“Being a part of the Cornerstone young sire program has been fun and interesting,” explains Barb Young of Clifton Springs, NY. “It has brought breeders, semen distributors and cattle enthusiasts from all over the world to our farm! And we always find it fun and exciting to meet and host those groups.”
Barb and her husband Bill own and operate Will-O-Crest Farm, a 1050 milking cow herd that carries a rolling herd average of 25,560 pounds of milk.
The Youngs first enrolled in the Cornerstone program in January 1993, through the encouragement of their ABS rep, Bob Hamelinck. “Using young sires made good sense from a cost perspective when we were young and getting started,” notes Barb. “It left more money to spend on the good bulls for our better cows.”
The Youngs started their dairy in 1976 with 100 cows and have been in a steady growth pattern ever since. At no point were good genetics ever left out of the equation by this pair of enthusiastic Holstein breeders! Barb carefully picks the proven bulls that are used in the herd.
“Lantz and Convincer were the first daughters that people came here to look at,” continues Barb. “There was a group from Australia that visited us, and several breeders and distributors from here in the states.” And those two bulls have certainly worked well for the Youngs. Their first Lantz daughter classified 2E, becoming the first cow on the dairy to achieve that distinction, and milked over 150 pounds daily right through the summer heat. “We’ve never had a cow work that hard, especially after having twins,” the Youngs note. “By having some Lantz daughters result from the young sire program, we sure knew how to use him when he was proven. They were framey with really good feet and legs, but we knew to protect the udders a bit. Today when we look up a lot of our good young cows, they often trace to Lantz daughters.”
Another New York herd, Hi-Land Farm, is owned by brothers David and Greg Chamberlain, who are dedicated Jersey cattle breeders with 670 cows and a rolling herd average of 18,696M 4.9% 911F 3.5% 654P. The farm in Wyoming, NY was originally established in 1888 and has grown to 1500 acres where corn, hay, wheat and barley are raised.
The Chamberlains have used several key ABS sires over the years, including A-Nine TOP BRASS. “We used him really heavy for a couple years. At one time there were 125 daughters here and the total herd was not quite 500 head,” David explains.
HALLMARK and SHOWTIME were used for their excellent feet and legs. There are currently 62 daughters of 29JE3346 JEVON in the herd, which David describes as “real solid cattle.”
The Chamberlains have worked with Paddock’s Breeding Service, their local ABS Representative, for over 40 years. ABS sires currently being used in the herd are LEGAL, LYNDON, HEADLINE and BALLARD, along with 10 units of each Cornerstone young sire sampled per month. Another added benefit of the Cornerstone program that David points to is his frequent contact with Dick Smith (ABS Jersey Specialist). “He really helps us when we think about our breeding program! The dairy business isn’t getting any easier and relationships in business that you can count on mean quite a lot,” notes David.