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More European travel with Elizabeth Olson

France National Holstein Show

Thinking the language barrier would barricade any conversations with French Holstein breeders, we were hesitant to converse with many. However, the words “Goldwyn”, “Jasper”, and “Fever” have no boundaries!

We were able to visit with the Grand Champion’s owner and many other exhibitors about their breeding and embryos they are using from the states and Canada.

What I found most interesting was that after no more than a minute of visiting, farmers asked “What embryos are you using?” Not the common question of “What bulls are you using?”

This show hosted nearly 300 head of milking Holsteins (no heifers) and breeders from across the country of France. Also in attendance were companies in the impressive tradeshow.

Because there was another large Holstein Show going on at the same time more south of Le Mans, the numbers and attendance was a slightly down from years past. However, the show proved to be enjoyable by both exhibitors and the public.

In order to enter this show, breeders must pay $10 and donate their milk to a milk processor. With that form of “payment” comes free bedding, feed for the cows, and feed for the people! Much different than the US, but it works for them!

Announcing of Grand Champion was quite the event. It included everyone on the grounds in one building, a DJ and 10-piece band in the background, a 1,000 person wine toast to the champion, and shouting “Bravo” to the champions. Very exciting and grand!

We were fortunate enough to tour the French countryside and visit a few Holstein Farms afterwards. Right now, most of Europe including France is in desperate need of rain resulting in struggling corn. The buildings and infrastructure were as beautiful as they were old. Barns dating back to the 15th century are still standing with the original bushes and tress! Gorgeous!

Email me at olso4703@umn.edu if you would like to here more about France! My England update is soon to come.

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Karen Knutsen has written 693 post in this blog.

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