Mayville Holstein honored as 2017 Star of the Breed

Wisconsin State Farmer
Holstein Association USA gave the Star of the Breed distinction to Smith-Crest-TW SH Virgie-ET. At the time of recognition, Virgie was owned by 21-year-old Paul Grulke of Mayville.

BRATTLEBORO, VT - A Mayville Holstein owned by a UW-Platteville student has been recognized by Holstein Association USA as the Star of the Breed.

Smith-Crest-TW SH Virgie-ET is owned by Paul Grulke, 21, of Mayville.

According to Holstein Association USA, the esteemed Star of the Breed award was introduced in 2007 to acknowledge an elite Registered Holstein® cow that embodies outstanding production combined with exceptional type.

Virgie's balance, depth of body and front-end strength are attributes Grulke says he admires about the Holstein. Grulke began working with Virgie as a Junior Holstein project alongside Matt and Travis Smith of Smith-Crest Holsteins.

Paul Grulke, from Dodge County, waits to re-enter the ring during the Dairy Showmanship junior show at the Wisconsin State Fair. Grulke's cow, Smith-Crest-TW SH Virgie-ET has earned the Star of the Breed award by Holstein Association USA.

During her last lactation, calving in at six years and four months of age, on two-time a day milking, Virgie produced 44,710 pounds of milk, with 1,784 pounds of fat and 1,296 pounds of protein.

Classified Excellent-95 2E, Virgie is a cow to be admired by any Registered Holstein breeder.

Currently a junior at University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Grulke is majoring in dairy science with a minor in agriculture business. He enjoys finding the best mating for each cow, while learning how genetics evolve over time.

After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in genetics. His aspirations include being a herdsman or owning his own dairy farm where he could focus on breeding high-type animals.

Smith-Crest-TW SH Virgie-ET will be honored during the 2018 Holstein Association USA’s Annual Meeting, July 2-3 in Acme, MI. Registration is available at

To be eligible for the Star of the Breed award, a cow must place in the top five in her class at a National Holstein Show, be in a herd enrolled in the TriStarSM program and have an official classification score.

Once the eligible cows are determined, the following calculation is used to determine the award recipient: Combined Mature Equivalent (ME) Fat and Protein + Age Adjusted Classification Score x (Breed Average ME CFP/ Breed Average Age Adjusted Score).