The first-ever recipients of the Elite Performer recognition were announced by Holstein Association USA. The Elite Performer award is a new honor from Holstein Association USA, which recognizes superior Registered Holstein® cows who have demonstrated a profitable combination of high production, sound conformation, and longevity.
In its first year, 400 cows hailing from 16 states were named National Elite Performers; another 402 cows from 28 states received Regional Elite Performer honors, from nine regions across the country.
"The Elite Performer award allows us to pay tribute to those cows who are desirable and profitable for every dairyman, regardless of their management style or herd goals," said John Meyer, Holstein Association USA Chief Executive Officer. "Awarding both National and Regional Elite Performers allows us to honor a larger number of deserving cattle and breeders from across the country, as well as recognizing cows that are competing under similar management and environmental conditions."
In order to qualify for Elite Performer recognition, cows must have completed at least three lactations in a herd participating in the Association's TriStar™ program, completing the most recent lactation in the past 12 months, and must be classified Very Good-85 or higher. All cows currently enrolled in TriStar who are 87% RHA or higher are evaluated annually.
Once eligible cows are determined, they are ranked based on total lifetime pounds of combined fat and protein per day in milk. The top one percent of cows meeting the criteria are awarded National Elite Performer recognition. Those cows are then removed from consideration for Regional Elite Performer honors, and the remaining top one percent of cows from each of nine regions, the same as Holstein Association USA election regions, are named Regional Elite Performers.
The Elite Performer award is a lifetime recognition, so cows are only eligible to receive the honor one time.
The Elite Performer award recognizes not only the cow for her achievements, but also the breeder, the owner, and the herd management that together allowed her to qualify for this prestigious award.
Owners of qualifying animals have been notified via mail, and a complete list of 2014 Elite Performers can be found on the Holstein Association USA web site at www.holsteinusa.com. With questions, contact Peter Cole at 800-952-5200, ext. 4127, or firstname.lastname@example.org.