This was a feature article in our Summer 2020 issue and is written by Kathleen O’Keefe.
When Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy strolled into the Road to the Royal sale ring in 2009, she already carried some hefty credentials – scored VG-89 at two years, sired by Goldwyn out of an 8*brood cow dam, 2008 All-American and All-Canadian Junior 2-Year-Old titles, and numerous pre-signed bull and embryo contracts. By the time she strolled out,the hammer had come down at $1.2 million dollars and Gold Missy’s career was headed to even loftier heights.
Consignor Morsan Farms of Ponoka, Alberta, retained part ownership in her and added Georges Uebelhardt, Gert Andreasen, Van Ruinen Dairy, and Mark Butz to the group. With owners now located in Canada, the US, and Denmark, Gold Missy had a worldwide platform for her genetics. The timing was right for Missy and her family. Her dam, Stadacona Outside Abel VG-88-CAN, bred in Quebec by Robin & Marcel St. Denis, had landed in Prince Edward Island under the partnership of two Master Breeders, Eastside Holsteins (Bloyce Thompson) and Lewisdale Holsteins (Jamie Lewis). Those partners flushed her extensively, and she delivered a whole lot of VG & EX daughters, eventually becoming a 38* brood cow.
Gold Missy herself kept developing at Morsan and emerged in 2011 at five years of age, and as the cow to beat at the big shows that fall. In the end, no one did beat her – she claimed the Supreme Champion banners at both World Dairy Expo and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on her way to All-Canadian and All-American crowns. Typically, a cow with her impeccable show ring record would be flushed only to the highest-type bulls to try to create more winners, but in those early years of genomics, Gold Missy’s owners mated her more aggressively to some high-genomic young sires as well as proven type sires.
Goldwyns were liberally scattered throughout the high-ranking genomic cow lists in those days – Missy herself rose as high as the #86 GLPI cow on the Canadian system. Her extreme stature and angularity made her an appealing phenotypic choice for a number of the higher-index bulls, and she had proven herself in the actual production realm with a 365-day record at 5-00 of 40,483M 4.2% 1711F 3.2% 1314P. Voted the 2012 Canadian Cow of the Year, she eventually produced 47 VG & EX daughters that resided across North America and is noted as a 30* brood cow, nudging close to her dam’s legendary total star status.
Curiously, even with all of the flushwork done on Gold Missy, one of the most successful branches of her subsequent family is rooted in her first natural calf, Valleyville Dolman Missy VG-89 7*. By the BW Marshall son, Regancrest Dolman, this daughter emphasized the production power of the pedigree with her 3-11 lactation of 44,648M 4.6% 2075F 3.5% 1545P. The production angle led Dolman Missy to be mated to the high-genomic all-stars of the day including Time, Shamrock, Observer, and Man-O-Man.
Mark Butz, a part-owner of Gold Missy, took a shine to a young Man-O-Man heifer calf and brought her to the US, where Morsan Man D Missy-ET eventually scored VG-85 and produced 152 offspring (including 20 VG & EX daughters) through an extensive flush program. The genetic agility of this family hit a genomic home run when D Missy’s Supersire son, Butz-Hill Megasire-ET, ranked as the #1 GTPI young sire in August 2013.
A McCutchen daughter of Man D Missy hit the ground just two months after the birth of Megasire. In the course of time, Butz-Hill Magical Missy-ET would go on to be Man D Missy’s highest scored daughter at EX-94 2E 95-MS while in residence at Oakfield Corners Dairy in New York.
The farm purchased Magical Missy-ET in the 2013 Party at the Park Sale as a five-month-old calf. Alicia Lamb recalls that purchase from seven years ago. “I remember her as a young heifer – very tall, gangly, and white – in an era when black Goldwyns were the big thing! Our farm had sold some very high-profile heifers through some of the Butler-Fellers sale, and we wanted to support them in return. Her pedigree caught our eye as the genomics of that family were taking off, and obviously her 3rd dam was Gold Missy. We were able to buy her for a relatively cheap price for that time, I think around $10,000.”
It turned out to be a very good investment. She flushed like a chicken, which is always part of the battle, and they flushed her to high-index sires as a heifer & young cow. In 2018, the Lambs sold part interest in her, and she now lives in Pennsylvania at Campbell-Run Farms, where she has been mated to higher-type sires, including Doorman, Solomon, Chill, and Crush.
An early flush from Magical Missy to Mr Mogul Delta 1427-ET put the family on the expressway to consistent performance at the very top of the genomic lists. Delta emerged as the #2 GTPI young sire in 2015 and matured into the #1 GTPI proven sire in 2017. Three of resulting heifers were some of the earliest calving Delta daughters and progressed into the farm’s flush program.
OCD Delta Missy 3892-ET scored VG-87 EX-MS just fresh at three years of age. She sold embryos to Japan and is the dam behind some of the highest index members of the family in the herd, including an April 2020 +2954 GTPI Magnitude great-granddaughter, and a January 2020 +2908 GTPI Biggelo granddaughter. A July 2019 granddaughter by Cascade is +2898 GTPI and has SpotLite preganancies due in November, while a July 2019 Legacy granddaughter comes in at +2873 GTPI and has just been flushed to Taos.
OCD Delta Missy 4209-ET, VG-85 VG-MS @ 2 yrs, exported embryos to France. She has a +2887 GTPI Fastball granddaughter born May 2020; and a June 2019 Huey granddaughter at +2863 GTPI with Ragnar, Taos, and Chas pregnancies due this fall.
The new headliner for the herd, however, is the third Delta daughter, OCD Delta Missy 4212-ET. She recently classified EX-94 with an EX-97-MS at 5-04 fresh almost a year, completing two generations of EX-94 scored cows. Still ranked at +2518 GTPI, she is plus in all of her production numbers and has type numbers of +2.60T and +2.65UDC while making 34,300M 3.8% 1313F 3.3% 1145P at 3-01.
Not surprisingly, she transmits the strongest type numbers, including an Upgrade daughter at +3.22T, two Duplo daughters at +3.11T and +3.06T, and a Thunderstorm daughter at +3.10. Her highest GTPI daughter, OCD Doc Mischievous-ET, a March 2019 King Doc, is at +2680 GTPI and +2.94T and sold privately to Canada this spring. She also has Excalibur and Disc Jockey sons headed to AI. Missy 4212 flushes just as well as her prolific mother and has more pregnancies coming sired by Moment, Unix Select, Excalibur, Hanford, and Twitch.
The Lambs have made it a practice to sell the highest GTPI calf from a particular flush and keep the 2nd high individual to work with on the farm. The genomically high-testing individuals continue the Missy family tradition of eye-widening sale prices. A full sister to Delta Missy 4212, OCD Delta Missy 4202-ET, sold for $190,000 at the Oakfield Spring Sensation Sale in 2015. Purchased by Progenesis in Ontario, she went on to be scored VG-88-CAN and made a number of sons for Semex, most notably the Granite sons, Progenesis Mission and Progenesis Moment, both on the list at +2747 GTPI and Progenesis Maverick, by Jedi, who is +2648 GTPI and over 1200 lbs. of milk. OCD Bandares Missy 39382-ET, a Bandares daughter of Delta Missy 3892, was the 2nd high seller in the 2017 edition of the Spring Sensation Sale, selling to De Novo Genetics for $150,000 to enter the female program for ABS.
Both Jonathan and Alicia Lamb appreciate the Missy family members in the herd. “They’re all up in the big barn as part of the commercial herd – even Missy 4212 was up in the freestalls until just before we classified her. She has a very business-like attitude – wants to be left alone to do her job. The whole family has fabulous udders. We have family members sired by Jedi, Yoder, Bandares, and the maternal side really comes through in the udders. They all have good SCC numbers and they all breed back right away – they are outstanding members of our commercial herd,” comments Alicia.
That might come as a surprise if you remember the show ring days of Gold Missy. She displayed some of the extreme traits that made Goldwyn a noted show sire specialist – she was stylish, very angular, very dairy, and very tall. While these extremes helped Gold Missy capture numerous rosettes over the years, they’re not always traits that spell success in a free-stall operation. This evolution over a relatively few generations shows the transmitting power of a prepotent cow family – breed them to a purpose and they will get there with the ‘good stuff’ intact!
When your cow family article starts with the foundation of a 38* brood cow and her 30* daughter, obviously there are many, many branches not touched upon in these two pages! Lindenright Moovin *RC, the high-type Avalanche son at +3.79T and +3.16UDC traces back to a Dundee sister to Gold Missy. Embryos from Gold Missy and her sisters have been sold to more than 20 countries around the world, and we will return to follow some of those genetic trails in the future. For now, let’s appreciate the flexibility of this family rooted in Quebec and PEI, developed in the west of Canada and at some of the finest operations across the United States.
You’d never confuse the two cows highlighted in this article – the extremely tall, angular, silky black EX-95 Goldwyn Missy and the balanced, strong, wide, white EX-94 Delta Missy with the fabulous EX-97 udder – but they are fitting representatives from a cow family that’s proven successful and profitable in any operation!