When Karen asked me to comment on our soon to be graduating class in August, I was a bit reluctant because I believe that every bull that was mentioned in April actually came back to active service! I make no promises on this group but I can promise you it will be another exciting crop of new graduates.
I will start with a trio of ROBUST sons that have been popular Super Samplers but look to make an even bigger splash as proven sires. You can consider these three locks to graduate.
7HO11419 HEADLINER (Robust x VG-87 Planet x VG-86 Shottle)
The more daughters we see and the more data that filters in, the more excited we get for Headliner. He is the surest bet of the August class and more than likely will be one of the most in demand proven sires in the breed. He is a full brother to the current #1 TPI proven sire in the breed 7HO11351 Supersire but shouldn’t have to take a back seat to his older brother. The Headliners have a very consistent pattern and are perhaps a bit better uddered than the Supersires and a bit harder in the loin. Additionally they well balanced in their frames but can get the pins a bit high so he should be protected there. They are milking extremely well, but he probably won’t be as high for combined fat and protein as Supersire. However, what Headliner does have in common with Supersire is that he a calving ease sire and excels in fertility at +2.9 SCR with over 19,000 observations. The bottom line is the producers that are milking them love them and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him debut in the Top 10 proven TPI sires in August.
7HO11585 STERLING (Robust x VG-87 Planet x EX-92 Bolton)
Sterling is also likely to debut at the top of the charts and hails from one of the great cow families in the breed. His Planet dam is one of my favorite Planet daughters and one of the highest production 2-year-olds ever at Sandy-Valley Farms in WI. The next dam is an EX-92 Bolton also with over 40,000 who traces back to the Dellia cow family that has made successful bulls at Select Sires for generations. Sterling daughters have great dairy strength with an open rib and are the kind that will thrive in the modern dairy environment. He could be one of Robust’s highest production sons as he is already over +1600M and looks to move up. Sterling is also a calving ease sire at 7.1% CE. He should work well on daughters of Shot, Maxum, Guthrie and Alexander.
7HO11525 DONATELLO (Robust x EX-93 Planet x VG-88 Elegant)
Donatello has been a successful sire father already and his daughters are now fresh and look great as well. He is also a Robust son but from Planet’s highest classified daughter at EX-93 and then traces back to the Windsor-Manor Rudolph Zip (EX-95) cow family. Donatello puts the entire package together being a high production sire with great combined fat and protein but also excels in health and fitness traits especially for a high production sire. From a type respect, Donatello daughters are moderate sized for the modern dairy producer, but he sires shapely udders that are high above the hock and have great height and width of rear udder. Additionally, he is a calving ease specialist at 5.9% CE and well above average for sire fertility at +2.2 SCE.
Other possibilities that are better than 50/50 prospects:
7HO11288 MAYOR (Dorcy x EX-90 Shottle x EX-90 O-Man)
Mayor nearly graduated in April but we waited for more data and the additional information looks promising. He is a full brother to 7HO11279 Moonboy and his dam is the well-known Sully Shottle May EX-90. The Mayor daughters I’ve seen have clean and dairy frames with a good, open rib and look like the kind that could be even better 3-year-olds. Like Moonboy, he will sire a bit straighter leg but the daughters have good mobility and bone quality in the leg. His udders are perhaps the best part and should be well over +2.00 for Udder Composite and Foot & Leg Composite. He should make a really logical cross to Planet bloodlines.
7HO11271 ASPEN (Dorcy x VG-86 Ramos x EX-90 Boliver)
Aspen will be one of the breed’s best Dorcy sons for health and fitness traits. He will be a breed leader for Productive Life, is a low Somatic Cell Score sire and is positive for Daughter Pregnancy Rate. He will reduce stature for those looking for a smaller cow, but still gets the business end of the cow correct. Aspen will work well on Planet and Shottle bloodlines as well as Richman and Maxum.
7HO11367 DADDY (Observer x EX-91 Outside x EX-93 Rudolph)
When classifiers ask what a bull’s pedigree is, that’s a pretty good sign that a bull is making a positive impression and since early spring, several of them have asked “Who is this Daddy bull?” He’s an early Observer son bred by All-West members Sherman and Jeff Polinder in Lynden, WA. They make a positive first impression because they have incredible udders and have clean, stylish frames. They are more moderate sized but well balanced and should thrive in any environment. The mating of Observer on Outside Dabble makes really logical sense. I recently saw several full sisters and they have a similar pattern to what we are seeing in the Daddy daughters. He is the kind of sire that should work well in the SMS mating program.
7HO11547 SHAN (Man-O-Man x VG-87 Planet x EX-90 Shottle)
A bull that I have seen multiple daughters and each group is better than the last is Shan. He hails from 7HO10849 Shamrock’s full sister and looks to be a great calving ease addition to the proven lineup. His daughters have a good combination of strength and dairy form and are long and level through the rump. However, his best trait are udders. They have great rear udders and with a deep udder cleft. Some of our highest new young calves have come from Shan dams and he looks to have a lasting impact in our sire program.
There could be several more exciting additions to the proven lineup as well as several exciting breed leaders in the genomic ranks as well, so the best advice I can give is stay tuned for the news on August 11th!