Date: February 1, 2013
SUBJECT: COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS DAIRY HERD DEEMED “CREAM OF THE CROP”
In the January 2013 issue of Holstein World, the College of the Ozarks dairy ranks 6th out of the top 18 college dairy herds in the nation in the category of “Leading Breed Age Average Herds.”
“The success of our program is due to better breed genetics and good herd management practices,” said Assistant Farm Manager Bryan Cizek. “The majority of our herd is rated as ‘good plus to very good,’ which we will only build upon in the future.”
An impartial American Holstein Association official evaluates milking cows once per year to determine a cow’s “classification score.” The official rates the cows on how they compare to the “ideal cow,” as defined by the Holstein Association. Nearly half of the 15 traits evaluated are related to the udder. The highest score a cow can receive, which has never occurred, is 100. Ninety seven is the highest score ever recorded. A cow receiving a score of 90-100 points is classified as excellent; 85-89 points: very good; 80-84 points: good plus; 75-79 points: good; 65-74 points: fair; and 50-64 points: poor.
Based on the classification score each animal receives, the Breed Age Average (BAA) is calculated with adjustments for the cow’s age and stage of her lactation cycle. A BAA score of 100 is the “average,” Holstein Herd classification. This adjusted score helps Holstein breeders compare their individual animals and herds. College of the Ozarks BAA score is 104.80. The top college, SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology, Cobleskill, NY, had a score of 109.20.
“College of the Ozarks is considered one of the top college Holstein herds in the United States,” said Assistant Dairy Manager Tamara Holder. “This has allowed agricultural students to have the experience of participating in the Oklahoma State Holstein Sale, Missouri State Holstein Sale, the Missouri University Sale and the National Holstein Sale.”