Fulfilling the Passion; Tammy Voegeli, Arlington, Wis.
Article & photos by David Jons, As Featured in the June 2021 issue of the Brown Swiss Bulletin
It seems that once you’re ‘bitten’ by the passion of owning, breeding or showing quality registered dairy cattle, it is with you for life.
But for some, the lack of time or facilities limits or even prevents the fulfillment of that passion. Tammy Voegeli, owner and operator of VoGrin Boarding, Arlington, Wisconsin, provides the opportunity for those with the passion, but not the time or facilities, to own quality registered dairy cattle.
“VoGrin Boarding provides the care and housing of heifers and cows owned by people other than myself or my family,” said Tammy.
“All dairy breeds are boarded at VoGrin, but Brown Swiss are the majority breed.” VoGrin Boarding is part of VoGrin Swiss, a herd started by Tammy’s grandfather and now run by Tammy, her parents, Louie and Debbie, with help from Tammy’s six-year-old son Dakota. Dakota has a keen interest in helping on the farm and loves to compete in Pee Wee showmanship.
Currently, the milking herd consist of 70 head in a combination of Brown Swiss and Holsteins. Boarding rates are set for both cows and heifers with heifers providing a majority of the current business. “A large part of VoGrin Boarding’s revenue is repeat business,” mentioned Tammy. For an additional charge, those with cattle at VoGrin Boarding can choose to have their animal shown at one of the many shows Tammy exhibits at each year. “There have been a number of cattle that were at VoGrin Boarding that have done well in the showring.” Tammy continued, “The one that sticks out is Cutting Edge T Tracy ET, a Brown Swiss heifer that was first place Fall Heifer Calf and Junior Champion at the International Brown Swiss Show at World Dairy Expo in 2014.”
Tammy’s own Brown Swiss have done exceedingly well for her in the show ring as well. “Many years ago, I bought two embryos from Wayne Sliker with my tax refund money. I implanted both embryos and got two heifers,” Tammy recounted. One heifer was sold and the other was kept, resulting in the start of the Priceless cow family at VoGrin Swiss. In 2014, a member of that cow family, VoGrin Pepper Woodsy OCS, shown as a Fall Yearling was first place at six All- American qualifying shows and Junior Champion or Reserve Junior Champion at those shows. She was second place at the International Brown Swiss Show at World Dairy Expo and the All-American Fall Yearling.
In 2018, another member of the Priceless cow family, VoGrin Fabulous Ping Twin, shown as a Fall Yearling, was Junior Champion at the Southwest National Show, first place at the International Brown Swiss Show at World Dairy Expo and the All-American Fall Yearling.
In 2020, yet another member of the Priceless cow family, VoGrin Fabulous Wicked ETV, shown as a Fall Yearling grabbed the Junior Champion honors at the Southwest National Show and was the Unanimous All-American Fall Yearling. “Wicked is the best heifer I have ever bred,” states Tammy. Wicked’s full sister, VoGrin Fabulous Winks ETV was HM All-American Fall Yearling. Wicked has calved and at 40 days fresh classified VG89 88MS and will show in 2021 as a Senior 2-Year-Old.
As Tammy continues down the tanbark trail with her Brown Swiss and VoGrin boarders, she plans to expand future marketing opportunities through the use of IVF. ”It’s difficult to express how much my clients, partners and crews mean and are appreciated, because I truly could not do this alone,” said Tammy.