Fond du Lac, Wis.—January 2010—The story of this year’s Professional Dairy Producers Foundation Benefit Auction is one of family and legacy.
A November ‘09 Million calf from the heart of the Lou and Toystory cow family will headline the March 16 auction, and proceeds will help build a legacy of learning for the dairy industry.
The Breunig Family of Mystic Valley Dairy LLC has donated Jenny-Lou Million 2719 out of its herd of outstanding Holsteins. Her Marsh dam, GP-83 @ 2Y and due to be rescored in February, is among the elite in the breed with a CTPI of 1734. The Brett grandam, VG-86 GMD DOM, has over 47,150M @ 2-11. The third dam is the well-known Patron Toyane, VG-89 GMD DOM, the dam of Toystory and Lou.
“As I thought about which calf to donate, I knew it had to be one from our Toyane family. It’s the cow family that our family is most known for,” says Mitch Breunig.
The Breunig family’s dairy business is built around a passion for excellent cows, and that passion has helped Mystic Valley earn a BAA rating of 105.2. That ranks 7th in the U.S. for herds over 300 cows.
Mystic Valley Dairy expanded from a traditional 100-cow Wisconsin farm setup in 1998 to 400 cows and stands at 430 cows today. Their rolling herd average is just shy of 30,000. But their real niche has been developing quality genetics. The farm has been able to sell an average of 60 animals a year to fellow dairy producers.
“It’s a constant goal to develop the depth and quality of our herd and provide quality animals to others,” Mitch says.
Breunig calf at auction
Page 2 of 2
Mitch is quick to attribute business success to those around him–his wife Jacquie and seven “very valuable” employees, including his brother Marty. The calf donation pays tribute to Mitch’s late father, Louis, who started the family farm in 1961 and nurtured Mitch’s passion for excellent cattle. Mitch and his mother, Jeannette, own the farm in partnership today.
From a young age, involvement in 4-H, FFA, the Wisconsin Holstein Association and, in more recent years, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW), has helped fuel Mitch’s passion for quality cattle and build their dairy business.
Though he’s a young producer himself, Mitch is in the habit of giving back to the industry that has taught him so much. He has coached 4-H dairy judging teams for the past ten years. In 2001, a team he coached won the national championship.
He’s proud that his daughter Allison, 11, is now showing cattle in 4-H, and notes that Lauren, 5, eagerly awaits showing her first calf at this summer’s Lodi Agricultural Fair.
Proud of his young protégés, Mitch is simply happy to contribute.
“It’s great to see the kids we coach end up back in the dairy industry,” he says. “I like to think that maybe I helped them a little.”
Jenny-Lou Million 2719 may be little right now, but the successful sale of this calf at the Foundation auction will indeed help others in the dairy industry.
“The educational programs that the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation is able to fund are phenomenal and need to be supported,” Mitch says. “Education has been very rewarding for me and my family. Let’s pass it on.”
The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation was established in 2002 by Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin as a vehicle to raise funds and award grants for educational programs within dairy communities. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) entity. For more information on programs funded and ways to donate, visit www.dairyfoundation.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: The Breunig Family of Mystic Valley Dairy LLC: Mitch, Jacquie, Allison (11), Lauren (5) and Brayden (three mos.).