GRESHAM, Wis.— There’s a different kind of cow growing in popularity in Wisconsin.
When you think of Wisconsin, dairy cows are often one of the first things to come to mind, not one of the most famous bovine breeds famous in the south: the Texas Longhorn.
Well, that’s changing faster than people know.
“Every year we pick up three, five, six, seven new breeders in the state of Wisconsin,” said Gresham’s Dan Huntington.
He’s a business owner in Shawano County and said he loves longhorns.
Huntington loves them so much, he’s been part of an effort to help grow the breed’s footprint in American’s Dairyland.
“I think we got a lot of room for longhorns,” he said.
Huntington is an auctioneer— you know, the people who talk so fast during bidding sessions you can hardly tell they’re speaking English. He enjoys it.
The last few years, he’s been auctioneering off longhorns in Wisconsin— the last three years in Gresham.
“Move over the dairy cows,” Huntington said.
The Great Northern Longhorn Classic & Cheesehead Futurity saw top longhorn breeders from throughout out the Midwestern and Southwestern states pack into a structure in the Northeast Wisconsin rural community to buy and rank the cows.
Some sold for just over $1,000, others for nearly $20,000.
The event’s grown over the years, and continues to do so, Huntington said.
Marshall Paczosa said he only expects Wisconsin’s interest in longhorns to grow as time goes on. He’s a breeder from Elba, Nebraska. He made his first ever trip to Wisconsin for the event.
“First time I’ve ever been to Wisconsin and I love it. The scenery is more than I anticipated and it’s wonderful,” Paczosa said. “Yeah, even for a Bears fan, I’ve been treated great.”
How a longhorn breeder from rural Nebraska became a Chicago Bears fan baffles the mind. Nonetheless, Huntingson said Paczosa is a perfect example of the potential impact the longhorn industry can have on the Badger State in it’s bringing people in form out of town to invest in something new.
Huntington estimated the number of Wisconsin longhorn breeders has double in the past five years to about fifty.
He said longhorns will never replace the dairy cow as the state’s iconic cattle, but he’d like to see more variety in the form of longhorns out in fields as he drives through the state’s countryside.
“They’re all in barns,” he said about dairy cows. “Let’s let the longhorns out to their pasture, alright.”