Wisconsin Holstein Association Honors Wall of Fame Recipients – Cowsmo

Wisconsin Holstein Association Honors Wall of Fame Recipients

The Wisconsin Holstein Association has recognized some of the industry’s top supporters and performers during the group’s annual convention. This year’s Wall of Fame honorees include the late-Ben Dibble of Delavan and the late-John Selz from Humbrid, along with a bull named Opsal Finley and cow Fobes Mechthilde Ollie.

Dibble farmed with his wife Doris and their three children. He developed several outstanding cow families resulting in three homebred Gold Medal Sires. Ben also owned Wisconsin’s first 4E-96-point cow, known as Black Beauty. In the 1940s, the Dibble herd had a classification average of 88.6 on 14 animals which included five Excellent cows.

Selz and his wife Marianne returned to his home farm in Clark County to farm with his brother, Bill, in 1959. He served on over 200 boards, committees or advisory councils over the years, including a stint as president of Holstein USA. The Selz herd received many awards including over 40 Progressive Breeder Awards, 50 Gold Medal dams, the first Dam of Merit, bred over 100 Excellent cows and had three cows that produced over 50,000 pounds of milk.

This year’s Wall of Fame bull was awarded to the Opsal family of Blue Mounds for Opsal Finley. Troy Opsal has built a herd through strategic breeding and this translated into Opsal Finley. His story began when Troy bought a bred heifer, Twin-B-Dairy E-B Felisse-ET, in 1994 on the Agriprize Protein Profiles sale. She was a How-El-Acres K Bellman from a VG-88 To-Mar Blackstar daughter of one of the premier genetic brood cows of that time, Rocky-Vu Rotate Exctasy Ebony EX-94. The purchase was made and included with it was a package of three embryos of Felisse x Bayville Ethan.

And the Wall of Fame Cow was Fobes Mechthilde Ollie, known as Phoebe to her owners John and Katheryn Bartlett of Oshkosh. In 1945 the Bartletts bought three bred heifers from master breeder Louis Wiese of Neenah. One of these was Phoebe. Her sire was Admiral Joe Creater a grandson of Northstar Joe Homestead. Her dam was Mertilde Fobes Ormsby Johanna VG, an Ormsby-bred cow. Phoebe scored EX-91 as a 12-year-old. She lived to be 21.5 years of age. Eighty percent of the Bartlett herd were direct descendants of Phoebe and her sister Beverley. Phoebe produced 264,000 pounds of milk, 3.6% and 9930 pounds of fat in her lifetime and had 16 calves. She was the first Gold Medal Dam with over 200,000 pounds of milk.

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