Here’s the Skinny

In our Fall 2018 issue we launched a new column! Each issue we will pose a question to three to four breeders from around the globe and see what they have to say about various topics.

Question: If you could invest in one cow family of any breed from anywhere in the world, who would it be and why?

Kevin, Barb & Mason Ziemba own approximately 40 head at ZBW Genetics. Their cows are boarded at Retso Holsteins and they raise all of their own heifers and board show heifers at home. While they mostly work with Holsteins and Jerseys, they also have Brown Swiss, Ayrshire and Milking Shorthorns at the farm. The family exhibits at local, state and national levels each year and Kevin recently started as the Eastern US Manager for STgenetics.

Kevin Ziemba – Durhamville, NY, USA:

“For me the Glen-Drummond Shower family still comes to mind as the family that has, through different branches, hit every aspect of what breeders are looking for: show type, deep pedigree, popular/logical sire stacks, genomic type and high-ranking males and females for TPI, LPI and many International indexes. The Planet Silk branch has had a tremendous impact on the Red & White breed, but for me the Lavanguard Sue cow and her daughter McCutchen Summer have the modern-day appeal of production, health and high type wrapped in a magnificent cow. All of Summer’s daughters have the right balance of phenotype and genomics and I feel that the next generation of granddaughters and grandsons could have an even greater impact. Bulls like Solomon and Slater are just a few of the special brothers to Summer, and her son Sidekick is very popular. The family is just scratching the surface of its long-term impact. My son Mason’s answer to this question is Veronica. I asked, “why Veronica, can’t you think of something else since you already have multiple members of that family?” His response “that answers it right there, when it works it works!” Every Veronica has value and is special.”

Ben owns and operates Tandara Brown Swiss and Holsteins, where up to 300 head are milking, in Northern Victoria, Australia. They have a roughly even split of Brown Swiss and Holsteins, with a handful of Jerseys, Illawarra’s and an Ayrshire as well. The farm has won Premier Breeder and Exhibitor at IDW for the last 8 years straight, as well as Grand Champion for the last 4 years, in the Brown Swiss breed.

 

Ben Govett – Tandarra, Australia:

“This is a question that has been discussed many times among my mates and I with many different results. There is so many ways you could attack this question whether you’re interested in show cows, high genomics and breeding families. Some current Honourable Mentions for me would be the Allie family from Kingsway, the A family at Luck-E Holsteins and in Brown Swiss, the Cutting-Edge Premium Dally family which is now developed at Hilltop Acres. When I look back at cows that got me excited as a teenager, I can’t go past Snickerdoodle & Veronica. Both cows dominated their breeds and won Supreme at World Dairy Expo. I’m lucky enough to be working with granddaughters from both of these cows currently! However, the answer to this question for me is the same as it was 5 years ago, and that is Veronica. EX-97 herself with a long list of achievements and now a 96-point daughter in Vivid, who I was fortunate enough to see win at the Royal Winter Fair. This female line keeps producing the great ones, spreading influence worldwide and I believe will continue to do so in the future.”

Brianne & Chris Brown, along with their 5 children, own and operate Beslea Farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada, where they milk 100 Holsteins and Jerseys. The family exhibits and local, provincial and national shows in Canada each year, as well as a couple shows in the US including World Dairy Expo. They are very proud to have captured their first All-American award last year with Beslea Vivitar Goblin, a winter calf they sold who was Junior Champion at the All-American Jersey show in Louisville, KY.

Brianne Brown – Yarker, ON, Canada:
“I would invest in a Jersey family because of the economics of the dairy industry right now. I believe that this breed is giving us the most bang for our buck right now. As for the family, I’m torn because I love the families we’ve already bought into! Alexvale Made Me Giggle EX-96 3E, Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo in 2008, and Jaspar Renaissance’s Evening EX-91 3E 20*, a 3X All-Canadian winner, have produced some incredible offspring for us. Also, the Mamie family from Enniskillen has had quite an impact already. If I were to jump on one family that I haven’t already, it would be the Bri-Lin Imperial Snow VG-86 11* family. I love that family. It combines type and production that can compete in the show ring.