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The ninth annual Robert “Whitey” McKown Master Breeder Award was awarded to Wendon Holsteins of Innisfail, Alberta, Canada.

This honor was presented at the 51st World Dairy Expo in Madison. The prestigious award recognizes a well-managed breeder and herd that has been successful at showing and judging, and it emphasizes all qualities of the Klussendorf Award, including ability, character, endeavor, and sportsmanship.

Established in 1976, Don and Wendy Chalack combined their interests and passions to form their prestigious herd featuring 65 milking Holsteins and a small herd of purebred Black Angus on 900 acres just outside of Innisfail.

Starting with a 50-cow tie stall operation in 1976, the herd recently converted to a 60-cow free stall robot barn in 2015 with 12 tie stalls for show cows. The original tie stall barn is now a more efficient and spacious calf barn. The herd is 90 percent homebred with a classification breakdown of 24 Multiple Excellent, 15 Excellent, 62 Very Good, and six Good Plus cows. Their current rolling herd average is 27,557 pounds of milk, 4.0 percent fat, and 3.3 percent protein.

Wendon Holsteins has bred 14 All-Canadian nominees as well as received two Holstein Canada Master Breeder shields in 1995 and 2008. They have also been honored with the Small Business of the Year Award in 2000, Alberta Breeder of the Year Award in 2004, and the County Farm Beautification Award in 2012.

Don joined with a few neighboring herds in the early 1980s to bring the first show string from western Canada to World Dairy Expo. Passing on their love for cattle and hard work ethic, their three children were a part of dairy and beef clubs and the Western Canadian Classic junior show. Don has judged shows in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Columbia. Logan and Linsey also gained their official judge’s status from Holstein Canada.

Their breeding philosophy is based on breeding cows with deep pedigrees and show type. Wendon Holsteins has bred 55 Star Brood cows (13 of those being greater than 4*), 102 Excellent cows, and 391 Very Good cows. The Wendon prefix has also won numerous recognitions in the All-Canadian contest with two winners, two Reserves, six Honorable Mentions, and four more nominations. In addition, they have bred one All-American winner.

With a strong flush program, Wendon Holsteins sells embryos, females, and bulls each year.

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