Speaker, auction of cloned cow set at Holstein convention

March 08, 2002|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Holstein Convention descends on Westminster today with $7,000 in scholarship money, a prestigious national speaker and a cloned cow for auction.

The two-day event begins with a 9 a.m. breakfast at Wilhelm Ltd. Catering on Route 140 and ends with a cattle sale at 11 a.m. Saturday at Carroll County Agriculture Center. The convention is sponsored by the Maryland Holstein Association, the state's official organization for owners and breeders of America's most popular dairy cow.

At last year's sale, a cow went for $63,000, and Maryland Holstein enthusiasts posted the nation's third highest state convention bid average at $4,993 a cow.

Like last year's auction, the sale will include a cloned cow, said Donna Myers, a New Windsor dairy farmer and convention organizer. Clones of All-American cows, judged the finest in their ages and breeds by a nationwide panel, are not as unusual as some might think, Myers said. But the cloning process remains cost-prohibitive for most cattle breeders.

In addition to sparking commerce, the event gives Maryland's dairy farmers a chance to gather and talk trade, Myers said.

Highlights of today's session include the awards presentations for junior Holstein owners, who submit productivity reports for the cows they nurture. Those with the most productive cows win prizes and scholarship money. John Meyer, chief executive officer for the national Holstein Association, will deliver the keynote speech at 1:45 p.m. Association members will then tour Carroll dairy farms.

Myers said she expects 440 people at tonight's banquet at Wilhelm Ltd. Catering.

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