BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Holstein Association USA members recently experienced “Progress on the Plains” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from June 27 to July 1, 2022. The 2022 National Holstein Convention drew over 1,000 adult and Junior members and Holstein enthusiasts from across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
“I think it’s important for our members to get together at events like this because we get to interact with each other,” says recently elected Holstein Association USA President, Jonathan Lamb.
There was plenty of opportunity for members to connect with one another throughout the convention. Members shared comradery and conversation with fellow Holstein enthusiasts at events such as Welcome Night and the National Sale. Attendees also heard an inspirational message from Chris Koch, a farm boy from Canada turned world traveler and motivational speaker.
Attendees dove into dairy farming in South Dakota during the Host Day Farm tours on Wednesday, June 29. Each option brought members to a variety of tour highlighting the vibrant dairy industry in the upper Midwest along the I-29 corridor.
“We were just exited to get ‘em out, show them the landscape, show them the different dynamics, different herd sizes, on-farm processing to robotics to on-farm creameries, all the way up to 3,000 – 4,000-cow dairies,” says Darrel Rennich, 2022 National Holstein Convention chair.
The Data & Innovations Summit held on Thursday morning featured dairy industry leaders who shared how data gleaned from the many innovations used on today’s dairy farms can be better utilized to help maximize efficiency, results, and profitability.
“We are a very diverse organization, and it’s very important for every sector – every segment of the industry – to be present here,” says Rafael Lopez, Holstein Association USA member from Camuy, Puerto Rico.
136th Annual Meeting
A total of 95 delegates, from 40 districts were present. President Corey Geiger presided over the meeting, which kicked off Thursday, June 30. Members heard reports from the president, CEO, and treasurer on the 2021 performance of Holstein Association USA and impressive progress of the Holstein breed.
Members also engaged with top dairy research scientists during a panel titled, “New Research to Enhance Holstein Profitability,” during the Annual Meeting. The panelists all have research projects funded through Holstein USA’s Research Grant Program, and their projects have outcomes expected to benefit the Holstein breed.
Dr. Anna Denicol from the University of California-Davis presented her project, Breeding Holstein cows for heat tolerance using the slick hair gene. Next, Dr. Joao Paulo (JP) Martins from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shared his project, Identification of genetic and physiological aspects of double ovulation and twinning in Holstein lactating cows. Dr. Chad Dechow from Pennsylvania State University wrapped up the presentations with his project, Genomic evaluation of diet digestibility. The panel ended with a question-and-answer session.
The 2021 Herds of Excellence and Star of the Breed were also honored during the Annual Meeting, followed by the recognition of 141 members for achieving 40-year member status.
Three members retired from Holstein USA’s Board of Directors this year, including Corey Geiger, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, outgoing President; John A. Andersen, Blackfoot, Idaho, Region 8; and John Marshman, Oxford, New York, At-Large Director.
A board candidate forum was held on Thursday afternoon, and elections took place on Friday morning. Re-elected for their second three-year term on the board were Robert (Bob) Webb, Plymouth, Wisconsin, representing Region 5 and Bill Genasci, Modesto, California, representing Region 9.
Jonathan Lamb, Oakfield, New York was elected as President and John S. Burket, East Freedom, Pennsylvania was elected as Vice President. Elected for three-year terms on the board were R. Joshua Wright, Jerome, Idaho, representing Region 8 and Jeff King, Schuylerville, New York, At Large Director.
Award Winners Celebrated
The 2022 National Holstein Convention concluded with the Progress on the Plains Celebration Luncheon. Members gathered to honor Holstein Association USA’s 2022 award winners. Receiving the highly regarded Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award was Mitch Kappelman of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The Bauer brothers/Sandy-Valley Farms from Scandinavia, Wisconsin received the well-respected Elite Breeder award, and the Honorable Collin Peterson of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota was presented with the prestigious Distinguished Leadership Award.
For more coverage from the 2022 National Holstein Convention, including recording of CEO John Meyer’s State of the Association Address and President Corey Geiger’s Address, visit Holstein USA’s YouTube channel or www.holsteinusa.com.
Next year’s 137th Holstein Association USA Annual Meeting and 2023 National Holstein Convention will be held June 23 – 27 in Lexington, Kentucky.
–Holstein Association USA, Inc.