HISTORY THROUGH THE DECADES: 1990-1999
In 1990, the Board of Directors established a Distinguished Service Award. This award would honor an individual whose work has made a great contribution to the Brown Swiss breed. The award is not to be an annual award, but to be presented when deemed merited. The first award was presented at the National Convention in Hutchinson, Kansas, on July 19, 1990, to Dr. Horst Leipold, Kansas State University. Dr. Leipold researched the “Weaver” problem in Brown Swiss and determined the mode of inheritance and its actual degenerative effect on the spinal cord. In addition, he did research on genetic defects for several breeds, including “Spiderleg” in Brown Swiss.
Beginning in 1990 and through the 90’s, production and show records were being broken on a regular basis. The Total Performance Award is based on an animal’s show placing at a national show, her high 305-day 4% FCM record, and her lifetime production per day. High Spruce Stretchy Eve became the National Total Performance Winner for the 4th time in 1990, also winning that award in 1986, 1987, and 1988. Her breeder was Donald Cole, Sr., Columbia Cross Roads, PA. She was purchased by Alan and Bruce Rinehart and Warren Schroer, Wapakoneta, OH, at the 1983 Pennsylvania National Sale. In 1988, she was transferred to R-Hart Farm where she was housed the entire time.
The first Historical Presentation to the Brown Swiss Association occurred in late 1990, when the Eldredge family of New York, whose ancestors were early importers of Brown Swiss in 1884, donated seven Swiss bells, a blanket, and other memorabilia related to the imports from the Burgi family in Switzerland. Those bells and blanket have hung over the main entrance doorway of the Brown Swiss office ever since. A display cabinet, also in the entryway, contains Burgi and Eldredge business cards and other memorabilia.
New Breed Production Champions were recognized in 1991. LPS Telstar Sally May Twin became the new Fat Champion in February that year, as she produced in 365 days, 33,520 lbs. milk, 6.2% test, 2,067 lbs. fat, 3.8 % protein, and 1,259 lbs. protein. The previous champion since 1987 was Fullerton Delegate Que at 2,007 pounds. Sally was owned by Laurie Schroeder of Fergus Falls, MN.
Later in 1991, two more Breed Champions were recognized. (1). Shelburne Del SF 514 broke a Lifetime Milk Production record which had been held by Ivetta since 1969. Completing her 13th lactation at 15-0 years of age, “514” had produced 309,962 lbs. milk, 12,278 lbs. fat and 8,696 lbs. protein in 4,564 days. Ivetta’s lifetime record was 308,569 lbs. milk and 13,067 lbs. fat. Del SF 514 spent her entire life at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT. She placed second for lifetime fat behind Ivetta. Gordon Searles was the farm manager at Shelburne at that time. (2). Snowdale Improver Desi completed a 365-day record on May 16, 1991, of 41,730 lbs. milk, 3.9 % test, 1,609 lbs. fat, 3.7 % test, and 1,541 lbs. protein. “Desi” broke Century Acres Liz C‘s milk record of 37,846 lbs., held since 1980, and Lone Oak Ima Doll’s protein record of 1,428 lbs., held since 1986. Earlier that year, Tom Ferg, owner of Ima Doll, had established the Lone Oak Ima Doll Award for the top protein record of 365 days or less. Desi was purchased by William Kelly III, Winchester, NH, at the 1986 New York National Sale.
The Identity Enrollment program was established in 1970. It includes three basic steps, only for females, beginning with an inspected grade Brown Swiss (ID), which when bred to a registered Brown Swiss sire produces a second-step animal (IE). Then that animal when bred to a registered Brown Swiss sire produces a third step animal (CIE). After which, subsequent generations would be fully registered. While over 20,000 ID animals and over 20,000 IE animals had been registered over the 20-year period, a huge boost was realized in 1992, when Larsen Dairy of Okeechobee, FL, entered 461 cows and heifers into the program. Area Representative Myron Fledderjohann spent 4 days checking them all in. In 1993, the program was expanded to include an initial step prior to the first-step (ID) animals called a Recorded Female (RF), a first-cross Brown Swiss with another dairy breed. Her daughters sired by a registered Brown Swiss are called IDR’s, equivalent to first step ID’s.
Brown Swiss again reigned Supreme in 1994. Hoosier Knoll Jade Monay became the second Brown Swiss to reign as Supreme Champion over all breeds at World Dairy Expo. Monay was bred and owned by Steven Hendress, Wolcott, IN. Monay also was named the Total Performance, Aged Cow Genetic Award, and Production Award winner at WDE.
A new Protein and Fat leader emerged in 1995 as R-Hart CD Connie, owned by Alan Rinehart of R-Hart Farm, Wapakoneta, OH, broke both records with her 4-0 record in 365 days of 2,072 lbs. fat and 1,649 lbs. protein. She broke the fat record by 5 pounds and the protein record by over 100 pounds. Connie was also recognized as the #1 CPI (Cow Performance Index) cow in the July 1995 Genetic Evaluations.
Again in 1996, a new milk and fat leader rose to the top as Rolling Meadows Dots Lady, owned by Mark Witmer, Rolling Meadows farm, Salem, OH, became the new “queen” of the breed. In 365 days, Lady produced 45,890 lbs. milk and 2,416 lbs. fat. The Witmers are a three-generation Brown Swiss family, with Mark’s grandfather, Paul, buying his first Swiss in 1938.
As previously mentioned, the National Total Performance Award recognizes cows that excel in both production and show performance. The Brown Swiss breed was the first to award this type of honor and 1996 marked the 23rd year for this award. Top Acres EJ Whizzbang became the 9th National Total Performance winner for Wayne and Connie Sliker, Top Acres, St. Paris, OH. Whizzbang has also been recognized as an All-American four times at various ages. To continue this string of wins for Top Acres, in 1997 the winner was Bell-Manor Dotson Glitter, owned in partnership with Kenny Joe Manion, Scottsville, KY, and Wayne E. Sliker, St. Paris, OH. And one year later, Top Acres Dotson Polka ET, owned by Top Acres, St. Paris, OH, captured this honor, making it the 11th win for Top Acres in its 25-year history.
The March 1997 Bulletin cover celebrated the 75th year of the Brown Swiss Bulletin with 8 different covers over the years. Inside you would find a history of the Bulletin from its beginning in July 1922, which was 22 pages in length, including a list of the 17 different editors over the years and many of their pictures.
To round out the production record-setting animals for the 90’s, was Rolling Meadows Dotson Lacy, of Rolling Meadows Farm of Columbiana, OH. In 1998, Lacy became the new record holder for milk and protein with a 365-day record of 46,690 lbs. milk, 5.0% 2,348 lbs. fat, 3.7% 1,716 lbs. protein. Lacy is a maternal sister to Rolling Meadows Dots Lady, the past milk and then current fat record holder.
On July 1, 1998, Brown Swiss breeders and enthusiasts from around the world gathered in Springfield, OH, to witness the record-breaking Top Acres Sale with an average of $6,110. Ninety-five head of top-quality Brown Swiss cattle were made available by Top Acres Farm, owned and operated by Wayne and Connie Sliker of St. Paris, OH. Buyers from 21 states, as well as Canada, were represented. Topping the sale was Top Acres PR Pom Pom ET at $40,500, purchased by H.E. Heindel and Sons of Brogue, PA.