Northwest NEWS

December 4, 2000

Local News

Young Carnation woman bullish on improving her herd

* by Becky Nixon
   Staff Reporter
   Lena Magnochi, whose family are longtime Carnation residents, wanted something few young women her age want: a bull.
   Not just any bull either. She wants a bull from probably one of the most famous Jersey cows in the world to use to improve her herd. Lena is not greedy.
   She will also share her bull with anyone who wants to buy a share of him.
   We are talking cows here, and few sophomores can boast the knowledge Lena has, or the fact that she owns 30 head of Jerseys that she has paid for all on her own by using money she earned from showing her cows at local, regional, and state fairs.
   This 4-H member has cleaned up showing her favorite cow, Skyhart Albert Redtail, or affectionately known as Ginger, and others from her herd.
   Now back to this bull. Lena has gone into partnership with four other Washington state dairy farmers, and for you readers out there, I offer a brief lesson in cows from Lena and her father George Magnochi to help you understand the significance of this bull.
   "This bull is as important as say, the racehorse Secretariat, breeding with the top racing mare, them having a son, and Secretariat dropping dead," explained George.
   "When you name a cow, the first name is the farm it comes from. The second name is the cow's sire. The third name, the calf's name, starts with the first letter of the dam's name.
   "This bull's name is Piedmont Imperial Noble, and his mother is Piedmont Patrick Nadine, the Reserve Grand Champion in 1998 and 2000. She has received all the top titles since 1996 from the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisc. This is one of the most famous cows in the world. Dairy farmers in Europe know this cow," said George.
   This bull, Noble, is set to arrive Nov. 15-20 in Deming, Wash. to the farm of Sheila Rood, where incidentally, Lena purchased her first calf. This 8-month-old bull will be ready to "share" with investors at fifteen months. He'll get to go on vacation to California, and for an approximate price of $285, any farmer or person can buy 30 vials of Noble.
   "This could impregnate 30 cows, but more likely 45-50 percent will settle (get pregnant), and of those calves, half will be heifers and half will be bulls," said George.
   This is a unique situation. Many times back East "syndicating" is done, but here it is not as heard of, and certainly not to the extreme of this pedigree in this area. The syndicating sales amount is used to pay for housing Noble and collecting his "lineage."
   How does this bull improve a dairy herd when he is such a fine looking specimen, and dairy farmers need milk producers? Readers, glad you asked.
   "What we are trying to do with this bull is you like the lineage, and want a show cow and win, but also you want the cow to be profitable in the milk bucket. If you breed only for looks, you breed out the milk and visa versa for milk producers. I've seen some ugly cows," said George.
   Noble's mother Nadine is an excellent milk producer. She produces 25,000 pounds of milk per year with a 5 percent butterfat count.
   The middle 4's is a good butterfat count. Butterfat and protein count are important components of milk producing cows that enhance the profitability to the dairy farmer for the sale of their milk.
   The plan to use Noble will hopefully improve the Magnochis' herd in show quality and milk production.
   Lena's herd is rated an average of 87 percentage points out of a highest score of 96. She has two 91's, and all the rest are around 87. These are great numbers. Nadine is a 96, the highest possible score. Her son Noble could be the most valuable asset to Lena's herd.
   Though genetics are a science, Lena, with her eye for quality cows, is betting on her newest aquisition to further her investments.