Tom and Gin Kestell honored with Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award

Wisconsin State Farmer
Tom and Gin Kestell of Ever-Green-View Farms are the recipients of the 2017 National Dairy Shrine 2017 Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award.

DENMARK, WI - Tom and Gin Kestell of Ever-Green-View Farms are the recipients of the 2017 National Dairy Shrine 2017 Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award.

The Waldo, WI. dairy producers are being recognized as active, progressive dairy breeders who, through expertise in managing a dairy-breeding herd based upon sound genetic and business principles, serve as models of success throughout the nation.

The husband and wife team began their farming careers in 1971 and purchased their current facility in 1975. Today, Ever-Green-View Farms, an entirely registered Holstein herd, consists of 130 milking cows with impressive type and breed leading production.

Their current rolling herd average on 94 cows is more than 45,000 lbs. of milk, 1,710 lbs. of fat 1,397 lbs. of protein on a 3 times-a-day milking. Meanwhile, maintaining a Breed Adjusted Average (BAA) of 111.4 ranking among the nation’s best for herd size.

That includes 52 Excellent and 72 Very Good cows with a herd average score of 88.3 points. Also, the herd has owned 353 cows that have produced over 100,000 pounds of milk in a lifetime.The Kestells have bred 39 Gold Medal Dams and 19 Dams of Merit. 

Ever-Green-View has been previously recognized with 24 Progressive Genetics honors, 14 PBR awards and won the “Herd of Excellence” award for the last seven years. Its herd is home to two world record holding cows for milk production. Ever-Green-View My 1326-ET was the world record holder for milk production from 2008-2015, producing 72,170 lbs. of milk. Most recently, her daughter Ever-Green-View My Gold-ET, surpassed the world record with 77,477 lbs. of milk, becoming the first dam and daughter pair of world record cows.

 “Tom Kestell is the E.F. Hutton of dairy cattle genetics,” said Dan and Janina Siemers of Siemers Holsteins. “When he talks, people listen. Usually, a herd with the largest herd average in the world (over 45,000 lbs.) would derive the majority of farm income from milk, but at Ever-Green-View, it’s only 25%, with an astonishing 75% coming from genetic sales.”

Ever-Green-View has sold as many as 200 cows, 100 bulls and 2,800 embryos per year with many embryos being exported. From 2009-2016, the Kestells exported over 7,400 embryos to many countries including Russia, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, Japan and India.

In fact, the Kestell herd exported one-third of all U.S. dairy embryos in 2015 alone. One of those previous embryo exports turned out to be Broeks MBM Elsa-ET.  Elsa later went on to be named “Global Cow of the Year” in 2008.  She also is the dam of Flevo Genetics Snowman, a breed leading sire whose genetics are popular all over the world.

The Kestells have made numerous trips abroad to consult and visit with the breeders and producers who have purchased Ever-Green-View genetics to share best management practices and to help those clients have success with their genetics.

“I have no desire to retire”, says Tom Kestell. “I want to mentor others in my family, in the U.S. and around the world. Using the best genetics is important. But, we also must be able to teach our new clients the best way to care for their dairy animals, so that their genetic potential can be expressed.”

The Kestells are previous winners of the Wisconsin Holstein Association’s Distinguished Breeder Award, three-time Governor’s Export award winners and Wisconsin Master Agriculturalist Award winners. In 2000, the Kestells were named the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture’s Farm Family of the Year.

The Kestells will receive the Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award at the National Dairy Shrine banquet on Thursday, Oct. 5 in Madison, Wisconsin.