Mapleton Valley Farms takes 2017 Cow of the Year award

Wisconsin State Farmer
Mapleton Vly LT Borroloola, a seven-year-old Milking Shorthorn bred and owned by Mapleton Valley Farms LLC of Oconomowoc, is the 2017 Wisconsin Cow of the Year.

MADISON – Mapleton Vly LT Borroloola, a seven-year-old Milking Shorthorn bred and owned by Mapleton Valley Farms LLC of Oconomowoc, is the 2017 Wisconsin Cow of the Year. Borroloola will be recognized with the honor at a special ceremony Oct. 3 during this year’s World Dairy Expo.

Each year, a different Wisconsin purebred cattle association selects a cow to represent her breed as the Cow of the Year at World Dairy Expo, with the honor rotated annually between the seven major dairy breeds (Guernsey, Ayrshire, Holstein, Red & White Holstein, Brown Swiss, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn). The Milking Shorthorn will be recognized this year.

Affectionately known as “Loola,” the 2017 Cow of the Year has Australian roots.

In 2008, the Agnew family, owners of Mapleton Valley Farms, purchased a heifer consigned by the Alpha Syndicate featuring outstanding embryo-transfer offspring of several breeds. The heifer, Alfa Treble Bailey EXP ET, resulted from embryos imported to the United States by the Alpha Syndicate from Australia. The Australian Illawarra donor, Meadowhaven Blossom 460th, was Champion at the Melbourne Show.

This heifer, “Bailey,” offered at public sale, presented Mapleton Valley with an opportunity to add a special cow family to their herd. Loola is Bailey’s natural calf and is classified 3E92 at seven years old. She is sired by an All-American Innisfail Lothario.

Loola’s embryo transfer sister sold in Expo’s World Premier Colored breed sale a few years ago, and Mapleton Valley sold Borroloola’s first heifer calf privately to a junior dairy enthusiast to start his Milking Shorthorn herd.

Born Sept. 10, 2010, Loola recently earned her third “E” (Excellent) rating. In her first four lactations she has produced: 85,887 lbs milk, 3.9 % Fat, 3.0 % Protein. She recently freshened again in May.

Pat and Phyllis Agnew, along with their children, Katie, and Tom with his wife, Keely, and children Bryn and Blake, all contribute to farm operations at Mapleton Valley Farms.

Their 60-cow milking herd has been on the Dairy Herd Improvement Association with the Dodge County Testing Association since the early 1960s. The farm has been in the Agnew family since 1907. Pat and Phyllis started their Milking Shorthorn herd in 1978, receiving their first animal as a wedding gift from special friends. 

Both Pat and Katie have served as AMSS national directors, and Tom has judged shows from local to national levels. Katie is a high school science teacher and Tom also owns a dairy farm supply company.

Wisconsin Cow of the Year is a special honor for the Agnews, as Phyllis’s family bred and owned the first Milking Shorthorn to be honored. Willard and Sylvia Gerner, along with their son, Jeff and his wife, Monica, showed Weg Acres Major’s Faith at World Dairy Expo as the breed’s first recipient of the honor in 1983.

The Agnew’s decided to choose unique, Australian city names for the offspring from Bailey…thus, Borroloola. 

The Cow of the Year ceremony is organized annually by DATCP. The 2017 ceremony will be held at approximately 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3 during the Milking Shorthorn Heifer Show. The award will be presented by the DATCP Secretary and 70th Alice in Dairyland Crystal Siemers-Peterman.

This year’s World Dairy Expo is scheduled Oct. 3-7. The annual dairy and trade show draws more than 70,000 visitors to Madison from around the world.

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