Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ohio Brown Swiss Host National Convention

Reprinted with permission from the May 2017 Brown Swiss Bulletin

The Ohio Brown Swiss Breeders have planned a fun-filled National Convention for those coming to Ohio. From farm tours to shopping, sports to shows and a premier line-up of cattle for the sale. There is something for every Brown Swiss enthusiast to enjoy!

Pro Football Hall of Fame
The convention activities kick off at the world-renown football site with tours, dinner and even a special playoff event planned for the Juniors on the football field itself! Enjoy the day at the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a registered Convention attendee or just the afternoon and evening of scheduled activities.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame provides opportunities for football fans to learn more about the history of the game on an Insider's Tour or view rare artifacts preserved in the Hall’s archives during an VIP "Behind-the-Scenes" Tour.
Get an insider's tour of the Hall of Fame by exploring exhibits with our highly knowledgeable and experienced docents. Whether you are a first-time visitor or long-time member, through the insight of our docents you will gain a new perspective on the history of the Game and context for the diversity of our collection and exhibits. Since opening in 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has grown in both size and stature.
Today, the Hall of Fame stands as a shining tribute to the men who have made professional football America’s most popular sport. The Hall represents its sport in a great many colorful and entertaining ways with a multitude of interactive experiences. Perhaps the most emotional stop during a tour of the museum is the Hall of Fame Gallery which houses the bronze bust of each enshrinee. The Pro Football Adventure Room examines the many other pro leagues that have challenged the NFL since its founding in 1920. The Moments, Memories & Mementos Gallery focuses on the achievements made by the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. High-tech video, audio, and lighting help bring the treasured artifacts to life in dynamic fashion. The Pro Football Today Gallery examines contemporary themes in the NFL. This area is filled with mementos from recent history-making performances.
The Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery recaps every Super Bowl played to date. Interactive kiosks and rare artifacts bring the Super Bowl to life. The newest gallery in the Hall of Fame is also home to the Super Bowl Theater, an incredible presentation of a NFL Films production. As visitors leave the exhibit level of the Hall and return to the ground floor, they enter into an interactive area that includes a Teletrivia game, Call-the-Play-Theater, an all-new Madden EA Sports video game display and other exhibits such as a display devoted to officiating.

On Thursday two options are available – a regional tour and farm visits or a day of activities for juniors and families that choose to play.
The juniors and families that opt for this option can enjoy a day at Sluggers & Putters. Established in 1991, Tim & Rhonda McCully, turned a cornfield, situated in quaint Canal Fulton, into a thriving attraction. Originally offering the initial attractions of batting cages, a golf driving range, and the Adventure Miniature Golf Course, the park’s growth has swelled by continuously adding new attractions each year. With a variety of activities, “Sluggers & Putters makes FUN a member of the family.” Over the past several summers, the park has reinvented their image, especially with the construction of the Retro Ride Zone in 2015. The Retro Ride Zone brings thrills to every member of the family, featuring amusement park classics such as the Scrambler, the Flying Swings, and the thrilling Little Dipper Roller Coaster. The park has added several brand new attractions to celebrate the Wild World of Fun’s 25th Anniversary. Reaching for the skies with Professor Marvel’s Balloon Ride, jumping with thrills on the Frog Hopper and two new concession areas, the park continues to add something for the entire family.

If cows, auctions, history and shopping are your thing, then you’ll enjoy the scheduled tours of Kidron, Ohio where the famous Lehmans Hardware and Kidron Auction reside. Then it’s off to tour two Ohio Brown Swiss farms that have their red carpets rolled out.
Among the old world beauty and charm, Kidron Ohio, is host to two well know Amish auctions, the Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction, and the Kidron Auction Barn. Also located in Kidron is the famous Lehman's Hardware, where you can find anything from unique children's toys to unique kitchen appliances.  What started as a small hardware store serving the local Amish in Kidron, Ohio, grew into something much bigger than founder Jay Lehman ever dreamed. Gathering four pre-Civil War era buildings under one soaring roof, today the store is a place to embrace the past: from old-fashioned treats and sodas to practical, non-electric goods that help you live a simpler life. Shop and reminisce your way through thousands of products while browsing Jay’s antique collection located throughout the store.
In 1918 a group of local farmers and businessmen held their first auction at the Jacob Moser barn located on the square in Kidron. In 1923 a young local auctioneer named S.C. “Cy” Sprunger purchased it. The first six years sales were held monthly, then they went to twice a month, and as demand grew, weekly sales were started in 1932. In the early days most of the pens and selling took place out of doors. As the sales grew small additions were made to the original Moser barn to accommodate the increasing consignments. In 1948, the Kidron Auction celebrated their 25 year anniversary under the management of Cy Sprunger. Cy was always interested in helping his hometown grow and improve. In 1947, machinery sales were started to help raise funds to build a much needed fire department. In 1956, Cy passed away and the sale continued under the management of Cy’s brother Earl and long-time office manager, Russel “Russ” Beals. In 1973, John Sprunger, eldest son of Cy, took over the management of the auction sales from Russ and Earl as they were approaching retirement. Over the next several decades the auction continued to develop and grow. The Sprungers continue to look forward to serving area farmers for many years to come with the Best in Competitive Livestock Marketing Service.
The nationally acclaimed Kidron-Sonnenburg Heritage Center is operated by the historical society. It documents the history of the Kidron-area Mennonite Anabaptists.
From Kidron the tour travels to Orville, Ohio, home of Smuckers. In the early 19th century, John Chapman, or “Johnny Appleseed,” wandered the Ohio countryside, sowing apple seeds and securing a place in American history. It was from the fruit of Johnny Appleseed's trees that Orrville, Ohio, resident Jerome Monroe Smucker first pressed cider at a mill he opened in 1897. Later, he also prepared apple butter, which he sold from the back of a horse-drawn wagon. Each crock bore a hand-signed seal as his personal guarantee of quality. Before long, J.M. Smucker’s name became well known in its own right, as residents throughout the region — and eventually the nation — came to associate the Smucker’s® brand name with wholesome, high-quality fruit products. Much like Johnny Appleseed's trees, The J.M. Smucker Company has strong roots that have allowed it to grow and prosper for nearly 120 years. Today, their products can be found in homes and restaurants throughout the world.

After a morning of sight-seeing, history and shopping the final destinations are two farms located not far from the convention site.

Ro-La-Sue Dairy Farm is home to the Scheibe Family. Clifford Scheibe purchased the farm in 1957 with his wife Carol. Today, Cliffford, his son Rod and daughter-in-law Addie, and their children Ben, Amanda and her husband Willis, along with one full time person take care of the farm and cows. The farm has 370 acres of which 250 are planted in corn and 120 acres is hay ground. They milk 240 Holstein, Brown  Swiss and Ayrshire. About 20 years ago they purchased their first Brown Swiss which was a 4-H project and have been trying to increase ever since. Current sires being used include Brookings, Carter, Cadence, and Tequila. They are currently milking 25 Brown Swiss cows that are averging a 23,000 rolling herd average. On February 12, 2013 they began milking with four Lely Astronaut A4 robots and also installed a Lely Juno feed pusher that works around the clock to keep feed pushed up to the milking herd. Since installing the robots the cows have gained over 20 pounds per head per day milk and the rolling herd average has increased about 5,000 pounds. In 2015 they installed a cosmix feeder into the freshening pen to help with training new heifers for the robot. A feed center was put in, in 1997 with multiple objectives to be able to purchase semi loads of commodities while minimizing handling and waste. They look forward to seeing everyone at our farm.

The final stop of the afternoon will be at RNR Swiss Farm, home of the Michalovichs. The farm is owned by Ron and Renee Michalovich and they are first generation farmers. Neither one of them grew up on a farm. They fell in love with the Big Brown cow at a county fair dairy show before they were married and began their Brown Swiss career in 1979 when they purchased two Brown Swiss heifers with wedding money and thus RNR Swiss was established. The herd now includes 175 registered Brown Swiss cows and 165 Brown Swiss heifers. They have one son Kevin and he and his wife Kari are actively involved in the operation. Kari brought her small herd of registered Holsteins and Jerseys from Wisconsin when Kevin and she were married in 2013. The total cows on DHIR are 210. The farm on which they live has 215 acres and the Michalovich’s rent another 350 acres.  Crops consist of corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. They feed a TMR blend to the milking herd which consists of corn silage, Baleage, Ryelage, wet brewers grain, ground corn, soybean meal and vitamins and minerals. The current RHA is 23,919 milk, 1,070 fat and 840 protein. They average a 4.5 butterfat and 3.4 protein tests on the herd. Their milk is sold to a local family owned cheese plant and they have done so for over 26 years. Guggisberg Cheese Inc., is best known for their Baby Swiss cheese, but in 2016 their Swiss cheese was awarded Grand Champion in the United States of America.

Current bulls that they are using include Carter, Brookings, Cadence, Winning Formula, Richard, Kingsman, Biver, Allstar, Dynamite, Fast & Furious, Wizdom, Nescardo and LeBron. They have bred two ‘EX94’ point cows, RNR Prelude Dusty and RNR Denmark Brooke. Brooke is the dam of the popular AI sire RNR Payoff Brookings. Their first homebred All-American, RNR Formula Peanut ‘EX93’ has several All-American nominee descendants. The farm has had a total of 24 All-American nominations including groups.  Extensive ET and IVF work is done on a regular basis. The farm is very active in the Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association of America, participating in the Brown Swiss Advantage program, being National members and Ron also served two terms as a National Director. In 2014 RNR Supreme Janna won both the H.R. Searles Award and the J.P. Eves Award and in 2015, RNR Jack Perfection won the H.R. Searles Award.  2017 marks the 30th year at their current farm, which they purchased in 1994 after renting for seven years.

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