By Celeste Baumgartner
RUDOLPH, Wis. – When a Holstein called S-S-I Doc Have Not 8784-ET EX-94 EX 96-MS (aka “Doc”) and a package of her pregnancies sold for $1,925,000 at the Summer Selections II Sale, it set a North American record.
Her new ownership group consists of AOT Holsteins, Kings-Ransom Holsteins, Mike and Julie Duckett, and Tim and Sharyn Abbott.
“This cow has an interesting blend both genetically and phenotypically (her appearance),” said Tim Abbott. “She looks like a movie star, but she’s got the genetics to impact the entire Holstein breed.”
Most cows are either beauty queens or the hard worker that can make the everyday kind of cow, Abbott said. Doc, bred by Select Sires in Ohio, has both, and a pedigree that is 12 generations deep.
“Within (her) own genetics, she’s got the ability to transmit high milk production to her offspring; that’s a number one concern of dairy farmers,” he said. “She will also transmit high butterfat, high protein production, and she will transmit longevity. So, her genetics tell us that her offspring will last longer than the typical Holstein cow.”
She crosses all the lines of what a dairy producer wants, said Abbott, who, with his wife, Sharyn, owns Borderview Genetics. Dairy producers don’t care what a cow looks like. They want her to give milk, be physically sound, healthy, and make calves. This cow has the genetic ability to do all of that.
“Phenotypically, she looks like a marathon runner,” Abbott said. “She is extremely athletic. She’s got good feet and legs. Her top line is very straight. The most important part of her is her udder. In rating the components of her mammary system, she scored 96 out of 100 points.”
Chris Hill, the auctioneer who made the sale, called Doc one of the most elite cows in the industry today. She’s got it all and is unbelievably gorgeous, he said. Her father, King Doc, is one of the hottest bulls of the breed right now.
The unique thing about the cow is she comes from a long line of transmitters that are the best of the breed, and their daughters and sons breed even better, Hill said. Her DNA was tested when she was a calf, and came back genomically superior. She brought so much money because everybody wants her and her offspring right now.
“A lot of people think it is unbelievable that a cow can bring that much money but what they’re forgetting is we sold a package,” Hill said. “She sold with over 40 pregnancies – you’re getting her and 40 offspring.”
The ownership group’s goal will be using in-vitro fertilization to produce 100 daughters and 25 sons out of this cow in the next two years, Abbott said. They plan to get her pregnant to carry a calf full-term. At the same time, they can harvest the oocytes from the other horn of the uterus, which is the start of the fertilization process.
“We will put the oocytes in a petri dish,” Abbott said. “We will add the bull’s semen or sperm to the petri dish, and we will be able to create babies from her while she is pregnant. They will be put into surrogate mothers. We think we can make 40 or 50 more babies out of the cow while she carries her calf. It is amazing technology.”
The new owners are not just rich people spending money, Abbott explained. They have a business plan to try to impact the Holstein breed with this cow through technology. If she can do all of the things they think she can, the group will freeze the embryos and export them all over the world. They can be shipped anywhere and put into surrogate mothers.
“So there can be daughters of this cow standing in Australia, Japan, France, or wherever,” Abbott said.
But in the meantime, Doc, oblivious to all the excitement, is living in the equivalent of a five-star hotel, and she gets excellent treatment, Abbott said. She is loose in a box stall about 40 feet deep and 20 feet wide and full of straw. She is not in air conditioning but always has fans blowing on her.
“Every night in the summer, she goes out to pasture with a small group of cows,” Abbott said. “It does her a load of good, the exercise and being with other cows.”
When the gavel struck down for the last time at the Summer Selections II Sale, the sale gross was $3,603, 800 and the overall sale average was $29,783 on 121 live lots and choices. The Holsteins alone averaged $33,447.