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FOND DU LAC, Wis. – The Fond du Lac County Holstein Breeders hosted this year's annual Adult Holstein Convention in coordination with the Wisconsin Holstein Association (WHA) at the Radisson Hotel & Convention Center in Fond du Lac.

More than 150 Holstein breeders from across the state were in attendance for meetings, speakers and tours, and to receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments in 2019.

During the convention, Wisconsin Top Performer cows of 2019 were revealed. Recognized were cows owned by Tom Kestell, Ever-Green-View, Waldo; Wargo Acres, Lodi and Legacy Farms, Rueben Schloneger, Shell Lake.

Kestell was also honored as the owner of overall Top Performer was Ms Arjeta-ET EX-91. Ms Arjeta-ET produced 60,239 pounds of milk, 1,994 pounds of fat (4.1 percent) and 1,663 pounds of protein (2.9 percent) in 305 days at 7-06.

Wall of Fame

This year's Wall of Fame inductees included: Person – the late William Hageman, Sr.; bull – Jenny-Lou Mrshl Toystory-ET; and cow – Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET. 

Hageman and his wife Saloah, farmed in Fond du Lac until 1992. After that time, Hageman worked with area farmers as a nutritionist and had a passion for working with young dairy farmers. Through his association with WHA, he served as a director, board president in 1988 and represented the state at the National Convention many times.

Hageman was also named Wisconsin Holstein Outstanding Holstein Boy in 1960 and earned a runner-up finish at the national level. The family had many All-Wisconsin winners and bred the 2007 Wall of Fame sire, Hagemans Tempo, who was a popular bull in the Tri-State line-up. He and Saloah bred 62 Excellent cows including Hagemans Top Citron EX-95. 

This year’s Wall of Fame bull was Jenny-Lou Mrshl Toystory-ET bred by Jenny-Lou Holsteins, owned by the Breunig family of Sauk City. Toystory set milestones at Genex Cooperative where he produced 2.4 million doses of semen worldwide. He has more than 500,000 daughters in over 50 countries across the globe. Today, his sons, like Domain, are still in pedigrees throughout the industry. 

His dam, Jenny-Lou Patron Toyanne, scored VG-89 GMD DOM and made more than 160,000 pounds of milk lifetime. She also produced 20 VG and 3 EX daughters. About 20 percent of the Jenny-Lou herd traces back to Toyanne. 

Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET, EX-92, is the 2020 Wall of Fame Cow. Missy was bred by Steve Wessing and Steve Hayes of Fond du Lac County. Steve and Cheryl Wessing started farming when they purchased 18 cows. One of these, Milkstsein Citation Della, was their first Very Good cow. The Della cow family was very influential in the Wessing herd with generations of high scoring, high producing cows.

The Wessings' sold their herd in 1994 following a barn fire. The first lot in this sale was a VG-87 Elton 2-year-old that went back to Citation Della. Their neighbor, Steve Hayes, took interest in the cow and the Wessings' and Hayes partnered on the young cow who later developed into an EX GMD DOM cow with sons in AI and Japan. Elton Mimi was contracted to Startmore Rudolph but a heifer calf was born, Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET. 

Missy was sold to Pine-Tree Dairy of Ohio on the 2003 Wisconsin Holstein Convention Sweetheart Sale. Here she would make exceptional records, move up to 92 points and put 18 sons into AI. She also produced 42 EX or VG daughters, who in turn have produced multiple generations of contract cows. 

During the annual WHA business, Rick Adams of Delavan was newly elected to serve a three-year term on the WHA Board of Directors. Erica Ullom, Bloomer; Craig Krohlow, Black Creek; and Sara Feldmann, Howards Grove, were all re-elected to a second three-year term. 

Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder

This year's Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award recognized Trent and Kelsey Hendrickson, Blanchardville. The couple started their Trent-Way Genetics herd with just 20 cows and a partnership with Registered Holstein breeder Dave Erickson in 2011. Today, the couple milks 259 cows producing a rolling herd average (RHA) of 24,868 with 3.9% fat and 3.2% protein. Their current BAA is 109.5 and the herd has 40 Excellent, 97 Very Good and 46 Good Plus cows with none lower.

Trent and Kelsey use the top 10 percent of their herd to continue growth and development of future generations with the remaining animals used as recipients for IVF/ET calves. They have also had success in the show ring and in putting bulls into stud.

Distinguished Holstein Breeder

This year’s Distinguished Holstein Breeder was Emerald Acres, the Ossmann Family, and Dr. Scott Armbrust. Paul and Debbie Ossmann, Ted and Lana Ossmann, Don and Joyce Ossmann, from Emerald Acres, and Dr. Scott Armbrust, De Pere, have bred and worked with a number of high-profile cow families while focusing on cows with high production, components, and characteristics like good feet and legs and udders. 

Over the years, Emerald Acres has grown from within through strategic breeding from a number of purchases. The group has bred 87 Excellent females, 10 Excellent males, 25 multiple “E” females and has had 304 animals produce more than 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk. The nearly 500-cow herd at Emerald Acres has an RHA of 27,518 pounds of milk, 4.6 percent and 1263 pounds of fat, and 3.2 percent and 882 pounds of protein. 

One of the most notable cows to call Emerald Acres home was Ripvalley NA Bell Tammy EX-94-2E DOM GMD. Since 1988, 1500 descendants of Tammy have been born at Emerald Acres. 

Some of Tammy’s most well-known sons include Curtmaid Emerald Target, Emerald-Acr-SA Tonic, Emerald-Acr-SA Tribute, Trump (Japan), Emerald-Acr-SA Techniq, Mulatte (Germany) and Emerald-Acr-SA Titan. Another notable descendant is Emerald-Acr-SA T Baxter, a Blitz son x VG-87 Mtoto x EX Mandel x Emerald-Acr-SA Tulip EX-94, a granddaughter of Tammy. Both Tammy and a son, Emerald-Acr-SA T Baxter were inducted into the Wisconsin Holstein Association’s Wall of Fame in 2018.

Service Award

Kevin Jorgensen, Waupun, was honored with the Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service Award. Jorgensen has spent 28 years in the AI industry and now serves as a Senior Sire Analyst covering the Midwest and Western States for Select Sires Inc. He also oversees the Showcase Selections and Red & White programs. 

Jorgensen is a former president of the Wisconsin Holstein Association, serving from 2016 to 2018. During this time, he helped boost the scholarship program while unifying representatives from the Holstein, Jersey and Red & White breeds to form the executive show committee. 

New Officers 

The WHA Board of Directors met at the conclusion of the convention to elect officers for the upcoming year. Pam Selz-Pralle of Humbird will serve as president. Vice President will be Steve Endres, Waunakee, and Erica Ullom of Bloomer will serve as secretary for a fourth year. Sara Feldmann, Howards Grove, and Ryan Weigel, Platteville, were also elected to serve on the Executive Committee.

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