Friday, March 4, 2016

National Holstein Convention Coming to Saratoga Springs

From Empire Farm & Dairy magazine:

Saratoga Springs is well known for health (the spas), history (Saratoga battlefield National Park) and horses (Saratoga Race Course).

But in June and July, the city will be alive with Holsteins as more than 1,200 people from across the United States come to Saratoga Springs for the National Holstein Convention.

Set for June 27 through July 1, attendees will go to business meetings, special seminars and workshops and also will get the chance to see what New York state has to offer concerning Holsteins (tours of nearby Holstein dairy farms) and other historic sites such as the Revolutionary War battlefield nearby, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown or the Saratoga Race Course.

Holstein Association USA is the world’s largest dairy breed organization, composed of members who have an interest in breeding, raising and milking Holstein cattle.

Headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, the association is a nonprofit membership organization that offers programs and services to the dairy industry and holds its annual meeting each June.

Last year’s national convention was held in St. Charles, Ill. and the last time the convention was in New York was in 1993 when Rochester was the host.

Known as the “Cradle of the Holstein Breed,” New York was home to the first registered Holstein herd established by Gerrit Smith Miller in Peterboro, Madison County. A monument to Miller’s accomplishment near Peterboro was unveiled in 1929 and still can be seen along Oxbow Road before reaching the hamlet.

Miller also began the practice of weighing and recording daily milk production from the Holsteins in 1869 supervised by Dr. Stephen M. Babcock while he was employed at the New York Agriculture Experiment Station in Geneva. Babcock, who was from Stockbridge in Madison County, later moved on to the  University of Wisconsin where he invented the butterfat test.

The National Holstein Association was created in Buffalo in 1885 with a vote of 96 breeders merging the New York and Massachusetts Holstein Associations. Today, Holstein Association USA maintains the records for all ancestry, identity, ownership and performance information on more than 22 million registered Holstein cattle contained in association files.

The data contains more than 10 generations of lineage, dating back to before 1900.

The Saratoga Hilton will be the headquarters for the national convention and where all the contests, meetings and sale will be held. While Saratoga Springs may not share New York City’s size and scale, it has been named among “America’s Top 10 Main Streets” by Travel and Leisure.

Youth also will be a big part of the national convention and represent nearly all of the states.

The Junior Holstein members are under the age of 21 and have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities, all aimed at helping youth increase their knowledge of the dairy industry, strengthen self-confidence and build leadership skills, preparing them for the future.

In New York, there are more than 1,000 youth members. Junior contests during the convention include Dairy Bowl, Dairy Jeopardy and Public Speaking.

Hotel and schedule information for the convention can be found at or go to , like the page and check it out for more convention news.

Holstein Convention Schedule:
Monday, June 27
Dairy Jeopardy Orientation (contest Tuesday)
Junior Mixer
Tuesday, June 28
NHWSO Interviews (Silent Auction begins Tuesday)
Pre-Convention Tours
(A) Farm Charm Leatherstocking Region, Joleanna Holsteins, Maple-Downs Farms, Ovaltop Holsteins hosting picnic
(B) Cooperstown — More than Baseball with farm tour and picnic at Ovaltop Holsteins
Dairy Jeopardy Contest
DJM luncheon
Speech Contest
Dairy Bowl: Written exam, Coaches meeting (Contest Thursday)
“Explore Saratoga Springs” — Hospitality Team available to help with your plans
Junior Dance
Wednesday, June 29
Tour A — 5 Holstein Breeder Farms with lunch included. Clear Echo, Ideal Dairy, Liddleholme, Welcome Stock and lunch at Kings-Ransom
Tour B — Saratoga Battlefield “Turning Point of the American Revolution” and McMahon Thoroughbred Horse Farm
Tour C — Great Escape & Splash Water Kingdom, A Six Flags Park;
Family Night: Dinner and Polo Match at Saratoga Polo Club
Thursday, June 30
Dairy Bowl Contest
National Holstein Women’s Scholarship Organization Silent Auction and Annual Meeting
Non-Delegate Tours – Morning and/or Afternoon
Early-Riser Option: History of Thoroughbred Horse Racing: horses, trainers, original track and racing museum
Afternoon: Horses, Health & History Tour with 5-star tour guides
Junior and Adult luncheon
State Leaders luncheon
Pre-Sale Meal and Sale
Saratoga Strike Zone Junior/Family Activity
Friday, July 1
Dairy Bowl Finals and National Junior Forum
NHWSO Silent Auction Closes
Annual Meeting
Directors Luncheon
Junior Awards Luncheon
President’s Reception
Senior Awards   Banquet
Rodeo: Junior Farewell Activity

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