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Baxter - A Balance of Type and Production

Read the profile featured in a Fall issue of the Holstein Journal.
Baxter - A Balance of Type and Production

A bull widely admired in Canada for his balance of type and production is Emerald-Acr-Sa T-Baxter (Ex-91-Extra). The sire of numerous highly ranked GLPI (Genomic Lifetime Profit Index) cows in this country, this popular bull is owned by Alta Genetics Inc., Balzac, Alta.

"Baxter", or "AltaBaxter", was bred by Emerald Acres Dairy, De Pere, Wis., and Dr. Scott Armbrust, Green Bay, Wis. Born on April 7, 2002, he is a Fustead Emory Blitz-ET (Ex-95-USA-Extra&GM) son. His dam, Emerald-Acr-Sa T-Mallory-ET (VG-87-USA), is an eighth \generation Very Good or Excellent "Mtoto" with 12,433 kg milk, 4.3% fat, 3.5% protein in 305 days as a 5-year-old. She traces to Ripvalley NA Bell Tammy-ET (Ex-94-2E-USA-GMD-DOM), the noted Carlin-M Ivanhoe Bell sired brood cow. "Baxter" was Mallory's first calf. He is a carrier of the black/red gene, the result of his fourth dam being by "Inspiration".

Jay Jauquet, a Regional Sire Analyst for Alta Genetics Inc., says, "'AltaBaxter' was acquired by Alta because his maternal line has the ability to produce great females and outlier males. 'AltaBaxter' was just the outlier we were looking for," he says. "'Blitz' was the perfect mating on 'AltaBaxter's' 'Mtoto' dam. She was a very wide, strong cow with great feet and legs. She had a very soft udder, being wide in the rear udder and deep in her udder cleft. She needed some style and flatness of bone, which is just what 'Blitz' brought to the mating."

"Baxter" was sampled through Alta's Advantage® program, producing daughters in large dairies across the United States. He received his first U.S. proof in November 2006. From February 2007 through August 2008 he ranked in the top 25 of the U.S. TPI (Total Performance Index) list. This year alone he has added over 13,700 production and 8800 type daughters to his U.S. numbers.

Here in Canada, "Baxter" got his first domestic proof in April 2010, the same round he was awarded Class Extra. He debuted at number 24 on the LPI list and has remained in the top 35 ever since. "Baxter" is currently number 26 on the GLPI list with a +1977 GLPI. He is +2257 milk, +77 fat, +45 protein. His 4321 milking daughters in Canada have a Mature Equivalent (ME) average for production of 12,613 kg milk, 3.8%, 473 kg fat, 3.0%, 380 kg protein (238-242-230). He is +9 for conformation. A very pleasing 73% of his 3953 classified daughters are Good Plus or better with 489 scored Very Good and 2387 Good Plus.

"'AltaBaxter's' proof has stayed very stable over time, which is a testament to Alta's Advantage® program," says Stephen Scott, Product Development Analyst/Advantage Consultant at Alta Genetics. His initial U.S. proof in 2006 was very accurate and has been replicated over and over again across the globe.

"'AltaBaxter' is very consistent in his breeding pattern," says Roger Turner, Alta Genetics Regional Sire Analyst. "His daughters are wide, strong cows with high, wide rear udders with a strong cleft and great udder texture. He will always improve feet and legs, being especially deep in the heel and very correct in the leg set. His daughters have a tremendous will to milk and do it very easy. He is best used on cows that need strength and power, have shallow udders and good teat placement. His weaknesses are wide front teats and average udder depth."

"His Canadian daughters match the breeding pattern that 'AltaBaxter' established from his original proof," Turner goes on to say. "He entered the Canadian breeding scene at an ideal time as there were many maternal sires that really complemented the strengths of his breeding pattern." Here in Canada, "Baxter" is admired because of his balance of type and production says Turner. "Dairymen love the strength and width of frame they carry, along with the great will to milk and extreme persistency through the lactation. He carries those extreme rear udder attachments, strong loins, wide rumps, width of chest, with a straighter leg set. His foot structure and heel depth is perfect for both the tie-stall and free-stall environment. His impact on the Canadian breeding field will have a lasting impression for many years," he concludes.


Here in Canada, the "Baxter" daughters are commanding lots of attention on the GLPI Cow List. In April 2011 an amazing ten "Baxter" daughters ranked among the top 40 GLPI cows in Canada, including the number 1 GLPI cow. In August 2011, 11 "Baxter" daughters were in the top 40, with both the number 1 and 2 spots held by his daughters. Eleven percent of the top 1000 GLPI cows in August were sired by "Baxter" and they averaged +2149.

Finishing first on the April and August Cow Lists was Les091 Baxter Model Rubis (VG-86-2y), the "Baxter" who completes seven generations of Very Good or Excellent in the Comestar Laurie Sheik (VG-88-23*) family. Owned by Ferme Ste-Odile Inc. and Ferme Jean-Baptiste Lepage & Fils Inc., both of Rimouski, Que., she is from a Very Good-89 "Goldwyn" dam. Rubis, who is currently +3226 GLPI, finished with 13,889 kg milk, 4.2% fat, 3.2% protein (344-389-347) in her first lactation. Contracted for sons by the Semex Alliance and GenerVations, she already has September 2010 "Bigstone" and "Manifold" sons at Semex. In August, Rubis had four daughters in the top 50 GPA LPI list with the number 1 position held by her "Man-O-Man" daughter.

In Manitoba, Donald Penner and his family of Benner Holsteins Ltd., Steinbach, Man., really like the "Baxters" in their Master Breeder herd. And with good reason! Of their 12 milking "Baxters", nine have scored Very Good as 2-year-olds. Many hold spots high on the GLPI Cow List and are in demand for progeny and embryos. "We knew 'Baxter' would put in quite a bit of milk and bring more strength to the cattle and that is exactly what he has done," says Don Penner. "They milk. Their overall type is just tremendous. They are big, powerful, wide chested, open ribbed cows. You can see they have a will to milk and they do." The front teats on the "Baxters" are a little bit on the wide side he cautions. And while some of their "Baxters" have been more favourable on butterfat than originally anticipated, Penner would still like to improve their components, especially for protein. He has calves coming from his "Baxters" by "Iota" and "Beacon" and a few of the high genomic young bulls like "Shamrock".



This "Baxter" daughter was the number one GLPI cow in Canada in April and August 2011. Owned by Ferme Ste-Odile Inc., Rimouski, Que., and Ferme Jean-Baptiste Lepage & Fils Inc., Rimouski, Que., this seventh generation Very Good or Excellent in the Laurie Sheik family has a +3226 GLPI and has made 13,889 kg milk, 4.2% fat, 3.2% protein (344-389-347).


One of the most highly sought after "Baxter" daughters today is Mapel Wood Baxter Bethany. The Penners bought Bethany as a 10-month-old calf for $33,000 in the 2008 Sale of Stars. Now Very Good-85-2y, she completes five generations of Very Good or Excellent in the Braedale Gypsy Grand (VG-88-37*) family. Her dam is a Very Good-87, 1-Star "Shottle". Bethany is currently the number 2 GLPI cow in Canada at +3150. As a 2-year-old, she made 18,745 kg milk, 4.6%, 871 kg fat, 3.5%, 647 kg protein (394-497-429) in 365 days. Bethany's June 2010 daughter, Benner Planet Bessie, is the number 1 GPA LPI "Planet" in Canada and number 5 overall at +3328 GPA LPI. She sold for $71,000 in the RockyMountain High 2011 Sale. Bethany is also the mother of the number one GPA LPI "Alexander" heifer in this country. Numerous sons from Bethany are heading to A.I. units. She currently has the highest GPA LPI "Bogart" son at the Semex Alliance and the highest GPA TPI "Bogart" son at Select Sires.



This popular "Baxter" daughter is currently the number 2 GLPI cow in Canada at +3150. Owned by Benner Holsteins Ltd., Steinbach, Man., this member of the Gypsy Grand family made 18,745 kg milk, 4.6% fat, 3.5% protein (394-497-429) as a 2-year-old. She has sons in A.I. and had a "Planet" daughter sell for $71,000 in the RockyMountain High 2011 Sale.


The Penners have several homebred "Baxters" from their longstanding Benner Luke Jean (VG-21*) family who are also sparking A.I. contracts and embryo sales. Benner Baxter Jiro (VG-87-2y) is an eighth generation Very Good with a +2530 GLPI. She has a 2-year-old record of 17,762 kg milk, 4.5%, 806 kg fat, 3.2%, 570 kg protein (391-478-391). "We have sold over 60 embryos from Jiro and she has been contracted by four different A.I. units," says Penner. Jiro has three full sisters in the herd – Jacey (VG-86-2y) with a +2219 GLPI and 15,584 kg milk, 4.5% fat, 3.1% protein (351-427-339); Jadis (VG-85-2y) with 16,737 kg milk, 3.8% fat, 2.9% protein (366-379-335); and Jellow (GP-83-2y) with 12,893 kg milk, 3.7% fat, 3.0% protein (293-286-274). Benner Baxter Jester (VG-86-2y) is another impressive "Baxter" from a different branch of the Jean family. This eighth generation Very Good has a +2353 GLPI and made 14,294 kg milk, 5.5% fat, 3.5% protein (301-440-329) in her first lactation. She has a full sister, Java (VG-86-2y), with a +2350 GLPI and records to 14,958 kg milk, 4.4% fat, 3.2% protein (327-397-326).

Germain Lehoux of B. Lehoux & Fils Inc., St-Elzear, Que., has worked with an outstanding group of "Baxter" daughters as a partner in Groupe Genibeq and within his own herd's Master Breeder breeding program. Lehoux says "Baxter" was "a logical mating" for the "Goldwyn" daughters owned by Groupe Genibeq and his family. "'Goldwyn' provided the percent (%) fat, udder quality and bone quality we aim for, having taken note from 'Baxter' himself that these were areas to be aware of. And truly, we are not disappointed with the final result," he says. "The 'Baxters' milk a lot, have great udders and on the fitness side (i.e. low Somatic Cell Score) they are great."

There are four "Baxters" in particular that Lehoux is very proud to be associated with. KHW-I Aika Baxter (VG-87-2y) is one of the highly ranked GLPI "Baxters" owned by Groupe Genibeq. Aika is from a Very Good-86-USA, 2-Star "Goldwyn" dam who is a maternal sister to "Advent-Red" and the show winning, $1 million KHW Regiment Apple-Red (Ex-94-USA-DOM). Aika, who now completes eight generations of Very Good or Excellent, was bought by Groupe Genibeq as a 8-month-old calf in the 2008 Sale of Stars. "We decided to buy Aika," adds Robert Chabot, another partner in Groupe Genibeq, "because she had a different pedigree that we didn't have at that time. The Red Factor was a bonus! With 'Goldwyn' in her pedigree it made us more confident in the future quality of her udder." Aika is currently number 15 on the GLPI Cow List with her +2909 GLPI. As a 2-year-old, she made 13,577 kg milk, 5.8% fat, 3.7% protein (302-469-344).



The number 15 GLPI cow in Canada at +2909, this Red Factor "Baxter" daughter is owned by Groupe Genibeq, St-Patrice, Que. An eighth generation Very Good or Excellent in the same family that produced "Advent-Red" and KHW Regiment Apple-Red (Ex-94-USA-DOM), Aika made a 2-year-old record of 13,577 kg milk, 5.8% fat, 3.7% protein (302-469-344).


Gen-I-Beq Baxter Berthe (VG-87-2y) and Gen-I-Beq Baxter Legacy (VG-86-2y) are two more from the Groupe Genibeq line-up. Berthe is from Gen-I-Beq Shottle Barbi (VG-88), the high indexing "Shottle" granddaughter of the 2007 Cow of the Year, Braedale Baler Twine (VG-86-29*). Berthe has a +2432 GLPI and 2-year-old credits of 15,765 kg milk, 4.3% fat, 3.1% protein (335-391-329). Legacy is from Comestar Goldwyn Lava (VG-87-2y), the high indexing "Goldwyn" who has 16 sons in A.I. and is a daughter of the two-time All-Canadian Lylehaven Lila Z (Ex-94-8*). Legacy is owned with Yvon Chabot, Victoriaville, Que., and Frederic Lepoint of France. She has a +2624 GLPI and made 12,672 kg milk, 3.3% fat, 3.1% protein (300-262-296) in her first lactation. Legacy had an August 2010 "Sterling" daughter sell for $48,000 and the choice of a March 2012 "Supersonic" female sell for $21,000 in the recent International Intrigue Sale.



Bred and owned by Groupe Genibeq, St-Patrice, Que., this "Baxter" daughter from the Gypsy Grand family has a +2432 GLPI. As a 2-year-old, she made 15,765 kg milk, 4.3% fat,3.1% protein (335-391-329).


Of the "Baxters" with the Lehoux prefix, six are classified Very Good (five at first calving). One favourite is Lehoux Baxter Rybel (VG-87). A fifth generation Very Good or Excellent, she is from a Very Good-89, 1-Star "Goldwyn" dam who traces to Lehoux Chief Mark Ruby (VG-12*). Rybel has a +2119 GLPI. She moved up from 85 to 87 points in her second lactation and is now projected to 14,359 kg milk, 3.7% fat, 3.2% protein (311-311-313).

Lehoux is very satisfied with the "Baxters" he owns himself and with Genibeq. They have been highly in demand for embryos, daughters and sons and continue to be sought after and appreciated. For the "Baxters" who don't have "Goldwyn" in their blood, Lehoux and his partners are mating them to "Lauthority" and "Jordan". Also they have used bulls like "Snowman", "Lavaman", "Windbrook", "Beacon", "Sterling", "Wildthing", "Krusader", "Detox", "Bogart" and "Sahara".

As both Lehoux and Chabot say, "In the end, we feel fortunate for having used 'Baxter' in our breeding program because of the real good impact he has had on the few cows we used him on.

Another example of the "Baxter" x "Goldwyn" cross that has worked so well is R-Z Baxter Caramel-ET (VG-89-2y-DOM). Number 32 on the GLPI Cow List and a sixth generation Very Good or Excellent, this American bred cow has a +2770 GLPI. Caramel was purchased for $100,000 in the 2010 Matriarchs of the Breed Sale in Wisconsin by Ferme Gillette Inc., Embrun, Ont., Ferme Maryclerc Inc., Ste-Claire, Que., A. & R. Boulet Inc., St-Francois, Que., Olivier Leclerc, St-Patrice-de-Beaurivage, Que., and Dany-Pierre Rondeau, Fortierville, Que. She finished with 18,276 kg milk, 4.6% fat, 3.6% pro-tein (391-472-432) in her first lactation and her genetics are being eagerly sought after as well.


"Baxter" semen has been in demand in 50 different countries, with the greatest number of units being purchased by dairymen in the United States, followed closely by the United Kingdom. Over 800,000 units of his semen has been sold worldwide, a figure that continues to climb.

"At 9 years of age, 'AltaBaxter' is still a very healthy bull," says Terry Flaman, Canadian Production Manager at Alta Genetics. "He is slightly taller than average with tremendous depth of rib, a powerful front-end and a great disposition. The correctness in his rump and foot and leg structure is very apparent in his phenotype."

"'AltaBaxter' continues to be a consistent semen producer," adds Stephen Scott, "but demand is high as dairymen milking his daughters are so pleased with his breeding pattern that they want to create more pregnancies to him."

"Baxter" has been used as a sire of sons globally. Around 300 "Baxter" sons were sampled in Canada and the United States alone. His first sons will get their daughter evaluations in April 2012.

As Roger Turner pointed out earlier, "Baxter" came along at the right time here in Canada when his strengths complemented many of the dominant bloodlines existing in this country. His ability to sire a balance of type and production, which fits the long-held Canadian breeding philosophy, has made Emerald-Acr-Sa T-Baxter "a right bull for the right time" here in Canada.