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Wisconsin Holstein members celebrate Registered Holsteins in Fond du Lac

The Fond du Lac County Holstein Breeders, in coordination with the Wisconsin Holstein Association (WHA), hosted the annual Adult Holstein Convention at the Radisson Hotel & Convention Center in Fond du Lac. More than 150 Holstein breeders from across the state were in attendance for meetings, speakers and tours, and to receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments in 2019.

The convention kicked off Friday afternoon with WHA committee meetings. Following these meetings, Jodi Hoynoski, Executive Director of Holstein Identification and Member Services at Holstein USA, along with Holstein USA Board Members, Bob Webb and Pete Dueppengiesser, hosted a Holstein USA town hall forum. Members heard updates from the national association and were able to ask questions about programs and industry topics.

At the Friday evening meal, the 2019 Wisconsin Top Performer cows were announced. Recognized were cows owned by Tom Kestell, Ever-Green-View, Waldo; Wargo Acres, Lodi and Legacy Farms, Rueben Schloneger, Shell Lake. The overall Top Performer was Ms Arjeta-ET EX-91, owned by Tom Kestell, Waldo. Ms Arjeta-ET produced 60,239 pounds of milk, 1,994 pounds of fat (4.1 percent) and 1,663 pounds of protein (2.9 percent) in 305 days at 7-06.

Also recognized were owners of cows that have produced more than 300,000 and 400,000 pounds of lifetime milk. There were 73 new 300,000-pound cows and four 400,000-pound cows in 2019.

This year during the Friday night banquet, the association honored the 2020 Wall of Fame Inductees. This year's inductees were person, William Hageman, Sr.; bull, Jenny-Lou Mrshl Toystory-ET; and cow, Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET.

The late William Hageman, Sr., Fond du Lac, was honored as the Wall of Fame person. Hageman and his wife Saloah, farmed in Fond du Lac until 1992. After that time, Hageman worked with area farmers as a nutritionist and had a passion for working with young dairy farmers.

As a Wisconsin Holstein member, Bill was a devoted director and served as board President in 1988 as well as a delegate to the National Convention many times. In 1960, Bill was honored as the Wisconsin Holstein Outstanding Holstein Boy and runner-up on the national level. The family had many All-Wisconsin winners and bred the 2007 Wall of Fame sire, Hagemans Tempo, who was a popular bull in the Tri-State line-up. He and Saloah bred 62 Excellent cows including Hagemans Top Citron EX-95.

Bill also volunteered on the World Dairy Expo ethics committee where he helped measure topline hair for cattle entering the showring for more than 20 years.

This year’s Wall of Fame bull was Jenny-Lou Mrshl Toystory-ET bred by Jenny-Lou Holsteins, the Breunig family of Sauk City. Toystory set milestones at Genex Cooperative where he produced 2.4 million doses of semen worldwide. He has more than 500,000 daughters in over 50 countries across the globe. Today, his sons, like Domain, are still in pedigrees throughout the industry. Along with being a great producer, Toystory created high customer satisfaction. He had exceptional sire fertility and created daughters that milked well and looked good doing it, something dairy breeders appreciated.

His dam, Jenny-Lou Patron Toyanne, scored VG-89 GMD DOM and made more than 160,000 pounds of milk lifetime. She also produced 20 VG and 3 EX daughters. About 20 percent of the Jenny-Lou herd traces back to Toyanne.

Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET, EX-92, is the 2020 Wall of Fame Cow. Missy was bred by Steve Wessing and Steve Hayes of Fond du Lac County. Steve and Cheryl Wessing started farming when they purchased 18 cows. One of these, Milkstsein Citation Della, was their first Very Good cow. The Della cow family was very influential in the Wessing herd with generations of high scoring, high producing cows.

The Wessings sold their herd in 1994 following a barn fire. The first lot in this sale was a VG-87 Elton 2-year-old that went back to Citation Della. Their neighbor, Steve Hayes, took interest in the cow and the Wessings and Hayes partnered on the young cow who later developed into an EX GMD DOM cow with sons in AI and Japan. Elton Mimi was contracted to Startmore Rudolph but a heifer calf was born, Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET.

Missy was sold to Pine-Tree Dairy of Ohio on the 2003 Wisconsin Holstein Convention Sweetheart Sale. Here she would make exceptional records, move up to 92 points and put 18 sons into AI. Sires like Supersire, Mogul, Sid, Headliner, Monterey, AltaOak, Achiever, Silver and Balisto, as well as polled sires Relief-P, Shine-P and Powerball-P, come from the maternal line founded by Missy.

Missy also produced 42 EX or VG daughters, who in turn have produced multiple generations of contract cows. The current generation of Rudy Missys, both male and female, continue to meet the demands of the market.

The rest of the program was devoted to motivational speaker Bill Jartz, the voice of Lambeau Field. Jartz entertained the crowd with stories of growing up in the country, sporting events and what it’s like working at Lambeau Field. Following the guest speaker, an all-ages Dairy Bowl contest took place with seven teams competing in the event. The teams had a variety of age range and skill level and provided fun for all involved.

Attendees at Saturday morning’s early bird session heard about the scoring experiences of former Holstein USA classifiers Dan Cnossen and Roy Hetts. The two discussed cows and bulls they’ve scored and sires that have had the most impact on the Holstein breed. Everyone in attendance enjoyed hearing from these highly regarded classifiers.

The annual WHA business meeting was held and included committee reports from board members. Rick Adams of Delavan was newly elected to serve a three-year term on the WHA Board of Directors. Erica Ullom, Bloomer; Craig Krohlow, Black Creek; and Sara Feldmann, Howards Grove, were all re-elected to a second three-year term.

Following an awards luncheon to recognize 40- and 50-year members of the association and distinguished junior members, the afternoon was highlighted by a farm tour to Kampy Holsteins, Brandon. The Kamphuis family milks 300 Registered Holsteins and in 2018 had the top BAA herd in the nation for their herd size of more than 150 cows. Tour attendees also saw some of the inner workings at STgenetics and one of the bulls housed on-site, as well as a tour of Agromatic.

Honored at the Saturday evening banquet was this year's Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service, and Distinguished Holstein Breeder award winners. This year's Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award recognized Trent and Kelsey Hendrickson, Blanchardville.

The couple started their Trent-Way Genetics herd with just 20 cows and a partnership with Registered Holstein breeder Dave Erickson in 2011. Today, the couple milks 259 cows that are housed in a freestall barn. The breeding focus at Trent-Way Genetics is high type animals that are very functional with good production for all dairying styles.

Trent and Kelsey use the top 10 percent of their herd to continue growth and development of future generations with the remaining animals used as recipients for IVF/ET calves. This top 10 percent includes animals that are high-type, show choice, or high genomic females in the red or red carrier selection.

The Hendricksons have had success in the show ring and in putting bulls into stud. Along with this, the herd as a rolling herd average (RHA) of 24,868 with 3.9% fat and 3.2% protein. Their current BAA is 109.5 and the herd has 40 Excellent, 97 Very Good and 46 Good Plus cows with none lower.

This year’s Distinguished Holstein Breeder was Emerald Acres, the Ossmann Family, and Dr. Scott Armbrust. Paul and Debbie Ossmann, Ted and Lana Ossmann, Don and Joyce Ossmann, from Emerald Acres, and Dr. Scott Armbrust, De Pere, have bred and worked with a number of high-profile cow families while focusing on cows with high production, components, and characteristics like good feet and legs and udders.

Over the years, Emerald Acres has grown from within through strategic breeding from a number of purchases. The group has bred 87 Excellent females, 10 Excellent males, 25 multiple “E” females and has had 304 animals produce more than 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk. The nearly 500-cow herd at Emerald Acres has an RHA of 27,518 pounds of milk, 4.6 percent and 1263 pounds of fat, and 3.2 percent and 882 pounds of protein.

One of the most notable cows to call Emerald Acres home was Ripvalley NA Bell Tammy EX-94-2E DOM GMD. Since 1988, 1500 descendants of Tammy have been born at Emerald Acres.

Some of Tammy’s most well-known sons include Curtmaid Emerald Target, Emerald-Acr-SA Tonic, Emerald-Acr-SA Tribute, Trump (Japan), Emerald-Acr-SA Techniq, Mulatte (Germany) and Emerald-Acr-SA Titan. Another notable descendant is Emerald-Acr-SA T Baxter, a Blitz son x VG-87 Mtoto x EX Mandel x Emerald-Acr-SA Tulip EX-94, a granddaughter of Tammy. Both Tammy and Baxter were inducted into the Wisconsin Holstein Association’s Wall of Fame in 2018.

Emerald Acres has worked with a number of other notable cows with mating from these families reaching across the nation and around the world.

Kevin Jorgensen, Waupun, was honored with the Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service Award. Jorgensen has spent 28 years in the AI industry and now serves as a Senior Sire Analyst covering the Midwest and Western States for Select Sires Inc. He also oversees the Showcase Selections and Red & White programs.

Jorgensen is a former president of the Wisconsin Holstein Association, serving from 2016 to 2018. During this time, he helped boost the scholarship program to what it is today while unifying representatives from the Holstein, Jersey and Red & White breeds to form the executive show committee. This group oversees the execution of the spring and championship shows. In 2008 he was a valuable part of the National Convention Tour Committee and this past summer was a driving force for a successful National Convention Sale.

He has generously donated time to youth throughout his life and currently serves on the World Dairy Expo board.

Also honored at the Saturday evening banquet were the committees and volunteers who helped make the 2019 National Holstein Convention a success. Outstanding advertisements in the Wisconsin Holstein News in 2019 were also recognized. Taking top ad honors for the year was the Hildebrandt Family Farm.

The WHA Board of Directors met at the conclusion of the convention to elect officers for the upcoming year. Pam Selz-Pralle of Humbird will serve as president. Vice President will be Steve Endres, Waunakee, and Erica Ullom of Bloomer will serve as secretary for a fourth year. Sara Feldmann, Howards Grove, and Ryan Weigel, Platteville, were also elected to serve on the Executive Committee.

The Wisconsin Holstein Association holds its annual convention each year in February. For more information on this or other events, visit, or contact Director of Communications, Mara Budde, at 1-800-223-4269 or

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