Phinale poses with Phorget Me Not, who was born May 8 at Glenn-Ann Holsteins near Albany, Wis. Phorget Me Not is Phinale’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter and is the seventh generation of Phinale.
Phinale poses with Phorget Me Not, who was born May 8 at Glenn-Ann Holsteins near Albany, Wis. Phorget Me Not is Phinale’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter and is the seventh generation of Phinale. PHOTO SUBMITTED
    ALBANY, Wis. – One cow at Glenn-Ann Holsteins has aged gracefully, living through nearly five presidential terms, nine Olympic games and 18 super bowls along with a special party thrown for her when she turned 15.
    Born Sept. 3, 2001, Wilcoxview BC Phinale recently celebrated her 18th birthday at Glenn-Ann Holsteins in Albany, Wis. Reaching an age most cows never see, this Holstein spends her days grazing on a well-deserved piece of pasture known as the retirement village which she shares with her 10-year-old granddaughter, Phashion.
    “Phinale is not a pet,” said Traci Brewer, one of Phinale’s owners. “She’s just part of the herd.”
    Along with her age, this long-lived animal has accomplished another rare feat. For a brief time, seven generations of her lineage were alive at Glenn-Ann.
    The lineup included Phinale, Phantastic, Phashion, Phlair, Phlora, Phlower and Phorget Me Not. Phinale’s 13-year old daughter, Phantastic, an EX-94 Goldwyn daughter, recently passed away, reducing the number of living generations to six.
    Longevity runs in the family, as several members have lasted more than a decade.
    Phinale last calved in 2014 and retired from milking May 13, 2017, after nine lactations. She has given birth to six heifers and three bulls, and had three offspring through embryo transfer. A fixture on the farm, Phinale moves at her own pace but still gets around well.
    “She’s become a little thinner in the last year or two but still has a big appetite and will push on the fence whenever she sees a feed tub headed her way,” Traci said.  
    Owned by the Brewer family, Glenn-Ann Holsteins is run by Glenn and Joann Brewer and their children, Traci Brewer; Tami Behnke and her husband, Brian; and Tony Brewer. They milk around 80 cows twice a day in a tiestall barn and farm 700 acres.
    Traci is the cow person, and Tony farms the land. Tami feeds calves morning and night, and Brian does the herd’s breeding and mating. In addition to their roles on the farm, Tami and Brian both work off the farm. Brian is the business manager for ABS Global/St. Jacobs ABC in DeForest, Wis., and Tami is a tax assistant at Compeer Financial in Janesville, Wis.
    Tony and his wife, Nicole, who teaches kindergarten, have two children, Jaxson, 3, and Kinslee, 1.
    The five-time Excellent, Gold Medal Dam comes from the famous El-Dor Saber Pansy family and was the last calf born at Wilcox Farms in Roy, Wash., just days before the final herd dispersal. Tami and Brian worked at Wilcox at the time and bought Phinale with Mike Deaver as a 6-day-old calf.
    Sired by Boulet Charles, Phinale is the daughter of Lylehaven-Wood Sky Philo, an EX-93 cow who was grand champion at the Western Fall National show as a 5-year-old and also nominated all-American.
    Jim Wilcox purchased Pansy, an EX-95 three-time all-American nominee for $33,000 at a sale in Vermont when she was nearly 9 years old. The following year, he bought one of her daughters, an 87-point 2-year-old, at a sale in Connecticut, along with three of her daughters – one of whom was Philo, a 9-month-old calf.
    “We didn’t want to spell Phinale’s name the traditional way since her dam’s name started with the letter ‘P,’” Tami said. “It had to start with a ‘Ph’ rather than an ‘F.’”
    Phinale’s unconventional spelling has spurred a long list of names spelled in the same manner. Every animal in the family starts with a “Ph” or has “Ph” somewhere in its name.
    In the spring of 2003, Phinale was placed in a consignment sale hosted by Mike Deaver and purchased by Glenn-Ann and Brian’s family, Bur-Wall Holsteins. In 2011, Glenn-Ann bought Bur-Wall’s share and became Phinale’s exclusive owner.
    Phinale is scored EX-93 and went 4E at age 15. She has a lifetime production of 271,490 pounds of milk, 13,710 pounds of fat and 9,498 pounds of protein. Phinale never entered the show ring, but other family members have, such as Phamous, Phinale’s great-great-great granddaughter, a young fall heifer calf who placed second at the 2019 Wisconsin State Junior Fair.
    Phinale’s blood runs through 20% of the herd, as 21 heifers and 14 cows on the farm are part of the Phinale family. The most recent addition is a great-great granddaughter of Phinale and the family’s first Red and White calf. In the past year, the Brewers have sold seven family members for dairy.
    Glenn-Ann has a rolling herd average of 27,930 pounds of milk, 1,162 pounds of fat and 911 pounds of protein. Focused on type and genetics, the Brewers are also into merchandising cattle.
    Phinale is the oldest cow Glenn-Ann has ever had, but other herd mates have also made it to their teenage years. The next longest lasting cow came from a different family and reached age 16.
    Traci said Phinale’s long life is not the result of pampering or special treatment.
    “She always lived in the tiestall barn just like everybody else,” Traci said. “In the winter months, Phinale resides with the rest of the milking herd in loose housing.”  
    Phinale has a friendly, docile personality and a good attitude which Traci said is probably what helped her live this long. This unique cow has captured the hearts of everyone at Glenn-Ann and will continue to be treasured long after she passes.
    “Phinale is part of our family,” Tami said. “She’ll always have a special place in our hearts.”