by George Looby, DVM
The Mallory Arena located on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA was the site of the 10th Annual Massachusetts Blue Ribbon Calf Sale held on Saturday, March 23. This sale is sponsored by the Massachusetts 4-H Committee with proceeds going towards the support of Dairy 4-H activities throughout the state. Among these designated activities are the support of attendance at National 4-H Conferences, clinics, conferences, judging events and numerous other such activities.
Prior to the auction there were three lecture/demonstrations for attending 4-H members covering a variety of topics. Scott King, an Ayrshire Breeder from Toll Gate Farms in Connecticut, offered some showmanship tips designed to help achieve a winning style in the show ring. Scott judges regional shows throughout the northeast. Dr. Fred Hess, a bovine practitioner from Amherst, MA, discussed calf health care and the inoculations necessary to properly protect them during the upcoming show season. Halter making is always a popular topic in 4-H circles and Marty and Greg Shaw, together with Aaron Cuevas, led the demonstration and hands-on work session for those participating.
The auction began at noon and prior to the entrance of any live calves into the show ring several units of frozen semen were offered for sale. The prices paid for five units averaged from $7 to $35.
This sale was a success by any standard but especially when measured against sales figures from previous years. 59 lots went through the ring with an average price of $1397. Five Ayrshire calves went through the ring averaging $1430 with the high calf — Sunny Acres Nolans Jessie, consigned by Andrew Evans — bringing $1700. There were nine Brown Swiss calves consigned averaging $1378 with the high calf — Maple Sugar Milkshake consigned by Chelsea Young — fetching $2400. Six Guernsey calves went through the ring averaging $1442 with the high animal — Huckins Adorable Angelee consigned by Bruce and Catherine Ells — bringing $1900. Holsteins were well represented with 14 head averaging $1855. The high calf in the sale was consigned by Whittier and Morris, a six month old ET red Holstein who brought $4300. With the largest representation of any breed with 19 head, the Jerseys averaged $1192 with Stephan Piotrkowski consigning Watch Hill Coach, who brought $1900. Five American Milking Shorthorns averaged $845 with the high animal — Elmhurst Farm Lido Sunrise, consigned by Brittany Pearson — bringing $1450.
The proud new owners of the high calf of each breed included, for the Ayrshires, Monica Howe, New Braintree, MA. Top Brown Swiss went to Brent Casavant, Spencer, MA. Amanda Greenfield of New Braintree, MA went home with the top of the Guernsey offerings. Top calf in the sale — a red Holstein consigned by Whittier and Morris — found a new home with Jason and Kristie Whitford, Piermont, NH. The high Jersey had the longest ride home with new owner Richard Dudden of Pennelville, NY. Richard also took home the top of the Milking Shorthorn group.
The hard work and dedication of the organizers of this event are to be commended, as are all of those who in any way participated. The young people who benefit from this auction are most fortunate to have such group actively engaged on their behalf — a group they should use as role models as they move forward in their own careers.
Calf Sale consigners
Among those consigning Ayrshire calves to the Massachusetts Blue Ribbon Calf Sale sale were Blue Spruce Farm, Bridport, VT; Morning Dew Farm, Worthington, MA; Alain Ethier, Argyle, NY; Peter Hawkes Jr., Mendon, MA; Zachary Woodis, Spencer, MA; Andrew E. Evans, Georgetown, NY; Joe S.McClements, Clayton, DE. Brown Swiss consignors included Gordon and Kathy Demay, Palmyra, NY; S. Tucker Johnson, Oldwick, NJ; Chelsea Young, Timouth, VT; Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT; Leon N. Button, Rushville, NY; What World Swiss, Sarah May Belder, Whatley, MA; Robert Gould, Hadley, MA; Megan Peila, New Holland, PA; Jason Demay, Palmra, NY. Among those offering Guernsey calves were the Coon Bros. Farm, Amenia, NY; Springdale Farm, Waldo,ME; Bruce and Catherine Ells Orange, NH; Roaring Brook Farm, Chester, MA. American Milking Shorthorns were consigned by Shelly Schofield, Hinsdale, NH; Brittany Pearson, Millbury, MA; John R. Tryon and Mitchell White, Cobleskill, NY; Katie Pinkowski, Argyle, NY; John Henry Staib, Chateaugay, NY. Jersey calves were consigned by Tierney Farm, Malone, NY; Mr. and Mrs. Phillips Ferry Jr., Johnston, NY; Randi and Scott Fisher, Pittsfield, NH; Sheldon and/or Rosella Sawyer, Walpole, NH; Billings Farm and Museum, Woodstock, VT; Peter Vail and Ken Beneke, Millerton, NY; Rebecca Ferry, Johnstown, NY; Michael R. Wolf, Lebanon, CT; John Kokoski, Hadley, MA; James and Krisanne Koebke, Dudley, MA; Brian S. Seacord, Greenwich, NY; Elizabeth Twombly, Chateaugay, NY; Elizabeth and Britney Will, Bristol, VT; John R. Miller,Vernon, NJ; Keith and Colleen Lilly, Gill, MA; Stephen Piotrkowski, No. Franklin, CT; Dawn D. Sharts, Greenwich, NY, Echo Farms Inc., Hinsdale, NH; Steven B. and Jeffrey A. Holmes, Langdon, NH. Holstein calves came from Maple-Nook Holsteins, Ogdensburg, NY; Jeffrey W. Sharts, Greenwich, NY; Todd J. Whittier and Ashlee E. Morris, Sutton, MA; Karen C. Herzig, Colrain, MA; Gordon M. Cook Jr., Hadley, MA; Fredrick and Dori Wolf, East Hampton, CT; Todd J. Whittier and Cybil L. Fisher, Sutton, MA; C. Vernon Smith Jr., No. Brookfield, MA; James and Krisanne Koebke, Dudley, MA; Just-A-Dream, Gill, MA; Todd and Chris Hannan, Southbury, CT; and Hannah T. Schillawski, Lyme, CT.
The Massachusetts Blue Ribbon Calf Sale
by George Looby, DVM