News Release

October 3, 2015

CONTACT: Kristin Olson, Media Relations Manager,
PHONE:      608-224-6455

Walker Family Named McKown Master Breeder Award Winner

MADISON, WIS. – The Walker Family of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., have been selected by the Klussendorf Association as the seventh recipient of the Robert “Whitey” McKown Master Breeder Award. This award recognizes a well-managed breeder herd that has been successful at showing and judging, and emphasizes all qualities of the Klussendorf Award, including ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship. The award was formally presented on Friday, October 2 during the 49th World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.

In 1936, Erwin and Ella Walker moved to the Wisconsin Dells area from North Dakota and established the family farm, which has grown to a position of excellence within the Holstein breed. Their son, Dean, married his wife, Dori, in 1957 and took over the farm that same year. These days, Dean and Dori, along with their three sons and daughters-in-law — John and Marci, Tim and Tracy, and Tom and Jackie — are actively involved with the farm. The entire family enjoys showing Walk-Era cattle, including Dean and Dori’s seven grandchildren.

Walk-Era Holsteins’ slogan, “Where Dreams of Excellence Are Bred,” has never rang more true. At this point in time, the farm has bred 108 Excellent cows. With a breeding age average (BAA) of 110.1 percent, the 96 percent homebred herd has 27 Excellent, 60 Very Good and eight Good Plus cows. They are a nine-time qualifier for the Progressive Breeders Registry Award and five-time Premier Breeder or Premier Exhibitor winners at Wisconsin’s District 5 Holstein Show.

The family has also bred six All-American nominees. Most recently, Walk-Era Dundee Annelise — one of the most prominent cows with the Walk-Era prefix — was chosen as a Junior All-American in 2014 as a Junior 2-Year-Old. She also was nominated All-American and was Honorable Mention All-Canadian the same year. In addition, winter yearling Walk-Era Champion Matrix and Junior 3-Year-Old Walk-Era Roy Renita were All-American nominees in 2005. Spring yearling Walk-Era Dundee Oreo and summer yearling Walk-Era Pronto Monty were nominated All-American and Junior All-American respectively, in 2009 as well.

The Robert “Whitey” McKown Memorial Breeder Award was made possible by the family and friends of the 1997 Honorary Klussendorf honoree. Whitey joined the Holstein World staff in 1956 and became widely respected as he traveled nationally and internationally, reporting on shows, sales, meetings and other Holstein events. The 1987 National Dairy Shrine president also developed MooKown Holsteins in Belleville, N.Y. Whitey had great admiration for the farmer breeder.

The Klussendorf Association, considered by many as the Hall of Fame for Dairy Cattle Exhibitors, began in 1937 in memory of Arthur B. Klussendorf, considered the outstanding dairy cattle showman of his time. Each year, the Klussendorf Association votes to add a new dairy cattle exhibitor to its roles with lifetime membership for their cumulative works including ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship.

WDE, recognized as the meeting place for the global dairy industry, attracts more than 70,000 attendees from more than 90 countries each year. Visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@WDExpo or #WDE15) for more information.