By MELISSA HART
FRANKENMUTH, Mich. — Purebred dairy cattle were the focus on the final day of the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference last month in Frankenmuth. The Michigan Holstein Assoc. (MHA), the Michigan Brown Swiss Assoc. and the Michigan Jersey Cattle Club (MJCC) all held annual meetings and handed out awards.
For the MHA, Max Dunseth of the Holstein Assoc. USA recognized 2012 Progressive Breeders Registry winners: Tim Baker of Star Summit Farm, Byron Center; Duane Molhoek of End Road Farm, Falmouth; Tom Barends of Jensis Genetics, Fremont; Jeff Alexander of Na-Lar Farms, Hanover; Tim and Sandy VerHage, VerHage Dairy Farm, Allegan; Doug and Scott Long of Long Haven Farms, Clayton; and Matt Conners of Conners Dairy, Lake.
Roger Wolf of Wolfland Farms, Morenci, was the recipient of the MHA Master Breeder Award. Perhaps the bull that really put Wolfland on the map was Woodbine Pearl Comet, an animal the Wolfs bought and developed and later sold to Select Sires as a proven bull.
Wolf has the distinguished honor of his photograph being permanently displayed at the Michigan State University Livestock Pavilion, after winning the Michigan Dairy Farmer of the Year from MSU in 1991.
Wolfland Farms has bred and shown many All-Michigan and Reserve All-Michigan animals throughout the years. Wolf served as MHA president in 1985 and 1986 and was vice chair of the national convention in 1997, when it was last hosted by Michigan. He has also been president of District II.
He is an accomplished dairy judge, having judged many county and district fairs. He is also a former chair of the Morenci United Methodist Church administrative board. The Wolfs have three children and 11 grandchildren.
For the first time, a posthumous MHA Master Breeder award was handed out for Jim Cook. Cook and his wife, Berdie, in partnership with Jim’s parents, Jim and Dora, operated Janeland Farms in Lowell, where they milked 180 cows and farmed 1,100 acres. Cook was a passionate Registered Holstein breeder and showman. He was an active member of the MHA for many years.
He and Berdie were named Michigan Milk Producers Assoc. Outstanding Young Dairy Couple in 1979 and had three children: Jamie, Jennifer and Cindy. They sold their cows in December 1992, which allowed Cook to focus on his auctioneering business. He and Berdie were married 38 years when he died in December 2005.
The MHA Outstanding Young Breeder award went to Moss and Renee McCauley of Tumbleweed Holsteins and Jerseys – also of Lowell. Moss and Renee have been active not only with their local 4-H group but have shown at the state and national levels, taking cows they’ve bred and developed on the Tanbark Trail.
Spreading their fondness for the purebred industry, they are enthusiastically involved with their nieces and nephews and local youth, with developing and showing cattle.
Moss was honored with the Klusendorf-MacKenzie award at World Dairy Expo in 2009. He and Renee have served the MHA in several capacities, including as co-chairs of the show committee. Renee is the editor of the flagship publication of the MHA, the Michigan-Indiana Holstein News. The McCauleys have one son, Cash.
The All-Michigan winners were recognized at the same time Corey Geiger, managing editor of Hoards Dairymen, spoke on genomics and how it is affecting the purebred dairy industry.
The MJCC also had its annual meeting, where leaders handed out their All-Michigan Awards, service awards and production awards. Pam and Tim Shaver were honored with the Michigan Service Award by club President Greg Palen.
The Jersey breeders also elected their board of directors. They are Susie Green, president; Greg Palen, vice president; Tim Place; Jeff Michalek, secretary; Sadie Green, treasurer; and Brent Moyer, Mary Costigan, Deanne Buell, Amber Black and Roger Deter.