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Holstein Association USA Holds 127th Annual Meeting

Brattleboro, Vt. (July 3, 2012)…Holstein Association USA held their 127th Annual Business Meeting, June 29 and 30, in conjunction with the 2012 National Holstein Convention in Springfield, Mo. President Chuck Worden presided over the meeting, during which members discussed current industry issues, elected directors, and passed judgment on a bylaw amendment and resolutions. A highlight of the meeting was the unveiling of the new Ideal Holstein Cow and Bull paintings.

State of the Association

President Chuck Worden and Chief Executive Officer John M. Meyer both presented addresses to the membership in attendance, highlighting current Association and industry issues, as well as sharing their visions for the future of the Association.

“When we talk about our genetic evaluations being the gold standard around the world, it is through working together, trust and respect for each other that we’ve been able to accomplish so much,” said President Chuck Worden. “The world is watching us, and we must do what’s right for the dairyman. Producing unbiased, accurate genomic evaluations will lead to more accurate genomic predictions for all Holsteins around the world.”

Worden continued on, discussing some of the Association’s recent accomplishments and thanking members for their involvement in current events. “I would like to encourage all of you, as leaders in the dairy industry, to get involved, make a difference.  This is our industry and it will only be as good as we make it.”

In his State of the Association address, CEO John M. Meyer first highlighted several of the Association’s performance achievements from 2011, which was an outstanding year for Holstein Association USA.

“Registrations, the core activity and lifeblood of all pedigreed livestock organizations, continue to rise. In 2011, 360,149 animals were registered, an increase of over 20,000 registrations from 2010. It is interesting to note, the last time we registered 360,000 animals, there were well over 120,000 dairy farms in the United States. Today there is less than half that number of dairy farms in the country.” He continued, “Without question, Holstein Association members and dairy producers nationwide continue to realize the added value U.S. Registered Holsteins® bring to their operations.“

The Association’s premier package of programs and services, the Holstein COMPLETESM program, also shows impressive participation, indicated Meyer. “The popularity of the Holstein COMPLETE program is evidenced by the 256,401 cows in 1,828 herds enrolled in 2011. This is 16,700 cows and 69 more herds enrolled than the previous year.”

In closing, Meyer commented, “As I reflect on dairy industry changes of the past, and think about what might be forthcoming, my thoughts turn to the late great Walt Disney who said, ‘Always be in the state of becoming.’ I like the quote, because it reminds us to strive for excellence and look for the opportunities among challenges.  Every challenge we greet opens tremendous opportunities for our members and their Holsteins.” He finished, “It is important for us to be reminded of the strength of your Holstein Association.  We have the greatest youth programs of any dairy association in the world, our young adult programs are envied across the country, our members include the most talented dairymen around the globe, and our members own the world’s greatest cow, the U.S. Registered Holstein.”

Videos of both speeches can be found online at www.youtube.com/HolsteinUSA.

Unveiling of the New Ideal Holstein Cow and Bull

A real highlight of the Annual Meeting was the unveiling of the new Ideal Holstein Cow and Bull paintings. Last year, Holstein Association USA commissioned renowned artist Bonnie Mohr to complete the new ideal Holstein cow and bull, and she has been working diligently over the past several months to complete the project. The end result was breathtaking, as seen by attendees of the Annual Meeting on Friday morning.

“I grew up on a dairy farm, and I have a huge love and passion for the dairy cow.” Mohr shared that it was almost 25 years ago when she decided that she was going to be a professional artist, and said, “That year, I set as my goal that the pinnacle of my career would be one day, if I could paint the new true type cow and bull. Today, that dream came true.”

Holstein enthusiasts can review the entire project at http://holsteinmasterpiece.blogspot.com, including a video of the unveiling at the Convention. Watch the web site and upcoming issue of the Holstein Pulse for more coverage, and visit www.bonniemohr.com for print ordering information.

Bylaw Amendment Passed

On Saturday, delegates voted on several items, including a bylaw amendment proposed by the board of directors regarding future board elections.

In the future, if a region does not have at least two candidates declared for an open director position by March 1 of the election year, that regional director position will become an at-large position for two terms, unless the position is held by an incumbent. This amendment will take effect in 2013.

The spirit behind the amendment was that it is intended for regional director candidates to be nominated from their regions, and then voted on by all delegates. Regions that put forth only one candidate are essentially appointing their director, removing the choice of the delegate body. While directors are elected from each region to ensure geographic diversity on the board of directors, each director acts in the best interests of members from across the country, not only those in their region.

Director Elections Held

Three regional director positions and one at-large directorship were up for election at this year’s annual meeting. Individuals elected to their first terms on the board of directors were R. Paul Buhr, Viroqua, Wis., representing Region 5, and Patrick Maddox, Riverdale, Calif., for Region 9. Incumbent directors re-elected to their second three-year terms were At-Large director Jonathan Lamb, Oakfield, N.Y., and Region 8 director Bill Wright, McCornick, Utah.

Retiring from the board of directors after six years of service were Region 5 director Robert Nigh of Viroqua, Wis. and Hank van Exel, Lodi, Calif., Region 9 director.

Three Resolutions Adopted by the Membership

Three resolutions were brought forth for the delegate body to pass judgment on, and all three were adopted.

Resolution 1 was submitted by the Pennsylvania Holstein Association:

“Whereas: The United States Dairy Genetic Evaluation program is the best in the world due to its unbiased nature.  

And Whereas: The cost to continue the program at USDA is less than 1% of the current USDA budget.

And Whereas:  The current system is beneficial to the United States dairy farmers and to consumers alike.

Therefore, be it Resolved: That Holstein Association USA Inc. encourages USDA to continue performing dairy genetic evaluations for the dairy industry.”

Resolution 2 was brought forth by the Wisconsin Holstein Association:

“Whereas: For the past generation the U.S. has been recognized as a world leader in dairy genetics and whereas it is important to be proactive in developing a plan for genetic evaluations in the future.

Be it Resolved:  That Holstein Association USA work cooperatively as a member of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding to develop and present a cost effective, thorough, reliable system to collect data and process genetic evaluation currently calculated by USDA-AIPL.”

During the Annual Meeting, board members, delegates, members and guest speakers discussed the future of the U.S. dairy genetic evaluation program for over two hours. The Holstein Association USA board of directors made their position clear on the subject, which mirrors the resolution submitted by the Pennsylvania Holstein Association. In conclusion, Holstein Association USA Vice President Glen Brown stated, “The Holstein Association USA board is committed to keeping the dairy genetic evaluation program at USDA-AIPL.”

Resolution 3 was presented by the Holstein Association USA board of directors, in appreciation of the Missouri Holstein Association:

“Whereas, the Missouri Holstein Association, in preparation for the Holstein Association USA, Inc. 127th Annual Meeting and National Convention, has arranged an educational and fun-filled week with great opportunities to visit outstanding dairies, and has warmly welcomed everyone to the Show Me State; and

Whereas the Missouri Holstein Association is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year and is showcasing the state’s rich Holstein heritage,

Now, therefore be it resolved, that the Holstein Association USA’s Board of Directors, members, and staff honor the Missouri Holstein Association for their dedication and achievements, and

Be it further resolved, that the Delegates of this 127th Annual Meeting and National Holstein Convention recognize each and every hard working individual at the Missouri Holstein Association and express grateful appreciation for making this a most memorable week!”

The 2013 National Holstein Convention will be held July 8-11, 2013 in Indianapolis, Ind.

For more National Holstein Convention coverage, visit the official Holstein Association USA blog at http://2012holsteinconvention.blogspot.com. Additional information will also be included in the upcoming Summer 2012 issue of the Holstein Pulse. With questions, contact Lindsey Worden at lworden@holstein.com or 800.952.5200, ext. 4096.