The Magnificent Seven: Milking Shorthorn

Eichlers MD Blanche-ET, winner of the 2017 International Milking Shorthorn Show at World Dairy Expo.
( Milking Shorthorn Society )

Milking Shorthorn breeders have made major strides in overcoming their longstanding identity as a dual-purpose breed during the past decade, reports Tom Landrum, president and board chairman of the Milking Shorthorn Society. “We’re not seeing as many of those animals that are a tad round, a tad heavy or a tad thick in the brisket like we used to,” he says. “Instead, we’re seeing more dairyness. We’ve heightened them up and sharpened them up. When classifiers look at our cattle today, they’re noticing there’s not a lot of difference between them and Ayrshires, Guernseys and some of the other traditional dairy breeds.”

As a result, says Landrum, interest in the breed has surged. “Commercial dairy producers are finding we can offer some advantages in cross-breeding programs and that we’re a particularly good fit for grass-based dairy operations,” he says. “And at our sale here (World Premier Milking Shorthorn Sale), we’re seeing more people who have experience with other breeds buying a Shorthorn or two to put in their string. They see it as an opportunity to bring an animal along, maybe win a class or two at a big show like this and/or do well at some of the local fairs back home. Everybody likes to have a winner.”

kingsdale peri 135

Kingsdale Peri 135 was the winner of the 1999  International Milking Shorthorn Show at World Dairy Expo.