Your age: 53
Your location: Monticello, Wisconsin
My dairy’s history: Our farm (Voegeli Brown Swiss) was homesteaded in 1854 by our Swiss predecessors. In 1895, my great-grandfather purchased a registered Brown Swiss and we have had registered Brown Swiss ever since.
Currently, the sixth generation is involved in operations at the farm. My mother Alice, brother Jimmy, myself and my two kids, Brienna and Christopher – along with a great work force – operate our farm.
The farm has grown to a 220-milking-cow herd. We own 860 acres and rent neighboring land for a total of 1,100 acres of crops.
I have been a member of BSCBA since... 1982, after graduating from University of Wisconsin – Madison in dairy science.
A little-known fact about BSCBA is...
that registrations were handled at the breed secretary’s home until the office in Beloit, Wisconsin, was purchased in the early 1900s.
My favorite BSCBA representative or employee is... I think all the employees there are wonderful, but my favorite has to be Norma Weber. She is in her late 70s and has been with the Brown Swiss Association for over 50 years. She has known generations of families and is still actively involved in the registrations of cattle. I am inspired by her dedication to the association and membership.
What BSCBA does best is... Besides all the record keeping, classification and pedigree information, the organization does a great job of bringing us in contact with Brown Swiss organizations from other countries. This gives us the ability to share information – whether it be genomic testing, classification, or good or bad genetic findings – and to meet other breeders.
I feel valued as a member when...
they send out information regarding genetics, which helps me make better selections for improving our dairy cattle.
An influential or interesting person I’ve met through BSCBA is... Wayne Sliker. He is influential for the Brown Swiss breed because he has bred, developed and exhibited many great animals over the years. He has put various influential bulls into A.I. and had many show winners and All-American nominations. His greatest contribution may be his ability to market Brown Swiss cattle to a wide range of people through his sale service, thus helping to promote the Brown Swiss breed.
I hope my dairy legacy is... that I have bred and developed enough good cattle that have turned out to be profitable for our farm and for others to have purchased our genetics. I also hope my legacy is one that can provide an opportunity for future generations.
If I were running this organization, I would... put more emphasis on a highly profitable cow that can fit the marketplace for a wide range of dairymen. PD
Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders' Association (BSCBA)
800 Pleasant Street
Beloit, Wisconsin 53511
Year founded… 1880
Number of members… about 800
Organization's mission statement:
To promote and expand the Brown Swiss breed with programs that assist the membership and industry to compete favorably in the market place now and in the future. Our motto is "One Breed, Many Avenues."