Human contact made a come back

Melissa Hart

The most amazing thing happened at our recent Michigan Holstein Association annual meeting. Human connection made a come back.As attendees wandered into the meeting room their attention zeroed in on the center of each table where old black and white photos of Michigan Holstein history were scattered about. Some glossy prints were of familiar cows while others were insignificant Holsteins from a farm that sold out. There were photos from headlining sales with a cow surrounded by men in suits and ties and a few colored shots from activities in the 1990s.In the corner of the room was a table filled with old Michigan Holstein magazines from the 40s on through the 2000s. Thin newsprint was used for the Holstein Michigander magazine from the 1940s where they noted the importance of membership and had ads for sires that stood in breeder’s barns from Great Lake to Great Lake. There were show reports of county shows that not only provided full results but had the number of spectators in attendance as well.Sale reports touted high sellers of $3,600 for a female and the top bulls sold for $3,000. The highlight of the state sale was a speech by Governor G. Mennen Williams. Instead of just one annual meeting per year, they had at least 30 county Holstein club meetings in one month alone, a true testament to their membership vigor. Sires of the day included Carnation Perfection Triumph, Montvic Rag Apple Chief, Rainbow Sir Bess Rose, Crestlyn Matador Man-O-War and Dunloggin Lochinvar Prince. Linebreeding was a good thing and the high producing cows had records of 13,000 pounds of milk and 600 pounds of fat.All of that was fun to read but the most refreshing part was when I looked around the room and everyone was looking at photos and old magazines. From Gen Z to baby boomers, no one was on their phone and everyone was visiting about the history and sharing what they knew about the past.I’ll take the buzz of everyone chatting in the moment over the silence of scrolling on their screens any day. The internet is great, but it will never generate the genuine connection of a face-to-face meeting and the soothing feeling of friendship over a common bond of the Holstein cow.Melissa is a farmwife, mom and freelance writer residing on a dairy farm in southern Michigan. She is available for speaking engagements by contacting her at Visit her weblog at