Happy New Year valued partners. As we move into the new decade, I like to reflect on the past decade as well as peek into the future. One thing we are sure to notice is tremendous change. Change in our industry, change in goals, change in our lives… change is all around us. At the beginning of the decade, St. Jacobs sires were led by 10 year-old DUNDEE, 4 year-old DESTRY and 3 year-old AFTERSHOCK. All three had tremendous impact, not only at St. Jacobs but around the globe. We finished the decade led by young guns; DENVER, ARTIST, IMPACT and RADIO. All are poised to also have tremendous impact on St. Jacobs and the breed.
In my travels and talks with dairymen, I have been repeatedly asked to find bulls with big pedigrees, some diversity in genetic lines as well as type that will allow cows to stay in the herd. I also consistently heard that we need to provide bulls that also have some milk and health traits that don’t hurt and negatively affect the bottom line. Dairymen want cows that will look good, milk well and breed back easily. This is TYPE WITHOUT COMPROMISE.
First, while we will continue to bring you TYPE WITHOUT COMPROMISE, we do need to make some changes to St. Jacobs. Historically, we have been releasing about 14 bulls per year. We will be scaling this back to just 8 bulls per year that have exceptional type and provide all-around balanced “no holes” genetics. This will allow us to focus more on each individual bull to grow overall sales. There will now be 6 Black and White Holstein bulls, 1 Jersey and 1 Red and White bull each year.
Secondly, it is time to consolidate the individual Breeder’s Choice and Judge’s Choice programs into just one program. The new program will be called “St Jacobs Choice” and will consist of all 6 of the Holstein bulls released per year. These 6 Holstein bulls will be a mix of high type favorites like 94HO18700 ARTIST and 94HO18518 DENVER that make the Showring kind as well as the popular new bulls like 94HO19189 RADIO and 94HO19084 IMPACT that will create beautiful, highly productive cows. We aim to release a bull every other month, starting with 94HO19370 SUMMERFEST in the middle of January.
To make this change, we will need to convert all program herd members (both Judge’s Choice and Breeder’s Choice), to the newly created St. Jacobs Choice. Your ABS sales person will be talking to you about making this change. We don’t want to automatically move you to the new program; it is your choice to continue as a St. Jacobs Choice member.
Thirdly, we are developing a club for people that appreciate St. Jacobs sires. St. Jacobs Nation will consist of members of the programs and people that buy more that 50 percent of there units from St. Jacobs. Being a member of the ST. JACOBS NATION will also allow you first access to new release sires, first access to SEXCEL product from the new releases (normally when they are 20 months old) and the chance to provide more direction on the bulls we bring into St. Jacobs. We will be sending quarterly newsletters with updates and ideas. We plan to feature a St. Jacobs Nation herd each month on our Facebook page. This feature will put the spotlight on your genetics while helping St. Jacobs promote the bulls in our programs.
We are excited about the new direction we are taking with St. Jacobs while still providing the same great genetics that you as dairymen have grown to expect. We think that this will be a huge decade for St. Jacobs and all its supporters – come along for the ride!