Family teamwork has been the strength of the dairy industry for generations all over the world. It is hard work, and many learn to welcome rest and relaxation whenever the opportunity presents itself. At Reyncrest dairy in Corfu New York R&R is about relationships and the remarkable way they are building dairy success, heritage and legacy not just today but far into the future.
Andy Reynolds and his family of five share a passion for dairy farming. He points out the highlights of where they are today. “Currently at Reyncrest we milk right around 1000 cows with 900 young stock all housed on one site. We farm about 1800 acres that is rotated between corn, alfalfa hay, and wheat. In addition, we have our show animals that are kept separate from our main herd. We usually have between 4-6 milk cows and 10-15 heifers in the show herd.”
“It’s All Relative at Reyncrest”
The entire family enjoys the opportunity to develop a two-pronged approach: milking herd and dairy show string. “My family all takes an active role in the dairy. My parents, John and Shelley, run the farm, taking care of business decisions and daily work. My sister Mackenzie manages the commercial dairy. My brother Tyler manages feeding and the show program. I work with the show animals, calf program and anywhere else I am needed when I am home from school.”
“Shared Family Focus”
Although everyone works together to fulfill the big picture of the dairy operation, each family member has their particular focus. “My brother does most of the sire selection with a general basis of 1000 pounds of milk, 2.0 type, and positive PL and DPR from good cow families. On the commercial side Semex does all of our matings and we have been using many genomic young sires to further genetically advance our herd.” They adjust their focus for the show string. “On the show side we tend to watch the show ring closely and see up and coming bulls that we may want to use on our cows. We try to find the best cross for our cows that will make the ideal mating. We look for bulls that will mate well with our cows that will produce stylish, dairy heifers with long legs and necks, and will go on to make show cows.”
“Seeing Red has Been Remarkable for Reyncrest”
Whenever hard work pays off it is rewarding for everyone involved. The success of Reyncrest Real Laredo-Red represents that achievement for the Reynolds family. “She not only has done well as a cow but she did well as a heifer too. She was nominated red and white AA fall yearling and calved in extremely well and was named Intermediate Champion of the Red show at New York Spring Show. After the show Laredo-Red was purchased by Milksource Genetics. I hope she will be very influential in getting our prefix out in the industry.”
“Reynolds Family Gatherings Now Include Multiple Champions”
Andy is justifiably proud of breeding multiple Jr All-American Nominations. “It isn’t easy showing at the World Dairy Expo with a bought animal but when you can competitively exhibit your bred and owned animals, nothing beats it. Seeing the calves born and raising them from the beginning is extremely rewarding especially when they do well in the show ring too!” The word “well” is an extreme understatement in this case. At the 2014 New York Spring International Red and White Show, Andy was on the halter when Reyncrest bred and owned animals earned the spotlight as Intermediate Champion and Senior Champion and, ultimately, Grand Champion of the show.
“Family Pedigree is an Investment Decision”
“Normally the pedigree is one of the first things that always catches our eye, whenever we purchase a cow.” Andy explains. “Everyone has particular cow families that they really like or do not. So for us that is the biggest thing that initially attracts us because we want cow families that we can market and make a return on investment.” Beyond that, the Reynolds family have a long term strategy. “When buying cows, it isn’t always about buying cows for just this year. We like to buy cows that are more immature and will continue to develop and get better as they get older.”
“Lasting Style that Places First!”
Breeders who already know the Reynolds family emphasize that their cattle receive remarkable care — every day! Undoubtedly that has led them to their remarkable success. For those eager to know how Reyncrest bred three champions, Andy highlights the process. “When picking matings for our homebred cows we watch the show ring for new bulls to use that are winning shows to produce our ideal mating.” They always target long-lived and stylish cows and sire selection at Reyncrest is also customized to meet specific goals. “For me it is hard to say just one sire and it is different from heifers to cows. Goldwyn is still a favorite in both heifers and cows. However, more recently I would have to say in heifers I really like the Armanis, Doormans, and Brokaws because the calves I have seen are my kind being extra stylish and fancy. In cows, I like the Sids a lot. The Sids in the show ring and the cows that we have calved in at our dairy are all really consistent with adequate strength and incredible udders. Cows that will last into the future.”
“Extraordinary Mentors and Trusted Advisors”
Andy is enthusiastic about the exceptional mentors available to him. “I have had many influences in my life that have really impacted myself and my family. I would have to say from a young age and into now that Jonathan and Alicia Lamb have been by far the biggest outside influences in my life and my siblings’ lives. They have been like second parents to my siblings and I and have given us tons of advice and connections in the dairy industry.”
“Showing the Way!”
In the show ring, Aaron Eaton has been a considerable influence in helping take us to the next level in the show ring. I would have to say Pat Lundy is another big influence in my life always giving advice and helping get our animals looking their best. Moreover, Kelly Lee has always been there giving me showing advice and teaching me her knowledge of cattle. However, the biggest mentors in my life have been none other than my family.
“Inspiring, Caring and Generous”
Andrew is thankful that the Reynolds siblings have each benefited from family nurturing. “Our parents have supported us throughout our entire lives in whatever endeavors we have pursued. My brother Tyler and sister Mackenzie have put up with me and taught me everything they know, and I am extremely grateful for all the advice I have been given.”
“Rising by Degrees”
The future continues to unfold for Andy and even as he develops his own path he follows in the family footsteps. “I will finish my degree at Cornell University and then hopefully join my siblings at our dairy and continue to expand our dairy. Our goal is to be able to continue to expand our dairy along with having an elite group of registered show cows.”
“Reyncrest goes Beyond Roadblocks”
With his typical positive outlook, Andy isn’t stopped by roadblocks. “Things are always bound to happen for the good or bad so be prepared for anything.” Andy feels that it is especially important that you should always be asking good questions – and taking action. These two things can move your dairy, your career and your family forward “Take advice and ask as many questions as possible because you can always learn something.”
“Family is the Tradition”
The Reynolds family success is built on the recognition that “Because we all love what we’re doing, the togetherness of our family dairy business is awesome!” Andy sums it up perfectly. “Everything that happens in the show ring provides incredible experiences that I will always remember and love.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
The Reynolds family is delighted with their show ring success, but they value the dairy operation for making it possible. “At the end of the day the dairy is what allows us to do all of that.” Togetherness is the key according to Andy. “The fact that my entire family is involved in the dairy and that we enjoy what we do every day is truly rewarding and what I am the proudest of.” Remarkable relationships. Remarkable Reyncrest Results. That’s the Reynolds family legacy of R&R!