11270523_10203106197015778_281492703094004307_oDo you have questions about dairy crossbreeding? If you do, we have something in common. My name is Matt Olson, and I will be spending the next few months as a guest blogger on www.dairycrossbreeding.com. Over the summer, I will be interning with Geno in Norway as a marketing and communications intern. My goal is to better understand the concept of crossbreeding in dairy cattle and experience a part of the international dairy industry.

I was born and raised on my family’s 100-cow dairy farm in northeast Wisconsin. The farm is co-owned and operated by my father and uncle. Now, the farm has 60 cows milked by a robotic milker. I was not the most active farm kid. Each summer, I found jobs off the farm. But one summer, my father needed me to help out because he was short on help. Ever since, I have been more interested in dairy farming and the dairy industry.

After graduating high school, I enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeking my bachelor’s degree with a major in Life Sciences Communication. My major was established in 1908 as the first Department of Agricultural Journalism in the world.

“In 2000, we changed our name to LSC [Life Sciences Communication] to reflect the extraordinary growth in our field.” – Life Sciences Communication Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

I am also earning certificates in Business Management for Agricultural and Life Sciences and Leadership.

In the fall, I will enter my final year of education for my bachelor’s degree. As a part of my educational experience, I am seeking industry experience. That’s where Geno comes in. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a marketing and communications intern for Geno. I am based out of the main office in Hamar, Norway.

Because I am sure that we have some of the same questions about the Norwegian Red breed and crossbreeding dairy cattle, feel free to send me your thoughts and questions. Throughout this summer, I will be looking into things that I am curious about, such as health and fertility traits of animals crossbred with Norwegian Red, incidence of mastitis and other diseases in animals crossbred with Norwegian Red, and comparing Norway’s veterinary system to that of the United States.

If you have something that you are interested in, a topic, or have a question, please let me know. Hopefully, I can work to get your questions answered!

 

2 Responses to Do You Have Questions About Dairy Crossbreeding? Me Too!

  1. Corey wilt says:

    I co-own/operate a 90 cow dairy in south central Pennsylvania with my father. We’ve started cross breeding our Holsteins with jerseys and brown Swiss and have noticed a difference in the health of our calves. A gentleman by the name of Jeff whisel travels the United States redoing parlors and dairy barns and pushes the use of Norwegian red jersey and Holstein cross breeding. There isn’t much information out there on the Norwegian red breed and I’m somewhat skeptical of taking the big leap of using the Reds on my cows/heifers. Im hoping to communicate with you a lot via text/phone/email about what you learn. We have a lot of mastitis, lameness and breeding problems with our Holsteins and I’m tired of dealing with it. Thanks a lot for your blog.

  2. Matt Olson says:

    Corey,

    Thanks for your comment on the blog! I am really excited for your questions and hopefully get you some answers.

    In your comment you mentioned mastitis and breeding problems. The Norwegian Red is a great choice for improving both of those problems. Over the past 40 years, the Norwegian Red has been bred for resistance to mastitis, even though it is a lowly heritable trait. In a study conducted in Ireland, results showed that the incidence of mastitis in Holsteins/Norwegian Red crosses were about 3.6% lower than that of purebred Holsteins. (Study information on our website.)

    In addition, the Norwegian Red cattle have incredibly great reproductive rates–rates that can be higher than even some of the best herds in the United States. In another study in Northern Ireland, average first service conception rates were anywhere from about 10-30% higher in the Norwegian Red population compared to the Holstein population. (Study information on our website.)

    For some general information on the breed, I would encourage you to visit this Geno Global website about the Norwegian Red characteristics.

    I hope that this gives you a start to the questions you have. I would be happy to know if you have any more questions. In the next few weeks, I will use these topics for blog posts.

    Matt

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