Archive for February 2016

We have all been there. We go to do something but, before we can even start, we begin to worry about what people will think.  That’s because everyone wants to be liked and accepted.  The dairy community likes to think of itself as an all friendly and happy community.  The challenge is that, when your goal is to bring about change, you need to understand that you cannot be liked by everyone.  You have to learn how not to be concerned with what everyone else thinks.  Here at The Bullvine, we don’t care what everyone else thinks.

Editors note: The orginial post used the word F*** due to respect to readers of all ages we have changed this public post to be appropriate for all readers.

I am proud to say that since starting The Bullvine I have been able not to not care.  I have not had to care what everyone else was doing, what others were saying about me, or what people thought about me.  That’s because I did not care about what they thought I was doing for since day one I have been clear about what I wanted to achieve.  (Read more: TWICE THE BULL – HALF THE S**T, I’m Sorry, But I’ve Had Just About Enough Of… and THE BULLVINE HAS BITE!) We wanted to make a difference in the dairy world.  We wanted to be different give dairy breeders a voice.

misinterpretNot to Be Confused with Indifference

Not giving a f* does not mean being indifferent, in fact, we have been anything but indifferent. There have been many issues over the past four years that we have been very concerned about.  From photo ethics to the future of the breeding industry and, of course to the challenges breeders face every day, we certainly have had a strong opinion on these issues from day one.  Moreover, we have not been afraid to share our opinion with our readers.  What it does mean is that we have to be comfortable with being different.  We have to comfortable when we go to cow shows, and some closed minded people snicker at you.  You have to be comfortable when people attack your very soul on Facebook.  You have to be comfortable not giving a care what other people think.

When most people envision giving no care whatsoever, they envision a kind of perfect and serene indifference to everything, a calm that weathers all storms. That is very misguided.  Don’t confuse my indifference for passion for our ultimate goal.  Indifference would mean that we don’t care.  That we are some form of couch potatoes just sitting here not willing to stand up for their goals.  In fact, we have been on the front line many times, slugging it out, for the very issues we are most passionate about.

Indifference is the other publications that were so afraid of what others thought of them that they were paralyzed to act and now find themselves struggling to pay their bills.  They didn’t want to say anything to offend anyone because they were not sure if it would cost them, advertisers.  Funny thing is by doing nothing it has led to that exact result. Some of their key advertisers, ones that they coveted, have now become strategic partners with us here at The Bullvine.

To Not Care About Adversity, You Must First Care About Something More Important Than Adversity

Success is achieved when you stare failure in the face and shove your middle finger back at it. We certainly have proven that we don’t care about adversity, failure or about taking heat for our actions. We just sucked it up and then did it anyway. We know what has to be done to achieve our ultimate goal. Sometimes you have to have the guts to stand alone.

Sure we have had the odd lawsuit or two.  But we have also brought about the change we desired.  We have given breeders a voice. We have spoken about the issues no one else would touch.  Moreover, along the way we have developed the largest community of dairy breeders who are actively talking about the key issues we all face.  (Read more: Introducing The Milk House – Dairy Breeder Networking on Facebook).

In life, our time must be spent on something meaningful. There is no such thing as not caring about anything. The question is simply how we each choose to a lot our time. You only get a limited amount of time to give over your lifetime, so you must spend them with care.  When we’re young, we have tons of energy. Everything is new and exciting. Moreover, everything seems to matter so much. We care about everything and everyone — especially about what people are saying about us.

As we get older, we gain experience and begin to notice that most of these things have little lasting impact on our lives. Those people’s opinions, which we cared about so much before, have long been removed from our lives. We realize how little people pay attention to the superficial details about us and we focus on doing things more for our own integrity rather than for others. Essentially, we become more selective about the time we’re willing to give. This is something called ‘maturity.’ It’s nice, you should try it sometime. Maturity is what happens when one learns to only care about what’s truly worth caring about.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

In my life, I have care about many people and many things. I have also not cared about many people and many things. And those times I have not given have made all the difference.  Since starting The Bullvine, I have tested my ability to keep the eye on the ultimate goal and not care what people think about us, but rather understand what we are trying to achieve.  As we enter our fifth year, I am very proud of the work we have done and the actions we have taken, because it has led us to the position we are at today.  A voice for breeders during uncertain times.

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Categories : The Bullvine

Will Genetic Evaluations Go Private?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Dairy cattle breeders have come to rely on their genetic indexes being calculated on a national or international basis by governments or independent industry organizations. Here at The Bullvine, we often refer to CDCB, CDN, VIT, ADHIS, Breed Societies and Interbull without mentioning their credentials or neutrality because we have trust in the numbers they produce for breeders to use to genetically advance their cattle. CDCB (Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding) in the USA is the newest of these organizations, and it has grown out of the AIPL-USDA’s decision to discontinue the production trait genetic indexing service for the US dairy cattle industry.

However, on the horizon is a considerable amount of on-farm data that national evaluation centers are not using. As well there is the desire by (A.I.) breeding companies to have and use genetic indexes for traits for which there is data but which may be outside the data standards that the national centres require or for which the companies do not wish to pay the fees charged by national centers. Add to that, new national trait evaluations are very slow in their development and approval.

So The Bullvine asks “Will genetic evaluations go private?”.

Private Is Not New

Privately produced trait rating systems have been around since the early days of A.I.  Breeders wanted to know facts, so A.I. organizations produced ratings starting with sire semen fertility followed by numerous other characteristics of their bulls’ daughters. One difficulty with these organization based systems was that each had its unique method of expression. This meant that breeders had to understand and remember many rating systems. It did, however, allow A.I.’s to have something unique in their tool box.

Another alternative, though perhaps not entirely private, is the improvement industry in New Zealand where LIC captures the data, calculates the genetic indexes, samples the bulls and markets the bulls. Arms length decision making and lack of diversity in the breeding program are questioned by breeders who use NZ genetics.

Data Standards

To do national and international genetic evaluations, where large volumes of data are included, it is paramount that the data combined have commonalities in such things as number of days milked, milking frequency, lactation number and age at classification. With the requirement for standardization, it results in the process of developing new genetic indexes being a relatively long process. That does not work well in a time of rapidly changing breeder needs for additional traits or when breeding companies have unique marketing plans.

Standardization adds cost. It is only worth it if the benefits for the population exceed the costs.

What Data Is Not Standardized?

Today there is a rapidly growing volume of data uniquely collected by companies. In the past half decade, the increase in the number of automated data capture devices has been dramatic. Rumination rate, animal activity, milking frequency, milk per quarter, milk temperature, hormone levels…it is almost an endless list. (Read more: BETTER DECISION MAKING BY USING TECHNOLOGY) And the list only gets longer every month. An important note is that each company and device has its method of data capture and expressing the results.

Another factor that breeders find confusing is that, although similarly named, traits are different in the ways that they are calculated and reported. Some of these traits include feed efficiency, fertility, length of herd life, ability to transition from dry to milking and mobility. It all depends on the organization, national genetic evaluation centre, breed society, A.I. or service company, doing the evaluation.

What Additional Indexes Could There Be?

Here again, the list of genetic indexes that could be possible is endless. A few that the Bullvine has heard breeders considering or organizations planning to produce include:

  • Milk let down and minutes to milk
  • Ability of animals to adapt to equipment and systems
  • Cow rejection rate in single unit robotic systems or cow visitation rate
  • Animal fertility including ability to conceive, early embryonic death and abortion rate
  • Animal behavior and social interaction
  • Feed intake and feed conversion
  • Animal mobility
  • Calf growth, health, feed conversion, disease resistance, .., etc.
  • Embryo production during embryo transfer
  • Ability to produce show winning progeny

Yes, the genetically related list is long. And beyond genetic indexes breeders will want many management and business related details. I received a novel question a month ago when a breeder ask if it could be possible for him to separate A1A1 and A1A2 milk from A2A2 milk, at milking time, so he would be able to keep the A2A2 milk separate for sale at a higher price. That’s a business person thinking about opportunities.

What is Likely to Happen

It is very likely that private companies with on-farm data and breeding companies wanting to have additional or unique indexes will form alliances for the calculation of new genetic indexes. If they aren’t doing it already, it will happen soon. Definitely, breeding companies working with equipment and service providers would be able to use all the data from many countries.

In the absence of having industry approved indexes breeders will be faced with using various company indexes. Fully trained geneticists already work for all of the data capture, breeding, service, product and genomic evaluation companies. So it is not a matter of if, but when it will happen.

Time will tell if these new genetic indexes are accurate, useful and understood. One significant question is – “Once the move to private is started will it continue to also include the current national evaluations for production, type, health and fertility traits?”.

In short “the horse is out of the barn”, there will be widespread availability of privately calculated genetic indexes in the future.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Dairy cattle breeders can expect to see, read or hear sales reps promoting their sires based on new indexes. Is that good? The Bullvine predicts the answer is YES. Well, yes, provided that the indexes will assist breeders to improve the genetic merit of their cattle for lifetime profit.

 

 

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Our hands are the first touch point with the many physical connections dairymen make every day. From shaking hands with a farm visitor to milking cows, we may not realize how important our hands are until they became so dry, cracked and rough that what should be an easy task becomes painful.  How well do your hands withstand winter’s harsh conditions and the 24-7 skin challenges of dairy farming? If you’re answer is “Nothing seems to work” then here is information and several steps you can use to repair, protect and soothe your hands.

Overworked hands are vulnerable hands

The first step in helping your hands to stay healthy is understanding what it is that is causing the problem.  It all starts when the outer layer of skin is compromised.  Ideally, skin is meant to hold onto moisture and rejuvenate itself naturally.  But constant exposure to bad weather, dirt, chemicals and the sun can gradually damage this layer. Let’s take a look closer at four factors that cause damage.

  1. People who consistently have to wash their hands or immerse their hands in water experience a loss of moisture, as the water steals the skin’s natural moisturizing oils away
  2. People who work with chemicals on a daily basis, or who regularly use chemical-based household cleaners, often have severely chapped hands. These chemicals rob the skin of its moisture, and damage the outer layer, leaving skin vulnerable to all kinds of problems.
  3. Old-fashioned soap bars are drying to the skin. Many of today’s commercial clensers and hand soaps also disrupt skin’s natural integrity, which slows the natural process of skin repair and creates dryness and cracking.
  4. Dry air. Air such as that which occurs in dry climates and during the cold, winter months, saps moisture out of the skin.

Other factors, such as medical skin conditions (like psoriasis and eczema), allergens, and certain medications, can also contribute to dry, cracking skin.

Dairy farming is hands on!

Constant use of our hands — especially in winter conditions – can lead to damage.  Once hands become dry and cracked, everything we do with them can make the damage much worse. It sometimes seems like the skin will never feel smooth again.  (I remember my father-in-law’s hands and the measures he would take to speed up the healing process. My heart went out to him each winter as he found creative ways to heal the fissures that opened up in his hands).

Products Suggested On The Milk House

Before we start into the whys and wherefores of hand care, let’s consider what other people have tried.  First we must recognize that not everything works for everyone in the same way. A recent discussion on The Milk House also included suggestions of name brand salves, creams, and lotions (Read more: INTRODUCING THE MILK HOUSE – DAIRY BREEDER NETWORKING ON FACEBOOK). The Bullvine is not making specific promotions or endorsements but merely giving the widest possible picture of what the options might be.

Personal Experiences Provide Hands-On Insight

Many readers of The Bullvine and The Milk House have personal experience with the discomfort of sore hands.  I went to them and other friends in the medical profession and hair salons.  For those who work 24/7 with their hands, taking time off until they heal is not an option.

Several dairy folks, a nurse, and workers in my local hair salon shared what they have learned from trial and error. One suggestion that came from more than one of those whose hands reached the cracked and bleeding stage was using an emery board and finger nail file to sand down the cracks. “I use a fingernail file to move all the dry, dead or thick skin. Getting the old skin off is the key. Afterward, the lotion and salve soak in better.” Those who have tried this agree that the quick heal is worth the brief pain. One intriguing suggestion was to paint the cracks with 2 or 3 layers of clear nail polish. “It’s inexpensive and very effective at protecting those areas.  I can work and just sand and reapply as needed until they heal.” I have personal experience watching husband Murray use Crazy Glue or Super Glue. Some report that this method stings for a few secs when first applied, but Murray reports “It was stinging before the treatment, so it isn’t any more painful, and it protects the opening from germs, and usually heals within 2 to 3 days.” Of course, everyone needs motivation, and Murray maintains that one of his motivators was “my wife”!

“H2OhMy!”

Water plays several roles in both good and bad hands. Start with drinking water.  It’s easy to get dehydrated and not realize it. Then there is the water you immerse your hands in during your work day.  On the one hand, it seems that water should be enough for the moisture in your hands.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Constant exposure to water can be very drying, so the first three words to memorize after your hands have been in water are:

“Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize”

After each and every wash, moisturize your hands.  Some even go so far as to carry moisturizer all the time. It’s up to you to take charge of healing parched scaly hands.

“Some Like It Hot! But Cool is Kinder!”

The next step may take changing your headset regarding water temperature.  Use lukewarm water. Water that’s either hot or cold can make the problem worse. So the next time you’re tempted to turn the heat up, make sure lukewarm is the highest you go, if you want your hands to be happy.

“Skip the Bar”

By its very nature dairying makes us conscious of avoiding germs.  Being told to avoid soap if you can, seems to go against the grain. Dermatologists say soap can actually make your skin feel dry, by stripping oils from the skin. If you must use soap, avoid formulas with synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates, as these are all drying.  Foaming and antibacterial soaps also strip your skin of its natural fats and oils.  One option is to choose moisturizing cleansers instead and be sure you rinse thoroughly.

“Go Undercover! ”

The extreme condition of your working hands means that you must take every opportunity to protect your hands.  A good rule of thumb (pun intended) is to be aware whenever you might be working with something that you wouldn’t apply to your face; you should wear gloves. Yes, this is occasionally inconvenient but think about what you ask your hands to do over and over again.  When hands are healthy, you use them like they are gloved to touch harsh chemicals.  Normally that isn’t a problem because healthy hand skin is a pretty good barrier, but the chapped skin is broken.  “Harsh chemicals get through chapped skin, irritating it like putting lemon juice on a cut.”  The best approach is to wear gloves.  Many feel that wearing milking gloves under work gloves is the right approach. “Lotions for healing cow’s teats and udders worn under nitrile gloves while you milk rally help.  You are using your hands so much when you milk, that it messages your hands at the same time.” A good tip is to avoid vinyl gloves.  They can make skin even more dry.  Instead, use cotton or leather.

“Prevention is 9/10ths of the Cure.”

You may already do many of the things mentioned so far, but sometimes we forget.  The best treatment is always prevention. So whether you’re in the barn, the fields or just washing up in the milkhouse, protect your hands from damage.

“Sleep On It”

This next step doesn’t cut into your work day.  At night, once you chose a proper pair of gloves, slather on your favorite hand cream or you could just use Vaseline and put them on.

The gloves will ensure that the slave stays put.  Even a single overnight session will go a long way towards healing your hands.  Keep experimenting until you find a heavy-duty moisturizer that is free of fragrance and all of the additives that contribute to drying your hard-working hands. Some of those I spoke to said that they add two further steps to their glove program. “I start my soaking my hands first to open up the cells so that they will take up the cream.” Then they add one final protection. “After I apply Vaseline I wrap my hands in saran wrap and then the gloves. This works great on feet too!” The whole purpose to get the healing below the damaged dried out upper layers of skin.

“Old School.  Raise Your Hand!”

There are always those who have a slightly different perspective on problems and their solutions, especially when it seems somewhat self-centered. One Milk House reader explained his reasoning, “When I was younger, cracked chapped hands were a symbol to wear proudly.  It showed that you worked hard, and you were a real man.  I’m still a little too old school to use anything too sissified, but I have been known to get bag balm on my hands when doctoring a cow.” From the other end of the spectrum, a reader who wears gloves and salves replied, “I don’t like cracked hands when feeding calves. The acid and detergent water get in there and that crap burns!  If I’m sissy for that, so be it!”

The Bullvine Bottom Line

You use your hands constantly.  When your skin finally cracks and chaps, it affects everything you do. Be proactive when it comes to caring for the health of your skin.  Lock that moisture in long before your hands start drying out, and you will be as comfortable at work as you are going out for a nice dinner.

 

 

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Categories : Management

SHOWCATION - IDW Australia - BadgeFrom the land of Crocodile Dundee, Road Warrior and Vegemite is also the home to one of the greatest cattle shows outside of North America.  While Australia may be world famous for producing UGG boots, AC/DC and the dual flush toilet it is their annual International Dairy Week that will have Showcationer’s from around the world flocking to Southern Australia in the middle of their hot season.

Getting In

Melbourne is served by Tullamarine Airport, it is situated to the northwest of the city and is the main international and domestic hub.  It takes about 22+ hours to reach Melbourne from North America and about 24+ hours from most European cities.

Getting Around

While the sites around Melbourne are easily all reached on foot, you will need to have a rental car to make it out to the Show location that is held in Shepparton, which is about 2+ hours north of Melbourne.  Side note: If you are channeling your inner Mad Max you can make that drive in 1 hr. 15 minutes when you are late for your flight, but the speeding ticket from the aerial surveillance will significantly increase the cost of your trip, trust me I speak from experience.

Sights to See

While in Melbourne be sure to check out

  • Flinders Street Railway Station
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    Arguably the defining landmark of Melbourne, a nice, colonial-era railway station at the junction of Flinders Street and Swanston Street. The main entrance is known for several clocks hanging over it and is a favorite meeting spot for locals. “Meet you under the clocks at Flinders Street station” is in the DNA of every Melburnian.
  • Docklands
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    An entire new precinct filled with shops, bars, restaurants and things to do for all the family as well as a large sports stadium with a waterside setting. Boat trips touring Melbourne’s rivers and Port Philip Bay leave from here.
  • Eureka Tower
    12621970_10156330283970018_369201138913747825_o[1]
    Tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere, panoramic views of the whole of Melbourne.
  • The Australian Open
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    First held in 1905, the tournament is chronologically the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events of the year. The Australian Open typically has high attendance, second only to the US Open. It was also the first Grand Slam tournament to feature indoor play during wet weather or extreme heat with its three main
  • On the way to Shepparton be sure to check out the following herds – Bluechip Genetics, Coomboona, Cairnhill, Leslie farms, Darren Crawford, Paringa & Brunchilli. If you are planning on doing some extended touring, you may also want to check out the likes of Elmar Holsteins and Riverside Jerseys (Read more: RIVERSIDE JERSEYS: TRAVELLING HEARTS – A GIRL, A GUY AND THEIR JERSEY LOVE STORY)
  • International Dairy Week

    Of all the shows that I have been to around the world IDW has to be the most similar to that of North America. With many of its winners being able to to compete at the Regional/State level in North America and even a few that could compete at shows like The Royal or World Dairy Expo.  The show may not be vast in its size, but its unique atmosphere with the booths surrounding the ring make it a great experience.  (Read more: IDW 2016 HOLSTEIN SHOW) The passion among the exhibitors would be 2nd to none in the world.  With the likes of Bluechip Genetics running a show crew that would make those in North America envious, contributing to them being premier breeder and exhibitor six of the last seven years.  Pretty impressive for a program that only started in 2006. (Read more: DEAN AND DIANNA MALCOLM: FORWARD IN FIVE GEARS! THAT’S AUSSIE D.I.Y. and DEAN AND DIANNA MALCOLM: GOBSMACKED IN AUSTRALIA – LANDING RIGHT SIDE UP DOWN UNDER!)
  • New Zealand – While half way around the world, make sure to stop in New Zealand just after IDW for their national show and see operations that will be certainly eye-opening for breeders as to how grazing operations operate.

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What to eat

Aussie-food[1]

For the culinary traveler, Melbourne, and the surrounding region is one of the best destinations in the world. There is an abundance of affordable, high-quality restaurants representing almost every cuisine. Eating out is cheaper than in Western Europe but not as affordable as North America. The service in Australian restaurants may be more discreet than many North Americans may be used to. Although service staff in Australia are paid considerably more than their North American counterparts and tipping is not compulsory, a tip for good service is always welcomed.  “Australian cuisine” is a nebulous concept that may include traditional native foodstuffs and more modern cafe infusions of international influences. Items such emu or kangaroo meat are unusual and are most likely to be found only at the high-end fine dining restaurants as a specialty item. You can, however, find great kangaroo steaks at the Napier Hotel (Napier St, Fitzroy) for around $30, or at the Edinburgh Castle pub on Sydney Rd, Brunswick for around $26.  Melbourne nightlife is 24 hours; loud, colorful and anything goes. Door policies can be strict, but once inside high-quality entertainment is guaranteed. DJ’s, live music, artists, beautiful people and so much more can be found. There truly is something for everyone and every taste. It has a massive live music scene, with many inner-suburbs pubs catering many genres, with drink and food specials all week. The key is to find one you like the most!

Where to stay

quality-hotel-parklake[1]

Hotel spaces in Shepparton are limited so be sure to book as early as popular.  Many repeat visitors enjoy staying at Quality Inn Parklake Hotel, but space fills up very fast. Other places to consider the BEST WESTERN Wyndhamere Motel, Paradise Lakes Motel, and the Country Home Motor Inn.

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The Bullvine Bottom Line

When it comes to a great showcation® to see part of the world that is very different from that of North America or Europe, Australia’s IDW is certainly a showcation® that many dream of.  It has become a very popular destination for young North America breeders to travel to and learn about dairying in other parts of the world. (Read more: DAIRY YOUTH WILL GO FAR: EXCHANGE IS GOOD!) The cattle at IDW would be probably the best outside North America found anywhere in the world, and their slang takes some getting used to (Read more: DAIRY SLANG: 22 PHRASES THAT MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS TO DAIRY BREEDERS).  A showcation® to IDW is certainly one of the greatest experiences any breeder could imagine.

 

 

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Categories : SHOWCATION

Your Dairy Mess & How To Declutter It!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Business experts agree that a messy office has a direct impact on your reputation as a dairy manager and also affects how people will work with you.  Some will assume that your office chaos will spill over onto any business dealings they might have with you.  At the very least, they worry that their files could be lost in your mess. With the approaching tax deadline, there are even more reasons to make sure your office is organized and well-maintained.

Are we suggesting that we need office inspectors?

With all the stresses of dairy farming, do we really need one more?  Many feel that people read too much into a messy office.  Of course the same could be said of a super neat one.  How do you know whether they’re truly neat or whether they just bagged everything up and threw it in a closet before you dropped in?

The state of your office isn’t the only measure of your dairy business strengths

There are many talents that must be developed when you are committed to making your dairy operation the best that it can be. Nevertheless, having your office materials well-organized does help with that all-important first impression.  As time goes on, it also helps in building an ongoing working relationship. People coming into your well-organized office are more likely to recognize that doing business with you is efficient and effective.

Here are 4 benefits of a clean office.

  1. Mess equals stress.
    When you feel stress, it’s easier to blame a supplier or staff or both for the problem or problems at hand. A decluttered office makes you feel calm and relaxed. You are more likely to find solutions that are needed, when you aren’t overwhelmed by papers that are missing.
  2. Being organized saves time.
    The less stuff there is, the less you have to clean, put away and maintain. Constantly sorting and moving stuff is a vicious cycle. The 24/7 nature of dairy life doesn’t need added workload in the office. When you have less stuff to deal with, you have more time for your priorities. Don’t underestimate it.
  3. Focus filing means a better bottom line
    Spending hours searching, sifting and screaming is both counterproductive and costly. Once you are able to step into a decluttered office, you will be able to get things done without being distracted or overwhelmed by mess.
  4. No more “tax”ing headaches

Do your nerves gradually tense up as tax deadlines approach? Wouldn’t it be great to know where the stuff you need is every single time? When you organize the important things and clear away the rest, you will never panic again. Ready and on time. Awesome.

What does your office say about your dairy?

You are well aware that cows and milk production are the top priorities of your work day. But just as your cows and equipment make an impression on others, your workspace gives suppliers and consultants a distinct impression about you. “Everything in your office sends a message, whether you want it to or not.” So what might people be thinking when they step into your office. 

“This manager has his finger on everything that goes on here

Whether you have been in the dairy business 20 months or 20 years, there are challenges to be met every day.  You have to deal with veterinarians, your dairy staff, your family, the banker and countless suppliers and consultants who want a piece of you and your wallet.  Organize your office so that you can meet your goals while having a productive dialogue with each of these stakeholders.

“I was successful and with it in the past!”

Awards.  Trophies.  Certificates.  These can mark a successful career.  Or they can become faded … and dusty … with dates more that a decade old! The same is true of your family gallery. If you have a grad picture of your daughter her figure skating photo when she was five is overkill.  And your desk should never parade your hairstyles of the past decade.  Make it a point to update photos.  Don’t simply add frames. The past is past!

“Meet my support crew! ‘Candy’, ‘Caffeine’ and “Cigarettes’!

Not everyone sees themselves as an amateur detective but sometimes the evidence is just too obvious to miss.  A full candy dish, pop and beer cans says that perhaps your backup team is the first thing you reach for. A desk cluttered with empty coffee cups and energy drinks may be sending a message about your time management … or lack of it.

“I can’t even manage the small details. Don’t give me something big to think about.”

When every corner is stacked with boxes and all the flat surfaces are buried under teetering piles of paper, half-eaten pizzas and crumpled invoices, scraps of paper and unknown equipment parts, it is hard to believe that this is an organization focused on leading edge milk production, dairy genetics or achieving ever higher benchmarks.

“I don’t have time for new information”

Sometimes an office doesn’t have to be cluttered or messy to send a message.  In fact, an office with sticky notes everywhere and corkboards an inch deep in paper and pins is not short of organization, it could merely be short of effective organization.  If a light breeze would disturb the priority order of your routine, it’s time to pull down the sticky notes and start compiling your lists and information in a way more befitting the 21t century.  Now put a note up about that upcoming computer seminar training series!

So how do you transform your workspace to tell your story?

Ask yourself these questions.

What is your dairy business all about?

What makes your family and staff proud?

What story and image do you want to convey that sets you apart from your competition? What will inspire you and the people who share your space?

Here are 6 ways to begin your dairy office transformation.

  1. Start with one small step at a time. It is a common but fatal mistake to pull everything out all at once and try to tackle the whole mess at once. Much better and more successful is simply tackling one area at a time. The desktop. One file drawer.  One shelf.
  2. Never make more mess than you can clean up in fifteen minutes. To keep yourself committed to the final outcome, stop after a set time period. Do every day until every area in your office has a place for everything and everything in its place.
  3. Schedule a declutter day. For some, steps one and two may be too slow.  This means you might want to schedule a declutter day.  Ideally you should find a period of uninterrupted time that you know can be made available for tackling a big office issues: tax files; legal documents or shredding of documents. Although this is a bigger undertaking, it is important not to take on more than you can handle in the time you have available.
  4. Go paperless. Get rid of unnecessary paper and magazines. Scan the articles you know you will need.  Throw away the rest.  Uploading documents makes them accessible from anywhere.
  5. Set up a system of flow through that works for you. Dairy folks have years of hands on experience making sure that their dairy cattle are in the right place at the right time. Flow through is a concept that is applied from the milkhouse to the show ring. Paper, projects and information that come to the farm should flow through the system in the same organized way.  Assign a folder to the priority tasks you handle with paper and watch your bottom line improve
  6. Get rid of your junk drawer. Many desks have a shallow drawer front and centre. For many this becomes a catch space where you throw thing to get the out of sight. You can go to Pinterest and find hundreds of ways to organize the countless tiny items.  Organization took a huge leap forward for me when I emptied that mini-office-supply store drawer and only keep two things inside:
    1. my daily calendar and
    2. my current project binder there.

First thing every day those two items come out.  I fire up my computer and get to work.  At the end of the day, the calendar and binder go back in the drawer.  On some occasion, my Mac laptop joins them and my desktop is completely clear. It’s amazing how much this clear space helps in keeping everything organized and accessible.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

At the end of your dairy work day, you are the only one who has control over the message sent out by your office layout, logistics and décor. Ideally, your cow sense and dairy results are already speaking loud and clear. Now make sure your office organization supports that message!

 

 

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Categories : Management

Are We Getting Desired Genes Into Our Cattle?

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Livestock genetic improvement is all about increasing the proportion of desired genes in the animals that breeders have on their farms. Even though this process has been occurring since animals were domesticated, it has only been documented over the past couple of centuries. With the vast majority of the improvement in yield occurring in the past seventy years.

The challenge that today’s breeders must address is how they will choose to further eliminate the unwanted and increase the proportion of desired genes in our milk producing animals. This applies to all species – bovine, buffalo, goats, sheep and yes even yaks, reindeer, and camels. Today few of us think of breeding dairy animals that are specific to their environment.

Dairy cattle breeding has gone through many stages to arrive at where we are at today with top cows that can produce over 2,200 pounds (1,000 kgs) of total fat and protein in a single lactation or have near perfect conformation.

The Bullvine looks both back and ahead at selection tools.

Advancements Made In Selection

Natural selection was a start but only a small start. Since then breeders had worked to develop animals and breeds using such tools as measuring performance, selecting sons and daughters from top cows, culling bottom enders, buying the best herd sire available, inbreeding followed by outcrossing, linebreeding and sharing elite bulls amongst an ownership group.  With all of these breeders used what their eyes told them or the actual measured performance. (Read more: 6 Steps to Understanding & Managing Inbreeding in Your Herd, The Truth about Inbreeding and Stop Talking About Inbreeding…)

Significant genetic gains have occurred since WW II when breeders joined forces to jointly work to goals and geneticists analyzed the data to determine which animals had the best genetic make-up. The sampling of young sires from elite parents moved the dairy cattle breeding industry far along the journey to having cattle capable of producing over three times their previous yields. Recently an American cow is credited with 74,650 lbs of milk, 2,126 lbs of fat and 2,142 lbs of protein in 365 days. That’s almost 205 lbs (93 kgs) of milk per day for an entire year. And it seems almost every month now that we hear about cows scoring EX95 to EX97 in numerous breeds and countries.

Cloning was a tool tried, but the cost and the fact that an animal was replicated but not improved left it in the tried but of no use garbage bin. On the other side, there is sorting of semen by sex which now is nearing perfection for producing the sex of calf desired and matching unsexed semen for the ability to obtain a pregnancy.

The opportunity for improving the genetic ability of dairy cattle took a significant step forward in 2008 when genomic facts were added to the genetic evaluation process. The animal genomic information was added to the pedigree, classification and milk records resulting in genetic indexes with 60-70% accuracy where they formerly were 30-35%. Not since the change from only using visual observation to using parent, classification and milk records as the basis for decision had the accuracy of predicting genetic merit doubled.

Will Improvement Continue?

Where will the process of changing animals all end? Well, it won’t end.

The race to having a higher and higher proportion of animals with the genetic makeup that will maximize profit in tomorrow’s world will continue.

What Tools Are On The Horizon?

Already here is crossbreeding. Many breeders have been experimenting with taking genetics from top animals in pure breeds and crossing breeds. From a Holstein base, which is the case in most countries, numerous other dairy breeds are being used on a rotational or backcross basis to improve animals especially for health, fertility, longevity and other management traits. Without effective alternatives for selection from within breeds, crossbreeding schemes are likely to become more prevalent as a way to lessen the need for individual animal care, minimizing some of the added costs associated with high production and having animals that will perform in more rugged or extreme environments.

For some dairy farmers a new breed may be the answer. In New Zealand the Kiwi Breed (a combination of Holstein and Jersey) now makes up 50+% of the dairy cow population. It could be that Kiwi or some other composite breeds may come into popular support in other countries. Could it even be that in some regions of the world there is a return to dual purpose animals, breed for both milk and meat?  (Read more: Holstein vs. Jersey: Which Breed Is More Profitable?)

Gene editing as a means of changing the genetic makeup of living beings is in the popular press at this time. The February 2nd National Post described gene editing as “… using tools to precisely edit genes inside living cells”. The National Post article added “There are a few methods but the technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 is a relatively fast, cheap and simple method that many researchers are keen to try”. On the human side the possibility for ‘genetic’ cures to miscarriages, infertility, HIV, MS, sickle cell disease and many others are a great hope. On the animal side fixing the problems by gene editing at the embryo stage sounds interesting at this moment.

Breeders and breeds need to be prepared for gene editing, perhaps as early as the next decade. For breed loyalists concerned about breed purity, it could be that the edited genes could come from selecting the ‘good’ genes from within a breed. I have had breeders, mainly in topical countries, wonder if the high milk solids percentages and heat resistance of the water buffalo could be added to our dairy cows. At this time there is are only questions and speculation. However progressive breeders always have and always will look to new techniques, as they come along, to make sure our dairy animals have the best genes possible.

What Cows Could Be On The Horizon?

Do we actually know what our dairy animals will be in the future? In fact, … NO!

But we can speculate. The Bullvine has produced many articles on what the dairy cow will be in the future. (Read more: She Ain’t Pretty – She Just Milks That Way!)

 The Bullvine Bottom Line

Improving the genetics of dairy cattle will not go away or stop. The dairy cattle breeding industry needs to be open minded when it comes to the tools and techniques that will be used to make the cows of the future.

 

 

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SHOWCATION®: Italian Style

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

SHOWCATION - Verona Italy - BadgeIf you are like most breeders and members of the dairy community, time for vacations is very limited.  But, like most, you are also probably very passionate about this great industry we are all a part of and have often wondered just what it’s like in other countries.  Enter SHOWCATION®, a vacation to a dairy show somewhere around the world.  The first stop in our SHOWCATION® series is Italy for the European Open Holstein Show held in Verona Italy every year in the first week of February.

Verona is famous as it is the place where William Shakespeare set his play, Romeo, and Juliet. It is situated an hour away from Venice, which is hosting its annual Carnival at the same time, but more on that later.  First let’s take a look at Verona.

How to get in

Verona-Villafranca Airport is the closest airport to Verona. It is located 12 km southwest of the city. National carriers fly from Frankfurt, Munich, London-Gatwick, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino (‘Leonard da Vinci’) and Moscow.

Getting around

Upon arrival at Verona Porta Nuova station, it is a 15-minute walk down a long boulevard to reach the center of town, the Verona Arena (Arena di Verona). Just leave the train station, walk through the bus station and past a triumphant arch and follow the boulevard Corso Porta Nuova till the end. Also, Fieragricola, host of the European Open Holstein Show is held at the Veronafiere Is about a 10-minute taxi ride from downtown.  Due to the relatively small size of the city and the proximity of everything, there is no need for a taxi but rather public transport will work great, as is the case in most European countries.

Let’s Talk

Well, naturally, Italian is spoken by everyone. However, you will find a decent number of people who speak or, at least, understand English.  While there may be the odd challenge with the communicating, it’s nothing that non-Italian speaking dairy enthusiasts from around the world can’t deal with.

Sights to see

European Open Holstein Show

Some of the best cattle, not only from Italy but also from neighboring Spain make the trip each year to Fieragricola. The show environment is fantastic.  The ring is not huge but provides excellent sightlines for those attending the show. Herds such as Ponderosa, and Al Be Del Rio as well as up and coming herds like BEL Holsteins, are regular exhibitors at this show. Of course, in true Italian Style, there are plenty of places to get wine and purchase panini sandwiches.  (See more at The 15th European Open Holstein Show)

National Brown Swiss Show

DSC08893

Due to the proximity of Switzerland, there is a high-quality population of Brown Swiss cows in Italy, lending itself to a great Brown Swiss Show. The show would almost rival that of the Holstein show for numbers and quality.   Also, Fieagricla is the largest trade show in Europe and the trade show sections would be greater than those at say World Dairy Expo.  As a North American attending this show, I found there to be some very different implements and equipment. (Read more: The 48th National Show of Italian Brown Cattle Herdbook)

The Arena

DSC07268

The Arena is an enormous, spectacular Roman amphitheater, crumbling on the outside but it’s still functioning today. It was erected in the 1st Century AD in an elliptical shape and is the world’s third-largest amphitheater to survive from antiquity. Much of the outer ring was damaged during the earthquake of 1117, but the inner part is still intact. The Opera is closed at the time of the show.  There are also many great cafés to eat an excellent meal and appreciate the Arena and its spectacular nighttime images.  After a day at the cattle shows, this can be a great way to enjoy some fine Italian wine and authentic cuisine.  Be sure to try horse-meat (Cavallo), a local specialty.

Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta)

DSC07349

Just off the Piazza del Erbe and about 3 minutes walk North of the Arena, through some great shopping, is Juliet’s house. This is supposedly the location of the famous balcony love scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The tiny courtyard is normally packed with lovestruck teenagers photographing each other on the famous balcony. In fact, the house has no connection with Shakespeare’s fictional characters – although the house is old, the balcony was added in 1936 and declared to be “Juliet’s House.” This also makes this a great trip for you and your special someone, just before Valentines, especially combined with a trip to nearby Venice.

Castelvecchio

DSC07725

A 14th-century, red brick, fortified castle on the banks of the river Aldige. The main castle buildings house the city art museum which is packed with a rich collection of medieval sculpture and Renaissance paintings. As well as the museum, the extensive castle ramparts are great for exploring – ideal for families with children who enjoy running around castle fortifications. The Castelvecchio has an adjoining bridge over the river which is open all the time. Walk over the bridge for some fantastic views of the castle on the river.

Castell San Pietro (St Peter’s Castle)

DSC07661-HDR

Climb the steps up the hill above the Roman Amphitheatre to the Castell San Pietro. This former Austrian barracks dates back to the Austrian occupation of the left bank, and while the building is not open to the public, the views from the hill over Verona are spectacular. Go up in the early evening and enjoy a romantic sunset for free!

See more photos from Verona here

What to eat

  • DSC07736Horse-meat (Cavallo), a local specialty. Pastissada de caval, is a dish of braised horse meat, as is Picula de Caval.
  • Pizza is not as traditionally eaten locally, but pasta dishes feature widely on restaurant menus. Try Pizzocheri (buckwheat pasta with cheese and sage), casoncelli (a type of ravioli) or bigoli (thick spaghetti).
  • Casoela is a pork casserole, and a bollito misto is a mixture of boiled meats, usually served with pearà, a local sauce which you can find only in Verona.

Where to stay

Verona is frequented annually by millions of tourists, so you’ll be able to choose among a lot of different accommodation options. Turn up on spec or late and it is possible to find every bed in the city taken.

Don’t forget to visit Venice for Carnival

DSC07232Located about 1 hour and 10 minutes’ train ride from Verona, this is the perfect time to visit Venice for it’s annual carnival.  Venice is one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world, especially during carnival when the city comes to life. This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. Carnival of Venice is one of the most famous carnivals in the world. First organized in 1926 this carnival is particularly appreciated because of the masks that are exhibited by its participants. During the carnival period, the inhabitants of Venice are allowed to carry out unusual behaviors.  If you have brought that special someone with you, take a Vaporetto (Water Bus) down the Grand Canal right before sunset. The sights are priceless: amazing architecture, soft seaside sunlight, and a fascinating parade of Venetian watercraft. For an, even more, romantic experience take a Gondola. It’s expensive, but it may be one of the most romantic experiences of your life.  While most of the Carnival events are centered around San Marco square, there are certainly sites to see all around this city that is built on the water.  There are no cars in the city and many narrow streets, so best to get a good map and be ready to enjoy the sights. (See more photos of Carnival here and Venice here)

The Bullvine Bottom Line

A trip to Verona and Venice in early February will certainly be a SHOWCATION® you will never forget.  In true Italian style you will see great cattle, fantastic food and, if you are fortunate to make it to Carnival, you will see some of the most fabulous costumes in the world.

 

 

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Categories : SHOWCATION

DAIRY REALITY CHECK: Are you Ready to Grow?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

What are the key reasons that lead dairy managers to make the decision to expand? Are they purely financial? Or is it related to the long-term viability of the dairy? Maybe they know something about new markets? No.  It’s more complicated than that.

Dairy owners and managers spend 90% of their time finding and fixing problems.  They want healthier cows, more money, better feed, staff that is happier, more capable and hard working, and on and on.

Who wouldn’t want to solve all these problems?  Yet these are not the real problem.  The real problem is that there are so many problems that dairies get stuck like deer in the headlights.  They’re not prepared to fight.  They aren’t ready for flight.  So they freeze or, at the very least, resist change.

“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of on what they have to gain.

Change is necessary for any business that wants to grow and prosper. Having said that, growth doesn’t always mean bigger.

Unrestrained growth in any business can have serious consequences. Growth comes at a cost. More capital, more physical resources and more people. These go on the ledger as expenses well before there is a return on the investment. Thus, dairy managers face a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we want to ensure that the business grows, but, at the same time, we need to control that growth so that it does not cause its eventual downfall.

“Plan to grow by all means, but not by any means.  Define what growth means to your dairy then plan to grow within that definition.”

Have You Done Your Growth Homework?

Before you go big, you have to do your due diligence.  Here are twelve steps to take action on before you leap into expansion.

  1. Visit farms who have gone through an expansion.
  2. Plan. Plan. Consider your future needs. Do research.
  3. Use top notch consultants.
  4. Make sure you have considered, cash flow, loan availability and financial resources.
  5. Don’t rush into deadlines. Take time.
  6. Accept advice from farmers and consultants.
  7. Know your family. Know your goals.
  8. Don’t overlook the importance of manure handling and storage required by an expanded facility.
  9. Focus on labor efficiency and profitability.
  10. Hire reputable builders and contractors.
  11. Be open- minded, flexible and ready to change.
  12. Be prepared to expand your management style to accommodate the new facility.

To Determine if Expansion is the Answer, First Ask the Right Questions.

It is exciting to think of all the potential improvements that could be put into place along with an expansion.  Unfortunately, improvements should be considered before adding land, cows or facilities.  Give complete answers to the following questions derived from ones suggested by Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. Go beyond a simple “Yes” whenever you can.

  1. Do you currently have the skills to manage employees?
  2. How can you improve the efficiency and profitability of the present operation?
  3. Can production per cow be increased? Can reproduction efficiency be improved?
  4. Could the current herd be milked three times per day? Is your staff used effectively?
  5. Would it be possible to send the heifers to a contract raiser and expand the cow herd?
  6. What are my financial goals? Can revenue be Increased? Can expenses be reduced?
  7. Where do I want to be in five years? In 10 years?
  8. What are the expectations of other family members?
  9. Do I have adequate acreage to expand the herd and manage the waste?
  10. Do I want to deal with regulatory agencies?

Potential Problems that Come with Expansion

You may be well aware of the ways that expansion will solve some of your current problems, but you need to understand what new problems the expansion itself could bring with it. Here are some factors to put into your strategic problem-solving scenarios when expanding.

  1. Detailed manure handling.
  2. Siting to minimize odor conflicts
  3. Detailed effort to hire qualified and experienced contractors. Have a project manager.
  4. Prepare for loan or cost overruns. Expansion is dynamic. Costs rarely get smaller.
  5. There could be disease introduction with the larger herd numbers.
  6. Analyze all aspects of facility design and understand the potential for problems (curtains, sidewall ventilation, size, )
  7. Make yourself aware of legal by-laws, zoning restrictions and environmental impact regulations.

The People Factor is Crucial

A dairy doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  Many people, both on and off the farm, will be affected by changes.  Make sure these areas receive consideration.

  1. Consultants
    Surround yourself with a team of experts and listen to them.  Getting sound advice is the best investment you can make.  Having said that, do not blindly accept everything a consultant tells you.  After it is all done, it is your farm, not their’s, so the decisions need to make sense to you.
  1. Employees
    After expansion, you will be a people manager, not a cow manager. Listen closely to the people who are closest to the day to day operation.  They usually have valuable observations.  Create safe and happy working conditions. The most valuable interaction you can have is in setting up SOP systems (Standard Operating Procedures). Other employee policies may need to be instituted.  Take management classes to learn how to manage people.
  1. Neighbors and Community
    It is important to recognize the importance of neighbours, suppliers and members of the community, as they drive by and are affected by your dairy.  Your expanded operation will have an impact on the local economic community and local businesses. Be ready to have expanded outreach to those who may have concerns. Encourage neighbours to learn about your farm practices and be prepared to show how you give back to the community through the products you produce, the green spaces you maintain or the support you have for local youth, charities or projects.
  1. Your Banker
    Financing is key to a well-developed dairy expansion plan. “Your banker will consider, not just the big picture, but also, the small details from working capital to long-term cash-flow assumptions, transition and construction-phase issues, contingencies and having a well-document plan. Any one of these items alone could slow down or disqualify your expansion.  Bankers will analyze everything in order to determine what is approvable and bankable.”

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Expanding a dairy farm does not necessarily mean that making everything bigger will make everything better. More land more cows more buildings all come with the potential for more problems. The reality check should be on making it “better” before actions are taken that make it “bigger”.  At the end of the dairy day, it means getting better at what we do and, in the process, making the dairy industry and our personal part of it a better place to produce milk products that are healthy and safe.

 

 

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Categories : Management

Location: Verona, Italy
Judge: Lino Pietroboni

Grand Champion ASTRID (Superbrown) Quistini Michel Reserve Grand Champion RIVAL-PAYO TELLY (Rivaldo) CORSINI GUISEPPE E FRANCESCO Honorable Mention MOBBY IMARINELLA Nuzzle Donato

Grand Champion
ASTRID (Superbrown)
Quistini Michel
Reserve Grand Champion
RIVAL-PAYO TELLY (Rivaldo)
CORSINI GUISEPPE E FRANCESCO
Honorable Mention
P.V. Gitano Polly Ponte Vecchio Farm IT

Grand Champion
ASTRID (Superbrown)
Quistini Michel

Reserve Grand Champion
RIVAL-PAYO TELLY (Rivaldo)
CORSINI GUISEPPE E FRANCESCO

Honorable Mention
P.V. Gitano Polly
Ponte Vecchio Farm IT

STIFF NIRVANA IBIZA Junior Champion Maso Stivo SSA KAM SEPHIR ZAMA Reserve Junior Champion Campanella Vitto Doodle Dally HM Junior Champion Padrini Pietro

STIFF NIRVANA IBIZA
Junior Champion
Maso Stivo SSA
KAM SEPHIR ZAMA
Reserve Junior Champion
Campanella Vitto
Doodle Dally
HM Junior Champion
Padrini Pietro

JUNIOR CHAMPION – STIFF NIRVANA IBIZA (NIRVANA), MASO STIVO SSA, (IT)
RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION – KAM ZEPHIR ZAMA (ZEPHIR), VITO CAMPANELLA, (IT)
HON. MENTION JUNIOR CHAMPION – DOODLE DALLY (DALLY), PIETRO PEDRINI, (IT)

CLASS 3 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 8-12 MTHS (14)

1. DOODLE DALLY (DALLY), PIETRO PEDRINI, (IT)
2. ARANCIA NESCARDO (NESCARDO), AZ AGR LOCATELLI, (IT)
3. ANGEL ASGARD (ASGARD), PIETRO PEDRINI, (IT)
4. DIAMANTE (NIRVANA), DEL CURTO FARM, IT
5. VANESSA (EDGARD), FRANCESCO SAVERIO LOSAVIO, (IT)

CATEGORY 4 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 12-16 MTHS (13)

VANITY (Nesto) 1st place Class 4 - 12-16 months Pedrini Maddalena

VANITY (Nesto)
1st place Class 4 – 12-16 months
Pedrini Maddalena

1. VANITY (NESTO), MADDALENA PEDRINI, (IT)
2. ELSA (NESTO), FILLIPPO STASI, (IT)
3. CASTEL GOLASO SHOT RIV ANARB (SHOTTLE), G & F CORSINI, (IT)
4. GWEN (GLENNCORE), MADDALENA PEDRINI, (IT)
5. STIFF ZASTER CASSIA (ZASTER), MASO STIVO SSA, (IT)

CLASS 5 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 16-20 MTHS (9)

KAM Zephir Zama 1st place Class 5 - 16-20 months Italian National Brown Swiss Show Campanella Vito

KAM Zephir Zama
1st place Class 5 – 16-20 months
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
Campanella Vito

 

1. KAM ZEPHIR ZAMA (ZEPHIR), VITO CAMPANELLA, (IT)
2. KIBA NUCCIA (NIRVANA), KIBAFARM SOC. AGR, (IT)
3. TRINITY NORIUS (NORIUS), PIETRO PEDRINI, (IT)
4. VALROSE NIRVANA MIRANDA (NIRVANA), DONATO NUZZI, (IT)
5. DAMA (BRUK), BARBARA BONTEMPI, (IT)

CLASS 6 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 20-24 MTHS (8)

NINA SALMON (Lindenhof) 1st place Class 6 - 20 -24 months Italian National Brown Swiss Show Az. Agr. Locatelli Guglielmo

NINA SALMON (Lindenhof)
1st place Class 6 – 20 -24 months
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
Az. Agr. Locatelli Guglielmo

1. NINA SALOMON (SALOMON), AZ. AGR LOCATELLI GUGLIELMO, (IT)
2. ZENIT MANILA (ZENIT), DOMENICO TURNONE, (IT)
3. NEVE ASTRO (ASTRO), DEI CAS MICHELA, (IT)
4. KIBA NUVOLA (BOSEPHUS), KIBAFARM SOC. SGR, (IT)
5. EASY MONELLA (EASY), NICOLA DONGIOVANNI, (IT)

CLASS 7 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 24-30 MTHS (2)

STIFF NIRVANA IBIZA 1st place Class 7 - 24 -30 months Italian National Brown Swiss Show Maso Stivo SSA

STIFF NIRVANA IBIZA
1st place Class 7 – 24 -30 months
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
Maso Stivo SSA

1. STIFF NIRVANA IBIZA (NIRVANA), MASO STIVO SSA, (IT)
2. PRISCILLA (ZEPHIR), CLEGNA SOC AGR, (IT)

CLASS 8 JUNIOR OWNED 6-22MTHS (13)

Junior Club 6-22 Months 1st Place STIFF NIRVANA RESIA Maso Stivo SSA

Junior Club 6-22 Months
1st Place
STIFF NIRVANA RESIA
Maso Stivo SSA

1. STIFF NIRVANA RESIA (NIRVANA), MASO STIVO SSA
2. DEC CALLY GIGA (ZEPHIR), DE CET MODESTO (IT)
3. ALBON ZARISTO MINI (ZARISTO), ENNIO BONOMI, (IT)
4. VALROSE PAYSSLI MORGANA (PAYSSLI), DONATO NUZZI (IT)
5. AMETISTA (ASTICO), GABRIELE BARELLI, (IT)

JUNIOR 2 YR OLD (7)

MALENA (Einstein) 1st place Class 11 - Under 30 Months Italian National Brown Swiss Show Az. Agricola Boding Di Quadrio

MALENA (Einstein)
1st place Class 11 – Under 30 Months
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
Az. Agricola Boding Di Quadrio

1. MALENA (EINSTEIN), AZ AGRICOLA BODENGO OF QUADRIO
2. (BU) KIBA MORBIOSA (ZELIG), KIBAFARM SOC. AGR, (IT)
3. TAVERNA ROMANIA (ZELIG), CIAPPESONI S.S.A
4. LOCA PAYSSLI PALOMA (PAYSSLI), AZ AGR LOCATELLI GUGLIELMO, (IT)
5. LUCY (NORIUS), CLEGNA SOC. AGR, (IT)

SENIOR 2 YR OLD (11)

FIORIDA VITTORIA ZASTER 1st place Class 12 - Cows 30-36 Months Old Italian National Brown Swiss Show La Fiorida SRL Societa AGR.

FIORIDA VITTORIA ZASTER
1st place Class 12 – Cows 30-36 Months Old
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
La Fiorida SRL Societa AGR.

1. (BU) FIORIDA VITTORIA ZASTER (ZASTER), LA FIORIDA SRL SOCIETA AGR AZ, (IT)
2. CASTELGOLASO ZASTER PAYOFF SIC (ZASTER), G & F CORSINI, (IT)
3. LOCA OLIMPIA (DALLAS), AZ AGR LOCATELLI GUGLIELMO, (IT)
4. BARBYE (BROOKINGS), DEL CURTO FARM, (IT)
5. SG EINSTAIN MARA (EINSTEIN), SOC. AGR S GIORGIO DI FACCHIN, (IT)

INTERMEDIATE COW (10)

MOBBY IMARINELLA 1st place Class 13 - Cows 3 & 4 Lactation Italian National Brown Swiss Show Nuzzle Donato

MOBBY IMARINELLA
1st place Class 13 – Cows 3 & 4 Lactation
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
Nuzzle Donato

1. MOBBY IMARINELLA (MOBBY), VINCENZO TURNONE & MARTINA FRANCA (IY)
2. (BU) KIBA LAMPEDUSA (WILLIAM-CH) KIBAFARM SOC. AGR, (IT)
3. SG VIVID GABRIE (VIVID), SOC. AGR S GIORGIO OF FACCIN, (IT)
4. BELLA (ZEUS), DEL CURTO FARM, (IT)
5. P.V BORDO ROYA (BORDO), PONTE VECCHIO SS SOC. AGR, (IT)

SENIOR COW IN MILK (12)

RIVAL-PAYO TELLY (Rivaldo) 1st place Class 14 - Cows 4 & 5 Lactation Italian National Brown Swiss Show CORSINI GUISEPPE E FRANCESCO

RIVAL-PAYO TELLY (Rivaldo)
1st place Class 14 – Cows 4 & 5 Lactation
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
CORSINI GUISEPPE E FRANCESCO

1. RIVAL PAYO TELLY (RIVALDO), G & F CORSINI, (IT)
2. (BU) P.V GITANO POLLY (GITANO), PONTE VECCHIO S S SOS. AGR, (IT)
3. GLENN NATALIA (GLENN), FRANCESCO BIAVASCHI, (IT)
4. P.Z NAFTA (DENVER), CARLO PIAZZO, (IT)
5. BODENGO GINEVRA (VIGOR), AZ AGRICOLA BODENGO, (IT)

AGED COW (7)

ALBON ALIBABA ILLARY 1st place Class 15 - Cows 5 years and older Italian National Brown Swiss Show BONOMI ENNIO

ALBON ALIBABA ILLARY
1st place Class 15 – Cows 5 years and older
Italian National Brown Swiss Show
BONOMI ENNIO

1. (BU) ALBON ALIBABA ILLARY (ALIBABA), ENNIO BONOMI
2. CASTELGOLASO ALBA CHIARI (PAUL), G & F CORSINI, (IT)
3. TAVERNA OLANDA (JOLDEN), CIAPPESONI S.S.A, (IT)
4. NICOLE VIGOR (VIGOR), NICOLA COMPAGNONI, (IT)
5. ELLI (ALTAJOEL), MICHEL QUISTINI, (IT)

PRODUCTION (12)

DSC08855

  1. (BU) ASTRID (VASAL), MICHEL QUISTINI, (IT)
  2. GLOBUS (JOLDEN), FRANCESCO BIAVASCHI, (IT)
  3. SG GRIP STAR (GRIP), SOC AGR S GIORGIO, (IT)
  4. P.V DENVER ILARIA (DENVER), PONTE VECCHIO SS SOC. AGR, (IT)
  5. LOCAADUAPAT (PAT), AZ AGR LOCATELLI GUGLIELMO, (IT)
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Categories : Show Reports

15th European Open Holstein Show

Friday, February 5th, 2016


DATE: February 5th, 2016 at 9:30AM
LOCATION: Verona, Italy
JUDGE: Pat Conroy, IN, USA

BEL BARCLAY SELEN Grand Champion European Open Holstein Show

BEL BARCLAY SELEN
Grand Champion
European Open Holstein Show

BEL BARCLAY SELEN Grand Champion DU BON VENT INKAPI Reserve Grand Champion

BEL BARCLAY SELEN
Grand Champion
DU BON VENT INKAPI
Reserve Grand Champion

BEL BARCLAY SELEN Senior Champion European Open Holstein Show

BEL BARCLAY SELEN
Senior Champion
European Open Holstein Show

DU BON VENT INKAPI Intermediate Champion European Open Holstein Show

DU BON VENT INKAPI
Intermediate Champion
European Open Holstein Show

Intermediate Champion DU BON VENT INKAPI Intermediate Champion DEBORAH Reserve Intermediate Champion SABBIONA MIRTA HM Intermediate Champion

Intermediate Champion
DU BON VENT INKAPI
Intermediate Champion
DEBORAH
Reserve Intermediate Champion
SABBIONA MIRTA
HM Intermediate Champion

LA PORTEA WINBROOK HOLLY Junior Champion European Open Holstein Show TJR PORTEA SOC AGR, ALBERTO MEDINA, FLORA HOLSTEINS BEL ZUBA Reserve Junior Champion European Open Holstein Show PR Allevamento Beltramino & Peter Ridler BEL BAG2 ZANZIBAR VICTORIA HM Junior Champion European Open Holstein Show ALLEVAMENTO BELTRAMINO, BAG 2, NUTRAL

LA PORTEA WINBROOK HOLLY
Junior Champion
European Open Holstein Show
TJR PORTEA SOC AGR, ALBERTO MEDINA, FLORA HOLSTEINS
BEL ZUBA
Reserve Junior Champion
European Open Holstein Show
PR Allevamento Beltramino & Peter Ridler
BEL BAG2 ZANZIBAR VICTORIA
HM Junior Champion
European Open Holstein Show
ALLEVAMENTO BELTRAMINO, BAG 2, NUTRAL

JUNIOR CHAMPION – LA PORTEA WINDBROOK HOLLY (WINDBROOK), TJR PORTEA SOC AGR. (IT) & ALBERTO MEDINA (ES)
RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION – BEL ZUBA (GALACTICO), BEL HOLSTEINS (IT) & PETER RIDLER (UK)
HON. MENTION JUNIOR CHAMPION – BEL BAG2 ZANZIBAR VICTORIA (ZANZIBAR), BEL HOLSTEINS, BAG2, NUTRAL, (IT)

CLASS 1 CALF AGED BETWEEN 6-9 MTH (13)

BEL ZUBA 1st place Class 1 - 6-9 Months Old European Open Holstein Show PR Allevamento Beltramino & Peter Ridler

BEL ZUBA
1st place Class 1 – 6-9 Months Old
European Open Holstein Show
PR Allevamento Beltramino & Peter Ridler

1. BEL ZUBA (GALACTICO), BEL HOLSTEINS (IT) & PETER RIDLER (UK)
2. FLORA MCCUTCHEN MAHEBRA (MCCUTCHEN), GANADERIA CANTINA (ES)
3. ELLE MCCUTCHEN JASMINE (MCCUTCHEN), FERRARINI S.P.A, (IT)
4. VENTURO DOORMAN ROCK (DOORMAN), GANADERIA CASA VENTURO, (ES)
5. H TOBIAS DEBONAIR AM ABBY (DEBONAIR), HUERTA LOS TOBIAS, (ES)

CLASS 2 CALF AGED BETWEEN 9-12 MTHS (22)

DSC07784

ALL CAST BROKAW BOLLA 1st place Class 2 – 9-12 Months Old European Open Holstein Show AZ. AGR.IL CASTAGNO DI PASTORE MARCO A. E CERUTTI LUCIAN B

1. ALL.CAST BROKAW BOLLA (BROKAW), AZ. AGR IL CASTAGNO, (IT)
2. LA PORTEA WINDBROOK HONEY (WINDBROOK), TJR PORTEA SOC AGR, (IT)
3. ELLE SUPERBO BEVERLY (SUPERBO), BEL HOLSTEINS, (IT)
4. CASTELVERDE ATWOOD SUSAN (ATWOOD), CASTELVERDE HOLSTEINS
5. BEL ZUFOLA (MASCALESE), BEL HOLSTEINS, (IT)

 Class 3 – 12-15 Months Old (14)

BEL BAG2 ZANZIBAR VICTORIA 1st place Class 3 - 12-15 Months Old European Open Holstein Show ALLEVAMENTO BELTRAMINO, BAG 2, NUTRAL

BEL BAG2 ZANZIBAR VICTORIA
1st place Class 3 – 12-15 Months Old
European Open Holstein Show
ALLEVAMENTO BELTRAMINO, BAG 2, NUTRAL

1. BEL BAG2 ZANZIBAR VICTORIA (ZANZIBAR), BEL HOLSTEINS, BAG2, NUTRAL, (IT)
2. CASTELVERDE GOLDWYN SBANG (GOLDWYN), CASTELVERDE HOLSTEINS, (IT)
3. BEL ZANDRA (MASCALESE), BEL HOLSTEINS, (IT)
4. PATRON MCCUTCHEN COLUMBIA (MCCUTCHEN), CASA PATRON, (ES)
5. PIROLO DOORMAN FEFE (DOORMAN), AZIENDA AGRICOLA PIROLO S.S

CLASS 4 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 15-18 MTHS (14)

VALROSE LARON SPERANZA 1st place Class 4 - 15-18 Months Old European Open Holstein Show NUZZI DOMENICO, AGRIP F. LLI PERRONE

VALROSE LARON SPERANZA
1st place Class 4 – 15-18 Months Old
European Open Holstein Show
NUZZI DOMENICO, AGRIP F. LLI PERRONE

1. VALROSE LARON SPERANZA RED (LARON P), DOMENICO NUZZI, (IT)
2. MURI DOORMAN UMBRELLA (DOORMAN), MURI HOLSTEINS, (IT)
3. PRADAZZO CHELIOS LIPPA (CHELIOS), PRADAZZO DI DONINI ETTORE & RICCARDO SOCIETA AGRICOLA S.S
4. CASTELVERDE ATWOOD SUNRISE (ATWOOD), CASTELVERDE HOLSTEINS, (IT)
5. CAVITELLA PITBULL BIANCHINA (PITBULL), CARLO MOZZI (IT)

CLASS 5 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 18-22 MTHS (9)

LA PORTEA WINBROOK HOLLY 1st place Class 4 - 18-22 Months Old European Open Holstein Show TJR PORTEA SOC AGR, ALBERTO MEDINA, FLORA HOLSTEINS

LA PORTEA WINBROOK HOLLY
1st place Class 5 – 18-22 Months Old
European Open Holstein Show
TJR PORTEA SOC AGR, ALBERTO MEDINA, FLORA HOLSTEINS

1. LA PORTEA WINDBROOK HOLLY (WINDBROOK), TJR PORTEA SOC AGR. (IT) & ALBERTO MEDINA (ES)
2. BEL BAG2 VIOLETTA (MASCALESE), BEL HOLSTEINS, (IT)
3. AL. CE MCC ABYGAIL (MCCUTCHEN), SOC AGR CERRI PIETRO, (IT)
4. ELLE GOLDWYN MAMY (GOLDWYN), FERRARINI S.P.A, (IT)
5. BECA (ATWOOD), G.L.D ALLEVAMENTI S.S (IT)

CLASS 6 HEIFER AGED BETWEEN 22-26 MTHS (11)

ARRIVA DE BOIS SEIGNEUR 1st place Class 5 - 22-26 Months Old European Open Holstein Show PUSSEMIER EDDY ET JONES, BOIS SEIGNEUR

ARRIVA DE BOIS SEIGNEUR
1st place Class 5 – 22-26 Months Old
European Open Holstein Show
PUSSEMIER EDDY ET JONES, BOIS SEIGNEUR

1. ARRIVA DES BOIS SEIGNEUR (ATWOOD), EDDY & JONAS PUSSEMIER, (BE)
2. CAMPGRAN ROSANNA ATWOOD (ATWOOD), EL CAMPGRAN (ES)
3. SABBIONA OLIMPA (GOLDEN DREAMS), SABBIONA AZ AGR, (IT)
4. MANOLERO GOLD CHIP SELENA (GOLD CHIP), GANDERIA MANOLERO, (ES)
5. CUDANA APPLE EXPLODE (EXPLODE), CUDANA, (ES)

CLASS 8 JUNIOR 2 YR OLD (15)

SABBIONA MIRTA 1st place Class 8 - Junior Two Year Olds European Open Holstein Show

SABBIONA MIRTA
1st place Class 8 – Junior Two Year Olds
European Open Holstein Show

1. (BO) (BU) SABBIONA MIRTA (NUMERO UNO), SABBIOONA AZ AGR, (IT)
2. STRALE ATWOOD MAYA (ATWOOD), STRALE SOCIETA AGRICOLA S.R.L, (IT)
3. FUMA ATWOOD VANITY FAIR (ATWOOD), AZ AGR FUMAGALLI S.S, (IT)
4. PRADAZZO DUDE ADEL (DUDE), PRADAZZO OF DONINI ETTORE, (IT)
5. CASTELVERDE BALTIMOR BABY (BALTIMOR), CASTELVERDE HOLSTEINS, (IT)

CLASS 9 SENIOR 2 YR OLD (7)

DU BON VENT INKAPI 1st place Class 9 - Senior Two Year Olds European Open Holstein Show

DU BON VENT INKAPI
1st place Class 9 – Senior Two Year Olds
European Open Holstein Show

1. (BU) DU BON VENT INKAPI (BRAWLER), BEL HOLSTEIN, BAG2, AL.BE.RO (IT)
2. (BO) LLINDE ROSAL FEVER (FEVER), S.A.T CECENO, (ES)
3. ACME ELSA (ACME), GIACOPUZZI RENATO, (IT)
4. LLERA STANLEYCUP AFRODITA (STANLEYCUP), LLERA HER, (ES)
5. QUINTANA JULIA WINDBROOK (WINDBROOK), GANADERIA QUINTANA, (ES)

CLASS 10 JUNIOR 3 YR OLD (18)

DEBORAH 1st place Class 10 - Junior Three Year Olds European Open Holstein Show

DEBORAH
1st place Class 10 – Junior Three Year Olds
European Open Holstein Show

1. (BO) DEBORAH (DEMPSEY), SOC AGR DOSSO PALLAVICINO S.S, (IT)
2. (BU) DOTTI STANLEYCUP WHITE (STANLEYCUP), ERRERA HOLSTEINS & AZ LA CORTE DI DOTTI, (IT)
3. SABBIONA GEVIS, (LAVANGUARD), SABBIONA HOLSTEINS, (IT)
4. C.M.E ALEXANDER GILLY (ALEXANDER), ERRERA HOLSTEINS, AGRIBER & M BARRUFINI, (IT)
5. FLORA BRAXTON URABA (BRAXTON), CASA FLORA, (ES)

CLASS 11 SENIOR 3 YR OLD (14)

FLORA ATWOOD MAHELA 1st place Class 11 - Senior Three Year Olds European Open Holstein Show

FLORA ATWOOD MAHELA
1st place Class 11 – Senior Three Year Olds
European Open Holstein Show

1. (BO) (BU) FLORA ATWOOD MAHELA (ATWOOD), CASA FLORA, (ES)
2. DEGHI WINDBROOK 832 (WINDBROOK), AZ. AGR ALBERTO DEGHI , (IT)
3. HIRUMENDI SID 3142 (SID), S.A.T TESERNA, (ES)
4. CASTELVERDE ATWOOD BLANCHE (ATWOOD), CASTELVERDE HOLSTEINS, (IT)
5. SOCA 118 SID (SID), CAN SOCA, (ES)

CLASS 12 4 YR OLD (12)

BEL BARCLAY SELEN 1st place Class 12 - 4 year olds European Open Holstein Show

BEL BARCLAY SELEN
1st place Class 12 – 4 year olds
European Open Holstein Show

1. (BO) (BU) BEL BARCLAY SELEN (BARCLAY), BEL HOLSTEINS & AL.BE.RO (IT)
2. DKR LEXI (WINDBROOK), AL.BE.RO, (IT)
3. GARE (GERARD), AL.BE.RO, (IT)
4. ALL. NURE GOLDSUN ANNETTA (GOLDSUN), AL.BE.RI, (IT)
5. WENDY (WINDBROOK), SOC AGR DOSSO PALLAVICINO S.S, (IT)

CLASS 13 5 YR OLD (5)

HOPEFUL HVEZDA BRUHLHOF 1st place Class 13 - 5 year olds European Open Holstein Show Ponderosa Holsteins

HOPEFUL HVEZDA BRUHLHOF
1st place Class 13 – 5 year olds
European Open Holstein Show
Ponderosa Holsteins

1. (BU) HOPEFUL HVEZDA BRUHLOF (HVEZDA), PONDEROSA HOLSTEINS, (ES)
2. CITYVIEW GOLDWYN ADEENA 1 (GOLDWYN), AL.BE.RO & SABRINA SCHLEGEL (IT)
3. (BO) CASTELVERDE SANCHEZ D LILA (SANCHEZ), CASTELVERDE HOLSTEINS, (IT)
4. PRADAZZO LAURIN DHALIA (LAURIN), PRADAZZO OF DONINI ETTORE, (IT)
5. GUENDALINA (BOULDER), AZ. AG. SIMONAZZI & LANDINI & GRANATA ROMOLO, (IT)

CLASS 14 AGED COW (5)

ELLE GOLDWYN BLIZZAR 1st place Class 14 - 5 year olds European Open Holstein Show

ELLE GOLDWYN BLIZZAR
1st place Class 14 – 5 year olds
European Open Holstein Show

1. (BO) (BU) ELLE GOLDWYN BLIZAR (GOLDWYN), FERRARINI S.P.A, (IT)
2. BEL GOLDWYN QUEEN (GOLDWYN), BEL HOLSTEINS, (IT)
3. SABBIONA SPRING (GOLDWYN), SABBIONA HOLSTEINS, (IT)
4. LLERA ARIEL GOLDWYN (GOLDWYN), LLERA HOLSTEINS, (ES)
5. CASTELVERDE DAMION SUSY (DAMION), CASTELVERDE HOLSTEINS, (IT)

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Categories : Show Reports

11390273_10102865360875860_8587866314628627565_nWhen you come from a fifth generation dairy farm, it is sometimes hard to put a single label on exactly what you do. That’s especially true if you live off the farm as is the case for Mary Mackinson Faber. Raised on the family farm located north of Pontiac, Illinois, Mary is well aware of the 24/7 commitment it takes to manage 165 milking cows and over 150 heifers and calves. In addition, there are roughly 2,000 acres of cropland where the Mackinson’s grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa.

“The Family Connection Always Comes First”

Mary takes pride in the work done by father Donald, her Uncle Roy, her brother Matt and Dan, the hired man. “They begin their days long before sunrise and only call it a day after the stars come out.  Each is committed to providing the consumer with a safe, high-quality product. This commitment to quality means investing in how to best care for the cows and the land.” Great teamwork. So where does Mary fit in? While she freely admits that she has always loved the cows and agriculture, she qualifies that attraction by saying “I knew I was not cut out to be on the farm every day.”

“Bridging the Disconnect”

She was cut out for other facets of the industry.  Incredibly active in 4-H, Mary was crowned the National Ayrshire Princess in 2000. Experiences in off farm roles such as this helped Mary to develop her personal perspective on agriculture.” I started to realize the disconnect between consumer and farmer and soon discovered my passion for advocacy.” This was the beginning of Mary’s move from hands on farm projects to hands on a keyboard.  Throughout university she continued to hone her enthusiasm for agriculture and the need for advocacy. On the family side, she married and became a Mom. Today she works as the Controller for a local agriculture cooperative and her husband Jesse is an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.” There is no question that agriculture remains a truly important part of Mary’s daily life.

“On-Line Keeps her Supporting On-Farm”

Not everyone who loves dairy farming sets up a blog.  Mary outlines the steps that led her to her place online. “In early 2013, my parents were planning a trip to Brazil with my brother, David.  Of course, my Dad wanted to see a dairy farm while he was there.   David had some difficulty arranging a tour and he asked me, ‘Why don’t we have a presence online?’. The question was no sooner asked then it was answered.  On March 1, 2013; the Mackinson Dairy Facebook page was born.

“Blogging is A Different Way to Do What You Love”

Although it sounds simple, Mary‘s motivation was a little more complicated then the apparently spontaneous beginnings would suggest. “I started the blog for two reasons.  I found myself wanting to explain certain topics but they were too long for a Facebook post.  My second reason was, if someone asked google, what is ultra-filtered milk? I wanted to provide them with a correct answer.  For these reasons, I launched our blog on March 1, 2014 (1 year after the Facebook page).

12186843_712094265556990_2792467499877624874_o“Going Mobile Makes a Big Difference”

“This fall, we redesigned our website (mackinsondairy.com) and logo with Becca at Jumping Jax Designs.” In the same way that dairy farmers work hard to realize the full potential of their dairy operation, Mary explains how the changes impact both the delivery and reception of information. “The self-hosted website is home to the blog and allows us to merchandise our Ayrshire genetics.  After the makeover, our site is mobile friendly, with 75% of our visitors viewing our site on their phone or tablet.” What a fine example this is of the importance of changing with the times. Whether it’s on the farm or on line! In today’s agricultural market, if you have a product or service to sell, you must be optimized for mobile or you’re ultimately losing sales.

“Making a Difference On Behalf of Agriculture”

148755_1524654521099134_8868224875197858192_nThere are many ways to make a positive contribution on behalf of agriculture.  Mary explains. “I encourage everyone in agriculture to speak honestly about what you do, why you do it and what you love about your way of life.  As a Mom, I understand how important it is for other moms and parents to not only know where their food comes from but whom is taking care of the land.  Therefore, my blog topics tend to focus on questions a consumer might have while grocery shopping, like the differences between skim, 2% and whole milk to why certain containers of cow’s milk have a longer expiration date.  In addition to our blog, I am a contributor to Ask the Farmers and Illinois Farm Families websites.  Last November, I decided to participate in a 30 Days series where I featured 34 millennial dairy farmers from across the United States and Canada.  Most bloggers (myself included) are excited to feature guest blog posts. This is a great opportunity to write a post without fully committing to a blog yourself.  This year, for the 30 Days Series; I decided to focus on women in the dairy industry.  I had such an amazing response!” Indeed, the response was outstanding and no wonder! The series concluded with a total of 61 features over 59 days!”

“Dairy Women Make a Difference ‘In their own words!’”

Mary agrees with many bloggers, including myself here at The Bullvine, that connecting with other dairy women in a place away from your business and office can be very uplifting! She shares her enthusiasm. “While blogging is not for everyone, I encourage everyone to share their story in a way they are comfortable with.  She feels very strongly that the story of agriculture is an important one to promote. She declares, “I am very much committed to sharing our way of life and my love of dairy farming as well as standing up for all agriculture not only on social media but in our real lives.”  She takes her own advice and, once again, sets a fine example of ways she connects with those who are becoming further removed from the farm and current farming practices, “I have been involved with our Farm Bureau Breakfast on the Farm, Cheesecake and Calves promotion and the Illinois Harvest Dinner.  Each event successfully connected consumers to agriculture.  We must realize we do not always have to have a “big” event to have an impact.”

“It is Important That We All Try to Make a Difference”

For Mary, people are the key reason she reaches out through “The Mackinson Dairy” blog.  “I love meeting consumers and should they have questions, answering them.  As a Mother to two toddlers, I have enough to worry about.  One thing I will never worry about is the dairy products, meat, fruits or vegetables I feed my family.  I want to share my confidence in our safe food supply with those who have doubt or questions.  I do not want others to fall victim to marketing gimmicks which breed fear to drive the dollar.”

Daniels-cover“One-on-One Builds Sharing and Caring”

There are many role models in modern social media and Mary describes one of hers, Laura Daniels. “I drew on inspiration from the Dairy Girl Network and decided to focus on an often overlooked part of the dairy industry, the women. If you are a woman involved in any segment of dairy please check this organization out!  I wanted to share these stories of hard working women who all care so much about the dairy industry and their families.

Each individual I featured has her own unique story.  Through the series, you will find those involved on the farm, in the industry or both but everyone is a dairy believer.  As Laura explained in her Women in Dairy Feature: You will find women who have been farming for decades to those young women who are just starting out.  The drive these women possess to be successful is inspiring.  Not only do these women raise calves into cows, they are helping raise the next generation of farm kids.  Most of all, you will find passion, lots and lots of it.”

“Mary Provides an On-Line Meet and Greet”

Dairy farmers are known for two things. They love working with cattle and they love a good get together. Mary’s brings those two loves front and center with her blog.  It isn’t surprising to learn that many ladies expressed an interest in being part of her series.

Mary is both humble and grateful to report on the uptake. “The reaction has been awesome and I am very proud of the series.  I truly appreciate everyone who has allowed me to share their story because without their help, this series would not have been possible.  The messages I have received about the series makes me so proud to be involved in this great industry! “

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Mary didn’t just hope for a better way to get the dairy story out to consumers, she set the example herself by making sure the message she delivers is informative, relevant and personal. “My social media goal is to post, tweet and share because I want to share agriculture with consumers.  I do not know what the future holds but I do want to continue to expand our social media presence by focusing on content and relationships, not the analytics.”  The Bullvine and our readers congratulate Mary Mackinson Faber for making a difference with her Blog. “Write on Mary!”

 

 

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Categories : Breeder Profiles

Genomic Testing Discovers New Cow Family

Monday, February 1st, 2016

When genomic testing came on the scene in 2008, it was hoped that genomic results would make possible the identification of new top cow families.  That remains a concern for the vast majority of traditional cow family breeders. However, for Alexerin Dairy, owned by the Nixon Family of Manotick Ontario it is a reality. Here is the story of their success despite not being traditional cow family breeders.

Alexerin – High Quality All the Way

Alexerin has been a well managed bottom line focused dairy for many years. Todd (son) joined Ron (father) upon graduating from agricultural college on the 45 cow tie stall purebred operation that Ron had developed converting from a high quality identified grade herd.  It has been a fast climb to the top ever since Todd and Erin joined. Today they milk 150 cows in free stalls and parlor with a 200 kgs fat quota utilizing three family members and two full-time and two-weekend female part-time employees. All herd growth, for this 45-year closed herd, has been from within and today is both Leucosis and Johnes free. As well they are strawberry foot rot free, something very few herds can claim. Farm biosecurity and conforming to the requirements for a Canadian Certified Quality Management (CQM) farm demonstrate that Alexerin is committed to producing the healthy milk products that consumers want to buy. In the past five years, Alexerin has ranked as high as #2 on Ontario DHI’s Top Managed Herd list.

(l-r) The Nixon Family, Todd and Erin with children Alexis and Harrison

(l-r) The Nixon Family, Todd and Erin with children Alexis and Harrison

The Generations Work Together

All family members are integral to the operation. Erin (Baird), Todd’s wife, Ag Business educated and a former bank commercial lending rep, reports that the incorporation of technology is ongoing at Alexerin. DC305, robotic calf feeding, automated heat detection, 3x milking, and a strict insemination program are already in place. Expanded data capture in the parlor is planned for the future.

Todd and Erin have three young children (1, 3 & 5 years old), so both grandmothers are called upon on an organized regular basis to free time up for Erin to be part of the herd and business management team.  Ron now devotes his time to machinery and crops. Todd and Erin much appreciate that Ron has handed over the leadership to them while retaining part ownership and being there to help out. Todd feels that Ron remaining involved has allowed for expansion, where total withdrawal would have required debt retirement instead of expansion.

The prefix Alexerin was chosen by Ron and Judy using the middle names of their two children, Todd Alexander, and Kylie Erin. That prefix continues to fit very well for Todd and his wife, Erin.

12363083_1525147981131839_553892155549559281_o[1]

Alexerin – Planned and Focused

Goals and targets are in place for all areas. Sires are selected that will produce efficient barn cows. The minimum requirement for sires are high fat plus protein yields supported by functional udders and excellent mobility. Todd gives Erin credit when it comes to sires used based on an organized mating program. Currently, the sires being used are top genomic sires (80+%) and one proven sire, Brewmaster. Forage forms 70% of the TMR diets so producing high-quality forage get priority so that milk production can be maximized while maintaining healthy cows.  Calves are housed in outside super huts and fed by robotic feeders. Heifers are in free stalls. Both calf and heifer development is carefully monitored to achieve first calving by 22 months. Milk cows are housed in free stalls, and dry cows are on open dry pack. Milk quota is purchased on a continual basis.

Todd and Erin mentioned to The Bullvine that “we wake up every morning with a distinct set of goals, and since we took over we have been breeding for a certain type of cow, one that may not win in the show ring, but is more than a commercial cow – the cow with the perfect blend of style and milk”. Now that is focused.

10629337_1500945886885382_3944254530867143695_o[1]

How Genomic Testing Got Started

Obviously recognizing their progressive approach to dairy farming, Alexerin’s vet encouraged them to take part in a study of heifers to verify the genomic testing system.  It did not take much encouragement as Todd and Erin are always looking for ways to improve. The results were exciting for Alexerin as their Alexerin Oman 993 came out very high. It took awhile for the results to come out, so Oman 993 was already milking in her first lactation and bred back by the time she was identified as elite. With the goal of getting sons to enter A.I., David Eastman of Genervations contacted Alexerin and started working with Todd and Erin after Oman 993 calved for a second time Oman 993 has lived up to her genomic indexes as she is VG88 with all of her four records designated by Holstein Canada as Superior Lactations. Her latest record, calving at 5-10, was (305D) 19,503 kgs (42,985 lbs) milk 4.0%F and 3.2%P.

Alexerin Oman 993 has lived up to her genomic indexes as she is VG88 with all of her four records designated by Holstein Canada as Superior Lactations. Her latest record, calving at 5-10, was (305D) 19,503 kgs (42,985 lbs) milk 4.0%F and 3.2%P.

Alexerin Oman 993 has lived up to her genomic indexes as she is VG88 with all of her four records designated by Holstein Canada as Superior Lactations. Her latest record, calving at 5-10, was (305D) 19,503 kgs (42,985 lbs) milk 4.0%F and 3.2%P.

Hitting the Jackpot

Fast forward to November 2015. A granddaughter, Alexerin Monterey 1504, of Oman 993 topped the Sale of Stars at $170,000. Monterey 1504 has an outstanding DGV +3307 LPI, Pro$2681 and Fat + Protein 186 kgs. Going from unknown to a sale topper, the family has caught the attention of the Holstein breeding world. The owners of the buyer syndicate were impressed with the family and wanted to be in at the start of this potentially great cow family.

 Monterey 1504 topped the Sale of Stars at $170,000.

Monterey 1504 topped the Sale of Stars at $170,000.

Let’s fill in from when Oman 993’s genomic results were publishable to when this granddaughter sold.

Oman 993’s first calf (GP80) sired by Steady has two Superior Lactations as does her second calf (GP83) by Windbrook. During 993’s second lactation she was started to be flushed. So far her best flush mate has been SuperSire with four very high indexing daughters and two sons in A.I. The four Supersire daughters have projected or completed 2-year-old records that average (305D) 14,843 kgs (32,718 lbs) milk 3.7%F & 3.2%P. In actual terms, they, on average, produce 7.4 lbs of fat plus protein per day. As well on the December 2015, CDN genetic index lists Oman 993, and her Supersire daughters were rated at #1, #2 and #5 for protein, #6 for fat and #8 for milk. Given all that, maybe The Guinness Books of Records should look into recognizing the family as top in the world.

Alexerin Supersire 1334 #1 Protein Cow in August 2015-

Alexerin Supersire 1334
#1 Protein Cow in August 2015-

Today Oman 993 is the #2 Oman in the world. And it very interesting to see that her Supersire daughters have the #1 Oman, Seagull-Bay Oman Mirror, on the paternal side of their pedigree. Oman 993 is the sixth generation born from a first calf heifer, calving at 1-10, 1-09, 2-04, 1-10, 2-00 and 2-00.  That’s great heifer growth and age at first calving, and you don’t see that very often.  As well another thing you don’t see often is a family, like Oman 993’s, that consistently genomically indexes high for heel depth.  Todd does the hoof trimming for the herd and noted that he has yet to find a sole ulcer in the family.

Oman 993 can be described as every breeder’s dream. You start using a new tool, genomic testing, and you find you have a breed outlier who’s DGVs exceeds her pedigree index by an astronomical amount. Her Buckeye dam was a good herd cow with very good milk, but Oman 993 got great genes from her parents for fat and protein yield. After finding this out, it encourages you to use all improvement tools to the fullest extent. In Alexerin’s case, they went from only type classifying once in the first lactation to re-scoring all animals as they improve in type as they mature. Using all herd improvement tools to their maximum has added greatly to their dairy farm’s net value.

Alexerin Supersire 1343 dam of Alexerin Monterey 1504

Alexerin Supersire 1343 dam of Alexerin Monterey 1504

Family Well Respected

Now let’s ‘talk cow’ for a moment.

Brian Craswell, who co-managed and auctioneered the Sale of Stars, described Oman 993 as follows “I just love this family. They are outstanding barn cows. Someday this Oman may be scored Excellent, and definitely her SuperSire daughters have more points in them.” Craswell continues “Here is a family that meets the requirements of many many breeders. They have very high production and excel for fertility and functionality. All this while being housed and fed with the rest of the herd. I would love to have half my herd made up of that cow family” In other words the family members are not show winners, but they are big time winners when it comes to profitable lifetimes.  They are the kind of cows that the majority of dairy breeders want to have in their herds. Dann Brady of Ferme Blondin agrees “Alexerin used the systems available to create a cow family that works for them and is also something that many breeders are looking for.” (Read more:  FERME BLONDIN “Passion with a Purpose Builds Success”Ferme Blondin – “Built on Teamwork” – Dairy Breeder Video Interviews and 10 Tips for Purchasing Dairy Cattle Embryos

Dave Eastman, the former owner of Genervations and a partner in Vogue, thinks highly of the family. “I have been telling people about the family for a while. Alexerin has brought attention to the family by consigning top family members to the Sale of Stars. Breeders and studs visited the farm prior to the sale and saw for themselves – seeing is believing. You cannot help but be enthused when you see the family in their working clothes – give them the feed and environment – no fuss just take the money to the bank.”

Alexerin Capital Gain

Alexerin Capital Gain

The success does not stop with the sale topper. Also sold in the Sale of Stars was Alexerin Capital Gain 1488, DGV +3270 LPI, Pro$ 2384 and Fat + Protein 185 kgs.   Her dam is Alexerin Supersire 1338 a full sister to the dam of the sale topper. It could be that 1488 will also be a winner for her new owners, Vogue Cattle Co.

Will this be a New Top Family for the Breed?

Today we cannot say for sure that the Oman 993 family will continue to be a breed leader in the future. Nevertheless, the chances are that we have not heard the last from this family. At this time, Oman 993 is definitely one of a kind. Her four high indexing SuperSire daughters are now milking very well in their first lactations and classifying well. Confirming Brian Craswell’s thought “…. the SuperSires have more points in them yet”. Add to this the fact that these Supersires have many many daughters by top genomic sires including AltaSpring, Capital Gain, High Octane, Kingboy, Lottomax, Main Event, Monterey, and Pulsar. In fact, since the sale topper Monterey 1504 has seven full sisters at Alexerin and a full brother on his way to Cogent, it would seem to be for sure that the story has just begun.  It is true that the family is not backed by the many generations of Very Good and Excellent cows that more traditional breeders believe is necessary for a family to be outstanding. However, it is becoming clear that we may just be seeing the start of a cow family that 21st-century dairy breeders will consider to be their ideal.

Alexerin Oman 993 with Alexis Nixon

Alexerin Oman 993 with Alexis Nixon

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Great people, a very well-managed dairy farm, and functional high-profit lifetime cows have all come together at Alexerin Dairy. Their leading cow family burst into the limelight as a result of the decision to start genomic testing of heifers. This cow family came about as a result of many generations of identification and grading up and using plus proven sires.  The family has moved to the top of the breed status by using top genomically indexed sires in the last three generations.

IT IS A PLAN AND DREAM COME TRUE. A plan that involved using systems and information to make wise progressive decisions. The outstanding result was not expected, maybe even unusual. However, getting results from hard work, focused breeding, and a clear vision are the keys to Alexerin’s success.

 

 

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