March 14, 2022 at 6:06 p.m.
“Stone is very important to us,” Schmocker said. “She’s the reason I started milking cows here after we almost lost her a couple times.”
The Schmockers originally housed their cattle offsite, and Stone lived at several locations before returning to Schmocker’s farm. As a heifer, Stone was leased for a year to a 4-H member in Fond du Lac, and following that, she lived in Illinois.
“When she freshened as a 2-year-old, she didn’t do well in the freestall barn,” Schmocker said. “We moved her to another farm, and she got a huge infection in the fetlock on her front foot. She’s highly allergic to penicillin and can’t be treated the conventional way, so we took her to the vet school in Madison where she had surgery. It took her a solid year to recuperate from that infection.”
These events brought Stone back to living with Schmocker, who proceeded to get a portable pump and pail system for milking. Schmocker’s husband, Dave, revamped a box stall for Stone who was almost 3-years-old at the time and pregnant with her second calf.
“This is why Stone is so special to me,” Schmocker said. “She’s been through so much.”
Farming on a small scale, Schmocker has made a name for herself in the showring, breeding and nurturing elite cattle with a specific goal in mind – showing and succeeding at a high level. Dave is a hoof trimmer, working on elite cows and bulls all over Wisconsin and beyond while also fitting animals for shows. The Schmockers have two daughters, Tessa, 15, and Stella, 12.
“They love to show and that’s the reason we do this,” Schmocker said. “We show everywhere from the county fair to World Dairy Expo. My 5-year-old niece, Sadie, shows too, and she’s out here every day feeding the calves.”
Dedicated to her cows, Schmocker specializes in show-quality genetics. Only select cows that hold promise in her show string make the cut.
“I have few cows, but they’re all high-quality,” Schmocker said. “If they don’t cut it for us as a 2-year-old, we find a place to house them, or we sell them. …They don’t stay here if they’re not near and dear.”
Stone is that kind of cow. Snagging titles left and right, in 2021 she was grand champion of the junior Holstein show at the North American International Livestock Exposition, an honor she also earned in 2017. Last year, she was also reserve supreme champion of the junior show and first place lifetime production cow. Also in 2021, she was nominated junior all-American 150,000-pound cow and reserve junior all-American lifetime production cow.
“We had a great year last year with Stone,” Schmocker said.
Stone went EX-95 in February 2020 – the same year she was named grand champion of the Wisconsin Holstein junior state show, grand champion of the district 6 open and junior shows along with receiving best udder and best bred and owned honors, and nominated junior all-American aged cow for the second year in a row.
In 2019, Stone was the second place aged cow at the WDE junior show, reserve grand champion of the Wisconsin junior state fair and grand champion of the district 6 show.
Stone was also nominated reserve junior all-American 4-year-old in 2017 and junior all-American Senior 3-year-old in 2016. Stone will be starting her 2022 show season at the Wisconsin Holstein Association Midwest National Spring Show April 27-30 in Madison.
Stone is sired by Pine-Tree Sid, and her dam is Go-Sho Alittle RockNRoll EX-90 – a cow that earned back-to-back champion titles at the Mexican National Show under a different owner, being named grand champion in 2015 and intermediate and reserve grand champion in 2014.
Schmocker grew up on a nearby dairy farm with mostly grade cattle. As a teenager, she took time to register a favorite cow of her mom’s so she could show her. A love for registered cattle and showing soon ignited, and after graduating from high school, Schmocker purchased Stone’s great-granddam from Thal-View Holsteins. She was a heifer at the time and eventually went on to score EX-90. However, show success for this family came in later generations.
“Stone’s granddam, Go-Sho Bonvoyage Royale, was scored EX-94 and was one of our first great cows,” Schmocker said. “She was like one of the family.”
Stone has seven daughters. Two reside at the Schmockers’ farm – a first-lactation heifer and a springing heifer. Stone will turn 9 in April, and Schmocker has plans to flush her.
“She didn’t get bred back this lactation when we wanted, but hopefully we can breed her back for 2023,” Schmocker said.
Stone’s highest 365-day record was made as a 7-year-old when she produced 37,433 pounds of milk, 1,483 pounds of butterfat and 1,098 pounds of protein. In her last production report that came out July 12, 2021, Stone was at 157,006 pounds of lifetime milk.
“We feed conventional feed like dry hay and dry grain mix, which keeps a cow in optimal body condition for showing,” Schmocker said. “That’s our focus. A show cow has more rib than your typical cow and better quality of udder and skin. The cows get no fermented feed other than at shows and during the winter when we feed corn silage to help them maintain energy.”
Stone has her own box stall in the barn and also spends time outside with her herdmates.
“Stone is friendly, but she can be mean if she wants to,” Schmocker said. “She doesn’t like to be fiddled with. I think it relates back to when she had surgery and was poked and prodded a lot. Stone has overcome crises in her life to accomplish big things so far in her career, and she’s very special to me.”
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