We are excited to start using this impressive young bull from the Cantagree grazing dairy in Utah.  Not only is he polled (heterozygous) and A2/A2, but he is a rare combination of the best native bloodlines for components, reproductive efficiency, sound type and milk production.  Both sire and dam carry extensive line breeding of superior individuals.  We have found line breeding to be the key to consistent results in offspring.

We are going to use Finocchio in our own herd as a calving ease sire for our heifers.  We think he has great potential for our goals of breeding true dual-purpose Milking Shorthorns, “the best in every weigh” as the 1950’s breed slogan put it.

Finocchio’s sire

Finocchio’s sire is Rojahns Iris NKT Lancer N ET P, who was in our line-up until his semen sold out.   His dam was very closely line bred Meadowbrook Chieftain 9th, a native bull who is still sought after for true dual-purpose character.  We still have fine Lancer daughters in our herd. They are very uniform, with beautiful udders, great feet and legs, and sturdy build.

Finocchio's sire: Rojahns Iris NKT Lancer-N-ET-P

Finocchio’s sire: Rojahns Iris NKT Lancer N ET P

Finocchio’s dam

Finocchio’s dam, Cantagree Fennel N, also carries considerable line breeding, including P-Scottshill Major Clark-N, a famous 1960’s sire for strength and milk production; Lagos Cache Winner, a proven high-test sire; and Flintstone Robin Hood, a very influential sire I remember my late husband talking about as one of the best ever of the breed.

Fennel and calfFennel milked out

Above: Fennel, age 11, feeding her calf. Right: Fennel milked out.

Fennel is a very well-put-together cow with tremendous longevity and reproductive efficiency, with these official DHIA records:

1-11  281d   8,550m  4.2%  359f  3.4%  291p

3-01  246d   9,780m  4.2%  411f  3.3%  325p

4-00  264d 12,230m  4.4%  533f  3.4%  411p

4-11  305d 13,500m  4.2%  568f  3.5%  475p

5-11  279d 13,700m  4.1%  562f  3.4%  466p

6-11  297d 13,200m  4.4%  578f  3.5%  459p

7-11  289d 15,260m  4.2%  642f  3.5%  534p

8-11  292d 14,200m  4.3%  617f  3.5%  495p

9-11  282d 13,240m  4.3%  564f  3.5%  466p

10-10 93d    1,450m  3.7%     54f  3.7%   54p (also nursing a calf, then left the dairy due to teat issues)

What impresses us about these records is how the cow calved 10 times before she was 11 years old and just kept plugging along with excellent fat and protein test and very respectable production for the grass-based management used on this dairy.  This is the kind of useful cow we would all like more of.  (There are some short lactations because this is a seasonal herd with minimal winter facilities.)

Fennel has great transmitting ability, as proven by her four daughters that also have great udders and made these M.E. records:

13,450m  4.0% 534f  3.4%  463p

13,750m  4.0% 544f  3.3%  458p

12,020m  3.8% 457f  3.3%  396p

13,950m  3.5% 490f  3.3% 463p

Here is a line bred daughter of one of these sisters of Finocchio.  She is closely line bred with genetics from within the cow family.  We know it’s a good cow family when doubling it up produces such phenomenal results.

native linebred granddaughter of Fennel

Festa, linebred granddaughter of Fennel.

We want to thank Finocchio’s breeders, Darren Wold and Gene Hibner, for their dedication to native Milking Shorthorns with a capital MILK and for going to the trouble of making these fine genetics available, including taking pictures.  We also thank Rolland Jahns, breeder and archivist, for his photography and for the deep pedigree search that helped us write this post.

And thank you, readers, for your interest in these vintage genetics that do still have a valuable place on dairy farms and homesteads around the country.