Brett Barlass, Yosemite Jersey Dairy, Hilmar, Calif. — Barlass serves as manager of the Yosemite Jersey herd and serves on the Jerseyland Sires board which is affiliated with Alta Genetics. An early adapter of genomic testing, the Yosemite Jersey herd ranks among the nation’s elite and has run nearly 2,000 genomic tests to date.
Tom Schmitt, Morningview Holsteins, Durango, Iowa — Schmidt, a long-time breeder of high-end genetics, now uses genomics as one more tool in his arsenal to make decisions, still preferring to incorporate time-tested tools, as well. In working with genomics, Schmidt places emphasis on somatic cell score and type evaluations in his registered Holstein herd which maintains a 25,000-pound herd average.
Dan Siemers, Siemers Holsteins, Newton, Wis. — Dan and his extended family operate a Holstein herd that milks nearly 2,400 cows and achieves an incredible 34,000-pound herd average. That includes a daily tank average of 140 pounds per day in the high group and 109 pounds across the entire farm. The farm uses genomics to test high-end herd members to grow the herd’s genetic potential and market both female and male breeding stock.