In Search Of…An Award Winning Cow 10/20/05
The Thompson family in Viroqua has been raising brown swiss dairy cows for generations. “My grandpa bought his
first brown swiss back in the early 30’s and we’ve had brown swiss ever since.”
If you’re not familiar with this breed of cow…they are known for one very specific thing. “The milk is high in
butterfat and protein and any cheese maker will go out of his way to get brown swiss milk.”
The Thompsons have nearly 50 cows on their farm, but allow me to introduce you to their new star. “This is
Shatzi was just a little calf when they first spotted her at a sale. “We went down on a Sunday and looked at the
heffers and this one came up at the end of the sale and I bought her.” “She was nice lookin’ as a calf, she was. As
she grew, she just got better.” She sure did, and the Thompson aren’t the only ones to notice. This summer at the
world dairy expo, they got quite the surprise.
“It is my pleasure to proclaim their dairy cow, Sunmade Jetway Shatzi, the 2005 cow of the year.
“I was just sittin’ there listening, thinking nothing about it, then they started describing her and I knew it was
Shatzi. After you’ve been with brown swiss for 72 years, this is the climax.” “It’s kind of the Superbowl of the
dairy show. It’s a big honor.” “It’s once in a lifetime, it’ll never happen again and we’re real proud of her.”
But who knows, maybe down the road there just might be another star in the making. “There’s 39 offspring on the
farm out here.”
We went in search of…an award winner that’s milking her fame for all its worth. We found her.
And the main reason behind winning the award is the amount of milk Shatzi produces. Last year she made 48-thousand
pounds of milk, 25-hundred pounds of butter fat and 17-hundred pounds of protein. Which if you’re not a dairy
farmer…is very, very good!
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