World Dairy Expo week concluded an exciting week for ABS Global! The company hosted over 600 visitors through walk-in tours, visited with customers and prospects through the company booth at World Dairy Expo, and hosted over 180 international guests on two days of tours to four outstanding Wisconsin dairies.
The first stop on the trip led the group to Ripps Dairy Valley of Dane, Wis. Owned by Eileen, Chuck, Gary and Troy Ripp, the farm is home to 900 cows. The herd has a Rolling Herd Average over 32,000 lbs of milk, and has been utilizing the ABS Genetic Management System (GMS) for nearly 15 years.
The dairy has gone through three expansions since starting with ABS, and has maintained a sensational looking herd of cows by utilizing ABS genetics. Ripps Dairy Valley also use the ABS Reproductive Management System (RMS) through ABS representative, Travis Chapman.
Ripps Dairy Valley manages 1500 acres, of which 1,000 are owned. They have four sand-bedded freestall barns, and in 2008, a new dry cow and pre-fresh freestall barn was built with a separate parlor for the fresh and treated cows. Ripps milk in a double-16 parallel parlor.
Recently, a methane digester was built to be used with other local dairies. The facility converts manure from Ripps Dairy Valley along with three other farms to electricity that powers over 2500 homes annually.
After a fantastic lunch at Rex’s Innkeeper in Waunakee, tour attendees ventured to Cattail Dairy Farms of Mauston, Wis. Owned by the Robert and Joan Holig Family, the dairy is home to 300 Holsteins and Jerseys, and has a Rolling Herd Average on 2x milking of over 24,000 lbs milk.
The Holigs have been on the GMS program for 15 years, and have yielded outstanding results. Their cows are housed in a six row, sand-bedded freestall barn, and have a SCC of just over 100,000. The Holigs have also recently installed automatic calf feeders.
All three of the Holig children are directly involved with the dairy operation. The farm encompasses over 1,000 acres of land, and maintains a very dedicated and hard working team of employees.
Day two kicked off bright and early with a trip to Casco, Wis., and Kinnard Farm, Inc., owned by Rod Mildred and Lee Kinnard. A 2400-cow dairy, this 3x herd has a Rolling Herd Average over 27,000 lbs milk, with under 200,000 SCC.
Kinnard Farm has been utilizing the GMS program for over 11 years, and ABS representative Simon Hewett tail chalks and breeds daily at the dairy. Cows are housed in naturally ventilated, 4-row freestall barns that utilize sand bedding for cow comfort. The parlor includes a double-36 Westphalia Surge parallel setup.
The crew at Kinnard Farm hopes to expand in the future through the addition of cross-ventilated barns. Staff on site includes herd managers Brent Eisenman, Shaun Hardtke and Jose Garcia, with 35 additional farm employees and up to 30 part time employees to help with cropping and manure hauling through custom operations hired by the farm.
The second stop for the day and final stop of the tour landed the group at Greendale Dairy, LLC of Kiel, Wis. Owned and operated by Nic and Christine Schoenberger and Mike and Theresa Schuler and families, the dairy includes nearly 500 milking cows. The herd is milked 3x and has a Rolling Herd Average of almost 30,000 lbs milk.
The crew at Greendale grows over 1,000 acres of feed, and all cows are housed in freestalls with the majority of the herd bedded with sand. Christine and her brother Mike are the sixth generation to take over the farm, and hope to continue updating their facilities and bring their children into the operation. Cows are milked in a double-10 parallel parlor.
Greendale Dairy has been on the GMS program for seven years, and their results are rock solid. They hope to increase their herd size to 600 in the near future.
ABS and tour staff would like to extend a sincere ‘Thank You’ to these farms for opening their barn doors to a large tour group.