition and also for the dairy industry
  4. Farmers Have More Sex Than People With Any Other Job
  5. From Two Bulls, 9 Million Dairy Cows
  6. Ferme Jacobs Rocks the Dairy Industry with Incredible Sale
  7. Award-winning dairy farm forced to sell off herd
  8. Animal Activists Chose the Wrong Farmers to Steal From
  9. Fire at Ferme Jacobs

Top 9 Diary Cattle Shows of 2019:

  1. Eastern National Holstein Show 2019
  2. Midwest National Spring Holstein Show 2019
  3. Ontario Summer Holstein Show 2019
  4. Le Supreme Laitier – Holstein 2019
  5. British Columbia Holstein Spring Show 2019
  6. Quebec Spring Holstein Show 2019
  7. Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2019
  8. Canadian National Holstein Show 2019
  9. International Holstein Show – World Dairy Expo 2019

It been an amazing journey since we started the Bullvine back in 2012, (Read more: The Top 10 of 2012 – The most read articles of 2012).  Looking ahead to 2020, we here at the Bullvine are excited about the potential the new year will bring and the great things that will happen in the dairy industry.  One thing you can be certain of is the continue to bring you the most talked about in the industry.  Happy Holidays and See You in 2020!

Don’t Let Ageism Kill The Dairy Industry?

“It’s Not Too Late to Capitalize on Dairy’s Biggest Asset!”

Economics, politics and poor business decisions are the excuses we give when dairy dollars are going down the drain.  At least, those are the things we blame. However, even without playing the blame game, we feel justified in forecasting a dire future for dairying.  We think it can’t be helped.

            Unfortunately, with all our knowledge, data and assessment processes, we are turning a blind eye to the biggest asset that we have available to us.  Without a doubt, that asset is the next generation of young dairy entrepreneurs.

            We can’t have a future dairy industry, without the input of young dairy people.


            When we look around, there is much to be excited about concerning young people.  Even though their positive stories rarely lead the news, there are many great successes in science, technology, sports and creativity that deserve glowing praise. For example, the Junior who bred the national champion cow or the college junior who created an app that monitors calf health. However, more often than not, these achievements, unlike murder, scandals and political mayhem don’t lead the news but are usually left for a single good news bit at the end of the broadcast, following the weather and after the final buy-our-product ad. And, if they relate to agriculture, they may not be included at all. Thus it is that the first things you’re apt to hear about younger folks in general conversation are complaints about them burying their heads in technology.


            Let’s be honest here and forget the ageism.  It isn’t only the younger generations who are burying their heads in technology. It’s all generations.  I am a senior and, although the specific tech uses may be different, many of my peers are rarely seen without their grey-heads buried in their smartphones.  When was the last time you were in a seniors group, coffee shop or grocery store and overheard one side of a cell phone conversation?  

            While we seniors profess not to be addicted, we often lead conversations with “I read on Google…” or “I saw it on Pinterest.” Confirmation proof is easily found. Recent national data (PEW Research Center June 2019) reveals that Americans are more digitally connected than ever before. It reports that approximately 70% of seniors are now connected to the internet and use devices to stay informed, connect with friends and family, shop, choose travel plans and make reservations for transportation and, not surprisingly, to read the latest news. Most dairy farmers are familiar with digital uses that provide data information for their dairy herd from health, to recording, to feed and employee management. The time for negative finger-pointing from one generation to another is hypocritical.


            “TOO YOUNG TO KNOW ENOUGH.” 

            “TOO OLD TO LEARN MORE”

Not everyone in the dairy industry has grown up in the fast-paced, hyper-connected digital world that those under forty years of age have experienced. Having done so, this age group that has developed the ability to quickly cut through the extraneous noise of repetitive explanations, rationalizations and criticism.  Whatever the label, Generation X, Generation Y or Generation Z, by and large, they are focused on what they want when it comes to work and education they expect interaction to be at their fingertips. If the dairy industry is to remain viable and valuable, it has to accept that digital is here to stay.  Adapting to that reality is going to be the key. 

            Traditional education and the ways we move through dairy processes must be enhanced by technology not held back by the way we did it in the past. Hands-on experience and practical skills can’t be taught by osmosis.  While we argue over whose heads are where, education programs – on farms, in colleges, or through industry – are missing out on the practical internships that could grow the dairy industry.

            Everyone on the modern dairy farm has to be open to learning from the cows and about the cows.  That goes without saying.  We have to be open to working with cutting edge technology.  The sources of knowledge are expanding.  We can’t hoard information from our competition, and we definitely can’t keep it from those whom we must entrust with our future. Peers.  We must open up to unlimited access from the largest educational institutions to the smallest device in our hands. Online e-learning about everything from reproduction to genomics to profitable dairy strategies is the only way to keep up and remain relevant.


            Most non-agricultural industries – medical, computer, engineering – advance as the knowledgebase and practical instruction are passed down to the next group of industry professionals. But when we talk about entrepreneurship in the dairy industry, whom do we name as those who are actually leading and guiding the next dairy-producing generation? Are academic institutions keeping pace with the changing realities?  Did they ever?

            We, as a dairy industry, are justifiably proud of our dairy farm offspring for their work ethic and understanding of the dairy business. It is a great foundation.  But are we confident enough to urge them to make dairy their ultimate career path?  And if that is the ultimate goal, have they received enough training? Training of the right kind?  Are they equipped for what they have to face in the years ahead?

            In the not-so-distant past, dairy breeders grew their businesses through careful breeding, bull selection, and buying and selling to a discriminating market. Over the last twenty years, this has changed dramatically. The economics of modern dairy breeding has made it difficult for an individual breeder to breed an influential sire, thus all but closing down this income source.  The economics of a profitable dairy herd turns not only on “cow knowledge” but also on “cow science” and when a dairy entrepreneur overemphasizes one at the expense of another, it has a dramatic impact on dairy profitability.


            We can’t have a dairy future without people experienced enough to run dairy farms. Instead of whining about the downfalls of the next generation, we need to engage with them. We need to be open about the downside of dairy entrepreneurship.  It can be hard, thankless humbling, lonely, and a precarious career choice.  It requires focus and a long term outlook coupled with a commitment to sacrifice.  Ask yourself: “Does that sound like the career you signed up for 20, 30 or 40 years ago?” We must face the fact that future success is not guaranteed.  Share what you have learned about personal freedoms, work-life balance and the risks and rewards of being a dairy entrepreneur.

            When we started in dairying, more than likely, people spoke to us in terms we understood.  We had a vision for what we thought we were facing. Does anyone talk to today’s young dairy hopefuls about being an entrepreneur on their terms?

            Like the other, more traditional professions, we need to aggressively advance our areas of education and training in entrepreneurialism.  Andrew Bachelor a social media influencer and entrepreneur was told by a college professor, “The job you will have ten years from now doesn’t exist today.”  How do we apply that vision to the dairy industry?  “The dairy farm you will have ten years from now doesn’t exist today.” Entrepreneurs in most thriving industries are not born and bred into their positions. We apply the word entitled to the younger generation but aren’t we the living examples of entitlement? We are if we expect to maintain the status quo at the expense of evolving to meet the needs of a changing world and a changing customer.


            And this brings me one more message for older dairy entrepreneurs. You can never overshare your experience.  Share how you learned.  Share how you built your dairy from what it was when you started to what it is today.  While the methods and motivations may be somewhat different, all ages can relate to the passion and will to succeed.  All ages need to be ready to try new things if we want to get from where we are to where we want to be. We need to find a way to combine the cutting edge of technology that will keep us up with new ideas with the steadying business experience that years in the dairy industry provides. When both groups work together, the entire dairy industry benefits.

            Something great doesn’t happen without problems, near misses and even failures. We can’t avoid these hurdles, but they only become full failures when we allow them to become full stops. Instead of hauling out the criticism, we need to praise the doers. Cheer the attempts. Analyze and offer concrete suggestions.

THE FUTURE BUILDERS                         

            All generations need to recognize that the future success of dairying will be built on giving each other – young and old – the opportunity to try … and to fail. All of us have had experience with difficulties.  If someone hadn’t had our backs, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We tend to let the years shine a rosy glow onto everything.  We can’t change the past, but we can accept where we are.  We can hand off to those willing to continue on. The foundation for the future will be built on great dairy cattle and dairy people, of all ages.


We can be justifiably proud of our dairy history even as we recognize that the way forward will hold new issues, challenges and opportunities. We must take big risks if we would reap bigger rewards. The time has come to start something new with people who will stop at nothing to achieve it. Together.




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US December 2019 Holstein Genetic Evaluation Highlights – Sire Proof Central

Helix solidifies his top spot on the US Daughter proven list now at 2869 TPI. Second place is the August newcomer AltaTopshot ahead of the Josuper son Rocketfire from the Tabitha family. Rounding out the top sires is the Boastful son Burley and then Rubicon.  On the genomic side, AltaZazzle defends his top spot in the USA. Second place is now occupied by Captain, a Charl-Sabre from the Shot Mindys. Behind him comes Highjump, a Positive great-grandson of MOM Halo, and Holdon, a Charl grandson of Nightout.

Four Newly Proven Sires Shine Among Top 10 for Both LPI and Pro$ – Canadian Holstein Highlights ‐ December 2019

Genomic selection continues to deliver interesting results as the list of Top 10 proven sires this round for both LPI and Pro$ experience significant change with the arrival of high quality newly proven sires. In fact, four newcomers manage to enter the Top 10 list for both indexes with the most successful being Peak AltaMarlon, who is a son of AltaSpring out of A‐L‐H Movieman (by O‐ Style) that captures top spot at #1 LPI and #6 Pro$. The most successful newly proven sire for Pro$ this round is S‐S‐I Kingpin Phantom‐ET at #2 Pro$ (#7 LPI, tied #9 Fat, #3 Protein), who is a maternal brother to Duke (#7 Pro$, #15 LPI, #2 Fat, #2 Protein). He is immediately followed by another impressive newcomer, namely S‐S‐I Snowman Mayflower‐ET (Snowman x Socrates), at #3 Pro$ (#10 LPI), who also becomes the new breed leader for Protein at 109 kg (#6 Milk). The fourth newcomer to make an outstanding debut among the Top 10 for both indexes is Westcoast Randall (Loptimum x Numero Uno), who takes #4 LPI and #8 Pro$ this December. Stantons Adagio‐P‐ET*POC (Powerball*POC x McCutchen) is another newly proven sire worthy of attention as he becomes the highest ranking proven polled sire in Canada at #9 LPI and #18 Pro$.

For previously proven sires, EDG Rubicon‐ET (Mogul x Robust) stays solid holding on at #1 Pro$ (#3 LPI, #1 Fat) while the former LPI leader, Benner Bardo (Flame x Mogul) changes very little but is forced to accept the #2 LPI position (#4 Pro$, #3 Fat) this round. The three remaining sires on the Top 10 LPI list this round include Holyland Elite Exactly‐ET (Halogen x Mixer) at #5 LPI (#31 Pro$), Stantons Alligator‐ET (Kingpin x McCutchen, maternal brother to Adagio*POC) at #6 LPI (#54 Pro$, tied #3 Conformation), and Silverstream Porter (Bombero son out of Templedale Mogul Paris) at #8 LPI (#19 Pro$). For Pro$, the Top 10 list is completed by Ronelee Midnight Detour‐ET (Midnight x Mogul) at #5 Pro$ (#13 LPI), Progenesis Kane (Bombero x Mogul) at #9 Pro$ (#21 LPI), and Seagull‐Bay Silver‐ET (Mogul x Snowman) taking #10 Pro$ position (#20 LPI).

In addition to the five newly proven sires already mentioned that managed to penetrate the Top 10 rankings, there are five other newcomers of interest as they reach Top 30 status for at least one of the national indexes. The only sire, however, that achieves this status for both LPI and Pro$ is S‐S‐I Supershot Speed Up‐ET (Supershot x Numero Uno), who now occupies #16 LPI and #25 Pro$ positions. The four other sires all manage to enter Top 30 rankings for Pro$, led by View‐ Home Mandate‐ET (Day x Robust, maternal brother to Powerball*POC and Missouri), who just misses the Top 10 Pro$ list in #11 spot (#70 LPI). WET Tuffenuff Magnus‐ET (Tuffenuff x Mogul) arrives at #14 Pro$ (#36 LPI) while Silverridge V Eugenio (Supershot son out of Silverridge V McCut Enchanted) grabs #26 Pro$ (#33 LPI) and is followed closely by Westcoast Kerrigan‐ET at #30 Pro$ (#57 LPI, son of Kingboy and maternal brother to Randall).

A “Hot” Newly Indexed Cow Takes Top Honours for Both GLPI and Pro$

Stantons Hot Dollars‐ET makes an incredible debut as the highest newly indexed cow this round, managing to take #1 GLPI and #1 Pro$ positions (#7 Fat). Sired by AOT Silver Helix‐ET, Hot Dollars is one of nine daughters of Stantons Real Dollars‐ET (#19 Pro$, tied #26 GLPI, Rubicon x Day) among the Top 1000 Pro$ cows and is full sister to Stantons Dollar Helix‐ET, who holds #5 Pro$

and #9 GLPI positions this round. Morningview Duke Zip (Duke x Yoder) also makes an outstanding arrival as a newly indexed cow, landing right behind Hot Dollars at #2 GLPI and also grabs #4 Pro$ spot (#2 Fat). Four other newly indexed cows achieve Top 10 status for either GLPI or Pro$, including Glenhaven E Gizi (Exactly x Mogul) at #5 GLPI (#21 Pro$). For the high‐ranking Pro$ arrivals, Stantons Some Helix‐ET (dam is Stantons Bee Something‐ET) grabs #3 Pro$ (#4 Fat) while Progenesis Detour Kansas (dam is Progenesis Supershot Kassidy) takes #6 Pro$, and both are tied at #37 GLPI. Sunnypoint Loyal Detour 2382 (dam is Peak Loyal Hrod 60124‐ET) enters Top 10 Pro$ in #8 spot (#16 GLPI).

For previous breed leading cows, in addition to Stantons Dollar Helix‐ET, two others achieve Top 10 status for both national indexes. The highest of these is the former Pro$ leader, Stantons Helix Roll‐ET (dam is Stantons Just Rolling‐ET), who is now forced into #2 Pro$ and #4 GLPI even after increasing both values but maintains her #1 Fat standing. Stantons Rubicon Cranking Up also performs well with index increases to take #6 GLPI and #10 Pro$ (dam is Stantons Freddie Cameo). The Top 10 Pro$ list is completed this round with Stantons So Excited (Silver x Supersire) staying quite stable at #7 Pro$ (#82 GLPI, #3 Fat) while Benner Octoberfest Jingko (dam is Benner Shotglass Javabeans) makes some gains to grab #9 Pro$ and #12 GLPI positions this round.

For the Top 10 GLPI cows, four maintain this status from last round to complete the list this December. The highest of these is Progenesis Exactly Best (Exactly x Montross), who is forced down the ladder from #1 to #3 GLPI and now occupies #49 Pro$. The others include Ravendale Duke Aloha at #7 GLPI (#29 Pro$, Duke x Jacey), Dudoc Silver Sarcasme*POC at #8 GLPI (tied #17 Pro$, highest polled cow for both indexes), and BGP Delta Honna‐ET at #10 GLPI (#26 Pro$, dam is View‐Home Uno Hope‐ET).

Another newly indexed cow with noteworthy results is Aardema Daiquiri Destiny‐ET, who is a daughter of Vieuxsaule Wilson out of WFC KB Daiquiri 9466‐ET (by Kingboy) that makes her debut tied at #1 Conformation with +17.

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