Katie Bauer of Scandinavia recently received a Younger Member Recognition (YMR) award from the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association.
Bauer, age 16, is one of four youth chosen to represent Wisconsin at the national level this summer in Indianapolis, Ind.
“I am very proud to be recognized for my efforts in the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association,” she said. “I am very excited and hope to represent our state well on the national level.”
Bauer is the daughter of Patrick and Tammy Bauer and resides on a 400-cow dairy farm, Sandy-Valley Farms, near Scandinavia.
She is a junior at Iola-Scandinavia High School where she is on the honor roll and is a member of the band.
She is secretary and dairy leader for the Peterson Mill 4-H Club and is a member of the county, state and National Holstein Association. Bauer is an accomplished dairy judge and has exhibited cattle at county, district and state levels, excelling at showmanship.
“Being involved with dairy cattle is something that I love and hope to keep on doing for the rest of my life,” she said.
The YMR awards were presented to youths ages 13-16 during the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention, held Dec. 28-30, 2012, in Janesville.
Sandy-Valley Farms is owned and operated by three brothers: Patrick, Frank and David Bauer.
They milk 400 cows, with an additional 500 head of young stock, and run 1,200 acres of corn and alfalfa. The cows are milked in a double-12 herringbone parlor twice a day.
“We are involved in merchandising elite Holsteins, sending up to 60 bulls to A.I. a year and selling embryos worldwide,” Katie Bauer said. “We use our best animal husbandry skills in terms of housing, care, and feeding programs to help our animals develop to their full potential. Embryo transfer is a very important part of our herd and farm management.”
Her love for the Holstein cow began at a young age.
“Between our family farm and my grandpa’s farm, I was always surrounded by these black-and-white beauties,” she recalled. “From ‘helping’ my grandpa feed cows and calves, clean barn, and do field work, my love for farming started.”
Her current responsibilities include helping with the care of the young stock from birth until breeding age. She noted they usually have about 80 calves on milk with approximately 450 calves born each year.
Her favorite part is exhibiting cows and calves at county, district and state shows.
“Showing Holsteins is something I really enjoy doing and has a special place in my life,” she said. “One of the proudest feelings I get is when I’m leading my show animals in the ring – no matter of the outcome, I am just happy to be there.”
Highlights of her show career include placing third in the winter calf class and third in showmanship at the Wisconsin State Fair. She also placed first in her showmanship class at the 2012 Waupaca County Fair.
Recently her junior two-year-old, Sandy-Valley Atwd Brady-ET, earned Junior All-Wisconsin honors.
She has been a member of the Waupaca County judging team for six years. Three times she has qualified for state competition, placing third overall in 2012.
“Over the years, I have learned a lot from my cousin Danae (Bauer) who has been my mentor when it comes to showing and fitting my animals,” she said. “From giving me showmanship pointers to showing me the right way to fit and clip a topline, she has given me lots of advice and I am very grateful for that.”
Katie Bauer’s plans are to continue to learn more about breeding, dairy management and business, with the hope of someday taking over the family farm.
“I hope to be involved in the dairy industry for the rest of my life,” she said. “I hope to use my knowledge – both current and future – to educate people about this industry that means so much to me. My goal for my future is a rewarding and challenging career as a dairy farmer.”