Growth hormone, produced in the anterior pituitary gland, stimulates the release of insulin-like growth factor-I from the liver and is of critical importance in the control of nutrient utilization and partitioning for lactogenesis, fertility, growth, and development in cattle. The aim of this study was to discover novel polymorphisms in the bovine growth hormone gene (GH1) and to quantify their association with performance using estimates of genetic merit on 848 Holstein-Friesian AI (artificial insemination) dairy sires. Associations with previously reported polymorphisms in the bovine GH1 gene were also undertaken. A total of 38 novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were identified across a panel of 22 beef and dairy cattle by sequence analysis of the 5' promoter, intronic, exonic, and 3' regulatory regions, encompassing approximately 7 kb of the GH1 gene. Following multiple regression analysis on all SNP, associations were identified between 11 SNP (2 novel and 9 previously identified) and milk fat and protein yield, milk composition, somatic cell score, survival, body condition score, and body size. The G allele of a previously identified SNP in exon 5 at position 2141 of the GH1 sequence, resulting in a nonsynonymous substitution, was associated with decreased milk protein yield. The C allele of a novel SNP, GH32, was associated with inferior carcass conformation. In addition, the T allele of a previously characterized SNP, GH35, was associated with decreased survival. Both GH24 (novel) and GH35 were independently associated with somatic cell count, and 3 SNP, GH21, 2291, and GH35, were independently associated with body depth. Furthermore, 2 SNP, GH24 and GH63, were independently associated with carcass fat. Results of this study further demonstrate the multifaceted influences of GH1 on milk production, fertility, and growth-related traits in cattle.