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Brilliant is Junior Champion Guernsey at World Dairy Expo

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 10/25/2013 12:58 PM

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MADISON, Wis. —Megan Bushman's Fall Yearling, Maplehurst Judgements Brilliant, is Junior Champion of both the International Guernsey junior and open shows at World Dairy Expo.

Judge Gary Estes, of Rogersfield, Mo., called Brilliant "a tremendous heifer, clean, sharp and angular."

They bought the heifer from Ken Forster's Maplehurst Farms in Lynden, Ontario.

Bushman Dairy at Calmar, Iowa, is owned by Megan's parents, Todd and Connie Bushman, along with Megan and her sister, Ashley. They milk 250 cows with all major breeds represented in the barn. Lesser known breeds like Normande, Danish Red, White Park and Montbeliard are also in the herd.

In addition to the Guernsey, the Bushmans showed four Jerseys, four Ayrshires and a Brown Swiss at Madison. They won another first, two seconds and two thirds in the junior shows, and the cattle also did well in the open shows.

"It was a good expo," said Todd. "We bred the Junior Champion Ayrshire and showed the Junior Champion Guernsey. I'm pleased with how we did. It's tough competition here. I think Megan was pretty happy with Brilliant."

Ashley showed the other nine cattle. Ashley's longest day was Oct. 1, when she started showing Ayrshires first thing in the morning and showed Jerseys into the evening. Wednesday morning, she showed Jerseys with a Brown Swiss later in the day.

Ashley will be on NICC's dairy cattle judging team at Louisville later this fall, and her family also will show there for the first time.

The Bushmans had one of the few baby calves at Madison. The Ayrshire heifer calf, Bushman Oblique Daydream, sold in the World Ayrshire Event Sale on Oct. 2. A maternal sister to Daydream was Junior Champion in the Ayrshire show.

The Bushmans used to be an organic dairy, but now, they're focusing on genetics, selling show calves and embryos. Todd is pleased with how things are going.

"We put in six eggs out of the Guernsey, and we'll sell some embryos," Todd said. "We sold a heifer that was fourth place Winter Yearling in the Ayrshire Show here, and we sold a Red and White that placed first in its class at Harrisburg, Penn. We haven't done too bad with what we've been selling so far."

Postville Veterinary Clinic does the Bushmans' embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization work.