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Our condolences to the family of Henry “Sonny” Bartel
August 27, 2015

Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Henry “Sonny” Bartel, who passed away on August 2nd. 
Many knew “Sonny” as an esteemed dairy judge and auctioneer, having been involved in the six figure sales of cows such as Johns Luck Barb and  Zeldenrust Fond Memory.  Henry Bartel was also a history buff, having studied history while in college and later taught the subject at schools in Minnesota for several years. But the cattle industry in which he grew up is where he made history.

Bartel was a native of the Kasson-Dodge Center, Minn., area where he was involved in raising, breeding and selling cattle much of his life. Yet, his greatest successes have been in the show ring, as evidenced by scrapbooks, trophies and other honors he had put together during his life.  His passion for the Holstein breed began at a young age when his father was hired as the herd manager of Franlo Farms, a 500-acre complex with a 150-head herd of Holstein-Friesian cattle.

“Sonny” was an only child to parents Freida and Henry (his mother died when he was just a boy).  In the 1940’s they were the only herd to ever win all four championship classes at the dairy show in Harrisburg, when only junior and grand champion for male and female classes were officially recognized.  He worked closely with his father and in 1941, 11 of the cattle they had shown were nominated for All-American status.

In later years Sonny took an interest in Ayrshires as well, showing Oakburn Red Astor to Grand at World Dairy Expo. He had purchased Red Astor in a sale where he was auctioneer. He was lead auctioneer at the 1975 Oak Ridge Dispersal when he bought Oak Ridge Bruis Kara and showed her successfully, as well.

“Sonny” will be missed amongst those he touched within the dairy industry.



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