Calumet Holstein breeders prepare for busy year

Ray Mueller

Chilton — As they prepare to host the 2017 convention of the Wisconsin Holstein Association on the weekend of Feb. 24 and 25, the Calumet County Holstein Breeders received an update on that event in addition to taking care of other business at their recent annual meeting.

Meeting attendees learned that the county's convention planning committee has exceeded its $13,000 fundraising goal for staging the convention at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel and Convention Center in Appleton.

The county association chose to host the state's annual convention in 2017 because this year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the organization, which occurred at a meeting on Sept. 29, 1917. A history of the organization's achievements will be shared in the media in the coming weeks.

As part of that upcoming historic occasion, a display of documents and photos outlining the activities of the Calumet County association over the past 100 years has been assembled. It will be featured at the state convention in February and again at the county fair on Labor Day weekend.

Upcoming activities

Because of the state convention, the county's annual Mardi Gras program, of which the Holstein Breeders are a major co-sponsor, has been delayed by one week from it customary date. It will be held on Tuesday evening, March 7 at Cobblestone Creek in Brillion.

On Wednesday, June 21, the county association will be hosting the District 10 Holstein Show at the Calumet County fairgrounds in Chilton. In anticipation of making a profit from the state convention and because of the solicitation of sponsors for the convention and the Mardi Gras, the association will not be making any solicitations for contributions to the district show.

The county fairgrounds will also be the setting for the county's third annual Holstein Futurity on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 3 at the county fair. Project chair Larry Meyer reported that 86 entries had been received for the 2017 Futurity, for which CP Feeds is the named major sponsor.

Of the 75 entries for the 2016 Futurity, 17 Holsteins and one Brown Swiss were shown, Meyer noted. Those entries shared in more than $5,000 of prize money. The county Holstein Breeders will again be contributing a $500 sponsorship to the 2017 Futurity.

Looking to the 2019 Futurity, Meyer reminded the county members that the entry deadline is January 31. Registered animals from any dairy breed born between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016 are eligible for the 2019 Futurity. There is a $25 entry fee per animal.

Supporting youth

Continuing in its long-standing tradition, the county association received reports on activities of its junior members and renewed its financial support for them.

To offset a portion of their expenses, that support included a cumulative payment of $550 to six youth members who showed a total of 11 animals in the junior dairy show at the 2016 Wisconsin State Fair. In conjunction with that project, Gina Lemke reported that there were no other expenses to the association thanks to donations of the trucking by Woldt Farms, of hay by Doug Lemke and of other supplies.

In an incentive program for youth dairy project exhibitors at the county fair, Gina Lemke explained that, based on the amount of participation during the year, a three-tier financial reward scale was created. Through this program, 25 young dairy project exhibitors shared in the funds that were provided by 20 business sponsors.

The county association also awarded $250 to junior member Brianna Meyer to offset travel to the 2016 national convention, at which she won the speaking contest for the youngest category. After Meyer won the recent Wisconsin speaking contest for the intermediate age group, the meeting attendees agreed to cover $250 of her travel expenses to the state of Washington for the national contest this summer.

Related activities

Although the numbers were not yet final, Holstein Association USA field representative Chris Lyons reported that registrations increases by about 4 percent during 2016 in the southern half of Wisconsin district that he serves. On the national level, new registrations were down by approximately 1 percent for 2016, he indicated.

Because of its busy slate of activities for 2017, the county association decided to not make its customary contribution of $500 to the Wisconsin Holstein Association for the year. It did, however, approve $500 for the 2017 Calumet County Sundae on a Dairy Farm, for which a host was still being sought at the time of the annual meeting.