Holmes County honors top dairy producers

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Holmes County dairy producers
Holmes County dairy producers were recognized this week in Walnut Creek.

WALNUT CREEK, Ohio — Holmes County dairy producers celebrated their cows and the people who milk them during the county dairy service unit’s annual meeting at the Carlisle Inn March 26.

There were 128 cows on the high lifetime production list. Topping the list was a Brown Swiss owned by RNR Swiss & Lake Point Dairy, with 327,028 pounds of milk, 13,118 pounds of fat and 10,846 pounds of protein, to equal 354,907 pounds of energy-corrected milk in eight lactations.

The oldest cow on the list was a Jersey owned by Butter Valley Jerseys, with 194,111 pounds of milk, 11,789 pounds of fat and 7,606 pounds of protein equaling 270,905 pounds of energy corrected milk in 13 lactations.

Doughty Valley Farm had the top aged Holstein top cow for milk, protein and energy-corrected milk, with 43,765 pounds of milk, 1,261 pounds of protein and 48,125pounds of energy corrected milk. They also had the top first lactation Holstein for protein with 1,048 pounds of protein. And Doughty Valley also had the top Holstein herd over 100 cows for milk with 29,914 pounds of milk and the low Somatic Cell Count, with 130,000.

Tie for top herd

For the first time any of the board members could remember, there was a tie for the top herd for milk in the county, as Doughty Valley tied with Hal and Rod Hunsberger as the high Holstein herd in the county for milk among herds over 100 cows with 29,914 pounds of milk. Hunsbergers also had the high Holstein herd over 100 cows for fat, protein and energy-corrected milk with 918 pounds of protein, 1,367 pounds of fat and 34,504 pounds of energy corrected milk.

Hunsbergers had the high Holstein aged cow for fat with 2,099 pounds of fat and the top first lactation Holstein for energy corrected milk with 39,421 pounds of energy corrected milk. Hunsbergers were recognized as the most improved Holstein herd over 100 cows for milk, fat and energy corrected milk with an increase of 1,152 pounds of milk, 313 pounds of fat and 4,596 pounds of energy corrected milk.

Springwalk Farm Holsteins had the high herd over 100 cows for butterfat, with 1,675 pounds of fat and the top first lactation Holstein for fat with 1,675 pounds of fat. They were also the most improved Holstein herd over 100 cows for protein with an increase of 36 pounds of protein.

Elite herds

Springwalk Farm Guernseys are ranked among the DHI Elite Herds as being among the top five percent of herds in Ohio. Hunsbergers and Doughty Valley Farm are listed among the top five percent of DHI Elite herds in Ohio for milk, fat and protein, while Springwalk Farm Holsteins is listed as one of top five percent of DHI Elite herds in Ohio for fat.

Edwin Miller had the high Holstein herd in the county for milk, fat, protein and energy corrected milk among herds under 100 cows with 29,632 pounds of milk, 874 pounds of protein, 1,172 pounds of fat and 31,552 pounds of energy corrected milk. He had the most improved herd under 100 cows for fat, protein and energy corrected milk with an increase of 83 pounds of protein, 203 pounds of fat and 3,996 pounds of energy corrected milk. He also had the top first lactation Holstein for milk with 35,197 pounds of milk.

Marion A Miller’s herd had the low Somatic Cell Count for herds under 100 cows with 130,000 and the most improved herd for Somatic Cell Count with a drop of 128,000. Jonathan Schrock had the most improved herd for milk and protein with an increase of 3,106 pounds of milk and 83 pounds of protein.

Spring Hill Farm Guernseys had the low Somatic Cell Count for colored breed herds over 100 cows with 69,000 and the most improved herd for Somatic Cell Count with a drop of 44,000.

Colored breeds

RNR Swiss & Lake Point Dairy was recognized as the top Brown Swiss herd over 100 cows in the colored breeds for milk, fat, protein and energy corrected milk with 22,692 pounds of milk, 987 pounds of fat, 787 pounds of protein and 26,220pounds energy corrected milk. They also had the high herd in the colored breeds under 100 cows with their Jersey herd for fat with 1,026 pounds of fat.

They had the top first lactation cows for milk, fat, protein and energy corrected milk. One with 32,466 pounds of energy corrected milk, and 1,343 pounds of fat and the second one with 28,390 pounds of milk and 965 pounds of protein.

They also had the top Aged cow in the colored breeds for milk, and protein with 30,015 pounds of milk, and 991 pounds of protein. RNR Swiss & Lake Point Dairy Brown Swiss and Jerseys are recognized as DHI Elite Herds, among the top five percent in the state for fat.

Spring Hill Farm Guernseys had the top aged cow in the colored breeds for fat and energy corrected milk with 37,544 pounds of energy corrected milk and 1,789 pounds of fat. Dar-Re Farm had the high herd in the colored breeds under 100 cows for milk, protein and energy corrected milk with 19,625 pounds of milk, 723 pounds of protein and 24,764 pounds of energy corrected milk. John Christian Chupp had the low somatic cell count herd under 100 cows with 57,000.

Will Moore, Field Representative for Smith Foods, recognized Chupp and David and Mark Miller for making the list in the Hoard’s Dairyman 2017 National Dairy Quality Awards program. Myron W Yoder had the most improved herd in unofficial test for energy corrected milk with an increase of 2,008 pounds of milk and dropped his Somatic Cell Count by 183,000.

Atlee JJ Yoder had the most improved herd on unofficial test for milk and protein with an increase of 1,394 pounds of milk and 56 pounds of protein. Ivan Miller had the most improved herd on unofficial test for fat with an increase of 117 pounds of fat.

Honor role

Holmes County Honor Roll herds include Dar Re Farm Jerseys, Butter Valley Jerseys, Hyland Acres Jerseys Ltd, Spring Valley Farm Jerseys, RNR-Lake Point Dairy Jerseys, Brown Swiss and Holsteins, Springwalk Farm Guernseys and Holsteins, Spring Hill Farm Holsteins, Open Road Farm Holsteins, Edwin E Miller, Doughty Valley Farm, Hal & Rod Hunsberger, John Christian Chupp, and Mohler View Farms Ltd.

During the meeting, board members Reuben Miller and Mike Hochstetler commended the Holmes County Producers on their commitment to producing high quality high component milk and maintaining production that is competitive at the state level.

Staying in business

But Hochstetler added that while the production numbers are nice and they motivate him to do a better job, the real factor is whether producers are making money which will allow them to stay in business.

“We need to control what we can control and leave go what we can’t control,” said Hochstetler.

The celebration of dairy in Holmes County included a tribute to dairy farmers by Dolly Hochstetler. Hochstetler and her husband, Mike, and family operate Spring Valley Jersey Farm and March 26 marked the century anniversary of the farm in the Hochstetler family.

She told the audience that dairy farmers don’t have to be great, but they need to be good at a lot of things. She said there is no better place to raise a family and teach them the family history as well as the value of work and needs versus wants.

But there are also challenges to farming and she contends that politicians need to learn to milk a cow because they already know how to spread manure. And the celebration concluded with birthday cake to make the special day for the Hochstetler farm.

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Freelance writer Susan Mykrantz has been writing for Farm and Dairy since 1989. She is a graduate of the ag college at Ohio State University and also serves as editor of the "Ohio Jersey News." She lives in Wayne County.

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