Interview with polled breeders - Lynn Augspurger
Hopewell Junction NY 12533
Augspurger now relies on friends to board his herd at various farms
in the USA. The www.PolledDairyCows.com website (as well as its
discussion group firstname.lastname@example.org ) was developed to
provide a reference resource for the dairy breeds when minor breeds
had no easily available bank for the polled gene. Now bulls have
been collected for Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein,
Jerseyand Milking shorthorn.
Young sires developed and used include (AY) Major-PP, (BS) Jewl-PP,
(GU)Midas-P, (HO) Pinnacle-P, (JE) Perry-P and (MS) Alladan-P.
Q: Explain your background and experience with polled dairy cattle:
I had to sell my last herd in 1976, but the dream continued. In 2002
we purchased Midas-P from Randy Boutwell who had saved 8 polled
Guernseys including the Midas bull as the last registered Guernsey
in North America. In that year also Edwin Johnson showed me his
HICKORYMEA BWOOD OSSIE P-ET and I learned ABS was going to collect
her Holstein son Ottawa-P who would be homozygous polled, so I was
able to use Ottawa-P on Dale Culver's Gay-Ridge A J Pearl cow to
have Pinnacle-P. Bill Kelly sold me Kelley-View Jade Julie and Elmer
Goff let me have the last Brown Swiss polled semen he had saved from
sons of Lar-Le Liason Karat NP.Robert and Bonnie Wentworth sold me
Wentworth-Farm Maverick Parade out of Anderlini's Maverick-P to use
with James and Rhoda Hein's First-Mate-PP. Melanie Chittendon
allowed me to collect the Jersey Perry-P and some embryos from a
mating of Dutch Hollow S Joe Mistress-P and the Northcoast bull
Austin-PP. And finally, Vince Ruzic has allowed me to collect
Milking Shorthorn Alladan-P from his Ali cow.
Q: Do you feel the role of polled genetics has evolved over the past
10 years, stayed about the same, or decreased in scope?
John Burket's pioneering efforts with MMI Genomics to allow blood
samples to show whether a calf is homozygous polled directly is a
breakthrough that, with the help of John Reber of the Jersey breed
and others who will contribute for the different breeds now, will
allow more progress in identifying polled cows that are homozygous
polled. This will significantly improve the chances for homozygous
polled offspring for use as sires. The quality of polled animals now
is competitive with the horned sires. The average production of
polled offspring now matches the best of the horned bulls.
Q: What should breeders and producers realize about the polled
As polled is the dominant gene, by selecting a bull in any breed
that is polled, the flushing of the top cows of the breed to them
will allow sale of the offspring as polled animals, leaders for a
new generation of outstanding polled dairy cows.
Q: What do you feel are the biggest challenges and/or disadvantages
of using and selecting for polled genetics?
The biggest challenge is to find enough herds to use young sires for
quickly proving the polled bulls are as good as they are.
Another challenge is to identify the top polled cows for use as dams
Q: What strategies or approaches are you considering to address
challenges you have identified?
I collect bulls from polled to polled matings to provide the chance
for homozygous polled bulls. The homozygous polled bulls can be used
and guarantee the use of a young sire will produce a polled calf for
the first time user.
Q: Do you feel polled genetics have a stronger presence and/or
greater opportunity in Red cattle?
The availability of RC bulls like Ottawa-P and Pinnacle-P at the top
of the polled sires allow one to flush to Red cows to obtain best of
breed characteristics. The Red breed can have a higher percentage of
offspring because of the availability of many different Red and RC
sires of high quality.
Q: What sire or bloodline do you feel has had the greatest impact on
polled genetics today?
The sons of HICKORYMEA BWOOD OSSIE P-ET have raise significantly the
number of polled offspring in Holstein herds of my friends that had a
horned herd before. She is in the pedigree of all my polled Holsteins
Q: What excites you the most about polled genetics?
I think we now have enough diversity, polled sires in each breed
which allow use on any cow of the various breeds.
And we can now test for homozygous polled cows to use as flush cows
to have polled offspring of any bull.
A big "Thank you" to Lynn! Please visit his homepage at