1964: Inauguration of the “first” Red Holstein association in the USA
Red and White dairy cattle association (RWDCA):
– First director: Elmer Carpenter from Pennsylvania
– Second director: John Carpenter (son of Elmer )
– Larry Moore RH breeder of mink in Suamico Wisc.
– John Gage, lawyer in Manhatten Kansas
– Dr. Doc Ostrander, veterinarian in Illinois
RED & WHITE REFLECTIONS
The First Fifty Years of the
Red & White Dairy Cattle Association
By Ronald F. Eustice
Founded in I964, the Red & While Dairy Cattle Association (RWDCA) was located in Crystal Spring, PA from 1975 until 2009 when the headquarters were moved to Clinton, WI. The RWDCA strives to encourage and promote the progressive breeding and development of superior Red & White dairy cattle by providing breeders with information, programs, and
services to help track, evaluate, and improve the breed from one generation to the next. The Association is based on the principle of an open herdbook and currently serves over 1’300 members.
The dairy cow was added as Wisconsin’s official “domestic animal” by Chapter 167. Laws of 1971, in recognition of the animal’s many contributions to the state. In keeping with a succession plan adopted by the Wisconsin Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, whose
members represent the seven major dairy breeds; the Red & White Holstein was designated as the 2011 Cow of the Year.
FIFTY YEARS OF RED & WHITE DAIRY CATTLE PROGRESS
In 1963, as a University of Minnesota freshman, I purchased my ﬁrst Red and White females. During high school, I spent my summers working with show cattle at Mor-Ayr Farm owned by Dr. R. B.Graves, a physician at Red Wing, MN. He purchased and bred some of North America’s finest Ayrshires. One of Dr. Graves’ animals was Mor-Ayr Bell Bellidina, who at EX-97.2 is still the highest classiﬁed Ayrshire of all time. Jerry Strandlund, then a recent graduate of the University at Minnesota, became manager of Mor-Ayr in I964. He worked at Mor-Ayr several years before becoming herd manager for Larry Moore in Suamico, Wl in 1965-66.
In 1962, Dr. Graves donated several heifers to the University of Minnesota with the understanding that the Ayrshire herd would be developed. Dr. Clarence Cole, Dairy Department Head, graciously accepted the gift and promptly bred each of the heifers to Red Holstein bulls: Larry Moore Pioneer and Larry Moore Nobile, then on loan to the University from Larry Moore. From those matings, four heifer calves were born. At the time, Dr. Cole was my college advisor and one day I asked him what his plans were for the Red and White calves? His response was, “I’ll sell them to you and cheap.” I negotiate a deal and as a university freshman at 18 years old, I owned my first Red and Whites.
In those days, there was limited domestic demand for Red and Whites. While still a student at the University of Minnesota, I was able to purchase some well-bred calves at very reasonable prices including daughters of SRD Advancer Three, Arlinda Ace, Pineyhill Majority, Center Field Ivanhoe Trustee, Walkway Monitor Joel and Citation R. Maple as well as a son of Reflection Brauns Ace. Many of these animals found a new home in Brazil. The proceeds helped pay my college tuition and living expenses.
My passion for Red and Whites raised a few eyebrows. Some of the prominent Holstein breeders in Minnesota and elsewhere were not happy to see these red and white outcasts legitimized. The US. and Canadian Holstein Associations were considering by-law changes that would allow red and white offspring of purebred black and white parents to enter the Holstein herdbook. Efforts at national conventions failed several times before the membership decided it was time to open the Holstein herd book to Red and Whites.
There were many who were openly hostile to the Red and Whites. One Imminent Holstein breeder, a Minnesota Holstein Association past president, took me aside one day for some fatherly advice and said “Ronnie, you have a good future ahead of you, but if you keep on with those Red and Whites, you might ruin your reputation.” l politely thanked him and completely ignored his advice.
During the next few years. I became acquainted with nearly all of the early Red and White cattle breeders. Several times I was invited to be a guest in their homes and I traveled with some of them, most notably Elmer Carpenter, from farm to farm to select consignments for the National Red and White Sale held at Waterloo, IA in 1969. I served on the RWDCA board from 1979 until 1982. In 1965, l purchased a Red and White heifer from Apple Acres Farm, Hastings, MN. This cow, Color Crest Miss Scarlet-Red (VG-87) was named Reserve Grand Champion at the ﬁrst National Red and White Show in 1968 at World Dairy Expo. Later in this week, she topped the 1968 National Sale at World Dairy Expo. Scarlet-Red was purchased by Cliff and Claudine Boatright, Wellington, KS and gave birth to six daughters. A head shot of Scarlet appeared on the cover of Farm Journal magazine and three times on the cover of the American Breeder‘s Service Red and White sire directory.
Since then, my career has included nearly 50 years of service to American agriculture including management positions at Minnesota Holstein Association, where in 1984, l helped start the Minnesota Red and White Club; Carnation/Genetics: American Breeder’s Service; Land 0′ Lakes; and, the Minnesota Beef Council. I have continued to be involved in cattle activities during the pant 50 years and have thoroughly enjoyed watching Red and Whites gain worldwide acceptance and popularity.
In 1961, who could imagine that descendants of heifers that narrowly missed the butcher block could sell at public auction for a million dollars? Who could imagine that in 2013, there would be almost as many spectators at the International Red and White Show as there were watching the Black and White judging later the same day? No one could imagine that a Red and White, Lavender Ruby Redrose-Red (ex-96) would be crowned Supreme Champion at World Dairy Expo in 2005 and that in 2013, KHW Regimen Apple 3-Red-ETN (EX-96), a cloned female, would be selected as Grand Champion at the International Red and White Show at World Dairy Expo and named Reserve Supreme Champion.
As the RWDCA enters its 50th year, I have been asked by the organization’s History Committee to share some of my recollections of the early years of the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association. I am highly honored for the opportunity to reﬂect upon 50 years of Red and White dairy cattle progress.
The author is grateful to the following people who have been willing to share their extensive experience, knowledge and research with me to make this publication possible. These experts have one thing in common; they share a passion for Red and White dairy cattle and as a result have helped the breed reach a position of worldwide prominence and respect.
Dr. Larry Specht, Professor Emeritus Dairy Science, Pennsylvania State University, has compiled a history of Red and White Holsteins. The history provides an overview of how the existence of Red and White dairy cattle evolved in the United States when all of the early Holsteins imported from the Netherlands were black and white. From a series of interviews and research into existing documentation, Dr. Specht explained the emergence of the red trait, and how Red and White Holsteins came to be accepted as eligible for registration ﬁrst in Canada and then in the United States. The research centers on the introduction of the red gene into the United States and then the migration of the red hair color trait between the United States and Canadian Holstein populations. He identiﬁes the primary bloodlines and “carrier” animals that succeeded in keeping the trait viable. Dr. Specht tried to use three primary sources to conﬁrm the information he found, as he traced the pedigrees of Red and Whites as known Red. His research included studying old herd books, and reading extensively in the Canadian and US. breed publications, as well as other printed materials referencing early reports about red and White cattle.
Dr. David Selner, is a globally recognized dairy geneticist, who operates his own dairy consulting business that specializes in dairy genetics, dairy management, and dairy software both domestically and internationally. He worked in the Al. industry for over 30 years, holding positions as Vice-President and Senior Manager in Genetics, and in sire procurement, progeny testing, training and marketing. Dr. Selner has presented genetics seminars and papers in over 20 countries, educating producers and industry personnel. Every major US. dairy breed and many international dairy cattle breeding associations have sought his expertise to aid their genetic development. He remains actively involved in managing his family’s dairy operation, is an international dairy cattle judge and served as the Chairman of the Dairy Show at World Dairy Expo. Dr. Selner has a special interest in Red and Whites and has a unique knowledge of red and red carrier sires that have inﬂuenced the breed.
Maurice Leduc, was partner of the Granduc Holstein herd until 2002 when the herd was dispersed. This Quebec herd twice received the prestigious title of “Master Breeder”, 1994 and 2005. The Granduc herd has developed internationally Cloverlands Skylar Cherry-Red (VG-87—CAN DOM 12*). Maurice has been the ﬁrst Canadian to accept two important RWDCA awards: the Larry Moore Master Breeder Award and the Don Albrecht Distinguished Achievement Award in 2007. Maurice Leduc has been the Club Resource Ofﬁcer for the Canadian Red and White Holstein Club since 2002. He has written numerous articles on the transmission of the Red Factor which have been published in Canadian dairy journals. The province of Quebec has been a leader in organizing Canadian Red and White Holstein activities. The driving force behind these activities has been Maurice Leduc.
Jean-Louis Schrago, Crans, Switzerland, has spent his entire adult life promoting Red and White dairy cattle. As an employee and later sales representative for American Breeders Service, he was a pioneer in the introduction of Red Holstein genetics in Switzerland, throughout Europe and many other countries. Jean-Louis Schrago established his own dairy breeding company, ABC Genetics, and has developed several outstanding proven Red Holstein sires that have had a major impact on Red and White genetics worldwide. Jean-Louis works closely with his brothers in the development of their Red and White herd in Switzerland.
1968: First RH semen exported to Switzerland from Larry Moore bulls
Larry Moore Transmitter Jack Red, Pioneer Red, Lad Red, James Red.
Schrago brothers had 2 passions:
Football (soccer) and animal breeding
April 24th, 1972: Hanover-Hills Triple Threat Red was born in New York State, USA.
(Telstar x Hanover-Hills Pride Lucky Barb RF EX-94) x John Lucky Barb RF EX 97)
Famous breeder: Peter Heffering, Hanover-Hills Farm
1971: Jean-Louis Schrago advised the mating to the breeder Peter Heffering to produce this famous bull.
After buying Triple Threat, ABS (American Breeders Service) hired Jean-Louis Schrago as European Manager during 10 years,
to develop semen sales of the Holstein bulls Bootmaker, Valiant and especially the top Red Factors bulls like Citation R Maple RF
and H.H. Triple Threat Red.
Picture: 2 first daughters of Jack Red at the Schrago farm in Middes, Fribourg, Switzerland.
On the halter: André and Aloys Schrago
Behind the 2 cows: Larry Moore and Jean-Louis Schrago
Hanover Hill Triple Threat-Red
By Dr. Robert E. Walton
“The story of Hanover Hill Triple Threat is so intertwined with the story of Jean-Louis Schrago that I must first tell part of the Schrago story. I first met Jean-Louis in August 1968 when he appeared at the receptionist desk at ABS with two of his fellow graduates from the Agriculture University in Switzerland.
They had first come to Canada to learn more about Red & White Holsteins there as some R&W semen had already been imported to Switzerland. Schrago was already an avid enthusiast of the R&W breed. They had just been at the Roundtree Holstein Farm near Toronto from which ABS had recently acquired the ABS Reflection Sovereign son Emperor. The Roundtree’s had told Schrago that if he really wanted to find out what was going on in the cattle breeding world they should visit ABS.”
On their way down, Schrago and his Swiss friend Arthur Darbellay, decided to first visit the famous farm Hanover-Hills in New York State. Peter Heffering the owner of this dairy received them. He showed them his famous cow Hanover-Hills John Lucky Barb EX-97 (she was one of the first Holstein cows with the highest score in the USA EX-97 and she had the “red factor”. One of her daughters was Hanover-Hills Pride Lucky Barb. When Schrago asked Peter Heffering to breed his best cow, John Lucky Barb to Roybrook Telstar RF to produce a red son, he asked him if he was joking because the US and Canada only had a few red cows in 1968. For Peter there was no R&W market at this time!
“After this nice visit, they took the Greyhound bus again and travelled to Madison, Wisconsin and De Forest to visit ABS. Thinking ABS was right on the edge of town, they endured a 3 mile walk. The receptionist wasn’t sure what to do with them so she called me and I invited them to my office and learned about their mission – or rather Schrago’s mission as the other two were agronomy majors. After hearing his story and being impressed with his dedication to the cause of the R&W, I told them they should really return to Wisconsin in a couple of months to attend the World Dairy Expo. I then took them to dinner and to the YMCA in Madison where I paid for their rooms for a couple of days as they looked pretty tired and bedraggled from their travels.
Schrago did return to attend the World Dairy Expo which had R&W classes for the 1st time and which coincidentally a guy named Ron Eustice was showing a cow who became Reserve Grand Champion.
About a year later I was in Switzerland selecting Simmental bulls to import for our burgeoning beef AI program when I was able to visit the university where Schrago had studied. His major professor there named Weber attested that Schrago was indeed one of their prize graduates and that he was then getting an MBA from a major business school in Paris.
The next time I heard from Schrago was when he appeared in Madison about 1971 to study for a M.S. Degree in Animal Breeding & Genetics at the University of Wisconsin. We kept in touch and when he graduated I hired him to take the lead in my initial efforts to open up the A.I. market in Europe.”
In 1971, Schrago came back to visit Hanover-Hills farm with a group of European dairy farmers. At that time, Peter Heffering owner of the dairy, was ready to breed his best red factors cows with a red factor bull. During the 3 years after Schrago’s first visit, Peter had heard from different people that the R&W market was coming worldwide. After visiting his best cows, Heffering invited Schrago to have lunch. During the meal Peter asked Schrago which Red factor bull should be used? Schrago told him to use Roybrook Telstar RF. He answered that the bull was in Japan. Schrago then said he had the number where Telstar was housed and proposed to Heffering to call and ask for 2 Units. Peter called Japan and a secretary there was able to speak some English. She said that she would ask her boss for availability and price. They waited for long minutes till suddenly they heard a voice on phone asking for $ 2’500 for 2 units of Telstar! Peter dropped the phone on the table and told Schrago the requested price! Schrago answered “Peter it’s a done deal!”. After more discussion Schrago advised Peter to no longer breed John Lucky Barb (who was old) but to breed her best daughter H.H. Pride Lucky Barb EX-94 with Telstar.
10 months later on April 24th 1972, Triple Threat Red was born. Schrago was at the University of Madison when Professor Tyler received a phone call from Peter Heffering asking to speak with him. Peter told him “John-Louis, not only is the bull born from Pride Lucky Barb…but he’s red!”. They had a 25% chance and won!
Schrago was so happy at this point about this new red bull being born that he asked his student friend Bill Backman from Seymour Wisconsin if they could drive to Hanover-Hills farm in New York immediately. Bill Backman agreed with no hesitation and they drove across Illinois, Michigan nonstop. They arrived one day after and Peter was surprised to see them. He showed them the young bull who looked like a small dear as he was entirely red. They took many pictures and drove back to Madison convinced that an exceptional red bull was born!
At this time, they did not know that Telstar was carrier of the Black-red gene named later Mahogany. Triple Threat Red received this gene “BR” from his father. For this reason, he turned black at 9 months at ABS. This “BR” information had never came out because Roy Ormiston, owner of the Roybrook farm had killed all red calves born from his famous cow Roybrook Model Lass EX, mother of Telstar. At that time, the Red factor was considered as a gene defect by many American and Canadian breeders. That is why Telstar was sold to Japan as young bull and Citation R to Mexico.
“Schrago strongly pressed that ABS should buy Hanover Hill Triple Threat. Schrago then returned to Switzerland and Ken Young from my Dairy Cattle Breeding staff went to the Hanover Hill sale. I had authorized him to go up to $60,000 if necessary but he actually had to bid $62,000 to get him and I was not too pleased at the time. As he later told me, “It was easier to ask for forgiveness then to ask for permission”. A few months later Triple Threat began changing color from Red to Black and the so called Black-Red gene was first identified and expressed. I was really upset with Schrago and Young at that point! The bottom line is that was probably one of the best investments we ever made and Schrago and Young were forgiven many times over the years!
Schrago really succeeded in opening the European market and Triple Threat became a major factor in that success – whatever breed and whatever kind of cow he was bred to, he caused a dramatic improvement.
Hanover Hill Triple Threat-Red, one of the greatest sires in Holstein breed history was born in 1972. He was the result the skill of Master Breeder Pete Heffering who bred Roybrook Telstar*BRC to John’s Lucky Barb*RC. Hanover Hill Triple Threat-Red sold to ABS for $60,000 and burst on the scene with an outstanding pedigree and the ability to create tremendous brood cows. He created excitement and interest in Red & Whites and the red gene. He came close to being the ideal bull and was heavily used in North America and Europe.
Forty years after his birth, Hanover Hill Triple Threat-Red is still one of the most influential and respected sires of any breed. Although he was marginal for milk production, he was one of the Holstein breed’s best bulls for type improvement and also increased butterfat. His daughters were tall, with good udders and sound feet and legs and developed into high lifetime production cows. Triple Threat saw extensive use all over the world. His only fault was that he carried the black-red gene, which caused about half of his red and white offspring to turn mostly black before they reached six months of age.
When Triple Threat was about 5-6 years old he developed lameness on one front leg and was really a 3-legged bull the rest of his life. That never prevented him from doing his job, though, as he would hobble into the collection room and then immediately come to life and produce semen with the best of them. It was a remarkable story and he was a most remarkable character. He probably did more for the R&W movement than any bull in history. Thank goodness for Schrago’s confidence in him!”
In Switzerland, only one cow reached the highest classified score of EX-98: Guex Triple Tulippe Red. She was a daughter of Hanover Triple Threat Red. Schrago selected her to be presented with 3 others Triple Threat daughters at Paris agriculture show in 1979 inside the HFA pavilion. This show was the real starting point of the red Holstein breed in Europe. During this show, the French veterinarians were suspicious about this new dairy breed and they infected intentionally these 4 red cows with IBR. When Schrago came back to Switzerland, which was free from IBR disease, he was asked to slaughter immediately the animals. They slaughtered 3 of them but by luck, Anton Van Nieuwenhuize from Holland who was impressed by Tulippe EX-98 at the show, came to Switzerland and bought her. Tulippe EX-98 lived till she was 15-year-old in Holland and strongly contributed to the promotion of the new red Holstein breed.
“As an aside, Schrago was later my key agent in establishing initial contacts in the U.S.S.R., in meeting Gorbachev, and in opening up that huge market.”
On left side: Michel Guex from Matran Switzerland with his cow Guex Triple Tulipe Red EX-98
On the right side: André Schrago with his cow Schrago Triple Tella Red EX-92
Larry Moore was very impressed to see the famous daughter of Triple Treat: Guex Triple Tulipe Red EX-98
On Halter: Michel Guex, the breeder of Tulipe Red
At this time, Triple Threat was the hottest bull at ABS in semen demand worldwide. Triple Threat Red produced 510’000 units during his life. More than 200’000 units were sold to Europe. That is why during the WDE in Madison in 1980, Dr. Robert Walton (Director of ABS) and Jean-Louis Schrago, European manager of ABS at this time, took this picture in front of the most famous daughter of Triple Threat in Europe Guex Triple Tulipe Red EX-98. Another Triple Threat did a famous job in North America: Hannover-Hills LuLu RF EX-96. She was the mother of the famous bull Hannover-Hills INSPIRATION.
4 Hannover-Hills Triple Threat daughters from Switzerland were brought to the Paris show by Jean-Louis Schrago inside of the USA pavilion. Unfortunately, they were infected by IBR disease. When they came back to Switzerland, 3 of them were immediately slaughtered, as the country was IBR free. To avoid to slaughter the best of these 4 cows, Guex Triple TULIPE Red EX-98, Jean-Louis Schrago had her transferred to Holland. She survived until 15 years old and produced many famous offsprings. At the same time, Tulipe did a great promotion of the Red Holstein crossing program. At this time, Holland started a large crossing program with the MRY red breed (Picture of Tulipe at the arrival to Hineke dairy farm in Holland).
Dino was the owner of Magnetize Red who was one of the first RH bulls heavily used in Switzerland after Larry Moore Jack, Pioneer, James Red and Brandely Citation Topper Red.
July 2015: Suard Jordan IRENE Red EX-96 at 11 years old
with 3 milking daughters:
– Schrago Italia Indiana Red EX-93 4 years old
– Schrago Burns Iris Red EX-92 4 years old
– Schrago Butler Isa Red VG-85 2 years old
– with one granddaughter: Schrago Barbwire Billie Red 84 Points 2 years old
September 5th 2015: Swiss Red Holstein show in Berne Switzerland
IRENE Red was selected as best udder cow and champion cow of the show.
It is not to bad for a grand mother of 11 years old!
Height: 159 cm = 64 inches
This cow is the second daughter of Irene Red. Her production is:
3-08 2x 305 10’383 kg (22’843 lbs.) 4,50 % F. 3,68 % Protein. The Schrago farm is optimistic about this superb cow with type, milk, fat and especially high protein index!
At the ABC Genetics stand, Erika Schrago giving information to a Red Holstein breeder of Wisconsin.
2015 : Michael Schrago visiting Mr Luis Bermudez Red Holstein breeder near Bogota Colombia
The demand for “beef meat” has especially increased in China and India last few years. Some countries who were exporting beef meat for many years are now in shortage. Exemple : USA.
After 2015 , what can we expect?
The “red” and “polled” dairy cattle population will be still be growing worldwide due to:
– The need to decrease the inbreeding of some other dairy breeds.
In the USA, the Holstein breed has clainmed over …7%. The fertility is already decreasing !
– The red color which gives better resistance for hot weather, intense sun, high altitude and insects.
– Polled Gene with the advantages of having fewer accidents, fewer losses and easier calving.
– More demand of semen from bulls positive in Kappa Casein BB and Beta Casein A2A2.
Exemple : Ja-Bob ROBIN PP Red Ja-Bob Ronaldo PP Red : Kappa Casein BB, Beta Casein A2 A2.
– In many countries, milk is in high demand and it will stay the best source of protein in the years to come.
– The increase in milk production will be achieved increasingly by selecting for :
full-coated dark Red and… Polled dairy cows!
– There is a great future for the dairy farmers because the demand for milk is still increasing in many countries!