News & Events

Meeting the Growing Demand for Guernseys - Fall Issue Director's Column

September 28, 2020

Jason Yurs 

 

Hopefully, this fall issue of the Journal finds everyone in good health and spirits despite our difficult times.  

My philosophy always has been to focus on things we have control over and hope the rest will fall into place. The roller coaster ride of the past six months has put that philosophy to the test.  

A lot of us will still have the satisfaction of seeing our inventories of corn silage replenished, watching combines gobble up decent corn and soybean yields, and getting manure hauled one more time before snow starts to fly. For some, there will be huge voids, such as the absence of show ring competitions, missed trade shows and conferences, and delayed return to normal family life like school as usual, going to church, and having family get-togethers. We just need to believe that we will be stronger on the other side. 

As depressing as mailbox milk prices were this spring and early summer, one bright spot has been the strong demand, both foreign and domestic, for Guernseys. While demand for the more prominent breeds has been weak, Guernsey values stayed strong. However, the decline in Guernsey numbers will make it very hard for our breed capitalize on this demand going forward.  

We all know that Guernsey milk is second to none. But we must ask ourselves how long those seeking Guernseys will wait before they settle for alternatives.  

The current demand is putting much-needed dollars in breeders’ hands. The international sales have helped expand the Guernsey footprint in other parts of the world. The downside is that there ultimately will be less revenue for our Association through fewer registrations and less participation in TPE, classification, and other programs. 

Here are strategies to consider that will help maintain our breed numbers, support our association, and improve margins on our farms: 

•  Use sexed semen to get more heifer calves. Guernsey Gold Sires sales reflect greater demand for sexed semen and there will be more made available to meet this demand. 

•  Since sexed semen is more expensive, it needs to be used wisely. Use it on good candidates, especially heifers and your more fertile cow families. 

•  To improve your odds of success, pay attention to Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) or Genomic DPR (GDPR) and Heifer Conception Rate when picking bulls.  

•  DPR does make a difference. The table show results from 193 pregnant heifers in our herd now. Heifers with a DPR above +1 averaged only 1.28 Services Per Conception (SPC). Those heifers who had a DPR of less than zero required more than three services per conception. 

•  Breed cows when they need to be bred . . . not when you think you want the calf to be born. The best heat for conception may be the one you just passed on. 

•  Breed late in the cycle. We seem to have the best luck when breeding about 18 hours after standing heat. We can’t always do this because most of our heifers are on a once-a-day breeding program. 

•  As always, but especially now, remember that herd health and nutrition are very important. 

We are in challenging times, for sure. But we all can benefit from the good demand for Guernsey cattle, semen, and embryos. We just need make sure that our day-to-day strategies are positive for our own operations, our breed, and our association. 

Alden Hired as Executive Secretary of the American Guernsey Association

August 24, 2020

COLUMBUS – The American Guernsey Association (AGA) has announced that Robin Alden has been hired as their Executive Secretary, effective August 3rd.

Alden assumes the role from current President David Coon, who has been temporarily serving in the role since June 2019. Previously, Alden has served in many roles with the AGA, most recently as the Programs Manager.
In her new role, Alden will continue oversight of AGA programs and services, including registrations, classification, genomic testing, Guernsey Marketing Service, and others. She will also continue her role as an Associate Editor for Purebred Publishing, a subsidiary of the AGA. Alden will also assume responsibility for supervising the AGA’s staff and managing the budget.

“My goal as the Executive Secretary is first and foremost to continue to provide the exemplary service we are known for, while also maintaining the financial stability of the Association to ensure we remain a successful organization into the future,” said Alden. “The Guernsey is the most valuable cow in the country right now, and that holds true regardless of what your dairy operation is like. Utilizing AGA programs are essential for enhancing that value.”

Alden was raised on her family’s small dairy in Danville, Ohio, which she remains an active part of, helping to care for and maintain records of the 100% registered herd. After graduation from the Ohio State University in 2014, she joined Purebred Publishing part-time as a copy editor and has continually added to her role with AGA since.

Fall Edition of the Golden Futures Embryo Sale Announced!

August 07, 2020

Mark your calendars, because GMS is hosting a Fall Edition of the online Golden Futures Embryo Sale on cowbuyer.com from October 29 - 31! Contact Robin today to make your consignment!

Agenda for 2020 Summer Member Update

July 07, 2020

Please join us at 11:00 am Eastern Time for our Annual Meeting. Contact Kayla at kayla.usaguernsey@gmail.com if you have not obtained the link to join yet. Click the button for our agenda and resolutions.

Quiz Bowl Updates - UPDATED 6/27!

June 25, 2020

**UPDATE** Please click the button to see your group ID!!

JUNIORS PARTICIPATING IN QUIZ BOWL: ALL contestants WILL participate in ALL three rounds of 20 multiple choice questions. Scores will be cumulative from all rounds. If there is a tie, the tie breaker will be based on score in Round 3. Team scores will be based on top scores of three members. Lowest team member will be dropped. ALL youth members participating on a team will also be eligible for individual competition as well.

The quiz WILL start promptly at these times! It is set up for an automatic start the following times. Make sure to allow plenty of time to get username entered and prepared to start. Please remember to use the username you signed up with or YOUR FIRST NAME LAST INITIAL AND STATE (KimG WI) This way when putting in scores, we can differentiate you from others with similar names. 

You will have 25 seconds to answer, and then once that time is up the correct answer will present itself for 10 seconds. Then the next question will come up. Remember once you select an answer you can NOT change it. Also scores will be based on correct answers and speed! Good Luck and HAVE FUN!!

A short Practice quiz will be available at these times to familiarize yourself with myquiz.org

Imp. King of the May painting to be auctioned

May 29, 2020

The famous Imp. King of the May painting currently owned and displayed at the American Guernsey Association office will be made available in a special online auction from June 30 - July 7.

It is an oil painting on canvas signed by artist E. Leone Seavey-Lucas in 1911 featuring a pastoral scene of Imp. King of the May, the forefather of the Guernsey breed in America and foundation sire of Langwater Farm, and his five daughters which are identified on a brass plaque attached to the period frame.  Painting dimensions are 40” high and 57 ¼ “ wide with slight damage to right corner of frame.

 

Proceeds from the sale of the painting will be used for AGA debt repayment to the Guernsey Foundation.

 

Bidding available online at www.rileyauction.com under “our Auctions” tab beginning Tuesday, June 30 and closing at 8 pm EST on Tuesday, July 7.

 

Payment by credit card or check with pre-approval from the American Guernsey Association.  Buyer responsible for shipping and handling.

National Convention 2020 Cancelled

April 08, 2020

Dear Guernsey Breeders,

It is with regret that we inform you that the 2020 National Guernsey Convention in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania has been cancelled. This decision was not made lightly, and was informed by the rapidly evolving global situation as well as our desire for our membership to remain healthy and stable during this challenging time. We intend to carry out our Annual Meeting and director elections as required by our Bylaws, and hope to carry out additional events in a virtual space. We are working out the details and assure you that more information will be shared with you soon. 

Please mark June 12-15, 2021 on your calendars, as Pennsylvania will be hosting the convention in Seven Springs. Thank you to Ohio for being flexible with their original 2021 planning. 

Sincerely,

The American Guernsey Association Board of Directors & Staff

Welcome Back to Kayla Overholt

March 24, 2020

A familiar face is joining the team, Kayla Overholt! She is a past intern for Purebred Publishing and will now be working part-time for American Guernsey Association, Purebred Publishing and GMS. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2018, has been involved with Springhill Dairy for five years and grew up on TK-Plain-View Holsteins. If you have any questions, want to purchase an ad or just chat she can be contacted at kayla.usaguernsey@gmail.com. Thank you to Cara Trotter for all her time and work, the Association wouldn’t be where it is today without her!

AGA Update During COVID-19

March 20, 2020

Dear US Guernsey Breeders and Enthusiasts,

We wish to give you an update on the Association in light of the current COVID-19 crisis. Our staff has the full capability of working remotely to continue to provide you with the customer service you need. However, some services may be impacted, including registrations, transfers, and genetic testing. We appreciate your patience at this time, and hope that you are all remaining safe and sound, and enjoying a little extra time with family (including those with four legs and fawn and white spots!).

 

Sincerely,

The American Guernsey Association Staff & Board

Diva Achieves Milestone Classification

January 15, 2020

On January 14, 2020, Hi Guern View Dancing Diva-ET was appraised Excellent 96 points by a committee of classifiers. Diva is the first Guernsey to achieve this classification since Westlynn Tom Dee in April of 1997. Diva is a familiar name to most Guernsey fans, as the Unanimous All-American Aged Cow in 2018 and dam of new young sire Drone at St Jacobs ABC. Congratulations to the Dinderman family of Orangeville, Illinois, who are the breeders and owners of this elite Guernsey cow.

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