More Choices, Greater Variety for Dairy Cattle Genetics

Like many in the business, Golden Oaks Farm in Illinois focuses on providing genetics for Holstein herds that will progress and produce for the future. Ethan Heinzmann, the farm’s genetic and dairy manager, explains that their ultimate goal with the herd of about 600 Registered Holsteins is breeding productive cows that are built to last and produce milk…

“As we’ve progressed, we’ve invested in different cow families that we believe in, that have that foundation, that also fit what we think we can build on, we can breed from and provide genetics for the herd that will progress and produce for the future, but also fit the marketplace and fit what other breeders might be interested in adding to their herd, as well.”

Recognizing a need to expand the genetic marketplace for dairy breeders, Holstein Association USA recently launched a new program called Holstein Marketplace Sires. Within it, Golden Oaks Farm is offering semen for purchase from their outstanding bull: Golden-Oaks Imax Lotto. He’s everything they look for when evaluating bulls, Heinzmann explains…

“We believe in the balance and that’s what we want to provide. We think that he’s a very good example of our breeding program and I think he’s a bull that will fit a lot of breeding programs and will work well in a lot of barns.”

Bulls available through Holstein Marketplace Sires must have the complete package: high component values, a plus on daughter pregnancy rate, and breed average or better for calving ease. Heinzmann says the program will be beneficial for Registered Holstein breeders who are seeking excellent genetics at a reasonable price…

“They could expect deep cow families with successful classifications on them. We believe a lot in the classification program. We believe that adds value to the herd of cows that we have and also what a buyer might be investing in for the future.”

Their bull is representative of what breeders have come to expect from Golden Oaks Farm, he says — balancing Registered Holstein genetics from great cow families with what the Registered Holstein breed needs…

“We’ve built deep cow families and cows, and we’ve bred genetics that we feel have a place in other people’s herds.”