Holstein Association USA is proud to recognize the recipients of the 2009 Herd of Excellence recognition. An elite group of eleven members from around the United States have met the strict criteria to qualify for this prestigious award.
The herd standards for the award include: Must be 25 percent above breed average Mature Equivalent (ME) for milk, fat, and protein; must have classified within the last year and have an actual average classification score of 83 points or higher; must have at least 70 percent of the herd homebred; and must be enrolled in the Association’s TriStar program. Congratulations to all of the hard-working winners!
Tim and Jennifer Baker
Star-Summit Holsteins, Byron Center, Mich.
Tim Baker took over managing his 75-cow operation from his parents, Henry and Ruth, in 1997. Today, the herd is 92.21 percent homebred, with ME production averages of 32,010 pounds of milk, 1,170 pounds of fat, and 1,005 pounds of protein, and has an average classification score of 87.76 points. This is the second year that Star-Summit Holsteins has been honored as a Herd of Excellence, and they have been named a Progressive Breeders Registry herd for 26 years. Tim and his wife, Jennifer, have three children, Gerrit-10, Jack-8, and Elise-4.
Hilrose Holsteins, Sherwood, Wis.
Hilrose Holsteins is a family farm, managed by Joe Brantmeier, and sons Andy and Jeff. They have received the Progressive Breeders Registry award for 19 years, and been named a Progressive Genetics Herd twice. The herd is 83.5 percent homebred, with an average classification score of 85.5 and ME production averages of 32,827 pounds of milk, 1,265 pounds of fat, and 957 pounds of protein. They also received the Herd of Excellence award in 2008. Joe’s wife, Chris, is a long time school teacher, and daughter Sarah works for Pfizer.
Jeffrey and Kate Hendrickson
Jeffrey-Way Holsteins, Belleville, Wis.
Jeff and Kate Hendrickson have a 75-cow herd, of which 97.44 percent are homebred. Their average classification score is 85.26, and ME production averages are 31,506 pounds of milk, 1,173 pounds of fat, and 953 pounds of protein. Jeff has been working with Registered Holsteins for almost 30 years, having grown up on a dairy farm. He worked as a herdsman for a few years, and purchased a cow when that herd dispersed, which was the beginning of his own herd. All of the Hendrickson’s five children are involved on the farm in some aspect. Brandon, 32, works for the county and assists with field work when he can, Kelsi, 22, works as an assistant editor for Agri-View newspaper and helps in her free time, and Trent, 21, is in college and comes home on the weekends and during the summer to work. Breinne, 17, and Brooks, 15, both help with chores on a daily basis.
Jay and James Houser, Barbara Kerstetter, and Karen Aumen
Penn-Dell Farms, Spring Mills, Pa.
Jay Houser has been operating Penn-Dell Farms since 1963. The herd is 96.05 percent homebred, with an average classification score of 85.07 points, and ME production averages of 32,518 pounds of milk, 1,359 pounds of fat, and 972 pounds of protein. The herd is enrolled in Holstein COMPLETE and uses Tag ID to register their calves. Penn-Dell has received the Progressive Breeders Registry award for 37 years and have been a Progressive Genetics Herd for 18 years. Jay is very proud to have all five of his children involved in the dairy industry. His son James and daughter Karen Aumen take care of milking their 70 cows twice a day. Daughters Barbara Kerstetter and Sandra Haagen help Jay with the bookkeeping and finances for the farm. Another daughter, Mary Ellen Storm, lives in Wisconsin on a dairy farm. Jay’s grandchildren are taking an interest and enjoy being involved with the dairy as well.
Jafral Holsteins, Hamptonville, N.C.
Jafral Holsteins is a 40-cow herd owned and operated by Allen Johnson. Their average classification score is 84.04, with ME production averages of 34,354 pounds of milk, 1,301 pounds of fat, and 1,009 pounds of protein on twice daily milking. The herd is 100 percent homebred, with most of the cows tracing back to two cow families, Rilara Mars Las Ravena EX-91 2E GMD and Bonnyside Bova Brenda EX-90 2E GMD. This is the second year that Jafral has been honored as a Herd of Excellence. They have also received the Progressive Breeders Registry award for 11 years, and the Progressive Genetics Herd award for 14 years, with a 2008 average CTPI of 1578. The herd has been on Holstein COMPLETE for three years. Working alongside Allen is his nephew, Kevin Huie. The two are responsible for all of the day-to-day labor on the farm.
Spotlite-J Holsteins, Orangeville, Pa.
Jan Jurbala started Spotlite-J Holsteins in 1977, and is now milking 46 cows twice daily. The herd has ME production averages of 32,220 pounds of milk, 1,173 pounds of fat, and 995 pounds of protein, is 79.63 percent homebred and has an average classification score of 83.2 points. Friend Sandi Hock assists with milking, raises the calves and heifers for the farm, and owns some cattle with Jurbala. Jan’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren all live at the farm and enjoy being involved.
Bruce and Brenda Long
B-Long Holsteins, New London, Wis.
Bruce and Brenda Long own and operate B-Long Holsteins with their sons, Bryant-19, and twins Bret and Brandon-17. Currently milking 55 cows twice a day, the herd’s ME production averages are 35,190 pounds of milk, 1,219 pounds of fat, and 1,025 pounds of protein, with an average classification score of 83.66. The herd is 96.23 percent homebred.B-Long Holsteins was also recognized as a Herd of Excellence last year, and has been named a Progressive Genetics Herd for 13 years. Bruce and Brenda received the Distinguished Young Holstein Breeders Award in 2007. The Longs enjoy working together as a family and exhibiting their cattle at shows. They take pride in their homebred animals, and have not purchased any replacements in several years.
Paul, Tom, and Tim Schmitt
Morningview Holsteins, Durango, Iowa
Morningview Holsteins is an 88-cow operation that is 83.8 percent homebred. The herd has an average classification score of 84.8, and ME production averages of 32,046 pounds of milk, 1,202 pounds of fat, and 948 pounds of protein. Morningview was also recognized as a Herd of Excellence last year, and has been named a Progressive Breeders Registry herd for 12 years. The Schmitts have been a Progressive Genetics Herd for 14 years and had the highest average CTPI in the country in 2008, at 1669.
Jake and Sallianne Tanis
Ideal Holsteins, Centre Hall, Pa.
At Ideal Holsteins, the Tanis family is currently milking 100 Registered Holsteins with ME Production Averages of 33,725 pounds of milk, 1,247 pounds of fat, and 1,004 pounds of protein. The herd is 100 percent homebred, has an average classification score of 83.37, and is milked twice a day in their tie-stall barn. Ideal Holsteins has been recognized with the Progressive Breeders Registry award for 13 years, and this is the second year they have qualified as a Herd of Excellence. Jake is quick to credit his wife and children for the success that they have attained with their farm. All of his children helped growing up, and his son, Adam, works there full-time now.
Benjamin and Carolyn Turner
Maplelane-Manor Farm, Apulia Station, N.Y.
Ben and Carolyn Turner have a 93.44 percent homebred herd of 120 cows, the largest herd of this year’s honorees, with ME production averages of 32,558 pounds of milk, 1,278 pounds of fat, and 1,053 pounds of protein. Their average classification score is 83.16. Ben is a full-time veterinarian, and Carolyn helps on the farm daily. They have two key employees – John Young, Carolyn’s son, who manages the farm’s field and crop work, and also milks, and Jay Liddington, who has been with them over 15 years and works mainly with the animals. The cows are milked twice a day in their tie-stall barn.
Clint and Heidi Zank
Ridge-Place Holsteins, Neillsville, Wis.
Ridge-Place Holsteins, owned by Clint and Heidi Zank, is a 40 cow herd milked twice a day, with ME production averages of 32,851 pounds of milk, 1,155 pounds of fat, and 968 pounds of protein. The herd is 97.78 percent homebred with an average classification score of 85.41 points.
The herd is enrolled in Holstein COMPLETE and has received the Progressive Breeders Registry award for five years. Clint is responsible for the majority of the labor on the farm. His wife, Heidi, works in the medical field, and they have a son, Brayden, who is five. Zank’s father still assists with the farm’s crops.