When Eric and I started Sierra Desert Breeders in September of 2007, one of the first calls I received was from Doug Maddox. These were his exact words: “The AI industry needs some thing like this, somebody to shake things up a little, but boys, stick with cow families and you will do all right.”
Doug was supportive of our adventure right from the start, he thought it was a great idea. Doug, being the president of the Holstein Association at the time, made us feel a lot more at ease that we did the right thing.
At Ruann they are proving out a wide variety of bulls . He told us we could pick out 2 for our program. So we did! Who wouldn’t want that opportunity!
I always admired Ruann’s cows. They have more excellent cows than anybody else I know, They are strong, good udders, great feet and legs, tremendous production and above else they are housed in the same environment as most of our customers house their cows. No fancy box stalls, their best cows are part of the herd.
At Ruann they are not afraid to use some different bulls many of their own. Doug will mate a cow with a bull that “fits”, regardless where he is listed on the TPI list, it is not really a numbers game over there. Doug showed me around his dairies and I saw many beautiful daughters of several Ruann bulls. Doug said, ”The dairyman wants to see nice heifers in the barn, use bulls out of the best cow families and you will get them, the indexes might not always be there, but these heifers will milk”.
And he was right!
The first 2 bulls we got from Ruann were 506H120 Norstar, a Morty son, and 506H151 Heirloom, a BW Marshall son out of the Blackstar line. Many more followed and the last bull we picked out together with Doug is 506H242 Crescent-red, a Reality-red son out of his ex 94 point Advent daughter Ruann Constance.
Ruann Heirloom did exactly what Doug said he was going to do. He sires great looking cows, milking very well and most important very happy dairyman. Look at our video Doug describing Heirloom daughters. Semen on Heirloom is now sold world wide.
Doug Maddox introduced us to many people in the industry. They turned into very good relationships. One of them, Produgenes in Argentina, Dr. Roberto Marsiletti and his family, who are distributing SDB and Ruann bulls in South America.
Doug Maddox will be greatly missed. Eric and I will never forget his wise counsel and support for our business.
We pray that God will comfort his wife and his family.
Wout Vander Goot and Eric Danzeisen