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The DAT People's Choice Question of the Week:Show Ring more Relevant
A follow up to last weeks question suggested by Old Timer.
Is there anything we could do to make the show ring more relevant to breed progress?
Reader Comments
Comments posted do not express the viewpoint of Dairy Agenda Today or its staff members.

Ronald Flatness
December, 4 2019
Genomics comes from Actual Production and Type info.If we continue to test and classify less ,Genomics will be less reliable all the time. It is nothing without Actual data to calculate from.
Bill
December, 2 2019
The whole point is being missed here. Classification and Milk records are the performance and the Phenotype of an animal. This performance is due to genetics but also heavily influenced by management and environment. Genomics just looks at the DNA and the genetic potential of the cow, and that is what is passed to their calf, not the performance. Apples and Oranges.
Holstein Herd
December, 1 2019
So, we want good cows. Show cows look good. But, we believe they don't function well compared to commercial cows. I had classification recently. The highest genomic type animal in my herd was classified the lowest. So, is there a correlation between genomic type and show type at all?? The classifier joked that the cow was so thick that she was going to make me broke? You look at the show type animals and they do not necessarily have high genomic numbers. So does show type even have any relevance to genomic type that we see in commercial herds?
John
December, 1 2019
Ron, my comment about Holstein ceding breed leadership to the studs concerns attributing all value in the animal based upon its ability to produce a sire for AI. The truth is most of us make our living on how much the cow gives and some of us how she looks. Her genomics contribute to this but are a small part of it. It is ridiculous in my mind to genomics test a group of heifers and sell the bottom third. I have several cows right now that are over 200,000 life time production and Ex. Most of them were average or below when I tested their genomics as heifers. Two are Shottles and one is a Pronto. I kept them because of their family and conformation. The show ring even with all its defects continues to value animals by what they are and not what they hope to be. I recognize there are some real loser bulls who make good show cows i.e. Absolute as someone mentioned.
Real World
December, 1 2019
Just Thinking, Yes the Grand at Expo was from the 150K class but she was a month short of her 10th birthday and just starting her 4th lactation, I don’t think that is what the “Real World” is looking for?
Just thinking
November, 29 2019
Pretty sure the cow that won wde was the 150 cow is these not what we want when breeding cows
Bottom Line
November, 29 2019
Bottom Line is that the show ring somehow needs to stop glorifying bad bulls! The top sire of Red cows is a bad bull. Yes they are pretty but are horrible for somatic cell, fertility and herd life. I recently saw a consignment from a top breeder of show cattle in our area, the sire and maternal grandsire are both minus well over 4 for DPR! This animal is not good enough to show so he is selling her, hoping that someone will buy her for a herd replacement. Some commercial dairyman will likely buy her because he needs more milk in his tank while milk prices are good but he will most likely be turned off by when he can’t get her bred back. We have done this time and time again to the commercial guy and wonder why he has a bad taste in his mouth show ring genetics.
Ronald Flatness
November, 29 2019
HFA has not ceded leadership to big AI! They have tried hard to have them see the light to no avail.That's why they are now selling semen on deep pedigree bulls, the kind I sell also. Most in the business HATE these young high GTPI bulls with two generations of dams that have lots of excuses..died at calving, bloated,hit by an ugly stick etc, that have never produced a drop of milk!
John
November, 28 2019
The comments remind us how varied our industry is and that is a good thing. If you look at semen sales on bulls that sire show type you will notice that they still carry some commercial clout. I think Holstein's job is to retain and increase the value of good Holstein cows--cows that produce and score. The show ring does that for a small part of the industry. The worst thing Holstein has done, in my opinion, is cede leadership of the genetic direction in the breed to the bull studs. I value their input but their bottom line is profit on semen sales. Thus pushing 12 month old sires with high GTPIs makes them money. It has not been good for a lot of us. Some of my worst cows come from that "hot" bull 2 years ago. The Holstein breed is really helped by bulls that sire good cows--Rubicon, Dante, M Delta, Helix, etc. Genomics helps identify these bulls, but good daughters tell us who the truly great ones are. I have got 93 and 94 point cows running around in pens of 80 head competing well. I still don't like little round cows that look like Herefords. The show ring is extreme but a helpful pull in the other direction. May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Why?
November, 27 2019
I agree that over bagging is a huge problem. Who really thinks it looks good to see a cow that can barely walk around her udder? If it’s really important to have them that full, why don’t we just judge them standing in the ring and not let the judge see them move?
Balance Sheet Guy
November, 27 2019
Maybe it is time to accept that the show ring will never be relevant and Holstein Association will never be progressive.
Old Timer
November, 27 2019
It would be next to impossible to change the way judges line them up. For some reason, judges 30 years ago could find the best cows without having them look anorexic but they can’t seem to do it today. Holstein just launched their All-National Showcase awards. For starters why not add to that a “Genetic Award Winner” in each class that would combine GTPI points with the points earned at National shows and reward those animals with a special recognition?
Milk Producer
November, 27 2019
"make the show ring more relevant", the show ring would first need to have relevance! In my opinion it has none. I milk cows for a living, have for decades, most of the cattle I see at the Expo wouldn't last very long in my herd. They may look great and do well in a box stall, but in a free stall set up with a few hundred herdmates, I wouldn't give most of them more than a few months to survive.
Railbord
November, 27 2019
I have to agree with Oldster..we also need to get mor true dairyman and breeders judging our shows and fewer fitters and cow jockeys. Just my thoughts.
Reality
November, 27 2019
Spot on balance sheet guy
Balance Sheet Guy
November, 27 2019
We live in a capitalistic system so for the show ring to be relevant it must reward traits which drive profitability. The last 5 years has shown that dairies which manage for profitability and maintain a strong balance sheet have done ok. Dairies that focus on show ring and classification scores without investing/modernizing have been decimated.
Mark Brown
November, 27 2019
I had a friend tell me dairy shows should be like tractor pulling. There would be farmer classes and super stock, modified etc. Your farmer class cows would be clipped, but no topline, 12 hours of milk. Then let the others go all out and do whatever. I know this will never happen on a national scale, but I still judge a few county fairs that are pretty much this way. TMR cows with some condition, some with tails many without, 12 hours milk, etc.
OLDSTER,
November, 25 2019
Fitting has gone completely overboard, IMHO. Over bagging, and highlighting the ribs seem to be the latest tactics. When the majority of your SET classified cows are scored while exiting the parlor, the industry seems to widen the poles between the ones we look at, and the cows we work with.