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2024 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

2024 Releases 2023 Releases 2022 Releases 2021 Releases 2020 Releases 2019 Releases 2018 Releases

June 2024
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  red bullet AgriTech Analytics Unveils Cutting-Edge ‘Weigh Day’ Data Collection Program for DHIA Field Service Technicians
  red bullet Six Registered Holstein Herds Honored with 2023 Herds of Excellence Distinction
  red bullet 2023 Star of the Breed Shines

April 2024
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  red bullet Registration Open for 2024 Holstein Association USA Judges Conference
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Honors Outstanding Junior Members

March 2024
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  red bullet Two New Bulls Available at Holstein Marketplace Sires

February 2024
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  red bullet Registration is Open for the 2024 National Holstein Convention
  red bullet National Junior Holstein Association Launches Extemporaneous Speaking Contest
  red bullet Holstein America Broadcasts February 19 on RFD-TV

January 2024
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  red bullet Early Onset Muscle Weakness Syndrome Officially Recognized as Undesirable Genetic Condition by Holstein Association USA
  red bullet Junior Holstein Members Shine in Virtual Interview Contest
  red bullet Holstein Association USA Recognizes 2023 Top BAA Herds

AgriTech Analytics Unveils Cutting-Edge ‘Weigh Day’ Data Collection Program for DHIA Field Service Technicians

Visalia, CA., June 12, 2024 — AgriTech Analytics, a leading Dairy Records Processing Center, proudly announces the launch of Weigh Day, a groundbreaking data collection program designed specifically for DHIA field service technicians. This innovative solution promises to enhance efficiency, accuracy, and customization in the critical task of recording test day milk production.

“We’re thrilled to introduce Weigh Day to DHIA field service technicians,” says AgriTech Analytics General Manager Tony Allen. “This program will be a game-changer for DHIA testers, empowering them with cutting-edge tools that will allow them to better serve dairy farmers.”

Key features of Weigh Day:

1. Speed and Accuracy: Weigh Day streamlines data collection, ensuring precise measurements without compromising speed. Technicians can confidently record weights swiftly and efficiently.

2. Customization: The program adapts to individual farm requirements. Whether it’s specific data fields, reporting formats, or integration with existing systems, Weigh Day is highly customizable.

3. Durable Hardware: AgriTech Analytics offers robust hardware designed to withstand the demanding environment of DHIA testing. Technicians can rely on durable devices that endure daily field use.

4. Android Compatibility: Weigh Day runs seamlessly on Android devices with Android OS 12 or higher. The intuitive interface simplifies data entry and retrieval.

To learn more about Weigh Day, contact AgriTech Analytics at 1 (800) 532-0900 or visit

About AgriTech Analytics:

AgriTech Analytics, headquartered in Visalia, California, processes over one million animal records each month. A division of Holstein Association USA, Agritech Analytics offers same day turnaround on data received from your DHIA service provider. Their reports provide essential management support for dairy producers, and they collaborate with the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding and various breed associations in the United States. AgriTech Analytics — Your Choice for Exceptional Dairy Records.

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Six Registered Holstein Herds Honored with 2023 Herds of Excellence Distinction

Brattleboro, Vt., June 7, 2024 — Holstein Association USA’s 2023 Herds of Excellence recipients have bred and developed herds with superior production and type. This prestigious award, presented on an annual basis, celebrates exemplary Registered Holstein® herds that have met rigorous qualifying criteria with their 2023 records.

“Congratulations to these remarkable Registered Holstein breeders for developing herds with outstanding production and type,” says Holstein Association USA CEO John Meyer. “These six herds are truly all-star performers and examples of what can be accomplished with our beloved Registered Holstein cow!”

The award is broken down into three divisions based on herd size, including the Large Herd Division (500+ cows), Medium Herd Division (100-499 cows), and Small Herd Division (10-99 cows).

This year’s honorees are:

Large Herd Size Division (500+ Cows)

Siemers Holstein Farms Inc. — The Siemers Family, Newton, Wis.
80.0% homebred; AACS — 84.7 points
ME Production Averages — 34,042M 1,543F 1,057P
Eight Year Honoree

Medium Herd Size Division (100-499 Cows)

Koester Dairy Inc. — The Koester Family, Dakota, Ill.
99.8% homebred; AACS — 85.2 points
ME Production Averages — 34,013M 1,519F 1,086P
Eight Year Honoree

Small Herd Size Division (10-99 Cows)

Kal-side Holsteins — The Oberholtzer Family, Hillsboro, Wis.
94.0% homebred; AACS — 85.8 points
ME Production Averages — 35,636M 1,477F 1,131 P
First Year Honoree

Doorco Holsteins — The Vandertie Family, Brussels, Wis.
100% homebred; AACS — 89.3 points
ME Production Averages — 37,252M 1,503F 1,160 P
Seven Year Honoree

Ever-Green-View Holsteins, LLC — The Kestell Family, Waldo, Wis.
98.9% homebred; AACS — 87.6 points
ME Production Averages — 37,653M 1,609F 1,170P
Fourteen Year Honoree

Lazy M Farm, LLC — Herman and Michael Maier Families, Stitzer, Wis.
78.3% homebred; AACS — 88.1 points
ME Production Averages — 35,515M 1,514F 1,119P
First Year Honoree

The awards will be presented during Holstein Association USA’s 138th Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. To register for convention or learn more, visit

Read more about the 2023 Herds of Excellence in the Spring 2024 issue of The Pulse.

About the Award

The Herd of Excellence designation honors Registered Holstein breeders who have developed Holsteins herds excelling in both production and type. To be recognized with this accolade, herds must have classified within the last year and have an age-adjusted classification score of 83 points or higher; have at least 70 percent of the herd homebred; and be inrolled in Holstein Association USA’s TriStarSM production records program.

Additionally, qualifying herds must meet the following production criteria:

• Large Herd Division - 15 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein
• Medium Herd Division - 20 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein
• Small Herd Division - 25 percent above breed average ME for milk, fat and protein

Congratulations to the 2023 Herds of Excellence!

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2023 Star of the Breed Shines

Brattleboro, Vt., June 3, 2024 — Holstein Association USA is thrilled to recognize Budjon-Vail Drm Sunshine-ET EX-95 2E as the 2023 Star of the Breed. The highest honor presented to a Registered Holstein, the award recognizes a cow who excels in both type and production.

Sunshine is bred by Tom and Kelli Cull of Budjon Farms and Peter Vail. She is currently owned by Tom and Kelli’s nephews Chandler and Calvin Bening of Arlington, Minnesota, who have found success with Sunshine in the Junior show ring. Sunshine calls Budjon Farms of Lomira, Wisconsin home.

“Sunshine is a gem of a cow to work with,” says Chandler Bening. “She’s a low maintenance cow that makes showing look easy. She has a tremendous amount of ‘ring presence’, her head is always high, and leads flawlessly and sets up beautifully.”

The seven-year-old cow qualified for the Star of the Breed award with her fourth lactation production record of 42,130 pounds of milk, 2,244 pounds of fat (5.3%); and 1,508 pounds of protein (3.6%).

With a classification score of Excellent 95 2E, Sunshine also has exceptional type. She has an impressive list of showring successes, including being named Grand Champion Bred and Owned at the Midwest Spring National in 2021.

“I think the day she was Champion Bred and Owned at Spring Show was a huge highlight for her and a highlight for us, because anytime you can have a Champion Bred and Owned of a show, that’s awesome, especially at a national show of that caliber,” Kelli Cull says.

In 2022, Sunshine was Grand Champion and Reserve Supreme of the Junior Holstein Show at the North American International Livestock Exposition. Later that week, she went on to take home Senior and Grand Champion honors at the Mid-East Fall National Holstein Show before being named Reserve Supreme Champion. Sunshine’s second-place finish in the Aged Cow Class at the Midwest Spring National Show in 2023 qualified her for the Star of the Breed award.

The 2023 Star of the Breed will be recognized during Holstein Association USA’s 138th Annual Meeting at the 2024 National Holstein Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah this summer. To learn more or register for convention, visit

For the full story on Sunshine, see the Spring 2024 issue of The Pulse.

About The Award

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, be in a herd enrolled in the TriStarSM program and have an official classification score.

Once the eligible cows are determined, the following calculation is used to determine the award recipient: Combined Mature Equivalent (ME) Fat and Protein + Age Adjusted Classification Score x (Breed Average ME CFP/ Breed Average Age Adjusted Score).

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Registration Open for 2024 Holstein Association USA Judges Conference

Brattleboro, Vt., April 35, 2024 — Registration is now open for the 2024 Holstein Association USA Judges Conference. This year, the conference will adopt an expanded format, spanning two days from Tuesday, May 21, to Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at Oakfield Corners Dairy in Oakfield, New York.

This year’s conference promises an immersive experience, featuring in-depth classroom sessions led by experienced judges. Attendees will also participate in hands-on learning activities, including placing classes of heifers and cows and giving a set of reasons. Additionally, they will have the chance to listen to placings and reasons from fellow participants and officials. Group sessions will also provide an opportunity for networking and collaboration among participants.

Designed for judges of all experience levels, from seasoned judges to those newly entering the field, this conference aims to sharpen judging skills and broaden participants’ knowledge of Holstein cattle evaluation.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, May 21

5:00 - 5:30 PM Registration

5:30 - 7:00 PM Linear Discussion

7:00 - 8:30 PM Networking & Pizza

Wednesday, May 22

8:00 - 10:00 PM Registration

10:15 AM - 12:00 PM Class Evaluations

7:00 - 8:30 PM Networking & Pizza

1:00 - 2:45 PM Class Evaluations

Interested participants can register for the conference with a credit card, using this online registration system. The pre-registration fee is $100. Pre-registration will close once all spots are filled or two weeks before the conference, on Tuesday, May 7th.

Participants interested in attending the Judges Conference without receiving an official rating are welcome for the experience but will not be eligible for the Holstein Association USA Judges Lists.

Participants must be 22 years old by the day of the conference to attend. To register online, visit For more information contact Tim Ziemba at 800.952.5200 ext. 4285 or by email at [email protected].

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Holstein Association USA Honors Outstanding Junior Members

Brattleboro, Vt., April 3, 2024 — Holstein Association USA has selected the 2024 Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) Semifinalists and 2024 Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) Finalists. The National Junior Holstein Association is a dynamic organization for youth under the age of 21, with over 8,000 active members in 48 states.

The Distinguished Junior Member award is the highest achievement for National Junior Holstein Association members. Established in 1922, it’s the longest-running Holstein Youth Program and recognizes the commitment of Junior members to the Holstein breed, the dairy industry, and other agricultural related activities.

“We’ve been bestowing this honor upon deserving recipients for over a century and seeing the program continue with today’s youth is promising for the future of the dairy industry,” says Kelli Dunklee, Event and Program Lead for Holstein Association USA and the Holstein Foundation.

Twelve young adults ages 17 to 20 were selected as semifinalists. They were judged through an application process including a resume, story of their Junior Holstein work, essay questions, video elements, and more.

The 2024 Distinguished Junior Member Semifinalists are:

Jordan Anderson, Centre Hall, Pennsylvania
Amelia Brewer, Oakfield, New York
Hayley Daubert, Dayton, Virginia
Courtney Glenna, Amery, Wisconsin
Jacob Harbaugh, Marion, Wisconsin
Kristen Houser Whitehill, Spring Mills, Pennsylvania
Samuel Mess, Rosendale, Wisconsin
Naomi Scott, Westgate, Iowa
Lila Sloan, Davis, Illinois
Gabriella Taylor, Newark, New York             
Keenan Thygesen, Tunbridge, Vermont       
Clarissa Ulness, Valders, Wisconsin

The DJM semifinalists will be interviewed and recognized at the National Holstein Convention being held June 24 to 27, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Six DJM finalists will be announced during the Junior Awards Breakfast on Thursday, June 27.

Eight finalists will also be recognized with Holstein Association USA’s Young Distinguished Junior Member award. The YDJM recognition honors youth ages 9 to 16, who demonstrate a firsthand working knowledge of the dairy industry. Applicants must be involved in the Junior Holstein Association and other agricultural activities, be role models for other youth, and good spokespeople for the dairy industry.

The 2024 Young Distinguished Junior Member Finalists are:

Katie Brandel, Lake Mills, Wisconsin
Lydia Couch, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Makenna Mase, Cochranton, Pennsylvania
Ethan Palmer, Waukon, Iowa
Ella Raatz, Colby, Wisconsin
Cameron Ryan, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Atley Shafer, Jefferson, Maryland
Lauren Silveira, Chowchilla, California

To learn more about the 2024 National Holstein Convention visit Registration for the event is currently open and hotel rooms are available to be booked at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City.

For more information about the DJM and YDJM contests or other Holstein youth programs, visit or contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124 or by email.

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Two New Bulls Available at Holstein Marketplace Sires

Brattleboro, Vt., March 6, 2024 — Holstein Marketplace Sires recently welcomed two new bulls to the program, HIGHERRANSOM HANK AARON-ET and PINE-TREE MIRRORIMAGE-ET. These elite GTPI, high production and component bulls are both owned by Pine-Tree Dairy of Marshallville, Ohio.

“HANK AARON is a special bull that can do it all! He’s not just about the numbers, he also comes from one of the world’s greatest cows “the Doc.” In person, HANK AARON will blow you away with style, scoring Very Good 85 on his first birthday,” says Holstein Marketplace Sires Manager Tim Ziemba.

712HO01026 HIGHERRANSOM HANK-AARON-ET VG-85 is a Pearce son from a recently fresh Delta Lamda daughter of S-S-I DOC Have Not 8784-ET EX-96 DOM. He has impressive Type at +3028 GTPI, +2.89 PTAT, +2.94 UDC and +2.25 FLC. HANK-AARON-ET also has solid production traits at +1086 M, +73F, and +54P and brings strong health traits to the table with +5.9 PL. +0.1 DPR and 2.1% SCE.

“HANK AARON offers herd improvement on many fronts. He is an excellent option for udder and feet and leg composite, without sacrificing production and components. Also unique is his solid health traits to go along with High-type,” says Matthew Steiner of Pine-Tree Dairy. “He is a sire that has the potential to fit a variety of herds, bringing solid type, without extreme stature.”

HANK-AARON-ET is also A2A2 and BB. He’s currently available in both conventional and sexed semen. To learn more about this new bull or place an order, visit

“MIRRORIMAGE presents breeders another opportunity to use an elite GTPI and NM bull restriction free,” Holstein Marketplace Sires Manager Tim Ziemba explains. “We expect MIRRORIMAGE to leave his mark on the industry through his sons and daughters. He already has offspring that are at the top of the charts, and we felt the need to offer this bull to all breeders.”

054HO01093 PINE-TREE MIRRORIMAGE-ET GP-80 is an elite GTPI and Net Merit free agent sire at +3161 GTPI and +1183 NM. He’s also an extreme milk and component improver at +1407 M, +153 F, and +70 P. To top it off, he already has impressive offspring with a son at +3352 GTPI and +1387 NM and a daughter at +3332 GTPI and +1141 NM. MIRRORIMAGE is sired by Outcome from a Lionel that traces back to a deep pedigree that has 10 dams that are GMD or DOM back to the Ravena family.

“Today, we need solids and strong fat percent with volumes of milk. MIRRORIMAGE is the only Holstein bull with +153 pounds of Fat and +1.51 UDC,” says breeder and owner Matthew Steiner. “While a few bulls are close to this ranking, they are restricted. MIRRORIMAGE is a restriction free, MW-clean son of Ladys-Manor Outcome. Use him if you desire high solids!”

MIRRORIMAGE was just released and is available conventional or sexed. To learn more about MIRRORIMAGE or place an order, visit

Holstein Marketplace Sires Classification Update

Several of the bulls in the Holstein Marketplace Sires program recently had exciting classification score increases. Below are the highlights from their February classification.

  • Golden-Oaks Tango-Red-ET EX-91, bred and owned by Golden Oaks Farm, Wauconda, IL
  • Synergy Kudos-ET EX-90, bred and owned by Synergy Dairy, Pulaski, WI
  • Dewgood High Caliber-ET VG-85, bred and owned by Dewgood Holsteins, Oconto, WI
  • Higherransom Hank Aaron-ET VG-85, owned by Pine-Tree Dairy, Marshallville, OH
  • Bert-Mar Mooi Alex-Red-ET GP-84, bred and owned by Bert-Mar Farms, Osseo, WI
About Holstein Marketplace Sires

To purchase Holstein Marketplace Sire semen, contact a Holstein Association USA Regional Sales Representative or reach out to Holstein Marketplace Sires Manager at 315.730.3312 or [email protected]. You can also buy online by visiting, click the red “Buy Now” button, and complete the order with the secure online system.

Holstein Marketplace Sires provides a unique avenue for Holstein breeders to market their genetics. Under this program, bull owners retain ownership of the bulls, and Holstein Marketplace Sires coordinates the marketing and sales of the bulls’ semen. Launched in 2019, the program provides a new selection of bulls offered by breeders, for breeders. The program’s goal is to create more opportunities for Holstein breeders to market semen to fellow breeders.

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Registration is Open for the 2024 National Holstein Convention

Brattleboro, Vt., February 26, 2024 — Registration is now open for the 2024 National Holstein Convention being held June 24 — 27, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. All Holstein enthusiasts are invited to attend and take part in the 2024 National Holstein Convention — Udderly Utah!

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the dairy community to Salt Lake City this summer,” says Holstein Association USA CEO John Meyer. “We have a number of exciting activities planned for attendees of all ages, including tours, networking events, a National Convention Sale, and Holstein Horizons, an enriching day filled with featured dairy industry speakers.”

Early bird registration is open and will run through April 15, 2024. This is attendees’ opportunity to secure convention tickets at a discounted price. Tickets will be available to purchase at a standard price from April 16 to June 1, 2024. After June 1, late registration will be available until June 15, 2024, for additional fees.

New this year, three ticket packages will be offered. Package options provide adults and Juniors who plan to attend all or most of National Holstein Convention with a discounted price on tickets. Individual tickets are also available for purchase. To learn more about ticket package options or to register for the convention, visit

Hotel Information

Beautiful hotel rooms at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City are also available to be booked for Convention. Conveniently connected to the Salt Palace Convention Center where activities will take place, the new hotel has spacious guest rooms with floor to ceiling windows in each room. The discounted convention rate can be applied from June 22 until June 29, 2024, as room availability lasts. To book hotel rooms, visit

Convention Highlights

Dairy enthusiasts from across the country are invited to gather in Salt Lake City to celebrate their shared passion for Holstein cattle, forge connections, and exchange knowledge. Nestled within the breathtaking embrace of the towering Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake City provides a vibrant setting for National Holstein Convention.

Convention will kick off on Monday, June 24 with Host Day Tours. Adults can choose between exploring This is the Place Heritage Park or taking a scenic journey to Utah’s Antique & Classic Power Museum. Juniors will hear an inspiring message at Impact Ninja Gym and spend the afternoon at This is the Place Heritage Park. Junior members will end the evening with a workshop before the welcome dinner and dance. Adults can enjoy dinner on their own in bustling downtown Salt Lake City, and then take part in an adult social mixer axe throwing and connecting with friends.

Tuesday, June 25 will showcase a new event — Holstein Horizons. Everyone is invited to attend a free day of enlightening seminars on a variety of topics. Later that afternoon, spend time perusing the trade show aisles and enjoy refreshments at the trade show reception. Juniors will be busy competing in Dairy Jeopardy and speaking contests, before ending the day with a lively round of Ag Olympics. Adults will enjoy reminiscing, testing their knowledge with trivia, and enjoying delicious food during the Mountain View Mingle social that evening.

Holstein Association USA’s 138th Annual Meeting will be called to order on Wednesday, June 26. Esteemed adult award winners, Distinguished Junior Member semifinalists and Young Distinguished Junior Member finalists will be recognized during a special Awards Luncheon. Juniors will compete in Dairy Bowl, attend a workshop, and end the evening with a glow in the dark party featuring games and dancing. After a full Cowboy Buffet, adults will be ready to socialize and bid during the National Convention Sale.

National Holstein Convention will wrap up on Thursday, June 27. Delegates will vote on Board of Directors and officer candidates during the Annual Meeting. Junior Holstein Association members will be honored for their accomplishments and success during the Junior Awards Breakfast. For the full convention schedule, visit

For those wanting to extend their trip, Salt Lake City is near countless family friendly activities, outdoor adventures, shopping, and more. The Hyatt Regency is also within walking distance to several dining options and activities. For help planning your trip, visit

Learn more at or reach out to [email protected] with questions. If you need assistance using the online Convention registration website, call Holstein Association USA customer service at 800.952.5200. All dairy enthusiasts are invited to attend this dynamic event. It’s sure to be an udderly good time!

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National Junior Holstein Association Launches Extemporaneous Speaking Contest

Brattleboro, Vt., February 14, 2024 — The National Junior Holstein Association is excited to offer an Extemporaneous Speaking Contest for the first time in 2024. The new contest will be open to members in the senior division of the National Junior Holstein Association and held during the 2024 National Junior Holstein Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“The ability to think on your feet, express your knowledge clearly, and engage an audience are undoubtedly skills that make a difference,” says Kelli Dunklee, Event and Program Lead. “We’re thrilled to be helping youth build these core skills through this new contest and look forward to seeing our first round of competitors in 2024.”

Participants will get to choose from three randomly selected topics relating to the Holstein or dairy industries. After a 30-minute preparation time, Junior members will give a four-to-six-minute speech on their selected topic, followed by a round of questions from the panel of judges.

The judges will evaluate the speech based on content, composition, delivery, response to questions, and time. The top three winners will be awarded cash prizes of $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place.

Extemporaneous Speaking Contest participants must be a Junior Holstein member between the ages of 18 to 20 years old to compete. To apply for the contest, visit and submit the application form by May 1, 2024.

The contest will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, as part of the National Junior Holstein Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. To learn more about the 2024 National Holstein Convention visit Hotel rooms are currently available for booking and registration for the event will be open soon.

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Holstein America Broadcasts February 19 on RFD-TV

Brattleboro, Vt., February 12, 2024 — The only nationally televised program devoted to the dairy community, Holstein America returns on Monday, February 19.

For seven years, Holstein Association USA’s award-winning documentary series has traveled the countryside telling stories of the nation‚s Registered Holstein® breeders. To date, the program has featured nearly 80 farms from 30 states.

The next Holstein America will broadcast at 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST, Monday, February 19 on RFD-TV.

“We continue to be inspired by Registered Holstein breeders from coast to coast,” says John Meyer, CEO of Holstein Association USA. “Holstein America documents the resiliency, dedication and stewardship found throughout all corners of the dairy community. It’s our great honor to share that with audiences around the world.”

In the February 19 episode, Holstein America travels west to Oregon and east to Ohio, visiting dairy farms, college campuses, and barns filled with leading Registered Holstein genetics. The program explores how high-quality milk supports delicious and nutritious dairy products — providing nature’s perfect protein to consumers.

Holstein America, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, also explores the programs and services offered by Holstein Association USA, including the organization’s partnership with Western Kentucky University on the SmartHolstein Lab.

Make plans to watch Holstein America at 7 p.m. CST, Monday, February 19, on RFD-TV.

RFD-TV is a leading independent cable channel available on DISH Network, DIRECTV®, AT&T U-Verse, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Comcast, Mediacom, Suddenlink and many other rural cable systems. Reference local listings for more information.

After the show, visit to find a complete collection of the Holstein America series. Also stay tuned to Holstein Association USA on Facebook and Instagram for more information.

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Early Onset Muscle Weakness Syndrome Officially Recognized as Undesirable Genetic Condition by Holstein Association USA

Brattleboro, Vt., January 16, 2024 — Holstein Association USA will declare Early Onset Muscle Weakness Syndrome (MW) as an officially recognized genetic condition beginning in February 2024. Holstein Association USA’s Genetic Advancement Committee recently endorsed a recommendation from staff to do so. The recommendation comes after their analysis of the MW haplotypes following the December 2023 genetic evaluations. Comments from Holstein breeders and scientific researchers further support this decision.

“This latest review provides more evidence and support on the recent action taken by the Holstein Association USA Board of Directors to add Early Onset Muscle Weakness to the list of officially recognized genetic conditions in February 2024,”Dr. Tom Lawlor, Holstein Association USA’s Executive Director of Research and Development. “Soon, we’ll have MW in the rearview mirror as we move ahead with our genetic advancement of the Holstein breed.”

Starting in February 2024, direct gene test results for MW will be labeled on Official Holstein Pedigrees, and other products where officially recognized genetic conditions are displayed.

The following codes will be used to designate animals with official gene test results on file:

  • TE = tested free of MW
  • MW = Heterozygous Carrier
  • MW2 = Homozygous Carrier

Breeders can forward lab reports for MW test results to [email protected] to have them added to the Holstein Association USA genetic conditions database.

MW haplotype results were made available for all genomic-tested animals in conjunction with the official genetic evaluation release on December 5, 2023. This information can be found in the same place as other haplotype information, including the free Family Tree Search, within Red Book Plus Online, on genomic reports, and within Enlight.

Results for MW haplotypes are reported as 0 (free), 1 (carrier), 2 (homozygous affected), 3 (suspected carrier), or 4 (suspected homozygous) on evaluations.

MW Resources

Additional resources and information on MW can be found on the Holstein Association USA website. A regularly updated list of bulls with a NAAB code that have a direct test result on file can be found at

The best tool available for discovering and understanding new genetic conditions is farmer reporting. Farmers who have calves born with abnormal features or health issues that are suspected to be caused by genetic problems are asked to complete the Abnormality Report Form available at and email it to [email protected], or contact the Genetic Services department at 800.952.5200.

For more background on the previous steps taken regarding MW, see Holstein Association USA’s December 2023 press release at Look for an article in the upcoming Winter 2024 issue of The Pulse for more detailed information.

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Junior Holstein Members Shine in Virtual Interview Contest

Brattleboro, Vt., January 12, 2024 — Young dairy enthusiasts from coast to coast practiced their professional skills during the 2023 Virtual Interview Contest. The contest helps Junior Holstein members refine their resume writing and interview skills, giving them practical knowledge for future opportunities.

“The virtual interview contest has been a valuable experience for me for several years as I have been able to improve my resume and cover writing skills as well as my interviewing skills,” says Junior Holstein Association member Elsie Donlick. “From participating in this contest, I now feel more confident in how my resume looks and how to answer interview questions. I enjoy participating in this contest because it helps me grow my professional career skills.”

Applicants submitted cover letters and resumes based on a mock interview scenario and were selected to move on to the second phase of the contest based on their combined cover letter and resume scores. During the second phase contestants were interviewed by a panel of three judges. Final scores were calculated based on each applicant’s cover letter, resume, and interview. Every participant receives constructive feedback from the judges to further enhance their interview aptitude.

Congratulations to the following 2023 Virtual Interview Contest winners!

Junior Division (ages 12-14 as of January 1)
1st place: Alison Gartman, Wisconsin
2nd place: Chloe Chapman, California
3rd place: Sophia Nielsen, Michigan

Intermediate Division (ages 15-17 as of January 1)
1st place: Madison Mowrer, Pennsylvania
2nd place: Elsie Donlick, New York
3rd place: Samuel Mell, Wisconsin

Senior Division (ages 18-21 as of January 1)
1st place: Dale Freier III, New York
2nd place: Clarissa Ulness, Wisconsin
3rd place: Kylie Konyn, Wisconsin

Cash prizes of $250 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place will be awarded in the junior and intermediate divisions. In the senior division, youth will be given cash prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place.

For more information about the Virtual Interview Contest, or other Holstein Association USA youth programs, visit www.holstein or contact Kelli Dunklee at [email protected].

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Holstein Association USA Recognizes 2023 Top BAA Herds

Brattleboro, Vt., January 10, 2024 — Holstein Association USA is excited to announce the top Holstein Breed Age Average (BAA%) herds for 2023 classifications. Members who use the Classic or Standard options of the Holstein classification program receive an overall BAA for their herd

“Breed Age Average values factor in the age of an animal and their stage of lactation at the time of classification, putting cows of all ages on a similar playing field,” says Holstein Association COO Lindsey Worden. “Achieving recognition as a top BAA herd is a significant accomplishment — congratulations to all Registered Holstein breeders who earned a spot on these lists.”

In 2023, 951 herds had a BAA value eligible for inclusion in these lists. The average number of cows included in the BAA calculation for the entire group was 67, and the average BAA% was 108.0. Herds must have a minimum of 10 cows to be included for calculation on the list.

Matthew T. Mitchell of Tennessee and Triple-T-Holsteins in Ohio tied for the top spot on the 2023 highest overall BAA list with a BAA of 115.6. Rounding out the top five spots on the list are Conant Acres, Inc., Maine; Prestige Genetics, Illinois; and G. Alpheaus Stoltzfus, Pennsylvania, all with BAAs of 115.0 or higher.

Lists are broken down in several different ways to recognize members across the country with herds of all sizes. Lists of the Overall Top 200 BAA Herds, Top 25 BAA Herds by Region, Top 25 BAA Herds by Herd Size, and Top 15 BAA Herds for Colleges & Universities can be viewed at Find the page under the Popular List section on the homepage or directly at Congratulations to all herds on these lists!

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Holstein Association USA, Inc., provides programs, products and services to dairy producers to enhance genetics and improve profitability — including animal identification and ear tags, genomic testing, mating programs, dairy records processing, classification, communication, consulting services, and Holstein semen.

The Association, headquartered in Brattleboro, VT., represents approximately 25,000 members throughout the United States. To learn more about Registered Holsteins® and the other exciting programs offered by the Holstein Association, visit, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.