High-class Holsteins bring in big bucks - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

High-class Holsteins bring in big bucks

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EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. - Lylehaven Farm in East Montpelier is the premier name in dairy cows. But the high-bred Holstein breeding facility is moving on to greener pastures and auctioning off its herd.

"It's like the end of an era, so it'd be really cool to get in on it," said Katie Deslippe of Connecticut.

Breeders and farmers from across the country and outside of it came to bid on the 1,000-pound beauties.

"One of the most recognized farms in North America. They do well here," said Adolf Langhout of the Netherlands.

Now, Lylehaven is closing and nearly 150 cows are up for bid. Jerry Rappaport started Lylehaven 40 years ago. He says these aren't your typical dairy cows.

"Our cows here produce 40,000 pounds of milk. The average dairy cow will produce 15,000, 18,000 pounds of milk during a lactation," Rappaport said.

This Holstein herd is in high demand. The going price for these classy cattle might leave some utterly speechless. Some are selling close to $100,000.

"Just the Lylehaven name is like buying a brand of cars or a brand of clothes," explained Sarah Deslippe of Ontario. "You're buying the most expensive brand of cows. It's like buying a Coach purse versus a Wal-Mart purse, there's a big difference."

One of the most wanted cows at the auction went pretty quickly at a mere $70,000. Buyers say the high quality offspring these Holsteins produce, along with its higher quantity of milk and buttercream, make these cows worth the cost.

"I'll double my investment within a year and a half, year and a half to two years, if not triple it," said Mike Garrow of New York.

And even those breeders who might not be taking home a prized Holstein will be saving up for their chance to own one.

"It's a dream. It's something you work hard for to achieve," Katie Deslippe said. "I don't get up at 3:30 in the morning for nothing. I do it to have a class winner, to have the best cow."

At the end of the day, the world famous cows will be on their way to different farms across the globe, these Holstein breeders now owning a piece of the Lylehaven legacy.

Rappaport is currently looking for potential buyers of Lylehaven. He says he's committed to making sure the next owner uses the land for agriculture.

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