Page 13 - BCHNews-Spring2021-Web
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  Agrifoods Co-op board. He enjoys quadding with his family and friends, and relaxes by doing carpentry, recently completing a large deck for their home.
Earlier this year, Holstein Canada announced the new Master Breeder recipients for 2020. In summary, this award measures how well a herd combines high production and outstanding conformation. For the first time, this event was broadcast via livestream with potential recipients allowing a webcam to capture their reactions. That evening, D.R. and Angela invited Gerrit and Jan to their home to
Being a
New Master Breeder
does not absolve one from fixing the broken alley scraper!
SPRING 2021 ❁ BC HOLSTEIN NEWS 13 share in the excitement as Lavender Farms
was confirmed as an Award winner.
Afterwards, the Vaandrager family was gratified to receive numerous congratulatory texts and phone calls. D.R. states, “It is definitely a satisfying honor after many years of effort.” Thinking back, he grins, “But the next morning, my alley scraper was still broken.” Armed with a healthy balance of realism and optimism, the team at Lavender Farms is unquestionably off and running to write another successful chapter...
    Gerrit and Jan established the Lavender prefix in 1958, took over the operation in 1969 and had a fully purebred herd by 1985.
“Don’t chase fads. All of the breeders that I have admired knew what they wanted and kept their focus.”
Not much genomic testing has been done at Lavender Farms, instead D.R. relies on his trained eye, regularly culling animals based on appearance, “If I don’t like them as calves and heifers, out they go.” While applauding sexed semen as a valuable tool, D.R. is also disappointed that “This development has decreased the value of cattle.”
Currently, D.R. is using beef semen to terminate certain cow families and reduce inventory. Already shipping A2 milk from part of the herd that is housed separately, he continues to select for sires carrying this gene. When it comes to optimal matings, D.R. analyzes bull proofs and discusses genetics with other like-minded breeders. Sires that worked very well here include
Shottle, Fever, Braxton, Dempsey, Talent, Sanchez, Doorman, and lately, Wickham.
Conclusion
The fourth generation of Vaandragers have all participated in 4-H and done very well, each earning at least one showmanship title of their own. D.R. and Angela have been pleased to see their family’s self- motivation in this area. A great memory is taking a stellar group of calves to the 2016 Fall Harvest Show. “Even nicer than winning the Junior Herd class,” D.R. says, “was having my kids out there leading for the win.”
While continuing to judge some 4-H events, D.R. is a past boys club leader and hockey coach. Additionally, he has been active in leadership at his church and has served on HC’s Type Advisory committee. At present, D.R. is a director on the
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