Holstein Association USA announced the 2015 recipients of the Elite Performer recognition. The Elite Performer award, first given by Holstein Association USA last year, recognizes superior Registered Holstein® cows that have demonstrated a profitable combination of high production, sound conformation, and longevity.
This year, 400 cows hailing from 16 states were named National Elite Performers. Another 306 cows from 23 states received Regional Elite Performer honors, from nine regions across the country.
“The purpose of this prestigious recognition is to honor cows that every dairy farmer would love to milk; those with high milk production, elite type, and long, productive lives,” said John M. Meyer, Holstein Association USA Chief Executive Officer. “This award helps bring added value for the cattle designated with the honor, and it rewards breeders for developing these high-performing, profitable Registered Holsteins®.”
In order to qualify for Elite Performer recognition, cows must have completed at least three lactations in a herd participating in the Association’s TriStar™ program, completing the most recent lactation in the past twelve months, and must be classified Very Good-85 or higher. All cows currently enrolled in TriStar who are 87% RHA or higher are evaluated annually.
Once eligible cows are determined, they are ranked based on total lifetime pounds of combined fat and protein per day in milk. The top one percent of cows meeting the criteria are awarded National Elite Performer recognition. Those cows are then removed from consideration for Regional Elite Performer honors, and the remaining top one percent of cows from each of nine regions, the same as Holstein Association USA election regions, are named Regional Elite Performers. The Elite Performer award is a lifetime recognition, so cows are only eligible to receive the honor one time.
The Elite Performer award recognizes not only the cow for her achievements, but also the breeder, the owner, and the herd management that together allowed her to qualify for this prestigious award. A complete list of 2015 Elite Performers can be found on the Holstein Association USA website.