Jeffrey-Way Advent Dynasty EX-95 was the second place 5-year-old at World Dairy Expo in 2015.

PHOTO SUBMITTED
Jeffrey-Way Advent Dynasty EX-95 was the second place 5-year-old at World Dairy Expo in 2015. PHOTO SUBMITTED
    BLANCHARDVILLE, Wis. – Young dairy farmers, Trent and Kelsey Hendrickson of Blanchardville, Wis., are passionate about genetics. Focused on both type and genomics, these up-and-coming registered Holstein breeders already have three bulls in A.I. stud.
    Trent-Way-JS Ronald – the No. 1 red carrier bull in the United States – will be released this November by Select Sires. The bull is owned in partnership with Dr. John Schneller of Thousand Hills Embryo Transfer Service in Plain, Wis.  
    “Ronald’s ancestry is tied to the famous Roxy family,” said Trent, who owns Trent-Way Genetics. “We’ve always been intrigued by that family, so when John bought Ronald’s granddam, Morningview Uno Regina, and asked us to house her, we jumped at the opportunity.”
    Backed by 10 generations of Excellent cows, Regina became an important foundation animal for Trent-Way Genetics, producing offspring through embryonic transfer. In addition to type, Trent said he liked how healthy these animals were.
    With a BAA of 109.5 percent, Trent-Way Genetics consists of 30 Excellent, 58 Very Good and 36 Good Plus animals.
    The 180-cow herd is milked in a tiestall barn and carries a 24,878-pound herd average. Designed with cow comfort in mind, the Hendricksons also built a freestall barn in the summer of 2017. A total of 550 head reside at Trent-Way Genetics, and each year, Trent and Kelsey sell 50 replacements and 30 high-quality breeder bulls to local dairies.  
    A herd featuring 75 percent red or red carrier, Trent-Way Genetics breeds its animals with one of two purposes in mind – high type or high genomics. Focusing on two aspects of genetics allows the Hendricksons to serve a broader client base and sell into two markets.  
    Last year, they sold the world’s top genomic red heifer in World Dairy Expo’s World Classic Sale in Madison, Wis. They also sell embryos overseas, especially to Germany and some to Japan and Switzerland. Flushing about six animals per month, Trent and Kelsey run a selective ET program focused on producing only the highest quality embryos that garner premium prices.
    “Breeding the perfect show animal is one of our key aspirations,” said Trent, who credits his mom and dad, owners of Jeffrey-Way Holsteins, with instilling in him a love for genetics and breeding good cattle.
    Trent and Kelsey are making a name for breeding high-type show cattle that win at local, state and national shows. In 2015, Jeffrey-Way Advent Dynasty EX-95, took second in the 5-year-old class at World Dairy Expo.
    Another big show-winner for Trent and Kelsey is a Red and White sister to Dynasty – Trent-Way Des Dynamite Red EX-93. She was the first-place aged cow at this year’s Wisconsin State Red and White Show, as well as honorable mention of the show. The dam of Dynasty and Dynamite was Trent’s first show animal he received from his parents.
    The Hendricksons’ genomic line of cattle is owned in partnership with Schneller.     
    Although focused on milk production and health traits, they breed for type on the genomics side, said Trent.    
    “We don’t just breed for a number,” he said. “We like to have a high-GTPI animal that also looks good.”  
    Developing a well-balanced cow is the ultimate goal at Trent-Way Genetics.
    “We aim to breed good, healthy, functional cows that can thrive in a commercial setup,” Trent said. “We breed for longevity, which means breeding for good udders, feet and legs. Health traits are also a high priority. We like to develop a healthy animal that’s more resistant to mastitis and different types of diseases. Focusing solely on type is not an option since the demand for this kind of animal is not as high as it once was.”
    Trent and Kelsey were only in their early 20s when they began farming together in 2011. Before that, Trent farmed with his parents about 15 miles away in Belleville, Wis., and Kelsey was a herdsman at a relative’s farm.   
    The couple formed a partnership with the previous owner of their farm, Dave Erickson, a registered Holstein breeder who had recently sold his animals. Trent and Kelsey moved in with 50 cows they brought over from Trent’s parents’ farm, while Erickson provided all the feed and helped with labor.  
    “Dave was a great mentor,” Trent said. “He was amazing to work with and taught me a lot. Plus, he was always open to my ideas and invested money in the farm even though he was ready to get out. He did a lot of upkeep to make sure stuff was just right for us.”
    In October 2016, Trent and Kelsey bought 80 acres and the buildings from Erickson.      
    “There’s not many people doing what we did because it’s so hard to get started,” Trent said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity Dave gave us.”
    Trent and Kelsey prefer the barn over the fields. The couple, who met while attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, recently became parents and farm with one full-time employee and several part-timers.
    “We’re fortunate to have friends that enjoy helping out on the farm, too,” Trent said. “Dave still pitches in, as well. He comes down almost every day to scrape the freestall barn and do other odds and ends.”
    The Hendricksons recognize that developing great cattle takes time and feel lucky to have seen success in such a short period.
    “But we’re really just getting started,” Trent said.