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2015 Historical Master Breeder Award

Orbec Sherry

Orbec SherryWhen the Master Breeder Awards were established in 2010, there was speculation on how far back in the Brown Swiss history would a Historical honoree come? What would a breeder have to have done to receive votes when few voting would have actually known him?

Our 2015 honoree beat the odds. Perhaps 10-15 people at this year’s convention would personally have known him. But the cows he bred? Few in the room would not recognize their names. And that is the true testament to a Master Breeder.

Orbec Sherry & Family at Log Cabin 1903Orbec Sherry was born on September 26, 1896 in a log cabin on his parent’s farm 3 miles southwest of Viroqua, Wisconsin. His father had immigrated from Norway and built the cabin in the late 1880’s. His mother’s parents were also Norwegian immigrants. Orbec was one of 11 children. He attended school when not needed on the farm, completing 8th grade. Orbec continued to farm with his parents until he left to serve in the army from 1917-1918 during World War I.

Returning to the family farm, Orbec married Hilda Loverud in 1922. (Her maternal grandparents were also immigrants from Norway as was her father.) After they married, Orbec and Hilda purchased the farm from his parents who moved to Viroqua. Orbec and Hilda had two children, Orbec, Jr. born in 1923 and Mary born in 1926.  The dairy herd was of mixed breeds, but Orbec voiced the desire to some day own a good registered herd.

R.A. Powers the Viroqua ag teacher, became a good friend and mentor to Orbec. The two visited the Lucas Brown Swiss herd north of Coon Valley. Orbec was impressed with the breed and decided that is what he wanted to own. Mr. Powers, along with a neighboring Guernsey breeder, “advised” him to “grow into” the registered cattle business rather than “to go” into it head over heels.

Butternut JaneFollowing their advice, Brown Swiss purchases began with a few grades in 1923. His first two regIstered purchased animals were a cow, Cyrene L.12308 (born 10/2/20), and a heifer, Inez C.N. 16955 (born 2/8/24), from A. Lilly of La Crescent, Minnesota, a well-respected Swiss breeder for over 35 years. Also that fall, he purchased Butternut Jane 12364 (born 6/4/19) from Fred Reuter of Lone Rock, Wisconsin. Purchased to serve as a herd sire was Janet’s Boy of Elmhurst 9695 (born 10/14/21) from Andrew Martin, West Salem, Wisconsin.

Mr. Powers entered the picture again convincing Orbec that he should put some of his cows on R.O.P. official test. For R.O.P. testing, a farmer could select which cows to put on test. The state would send a tester to the farm and he would stay on the farm for 4 straight milkings at a time.

In 1928, Cyrene L. 12308 made a world’s record of 15,457.9 pounds milk and 701.46 pounds fat a record in the aged cow Farmers Class. Orbec’s first Bulletin cover girl was Inez C.N. In 1931, she finished a record of 18,362.7 pounds milk and 799 pounds fat in 365 days, making her a breed champion.  Holding Inez in the picture was Orbec’s daughter, Mary, 5 years old at the time.

Neither Orbec nor anyone else could have envisioned what Butternut Jane would come to mean to the Brown Swiss breed. On February 16, 1928, Butternut Jane dropped a heifer calf sired by Janet’s Boy of Elmhurst that was “nothing special”.  Orbec said she looked more like an Airedale. The calf?  Jane of Vernon.

Once the hired man came in and reported that young Jane had been seriously cut on a wire and remarked that he was glad it wasn’t one of the good heifers that was injured. She developed a sort of timid nature and stayed around the barn rather than out with the cows.  Orbec babied her a bit and gave her the orchards to roam as she liked. Her favorite pastime soon became that of chasing the dog whenever he became bold enough to enter her domain.

By the time Jane was about to drop her first calf she was, however, beginning to attract considerable attention. A well-known Swiss breeder wanted to buy this cow and offered Orbec a good price.  However, he felt that if he was going into the registered cattle business, he had better not be selling until he had replaced some of the less valuable grade cows he had.

Orbec Sherry early 1930'sThe interest got Orbec in the “showing” mind. He took Jane of Vernon to the Wisconsin State Fair where she won the two year old class. The next stop on Jane’s show journey was the 1930 Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa where she won the 2 year old class again.  In 1931 she returned to Waterloo to win the class as a 3 year old.  At the 1932 Cattle Congress Show she won her first Grand Championship and became Orbec’s second Bulletin cover girl in October 1932.

Orbec & Jane ready to enter show ringAs a 4 year old Jane was put on official test. Proving she was not only a show cow, she made a record of 23,569 pounds milk and 1076 pounds fat (wth the final test done at the 1933 Dairy Cattle Congress) making her the new World Record Cow. She appeared on the November 1933 cover when this was announced.

Orbec and Jane of Vernon were never defeated in class at a show. For 7 years, she won her class at the state fair. As a 3 year old she won grand champion there for the first time.  She was Grand Champion at Waterloo in 1932, 33, 34, 35 and 36. While they were not designated as the National Show in 32, 33 and 34, because of the Depression, a National Show was not held. And so the “powers that be” declared Jane as the National Show Grand Champion those 3 years. In 1935, she was named the Supreme Champion over all breeds at Waterloo.

As she was amassing her consecutive wins, Jane’s udder became the talk of the dairy world of all breeds. They studied the square teat placement, fore and rear udder attachment, levelness of the floor and the veination.

In 1936 Orbec and Jane traveled to her first official National Dairy Show held that year at the Texas Centennial World Fair in Dallas, Texas. Jane was named Grand Champion and daughter Jane of Vernon the 2nd won the 3 year old class. Jane of Vernon 3rd was 2nd 2 year old. Following the show, Orbec, ever the showman, milked Jane in the lobby of a prestigious hotel in downtown Dallas.

In the fall of 1936, Orbec sold Jane of Vernon to Judd’s Bridge Farm in New Milford, Connecticut. The farm was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rowe Metcalf, and Norman E. Magnussen (a previous Historical Master Breeder) was the herdsman. Mr. Magnussen came to the farm to buy Jane along with a few of her granddaughters. He had to promise that Jane would never be milked by machine, only by hand. They fixed up a boxcar with hay, bedding and a tank of water. It took Mr. Magnussen and the cows four days and nights to make the bitter cold November trip to Connecticut..Jane's Grave Marker At Judd’s Bridge, Jane made one more 1000 pound record and when the classification program was initiated in 1943, Jane at 15 years of age was scored “Excellent”. Jane died on May 11, 1945, and was buried under an apple tree at Judd’s Bridge

Jane of Vernon was a show winner, a world production winner and proved to be a great reproducer. While owned by Orbec, she had a son and four daughters. (Her first calf died.) The son, Jane’s Royal of Vernon, was sold to Lee’s Hill, Morristown, New Jersey where he sired 14 females, 10 of them making over 1000 pounds of fat. Highest of these was Royal’s Rapture of Lee’s Hill who had 34,669 pounds of milk and 1465 pounds fat in 365 days. The records were made under the management of Vernon C. Hull (our first Historical Master Breeder in 2010.)  The four daughters were Jane of Vernon 2nd, Jane of Vernon 3rd, Jane of Vernon 4th and Jane of Vernon 5th. All were sired by Vernon’s Lucky Strike, also bred by Orbec.

At Judd’s Bridge, Jane had a son, Colonel Harry of J.B., who sold in their dispersal sale and two daughters, Jane of Judd’s Bridge and Jane’s Chloe of J.B.

After Jane of Vernon was sold, the four Janes made up the core of Orbec’s show herd. In 1938, Jane of Vernon 2nd was Grand Champion at Waterloo. In 1939 he took them to the Ohio State Fair and to Dairy Cattle Congress at Waterloo.  Following the show, news clippings reported “this is the first time in the history of dairy shows that four sisters have won in all of these three groups.”

From Waterloo, several carloads of show cattle left for Billings, Montana, including Orbec and the 4 Janes. They showed there one day and the following day left for Portland, Oregon, for the Pacific International. After 11 days in Portland, they journeyed on to Oakland, California. The cattle cars were then put on barges to Treasure Island, the site of the World’s Fair and the national dairy show. The group spent 16 days on Treasure Island before returning home. It was a successful trip for Orbec. Jane of Vernon 5th won the 3 year old class; Jane of Vernon 4th was 4th 4 year old; and in the Aged Cow class, Jane of Vernon 2nd was 3rd and Jane of Vernon 3rd was 5th. Since they were all full sisters they could fit in all 6 group classes and won them all; Dairy Herd, Get of Sire, Produce of Dam, Production Get of Sire, 3 Best Udders and 3 Females.

The following year Orbec took the 4 Janes to the New York World’s Fair. Following that show, Lee’s Hill Farm purchased the four full sisters.

Jane of Vernon was Grand one time at a designated National Dairy Show (1936) (3 times declared Grand when no actual national show, 1932, 33, 34), Jane of Vernon 5th was Grand in 1940, 41, 42 and her daughter, Marinda Jane of Lee’s Hill (bred by Orbec) was also grand at a national show in 1947, 51 and 52. This is the only 3 generations to ever accomplish this feat.

The influence of Jane of Vernon through her 2 sons and 6 daughters, especially through Colonel Harry, was phenomenal. There are very few pedigrees that in some way do not trace back to her. Many show and production winners came from Jane of Vernon’s daughters, granddaughters, etc. The moniker put on her years ago is more than deserved “Queen Mother of the Brown Swiss Breed.”

Orbec’s cows were fed mostly home grown feeds. All of the cows were treated like one of the herd including those on R.O.P. test, milked in a stanchion and then turned out to pasture with the rest of the herd. Hilda helped milk and did almost all of it when Orbec was traveling. To quote Hilda, “I did the milking and the hired men did the heavier work.” Through the years, the herd size topped out at around 25 head. The milk went to the local Viroqua Co-op Creamery with Hilda hauling the milk to the dairy most days and Orbec taking it with the team of horses during the winter months. In his autobiography, Orbec noted that they received 60 cents/cwt in 1927.

On April 1, 1945, Orbec and Hilda rented the farm to his cousin’s son and wife, Arnie and Mabel Sherry. The first year all cows were still milked by hand and the next year Arnie brought in a De Laval milking machine.  Orbec always farmed with horses, which Arnie did the first year and then the next he bought a tractor.

In the spring of 1948 the Sherrys sold the home farm and moved to the north side of Viroqua where Orbec had purchased the Colonel Butt farm. He and Hilda lived in the big house and Arnie and Mabel in the tenant house.  (While today the farm buildings are all gone and taken over by houses, the main house is still there and now open to the public as the Sherry-Butt museum).

With Arnie and Mabel there, Orbec could be away from home more easily and started his second career.  After selling Jane of Vernon, Orbec began buying Swiss in the midwest to go to buyers in New England and New York. In 1945 and 1946, UNRA (United Nations Rehabilitation Act) decided to buy Swiss cattle for Greece, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. They sent out contracts which Orbec bid on. He sent several thousand head of Swiss heifers and bulls to be shipped to those countries. In the many years after his export business expanded, he shipped 38 loads of cattle from the upper midwest to Greece.  In 1947 animals went to Bogota, Colombia, and were followed the next 30 years plus with countless shipments to Central and South America. In 1951 yearling bulls went to Tehran, Iran. Many of the foreign buyers came to Viroqua and were welcomed into the Sherry home.

Orbec purchased a small farm on the south edge of Viroqua where he kept the cattle and horses that he bought and sold. In addition to his lifetime with dairy cattle, horses were his hobby. He owned, bought, trained, and sold many riding horses and teams of working horses through the years.

In 1953 Orbec judged a show in Bogota. Later that year he judged dairy cattle, horses and mules at the first big show in Managua, Nicaragua. In August of 1953, Orbec was the associate judge for the first All American Futurity.

OrbecSherry at 1945 Jane of Vernon Sale-The Laird of Lee's Hill in ringIn 1945, the Jane of Vernon National Sale was held. All 38 head selling carried Jane of Vernon blood. The sale broke records and included the sale of The Laird of Lee’s Hill who sold for $10,500 to the Eastern Stephenson County Breeding Association. Orbec and Hilda considered this event quite an honor, and it was one of his special memories. A Jane of Vernon Anniversary Sale was held in 1978 commemorating Jane’s 50th birthday. It was sponsored by Tri-State Breeders and Brown Swiss Enterprises.

In 1955 at the 75th Annual Meeting, the Brown Swiss breeders honored Jane of Vernon and Orbec Sherry.  Breeders donated funds for a marker to be placed on Jane’s grave at Judd’s Bridge Farm. A duplicate was made and presented to Orbec Sherry. When the funds came in so generously a third honor was possible. A life size painting of Jane of Vernon was done to be placed at the National Office. It hangs in the entry way to this day and is definitely worth a visit to the National Office to see.

Orbec and Hilda were very active in the Viroqua community and its activities and events.

Hilda was part of a 4 member group that did a historic play throughout the area. She was known for her dialect readings and was a sought after “program”. She also spent much time working with the area youth and was chairman of the 4-H building at the county fair for 38 years.

Orbec's 90th Birthday at WDEHonors presented to Orbec included Master Farmer by the Wisconsin Agriculturist and Farmers’s Magazine in 1937. He received the FFA Master Farmer in 1937 and 1943. In 1970, he was honored as the Tri-State Man of the Year.  Dairy Shrine honored him posthumously in 1989 with the Pioneer Award. In 1986 at World Dairy Expo, Orbec was honored for his 90th birthday with a cake during the Brown Swiss show. Over 5000 people stood in the coliseum to sing Happy Birthday, and he received a card signed by 142 friends.

A strong supporter of the Brown Swiss breed and the association, in 1986 Orbec shared that he hadn’t missed a Swiss show at the Wisconsin State Fair since 1928 or a national show since 1926 and had only missed one national convention or banquet since 1926.

As mentioned before, Orbec loved his horses. He is pictured with his beloved horse Silver bringing newborn Jane of Vernon 5th in from the pasture. He loved trail rides, a 30 mile trek meaning nothing and he continued with the trail riding into his 80’s.

Orbec kept himself in shape in his later years doing chin ups. With a sparkle in his eye, Orbec was known for his sense of humor and stories. And in the midst of it all, it was nothing for him to do a handstand for you at the drop of a hat or kick and touch the ceiling. Featured in his 1980 Centennial ad was a picture of Orbec, with his daughter, Mary, and 4 grandchildren - right side up and upside down!

Hilda Sherry passed away on October 6, 1986, age 92. Orbec died on July 5, 1988, at the age of 91.

2015 Active Master Breeder
Richard & Donna Hill
Hill’s Valley Farm, Cattaraugus, NY

By Russ Giesy, June 2015 - With great assistance from Lynn Telaak, Darin and Katie Hill

The Brown Swiss Historical Society is proud to name Richard & Donna Hill as 2015 Master Breeder, in its active category. The goal of the program is to recognize breeders that developed cow families that greatly impacted the progress of the breed. Previous winners in the active breeder category were: 2010 - Wayne Sliker, 2011 – Bob & Steve Blessing, 2012 – Darrell Worden, 2013 – Roger Nierman and 2014 – Larry Kruse.

Rich grew up on the family dairy farm and began a 4H career; registering Brown Swiss in the early 1960’s. Donna also grew up on a local dairy farm and they competed in youth activities. In 1979, they married and purchased his parents’ farm. Rich’s father had faced some health issues. He sold the farm on a land contract and helped Rich and Donna with field work for many years. He has been retired for 36 years! Rich and Donna started their career, milking 25 Brown Swiss and 35 Holsteins in a tie-stall barn.

Early on, Rich and Donna developed a goal of building a balanced herd of cows that would excel in both type and production. Their strategy has been to select and breed stylish, functional cows that would be appreciated in the show ring while effectively producing and reproducing in the barn. Early cows fit that mode and greatly impacted the evolution of the herd were Swissvale Elegant Rosy Ex90, Richill Elegant Velvet Ex90 and Richill Stretch Duchess Ex90.

The Bracket Family

A cow family has developed from the homebred, Hills Valley Collection Bracket 3Ex92. Bracket was a cow with great dairy strength and super udder. Bracket made a lot of milk while looking great and is transmitting those traits. Her Dam, El A Ray Jetway Blanket was purchased as a yearling after she was Jr Champion at New York State Fair. Later, Blanket went on to be grand champion at the New York State Fair in 1998 and 1st Aged Cow at Harrisburg in 2002.

Hills Valley Collection Bracket 3Ex92
7-02 365d 2x 34,060 4.2 1,424 3.3 1,139
Lifetime 2,639d 201,380m 8,794f 6,859p, including 4 records over 30,000m.

Two sons were used in the herd; about 15 daughters of them are in herd today. Bracket has 10 descendants in the direct female line in the herd including:

  • Hills Valley Galaxy Brack Ex 90, Nominated All American Summer yearling 2011
    3-05 320d 2x 31,139 4.4 1380 3.0 942
  • Hills Valley Pujols Biscotti Ex 90 
    4-03 305d 2x 26,656 4.9 1,299 3.3 886
    Biscotti was sired by Hills Valley Turmoil Pujols, granddaughter of Bracket. She placed 2nd 4year old 2014 at New York State Fair, 5th at Harrisburg 2013 and 2014. She was 2nd in Hoard's contest.
  • Hills Valley Legacy Blastoff VG 87 at 3 yrs.
    3-01 365d 2x 21,321 4.9 1,042 3.4 720
    Blastoff was 4th Jr 3 at Harrisburg in 2012. She has the typical dairy strength and strong udder attachments that the family transmits. This was the only show she went to. Her dam was Hills Valley Perfecta Branch 2E 90. The next dam was Hills Valley Phil Broken and then Collection Bracket. We did not get any daughters of Blastoff.
  • Hills Valley Denmark Basket VG 85,
    3-9 365d 2x 35,125 6.9 2,429 3.6 1248
    Basket was the 2013 HR Searles award winner and now stands in 5th place on the Honor Roll record for 4 yr olds. Basket’s dam was a VG Zenith with high components. Basket has a maternal sister by Dragon that is on pace to make 1600 fat and she has a yearling daughter by Milk & Honey Premium Tally.

The Mayo Family

Another strong family line was created from the famed show cow, Richill Jetway Mayo 4E 92 who was nominated All American as an aged cow in 2004. Was a very unique cow, an anchor to the show string for many years and lived to be 13 years old. She seemed to have a heifer calf every summer and somehow make it to state fair, sometimes just a couple weeks fresh. She certainly developed into her best as an aged cow when in 2004, at 7 years old was Nominated All American and was Best Bred and Owned Aged Cow at World Dairy Expo.

Richill Jetway Mayo 4E92
8-4 365d 2x 32,716 4.3 1,411 3.3 1,103
Lifetime 3464d 233,463m 9,936f 7,752p
Mayo’s influence is extremely strong in the herd today with 21 descendants, including:

  • Hill's Valley Austin Malibu Ex 90
    3-08 319d 2x 25,400 5.4 1365 3.0 772
    Malibu Ex 90, is our first Austin. She is now in her 3rd lactation, currently over 120 pounds per day. Malibu is a granddaughter of Mayo, her dam being 2E 90 Hills Valley Jolt Mustang. Malibu has daughters by Megatron and Holyland Tip Up.
  • Hills Valley Achilles Montage Ex 90
    3-05 365d 2x 26,994 4.7 1276 3.6 971
    Montage Ex 90, her dam is Hills Valley Prelude Mustbe Ex 90 who was a daughter of Hills Valley Brandon Maybe VG 89, who was from Mayo. Montage placed 5th at Harrisburg in 2012. She received the dairy strength and correct udder attachments that has made the family stand out in the herd.

The Ritz Family

To hasten progress, occasionally they added genetics from cows they admired. One such cow was Long View Jade’s Raisin 3Ex93, 9/06 365 26,080 4.3 1128 3.8 982, All American Aged Cow in 1996, Reserve All American 5 Yr Old 1993 and Nominated All American Aged Cow 1994, 1997.
Direct descendants of Raisin are:

  • Hills Valley Perfecta Ritz, 2Ex93
    3-02 365 29,070 4.4 1,269 3.5 1007
    All American Sr. 3 Yr Old 2011
    Ritz was the cow that “put Hills Valley on the map.” Ritz had the best personality and became a herd favorite as a yearling when she was 2nd at Madison. She went VG 89 at 2 years old and went on to be Nominated AA as a Sr 2. The following year in 2011, Ritz went all the way to Intermediate Champion at Madison and Harrisburg. Also that year her Legacy daughter was nominated all American spring yearling. Currently, Ritz has 12 daughters in the herd sired by Supreme (4), Bonanza (4), Chilli Pepper (2), Tally (1), Durham (1). Richard and Donna purchased her Grand Dam, Burlin Banker Risky as a calf in the Mid West Revue Sale.
  • Hills Valley Raven Ex92 - 93 ms
    5-04 309d 2x 26,209 4.7 1,238 3.2 843
    2nd 5 year old at Harrisburg 2014
    With the loss of Ritz earlier this year, Raven is currently the herd favorite and will anchor the show string. Raven placed 2nd at Harrisburg as 5 year old 2014 and 10th at Expo. She was Reserve Supreme Champion of the 2015 Hoards Judging Contest. Raven’s dam is Hills Valley Jetway Rival VG 87 at 2 years of age. The next dam was the Burlin Banker Risky VG 89, the same grand dam as Ritz. She has daughters by Legacy and Braiden and granddaughters by Victor and Megatron in the herd.

The Fawn Family

Campswiss Jacque Fawn was another purchase that greatly impacted the herd. One of the first Hills owned cattle to hit the big time in the show ring, Fawn was from a famed cow family. Fawn was purchased in 1999 Maryland National Sale as a 4 year old. Her dam was the famous Campswiss Supreme Faith 3E94. Fawn's daughter, Brook Run Jetway Fern, sold that same day and was purchased by Sandy Dale Farm, OK. We only ever got one daughter of Fawn, named Hills Valley Jetway Fawn Ex 90. She was flushed heavily with several offspring in the herd today. In 2000, at World Dairy Expo, Fern was Jr Champ, Fawn was 3rd 5 year old and Faith was Reserve Grand! Finale, pictured below, is a daughter of Jetway Fawn by Tally.

Campswiss Jacque Fawn Ex90
Hills Valley Tally Finale Ex90, 92 ms
Finale" Ex 90, 92 MS- Placed 3rd and best udder at Harrisburg 2014 and 9th at Expo as Sr 3. Fresh in April and is currently milking over 100 pounds per day. Her Austin son and Total daughter are currently in the herd. Finale is a great granddaughter of Campswiss Supreme Faith 3E 94, All American 1998 and 2000.

The Tease Family

Another family is being developed. Cutting Edge S Tease ET, was purchased as a heifer to bring the attributes of the admired Dublin Hills Treats 2Ex94 twice All American. Tease already has several daughters in the herd and she produces well. Further, she developed into the appreciated, Honorable Mention All American Jr Two Year old 2013.

Cutting Edge S. Tease ET
2-04 365 20,560m 1,003 bft 711p
Honorable Mention All American Jr 2 2013
Tease is by Supreme from Treats. Her sisters Taffy, Treasure and Tracy have been all Nominated All American. She has a daughter by Victor, sold in the 2015 National Sale. Her daughters by Bonanza, Tray, Victor and a son by Chilli Pepper remain in the herd. Tease has a full brother at Progressive
Sires; Cutting Edge Tallant- 138 BS 5378.

The Zero Family

Hills Valley Agenda Zoro Ex 92. Richard purchased her dam Whisper Valley Eddie Zero as a bred heifer in the Breed Builders sale in 2007 for $1,900. She went on to be VG 89 as a 2 year old and the photo girl for Elk Creek Ace Eddie. Later Zero turned into hero and scored 92 and had records up to 29,000m. Zoro has placed 4th at Harrisburg as a Jr. 3, 4 year and 5 year old while being 1st or 2nd at New York State Fair those same years. Zoro is no slouch at milking times either, having 2 records over 25,000.

The Philly Family

Top Acres Blend Philly 4E 92, multiple records over 30,000 was a famous and greatly appreciated cow. Her daughter was Hills Valley Jetway Paris VG 85 who produced over 33,000 milk, and who started this cow family at Hills Valley. Her daughter was Hill's Valley Monaco Paridise Ex 91 who, as as a 3 yr old, produced 3-4 365d 29,640 1,338bft 1,087p.

ills Valley Tray Phoenix

Hills Valley Tray Phoenix was a key component to our successful 2011 show season as a Sr 2 year old, she placed 6th at Harrisburg and 2nd in Louisville. We then consigned her to 2012 National Convention Sale in Vermont and she was purchased by Greg Clark in New Hampshire.

There have been 112 home-bred cows classified Excellent at Hill’s Valley. There have been 22 nominations for All American. They have been honored to be named Premier Breeder at the New York State Fair at least 15 times. In 2011 Hill’s Valley Farm was named the Premier Breeder and Exhibitor at the Eastern National and Southeastern National shows, and 2002 Premier Breeder and Exhibitor at Eastern National.

All American Nominations

1997- Casino, Supreme 2000- Jr Best 3, Fawn, Priceless
2004- Mayo,
2005- Cola
2006- Perspect, Cola
2009- Budgee, Jitter, Ritz, Jr Best 3
2010- Ritz
2011- Ritz, Ready OR Not, Royalty, Jr Best 3 (2), Brack, Sr Best 3
2013- Tease

Richard judged the 2013 Central National in Madison, 2009 Eastern National in Harrisburg, 2011 Northwestern National in Puyallup, 2014 Eastern States Expo, Mexico National show, and numerous state fairs. This year, he is slated to judge the Southwestern National in Stillwater and the Wisconsin State show.

Richard serves on the Brown Swiss Historical Society Executive Committee and also its Awards and Recognition Subcommittee. He has served 2 terms on the National Brown Swiss board of directors, being Vice President of the Association in 2007 and 2008. Richard and Donna worked on the 2007 National Convention hosted in Syracuse, NY. In 2010 they were recognized by the New York Brown Swiss Association with the Dedicated Breeder award.

Hills Valley LLC now is managed by Rich & Donna and Darin & Katie. Rich and Donna set up an LLC 7 years ago and constructed new facilities to house a larger herd, enabling Darin to join the operation. They are currently milking 115 Brown Swiss and 40 Holsteins with a combined rolling herd average of over 24,000 pounds of milk, over 1,000 pounds of fat, and 840 pounds of protein! They have also received awards for producing quality milk, maintaining a somatic cell average of 140,000.

Richard and Donna Hill are extraordinary examples of folks dedicated to breeding outstanding Brown Swiss cattle. The Brown Swiss Historical Society is proud to add them to the short list of Master Breeders, active division. Congratulations to the Hills!

Historical Society & Awards

The Jane Legacy

Jane of Vernon - 3 Year Old

Jane of Vernon - 4 Year Old

Jane of Vernon - 11 Year Old

Her Offspring

Jane of Vernon 2nd

Jane of Vernon 2nd

Jane of Vernon 3rd

Jane of Vernon 3rd

Jane of Vernon 4th

Jane of Vernon 4th

Jane of Vernon 5th

Jane of Vernon 5th

Jane's Royal of Vernon

Jane's Royal of Vernon

Colonel Harry of J.B.

Colonel Harry of J. B.

Jane 2nd & 3rd, undefeated Produce, 1937 Waterloo & National Dairy Show

Jane of Vernon 2nd & Jane of Vernon 3rd, undefeated Produce, 1937 Waterloo & National Dairy Show

the 4 janes 1938 nat'l dairy show

The 4 Janes - Get of Vernon's Lucky Strike at 1938 National Dairy Show.
L-R: Jane 2nd, Jane 3rd, Jane 4th, Jane 5th

Dedication at 1955 Jubilee Anniversary

Dedication at 1955 Jubilee Anniversary