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Master Breeder Award to Landises

Published: Friday, February 9, 2018

A Goshen area dairy family with strong ties to the local 4-H program has been selected as the 2018 Master Breeder by the Indiana Holstein Assn.

Steve and Bev Landis, owners of Creeknook Holsteins, received the prestigious award last Saturday at the Holstein Assn.'s annual meeting in southern Indiana.

Also honored were Joe and Donna Hibschman, retired owners of Oneeda Farms, Syracuse, who were named Lifetime Honorary Members.

The Master Breeder award recognizes Steve and Bev Landis' long history of producing Holsteins with Excellent classification scores and high milk production averages. In the 29 years they have been farming, Steve and Bev have raised over 50 cows that were classified as Excellent 90 or above.

The Landises operate a 40-cow milking herd with help from their three sons, Jeff, Brian and Scott. Last year, they made the Holstein Assn.'s list of Progressive Breeders (for the 10th time) with a breed age average (BAA) in the top 25 percent of all herds classified. The Landis herd's BAA in 2017 was 110.6, with a rolling milk production average of 30,329 pounds. Fat and protein averages were 1,318 pounds and 948 pounds, respectively.

According to Bev, one of the keys to their success is cow comfort. They house their Holsteins in a bedded pack barn, which Bev says allows the bovines to have a longer life than if they were kept on traditional concrete flooring.

The family is active on the show circuit, and even though all three boys are grown, the Landises continue to work with young 4-H'ers to help them show cows.

Joe and Donna Hibschman have been active in the Holstein Assn. at both the state and national levels for many years. Joe is a fourth-generation dairy farmer, and Donna is a homemaker. They are both retired, and their son and daughter-in-law, Roger and Camille, now manage Oneeda Farms.

Under the new leadership, Oneeda Farms continues to perform well. The farm was one of eight northern Indiana herds to receive the Progressive Breeder award, joining the Landises. Other area winners include: Paul Farm, Goshen; Kuehnert Dairy Inc., Fort Wayne; Michael Oesch, Middlebury; Nor-Bert Farms, Bremen; Lyle Weaver, Goshen; and Darrell Richard, Goshen.

Three different categories of Breed Age Average awards were given to the top five farms in each category. In the 10 to 50 head category, Paul Engleking (with 49 head) of Greenfield and Bruce Gingerich (with 38 head) of Millersburg were at the top, each with a BAA of 112.4. Lookwell Farm of Elkhart placed third with a BAA of 112.2 on 20 head. Rich Nisen of Leesburg ranked fourth with a BAA of 112 on 38 head. In fifth place was Hy-Class Holsteins of Churubusco, with a BAA of 111.1 on 10 head.

For herds of 51 to 99 head, Paul Farms of Goshen earned a 107.6 BAA on 51 head; U.M. and J. Wagler was second with a BAA of 107.5 on 62 head. Richard Thomas of Middlebury was third with a BAA of 107.5 on 82 head. Darren Schwoeppe of Huntingburg placed fourth with a BAA of 107.4 on 98 head, and Mayhill Farms of Fountain City was fifth with a BAA of 107 on 58 head.

In the 100 head and above category, Kuehnert Dairy of Fort Wayne placed first with a BAA of 106.6 on 260 head; Oneeda Farms of Syracuse placed second with a BAA of 105.2 on 160 head; and Brand Farms placed third with a BAA of 103 on 333 head.

Progressive genetics herd award winners included Nor-Bert Farms of Bremen, Rascher Farms of Huntingburg and Darrell Richard of Goshen.

Indiana's Gold Medal Dam of Merit winners are owned by Kuehnert Dairy of Fort Wayne, Darrell Richard, Lynne R. Martin of Goshen, Brand Dairy of Waterloo.

Holsteins making the National Elite Performers list for 2017 were owned by Ashley Schafer of Bremen, Darrell Richard and Nor-Bert Farms.

Regional Elite Performers were owned by Darrell Richard; Dalton, Dillon and Breanne Freeman of Bremen; and James Stauffer of Nappanee.

In youth awards, the 2018 Indiana Holstein Princess is Caitlin Cox of Carthage, Ind. AnnaMarie Settles received the Derek Blough Heart & Soul Award. Finally, the Hoosier Holstein Homemaker Scholarship was presented to Haley Jackson of Frankfort, Ind.

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