New York Junior Wins Pot O’Gold Production Contest

John “Dylan” Lehr of Canastota, N.Y., has won the 2020 Pot O’Gold Production Contest with Dutch Hollow Monument Cherry. The Very Good-83% daughter of Wilsonview Pharoahs Monument produced a first lactation with a dollar value of $10,756.89 to top the contest.

The New York junior purchased “Cherry” from fellow New York breeder, Paul C. Chittenden, Schodack Landing, in the 2017 Pot O’Gold Sale and managed her with the herd at another farm in New York, Den-Kel Jerseys, Byron.

For winning the contest, Dylan will receive a check in the amount of $2,897.82, which exceeds the $2,600 purchase price of “Cherry” by $297.82.

“Cherry” hails from the “Charity” line of the “Mischief” cow family developed by Dutch Hollow Farm, owned and operated by Chittenden and his family. “Cherry” has proven to be a wise investment for Dylan, and not just for her production contest prize winnings. She started her milking career on September 1, 2018, with the birth of a heifer calf. The milking yearling gave 93 lbs. milk for her third test in November and followed this with yields of 91 lbs. in March, 104 lbs. in May and 93 lbs. in June at 299 days fresh. Actual production is 26,760 lbs. milk, 1,277 lbs. fat and 909 lbs. protein.

Exactly one year later, she freshened with her second calf—another heifer. She gave 81 lbs. milk for the tester 18 days fresh then peaked with 106 lbs. milk in November. She had three additional tests over 100 lbs. milk and wound up with another stellar record of 29,330 lbs. milk, 1,418 lbs. fat and 1,013 lbs. protein at 2-9. The m.e. average for her two lactations is 35,567—1,666—1,203.

To read the whole story on the 2020 Pot O’Gold Production Contest and see complete rankings, check out the September issue of the Jersey Journal, now being viewed free-of-charge during the pandemic.

Awards Banquet

The 19 other juniors who placed in the 2020 Pot O’Gold Production Contest will be recognized for their achievements on November 7, 2020, at the Junior Banquet, which wraps up Junior Day at All American festivities in Louisville, Ky. Like Dylan, they will receive certificates and cash prizes from the funds set aside from the sale three years ago.

Contest Details

On November 4, 2017, the Pot O’Gold program offered 32 heifers to juniors in the Pot O’Gold Sale in Louisville, Ky. From the sale of those heifers, $16,099 was set aside in the fund to pay out this year. It will be distributed as follows: first prize, 18%; second, 11.5%; third, 8%; fourth, 6.5%; fifth, 6%; sixth, 5.5%; seventh, 5%; eighth, 4.5%; ninth and 10th, 4%; 11th-13th, 3%; 14th-16th, 2.5% each; 17th-19th, 2.0%; and 20th-22nd, 1.5%.

To qualify for competition in the Pot O’Gold Production Contest, heifers must have calved before they reached 30 months-of-age, been tested in a DHI herd owned by the purchaser or his or her parents and have a Data Collection Rating of 90 or higher. Loss, death or transfer of ownership of any purchase before the record is complete eliminates the heifer from competition.

Values of records in the 2020 Pot O’Gold Production Contest were determined by calculating the 305-day mature equivalent (m.e.), then applying Net Merit dollars component values from USDA for the December 2019 genetic evaluations. Values were $4.03 per pound fat, $3.53 per pound protein and $0.40 per hundredweight volume.

This year, 26 of the 32 entries met the qualifications to compete in the 2020 edition of the contest. The 26 records had an average m.e. of 22,523—1,140—823 and a dollar value average of $7,407.32.

Other Winners

Hobbs Lutz, Chester, S.C., placed second with Sun Valley Jive Tart. She made a first lactation with an m.e. of 28,985―1,529―1,043 and a value of $9,727.72. Actual production for the 1-9 record is 19,890 lbs. milk, 1,100 lbs. fat and 726 lbs. protein (3x milking).

Hobbs Lutz with Sun Valley Jive Tart.

Hobbs purchased “Tart” from David and Kimberly Seals, Tillamook, Ore., at the Pot O’Gold Sale in 2017. She was a sound investment as Hobbs purchased her for $2,200 and earns a good portion of her price―$1,851.39―in prize winnings from this year’s production contest.

The Very Good-86% three-year-old is sired by Sun Valley Jive and hails from the same cow family as the popular Jersey sire, Steinhauers Samson Lemonhead. Her dam, Steinhauers Galvanize Cherrytort, Excellent-91%, is a maternal sister to the dam of “Lemonhead.” The Seals’ purchased “Cherrytort” from Steinhauers Jerseys, Mattoon, Wis., in The All American Jersey Sale in 2014.

“Tart” freshened with her second calf in mid-November 2019 and has a projected m.e. of 16,866―941―643 at 2-11.

California junior Jack Swanson of Hilmar placed third in the contest with JCJ Viceroy 36150. The daughter of CDF Viceroy-ET, GJPI +122, produced a 2-2 record with a value of $8,783.71. Jack will receive a cash prize of $1,287.92.

Jack purchased “Viceroy 36150” from James Ahlem, also of Hilmar, and housed her at Vierra Dairy Farms in Hilmar. A steady producer, she calved in late October 2018, peaked with 82 lbs. milk in January and never dropped below 71 lbs. milk for her 305-day record. She freshened with a heifer calf in late March 2020 to start her second lactation. She gave 96 lbs. milk in May and 93 lbs. in July and is projected to 26,484 lbs. milk, 1,181 lbs. fat and 924 lbs. actual at 3-8.

Jack Zina, Hadley, Mass., placed fourth with River Valley Mlton Tiramisu 4915-ET. Sired by IGL Magnum Milton-ET, the Very Good-84% three-year-old made a first lactation with an m.e. of 23,831―1,417―822 and a value of $8,728.65. Actual production for the 1-10 record is 17,610 lbs. milk, 1,070 lbs. fat (6.1%) and 650 lbs. protein (3.7%). Jack will receive a cash prize in the amount of $1,046.44. She was consigned by River Valley Farm of Tremont, Ill.

“Tiramisu 4915” is a prime example of equity building in action. She freshened with her second calf―a second daughter by natural birth―in mid-October 2019. A steady producer, she gave 87 lbs. milk for the tester just two weeks fresh and never dropped below 60 lbs. She has a projected m.e. of 25,298―1,480―974 at 2-9. She ranks among the top 500 genotyped cows with a GJPI of +109.

She is managed with the Registered Jersey herd at Mapleline Farm in Hadley, owned by Jack’s grandfather, John Kokoski.

Another grandson of Kokoski, Austin Dizek, Hadley, placed fifth in this year’s Pot O’Gold Production Contest. His entry, JX Gure Behia Leonel 12788 {4}, has a first lactation with a value of $8,716.68. He will receive a check in the amount of $965.94. “Leonel 12788 {4}” was consigned by Green Valley Dairy of Kerman, Calif.

She made an actual 2-2 record of 20,090 lbs. milk, 1,166 lbs. fat and 741 lbs. protein. The m.e. on the record is 24,329—1,420—914. She calved again in late January and is on track to make another actual record over 20,000 lbs. milk.

Austin has the Luck of the Irish when it comes to heifer calves. “Leonel 12788 {4}” added a pair of heifers in his name from just two calvings to the pens at Mapleline Farm.

Other juniors being recognized in the 2020 Pot O’Gold Production Contest are Renee Lydia Bok, Defiance, Ohio; McCalister Russell, Hilmar, Calif.; Nathan Merriam, Hickman, Calif.; Devin Haywood, Hastings, Mich.; Lydia Chittenden; Andrew McReynolds; Emma Townsend, Lafayette, Ind.; Chelsie Fuller; Westin M. and Ryan M. Mattingly, Fresno, Calif.; Charlie Tauchen, Bonduel, Wis.; Robert Graves, Dundas, Ill.; Caroline R. Lafferty, Schodack Landing, N.Y.; Kirsten Boreman, West Salem, Ohio; Addison Josi, Tillamook, Ore.; Ela May Hebgen, DeForest, Wis.; and Camille Herrera, Hilmar, Calif.

The Next Pot O’Gold Sale

The 63rd Pot O’Gold Sale is scheduled for November 7, 2020, in Louisville. The animals purchased from this sale will compete in the 2023 Pot O’Gold Production Contest.