HARRISBURG, Pa. — “We’re excited about Tiffany. She is a homebred cow, and we bred her dam,” says Jonathan Lamb of Oakfield Corners Dairy, Batavia, New York about the 56th All-American Dairy Show (AADS) Supreme Champion. Oakfield WB Tiffany-ET was also Supreme Bred and Owned after earning Grand and Best Bred and Owned of the Eastern Fall National Holstein Show in Harrisburg last Wednesday, Sept. 18.
She is an EX93 95MS Windbrook out of an EX93 Goldwyn, and her granddam is an EX Dundee they purchased as an embryo out of Luck-E from an EX95 Linjet.
Four-year-old Tiffany needs to see the classifier, Jonathan adds: “She maxed out at 89 as a 2-year-old and 92 as a 3-year-old. She calved on June 4, and her last test was 110 pounds of 4.2F 3.4P milk. She’s been our favorite all year, and she’s done everything right.”
For Alicia Lamb, the experience was a bit emotional. She was showing a cow in the Red & White ring when Tiffany was named Senior and then Grand of the Holstein show in the adjoining ring.
“We bred her, so yes, she’s pretty special to us. But to see her go Supreme was extremely special,” Alicia says, and proceeds to tell her story. “She calved last year, and we were excited, but after the Central New York Show, she got really sick. We sent her to Cornell. She had hemorrhagic bowel syndrome, and they removed a section. For her to come back from that is pretty special.”
Not only did Tiffany survive, she bred back in timely fashion and calved a year later to be Grand Champion of the Western New York Regional Show before taking top honors at the All-American last week. In 2017, she was Intermediate Champion of the New York State Fair and in 2018 was Reserve Intermediate at the Big E in Massachusetts.
“This proves that she’s a fighter, and we are very fortunate to have her and be able to show her,” Alicia relates.
Jonathan is quick to point out the team effort involved. He spends a lot of his time with the day-to-day operations of the commercial dairies and credits Andrew Lenhart, Jamie Black and his wife Alicia for their work with the show herd.
“They put in a lot of work and effort, blood, sweat and tears,” he says. “For us, what makes it sweeter is to see our homebred cattle do well.”
“The breeding decisions are also a team effort,” Alicia agrees. “Jonathan or I make the final decisions on matings, but when Kelly Reynolds was here, she helped, and now Jamie and Andrew are part of that. We want a mating that makes a good cow but also something that is marketable because the show herd has to pay for itself and not be supported by other aspects of the farm.”
Alicia coordinates the breeding program for the show herd and the genomic herd. This is a busy time of year for both, coordinating all the genomic testing, bulls going to stud, sale selections, showing and social media.
It’s fitting. Jonathan and Alicia both grew up showing cattle in 4-H — him on the family’s dairy farm in New York, her as a non-farm 4-Her in Florida.
“That’s how I got my start, how I got involved in the dairy industry. It’s something that’s always been there and that I’ve always enjoyed being a part of,” Alicia reflects.
The two met in Florida while Alicia was attending the University of Florida. A class project brought her to a dairy farm Jonathan was managing at the time before returning to western New York.
They bought their first show cow together 20 years ago, before they were married.
“The type market was different then, and it was a way for us to be involved and to start a marketing program,” Alicia relates. Now, with daughter Kyra and son Griffin turning 5 and 3 on the same day next week as they pack up for World Dairy Expo, the show herd is coming into its own.
In fact, that first cow they bought together in 1999 is 4th dam of Oakfield Doorm Brilliant-ET. She won the milking yearling class in Harrisburg and will be part of the string heading to Madison, including the Intermediate Champion at Harrisburg Ms Smith-Oak PW D Millie-ET, a Doorman daughter they purchased out of a 94-point Goldwyn, and of course, their homebred AADS Supreme Champion Tiffany.
After showing some cattle at the All-American over the years, this was the first year the Lambs brought their own string. They brought a dozen milking animals and an assortment of heifers — Holsteins and Red & Whites.
It was a good day for both.
They added Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor to their Holstein Grand, Senior, Bred and Owned, and Intermediate Champions, with multiple high placings elsewhere in the show.
They also took home those same individual banners in the Red & White Show with aged cow Colganados D Avianca-Red-ET, a Destry daughter out of the clone of Apple, as Grand and Senior Champion, and Oakfield Addiction Emoji-Red, the junior 3-year-old, garnering Intermediate and Bred and Owned Champion.
Because Jamie Black is judging the International Red & White Show at World Dairy Expo, the Lambs will leave their Red & Whites at home.
“The Harrisburg Red & White Show is a strong one, plus we aren’t taking those cows to Expo, so we brought our own string to Harrisburg this year,” says Jonathan.
Last week’s achievements have barely sunk in as the team prepares for Expo, excited to see how their sting of Holsteins match up in Madison, where they are quick to point out the competition is steep.
“This industry is full of great people, and what we are really looking forward to is catching up with old friends and making new ones,” says Jonathan. “The best part is the people.”
— By Sherry Bunting