Scenic-Edge Holsteins was featured in our Fall 2019 issue, written by Kathleen O’Keefe.
The power of a focused vision and consistent breeding goals can yield impressive results, no matter how big or small the herd. The proof is in the pudding with the Scenic-Edge partnership in Plymouth, WI. The brother/sister team of Rodney Bohnhoff and Yvonne Preder keep the herd small – 4 cows and 6 heifers presently – but deliver outstanding results in the show ring year after year.
The partnership including Rodney, Yvonne, and Yvonne’s late husband, David Preder, began in the late 1990s when they decided to buy and develop a few nice show heifers. The early purchases of two full sisters by Red Marker out of an EX-90 Dubras Promotion-Red would prove instrumental for the Scenic-Edge prefix. Twenty years later, that decision is still paying off as the vast majority of Scenic-Edge-bred cattle whose names are announced as winners at a show trace back to Howard-Home Mkr Jena-Red-ET VG-86.
Jena, as the foundation of the “J” family, transmitted remarkably, leading to 31 All-American Red & White nominations, resulting in 9 All-Americans, 6 Reserve All-Americans, and 11 Junior All-Americans. Joyful, Jellybean, and Justine are just a few of the well-known names that garnered All-American honors in the past two decades – most often exhibited by other owners. Jena was massive, rugged, and a prolific flush cow – the ‘Red Chicken’, Yvonne called her – and eventually had over 40 daughters by 14 different sires across the United States.
The milking members of the Scenic-Edge herd are housed at Lyn-Vale Holsteins, a 75-cow tie stall operation owned by William Schultz III in nearby Waldo, WI. Schultz is also Yvonne’s employer, as she works at the farm as herd manager and oversees the genetics and marketing. Schultz admired the Jena family, and early on purchased September Storm embryos from the matriarch. One of those eggs resulted in Scenic-Edge SS Reba-Red-ET, the All-American R&W Fall Calf in 2004 that went on to be an Excellent cow.
Undoubtedly, the most famous daughter of Jena was another September Storm, Scenic-Edge Joyful-Red-ET EX-92 2E, who was the Unanimous All-American R&W Senior 2-Year-Old in 2008. Owned by Stephanie Aves, Joyful was named Supreme Champion of the Junior Show at World Dairy Expo in 2008. The image of the big red cow accompanied by her young owner flashing a megawatt smile after the big win really catapulted the family to prominence.
Seeing Stephanie’s success with Joyful cemented Yvonne’s belief in putting outstanding cattle in the hands of junior members. “Breeding one that can hit the road running is a great satisfaction to us. Watching junior members be successful with our breeding is pure joy and happiness. Stephanie’s success with Joyful exploded this family’s popularity – without that, a lot of this would have never happened to this degree,” comments Yvonne. “Watching junior exhibitors have success and seeing them write their own stories is utterly magnificent!”
The partners have more junior members to keep an eye on in 2019. They sold a Jordy-Red summer yearling in the Quest for Success IV Sale in March that was purchased by Ty, Jacey & Hadley Ross whose family owns Arizona Dairy in Mesa, AZ. Scenic-Edge Jordan-Red has dominated in the show ring out west, being named Junior Champion of the Junior and Open Shows in both the Red & White and Holstein rings at the California State Holstein Show and Western Spring National Show. Just recently, she took Junior Champion honors in the Junior and Open Shows at the Western Fall National Show in Salem, OR. She’s a culmination of years of thoughtful mating choices – Jordy X EX Heztry X VG-88 Maxwell X EX-94 Advent X EX-93 September Storm X VG-86 Jena. Many of the cows in her pedigree had notable show careers and All-American awards, so it’s not surprising to see Jordan’s success.
Something more surprising in today’s show ring environment is that Jordan is a natural calf, as are her dam, grandam, and great grandam. Due to the size and space constraints on the Scenic-Edge herd, the partners do only a minimum amount of flushing. “Many would think that we do extensive flushing, but actually we don’t unless we have the opportunity to sell embryos, or if it’s a really special cow. Flushing is like a revolving door. First, you flush the cow, then you need recipients. Then you need a facility to raise the recipients and buy the feed to feed them, on and on. It doesn’t really fit with the scope of our operation,” states Yvonne. With that said, they did flush Jordan’s EX dam, Jasmine, once and now are awaiting full sisters to be born. Currently dry, Jasmine is due in late fall to Warrior-Red, and that natural calf is eagerly anticipated as well.
Jacob, Logan, and Madison Harbaugh of Marion, WI are more juniors enjoying their outings with a Jena family member this year. Bill Schultz purchased Avalanche embryos out of St-Yle-SA JumpN4Joy-Red, the EX-94 Advent daughter of Joyful. One resulting heifer calf also sold in the Quest for Success IV Sale, where she was purchased by the Harbaugh kids. RollNView Jump4Fun-Red-ET has since been named Junior All-WI R&W Winter Calf and was the Junior Champion at the Wisconsin State Fair Red & White Show earlier this summer.
With the emphasis on maintaining a small herd size, Yvonne and Rodney have always merchandised their cattle extensively. “We started down the road of red genetics in the ‘90s, and from that point forward, people have looked for the Scenic-Edge name to appear on a pedigree in a consignment sale or call us privately looking for one to show,” notes Yvonne. “Sales, shows, select print advertising, and social media postings help us market our genetics, and we’re always willing to part with our best.”
Rodney and Yvonne see cattle similarly and are in agreement with the focus of their breeding program. Yvonne elaborates, “Our mating decisions are based primarily on type. We do keep an eye on extremes in a bull’s breakdown. We want to make sure we are working with bulls from deep cow families that classify high and produce a lot of high-component milk. We really try to stick to red bulls, but will use a red factor bull if he complements the individual female.”
That defined focus and vision has seen the Scenic-Edge prefix noted at the top of many, many show reports over the past 20 years, and Yvonne feels confident that can carry on into the future. “At Scenic-Edge, we laid the foundation of the Jena family, and have had the wonderful opportunity to see others jump on the bus to take the ride with Red & Whites. We will continue to breed, develop, and sell some of our best genetics and hopefully will continue to watch others write their success stories. Why? Because we think the “J’s” still have it!”