Holstein Convention hosts recall their history

Ray Mueller

In conjunction with their first ever hosting of a Wisconsin Holstein Breeders state convention, the Calumet County Holstein Breeders are proud to share the history of their association, which was founded 100 years ago.

The 2017 state convention is being held on the weekend of February 24 and 25 at the Paper Valley Hotel and Convention Center in Appleton. One of the special features at that convention will be an extensive display recalling the 100 years of the county association.

That display will include ledger books containing the minutes (handwritten from 1917 to 1988) of every directors and annual meeting. There will be photos and display of the early activities, including numerous ads that early Holstein breeders placed in Calumet County Fair premium books.

In a county that touted itself as “The Milk Vein of the World” from the late 1910s until the 1980s, Calumet County's Holstein Breeders played a major role by establishing a Holstein only milk testing association in the 1930s and by starting their “400 Sale” in 1943 – an event that continued until 1993.

Catalogs from that sale in 1943, the 30th sale in 1972, and the last “Calumet Classic” sale in 1993 will be among the items on display at the convention. Sales sheets from the dispersal sales of well-known herds in the county will also be shown. There will also be reproduced maps from two years in the late 1990s listing all the county members and showing the location of their farms.

A large volume of the history of the Holstein Association USA from 1885 to 1960 will be a special attraction. Another possibly unique item is a glass framed “Milk Sheet” poster from March 1920 with one column of ads by Holstein breeders and another by Guernsey breeders in the county.

The “Milk Vein of the World” motto is proclaimed on the front cover of the county fair premium book for 1919 and is inscribed on a cheese block box from a plant in the county. Both will also be in the display at the convention.

The historical display will be located in the Lawrence Room at the Paper Valley Hotel during the two days of the convention. It will also be a featured exhibit at the 2017 Calumet County Fair on Labor Day weekend during the month in which the 100th anniversary of the association occurs.