2021 YBA Recipient

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2021 Young Breeder Award

Tanner Mashek, Calmar, Iowa

Tanner works with his parents, Dennis & Barb Mashek, and brother Josh on an 8th-generation family farm in Calmar, IA.  Hilltop Acres, homesteaded in 1854, currently has 800 Registered Brown Swiss. The Masheks farm 1,000 acres, of which 470 are owned. Tanner is the herd manager and currently owns 300 head. He is very involved in all the breeding decisions and embryo transfer matings for the herd.

Tanner’s involvement started as a Brown Swiss Junior Member in 2004, and he has been an active National Member since 2014. Junior Brown Swiss programs along with the FFA American Farmer Degree helped further Tanner’s development and interest in the dairy industry. While attending the NE Iowa Community College, Tanner was a member of the judging team and the Dairy Club.  Tanner also took the opportunity to serve as a summer intern for the Brown Swiss association in Switzerland 

At the 2006 Iowa National Sale, Tanner purchased Cutting Edge Prem Dally ET as an open heifer.  She developed into a 3E92/92ms 38,000m cow with over 201,260m lifetime.  She in turn is the dam of Hilltop Acres V Dolly ET 2E93/93ms with 227,070m lifetime to-date and Hilltop Acres V Divinity 2E91/92ms 30,520m. Bulls in A.I. from the “D” family include Durham, Davenport, Defender, Dairyking, Dairystar, Disco and the popular Daredevil. This pair of young cows are direct descendants of the Dally cow:  Hilltop Acres Devil Dynamic ET V87/88ms, 2/10 365d 3x 39,990m 3.7 1,489f 3.6 1,437p, Milk & Protein Honor Rolls, out of Biver Date; and Hilltop Acres Devil Drizzle ET, Class Leader Under 2YR Protein Honor Roll, 1-11 365d 3x 37,090m 4.1 1,535f 3.6 1,346p. These are but a few of the animals bred by Tanner that are impacting the breed worldwide.

Numerous National Brown Swiss Herd Awards have been attained by Hilltop Acres including the Progressive Genetic Herd Award, Ira Inman PTPR Award, and Genetic Honor Herd to name a few.

Tanner is quick to acknowledge it is the support of his family that is making this a reality.  When asked what goals he has for the herd, he highlighted:  breed the style of Brown Swiss that any dairyman will respect and appreciate; attain and improve on a 30,000 lb. RHA; continue to use genomics to develop the #1 genomic Bull, #1 genomic Cow, and #1 genomic Heifer. “If I don’t have that, I’m not satisfied and I will always keep pushing myself to reach those goals.”