Wisconsin Holstein Association celebrates proud past, bright future

Mara Budde
Special to Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin Holstein Association

WISCONSIN DELLS – Nearly 200 Holstein breeders from across the state turned out for the District 5 Holstein Breeders Adult Convention to celebrate outstanding accomplishments in 2017.

The event is held in coordination with the Wisconsin Holstein Association was held Feb. 16-17 at the Wintergreen Resort and Conference Center in the Wisconsin Dells.

Among the 2017 Wisconsin Top Performer cows were animals owned by Selz-Pralle Dairy, Humbrid and Tom Kestell of Waldo. Receiving the overall Top Performer was Pam Selz-Pralle and Scott Pralle’s five-year-old cow, Selz-Pralle Aftershock 3918 VG-88, with a record of 64,930 pounds milk, 3918 pounds of fat and 1943 pounds of protein. Aftershock 3918 is also the nation’s record holder for milk yield.

Also recognized were owners of cows that have produced 300,000 pounds of lifetime milk. There were 48 new 300,000 pound cows in 2017 that were recognized at this year’s convention.

Future Sales

The ninth annual Wisconsin Convention Futures Sale sponsored by Wisconsin Holstein's Young Adult Committee, averaged $4,500 on 31 lots that included heifers, choices and embryos from some of the industry’s most prominent cow families.

High seller at $49,000 was lot 5, Pine-Tree 5976 Achi 7691-ET, consigned by Pine-Tree Dairy and purchased by Sexing Technologies. This September heifer is one of the highest net merit females to sell at public auction with +1057NM. This consigment also set a new Futures Sale record for top-seller.

Second high seller was lot 2 from Siemers Holstein Farms, Newton at $6,100. Siemers Flgship Brooke 28130, comes from Goldwyn’s maternal line and is +2814 GTPI and +4.4 DPR. She sold to Jason Faria of Dumas, TX.

Rounding out the top three was Lot 4 at $5,900, Langs-Twin-Elm Dtr Aries-ET consigned by Floyd & Lloyd Baumann, Marathon. This June 2017 Detour daughter is +935NM$, +2771 GTPI, +153 CFP, +8.1PL, +2.2 DPR, +2.01 UDC. Her dam, View-Home Jo Amanda-ET has a +2890 GTPI son. Sexing Technologies was the buyer.

An added element to this year’s sale were numerous embryos lots. The high seller among these was lot A, a package of four embryos from Our-Favorite Unlimited EX-93, two by Crush and two by King Doc, at $4,400. Lot A was consigned by Todd Stanek, Fall Creek.

Inducted into the Wall of Fame during the Wisconsin Holstein Association Convention are (front row, from left) Pat Rippchen and Debbie Ossmann. Back row (from left) presenter Jim Hoskens, Rob Rippchen, Allen Rippchen, Paul Ossmann and presenter Jay Jauquet.

Wall of Fame

During the annual WHA business meeting, new board members Ryan Weigel, Platteville and Robert Cramer, Jr., Juda, were elected to serve a three-year term. Pam Selz-Pralle, Humbird, and Craig Carncross, Lodi, were re-elected and will also serve another three-year term. Retiring board members included Kevin Jorgensen, Waupun and Bill Calvert, Cuba City.

Following the annual meeting, 40-year and 50-year members and Wall of Fame inductees were honored. This year's Wall of Fame inductees were Margaret Rasmussen, the cow Ripvalley NA Bell Tammy, and the bull Emerald-Acr-SA T Baxter.

Margaret Rasmussen was the first woman to be inducted to the WHA Wall of Fame. Margaret served as the long-time editor of the Wisconsin Holstein News, a position she grew with as the publication grew to six times and eventually twelve editions per year. During the 25 years Margaret and and her husband, Norm were active in the association, county and state membership grew and the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association was formed. Margaret retired from her role in 1983.

Ripvalley NA Bell Tammy, EX-94 GMD DOM, was bred by the Allen Rippchen family and owned by the Ossman Family of Emerald Acres and Scott Armbrust. To date, Tammy has 1,500 maternal descendants in nine generations and is rated among Bell’s best daughters.

Tammy came around during the time protein was just starting to be tested and recognized. This cow was especially good at transmitting type and protein to her offspring. She had 30 daughters and 45 sons with 33 in AI, of which eight of these bulls had careers in Japan. Bulls descending from Tammy’s family include, Target (by Arlinda Carl), Tonic (by Cletius) and down the line, Patrick and Baxter, our 2018 Wall of Fame Bull.

Emerald-Acres-SA T Baxter EX-91, bred by the Ossmanns and Scott Armbrust, found his home at Alta Genetics. A Blitz from Emerald-Acr-SA T-Mallory VG-87 (by Mtoto), Baxter was known to create all around good type cows with solid production. In May 2016, Baxter became a proven sire and the following year he was ranked the number nine TPI bull.  Baxter had the genetics that breeders in Wisconsin, Canada and Europe wanted and that continue to impact the breed today.

Breeders honored

Honored at the Saturday evening banquet was this year's Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service, and Distinguished Holstein Breeder award winners.

WHA Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award winner Joe and Sarah Sarbacker.

This year's Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award recognized Joe & Sarah Sarbacker, Fischerdale Holsteins, Belleville.

Joe Sarbacker returned to the family farm after he graduated from UW-Madison in 2008 and now farms with his wife Sarah and three daughters. Sarbacker breeds for high type, production, components and DPR.

He enjoys the challenge of breeding a cow that is profitable in the barn and that can compete in the show ring. This philosophy has garnered two All-American and nine Junior All-American nominations from three homebred cow families as well a sixth-generation Excellent homebred cow. Sarbacker lays out a marketing plan each year to sell genetics. His goal is to improve production to 30,000 pounds of milk and 1,000 pounds of fat and protein as well as increase his BAA to 111.

Dr. David Selner of the National Dairy Shrine was awarded the Marlow Nelson Distinguished Service Award:

Dr. David Selner of the National Dairy Shrine was honored as this year’s Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service award recipient. Selner is a long-time Wisconsin Holstein supporter. Growing up on his family’s Registered Holstein dairy, Selner grew his love for the agriculture industry.

While he graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D in dairy science and dairy nutrition he started his career in the field of genetics working for Midwest Breeders then Alta Genetics.

He played a large role in the startup of the Badger Dairy Club and was a founding member of the Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge. Currently, Selner is the executive director of the National Dairy Shrine.

Distinguished Holstein Breeder Award winners Don and Elizabeth Mayer.

Don and Liz Mayer of Mayerlane Holsteins, Bloomer were awarded the 2018 Wisconsin Holstein Distinguished Breeder honor.  The Mayers purchased their farm in 1990 with 20 cows and big dreams.

Numerous remarkable cows have made Mayerlane home including: Mil-R-Mor Valiant Velma EX-91 GMD DOM, Golden-Oaks Mark Prudence EX-95 GMD DOM, Pinehurst Royal Rosa EX-91, and Whittier-Farms Lead Mae EX-95 GMD DOM. All of these cows has had a significant impact on the Mayerlane herd and merchandising efforts. The Mayers blend high type, deep pedigreed cows with the best proven sires and are now tapping into genomic sires.

Looking ahead

The WHA Board of Directors met at the conclusion of the convention to elect officers for the upcoming year. Craig Carncross of Lodi will serve as President. Vice President will be Heather Jauquet, Pulaski, and Erica Ullom of Bloomer will serve as Secretary for a second year. Steve Endres, Waunakee and Bryan Stremcha, Bangor, were also elected to serve on the Executive Committee.