The Bryson family of Ormstown, Quebec are following their dream of growing Bryhill International Genetics into a leading dairy breeding operation.
Of course, expanding a farm and growing a family business can be both rewarding and challenging at the same time. Matthew and David Bryson take a moment to look back and consider how far they have come. “The past 6 years have led us to change our breeding philosophy completely, while gearing up for a large commercial dairy environment.” As the Brysons share how they made the necessary changes, Bullvine readers have a perfect opportunity to look at 10 big steps taken by Bryhill International Genetics as they follow their dream.
1. THE FOUNDATION: Start with the Right Team
The principle of building on the foundation of a great team is the basis of success for sports and business. The team members at Bryhill are Lynn, David, Stacey, Matt, and Sarah. Jason Bryson, a cousin, is also a very important employee involved throughout the farm activities and specifically the nursery where the new calves and high end genetics get their start. A brother, Alan, helps analyze breeding decisions and investments for future genetic orientations. It takes commitment and a shared vision for the future.
2. LEADING EDGE IDEA. Make it Work.
David and Matt Bryson describe the motivation behind Bryhill International Genetics. As a founding member of Trans America Genetics, “B.I.G. was used to set focus and aim at identifying, acquiring and merchandising breed leading genetics with a specific focus in mind. The move to a large freestall, the need to adapt to the changing technology (genomics) and the need to be more efficient, means that every decision we have made has led to aggressive moves so as to be better positioned for the future in order to have a business that would move easily into the next generation.” A successful, sustainable family dairy business.
3. FAMILY MATTERS. That’s Where We’re Going.
Every big dream starts with little steps. There are many variables that impact decisions. This was definitely the situation facing the Bryson family. “The expansion was prompted by a few different things. First, the business needed to support two families. Second, the previous site had limitations due to highway, rivers and town in close proximity. Third we wanted to offer a working environment that facilitated high volumes using efficient methods therefore allowing quality time with our families and preparing ourselves better for the future.”
4. GROWTH IS A GIVEN. Build More.
With growing clarity on where they needed to be, Bryhill got down to the actual building. Matt says, “The latest expansion is now complete. There are now two main dairy barns of 105’ x 475’ and a hospital, close-up barn of 75’ x 250’.The milking parlour is a double 16 allowing for more expansion and high flow as well as a calf barn with automatic feeding, just off the milking parlour. We currently milk 300 head and plan to keep growing the herd with the most efficient genetics possible.”
5. A WORLD VIEW: Key in On It
Great product and facilities would be nothing, if it wasn’t meeting the demands of the marketplace. Dave clarifies the Bryhill philosophy. “We have identified the high GTPI, NM, Polled segments as our key markets. These are to us the markets which shall develop the highest demand for the commercial dairy farm and meet over 95% of world market needs.”
6. MAKE THE COWS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. Make it Fast
Growing a successful dairy business always boils down to the cows that produce the milk, the genetics, the buyer interest and the bottom line financial success. The Brysons share which families they have introduced, “The cow families that we are working with are Sizzle P, Planet Lucia, Chart Topper, Shottle May, Converse Judy, Allen Dragonfly, Brocade, Baxter Carmel, Cosmopolitan, Adeen, and Dreary.” Here too there is a great deal of thought that has gone into the selections. “These are all cow families that have proven their abilities to make extremes. Breed changers we like to call them.” BIG changers!!
7. GENOMICS. Go for it NOW.
There is no hesitation at Bryhill International Genetics when it comes to using Genomics. “The top sires we are using are 100% genomic. Leading genomic sires will remain among the top of the breed regardless of rank.” That is important to the Brysons. “This gives us an advantage over the longer run as we shorten generation intervals and increase genetic gain.” Again it is no surprise to hear them say, “We aim to remain among the forerunners.”
8. GENOMICS. The Game Changer.
When you’re developing an international company that is relevant and sustainable you have to evolve with the modern marketplace. David recognizes the impact of genomics. “Genomics has significantly changed the way we do business. It has made us realize the value of cattle and breeding. While we still enjoy solid conformation, it has created more objectivity in our decisions and, we look more at what that individual will potentially transmit. We take pride in making these top females available and in fact it has also helped our merchandising. New progeny become recognized on objective, public top lists that are accessible to all. This has led to great contacts and marketing opportunities.”
9. CHANGE IS HERE. Be Part of it
Matt confirms this viewpoint. “The marketplace will change according to changes in market demand and technology. Consumers will play a huge impact and animal welfare will play a part too.” Dave highlights another game changer. “The polled gene has been a big part of our change as we see this becoming a standard!”
10. GET GOOD ADVICE. Grow With It
Despite their relative youth, the Bryhill team knows the value of good mentors. “ TAG has been an influential entity in our genetic development,” say the Brysons. They admit it is tough to offer advice to others but know that their experience could help others who are interested in expanding their genetic marketing strategies. “Two things come to mind.” say the Bryhill team. “It’s hard to go wrong with high genomics from top cow families.”” Try to identify where the market is going.” “This is not easy but it is doable.”
THE BULLVINE BOTTOM LINE
When you want to know what makes the BIG difference, it really is clear what is working for the Bryson family and Bryhill International Genetics. They take many small steps consistently and persistently. They are following their dream and obviously are ready to make a mountain out of Bryhill. That’s the B.I.G. difference.