Active Master Breeder - New York Holstein Association

Active Master Breeder
As presented by Patricia Gifford
I have known this year’s Active Master Breeder all my life. Their life together
started like many couples in this room. They came from similar backgrounds and met
showing cattle at their county fair.
They got educated and spent some time successfully in the corporate world. But it
soon became clear to them that the only place they really wanted to live, work and raise a
family was on a dairy farm of their own with Registered Holsteins.
So off they went to rent a farm, raise a family and start dairying with bred heifers
bought from a heifer raiser and odds and ends from both parents’ herds.
This couple has received many honors and achieved a great deal in their thirty
some years of dairying together. They raised a large family, each of whom has or will
soon graduate from college and most of whom are still involved in the dairy industry.
Their farmstead, an original Dairy of Distinction, is camera pretty 365 days a year, not
just when a photographer is headed their way. But the reason we are honoring them
tonight is for their success in breeding Registered Holsteins.
In the beginning, they bred for production to get the milk it took to pay for the
farm they were eventually able to buy, build new barns, turn a neglected old box of a
house into a beautiful farm home and kids. They were meticulous in the care of their
animals and the animals responded with lots of milk, long lives and heifer calves.
If you were to describe this couple, words that would come to mind are
dedication, commitment, hard work, focus, vision, uncompromising attention to detail,
highest goals and standards, and a single minded love for each other, the life they live and
their plans for the future.
After a while, with production and sound type firmly established, it was time to
go to the next level, use some high type bulls and polish up the old show halters. As with
everything else they do, they did not set mediocre goals or take this step lightly. Both are
talented dairy judges and they seem to have a particular fondness for the colors blue and
purple. Before long, they were setting the pace at the local and then the state level. A
little later, national competition became part of their program. But the one element that
separated this Master Breeder from most of the competition is the reason we are honoring
them tonight. Unlike most others, their show string and very nearly all the herd at home
are homebred. Their prefix has become a household word in Holstein circles throughout
the United States and around the world, a well earned and deserved recognition.
Here are a few statistics: more than 50 Excellent homebred cows with 26 in the
herd today; production in excess of 25,000 on over 120 cows; BAA over 109% on those
120-plus cows; numerous Gold Medal Dams and Dams of Merit; potent and prolific cow
families; many All New York and Junior All American nominations with 11 All New
Yorks and 2 Jr. All Americans coming from one cow family; blue and purple ribbons on
every level of competition including Grand Champion of the Jr. Holstein Show and
Reserve Supreme Champion of all Junior shows at World Dairy Expo in 2005.
And they all go back to the original cows who provided the solid foundation for
the tremendous herd this couple and their family developed and work with today.
So, ladies and gentlemen, please join me and most of their children as we
congratulate and honor this year’s New York Holstein Association Active Master
Breeder, the foundation, heart and soul of Joleanna Holsteins, Dave and Cathy Johnson.
Photo #1 Will be sent
David and Cathy Johnson of Joleanna Holsteins