The Holstein Association USA has honored Robert Schauf, Barron, Wis. with the 2009 Elite Breeder Award. The award recognizes a Holstein breeder who bred outstanding animals, making a notable contribution to the advancement of the Holstein breed in the United States.
Through his early years working with Registered cattle, Schauf developed a breeding philosophy based on strong cow families, striving to breed powerful cows that consistently transmit a balance of both superior type and production. He and his wife, Karen, began their own farm, milking cattle under the Alpine-Haven prefix in Southern Wisconsin. In 1981, they purchased her grandparent’s farm in Northwest Wisconsin, founding Indianhead Holsteins, where the family has been ever since.
Schauf’s consistent breeding philosophy shows through in his impressive herd statistics. Indianhead has a Rolling Herd Average of 27,298 pounds of milk, 1,073 pounds of fat, and 826 pounds of protein. After their most recent classification, the herd’s BAA stands at 112%, with 39 cows scored Excellent, 43 Very Good, and one Good Plus. Through the years, under the Indianhead prefix, Schauf has bred over 180 Excellent cows and over 370 cows scored Very Good.
Indianhead cattle are in demand both domestically and internationally. Schauf has merchandised cattle to several countries, including Japan, Germany, Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom, just to name a few. In 2007, he was recognized with the Wisconsin Governor’s Export Achievement Award for his successful international cattle marketing efforts. Over the years, Indianhead has sent over 60 bulls into AI, including legends such as Indianhead Red-marker-ET, a former #1 Type bull and sire of many show ring champions across the country.
The ability to produce generations of Excellent cows has become the trademark of Indianhead Holsteins. Schauf has wisely invested in genetics from many of the breed’s most prominent cow families, taken the bloodlines, and written his own story through their offspring. Most notably, Stookey Elm Park Blackrose-ET, purchased as a heifer in partnership with Mark Rueth and Mark Van Mersbergen, has had an undeniable impact on the Indianhead herd and the Holstein breed through her many sons and daughters. Scored Excellent-96 herself, Blackrose was renowned for her outstanding show ring career, admirable milk production, and most importantly, her ability to transmit those traits to her progeny. Of her 42 classified offspring in the U.S., 21 are scored Excellent and 18 are scored Very Good.
Countless other Indianhead cattle have garnered show ring accolades for the Schauf family, including Champion honors at the Minnesota State Fair, Wisconsin Spring Show, Wisconsin Championship Show, and class winners at World Dairy Expo. They won the competitive Wisconsin Holstein Futurity four times, and have earned numerous Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor banners through the course of Schauf’s outstanding Holstein career.
Schauf finds it important to be a positive spokesperson for the Holstein breed and dairy industry, and has opened his farm to the media multiple times. He is active in several local and state agricultural organizations, is a past Wisconsin Holstein Association President, and has served as a delegate to the National Holstein Convention for several years.
Bob and Karyn have four sons – Christian, Gabriel, Zachary and Jacob.