In 2016, Saratoga City Center played host to 75 male and female calves and more than 1,300 human attendees for the National Holstein Association’s annual conference. These animals were not your average heifers. In fact, the cows in attendance were literally outstanding in their field.
Holsteins are the top breed in the dairy industry, and breeding and bloodlines are just as important to dairy farmers as they are for the thoroughbred racing industry.
The National Holstein Association Conference and Sales are held in a different city each year and cities vie for the opportunity to host the event because of the revenue it generates for the community. Sounds a little like Saratoga’s annual Fasig-Tipton yearling sales, doesn’t it? After a week of education, entertainment, business conferences and sight-seeing, attendees gear up for the real reason for attending: to buy and sell the bovine “cream of the crop.”
Like Fasig-Tipton, potential buyers get a chance to preview the high-class heifers before the actual auction begins. In addition to the live bidding event, online bidding also takes place for buyers across the country, as well as from around the world.
Hotel for Heifers?
You’re probably asking yourself where these “hot” heifers stayed while they were in town. Well, the cattle were kept in air-conditioned tents in one half of the City Center’s nearby parking lot, where they were fed, bathed, groomed and pampered in preparation for their entrance into the auction hall. The other half of the parking lot housed their feed, bedding, grooming supplies and heavy-duty transportation vehicles. Total sales for the event were $1.8 million.
By the time it was all over, the highest price calf at the auction came from a farm in Schuylerville farm and was bought by a Wisconsin dairy farmer for a whopping $180,000.
Other local farms that sold cattle at auction include Kyle Getty, partner of Cookie Cutter Holsteins at Ideal Dairy Farms in Hudson Falls, whose calf sold for $20,000.
The CEO of the Saratoga Springs Convention Center said that the bidding process to hold the conference took place four years earlier, and they must wait another four year before they are eligible to bid on getting the heifers back in town again.
But there is good reason to bring the conference back to Saratoga County. In addition to the considerable revenue the event generated for surrounding businesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lists Saratoga County as being home to 34 dairy farms, most of them family-owned and operated, producing nearly $40 million annually in milk sales.
You can be sure all those high-class heifers were kept safe and secure with the best panic snaps, quick release snaps and other equipment designed to keep the cows and their caretakers safe and secure. No one needed to see a stampede down Broadway, after all.
Henssgen Hardware has been supplying the dairy industry with the highest quality rigging equipment and hardware since 1978. We stock more than 100 different styles of snap hooks, pulleys and quick links in all sizes and in a large variety of metals to serve the dairy industry as well as marine, sports and agricultural industries. Our full-service warehouse, located in upstate NY can ship your order and get it to you within just a few days. And, our online catalog makes purchasing quick and easy.