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On Wednesday, June 28 in Saratoga Springs, New York, Guernsey breeders from across the nation were honored for their achievements in milk production. The awards were part of the National Guernsey Convention and 141st Annual Meeting.
High TPE Lactation Average for Milk, Fat and Protein:
Gurn Z Meadow Farm: 20 Records, 23,871M 4.56% 1,085F 3.39% 807P
The high TPE Lactation Average for Milk, Fat and Protein is awarded to Gurn Z Meadow Farm of Columbus, Wisconsin. Gurn Z Meadows is owned and operated by Ed and Julie (Orchard) Bacon. The cows are milked at a Lely robotic dairy facility and fed a partially mixed ration. Pellets are also automatically fed during milking. The robot milker allows fresh and high-producing cows to be milked up to six times a day, which gradually declines with each cow’s production. The average cow at Gurn Z Meadow is milked 2.8 times a day. The robot milker maintains statistical data that the Orchards use to help improve their production as well as make better overall management decisions.
Commercial Herd Award:
Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, Fort Atkinson, WI, 138 Records, 25,254M
The Commercial Herd Award recognizes the top herd in the nation for Energy Corrected Milk. The herd must complete over 50 lactations during the year.
Hoard’s Dairyman Farm had 138 records in 2016 that provided an energy corrected total of 25,254M. Calving well-grown heifers at an early age is a mainstay for the farm. Since its founding by Wisconsin Governor W.D. Hoard in 1899, Guernseys have called the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, home. For the past 15 years, Jason Yurs has served as farm manager and has taken the herd to new heights.
The average age at first calving for the 162 first lactation individuals is 23.2 months. For heifers, all first services are to sexed semen, when available. At birth, all heifer calves are ear notched so genomic testing can be performed. In the milking herd, the majority of cows are bred to high ranking genomic young sires with a few top-end proven bulls being used from time to time.
Cows are milked three times a day. The ration they’re fed consists of corn silage, hay silage, brewer’s grain and a custom mineral-vitamin-grain-protein mix. The entire ration is balanced for amino acids. Close up heifers and cows are fed a high fiber, low energy diet three weeks prior to calving. Detailed fresh cow protocols help get cows off to a good start in early lactation.
Ripley Farms Blaze Yogi: 241,156M 3.9% 9,397F 3.3% 8,037P lifetime
The Liebers Trophy is given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Liebers of Nebraska to the cow with the highest lifetime milk production. In order to be eligible for living lifetime awards, the cow must have been DHI tested at least once during 2016. This year’s recipient is Ripley Farms Blaze Yogi, with 241,156M 3.9% 9,397F 3.3% 8,037P. Yogi is an EX-92 Ripley Farms Hot Shot Blaze-ET daughter out of an EX-91 Royal Oak dam. She has completed seven records, the most recent beginning at 12 years and 5 months of age. This 12-05 record was a class leader for milk and protein in the 10 years and over category in 365 days, with 29,680M and 939P. Yogi is bred and owned by Thomas Ripley of Ripley Farms in Moravia, New York. Ripley Farms was the fourth-place commercial herd in 2016 and the second place herd for 51-99 records in milk, fat and protein.
Valley Set Award & Arnold Knight Award
Dix Lee Gargoyle Dela: 239,785M 5.1% 12,298F 3.6% 8,746P lifetime
These two awards are given annually to the cow with the highest living lifetime fat and protein. The Valley Set Award, established in 1986 by Ron Wenger and Family, recognizes the highest lifetime fat production. The Wisconsin Guernsey Breeders Association established the Arnold Knight Trophy in 1992 to honor the cow with the highest lifetime protein production.
This year’s recipient of both awards is Dix Lee Gargoyle Dela, with 239,785M 5.1% 12,298F 3.6% 8,746P. Dela is truly a longevity queen, having completed 13 records, the most recent beginning at 14 years and nine months of age! In a grazing herd, Dela’s records have topped out at over 20,000 pounds of milk and 1,000 pounds of fat. Dela is an EX-91 daughter of Dix Lee Goliath Gargoyle and a very good dam who also had over 146,000M in her lifetime.
Dela was bred by Brett Dixon and is owned by Keith Dixon of Dix Lee Guernseys in Phillipsburg, Missouri. The Dixons milk about 50 Guernseys on a primarily grazing operation and are home to many All-Americans and great lifetime producers. Keith was also honored as the 2016 Master Breeder recipient, and Brett was named the 2017 Outstanding Young Guernsey Farmer.
New England Trophy & California Protein Award (Highest 305 day milk and protein for the year):
Trotacre Indian Atlantic Honey-ET 4-09 302D 3X 36,590M 4.0% 1,476F 3.4% 1,243
The New England Trophy is awarded to the cow completing the highest 305 day actual record for milk, while the California Protein Award recognizes the highest 305 day protein record of the year. The California Protein Award is sponsored by the California Guernsey Cattle Club. This year, Trotacre Indian Atlantic Honey-ET has achieved both awards for the second year in a row with 4-09 302D 3X 36,590M 4.0% 1,476F 3.4% 1,243.
Honey has made herself a household name in recent years for owner Cara Trotter of Trotacre Farm, Enon Valley, Pennsylvania. She is a high-CPI cow, has been named a Class Leader five times, and has been named Honorable Mention All-American. Honey is an EX-92 Atlantic out of the EX-91 Windsong Spade Hope, a prolific brood cow. Honey is also this year’s third place Component Queen, and Trotacre Farms ranks in the top 25 CPI herds.
Tarbell Trophy (Highest 305 day fat record)
Warwick Manor Kojack Rollins 4-07 305D 2X 31,910M 5.4% 1,737F 3.2% 1,028P
The Tarbell Trophy was established in 1948 in memory of Gage Tarbell, found of Tarbell Guernsey Farm, Smithville Flats, New York and is awarded annually to the highest 305-day actual record for fat. This year’s winner is Warwick Manor Kojack Rollins, who made a class-leading record of 4-07 305D 2X 31,910M 5.4% 1,737F 3.2% 1,028P. Rollins is an EX-92 daughter of Dix Lee Tiller Kojack-ET, and has been a class winner at both the National Open and Junior shows in Harrisburg.
Rollins has made consistently high fat and protein records for owner Kaila Stoltzfus of Warwick Manor Guernseys in East Earl, Pennsylvania, but has truly emerged in her third lactation. Rollins carried on this outstanding record to a 365-day record with over 2,000 pounds of fat and 1,200 pounds of protein. Warwick Manor Guernseys was the leading herd with 26-50 records for milk, fat and protein and ranks in the top six herds overall.
Nyala-Bedford Trophy (Highest 305 day first lactation ECM record)
Coulee Crest AP Lakelyn-ET 2-00 305D 3X 27,000M 5.0% 1,337F 3.4% 916P 33,151 ECM
The Nyala-Bedford Trophy is presented in memory of F.T. Bedford, founder of Nyala Farm in Green Farm, Connecticut. It is now awarded to the cow completing the highest energy corrected record in her first lactation. This year’s winner is Coulee Crest AP Lakelyn-ET of Coulee Crest LLC, Cashton, WI, who follows in the footsteps of maternal family members who have won in past years. Lakelyn’s 2-00 305D 3X 27,000M 5.0% 1,337F 3.4% 916P gives her an ECM of 33,151. Lakelyn is a VG-83 American Pie daughter of legendary brood cow, Coulee Crest Nick Lorilyn EX-91. She ranks in the top 15 CPI cows and has had several well-known full sisters who have made class-leading records as well as collected All-American recognition.
Lakelyn is bred and owned by Coulee Crest LLC of Cashton, Wisconsin, the second place commercial herd of 2016. Coulee Crest also ranks in the top three overall herds for milk and protein.
Max Dawdy Awards
The Max Dawdy Young Sire Awards recognizes success resulting from young sire matings. The awards are given to a first-crop daughter of a sire in an AI sampling program completing their first lactation in 2016. The awards are based on official USDA yield deviations for milk, fat and protein. The awards are named in honor of Max Dawdy, former AGA Executive Secretary who was instrumental in establishing the AGA Young Sire proving groups.
The following winners are presented vouchers sponsored by United Guernsey Genetics and Dairybelt Sires:
Majestic Oak Phonze Likeable – 1st for Milk & Protein; 3rd for Fat
YD: +5,168M +143F +170P – Robert Hahn, Highland, Wisconsin
Ripley Farms Lon C Tevelyn – 1st for Fat
YD: +3,254M +201F +88P – Kyle Ripley, Moravia, New York
Sunny Mead Buckys Peso – 2nd for Milk
YD: +4,483M +130F +99P – David Bandli, Rice Lake, Wisconsin
GR-Golden J Sergeant Tina – 2nd for Fat
YD: +287M +147F +53P – Trent & Leann Jensen, Amery, Wisconsin
Jens Gold Hayden Butterbrie – 2nd for Protein
YD: +2,378M +89F +132P – Jens Gold Farms LLP, Amery, Wisconsin
Coulee Crest TopNotch Denise – 3rd for Milk
YD: +3,343M +48F +61P – Coulee Crest LLC, Cashton, Wisconsin
Marodore Novak Mary – 3rd for Protein
YD: +2,659M +127F +106P – Marodore Farm, Baltimore, Ohio
Gold Star Breeders
The Gold Star Breeder program recognizes Guernsey breeders on the Total Performance Evaluation program who combine outstanding milk production, a strong breeding program and the use of young sire to continue to move the breed forward.
The first recipients that were recognized were the 2016 Double Gold Star Breeders. To qualify for this award, a herd must finish with a lactation average that is 115% of the national TPE average for milk, fat or protein, be 70% or more homebred, and have at least 20% first-crop young sire daughters that completed records in 2016. Qualifying levels this year are: 19,087M, 871F or 638P.
This year’s Double Gold Star Breeders:
Rozelyn Farm, Lynden, Washington
Cozy Nook Farm, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Coulee Crest LLC, Cashton, Wisconsin
Donnybrook Farm, Platteville, Wisconsin
Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
The next group was the 2016 Gold Star Breeders. To qualify for this award, a herd must finish with a lactation average that is 115% total national TPE average for milk, fat or protein and be 70% or more homebred.
This year’s Gold Star Breeders are:
Randy Knapp, Epworth, Iowa
Dr. George McKenna, Albion, New York
Julie Orchard, Columbus, Wisconsin
Spring Walk Farm, Big Prairie, Ohio
Trotacre Farm, Enon Valley, Pennsylvania
Kevin & Dina Stoltzfus, East Earl, Pennsylvania
Walnut Ridge Farm, Middletown, Maryland
Verl Weaver, Goshen, Indiana
Lee Yost Total Performance Cow Award
The Total Performance Cow is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Guernsey Breeders’ Association in memory of Lee Yost, a prominent Pennsylvania Guernsey breeder. The award is based on the complete cow, recognizing production, yield deviation, appraisal score, show placings and the development of the breeder. One individual cow is recognized as each national show, and the top cows at each show are eligible to compete for this award. In previous years, the overall Total Performance Cow has been included in the All-American contest. Per board action in 2016, the overall Total Performance Cow will now be a national award to be awarded and recognized at the awards program during the AGA annual meetings, replacing the All-American Total Performance Cow award.
There is no cow more fitting to be the first recipient of this prestigious award that Knapps Regis Tambourine-ET, with 1,308.95 total points. Not a stranger to the Total Performance winner’s circle, she took home the award at both Louisville and Madison national shows for owners and breeders Austin and Landen Knapp of Epworth, Iowa. With national class-leading records to 40,160M 2,055F 1,338P, the 95-point Marodore Enhancer Regis-ET daughter has a four-record yield deviation of +948 M +14F and +10P. The multiple All-American award winner is backed by a strong maternal line of two 93-point dams with high production.
On June 28, Steven Brett Dixon of Conway, Missouri was presented the National Outstanding Young Guernsey Farmer award as part of the National Guernsey Convention and 141st Annual Meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York. The award is presented annually to a Guernsey breeder under the age of 35 who has made a significant impact on the Guernsey cow and who shows a bright future in the industry.
Dixon and his wife Jessica and son Diesel, who is almost four, milk 70 head of Guernseys, Ayrshires, Holsteins and Jerseys under the name Stil Dreamn Dairy. Brett finds each breed to have their own pros and cons but feels Guernseys come to the top by excelling with high component milk, easier temperament, are more suitable to grazing and have more success in the show ring—making them more of a marketable and profitable cow.
Brett and Jessica work hard as a team to breed for a solid and complete cow that will last for a long time, and don’t tend to follow the trends of what is “hot” if the sire doesn’t meet their needs. Feet and legs, udder quality, components, body depth and strength are all very important traits for them when making mating decisions. While still farming with his father Keith and sister Katie, the Dixon family topped the national sale in 2007 with Dix Lee Tiller Joke, who has gone on to become a household name in many Guernsey herds through the influence of her sons: Jackpot, Judgment, Lone Star, Jester and Jaguar. Joke also went on to become National Grand Champion for her new owners, Springhill.
While Brett has a taken a flexible full-time job at a local handmade furniture store to bring in additional income to work toward their goals for the future, he and Jessica own and manage their own 100-acre farm and rent an additional 100 acres of haylage and pasture land, where they focus on intensive grazing practices. With such busy schedules and a growing son, Brett and Jessica have designated duties. Jessica manages the calves and Brett manages the nutrition and AI work while they jointly run the farm and do some hoof trimming and vet work. Together, they are the only labor force on the farm, with the help of their young son. Securing their son’s future in the dairy has been their most important goal.
Wesley Miller of North East, Maryland was named as runner-up. Miller, upon graduating from Penn State, returned to the family farm to manage the dairy. His focus is to transition his herd to be exclusively Guernsey and then to market direct to the consumer with A2A2 Guernsey milk.
As presented at the Annual Meeting July 1, 2017 in Saratoga, New York.
“22 by 22 is the objective”
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. I’m honored to be a part of the long tradition of the American Guernsey Association.
The association carries with it a long tradition of participation in the landscape of the dairy industry as well as the national and local communities.
Before entering into my remarks, I would like to thank a number of you for making this event possible. First, the New York Association for the great work in organizing and putting this convention together. Thank you Mary and team for the excellent work. Our state organizations continue to raise the bar on conventions. I would like to acknowledge Wayne Foote and wish him a speedy recovery. Dick Whalen for his service.
Secondly, I would like to thank the AGA team for their work and effort in coordinating with the New York group. Lots of long hours coupled with a strong commitment to the success of the organization. Read More
Honestly, while I welcome the new board members today I am sad to Dave leave his role on the board.
Dave has played a critical role in shaping the future of the AGA and the Guernsey for the positive.
One of the key talents I have come to admire in Dave his his ability to build consensus by building bridges and bringing people together. Read More
As printed in the June 2017 Guernsey Breeders’ Journal
By Robin Alden
Since the American Guernsey Association rolled out genomic testing to the public in early 2016, several breeders have taken advantage of the variety of benefits genotyping can offer. A small sample of hair can unveil an invaluable quantity of information. Here are the top seven reasons why Guernsey breeders of all kinds simply can’t go without testing their heifers:
1. Make mating decisions easier. When mating heifers, genomic testing takes the guesswork out of predicting your young stocks’ future traits. We know that parents pass on a random 50% of their traits to their offspring, and that parent averages are far from perfect in predicting those unforeseeable traits such as productive life, daughter pregnancy rate, production and more. “Before genomics, you relied on parent averages for your pedigree information, and how your heifers would perform once they calved in was a guessing game,” says Krista Richardson of Balmoral Farm, Wapakoneta, Ohio. Genotyping sharpens the focus of these traits and gives the breeder a better idea of what traits to improve when making mating decisions. “More accurate information always helps make a better decision,” says Dave Coon of Coon Brothers Farm in Amenia, New York. “Having genomic results from young heifers also helps for the next mating of their dams.”
The American Guernsey Association and Purebred Publishing are pleased to announce the addition of Rita Rittgers to the staff. Rita joins the team at AGA and Purebred Publishing as accountant. Rita has an in-depth knowledge of business accounting principles, current software and accounting systems. She majored in Accounting at Franklin University. Her role will be to oversee the general ledger, accounts payables and receivables, and handle other office responsibilities as needed for the company.
Rita worked for over 20 years as a controller and office manager of a trucking company. Over the past 12 years she has worked in the accounting field as manager of accounts payable, accountant and controller for a construction company, tech company and customer service through an ongoing contract with a temp service as she “slowed down to enjoy the family,” she stated.
Rita and her husband Russ live in Hilliard, Ohio. Although not raised on the farm, Rita’s grandparents did have a dairy farm where her parents grew up. Rita and Russ have a daughter and a son. She is an active member of the community and her church, especially with the Stephen Ministries.
Rita will be in the AGA and Purebred offices primarily Monday through Thursdays 8:30 to 3:30 to handle member billing needs and questions and the organization finances.
AGA Update: As more genomic testing continues more discrepencies may be discovered. As these discrepencies are discovered, the AGA will work to ensure members are made aware of the information. If any member or breeder would like to inquire on the status of genomic tested animals, please contact the office.