Building cow families is a goal at B-Long Holsteins. The Bruce and Brenda Long family, New London, who will host one of three farm tours during the Wisconsin Adult Holstein Convention, Feb. 24-25 in Waupaca.
After working on Brenda’s parents’ farm following their graduation from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Longs decided to venture out on their own in 1990.
Along with their sons Bryant and Brandon, who are pursuing degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Bret who is attending the UW-Madison Farm & Industry Short Course in Dairy Management, they milk 55 Registered Holsteins in a tie-stall barn twice a day.
Their Rolling Herd Average is an impressive 31,921 pounds of milk, 1,137 pounds of fat and 966 pounds of protein. The herd consists of 10 “Excellent” cows, 28 scored “Very Good” and 12 at “Good Plus.”
They ship their milk to Oak Grove Dairy Inc, a local cheese plant that is providing cheese for the tour and is a sponsor for the upcoming WHA convention.
Over 80 percent of the herd can be traced back to two calves Bruce purchased at the young age of 13 and 14 when he worked on the home farm – Belleview L-H Mars Happy and Belleview Barrett Ibis.
Another 10 percent descend from Brenda’s home farm.
B-Long Holsteins place a lot of breeding emphasis on cow longevity – they select bulls that will transmit large, powerful animals with big frames, plenty of strength and width along with good components.
Their breeding philosophy shows through as they have developed 20 Gold Medal Dams (GMD) and 10 Dams of Merit.
Four home-bred cows have produced over 300,000 pounds lifetime milk, with the highest being B-Long Elton Gypsy, VG-86 GMD. In addition, 25 more animals have completed records over 200,000 pounds of lifetime milk.
To help achieve these goals, a lot of emphasis is put on cow comfort. Animals have access to pasture year-round, a practice the Longs believe has helped improve and maintain the soundness and longevity of the herd.
Just this past year, they added a new feed bunk for the cows.
They have sold embryos as well as sent bulls to AI organizations in the past. We they consign animals to local registered sales and sell cows and heifers as replacements.
The Long family is involved in a variety of organizations, including the Waupaca-Waushara Holstein Breeders Association, where Brenda currently serves as secretary and is the junior advisor.
Both are members of the 2012 Wisconsin Holstein Association Convention planning committee and assist with the county’s Calf Opportunity Sale and lend a helping hand wherever needed.
As their farm borders the county line, they also serve leadership roles in Outagamie County – Bruce has resided as president of the Outagamie County Holstein Breeders.
They are members of the United Methodist Church in Clintonville, where they serve on various committees.
Their involvement and attention to details on the farm have gleaned them numerous awards. One of those awards was the prestigious Wisconsin Holstein Association’s Distinguished Young Holstein Breeders Award in 2007, an honor they repeated on the national level that same year in June.
B-Long Holsteins has also received the national Holstein Association USA’s Herd of Excellence Award for four consecutive years and they are a 15-year Progressive Genetic Herd Award winner.
Children enjoy showing
The Long children enjoy participating in the Holstein Association as well. They have all attended the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention where they were members of the Waupaca-Waushara dairy bowl team.
All have earned production and Progressive Breeder awards on the state and national level as well. And at this year’s junior convention, Bret was named one of the 2011 Distinguished Junior Members, the highest honor bestowed upon junior members.
The children also enjoy showing their animals on the county, district, state and national level.
Bret’s 4-year-old, B-Long Tootsy Pop-ET, was Senior Champion Bred and Owned of the Junior Show at the 2011 Midwest National Spring Show this past year in April. Scored EX-91, Tootsy Pop produced 45,254 pounds of milk, 1,718 pounds of fat and 1,466 pounds of protein in 365 days at three years and five months of age.
In addition, B-Long Brown Sugar-ET, a Braedale Freelance daughter, also owned by Bret, was nominated Junior All American in the 125,000-pound class in 2011. Scored EX-92, she produced over 35,000 pound of milk, over 1,600 pounds of fat and nearly 1,200 pounds of protein as a 5-year-old in 365 days.
Both Tootsy Pop and Brown Sugar descend from Bruce’s 4-H calf, Belleview Barrett Ibis.
In the future, Brenda commented, “We will continue to build cow families while keeping them as healthy as possible.”
Major sponsors of the Wisconsin Adult Holstein Convention include: Spiegelberg Implement, Weyauwega; Tina Auer Insurance, New London; Pfizer Animal Health, Marion; Segga-ET, Weyauwega; Farmers State Bank, New London; International Protein Sires, Rock Springs; Northstar Cooperative, Lansing, MI; Larsen Cooperative, New London; Pioneer, Johnston, IA; The Farmers State Bank, Waupaca. Wisconsin State Farmer, Waupaca; and Waushara County Dairy Promoters.
Additional sponsors include: United Veterinary Service, Bear Creek; Genex Cooperative, Shawano; Grassland Dairy Products; Greenwood; Hampel Corp., Germantown; Wittenberg Embryo Transfer, SC, Wausau; Fox City Builders, Seymour; Caroline Equipment, Marion; Merial Ltd, Viroqua; Charter Fuels, Lancaster; Waupaca FFA Alumni, Waupaca; Russell Robaidek, Inc., Pulaski; Oak Grove Dairy, Clintonville; Tom Morris LTD, Amery; Modern Dairy Systems, LLC, Kaukauna; Ron & Sandra Curran, Madison; Family Dairies USA, Madison; Bear Lake Enterprises, Manawa; Stevens Point Veterinary Service, Stevens Point; First National Bank, Clintonville; Berlin Feeds, Berlin; DuPont Cheese, Marion; Animart, Beaver Dam; and Agropur, Weyauwega.
For more information, call Grady Auer at 920-538-1183, or Chris Williams at 800-223-4269.