Columbiana-Mahoning dairymen among state’s top-producing herds


SALEM, Ohio — Milk producers in Columbiana and Mahoning counties are among the state’s leaders, as ranked by herds on test with the DHI Cooperative.

The Columbiana-Mahoning DHI, or Dairy Herd Improvement, honored its top herds March 22 at its annual banquet at the First United Methodist Church in Salem.

Top herd

Smith Vale Farms was honored as the group’s top herd for protein production, and for combined fat and protein production. Among the state’s top 5 percent herds on this production test, Smith Vale also received state DHI elite herd awards for milk, fat and protein, and is ranked third in the state’s Holstein herds for energy corrected milk, or ECM.

Herd averages on the farm were 30,463 pounds milk, 1,091 pounds fat and 937 pounds protein, and energy corrected milk of 31,256 pounds.

Elite award winners

Showalter Farm also received elite herd awards for all three components, with a herd average of 27,906 pounds of milk, 1,034 pounds fat and 872 pounds protein. The herd is ranked 13th in the state’s Holstein ranks for ECM.

The other local herd earning elite awards for all three components was Cold Run Jerseys, which was the top local Jersey herd, with production of 20,007 pounds milk, 1,054 pounds fat and 722 pounds protein, for energy corrected milk totals of 25,712 pounds, the second highest in the state.

Lowmiller Farms received the top herd award for milk production, with a herd average of 31,326 pounds. The farm earned an elite award from Ohio DHI for that production, along with its protein production of 918 pounds. The herd ranks ninth on the Holstein list for ECM, at 29,672 pounds.

Nature View Farms, ranked fourth on the state’s Jersey list, received elite awards for butterfat and protein, with a herd average of 934 and 755 pounds, respectively.

Steve Crist earned the local DHI award, and state elite award, for fat production at 1,155 pounds. His Holstein herd is ranked 11th in the state.

Leslie Farm received a state elite award for fat production, with a herd average of 1,069 pounds.

Other awards

Randy Mattevi received the local award for quality milk, with an average somatic cell count of 90,000.

J-Car Farms received the Most Improved Herd award for an increase in fat and protein production of 191 pounds.

In addition to the herds at Smith Vale Farms and Cold Run Jerseys, top local herds for energy corrected milk included Bill Kornbau, 20,208 pounds, Ayrshire; and Honey Creek Farms, 15,450 pounds, mixed herd.

Kornbau is also ranked second in Ohio, of Ayrshire herds with ‘official’ records recorded by DHIA, for energy corrected milk.

Individual cow production

Whiteleather Farms received recognition for individual cow production, with one of their Holsteins producing 45,396 pounds of milk in one year on test.

Other individual cows recognized as their breed’s top producers locally included: Bricker Farms (Ayrshire), 24,711 pounds; Cold Run Jerseys (Brown Swiss), 27,850 pounds; Bob Himes (Guernsey), 26,322 pounds; Cold Run Jerseys (Jersey), 38,345 pounds; Honey Creek Farms (Milking Shorthorn), 19,968; and Martig Farms (mixed), 36,695.

‘You need records.’ Local DHI president, Bill Grammer, a Mahoning County dairyman, updated members on progress and programs from the statewide DHI Cooperative. There are roughly 900 herds and 130,000 cows on test through the DHI system in Ohio.

“We seem to be going forward,” Grammer said. “In order to manage, you gotta have data.”

Grammer said the addition of a dedicated staff member to oversee the PDDART and PocketDairy programs, Tim Pye, has been a positive, since there are 293 herds using the PCDART program and 116 using PocketDairy. The programs give farmers quicker access to records and herd information.

Pye spoke briefly to the members about new and ongoing programs to consider, including the new PocketBeef program unveiled at the 2013 Ohio Beef Expo.

DHI Cooperative offers blood pregnancy tests for both beef and dairy cattle, and its certified lab is now running roughly 2,600 samples a month. Last year, DHI started offering milk pregnancy tests — a few hand squirts in a vial — and is currently running about 300 a month.

The co-op continues to develop new computerized recordkeeping programs, including software or apps for mobile devices like smartphones.

Adam Whiteleather and Joel Smith were re-elected to the board, serving three-year terms. Jim Herron was elected to a one-year term on the board.

Following the lunch, Grammer shared a slide presentation from his trip through the dairy industry in Denmark.


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