The Wisconsin Holstein Association will host the 2019 National Holstein Convention, with a theme of “Making Legendairy Leaps,” on June 24-27 in Appleton.

America’s Dairyland last hosted the event in 2008 in Wisconsin Dells. This year’s event, led by co-chairs Corey Geiger and Krista Knigge, will be based at Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel, 333 W. College Ave., downtown Appleton.

The convention will feature educational seminars, junior Holstein contests, diverse farm tours, the National Convention Sale, the inaugural National Genetics Conference, the 25th Young Dairy Leadership Institute’s Leadership Conference and the 134th annual business meeting of Holstein Association USA.

Here are some of the highlighted events:

Farm tours

The farm tours, featuring an array of operations, span several counties in east-central Wisconsin. They include:

• June 24: Jenlar Holsteins (Larry and Jennifer Meyer and family), Forest Ridge Holsteins (Kurt and Sarah Loehr), Budjon Farms (Tom and Kelli Cull, and John Cull; lunch will be served here for registrants), and Rosendale Dairy (Jim Ostrom, John Vosters and Todd Willer).

• June 25: MilkSource Genetics (Jim Ostrom and John Vosters), Synergy Dairy (Jay and Heather Jauquet and family), Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center agricultural education facility (lunch will be served here for registrants), Siemers Holsteins (Siemers family) and Hilrose Dairy (Joe, Andy and Jeff Brantmeier families).

Family Night

The event will be held the evening of June 25 in Green Bay near Lambeau Field, featuring a dinner serving up hog roast with tenderloin steak sandwiches and more. Juniors and adults alike may play tailgate games or venture to the adjacent Titletown District for a variety of activities. Lambeau Field tours also can be purchased (limited to the first 350 registrants).

National Convention Sale

The sale is set for June 26 at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center, which is attached to the Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel, where the convention is based. A pre-sale event features Wisconsin cheeses and cheese carvings. From there, the sale will feature some of the highest genomic Registered Holsteins in the nation. Barron native Chris Kroeze, runner-up on NBC’s “The Voice,” will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.”

National Genetics Conference

Held in conjunction with the convention, this conference runs June 26-27 at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center.

Presentations and speakers include:

• “The 10-Year Report Card on Genomics,” by Mike Lohuis of Semex

• “The State of Dairy Genetic Programs Today,” by Dan Weigel of Zoetis

• “Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking: The Truth about Inbreeding,” by John Cole of USDA-AGIL

• “Where is Milk Going in the Future?” by Bruce German of University of California-Davis

• “How Precision Dairy Will Influence Animal Breeding,” by Jeffrey Bewley of Alltech

• “Epigenetics: Different Environments, Different Reactions,” by Jack Britt of EarthCast Technologies

• “We Live in the Genetics Era,” by Jim Rohl of Choice Genetics

• “The Evolving Role of Breeders in the Genomics Era,” by Tom Lawlor of Holstein Association USA

• “Hay Burners Versus Hay Converters,” by Kent Weigel of UW-Madison

• “The Genetic Super Cow Isn’t in Sight,” by Chad Dechow of Pennsylvania State University

In addition, a dairy farm breeder panel at the National Genetics Conference will focus on the topic of using genetic information to better manage herds. Holstein Association USA’s Lindsey Worden will moderate the panel, which features Patrick Crave of Crave Brothers Dairy in Waterloo; Jeff King of Kings-Ransom Farm in Schuylerville, New York; Tom Oesch of Swisslane Dairy in Alto, Mich.; and Simon Vander Woude of Vander Woude Dairy in Merced, Calif.


The Dairy Girl Network Luncheon, set for June 27 at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center, will bring men and women together to learn and share ideas about building positive and inclusive teams on farms and beyond. Galen Emanuele will serve as the luncheon’s keynote speaker.

Also scheduled for that day is the Junior Awards Banquet and the Making Legendairy Leaps Gala Banquet. The main evening event will recognize the Elite Breeder Award, Distinguished Young Breeder Award, Distinguished Service Award and the six Distinguished Junior Member finalists. Local media personality Bill Jartz, the voice of Lambeau Field, will preside over the event.

Online registration for the National Holstein Convention is open at www.2019holsteinconventionwi.com/register. Ticket sales are non-refundable and will close June 1. Space for some events may be limited, so convention officials encourage people to sign up early.

Over the past 10 years, National Holstein Convention sites included: Traverse City, Mich., in 2018; Bellevue, Wash., in 2017; Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 2016; St. Charles, Ill., in 2015; Dubuque, Iowa, in 2014; Indianapolis in 2013; Springfield, Mo., in 2012; Richmond, Va., in 2011; Bloomington, Minn., in 2010; and Sacramento, Calif., in 2009.

For more information about this year’s convention, including a complete listing of events, visit www.2019holsteinconventionwi.com.