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Mitch Kappelman Honored with 2020 Young Breeder Award

The National Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders’ Association has announced Mitch Kappelman as the 2020 Young Breeder Award Winner. This award recognizes an individual or member and spouse who have shown an expertise in dairy farming and Brown Swiss cattle breeding, participated in Association programs and events, and held leadership roles in the community both in agricultural and non-agricultural organizations.

Mitch’s great-great-grandfather, Charles Tills started the family farm, Meadow Brook Farm, in 1872 with nine Holstein cows and 80 acres. Over time the family farm has grown to include 425 milking cows with the majority being Holsteins.  Nowadays, Meadow Brook is operated by Mitch along with his two sisters, Beth and Erin, and his brother-in-law A.J., along with seven full-time
employees. Mitch’s duties on the farm ranges from when the cattle are six months old on up. He makes all genetic, treatment, and cull decisions and handles them accordingly or confers with others on the farm.

The 29-year-old Manitowoc, Wisconsin, man is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduation, with Mitch’s passion for genetics, he was employed as the Brown Swiss Sire Analyst for Accelerated Genetics and is currently at Select Sires.

One of Mitch’s greatest contributions to the family farm has been his incorporation of Brown Swiss cattle into the herd. In 2001, he entered the World Dairy Expo Showmanship contest using one of Tammy Voegeli’s Brown Swiss. He placed 8th, but it was the start of his enthusiasm for Brown Swiss. Over the next few years, Meadow Brook acquired a few Brown Swiss. Over the last 15 years of ownership, Mitch has managed to build the Brown Swiss herd up to 86 cattle. The rolling herd average in March 2020 was 25,244m 1,093f, 827p with 35 cows. He also has a 31-percent pregnancy rate and bulk tank cell count below 100.

It is obvious that Mitch takes great pride in running a successful operation. Currently, Mitch has bred and raised 13 bulls that are now in A.I. He has owned five of the top PPR Cows, including Meado-Brook Saras Snap ET P, the #1 polled cow for four straight proof runs from Dec. 2018-Dec. 2019. Mitch has had 12 cows reach Excellent status so far, with Meado-Brook Bro Caelyn Twin reaching 2E-92.

At the Elite Dairy Dispersal in 2019, Mitch purchased Eloc Wagor Kandid. She was the first Brown Swiss cow to score EX-95 in the United States and was the Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo in 2014. One of Mitch’s future goals is to breed an All-American for his show string.

Mitch has participated in several Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders’ Association programs with consignment sales, the Identity Enrollment program, National Shows and National Conventions. Mitch was also the 2018 winner for the BSCBA Progressive Genetic Herd Award in 2018.

Over the years, Mitch has held several leadership roles including his current positions as the Nominating Committee Chairman for the Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association, the Canton IV President for the Wisconsin Brown Swiss Association, as well as the Breeder’s Cup Chair and Board Member of the Manitowoc County Holstein Association. Other notable positions have included President of the Badger Dairy Club, Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Adult Holstein Convention, Chairman for the World Dairy Expo—Badger Dairy Club.