LOUISVILLE, Ohio – Collegiate basketball has its “Elite Eight,” but Ohio’s dairy industry has its Elite 5 Percent.
These are the cream of Ohio dairy herds, the top 5 percent of the state’s herds on official dairy herd improvement test.
Stark County is home to three of those herds: Circle Hawk Farm, Campbell Brothers Inc. and Paradise Valley Farms.
These herd owners and other top-producing dairies were honored at the Stark County dairy banquet March 27 at the Paradise United Church of Christ in Louisville.
State ranked. Paradise Valley Farms, owned by the Paul Ramsey family of Louisville, is the fifth ranked Holstein herd in the state, with a herd average of 29,941 pounds of milk; 1,048 pounds of butterfat; and 884 pounds of protein, for an energy-correct milk average of 29,724 pounds.
The Ramseys, who milk their 366-head Holstein herd three times a day, earned elite status for milk, fat and protein production.
Campbell Brothers, of Homeworth, also achieved elite Holstein herd status for milk, fat and protein, with a herd average of 27,134 pounds of milk; 1,008 pounds fat and 832 pounds protein.
Phil Myers of Circle Hawk Farm earned elite Jersey herd status for milk, with his herd average of 19,204 pounds of milk; 840 pounds fat and 627 pounds protein.
Top five. Paradise Valley and Campbell Brothers were the county’s top two herds, followed by Vereldo Farms, Clardale Farms, and Norwescor Holsteins.
Vereldo Farms’ 101-cow herd averaged 25,354 pounds of milk; 947 pounds fat and 785 pounds protein; Clardale Farms averaged 24,954 pounds of milk; 850 pounds fat and 754 pounds protein on 294 head (milking three times a day); and Norwescor Holsteins averaged 24,800 pounds of milk; 934 pounds fat and 725 pounds protein on 123 head (milking three times a day).
Clardale also received the Paul Stockert Memorial Award for most improved herd.
Chad and Beth Fox, who are milking 136 head, received the quality milk award for the lowest somatic cell count, at 79,000.
The top individual lifetime production award went to a cow in the Paradise Valley herd, whose production totals 345,342 pounds of milk, 13,175 pounds of fat and 11,364 pounds of protein over a 4,028-day record.
Industry salute. The dairy board presented its Dairy Industry Involvement Award to large animal veterinarian Gary Evanich. Evanich was recognized for more than 30 years of service to the area’s farms.
In his update of state DHI activity, state board member Bill Grammer from Mahoning County reported there are 1,236 total herds on test in Ohio; 936 on official test. There are 119,000 cows on test; 93,000 on official test.
Grammer also outlined the state board’s goals: lowering test turnaround time; increasing the number of herds tested and increasing the number of herds tested monthly; helping the field staff improve performance; and promoting the use of the computerized DHI records programs PCDart and PocketDairy. Currently, 207 herds are on PCDart and 95 herds use PocketDairy.
During the banquet, Phil Myers, Mike Ramsey and Frank Burkett were all re-elected to the Stark Dairy Board. Vocalist Jennifer Royer provided the evening’s entertainment.
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