McIntosh Holsteins awarded a 2013 Master Breeder Shield! - Cowsmo

McIntosh Holsteins awarded a 2013 Master Breeder Shield!

Holstein Canada makes twenty calls each year, informing breeders of their newest achievement, winning a Master Breeder Shield.  McIntosh Holsteins were among those who received that call! 
Farm Operation Stats

Total # of animals – milking, and total: 225 head in total, 95 milking
Herd Classification: 6 EX, 54 VG, 20 GP

# Acres – forage and grains grown?
380 acres in total: 100 acres in hay, 170 acres in corn (for high moisture and corn silage), 60 acres of soybeans and 50 acres of wheat
Type of feed fed? TMR ration of Haylage, cornsilage, high moisture corn, dry hay, supplement
Do you buy feed or make all your own? We make all of our own and purchase in a supplement

Name people involved in the farm?
Bill and Eleanor McIntosh
Son Greg McIntosh
Herdsman John Hunsberger

Was achieving your Master Breeder shield a goal you set when you 1st started breeding cattle?
When we first started on our own in the early 80’s our goal was to keep growing our herd and going ahead by purchasing quota. It was tough going with interest at 16-18%. It has really been in the last 10 years that we really focused on the Master Breeder as we were in 70th place then and just kept moving up in the rankings every year. We  were in the top 10 for the last 3 years. It has been a goal as there were 3 Master Breeders in my family, my grandfather, dad and brother have all won a shield over the years.

Most influential cow family(s) that helped earn the Master Breeder Shield?  Was she or they purchased or bred?
The McIntosh Jewel Lee EX-25* star brood was by far the most influential.  Still on a flush program at 14 years of age, she has 3 EX and 21 VG daughters in Canada. She also has 17 VG Granddaughters now. Her offspring have extremely high butterfat and production and are good cows with lots of frame and stature. Many have been used as 4-H calves.

Sire that worked well and you feel had the most impact on your herd?
Going back, Triple Threat, Shiek and Ultimate worked well. More recently Lee and Goldwyn.

What bulls are you using now?  What do you look for in a sire?   Would you say you are type, genomic, production focused or a combination of these?
Currently we are using McCutchon, Windbrook, Atwood, Fever and recently some genomic sires such as Kingboy.
We look for sires that have size and stature as large cows can consume large amounts of feed to produce milk. They must also have good legs and udders as well as be positive for production.

Have you changed your breeding philosophy over the years at all?  Why?
We have always bred for big framey, good uddered cattle that will produce large amounts of milk.  Basically a balance of type and production.  Milk sales ultimately pay the bills but having typey calves for 4-H and genetics to sell are an added bonus.

Before achieving your Master Breeder Shield what would you consider your greatest accomplishment as a Dairy Farmer and Holstein Breeder?
Before the Master Breeder, we were happy to raise 5 kids, Julie, Kim, Amy, Sarah and Greg. All participated in 4-H for many years and have good careers with several involved in agriculture. Many of the kids have showed calves out of the Jewel Lee family and still take an active roll in taking some heifers to our county show and local fall fair each year. We are proud of our kids as they all helped on the farm and all are hardworking in their careers with a great work ethic.

I also raised the All Canadian Sr Calf in 1983.

We are also happy in January of 2014 to complete construction on a new compost pack barn and parlour to house our milking cows as well as heifers and dry cows. Built keeping ultimate cow comfort in mind, we moved in the end of January after 35+ years in a tie stall barn. The cows are settling in well and are much more comfortable.

Future Goals?
We want to continue to develop the Jewel Lee family as well as other families we have bought into. We will also invest in other cow families. We want to increase the longevity of our cows as well with the new barn designed for cow comfort.

Scroll to Top