Achieving perfection: Holstein Association USA's 2017 Herds of Excellence

Wisconsin State Farmer

BRATTLEBORO, VT – Seventeen Registered Holstein® breeders have earned the distinction of 2017 Herd of Excellence by Holstein Association USA. There are three herd size divisions, 10-99 cows, 100-499 cows, and 500+ cows. Each division is based on the number of cows included in Mature Equivalent (ME) production averages for each herd. 

The Zwald family's registered Holstein operation at Bomaz Farms has grown and developed high quality Holstein genetics since the farm began in 1962.

The announcement of the Herd of Excellence recipients is an annual tradition. Since its beginning in 2008, the Herd of Excellence honor has become one of the most coveted Holstein Association USA awards. The Herd of Excellence designation honors Registered Holstein breeders who have developed Holstein herds that excel in both production and type.   

To be recognized with this accolade, herds must have classified within the last year and have an age-adjusted average classification score of 83 points or higher; have at least 70 percent of the herd homebred; and be enrolled in the Association's TriStarSM production records program. Additionally, qualifying herds must meet the following production criteria: 

  • 10 to 99 cows - 25 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein 
  • 100 to 499 cows - 20 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein 
  • 500+ cows - 15 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein 

Of the 17 herds, eight are first-year recipients. B-Long Holsteins, New London, Wis. has received the award seven years and Ever-Green-View Farms, Waldo, Wis is an eight-year recipient. 

Koepke Farms Inc., a partnership between brothers Alan, Dave, James and Jame's son, John, is a first-year honoree in Holstein Association USA Herds of Excellence. John and his wife Kim manage cheese production of LaBelle Cheese.

This year's honorees are: 

500+ herd size division: 

-        The Zwald Family, Bomaz Inc., Hammond, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 32,168M 1,223F 1,036P

-        Bradley Cates, Co-Vale Holsteins, Preble, N.Y. 
ME Production Averages – 31,849M 1,233F 997P

-        The Migliazzo Family, Dinomi Holsteins, Atwater, Calif. 
ME Production Averages – 37,473M 1,396F 1,194P

-        The Agresti Family, Double D Dairy, Ceres, Calif. 
ME Production Averages – 32,761M 1,210F 1,008P

-        The Schloneger Family, Legacy Farm LLC, Shell Lake, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 32,084M 1,316F 1,054P

-        The Siemers Family, Siemers Holstein Farm, Inc., Newton, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 36,359M 1,373F 1,075P

First-year honoree in the Holstein Association USA Herds of Excellence Pan and Daryl Nunes of Ocean View Genetics brought California to Wisconsin to establish their award winning herd.

100 to 499 herd size division: 

-        The Koepke Family, Koepke Farms Inc., Oconomowoc, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 35,448M 1,476F 1,062P

-        The Koester Family, Koester Dairy Inc., Dakota, Ill. 
ME Production Averages – 35,254M 1,390F 1,117P

-        Benjamin F. & Carolyn A. Turner, Maplelane-Manor Farm, Apulia Station, N.Y. 
ME Production Averages - 33,190M 1,347F 1,081P

-        Gerald & Kevin Ihm, True-Blue Holsteins, Barneveld, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 32,794M 1,251F 1,008P

10 to 99 herd size division: 

-        S. Scott & April D. Cooper, Appealing Holsteins, Delta, Pa. 
ME Production Averages – 38,374M 1,467F 1,127P

-        George Malkemus & Anthony Yurgaitis, Arethusa Farm LLC, Litchfield, Conn. 
ME Production Averages – 34,988M 1,443F 1,066P

-        Bruce, Brenda & Bret Long, B-Long Holsteins, New London, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 37,665M 1,330F 1,153P

-        Daniel L. Vandertie, Doorco Holsteins, Brussels, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 34,194M 1,322F 1,042P

-        Thomas J. Kestell, Ever-Green-View Holsteins, LLC, Waldo, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 41,247M 1,557F 1,242P

-        Grafton County Farm, Grafco Holsteins, North Haverhill, N.H. 
ME Production Averages – 35,483M 1,392F 1,086P

-        Daryl & Pam Nunes, Ocean View Genetics, Deerfield, Wis. 
ME Production Averages – 36,969M 1,400F 1,062P 

These Holstein breeders are acknowledged for having mastered the art of breeding balanced cattle – exceptional conformation paired with high production. Congratulations to the 2017 Herd of Excellence honorees. 

The awards will be presented during Holstein Association USA’s 133rd Annual Meeting in Acme, Michigan.