Tag Archives: French dairy cows
An old breed from France
A new breed for America
The Normande breed has its origins in cattle that were brought to the Normandy region of France by the Viking conquerors in the 9th and 10th centuries. For a thousand years these cattle evolved into a dual purpose breed to meet the milk and meat needs of the residents of northwestern France. The present herdbook was started in 1883. Though the breed was decimated by the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, there are currently 3 million Normandes in France. Normandes can also be found in South America, Africa as well as other European countries.
Genetics that breed quality
With the richest milk in fat and protein of all the French breeds, the Normande is the most outstanding breed for cheesemaking. The Normande meat is well-known for its flavor and marbling. Because the Normande has remained a strong and sturdy cow, it has kept its functional abilities, thus guaranteeing easy management thanks to remarkable fertility, longevity, calving ease and docility.
ABOUT NEW HOPE NORMANDES
Normandes came to the farm in 2004 with the purchase of “Rosie” from Judith Softer. At the same time we experimented with using some French Normande bulls on our black and white Holsteins. In 2005 the first Normandes were born on the farm. Later that year Rosie calved for the first time and impressed us with her rugged, aggressive appetite and she really milked well! She thrived in our 200 head herd of Holsteins competing well in our freestall barn eating TMR. We started to think that Normandes might have something special to add to the US dairy industry. About this time we purchased 10 fullblood embryos from France. Unfortunately we only got one pregnancy from these embryos, but it was all worth it in 2006 when “Monique” was born. 2006 also took us to our first Normande show at the Minnesota State Fair. “Cecelia” was named Junior Champion and “Monique” was named Reserve Junior Champion. In 2007 we purchased four 50% Normande cows from Ken Baeten. Ken graciously let us select the pick of the herd and we brought home 4 fantastic cows that not only looked great they also knew how to milk. “Vanessa” and “Suzette” are two of these cows. With fat records over 1200# of fat, these cows can compete in any US dairy operation. “Delilah” was named Grand Champion Normande at the Minnesota State Fair in 2007. “Monique” was again named Reserve Junior Champion.
2007 also took us to France to see the National Normande Show in Rennes. It is called the SPACE Show and is similar to World Dairy Expo. While in France we had the opportunity to visit with many elite breeders of Normandes and have maintained some of these contacts to this day. “Monique” was flushed successfully for embryos and her first calves were born in 2008. “Monique’s” sons have all had semen collected and have now been sold to go on and spread the Monique influence in Minnesota and Michigan. We sell semen from these bulls as well as CRI/Genex. “Montgomery” is available through Genex’s Added Attractions program. The CINOR event in 2008 was a big boost to our marketing efforts and we brought 10 head to the show in Mineral Point. “Monique” was named Grand Champion and “Estelle” was named Junior champion.
2009 started with the purchase of Car-Bon-N Royal Holl Red-ET from Carl and Bonnie Werner. He was a son of a cow that Carl had purchased as an embryo at the same time we had bought embryos from France. By this time we were starting to get numerous calls from other people interested in Normandes. One of the most intriguing inquiries was from Japan. They were looking for fullblood Normande embryos with dairy production milk records. The catch was that to meet import requirements of Japan, the semen used to sire the embryos could not originate from France. So this necessitated the purchase of “Red”. “Red” has had semen collected in Missouri at Genex’s collection facility. Embryos have been made from three of Monique’s daughters and 100 Embryos have been shipped to Japan. The first calves will be born in the summer of 2012.
The 2009 show season resulted in “Estelle” being named Res. Grand Champion at two shows as a Jr. 2 year old. “Delta” was named Junior Champion. In 2010 and 2011 our herd of Normandes continued to grow. A few more 100% pure Normandes were born on the farm from imported embryos from our good friend Pierrick L’Antheon. We continue to do well at the shows. “Suzette” was Grand Champion at the National Show in 2010 and “Antoinette” was Junior Champion. “Crème Brule” was Reserve Junior Champion in 2011. We feel the future is very bright for these outstanding Normandes!