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2014 Press Releases

Official information generated by Holstein Association USA that is released to industry publications
and media outlets.

For further information contact:
Communications, Holstein Association USA

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December 2014
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  red bullet New Fertility Traits in December 2014 Lead to Adjustment in TPI® Formula
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Shifts to Official 840 Ear Tags January 1
  red bullet Get involved with your Holstein Association USA
November 2014
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  red bullet Holstein Association USA Releases Pedigree Analysis of 2014 National Holstein Show Winners
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Board Meets in Chicago
  red bullet Collinsworth Award Given to Karsen Haag of Wisconsin
  red bullet HAUSA History Project Launched
  red bullet Weekly Preliminary Genomic Evaluations Coming This Month
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Updates Two Online Genetic Tools
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Webinar on December Genetic Evaluation Updates November 13
September 2014
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  red bullet Make More Cheese & More Money with Holsteins
July 2014
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  red bullet Holstein Association USA Recognizes First-Ever Elite Performer Award Recipients
  red bullet 2015 Holstein Association USA Delegate Election Underway
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Recognizes Junior Members Breeding Exceptional Cattle
  red bullet Holstein Youth Compete at 2014 National Junior Holstein Convention
  red bullet Exceptional Breeders and Distinguished Leadership Honored at 2014 National Holstein Convention
  red bullet Six Distinguished Junior Member Finalists Recognized at 2014 National Holstein Convention
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Board Convenes In Dubuque
June 2014
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  red bullet Enlight Illuminates Path to Genetic Improvement in Holstein Dairy Cattle
  red bullet Five Honored as Holstein Association USA’s 2014 Herds of Excellence
  red bullet Two Wisconsin Cows Honored as 2013 Star of the Breed
May 2014
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  red bullet 2014 Holstein Distinguished Junior Member Semifinalists Announced
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Recognizes Young Distinguished Junior Member Finalists
April 2014
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  red bullet Holstein Association USA Board Meets in Vermont
March 2014
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  red bullet Holstein Association USA Announces 2014 Junior Infographic Web Contest
February 2014
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  red bullet Max Wolf Receives 2013 Overall Judi Collinsworth Outstanding Junior Exhibitor Award
January 2014
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  red bullet 2014 Holstein Association USA Annual Award Applications Available

New Fertility Traits in December 2014
Lead to Adjustment in TPI
® Formula

Will be implemented in April 2015

Brattleboro, Vt. (December 22, 2014)…With the December 2014 national dairy genetic evaluations, USDA and the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB)  introduced a new method of measuring Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), along with other model enhancements. The old definition of DPR was number of Days Open, which was then converted to a pregnancy rate within a 21-day cycle. Days open was measured from the end of the voluntary waiting period to either a confirmed pregnancy or 250 days-in-milk. The new definition is an actual observation of pregnancy; a series of “no” or “yes” measures at 21-day intervals between 50 and 250 days in milk. Cows lacking pregnancy confirmation data at 250 days-in-milk are now assumed to be open.

The new DPR measurements are much more accurate. The genetic trend for all breeds is estimated to be twice as large as before. Improvements in fertility management from the early 1960s until the year 2000 was not sufficient to keep up with the decline in genetic merit. From 2000 on, Holstein breeders have emphasized fertility in their breeding selections. That not only halted the long term decline, but the Holstein is the only breed to see a significant upturn in the DPR values.  


The new DPR information utilizes the actual breeding info and conception rates more fully to determine the 21-day pregnancy rate. The change in definition of DPR has had an impact on not only the DPR values but also on several other traits and subsequently on our estimate of breed differences and the ranking of top animals. The new DPR values show a greater increase for the top Holstein genomic young bulls compared to their contemporaries from the Jersey breed.

The improved fertility and Productive Life (PL) evaluations now have a stronger relationship with an animal’s TPI® value. The new DPR value handles differences in voluntary waiting period much better. There’s less emphasis on early conception and more on conception rates throughout the lactation. Bulls whose daughters had a longer voluntary waiting period have seen an improvement in their DPR proof. For example, the DPR values on high type bulls like Atwood and Gold Chip have gone up. The first breeding of the daughters of these bulls would have been delayed to obtain a 365-day record. The DPR values of high-index bulls like Robust, Numero Uno, and Shamrock have also gone up. Some of their daughters were being flushed and would have had a longer voluntary waiting period.

Our ability to improve fertility is now greater.


All of this has led to a higher correlation with the TPI® values. The new DPR values are more highly correlated with Heifer Conception Rate (HCR), Cow Conception Rate (CCR), and Productive Life. We even see a slight increase with production, giving us an overall increase correlation between the new DPR values with TPI®.

Many breeders were surprised to see the higher relationship among the top TPI® animals and their corresponding high fertility values. Part of the explanation of this change is an increase in the spread, or range (Standard Deviations), of the PTAs for all of the fertility traits, as well as Productive Life. Adjusting the Standard Deviations of the traits used in the TPI® formula will move some emphasis from the fertility traits over to the production traits. This comes closer to the original TPI® formula changes announced this summer.

The Genetic Advancement Committee of the Holstein Association USA, Inc. (HAUSA), met on December 17 to discuss the December genetic evaluation changes and recommended an adjustment to the Standard Deviations used in the TPI® formula.  The implementation plan, approved by the HAUSA board of directors on December 18, is:

Implementation Plan:

  • The current December 2014 TPI® values will remain official until the next full genetic evaluation update in April 2015.
  • New Standard Deviations will be used in April 2015 to account for the increased spread created by the new DPR definition.
  • The updated values of 2187 and 3.9 in the TPI® formula are being used to maintain the same genetic base and range as the current December 2014 TPI®  values.

The complete TPI® formula with updated Standard Deviations, starting in April 2015, is as follows:

TPI April 2015

Adjusting the TPI® formula for the new Standard Deviations will only have a small impact on TPI values and the ranking of top animals. For example, for the top 100 Genomic bulls, the average change is 1 TPI point when comparing the current TPI® values with the TPI® value using the new Standard Deviations. The average change up or down is 11 TPI points, so there is a little reshuffling or reranking. However, we will not alter the status of any of the top bulls or top cows; they are still top animals.

Announcing the April 2015 TPI® formula now will help breeders to better plan their future purchasing, breeding, and mating decisions.

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Holstein Association USA Shifts to Official 840 Ear Tags January 1

Brattleboro, Vt. (December 18, 2014)…Beginning January 1, 2015, Holstein Association USA Inc. (HAUSA) will be fully transitioned to official 840 ear tags. Given USDA’s Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule for animal movement beginning March 1, 2015, we felt it was appropriate to take this proactive step.

After the March 1 deadline, all USDA official ear tags distributed must bear either the 840 number or the USDA metal tag number series. Animals previously tagged with an older style number (such as American ID numbers) will not need to be retagged to cross state borders – they are grandfathered in. Any Holstein ID tags printed with American ID numbers you have left in inventory can also be used.

Before ordering 840 ear tags for the first time, it is important to acquire your farm’s premises ID from your state department of agriculture.  We will keep it on file at HAUSA for future orders. Within the ADT plan, this helps determine an animal’s premises of origin.

For Holsteins registered with the Tag ID method, the 840 number will be the animal’s registration number. In the 840 number, the 840 is actually the country code for the United States. If you are familiar with the system used in Canada, think of “840” in place of “124.” The goal is to have a “one number, one animal” system for each animal’s lifetime.

Official 840 tags are marked with the USDA shield and the statement “Unlawful to remove.” Because of this, space on the tags is limited, so the official tags are not available with customized information, except for your herd management number. You can still select your herd management number, in the standard print size, on all official tags. Each animal only needs one official tag, so if you are using two or three tags total today, you will need to choose an inventory tag put in at birth as your official one.

HAUSA offers both visual and electronic options for 840 tags. The 840 Radio Frequency ID (RFID) tag is becoming more commonplace, and we envision this as the end goal in the U.S. animal disease traceability program. World Dairy Expo has made great strides in suggesting all U.S. animals should have an official 840 RFID for health check-in at the show. We expect more shows to follow suit in the future. The RFID technology can even be integrated into milking parlors, calf feeders, and on-farm herd management software.

If you aren’t ready to go with the RFID option, we have official 840 visual-only tags. Maxi, Large, Junior and Mini-Round official 840 inventory tags are available in all colors we offer today. Here again, only one tag needs to be official – accompanying visual tags will have the same official 840 number but not the USDA notations. We will be offering nested combinations of the most popular tag sizes.

A common question is how to order replacement tags. In an ideal world, we want to be able to replace tags with the same number the animal had from the beginning. Since the tag manufacturer now controls the numbers assigned, some systematic changes need to be made. We hope to make this possible in early 2015.

As always with Holstein ID tags, we want to stress the importance of making sure you always have plenty of 840 inventory tags on hand. Turnaround time for tags ordered continues to be two weeks from the time you place the order to arrival at the farm.

We are taking steps closer to having a comprehensive animal tracking system in the United States. It has been years in the making to get this far. Holstein Association USA and the dairy industry continue to be leaders and we look forward to helping you meet your animal identification needs.

For more information, contact Customer Service at 800.952.5200.

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Get involved with your Holstein Association USA

Brattleboro, Vt. (December 10, 2014)…Holstein Association USA Inc. (HAUSA) is looking for enthusiastic, qualified members in good standing to run for the HAUSA board of directors. The role of directors is to set policy for the association that is in the best interest of all members and promote its mission.

Are you a visionary thinker with a passion to serve? Can you lead, and communicate well with others? If this sounds like you, contact Jodi Hoynoski, staff liaison to the nominating committee (800.952.5200, ext. 4261, or email Jodi) or one of the members of the nominating committee and tell them you would like to be a candidate.

“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, to serve with a group of people considered your peers or beyond,” said Chuck Worden, chair of the nominating committee and former president of the HAUSA board of directors. “You’ll get the chance to make a difference in how your association is run and also to change the TPI formula and contribute to other decisions we make every year as a board. The time it takes to serve is minimal, and it’s well worth the effort and time away from the farm.”

The deadline for nominations is March 2. Director elections will be held at the annual meeting during the 2015 National Convention, June 25-26, in St. Charles, Illinois. Directors will be elected for three-year terms (two consecutive terms are allowed) in:

Region 5–WI. Current director R. Paul Buhr is eligible for re-election.
Region 9–AZ, CA, and NV. Current director Pat Maddox is eligible for reelection.
Region 8–WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO, and UT. Current director Bill Wright is ineligible for re-election.
At-Large–Any state. Current director Jonathan Lamb is ineligible for re-election.
The board president and vice president will also be elected at the annual meeting—these offices are for one two-year term each. President Glen E. Brown’s term expires in June.

Directors are expected to attend the three board meetings held each year around the country, and to attend committee and members meetings as needed.

HAUSA, its members, and other Holstein breeders face new and exciting challenges in today’s dairy industry—you can make a vital contribution to that future.

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Holstein Association USA Releases Pedigree Analysis of 2014 National Holstein Show Winners

Brattleboro, Vt. (November 26, 2014)… With the completion of the 2014 National Shows, Holstein Association USA has released its annual Pedigree Analysis of National Holstein Show winners. These lists give you a picture of the genetics behind the cattle receiving show ring honors at the highest levels of competition.

Find the Pedigree Analysis of 2014 National Holstein Show winners at, under the “Popular Lists” section toward the bottom of the homepage.

Holstein females in the analysis are those that placed in the top three in their respective age classes at a National Holstein Show this year, which included a total of 197 different heifers and 253 different cows.

The lists are updated each fall following the last National Holstein Show of the year. Included are lists of Leading Sires, Leading Maternal Grandsires, and Leading Sire Stacks of National Show Winners. Each category features separate lists for heifers and cows, along with a combined list. In addition, viewers will find other interesting information, such as the average classification score for each class and historical data from previous years.

2014 Highlights

  • Braedale Goldwyn claimed the Leading Sire of 2014 National Holstein Show winners, siring 71 daughters who placed in the top three of their classes. This was the fifth consecutive year he has led the pack; he was also the top sire of winning cows, siring 54. For the second year, his song, Maple-Downs-I G W Atwood-ET, was the second-ranking sire and number one on the heifer list, with a total of 58 heifers and cows placing in the top three.
  • Braedale Goldwyn also topped all the Leading Maternal Grandsires lists, siring 29 heifers and 23 cows who placed in the top three.
  • The combination of Braedale Goldwyn x Regancrest Dundee-ET again topped the Leading Sire Stacks of 2014 National Holstein Show winners and the list of Leading Sire Stacks for Cows. Maple-Downs-I G W Atwood-ET x Regancrest Dundee-ET was the second Leading Sire Stack overall, while Regancrest S Braxton-ET x Braedale Goldwyn led the list of Sire Stacks for heifers.

View the complete Pedigree Analysis under the Popular Lists section on the Holstein Association USA homepage, or go directly to

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Holstein Association USA Board Meets in Chicago

Brattleboro, Vermont (November 25, 2014)...The Holstein Association USA, Inc. (HAUSA) board of directors conducted its fall meeting November 19-20 in Chicago, Ill. President Glen E. Brown of Coalville, Utah presided.

The board approved the 2015 Management-by-Objective Business Plan and accompanying budget. The business plan forecasts growth of Holstein Association USA’s core products and services.

Update on 2014 Business Plan

Registrations through October 31, 2014, totaled 305,815, which is a five percent increase over 2013 year-to-date totals. Animals that have been identified through Basic ID have increased 24 percent over last year and stand at 212,384. Start-up registrations totaled 50,272, 10 percent more than 2013. Members are looking for an opportunity to build their herd with registered cows and take advantage of having Registered Holsteins®.

At the end of October, 289,274 animals in 1,853 herds were enrolled in Holstein COMPLETE®. This represents a three percent increase in animals and approximately one percent more herds compared to the same time last year.

Bill VerBoort, AgriTech Analytics general manager, reported robust enrollments in October, with 943,961 animals processed. This represents an increase of 9 percent or 77,101 cows since January 1, 2014.

Committee Reports

The board heard reports from the audit and show committees.

From the show committee, the board approved 2015 Spring National Holstein Shows in Columbus, Ohio, Stillwater, Okla., Madison, Wis., and Richmond, Utah. The Summer National Holstein Show will take place in Columbus, Ohio and the 2015 Fall National Holstein Shows will be held at St. Paul, Minn., Springfield, Mass., Harrisburg, Pa., and Louisville, Ky. Included in the lineup is the 2015 International Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.

The board approved the committee’s recommendations for the 2015 National and Qualified Judges Lists, which has been published on the Association’s website. The judges’ conference next year will take place May 14, 2015, in conjunction with the Western Spring Show, Richmond, Utah.

Further, the board approved the show committee’s recommendations, beginning with the application process for the 2016 Judges Lists:

· Applicants must attend a judges conference every five years and
· Applicants must have a current Holstein USA membership.

Other Business

In response to the bylaw amendment passed in June 2014, the board established deadlines for the process of nominating and electing delegates to the 2016 and future annual meetings. The new schedule policy, approved by the board, is as follows:

Event Deadline

Delegate nominating petitions mailed to members 1-Aug
Delegate nominating petitions due to Holstein USA 1-Oct
Deadline for nominees to withdraw from ballot 15-Oct
Ballots mailed to members 1-Nov
Ballots due to Holstein USA 1-Jan
Elections committee meeting 15-Jan
Delegate election finalized 1-Feb

If the deadline for any event falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the deadline will instead be the first regular business day following that event date.

The board approved the release of 2,322 prefixes, effective December 31, 2014. Since its inception in 2009, the board policy allows the release for reuse of a prefix after 20 years of non-use and makes it easier for members to acquire prefixes for their herds. The list has been posted on the Holstein Association’s website to give notice to membership. If someone wants to retire his or her prefix prior to the release date, they may request to do so for a $100 fee.

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Collinsworth Award Given to Karsen Haag of Wisconsin

Tim Ewing, Holstein Association USA regional representative, and Karsen Haag, Judi Collinsworth Outstanding Junior Exhibitor Award winner.
Brattleboro, Vt. (November 17, 2014)…Holstein Association USA presented the Judi Collinsworth Outstanding Junior Exhibitor Award to Karsen Haag of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) on Nov. 8 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Haag is a 21-year-old senior at Southwest Technical College in Fennimore, Wisconsin, where she completed a dairy herd management degree. Next year she will transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for a double major in dairy science and agribusiness. Her long-term goal is to expand her herd and improve its genetics, while working toward management and ownership of the farm owned by her parents, Virgil and Dawn Haag.

Haag has filled many roles in her state and county Holstein organizations and has been an exhibitor and volunteer at World Dairy Expo and NAILE. As a high school student, she was involved in a wide range of activities, including FFA, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, and her church.

The Collinsworth Award is presented in honor of the Association’s former executive director of member and industry services, Judi Collinsworth. The award recognizes youths’ work and involvement with Holstein cattle and dairy activities. Recipients are selected based on sportsmanship, herdsmanship, and participation in Holstein and other agricultural activities, as well as an essay describing what they have learned while exhibiting Registered Holstein cattle.

One Judi Collinsworth Award recipient is selected at each of the four National Junior Holstein Shows. All winners receive a $250 cash award and are invited to apply for the Overall Collinsworth Award, which is given out in December. Other winners from 2014 National Junior Holstein Shows are Miranda Iager, MD, Premier Junior Holstein Show; Laura Lesher, PA, International Junior Holstein Show; and Liza Van der Laan, OK, Southern Spring National Junior Holstein Show.

For more information on Holstein youth programs, contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124 or by email.

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HAUSA History Project Launched

Brattleboro, Vt. (November 17, 2014)…The board of directors of Holstein Association USA Inc. has created a five-person committee to preserve the history of the association and to convey a memorable story.  As part of that effort, items of historical significance to HAUSA will be housed in the Ideal Holstein Room at its offices in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Do you have items of historical value that may fit into the collection? Let the committee know.
It will hold its first meeting in Brattleboro on December 12.

Randy Gross, committee chairman, announced the formation of the committee with this letter to Holstein Association USA members:

Dear Holstein Association USA Member:

“Make history.”  “Be a part of history.”  Both of these well-known statements provide a glimpse into the intent of the Holstein Association USA board of directors when they established a committee to preserve historical information and items relative to the history of the Holstein Association USA and breed. There is a lot of history behind the great Holstein Association USA and cow; however, much of it has not been well-maintained, recorded, or made available for future use.

Napoleon Bonaparte said that “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” The committee’s effort is focused on preserving and displaying (in HAUSA headquarters) items that have impacted the association or breed on the national or international level.  Items such as pictures, paintings, minutes, catalogs, articles, and reports are in the hands of Holstein friends throughout the country.  The goal is to avoid obscurity by placing that information in a central collection.

Winston Churchill said “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”  We are not asking you to “write” history; however, we are asking that you consider donating items of historical importance to the Holstein history collection.  Processes are being developed to identify, receive, inventory, preserve, and display key items.  Please think about any items you may have that would benefit the collection.  Also consider items that may be in the hands of those no longer in contact with the association.

Edmund Burke said “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  A goal of the historical collection is to leave a legacy of valuable information for future Holstein enthusiasts to access, study, and learn from.  Understanding the past will improve future actions. 

George Will said “The future has a way of arriving unannounced.” Now is the time to act.  By beginning to build the history collection now, we hope to access information and artifacts before they may be inadvertently discarded or lost for good.

Edward R. Murrow said “Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.” Building a Holstein history collection can be a daunting task.  Your help is necessary, valued, and appreciated.  If you have questions or wish to support the project, please contact me at 509.280.2593 or Peter Cole at the HAUSA office at 802.451.4127 or any of the committee members: David Bachmann, Horace Backus, Darrell Pidgeon, or Jerry Strandlund.    


Randy Gross, Chairman

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Weekly Preliminary Genomic Evaluations Coming This Month

Brattleboro, Vt. (November 5, 2014)…Starting November 11, 2014, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) will begin providing weekly genomic evaluations, to Holstein Association USA and other genomic nominators, for newly tested animals. These weekly evaluations are known as “preliminary” evaluations. Following are some questions that breeders may have about these new evaluations.

When will these predictions be available and how will I receive them?
Preliminary genomic evaluations will be released every Tuesday, starting November 11. CDCB will distribute preliminary evaluation files to genomic nominators (including Holstein Association USA) at 8 a.m. every Tuesday. We will do our best to get the results loaded into our database and distributed as quickly as possible.

Holstein breeders who have tested their animals through Holstein Association USA may access their preliminary genomic evaluations in two ways:

1. Holstein staff will email a spreadsheet containing all of their new animals for that week to producers who have provided us with a valid email address.

2. Preliminary genomic evaluations will also be available in Enlight. If you are not currently an Enlight user, visit or call 800.952.5200 to learn more and enroll in this free tool today.

This differs from the distribution of monthly interim genomic predictions in several ways; as this is a weekly process, it has been streamlined for efficiency as much as possible. Distribution of monthly interim genomic predictions will continue in the same manner that it has historically. Also note that the preliminary evaluations will only include genomic PTAs—no haplotypes or genetic test results are available until the monthly interim evaluations are processed.

How should these preliminary values be used by dairy producers?
The primary goal of providing preliminary genomic evaluations is to get producers the genomic information to use for on-farm decisions about their animals as quickly as possible. The genomic PTAs provided in the preliminary report do not have reliabilities calculated for them, and approximation was used in the step where genomic values are combined with traditional parent average or PTA. Because of this, these evaluations are not designated as official, and therefore are NOT suitable for publication for marketing purposes, or any other use outside of reporting documents distributed to owners. The preliminary evaluations are highly correlated (0.99) to the interim and official evaluations, but producers may still see fluctuation in values between the preliminary and interim predictions.

How soon can I expect to receive a preliminary genomic evaluation for my animal?
While this will shorten the amount of time it takes for some producers to receive an evaluation, it may not be as immediate as some may expect. Assuming perfect animal ID, parentage, and sample quality, producers should expect a best-case scenario of a 21-day turnaround from the time a sample leaves the farm until a preliminary genomic evaluation is received.

It is possible that, if a producer sends in a group of samples to the lab on the same day, they may not all come back in the same week – breeders should not get concerned if only a portion of their submitted animals come back in one week. Please wait another week or two to see if the rest come through in subsequent weeks before calling to check on the status of a sample.

A large benefit of these more frequent evaluations will be in cases where an animal has a conflict (parentage, etc.) which prevents them from receiving their interim prediction on the monthly schedule. Now, instead of having to wait until the following month to receive an evaluation, the owner of that animal would likely be able to receive an evaluation sooner in one of the weekly evaluations, rather than having to wait until the next month’s run.

Call Holstein Association USA Customer Service at 800.952.5200, or email Customer Service if you have further questions.

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Holstein Association USA Updates Two Online Genetic Tools

Brattleboro, Vt. (November 5, 2014)… Holstein Association USA announces the update of two online genetic tools at These tools help dairy producers make better mating decisions by making use of more of the genomic information gained from the testing of their animals. Use of these services is free for Holstein breeders.

Genomic Inbreeding Calculator

Regular users of the Holstein USA web site are familiar with the Inbreeding Calculator, which allows breeders to predict the impact that inbreeding would have on potential matings being considered. Users may enter the registration number for one female and up to ten potential mates. The Inbreeding Calculator will then return the expected inbreeding percentage of the resulting offspring, comparing that value to breed average, and the economic impact inbreeding would have on offspring’s performance. The results display the Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs) for several traits that resulting offspring would have and also adjust those PTAs for inbreeding depression.

A new feature added to the Inbreeding Calculator is the ability to view genomic inbreeding levels for potential matings, compared to the pedigree inbreeding value that has been available. This tool takes into consideration the actual genomic data available for these animals and provides an inbreeding level based on that information. The genomic inbreeding value will automatically be provided alongside the pedigree inbreeding value when it is available. Potential mates are ranked in order by highest inbreeding-adjusted TPI®.

To access the Inbreeding Calculator, from the main menu, click on Pedigree Information and then select it in the dropdown menu.

Haplotype Information on the Family Tree

The Family Tree Search is another free tool offered on the Holstein web site that allows users to view up to five generations of lineage for an animal, including various identification information and note of any genetic codes recorded for animals in the Family Tree.

New to the Family Tree is the addition of haplotype codes recorded for an animal, and its sire and dam. Haplotypes are automatically analyzed and reported for any genomic-tested animal for the following conditions:

· HH0: Haplotype Associated with Brachyspina
· HH1: Holstein Haplotype Impacting Fertility 1
· HH2: Holstein Haplotype Impacting Fertility 2
· HH3: Holstein Haplotype Impacting Fertility 3
· HH4: Holstein Haplotype Impacting Fertility 4
· HH5: Holstein Haplotype Impacting Fertility 5
· HHB: Haplotype Associated with BLAD
· HHC: Haplotype Associated with CVM
· HHD: Haplotype Associated with DUMPS
· HHM: Haplotype Associated with Mulefoot
· HHP: Haplotype Associated with Polled
· HDR: Haplotype Associated with Dominant Red
· HRR: Haplotype Associated with Recessive Red

Most haplotypes have simple result reporting: “T” indicates the animal is tested free of that haplotype and “C” indicates the animal is a carrier of the haplotype. Dominant Red and Recessive Red have more possible genotypes, and keys for those conditions can be found by clicking on their label on the Family Tree. Haplotype results are not considered official; performing the actual gene test for a condition is required for labelling on pedigrees and other official Holstein performance products. It is also important to note that haplotype results are not 100 percent accurate in indicating whether or not an animal is a carrier or free of a condition. In the case where an animal has an actual gene test result and a haplotype result, the actual gene test result should always be considered official.

Haplotypes can be useful for identifying animals that are good candidates for further genetic testing. This information can also be used in conjunction with known genetic codes to trace different genetic conditions through the pedigree of an animal.

To access the Family Tree, users can search for an animal using the Animal Search function and click on the individual’s registration number on the results page, or from the main menu, click on Pedigree Information and then select Family Tree Search from the dropdown menu.

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Holstein Association USA Webinar on
December Genetic Evaluation Updates November 13

Brattleboro, Vt. (November 3, 2014)… Holstein Association USA will present a webinar on updates to the Total Performance Index® (TPI) formula and the genetic base change at 1 p.m. EST, Thursday, Nov. 13. All breeders and other interested individuals are invited to participate.

Dr. Tom Lawlor, executive director of research and development at Holstein Association USA, will discuss the updates and what you can expect to see from the changes. Beginning with the December genetic evaluation, the genetic base will be updated to center on cows born in 2010, and the TPI will include two new components: Feed Efficiency and a Fertility Index.

Visit our website,, to sign up for the free webinar.

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Make More Cheese & More Money with Holsteins

Brattleboro, Vt. (September 17, 2014)... If you want a herd that milks for cheese production, choose U.S. Registered Holsteins. Holstein cattle produce more pounds of milk, fat, and protein than any other breed of cow, so their milk is well-suited to the cheese market. The Holstein breed also offers you the choice of a wide range of bulls to accomplish your goals.

The August 2014 national dairy genetic evaluation provides solid data showing the strong advantage Holstein bulls have over other breeds, based on Cheese Merit Dollars (CM$). The CM$ index is similar to other selection indexes, such as TPI® and Net Merit (NM$). It places more weight on traits valued in herds selling their milk in a cheese market. These include more emphasis on protein and less on pounds of milk, and greater value for higher milk quality.

Breeders may choose from 840 Available Holstein bulls that have CM$ over 700, according to the latest statistics from the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB). By comparison, there are 34 Available Ayrshire and red breed sires at 700 or higher, and just eight Jersey, and two Milking Shorthorn bulls at 700 CM$ or higher. No other breeds have bulls at or above 700 CM$.

Of all Available bulls, including genomic young bulls with semen available, the Holstein breed leads the way again, by a large margin.  Listed below are the highest ranking CM$ bulls by breed.

Holstein - Mr Mogul Delta 1427-ET (1115 CM$)
Ayrshire and Red Breeds - Garvik (1012 CM$)
Milking Shorthorn - GI Loden Bob (851 CM$)
Jersey - ISDK VJ Lure (791 CM$)
Brown Swiss - Blessing Brookings Advisor (681 CM$)

It is no surprise to see that Holsteins lead the way when it comes to the components important to cheese yield.  The actual average combined pounds of fat and protein for Holstein cows last year was 1,664 pounds, compared to 1,495 pounds for Jersey cows, and 1,447 pounds for Brown Swiss cows, according to 2013 DHI statistics, herds on official test.

If you are selling milk in a cheese market, it is clear that U.S. Registered Holsteins offer the most potential for profit. The bottom line: more milk equals more money.

Find more information on U.S. Registered Holstein bulls and the most up-to-date genetic information at

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Holstein Association USA Recognizes First-Ever Elite Performer Award Recipients

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 30, 2014)… Holstein Association USA is pleased to announce the first-ever recipients of the Elite Performer recognition. The Elite Performer award is a new honor from Holstein Association USA which recognizes superior Registered Holstein® cows who have demonstrated a profitable combination of high production, sound conformation, and longevity.

In its first year, 400 cows hailing from 16 states were named National Elite Performers; another 402 cows from 28 states received Regional Elite Performer honors, from nine regions across the country.

“The Elite Performer award allows us to pay tribute to those cows who are desirable and profitable for every dairyman, regardless of their management style or herd goals,” said John Meyer, Holstein Association USA Chief Executive Officer. "Awarding both National and Regional Elite Performers allows us to honor a larger number of deserving cattle and breeders from across the country, as well as recognizing cows that are competing under similar management and environmental conditions."

In order to qualify for Elite Performer recognition, cows must have completed at least three lactations in a herd participating in the Association’s TriStar™ program, completing the most recent lactation in the past twelve months, and must be classified Very Good-85 or higher. All cows currently enrolled in TriStar who are 87% RHA or higher are evaluated annually.

Once eligible cows are determined, they are ranked based on total lifetime pounds of combined fat and protein per day in milk. The top one percent of cows meeting the criteria are awarded National Elite Performer recognition. Those cows are then removed from consideration for Regional Elite Performer honors, and the remaining top one percent of cows from each of nine regions, the same as Holstein Association USA election regions, are named Regional Elite Performers. The Elite Performer award is a lifetime recognition, so cows are only eligible to receive the honor one time.

The Elite Performer award recognizes not only the cow for her achievements, but also the breeder, the owner, and the herd management that together allowed her to qualify for this prestigious award. Owners of qualifying animals have been notified via mail, and a complete list of 2014 Elite Performers can be found on the Holstein Association USA web site at With questions, contact Peter Cole at 800.952.5200, ext. 4127.

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2015 Holstein Association USA Delegate Election Underway

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 3, 2014) … Though the 2014 National Holstein Convention has just been completed, the process of electing delegates for the 2015 Annual Meeting is already underway.

Important Deadlines

June 23 - Nominating petitions mailed to members
July 28 - Nominating petitions must be received by Holstein Association USA
August 8 - Deadline for nominees to withdraw names from the ballot
August 18 - Ballots mailed to members
October 10 - Ballots must be received by Holstein Association USA
November 3 - 2015 delegate election finalized

Members Ineligible to Serve in 2015

In accordance with Holstein Association USA bylaws, the following members will be ineligible to serve in 2015, having served three consecutive years as elected delegates:
Timothy Baker, Michigan
Michael T. Sheehan, Minnesota
Brian W. Coyne, New York
Patricia G. Gifford, New York
Jeffrey L. King, New York
Steve L. Moff, Ohio
Reid K. Hoover, Pennsylvania
Jay H. Houser, Pennsylvania
Ray E. McMillen, Pennsylvania
Dwight C. Stoltzfus, Pennsylvania
Steve E. Waggoner, South Carolina
Marion K. Seifert, Vermont
Daniel A. Berry, Washington
Daniel L. Cnossen, Wisconsin

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Holstein Association USA Recognizes Junior Members Breeding Exceptional Cattle

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 3, 2014) … Holstein Association USA annually recognizes Junior members who have bred or developed high performing Registered Holstein® cattle. At the National Holstein Convention held June 24 through 28 in Dubuque, Iowa, Junior members received accolades for six different awards, based on the milk production and classification performance of their cattle.

National Breeder of an Excellent Cow

Junior members who have bred a cow officially classified Excellent on or after January 1, 2012 are eligible for Breeder of an Excellent Cow. The 2014 recipients are Katelyn Allen, Md.; Douglas Boop, Pa.; Charlie Hamilton, Wis.; Davey Hardesty, Va.; Tyler Herrington, N.Y.; Kalista Hodorff, Wis.; Courtney Hoff, Md.; Emily Irwin, Ill.; Karch Manley, N.Y.; Emily Mikel, N.Y.; Rachel Mills, Iowa; Anna Nisen, Ind.; Noah Nisen, Ind.; Katie Osborne, Pa.; Hayley Potts, Va.; Jessica Pralle, Wis.; Nicole Pralle, Wis.; Ryan Pralle, Wis.; Jocelyn Riser, Pa.; Elizabeth Sarbacker, Wis.; Mary Scott, Iowa; Andy Sell, Wis.; Elizabeth Stoltzfus, Pa.; Nicole Wright, Wis.; and Andrew Younker, Pa.

National Breeder of a Multiple E Excellent Cow

Breeder of a Multiple E Excellent Cow award is received by Junior members who have bred a cow who has classified Excellent multiple times, in designated age groups. Breeders earning the award this year include: Aaron Doll, Pa.; Miquela Hanselman, N.Y.; Hayley Potts, Va.; Jocelyn Riser, Pa.; and Elizabeth Stoltzfus, Pa.

National Junior Progressive Breeder

The National Junior Progressive Breeder honor recognizes cattle bred by Junior members that meet high production and classification standards for their age group. Every cow qualifying receives a star, and Junior members acquire a star for each cow they have bred which meets the criteria. Those accumulating five or more stars over their career are presented with a plaque during the National Junior Holstein Convention.

Earning their first star are: Rebecca Davis, Pa.; Colin Frey, S.D.; Amber Gabel, Pa.; Chelsea Klinger, Pa.; Taylor Pool, Pa.; and Jacob Scruton, N.H.

Two-star honorees: Douglas Boop, Pa.; Emily Davis, Pa.; Kalista Hodorff, Wis.; Jacob Shaffer, Pa.; Collin Stoltzfus, Pa.; Nicole Wright, Wis.; and Joel Younker, Pa.

Three-star honorees: Aaron Doll, Pa.; Matthew Gray, N.Y.; Logan Potts, Va.; Hannah Riser, Pa.; and Mary Scott, Iowa.

Four-star honorees: Katelyn Allen, Md.; Dylan Frey, S.D.; Katrina Nunes, Wis.; and Caitlyn Pool, Pa.

Five-star honorees: Emily Mikel, N.Y.; Scott Stempfle, Iowa and Elizabeth Stoltzfus, Pa.

Six-star honorees: Miquela Hanselman, N.Y. and Rachel Mills, Iowa

Seven-star honoree: Sam McWilliams, Pa.

Eight-star honorees: Emily Irwin, Ill. and Jordan Siemers, Wis.

Nine-star honorees: Hayley Potts, Va. and Jocelyn Riser, Pa.

11-star honoree: Jordan London, Pa.

13-star honoree: Nicole Pralle, Wis.

14-star honorees: Charlie Hamilton, Wis. and Elizabeth Sarbacker, Wis.

16-star honoree: Katie Osborne, Pa.

18-star honorees: Davey Hardesty, Va. and Andrew Younker, Pa.

Earning his 36th star is Ryan Pralle, Wis.

Earning her 37th star is Jessica Pralle, Wis.

National 30,000 Pound Cow Award

The National 30,000 Pound Cow award is presented to youth owning a cow who has produced over 30,000 pounds of milk in 305 days or less, between May 2012 and May 2014. This year's recipients are: Douglas Boop, Pa.; Matthew Boop, Pa.; Alexander Burleigh, Pa.; Hayleigh Geurink, Mich.; Scott Hageman, Iowa; Charlie Hamilton, Wis.; Tyler Herrington, N.Y.; Kalista Hodorff, Wis.; Kaylia Hodorff, Wis.; Emily Irwin, Ill.; Chelsea Klinger, Pa.; Zach Klinger, Pa.; Katherine Larson, Wis.; Karch Manley, N.Y.; Noah Metzler, Pa.; Lauren Nell, Pa.; Jessica Nolt, Pa.; Katie Osborne, Pa.; Matthew Peck, N.Y.; Caitlyn Pool, Pa.; Hayley Potts, Va.; Jessica Pralle, Wis.; Nicole Pralle, Wis.; Ryan Pralle, Wis.; Hannah Riser, Pa.; Jocelyn Riser, Pa.; Elizabeth Sarbacker, Wis.; Deanna Scruton, N.H.; Jacob Scruton , N.H.; Staci Sherer, Ore.; Connor Siemers, Wis.; Jordan Siemers, Wis.; Charlotte Simpson, Pa.; Jessica Stempfle, Iowa; Scott Stempfle, Iowa; Collin Stoltzfus, Pa.; Rachel Ulrich, Pa.; and Jordan Zimmerman, Pa.

National 150,000 Pound Cow Award

Junior members who own a cow which has produced over 150,000 pounds of milk in her lifetime are eligible to earn the National 150,000 Pound Cow award. This year's honorees are: Elizabeth Acel, Pa.; Jordan Anderson, Pa.; Douglas Boop, Pa.; Kaicey Conant, Maine; Aaron Doll, Pa.; Amber Gabel, Pa.; Tyler Herrington, N.Y.; Brock Irwin, Ill.; Zach Klinger, Pa.; Jessica Nolt, Pa.; Jessica Pralle, Wis.; Nicole Pralle, Wis.; Ryan Pralle, Wis.; Mary Scott, Iowa; and Charlotte Simpson, Pa.

National 200,000 Pound Cow Award

The National 200,000 Pound Cow award honors youth owning a cow who has produced 200,000 pounds of milk in her lifetime, entirely under the ownership of the youth. Receiving the award this year is Jordan Siemers, Wis.

For more information on the awards, or to print an application, visit, or contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or by email.

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Holstein Youth Compete at 2014 National Junior Holstein Convention

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 3, 2014) … Holstein Association USA recognized Junior members in Dubuque, Iowa, last week, for their participation in a variety of activities during the 2014 National Junior Holstein Convention. Contests are designed to showcase talents and develop skills that will be useful for these young Holstein breeders’ future endeavors.

Prepared Public Speaking Contest

Broken into three age divisions, 35 youth participated in the prepared public speaking competition. Following are the results from each division.

Junior Division (ages 9 through 13 years)
1st place: Hanna Richman, New Jersey, “Durham, Granddaddy of the Bulls”
2nd place: Hayley Fernandes, California, “One of the Dairy Industry’s Biggest Enemies”
3rd place: Caleb McGee, Pennsylvania, “Longevity, It’s not Complicated”

Intermediate Division (ages 14 through 17 years)
1st place: Ariel Staffin, New Jersey, “Lease Program”
2nd place: Maddie Beaudry, New Hampshire, “Greek is the New Low Fat”
3rd place: Nicole Buell, Washington, “Milking Myths”

Senior Division (ages 18 through 21 years)
1st place: Allison Herrick, New York, “Milk, the World’s Drink”
2nd place: Rachel Demmer, Iowa, “My Deep Dairy Dream”
3rd place: Sara Kitchen, Pennsylvania, “Milk Labeling”

Folding Display Competition

Forty-two entries were submitted in this year's Folding Display competition. Participants create a free-standing display educating people about a dairy industry-related topic of their choice. Youth are divided into three age divisions, and each division has two categories – Scientific and Creative. Junior Holstein members are not required to attend the National Convention to enter a display and compete in this contest. Following are the results for each category.

Junior Creative Displays
1st place: Elise Bleck, Wisconsin, “Winter Calf Care”
2nd place: Zach Schitter, Washington, “Idaho Ag Gag Law”
3rd place: Sophie Leach, Kansas, “Junior Holstein Association – Endless Possibilities”

Junior Scientific Displays
1st place: George Sebright, Pennsylvania, “Milk Quality and Cheese Yield”
2nd place: Ethan Hauck, Pennsylvania, “Is A2 for you?”
3rd place: Daniel Clapp, Massachusetts, “Saving Earth with Digesters”

Intermediate Creative Displays
1st place: Nicole Buell, Washington, “Holstein Facts, The Udder Truth”
2nd place: Taylor Wolfe, Pennsylvania, “Proper Drug Treatment Procedure”
3rd place: Halee Wasson, Pennsylvania, “Hitting a Homerun in the Dairy Industry”

Intermediate Scientific Displays
1st place: Courtney Moser, Wisconsin, “Give a ROAR for the 4 Stomachs”
2nd place: Ross Laskey, Florida, “Include a Byproduct in your TMR”
3rd place: Brock Irwin, Illinois, “Female Reproductive System”

Senior Creative Displays
1st place: Davey Hardesty, Virginia, “The Power of Social Media”
2nd place: Bailey Hart, Illinois, “An Udderly Tasty Product – Milk”
3rd place: Ashley Mohn, Pennsylvania, “Cow Facts”

Senior Scientific Displays
1st place: Katie Osborne, Pennsylvania, “What is in Your Bed?”
2nd place: Marcy Bartelheimer, Washington, “Oxytocin”
3rd place: Jacob Shaffer, Pennsylvania, “Efficiency of the Holstein Cow”

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Exceptional Breeders and Distinguished Leadership Honored
at 2014 National Holstein Convention

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 2, 2014) … At the 2014 National Holstein Convention held in Dubuque, Iowa, June 24 through 28, Holstein Association USA proudly recognized influential breeders and farms for their contributions to the Holstein breed. Greg Andersen, Robthom Holsteins and Marlowe Nelson were all recognized at the closing banquet on June 28.

Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder

Greg Andersen of Seagull Bay Dairy, Inc. in American Falls, Idaho, was honored as Holstein Association USA's 2014 Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder. This award is given annually to a Holstein Association USA member or partnership between the ages of 21 and 40. It recognizes the significant accomplishments of young Registered Holstein® breeders, and their commitment to preserving the dairy industry and achieving excellence in their daily lives. Honorees receive paid travel and lodging expenses to the National Holstein Convention and a $2,000 cash award.

Seagull Bay is milking over 600 cows four times a day in a double-12-herringbone parlor. Their rolling herd average is 25,794 pounds of milk, with 1,041 pounds of fat and 822 pounds of protein. They participate in many Holstein programs, including Holstein COMPLETESM. The herd classifies on a regular basis and currently has a BAA of 107.5 with five Excellent cows, 26 scored Very Good, and 19 Good Plus.

The farm has received Progressive Breeders Registry honors eight years and awarded the Progressive Genetic Herd award seven years. They have two cows who have earned Gold Medal Dam recognition, ten Dams of Merit, 20 cows on the current Locator List, and have contracted 39 bulls to AI.

“Efficient production from a healthy herd,” is the goal at Seagull Bay Dairy. “High producing cows are almost always the most efficient producers as long as they have adequate fitness characteristics as well,” Andersen said. His ideal cow is of moderate stature, with a quality udder and the ability to produce over 1,800 pounds combined fat and protein. Through disciplined breeding for both production and health traits, they are creating a high producing herd that is also robust and durable.

Andersen finds great satisfaction in volunteering in his community, and annually leases heifers to local youth to work with and show. He has also served as leader of the local Dairy and Swine 4-H club, volunteers for Boy Scouts of America, served on the board of the Idaho Dairyman’s Association and is involved with the Idaho State Holstein Association. Greg and his wife, Gwen, have five children: Lydia, Wyatt, Amy, Dallin and Corbin.

Elite Breeder Honoree

Recognized as the 2014 Elite Breeder Honoree was Robthom Holsteins of Springfield, Mo. The Elite Breeder award annually honors a Holstein Association USA member or partnership who has bred quality Registered Holstein cattle, contributing to the overall improved quality of the breed.

Robthom Holsteins is currently operated by Janice Ling, her son, Eric, daughter, Monica, mother, Marianna Thomson, and brother, Mark Thomson. There have been 6,458 animals to bear the Robthom prefix; of those, 285 are classified Excellent, with one at EX-96, 2 more at EX-95, and 11 at EX-94. Their current BAA is 109.2, with 40 cows scored Excellent and 95 Very Good, ranking them first in the country last year for herds with 151-200 cows.

Sixty-two cows bred by Robthom have produced over 200,000 pounds of lifetime milk, with one over 300,000. They also bred a former number one cow for most milk produced in a single lactation, Robthom Suzet Paddy, who was classified EX-95, and made a five-year-old record of 59,300 pounds of milk, with 2,297 pounds of fat and 1,925 pounds of protein in 365 days. Paddy can be traced back to Janice’s father, Bud’s, first heifer, Robthom Bess Segis. To date, 80 Dams of Merit, 111 Gold Medal Dams and 11 Gold Medal Sires carry the farm’s prefix.

Robthom has sent over 40 bulls into A.I., with two producing over one million units of semen in their careers. Robthom Integrity, a son of the popular To-Mar Blackstar, out of Robthom Ivory Mark, classified EX-96, and was named a Gold Medal Sire. To date, Integrity has sired almost 90,000 cows in over 21,000 herds, including two-time World Dairy Expo Grand Champion, Vandyk-K Integrity Paradise.

The other millionaire sire is Robthom Moscow, a son of Mara-Thon BW Marshall-ET, out of Robthom Georgia Integrity, an EX-92 Gold Medal Dam and Dam of Merit. His exceptional health traits and ability to consistently transmit quality udders and feet and legs made him a popular sire, and was eventually named a Gold Medal Sire, and classified EX-94.

“Robthom Farm has greatly elevated Missouri Holsteins, and Holsteins nationwide,” said Holstein historian and writer John Underwood. “The true measure of elite herds is whether or not their genetics are making a difference around the world; Robthom Farm has certainly made a difference.”

Distinguished Leadership Award

Marlowe Nelson of Viroqua, Wis., was presented the 2014 Distinguished Leadership award. This award is given annually to an individual who has provided outstanding and unselfish leadership to the Holstein Association, or dairy industry as a whole.

Nelson received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, then a master’s degree in dairy science from Michigan State University. Shortly after, he was drafted into the Korean War. While stationed in northern Japan, Nelson befriended a Japanese dairy farming family, and that relationship remained even after he returned to the U.S.

Through his connections, he coordinated more than 100 Japanese trainees that came to Wisconsin to work on prominent Registered Holstein farms such as Pabst, Lakeside, Crescent Beauty, Gray View, Crescentmead, Indianhead and Bristol Farms. The contacts developed also led to the export of premier Holstein genetics from top herds around the U.S. to Japan. These relationships not only facilitated export to Japan, but Germany, France and Holland as well.

Nelson worked for eleven years with Tri-State Breeders, now Accelerated Genetics, as a sire analyst and sire procurement specialist. A few of his bull contracts included Harborcrest Happy Crusader, Provin Mountain Ivanhoe Jewel, Hagemans Tempo and Sunnyside Standout.

After leaving Tri-State Breeders, he spent 35 years with Alvin Piper’s International Holsteins organization, as a pedigree expert in the sale box, ring man, and purchased cattle over the phone for other young dairy farmers. In 1990, he started International Protein Sires with Alvin Piper, exporting semen around the globe, and sold the established business in 2000.

Nelson’s influence in the international Holstein arena, AI industry, his civic and community involvement, and his mentorship of great Holstein breeders is a legacy in itself. His generosity will continue to yield benefits for generations to come. And his gentle laugh reminds us all that Marlowe Nelson is not only a great leader, but a genuinely great person.

See the Summer 2014 Holstein Pulse for more coverage of these honorees, and the 2014 National Holstein Convention, or visit to view videos of the award presentations. For more information about Holstein Association USA's annual awards, visit and click on Awards, then Individuals, in the main menu. With questions, contact Rachel Pomeroy at 800.952.5200, ext. 4165 or by email.

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Six Distinguished Junior Member Finalists Recognized at 2014 National Holstein Convention

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 2, 2014) … Holstein Association USA was proud to announce six finalists in the 2014 Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) competition, on June 28 in Dubuque, Iowa, during the National Holstein Convention. The Distinguished Junior Member recognition is the highest honor a Junior Holstein Association member can receive.

This year’s finalists are: Hayleigh Geurink, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Sara Kitchen, Danville, Pa.; Cassandra Krull, Lake Mills, Wis.; Jaylene Lesher, Bernville, Pa.; Ryan Pralle, Humbird, Wis.; and Joshua Simon, Farley, Iowa.

These six individuals were chosen from a group of twelve semifinalists who interviewed during the National Junior Holstein Convention. The finalists will receive annual renewed memberships to Holstein Association USA. The Distinguished Junior Member award honors Junior Holstein members, ages 17 to 21, who have excelled in their junior project work, involvement on their farm, and in their communities. For more information about the Distinguished Junior Member award, visit, or contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124.

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Holstein Association USA Board Convenes In Dubuque

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 2, 2014)…The Holstein Association USA board of directors met June 24-25, 2014 in Dubuque, Iowa. President Glen Brown chaired the board meeting held during the 129th National Holstein Convention and Annual Meeting at the Grand River Center in downtown Dubuque.

The board honored retiring Directors Jim Burdette of Pennsylvania and Boyd Schaufelberger of Illinois. Both were formally acknowledged for their contributions and service to the Association during a recognition dinner on June 25th.

Update on 2014 Business Plan

During the board meeting, staff presented updates on the 2014 Management-by-Objective Business Plan and year-to-date financials. Reporting on activity through the end of May, 290,893 animals and 1,832 herds were enrolled in Holstein COMPLETE®. While herd enrollments remain similar to the same time last year, the number of animals has increased 5 percent.

Staff announced the completion of a business plan objective that created a new Elite Performer Award, which is based solely on a cow’s actual performance and conformation. This new, permanent award honors long-living, productive U.S. Registered Holstein® cows and, similar to the Dam of MeritSM and Gold Medal DamSM recognitions, this award will appear on Official Holstein PedigreesTM. Names of the 400 National Elite PerformersTM and 402 Regional Elite PerformersTM were unveiled during the annual meeting on June 27th. More information will be available soon in the upcoming issue of the Holstein Pulse, and on the Holstein Association USA web site.

The board heard an update on the Association-funded and directed research project that began last year. This unique research is intended to find haplotypes of long-lived, high producing Holstein females that are associated with their valuable and unique phenotypes. There is much interest about this ongoing project because it is the first time the Association has done research on genomics focusing on the cow side.

2014 Financial Update

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Barbara Casna presented the Association's consolidated financial statements through the end of May, 2014 and reviewed the reserve fund report for the same period. The Association and its subsidiaries show year-to-date net operating income of $526,000.

AgriTech Analytics (ATA)

AgriTech Analytics (ATA) General Manager Bill VerBoort reported the dairy records processing center continues to grow its business in more states. Through the end of May, 905,054 animal records were processed, representing a 4.4 percent increase in the number of cows enrolled.

Other Board Action

The board again reviewed the upcoming base and formula changes that are planned for the Association’s TPI® (Total Performance Index) formula. The recommendations for the changes had been approved previously by the board at its March 2014 meeting in Vermont. The updated TPI formula will be implemented with the December 2014 evaluation.

President Brown presided over the reorganization meeting of the board on June 28th. The board welcomed returning Directors Roy Buessing of Axtell, Kansas and Mike Jones of Marshall, Ind., along with incoming Directors John Burket of East Freedom, Pa. and Dale Drendel of Hampshire, Ill. Each will serve a three-year term.

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Enlight Illuminates Path to Genetic Improvement
in Holstein Dairy Cattle
Online dashboard delivers cutting-edge genomic technology to Holstein dairy producers

KALAMAZOO, MICH (June 30, 2014) – EnlightTM is a new online, comprehensive management tool designed to help dairy producers who own Holstein cattle more efficiently manage herd genetics. The result of collaboration between Holstein Association USA and Zoetis, Enlight will provide dairy producers with a comprehensive view of herd-level and individual animal genetic performance.

“Enlight will help us obtain genomic information in a timely way and evaluate our animals to make the decisions necessary to help us meet our breeding goals,” said Glen Brown, Holstein Association USA president and dairy producer from Coalville, Utah. “Enlight will be an important tool for all herds, regardless of size, to access important information and use it to fit specific needs.”

Genomic samples submitted by Enlight users will be analyzed by CLARIFIDE®, a DNA-marker technology for optimizing selection and management of dairy replacement females from Zoetis. Once samples are processed, producers can manage their herd genetics through the Enlight dashboard at Users also will have immediate access to a diverse suite of reporting and analysis tools, in addition to official animal identification, breed benchmarks and reporting formats that were traditionally only available through the Association. All information will be accessible as results are made available via a password-protected website with no need to install software or upgrades.

“Advancing animal health and genetics for the benefit of dairy producers has been a long and well-established commitment of Zoetis,” said Cheryl Marti, senior marketing manager, Dairy Genetics and Reproductives at Zoetis. “We recognized the need for a new product that could enhance producers’ use of genomic information on their dairies. Through Enlight and the collaboration with the Holstein Association, we look forward to redoubling efforts to provide dairy producers with cutting-edge, user-friendly resources that improve selection, management and mating decisions.”

As leaders in their respective industries, Holstein Association USA and Zoetis create a powerful team with a singular vision to help dairy producers maximize their investment in Holstein genetics.

“Enlight is cutting-edge, first-of-its-kind information technology that allows the dairy producer to put genomic information to use to make decisions that directly impact herd genetics and profitability,” said John M. Meyer, chief executive officer, Holstein Association USA. “We are proud to be able to partner with Zoetis to deliver this service that aids in the success and profitability of our members and other dairy producers.”

To enroll your herd in Enlight, contact your Holstein Association USA or Zoetis representative, or their respective customer service departments—(800) 952-5200 (Holstein) or (877) 233-3362 (Zoetis). For more information on Enlight, visit

About Holstein Association USA, Inc.
Holstein Association USA, Inc. provides products and services to dairy producers to enhance genetics and improve profitability of Holstein cattle, ranging from registry processing and identification programs to consulting services. Headquartered in Brattleboro, Vt., Holstein Association USA maintains the records for Registered Holsteins® and represents approximately 30,000 members throughout the United States. For more information, visit

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2013, the company generated annual revenue of $4.6 billion. With approximately 9,800 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2014, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 28 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information, visit

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Five Honored as Holstein Association USA’s 2014 Herds of Excellence

Brattleboro, Vt. (June 19, 2014) … Holstein Association USA is pleased to honor five U.S. Registered Holstein breeders as 2014 Herd of Excellence award recipients. The Herd of Excellence designation was introduced in 2008 to honor dairymen who have bred and managed Holstein cattle that consistently perform at the highest levels.

To be named a Herd of Excellence, herds must be 25 percent above breed average Mature Equivalent (ME) for milk, fat and protein; have classified within the last year and have an actual average classification score of 83 points or higher; have at least 70 percent of the herd homebred; and be enrolled in the Association's TriStar production records program.

This year’s honorees include: Jeffrey & Kate Hendrickson, Jeffrey-Way Holsteins, Belleville, Wis.; Thomas J. Kestell, Ever-Green-View Farms, Waldo, Wis.; Steve & Amanda Killian, Dirt-Road Holsteins, Blair, Wis.; Larry Lexvold, Lexvold Holsteins, Goodhue, Minn.; and Scott & Doug Long, Long-Haven Farms, Clayton, Mich.

Read more about these outstanding breeder herds in the Spring 2014 issue of the Holstein Pulse. Select pages of the Pulse are available online at under latest news, then click on The Holstein Pulse.

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Two Wisconsin Cows Honored as 2013 Star of the Breed

Brattleboro, Vt. (June 19, 2014) … Holstein Association USA is pleased to announce Bur-Wall Buckeye Gigi and Idee Shottle Lalia as 2013 Star of the Breed recipients.

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 in the award year, be in a herd enrolled in the TriStar program and have an official classification score. Once the eligible cows are determined, the following calculation is used to decide the award recipient: Combined ME Fat and Protein + Age Adjusted Classification Score x (Breed Average ME Combined Fat & Protein/Breed Average Age Adjusted Classification Score).

This recognition is given annually to a Holstein that exemplifies outstanding production combined with exceptional type. For the first time since the award started seven years ago, there is a tie. Both cows have a Mature Equivalent Combined Fat and Protein (ME CFP) of 2991, each classified 2E-94, with an age adjusted score of 94, and both placed fifth in their respective classes at a National Holstein show.

Gigi is bred and owned by the Behnke Family, Bur-Wall Farm, Brooklyn, Wis. In her third lactation she produced 52,190 pounds of milk, with 3.9 percent fat (2,040 pounds) and 2.9 percent protein (1,532 pounds) on a 365 day record. Wallace Behnke bought Gigi’s dam, Ventur-Ohmi Goodluck Gypsy, as a calf in 2004. Gypsy had a strong pedigree behind her, with eight generations of Very Good and Excellent dams on her maternal side.

As a calf, Gigi was shown as a 4-H project animal by a nephew of Behnkes. She did well in the showring, placing first in her class at the county fair, but she really developed after she calved in. At the 2011 Midwest Spring National Show she placed third in the Four-Year-Old class and was awarded Best Udder. Gigi has calved three times, with three exceptional daughters, two of which have calved and classified Very Good as two-year-olds. In January of 2013, she classified EX-94 as a six-year-old, earning her second “E” recognition.

Lalia was bred by Idee Holsteins of Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and is currently owned by Milk Source LLC, Kaukauna, Wis. Lalia is classified 2E-94 and in her most recent lactation, she produced 48,240 pounds of milk, with 4.5 percent fat (2,191 pounds) and 3.1 percent protein (1,484 pounds) in 365 days.

Before she came to the United States, Lalia made her mark on the show scene in 2009 as a milking yearling. That year, she was awarded Honorable Mention All-Canadian Milking Yearling, Reserve All-Quebec Milking Yearling, and Third Milking Yearling at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The Milk Source group bought Lalia in 2011 as a three-year-old cow. “She is a beautifully framed cow,” says Milk Source partner, Jim Ostrom.

Lalia currently has 16 registered daughters, from four sires. Lookout Goldwyn Lalia scored VG-87 as a two-year-old and was nominated All-Canadian Milking Yearling in 2013. Three of her other daughters have classified Very Good in Canada, and Milksource Fever Lemon stood third Intermediate Calf at Expo Richmond, Canada in 2013.

For more information about the Star of the Breed Award, visit

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2014 Holstein Distinguished Junior Member Semifinalists Announced

Brattleboro, Vt. (May 6, 2014)…Holstein Association USA announces twelve semifinalists in the 2014 Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) contest. DJM recognition is the highest honor that a Junior Holstein Association member can receive, recognizing outstanding youth and their involvement with the Holstein breed. Applicants must submit an entry book including essays discussing their participation in Junior Holstein programs, a detailed resume of their school and community involvement, and clearly express their knowledge of the dairy industry.

This year’s semifinalists are: Emma Andrew, Newark, N.Y.; Elizabeth Davis, Union Bridge, Md.; Hayleigh Geurink, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Sara Kitchen, Danville, Pa.; Cassandra Krull, Lake Mills, Wis.; Jaylene Lesher, Bernville, Pa.; Lauren Nell, Gettysburg, Pa.; Ryan Pralle, Humbird, Wis.; Nicholas Schuster, Fond du Lac, Wis.; Joshua Simon, Farley, Iowa; Meghan Vaill, Vernon, N.Y.; and Carrie Warmka, Fox Lake, Wis.

“My Holstein story had been a whirlwind of hard work and excitement, and I can’t wait to see where this ride will take me next,” says nineteen-year-old Hayleigh Geurink in her story of Junior Holstein work. She continues, “The dairy industry and the many wonderful people I have met through it have developed me into the person I am today, and I want to do everything in my power to give back to this great community of dairy enthusiasts.”

Twenty-year-old Ryan Pralle talks about the impact Registered Holsteins have had on him, “My life thus far has been painted ‘black and white’ with Holstein involvement and dairy activities. These experiences as well as growing up on a progressive dairy farm have given me immense knowledge, leadership growth, and inspiration to continue working in the dairy industry. Without a doubt, much of my interest in life sciences and genetics was fostered early on from my experiences in dairy bowl and interacting with our professional consultants.”

These twelve semifinalists will continue on to interview at the National Holstein Convention, held June 24 through 28, in Dubuque, Iowa, to become one of six finalists. Finalists will receive annual renewed memberships to Holstein Association USA. All Junior Holstein members, between the ages of 17 and 21 are eligible to apply for the Distinguished Junior Member recognition. For more information about DJM or other Holstein youth programs, visit, or contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or by email.

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Holstein Association USA Recognizes Young Distinguished Junior Member Finalists

Brattleboro, Vt. (May 6, 2014)…Holstein Association USA is pleased to announce the finalists in the 2014 Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) competition. The YDJM award is the highest honor a Holstein Association Junior member, between the ages of 9 and 16, can achieve. To qualify, youth must compile a book which exhibits their involvement and leadership within the Holstein community, their school, and in other aspects of their life.

The eight finalists in the 2014 YDJM competition are: Daniel Kitchen, Danville, Pa.; Haely Leiding, Fountain, Minn.; Stephanie McBath, Schuylerville, N.Y.; Megan Nelson, Ettrick, Wis.; Nicole Pralle, Humbird, Wis.; Sierra Swanson, Hutchinson, Minn.; Sarah Thomas, Pittsboro, N.C.; and Lora Wright, Verona, Mo.

“Working and learning on the farm is the best experience anyone could ask for,” said fifteen-year-old Megan Nelson in her story of Junior Holstein work “I know that the skills that I have learned will be extremely beneficial to me in the future as it pertains to my career. My goal is to one day have a barn full of Excellent cows and be an ambassador for the industry in order to tell others just how great Registered Holstein cows really are!”

In his Story of Junior Holstein work, sixteen-year-old Daniel Kitchen says, “My involvement in the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Association and Holstein USA has helped me develop the skills and knowledge to be a great representative of the dairy industry.”

Finalists in the YDJM contest will be recognized at the National Holstein Convention, which will be held June 24 through 28 in Dubuque, Iowa. For more information about YDJM, or other Holstein youth programs, visit, or Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or by email.

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Holstein Association USA Board Meets in Vermont

Brattleboro, Vt. (April 2, 2014)…President Glen E. Brown presided at the spring Holstein Association USA, Inc. (HAUSA) board of directors meeting on March 20-21 at the Association’s headquarters in Brattleboro. The board heard reports from the Association Nominating, Audit, Genetic Advancement, Junior Advisory, and Type Advisory committees.

Board Action

The board approved the allocation of up to 5 percent annually from the Reserve Fund to be designated toward the betterment of the Holstein Association, its members, and the Holstein cow. At least half of that 5 percent should target breed improvement and research, with the remainder targeted on capital improvements and other projects deemed necessary by the Holstein Association USA board of directors and staff.

The board discussed potential updates to the TPI® formula. Analysis of possible changes will be reviewed and discussed at the summer board meeting.

The board heard a report on Holstein coat color and new research which has helped establish the Dominant Red trait, along with Recessive Red and its variations. During their deliberations, the board approved the use of new genetic codes for reporting gene results for Dominant Red: DR1 will denote animals that have been DNA tested and proven to be heterozygous for the Dominant Red allele (carrying one copy); and DR2 will denote animals that have been DNA tested and proven to be homozygous for the Dominant Red allele (carrying two copies).

In further board action, the Association will remove “B/R” (Black/Red) codes from animals where their own coat color and/or progeny information makes it obvious they have the "wild-type red" allele and not the Black/Red allele. Additionally, the Association will use current research on Holstein coat color genetics to identify animals with the wrong coat color recorded. Once those animals are identified, owners will be contacted seeking their permission to remove the -RED from their animal's registered name.

The board approved an adjustment to the rules of the current Senior Prepared Public Speaking Contest, beginning in 2015. The modification will allow youth to use visual aids including posters, display boards, and PowerPoint presentations, etc. in this contest.

In addition, the board approved a request from the Michigan Holstein Association to host the 2018 National Holstein Convention in Acme, Mich. at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.

Proposed Bylaw Amendment

The board approved a proposed amendment to the Bylaws Article III, Section 7 by adding the following language:

“The Board of Directors will establish a schedule of deadlines for the process of nominating and electing delegates to the Annual Meeting.”

This proposal will be presented to Holstein Association USA delegates in 2014 and, if passed, will become effective with delegate elections for the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Ben Dorshorst, Assistant Professor of Genetics at Virginia Tech University, addressed the board on “Polled Genetics and Its Future in the Dairy Industry.” During his interesting presentation, Dr. Dorshorst discussed the current and projected frequencies of the polled gene in the Holstein breed, and compared genetic merit of polled Holsteins and their horned cohorts.

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Holstein Association USA Announces 2014 Junior Infographic Web Contest

Brattleboro, Vt. (March 25, 2014)… Holstein Association USA announces a web based contest for its Junior members to create an educational infographic. An infographic is a visual presentation of information; utilizing charts, diagrams or maps to engage the audience.

Holstein Association USA Junior members are encouraged to design one infographic for submission. This design should be in color and able to fit on an 8 ½-by-11-inch page. Juniors 9 to 13 years of age are permitted to draw their infographic; intermediate (14 – 17 years) and senior (18 – 21 years) participants must use a computer in their design. All computer images should be high resolution (300 dpi). Each division must base their design on the following topics:

  Junior: Favorite Dairy Product
  Intermediate: How Dairy Farmers Care for their Animals
  Senior: How Dairy Farmers Care for the Environment

Judging will be based on several factors, including educational value, design quality, visual appeal, and creativity.

All entries are due to the Holstein Association USA office by April 15, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. Files should be kept to 5 MB or less and submitted to [email protected] as a .PDF or .JPG file.

Awards will be given to the top three in each division. Winners will be announced May 1, 2014 on the Holstein Association USA Junior website,

For more details, go to, and click on the banner for the Junior Infographic Web Contest, or contact Rachel Pomeroy at 800.952.5200, ext. 4165, or by email.

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Max Wolf Receives 2013 Overall Judi Collinsworth Outstanding Junior Exhibitor Award

Brattleboro, Vt. (Feb 27, 2014)…Max Wolf of Lebanon, Conn., is 2013 recipient of the Holstein Association USA’s Overall Judi Collinsworth Outstanding Junior Exhibitor Award. The Collinsworth Award is presented annually in honor of the Association’s former Executive Director of Member and Industry Services, Judi Collinsworth. The award recognizes youths’ work and involvement with Holstein cattle and dairy activities. Recipients are selected based on sportsmanship, herdsmanship, participation in Holstein and other agricultural activities, as well as an essay describing what they have learned while exhibiting Registered Holstein cattle. Wolf is the tenth Holstein Junior member to receive this honor, and receives a $500 scholarship.

"I am greatly honored to be chosen as the winner of this year’s Judi Collinsworth Award,” Max said. “I think the award is a reflection of the passion and dedication I have for the Registered Holstein industry, as well as the many lessons and values I have learned from it along the way."

Wolf received the Collinsworth Award at the 2013 Premier National Junior Holstein Show in Harrisburg, Pa. He is the 20-year-old son of Marc and Robin Wolf, and enjoys being involved with his family’s R-E-W Farm. He especially enjoys working with their show cattle, and has exhibited animals at the state and national level for many years. His work culminated in 2011 when he won Reserve Junior Champion at the 2011 International Junior Holstein Show with R-E-W Happy Go Lucky-ET.

“Working with cattle of any breed has its ups and downs, but it is the most rewarding experience I can image,” Max explained. “I have learned to work hard, work right and cherish every moment. The lessons I learned exhibiting cows as a Junior Holstein member are ones that will stick with me in my work with cattle, my career and the rest of my life.”

Wolf is currently a student at Pennsylvania State University, where he is studying Animal Science. On campus, he has held a variety of leadership positions, including serving as co-chairman for the 2013 Nittany Lion Fall Classic Sale, and being a member and officer of the Alpha Zeta fraternity. He has completed a variety of internships, including working with AMS Genetics International, Kueffner Holsteins and Jerseys and Dairy Agenda Today, as well as working as a dairy nutrition research assistant at Penn State for Dr. Jud Heinrichs.

After finishing his education at Penn State, Max would like to start a career in marketing dairy cattle genetics, or agricultural appraisal. He emphasizes, “No matter my career path, I intend on always being involved with Registered Holsteins.”

One Judi Collinsworth Award recipient is selected at each of the four National Junior Holstein Shows. All winners receive a $250 cash award and are invited to apply for the Overall Collinsworth Award. Other winners from 2013 National Junior Holstein Shows include Elizabeth Sarbacker, Wis., International Junior Holstein Show; Shannon Van der Laan, Okla., Grand National Junior Holstein Show; and Bailee Whitehead, Mo., Southern Spring National Junior Holstein Show.

Applications for the Judi Collinsworth Award are available online at or at any of the 2014 National Junior Holstein Shows. For more information on Holstein youth programs, contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or by email.

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2014 Holstein Association USA Annual Award Applications Available

Brattleboro, Vt. (January 13, 2014)…Holstein Association USA offers awards recognizing notable members, breeders, and friends of the Association. Applications for the Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Elite Breeder, and Distinguished Leadership Award may be downloaded at, and are due to the Holstein Association USA office by February 28, 2014. Recipients for each award will be announced at the final banquet during the National Holstein Convention in Dubuque, Iowa, on June 28.

The Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder Award recognizes significant accomplishments of young Registered Holstein Breeders, ages 21 to 40. Applicants can nominate themselves or be nominated, and may apply as individuals, a couple, or business partners. The winning applicant will receive travel and lodging expenses for two to the National Holstein Convention, complimentary tickets to the Convention banquet, a $2,000 cash award, and a plaque.

The Elite Breeder Award honors a living Holstein Association USA member, family, partnership, or corporation who has bred outstanding animals and thereby made a notable contribution to the advancement of U.S. Registered Holsteins. The applicant must have been a member of Holstein Association USA for at least five years. Applications will be considered for three years.

The Distinguished Leadership Award is given to an individual who has provided outstanding and unselfish leadership that has contributed to the improvement of the Holstein Association and/or dairy industry. This is a unique award, as the recipient does not necessarily have to be a Holstein Association USA member. Applications will be considered for three years.

Additionally, a scholarship is available to students interested in agriculture who plan to pursue their Master's Degree in Business Administration. The Robert H. Rumler MBA Scholarship awards $3,000 to a qualified individual pursuing their MBA at an accredited university. Applications for this scholarship are due to the Holstein office by April 15, 2014.

With questions or for more information, visit, and click on Awards, then Individuals in the main menu, or contact Lindsey Worden by email or 800.952.5200, ext. 4096.

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Holstein Association USA, Inc.,, provides products and services to dairy producers to enhance genetics and improve profitability-ranging from registry processing to identification programs to consulting services.

The Association, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vt., maintains the records for Registered Holsteins
® and represents members throughout the United States. The Association is also leading the initiative for national animal identification through the National FAIR program.