BRATTLEBORO, VT - Craig Carncross is the 2017 Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder honoree.
The Lodi, WI., man was honored during the 2017 National Holstein Convention in Belleuve, WA.
Carncross is taking his family’s passion for Registered Holsteins and making his own future with an outstanding herd of cattle. With a progressive attitude, determination, and focus on pedigrees, he has bred and developed a great herd.
From an early age Carncross was fascinated with pedigrees, and is now a great student of them. His family had a big interest in developing their passion as it was regularly a part of family conversations.
Carncross grew up on his parent’s Registered Holstein farm in south central Wisconsin. His parents, Worden and Emily, established the Wargo-Acres prefix in the early 1970’s and started building their Registered Holstein herd. Since childhood, Craig has been active in the dairy industry. As a youngster, he was a member of his county dairy judging team.
Following graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with his degree in Dairy Science, Carncross returned home to join the operation full time. Since then, they have expanded the herd to over 400 Registered Holsteins. Most of the expansion was through internal herd growth, purchasing just 125 animals.
Today, the Carncrosses are milking over 400 cows, three times a day in a double eight herringbone parlor. Their current rolling herd average is 31,660 pounds of milk, 1,205 pounds of fat, and 995 pounds of protein on three times a day milking. Fifty-three of their cows have produced 200,000 pounds of lifetime milk and 11 have produced over 300,000 pounds.
Craig has utilized a variety of Holstein Association USA programs to assist with developing their herd, including Holstein COMPLETE®, EASY ID™, Sire Summaries and TriStarSM. The herd classifies on a regular basis and has a current BAA of 108.2 with 52 Excellent cows, 165 scored Very Good, and 75 Good Plus.
Since Carncross joined the operation, the farm has received Progressive Breeders Registry honors 17 years and earned the Progressive Genetic Herd award seven years. Thirty-nine cows bearing their prefix have obtained Gold Medal Dam recognition, as well as 17 Dams of Merit, and nine cows honored as National Elite Performers.
“First and foremost, our cows must be trouble free, profitable cows. Those cows will make daughters that we can work with. High genomic cows are almost always the most efficient producers as long as they have adequate health characteristics,” Carncross said..
The Lodi farmer's attention to detail and pedigrees has helped position Wargo-Acres for a strong future in the Holstein breed. The goal of his breeding program is profitability and longevity, and he breeds for traits that will ultimately lead to long lasting cows. His goal is to have cows score at least 87 points and produce over 150,000 lifetime pounds of milk.
Craig and his wife, Jen, have two children, Evan and Nolan.