Holstein World: Share with our readers a little background about yourself – current employment, number of cows you own, etc.
Kristie Johnson: Well, I grew up on my dad and uncle”s registered Milking Shorthorn farm in northern Minnesota. Since then I have had the opportunity to travel and work numerous cattle sales and shows. This past summer I had the privilege of working for Joe Sigwarth in Holy Cross, IA with the Miss Mark Maui family and I am now currently employed at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine. I own between 10-15 head of cattle (a few Shorthorns still, Brown Swiss, Jerseys, Holsteins and 1 Guernsey). Until recently, I would purchase a calf for the show season and then sell her as a bred heifer/springer, but I am now working on building my own herd.
HW: Outline Jess” pedigree and other unique attributes of her cow family.
Kristie: Jess was born and bred in Wisconsin. She is a 90 point Duncan Progress daughter and her dam is a Counselor. Her next two dams are both “Very Good” and carry the Wendorf prefix.
HW: What are Jess” show career achievements?
Kristie: In 2005, as a Senior 2 year old Jess was 7th at the Wisconsin State Holstein show and won her class at the Dodge County Fair. This year, as a Sr. 3 yr old, Jess was Reserve Grand Champion of the Dodge County Fair. She then went on to place 3rd in the International Junior Show at World Dairy Expo & 15th in the Open Show. She was also Reserve Intermediate Champion of the Mid-East Fall National Show before being named Intermediate & Grand Champion of the Grand International Junior Show in Louisville, KY.
HW: What is her current status? Milking, flushing, etc.
Kristie: Jess calved the first of September and is milking right now.
HW: Do you have any offspring or offspring on the way from her?
Kristie: We have a heifer calf out of Jess by a bull that lives on the farm. We had bred her several times, and it was getting towards the end of her lactation, and we really wanted her to calve in time for Madison, so we put her in with the bull.
HW: Any additional information you”d like to share?
Kristie: Jess is housed and taken care of at Smith-Crest Holsteins (Matt and Travis Smith) in Beaver Dam, WI. Her accomplishments, both in and out of the show ring, would not be possible without Matt and Travis and the excellent care they provide on a daily basis. They deserve all of the credit for developing this cow and seeing her potential from the beginning.
HW: What was it like to exhibit the Grand Champion at Louisville? What are your future plans for Jess & yourself?
Kristie: Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Louisville this year, as it was the first week of my new job at Pineland. I couldn”t believe it when I called Matt to see how the show went, and he said he was in the tent waiting for an ultrasound, on the Grand Champion cow-Jess! I was as excited as I could have been without actually being there, because I knew the hard work and long hours that it took just to get there…I was just hoping she would win the class!
Hopefully, Jess will be milking hard enough to exhibit at this year’s Mid-West Spring Show, and she will be bred back at least in time for Louisville again next year. As for myself, I am loving my job and living on
the East Coast.