Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Holstein Association USA Holds 127th Annual Business Meeting

Holstein Association USA held their 127th Annual Business Meeting, June 29 and 30, in conjunction with the 2012 National Holstein Convention in Springfield, Mo. President Chuck Worden presided over the meeting, during which members discussed current industry issues, elected directors, and passed judgment on a bylaw amendment and resolutions. A highlight of the meeting was the unveiling of the new Ideal Holstein Cow and Bull paintings.

State of the Association

President Chuck Worden and Chief Executive Officer John M. Meyer both presented addresses to the membership in attendance, highlighting current Association and industry issues, as well as sharing their visions for the future of the Association.

“When we talk about our genetic evaluations being the gold standard around the world, it is through working together, trust and respect for each other that we’ve been able to accomplish so much,” said President Chuck Worden. “The world is watching us, and we must do what’s right for the dairyman. Producing unbiased, accurate genomic evaluations will lead to more accurate genomic predictions for all Holsteins around the world.”

Worden continued on, discussing some of the Association’s recent accomplishments and thanking members for their involvement in current events. “I would like to encourage all of you, as leaders in the dairy industry, to get involved, make a difference.  This is our industry and it will only be as good as we make it.”

In his State of the Association address, CEO John M. Meyer first highlighted several of the Association’s performance achievements from 2011, which was an outstanding year for Holstein Association USA.

“Registrations, the core activity and lifeblood of all pedigreed livestock organizations, continue to rise.  In 2011, 360,149 animals were registered, an increase of over 20,000 registrations from 2010. It is interesting to note, the last time we registered 360,000 animals, there were well over 120,000 dairy farms in the United States.  Today there is less than half that number of dairy farms in the country.” He continued, “Without question, Holstein Association members and dairy producers nationwide continue to realize the added value U.S. Registered Holsteins® bring to their operations.

The Association’s premier package of programs and services, the Holstein COMPLETESM program, also shows impressive participation, indicated Meyer. “The popularity of the Holstein COMPLETE program is evidenced by the 256,401 cows in 1,828 herds enrolled in 2011.  This is 16,700 cows and 69 more herds enrolled than the previous year.”

In closing, Meyer commented, “As I reflect on dairy industry changes of the past, and think about what might be forthcoming, my thoughts turn to the late great Walt Disney who said, ‘Always be in the state of becoming.’ I like the quote, because it reminds us to strive for excellence and look for the opportunities among challenges.  Every challenge we greet opens tremendous opportunities for our members and their Holsteins.” He finished, “It is important for us to be reminded of the strength of your Holstein Association.  We have the greatest youth programs of any dairy association in the world, our young adult programs are envied across the country, our members include the most talented dairymen around the globe, and our members own the world’s greatest cow, the U.S. Registered Holstein.”

Unveiling of the New Ideal Holstein Cow and Bull

A real highlight of the Annual Meeting was the unveiling of the new Ideal Holstein Cow and Bull paintings. Last year, Holstein Association USA commissioned renowned artist Bonnie Mohr to complete the new ideal Holstein cow and bull, and she has been working diligently over the past several months to complete the project. The end result was breathtaking, as seen by attendees of the Annual Meeting on Friday morning.

“I grew up on a dairy farm, and I have a huge love and passion for the dairy cow.” Mohr shared that it was almost 25 years ago when she decided that she was going to be a professional artist, and said, “That year, I set as my goal that the pinnacle of my career would be one day, if I could paint the new true type cow and bull. Today, that dream came true.”

Holstein enthusiasts can review the entire project at our official Ideal Holstein Cow & Bull Painting blog. Watch the web site and upcoming issue of the Holstein Pulse for more coverage, and visit the Bonnie Mohr Studio web site for print ordering information.

Bylaw Amendment Passed

On Saturday, delegates voted on several items, including a bylaw amendment proposed by the board of directors regarding future board elections.

In the future, if a region does not have at least two candidates declared for an open director position by March 1 of the election year, that regional director position will become an at-large position for two terms, unless the position is held by an incumbent. This amendment will take effect in 2013.

The spirit behind the amendment was that it is intended for regional director candidates to be nominated from their regions, and then voted on by all delegates. Regions that put forth only one candidate are essentially appointing their director, removing the choice of the delegate body. While directors are elected from each region to ensure geographic diversity on the board of directors, each director acts in the best interests of members from across the country, not only those in their region.

Director Elections Held

Three regional director positions and one at-large directorship were up for election at this year’s annual meeting. Individuals elected to their first terms on the board of directors were R. Paul Buhr, Viroqua, Wis., representing Region 5, and Patrick Maddox, Riverdale, Calif., for Region 9. Incumbent directors re-elected to their second three-year terms were At-Large director Jonathan Lamb, Oakfield, N.Y., and Region 8 director Bill Wright, McCornick, Utah.

Retiring from the board of directors after six years of service were Region 5 director Robert Nigh of Viroqua, Wis. and Hank van Exel, Lodi, Calif., Region 9 director.

Three Resolutions Adopted by the Membership

Three resolutions were brought forth for the delegate body to pass judgment on, and all three were adopted.

Resolution 1 was submitted by the Pennsylvania Holstein Association:

“Whereas: The United States Dairy Genetic Evaluation program is the best in the world due to its unbiased nature. 

And Whereas: The cost to continue the program at USDA is less than 1% of the current USDA budget.

And Whereas:  The current system is beneficial to the United States dairy farmers and to consumers alike.

Therefore, be it Resolved: That Holstein Association USA Inc. encourages USDA to continue performing dairy genetic evaluations for the dairy industry.”

Resolution 2 was brought forth by the Wisconsin Holstein Association:

“Whereas: For the past generation the U.S. has been recognized as a world leader in dairy genetics and whereas it is important to be proactive in developing a plan for genetic evaluations in the future.

Be it Resolved:  That Holstein Association USA work co-operatively as a member of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding to develop and present a cost effective, thorough, reliable system to collect data and process genetic evaluation currently calculated by USDA-AIPL.”

During the Annual Meeting, board members, delegates, members and guest speakers discussed the future of the U.S. dairy genetic evaluation program for over two hours. The Holstein Association USA board of directors made their position clear on the subject, which mirrors the resolution submitted by the Pennsylvania Holstein Association. In conclusion, Holstein Association USA Vice President Glen Brown stated, “The Holstein Association USA board is committed to keeping the dairy genetic evaluation program at USDA-AIPL.”

Resolution 3 was presented by the Holstein Association USA board of directors, in appreciation of the Missouri Holstein Association:

“Whereas, the Missouri Holstein Association, in preparation for the Holstein Association USA, Inc. 127th Annual Meeting and National Convention, has arranged an educational and fun-filled week with great opportunities to visit outstanding dairies, and has warmly welcomed everyone to the Show Me State; and

Whereas the Missouri Holstein Association is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year and is showcasing the state’s rich Holstein heritage,

Now, therefore be it resolved, that the Holstein Association USA’s Board of Directors, members, and staff honor the Missouri Holstein Association for their dedication and achievements, and

Be it further resolved, that the Delegates of this 127th Annual Meeting and National Holstein Convention recognize each and every hard working individual at the Missouri Holstein Association and express grateful appreciation for making this a most memorable week!”

The 2013 National Holstein Convention will be held July 8-11, 2013 in Indianapolis, Ind.

Additional information will also be included in the upcoming Summer 2012 issue of the Holstein Pulse. With questions, contact Lindsey Worden at lworden@holstein.com or 800.952.5200, ext. 4096.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Junior Awards Luncheon Results

Several outstanding youth were recognized at the 2012 National Junior Awards Luncheon on June 30, 2012, in Springfield, Mo.

More coverage and pictures will be provided in the Summer 2012 Holstein Pulse, but following is a listing of the various winners who were recognized for their achievements!

Dairy Bowl
Junior Division (ages 9-15 as of January 1)

Champions: California
Runner-ups: Iowa

Senior Division (ages 16-21 as of January 1)
Champions: California
Runner-ups: Iowa

For more information on the dairy bowl contest, visit the Holstein Foundation web site.

Dairy Knowledge Exam
Junior Division (ages 9-15 as of January 1)
1st place: Mary Scott, Iowa
2nd place: Sarah Thomas, North Carolina
3rd place: Nathan Arthur, Iowa

Senior Division (ages 16-21 as of January 1)
1st place: Tony Lopes, California
2nd place: Elise Regusci, California
3rd place: Aaron Mitchell, Illinois

Prepared Public Speaking
Junior Division (ages 9-13 as of January 1)
1st place: Allison Herrick, New York - "Calf Raising"
2nd place: Lora Wright, Missouri - "Robotic Milking"
3rd place: Alexandria Lopes, California - "Dairy Cows: Supermodels of the Industry"

Intermediate Division (ages 14-17 as of January 1)
1st place: Katie Migliazzo, California - "Biosecurity - It's Up to You!"
2nd place: Jennifer Haler, Minnesota - "From Moo to You"
3rd place: Ashley Mohn, Pennsylvania - "Cheese"

Senior Division (ages 18-21 as of January 1)
1st place: Mary Elizabeth Foote, New York - "Bringing the Next Generation of Dairy Farmers Back to the Farm"
2nd place: Lauren Nell, Pennsylvania - "Labor Laws"
3rd place: Taylor Pires, California - "Media's Effects on the Perception of Agriculture"

Folding Display Contest - Creative Division

Junior Division (ages 9-13 as of January 1)
1st place: Kate Carlson, Illinois - "Ethics"
2nd place: Katelyn McClellan, Missouri - "Embryo Transfer"
3rd place: Rosie Lenz, Missouri - "Udders"

Intermediate Division (ages 14-17 as of January 1)
1st place: Alex Pluskot, Florida - "Farm Safety"
2nd place: Sydney Davis, North Carolina - "How Now Brown Cow"
3rd place: Ashley Mohn, Pennsylvania - "Shhh...I'm Resting"

Senior Division (ages 18-21 as of January 1)
1st place: Shelby Proctor, Pennsylvania - "ABS"
2nd place: Jacob Shaffer, Pennsylvania - "Blast Off of Milk"
3rd place: Raychel Rabon, Florida - "Dairy Foods"

Folding Display Contest - Scientific Division
Junior Division (ages 9-13 as of January 1)
1st place: Sierra Swanson, Minnesota - "Holsteins"
2nd place: Jacey Smith, Washington - "Hole-y Cow"
3rd place: Rachel Nigh, Wisconsin - "Five C's of Calf Care"

Intermediate Division (ages 14-17 as of January 1)
1st place: Suzanna Hull, Michigan - "Cow Digestion"
2nd place: Jacob McGehee, Florida - "Plants Toxic to Dairy Cattle"
3rd place: Mark Kitchen, Pennsylvania - "Cow's Eyesight"

Senior Division (ages 18-21 as of January 1)
1st place: Jessica Bryiger, New Jersey - "Somatic Cell Count"
2nd place: Austin Pluskot, Florida - "By-Products Feeds"
3rd place: Christina O'Brien, New Jersey - "Holstein Heal"

State Scrapbook - Traditional Division
1st place: Iowa
2nd place: Wisconsin
3rd place: New York
4th place: Washington
5th place: North Carolina

State Scrapbook - Digital Division
1st place: Missouri
2nd place: Florida
3rd place: Iowa
4th place: Washington
5th place: Wisconsin

State Banner
1st place: Illinois
2nd place: Florida
3rd place: California

For more information about the other Holstein Association youth programs, visit the Holstein Association USA Junior web site!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Final Banquet Highlights

Today was an exciting day at the National Holstein Convention, capped off by the announcement of some prestigious award winners. Follow along with the excitement with our videos below! Watch in the coming days for more photos, videos, and highlights from the Convention!

Distinguished Young Holstein Breeders - Jonathan & Alicia Lamb, Oakfield, New York

Distinguished Leadership Award Recipient - Dr. Robert E. Walton, De Forest, Wisconsin

Elite Breeders - Regancrest Farm, Waukon, Iowa

Also named earlier today were the 2012 Distinguished Junior Member Finalists:

  • Jacob Achen, Minnesota
  • Sarah Bechtel, Pennsylvania
  • Matt Henkes, Iowa
  • Tera Koebel, Michigan
  • Nathan Ulmer, Pennsylvania
  • Corbin Wood, Pennsylvania

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Holstein Masterpieces are Unveiled!

We were thrilled to unveil the new Ideal Holstein Cow and Bull paintings this morning at the Holstein Association USA Annual Meeting! Artist Bonnie Mohr revealed that she had dubbed the paintings "Romeo and Juliet," and provided some phenomenal insight on her journey to the audience. The paintings will be on display for the remainder of the Annual Meeting...

More pictures and video will be posted later, but for now, enjoy this video slideshow of the development of the paintings, and a snapshot of the finished product. Check back soon!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Host Day Highlights!

Thursday was “Host Day” at National Convention, a tradition which allows Convention attendees the opportunity to experience some of what the “Show Me State” has to offer. Three tour options each brought something different to the table for people to enjoy.

Following are some pictures from the “Century Farms Tour,” which took attendees to three great Missouri Holstein breeders’ operations: Robthom Holsteins, just outside of Springfield, Groves-View Dairy, in Billings, and College of the Ozarks, in Point Lookout. 

Evan Gunter and Darrel Wright, both of North Carolina, admire some of the cattle at Robthom.

Some Holsteins grazing on pasture near Robthom Holsteins.

Tour attendees some of the great cattle that Groves-View Dairy had on display. They were proud to
announce after their most recent classification their BAA officially sits at 108%.

The animals at Groves-View were admired by young and old alike!

College of the Ozarks not only has a beautiful campus, but a great dairy farm where students work to cover their
tuition. The cattle were well-presented and several students were on hand to greet guests and provide tours.

Cattle at College of the Ozarks had a sprinkler system to stay cool in the warm temperatures. 

The freestall barn at College of the Ozarks was very well-kept, with clean cattle sired by many modern bulls.

College of the Ozarks has a very interesting program that allows students to work on-campus and graduate debt-free.

Other tours took participants to the PFI Western Wear Store and Bass Pro Shops for some shopping, and to the Silver Dollar City amusement park.

Friday marks an exciting day at the Convention, including the start of the Association’s 127th Annual Business meeting, with the unveiling of the new Ideal HolsteinCow and Bull paintings just before noon! Juniors will have a full day of DairyBowl competitions. Stay tuned for more news and results, live from Springfield!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Live from Springfield - Dairy Jeopardy Results, Family Night, and More!

The 2012 National Holstein Convention is off to a blazing start in Springfield, Missouri! Despite the high temperatures, everyone is managing to stay cool and enjoying the excellent hospitality our Missouri hosts are providing.

Senior Dairy Jeopardy competitors get
ready for their first round of play!
The National Holstein Dairy Jeopardy contest started the Junior competitions at Convention and other contest were held throughout the day. In three age divisions, more than 75 young people buzzed in for their shot at bringing home the top award. Here are the results:

Junior Division
1st Place: Sarah Thomas, North Carolina
2nd Place: Nathan Aruthur, Iowa
3rd Place: Maddie Beaudry, New Hampshire
Junior Division champions: Sarah Thomas,
Nathan Aruthur and Maddie Beaudry

 Intermediate Division
1st Place: Megan Rauen, Iowa
2nd Place: Andy Sell, Wisconsin
3rd Place: Bailee Whitehead, Missouri

Intermediate Division winners: Megan Rauen,
Andy Sell and Bailee Whitehead
 Senior Division
1st Place: Ethan Himmelberger, Pennsylvania
2nd Place: Jessica Hammerand, Iowa
3rd Place: Taylor Pires, California
Senior Division victors: Ethan Himmelberger,
Jessica Hammerand and Taylor Pires

Junior Dairy Jeopardy contestants having a good time!
At the Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) Luncheon, 12 DJM semi-finalists were honored. Once a round of interviews are finished, six finalists will be announced at the Junior Awards Luncheon on Saturday afternoon.

Jacob Achen, Minnesota
Kirsten Beaudry, New Hampshire
Sara Bechtel, Pennsylvania
Amelia Cooper, Wisconsin
Sean Galley, New York
Matt Henkes, Iowa
Tera Koebel, Michigan
Stephanie Nagel, Wisconsin
Kyle Natzke, Wisconsin
Mandi Ramsburg, Maryland
Nathan Ulmer, Pennsylvania
Corbin Wood, Pennsylvania
2012 Distinguished Junior Member Semifinalists

The eight Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) were also honored at the DJM luncheon:

Annie Achen, Indiana
Cole Davis, North Carolina
Emily Irwin, Illinois
Katherine Larson, Wisconsin
Laura Lesher, Pennsylvania
Tony Lopes, California
Kathryn Osbrone, Pennsylvania
Jordan Siemers, Wisconsin
2012 Young Distinguished Junior Member Finalists

Juniors also competed throughout the day with the Prepared Public Speaking Contest and Dairy Knowledge Exam, the results for these two contests will be announced at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday.

To round out the evening, folks headed over to the nearby Hammons Field to enjoy several fun activities in and around the baseball stadium, for family night. Convention attendees tested their skills and endurance with a homerun derby, mechanical bull riding, batting cages, and a few people were even spotted recording their own music videos.

Check back tomorrow for more highlights from Convention Host Day activities!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welcome to the 2012 National Holstein Convention Blog!

Welcome! Check back starting on Wednesday, June 27, for complete updates and coverage from the 2012 National Holstein Convention in Springfield, Mo. Each day we will be posting updates with pictures, videos, listings of award/contest winners, meeting highlights, and more!