Holstein Association Expands Multi-Breed Classification

Holstein Association USA is expanding its multi-breed classification program this summer. The association’s team of experienced dairy classifiers will now offer linear type evaluations for five dairy breeds.

Holstein Association USA Classifiers travel a lot of miles visiting farms and evaluating dairy cattle in barns across the country. The team is experienced, well-trained, and passionate about what they do.

“We’ve got a great team. Their average tenure is 18 years on the job, so they’re true professionals at evaluating dairy cattle. And while their primary focus is Holsteins, most of our classifiers just enjoy looking at cows of all breeds, meeting the farmers and seeing different operations.” 

That’s Lindsey Worden, Executive Director of Genetic Services for Holstein Association USA. She says the commitment to quality evaluations is why the organization now offers its joint classification services to more dairy cattle breeds.

In addition to U.S. registered Holsteins and Red and White Holsteins, the association has been classifying Guernsey cattle for the American Guernsey Association since 2018. This summer, Milking Shorthorns and Ayrshires will be added to the line-up. Here’s Holstein Association USA CEO John Meyer.

“The more things we do together, the better. And one of these things is joint classification. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have different people going down the same country roads to classify four or five different breeds of cattle. And today, so many different farms have more than one breed of cattle. So, the Ayrshire folks and Milking Shorthorn people are very excited about this opportunity – and we are, too. And hope to continue this and do more breeds as time goes on.” 

The goal is to make classification more accessible for all breeds of dairy cattle and offer farmers information they need to drive progress within the herd. American Milking Shorthorn Society president Marcia Clark.

“As small breeds, we’re going to have to unite and work as one. Calling upon Holstein, that will help us save money, get more animals classified and be able to know that we all can strive for the same goals at the end — having animals classified and registered.” 

Holstein Association USA classifiers attend annual trainings where they receive comprehensive education on evaluation criteria for all breeds. The classification team begins its first tour with milking Shorthorns in May and with Ayrshires in June.

“It allows us to operate efficiently. Efficiently for the breed associations, efficient for the farm, and we’re just really excited to have the opportunity to provide this service for these new breeds.” 

All totaled, Holstein Association USA provides classification services for five dairy cattle breeds. Learn more by visiting holsteinusa.com.