Vereldo Farms, Paradise Valley lead Stark Co. milk production

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HARTVILLE, Ohio – A glance at the Stark County 200,000-pound lifetime production list illustrates the depth of the county’s dairy base.

Sixteen farm operations had cows on the list, which totaled 33 head.

The county’s top milk producers were honored April 1 at the annual dairy service unit banquet at Hartville Kitchen.

Top herd. The Oyster family of Vereldo Farms near Alliance led the county’s milk production based on component pricing.

The Oysters’ 115-head Holstein herd averaged 27,024 pounds of milk, 1,132 pounds of butterfat and 823 pounds of protein, with an energy corrected milk average of 29,751.

The farm is ranked sixth in the state, among Holstein herds on DHI test.

Vereldo Farms had three cows on the 200,000-pound lifetime list and also had the county’s top milk producer, an aged cow that produced 40,640 pounds of milk on test last year.

Another aged cow from the Vereldo herd was the county’s top butterfat producer, at 1,603 pounds.

Paradise found. Paradise Valley Farms of Louisville led the county’s dairy production for herds milking three times a day.

The Ramsey family’s 377-head herd averaged 29,085 pounds of milk, 1,024 pounds of fat and 847 pounds protein, with an energy correct milk value of 28,572.

The herd, which is ranked 11th in the state, had six cows on the 200,000-pound lifetime list.

Also at top. Campbell Bros. Inc. of Homeworth also earned a spot on the state’s top herd list. The 80-head Holstein herd is ranked 18th with a herd average of 27,153 pounds of milk, 1,017 pounds fat and 849 pounds protein (ECM 27,868 pounds).

The farm is third in Stark County production and is an elite herd among Ohio DHI herds for all three milk components, as are Paradise Valley Farm and Vereldo Farms.

Norwescor Holsteins was Stark County’s fourth highest producer, with herd averages of 24,360 pounds milk 927 pounds fat and 732 pounds protein.

Norwescor had the county’s leading lifetime producer, a cow named “Jewell,” who churned out 291,703 pounds of milk, 10,595 pounds of fat and 8,817 pounds of protein.

Rounding out the top 10 of the county’s top producers are Meleda Farms, Clardale Farms, Raber Dairy Farms, Hickory Land Farms, Dan Kolm and App-Fox Farms.

Jersey leader. Phil Myers of Circle Hawk Farm was Stark County’s top Jersey producer and is also ranked seventh in the state for Jersey herd production.

His 70-head herd averaged 17,741 pounds milk, 905 pounds fat and 612 pounds protein.

Kenneth Rummell received the Most Improved Herd award, with average herd production of 16,228 pounds milk, 804 pounds fat and 600 pounds protein.

App-Fox Dairy Farm received the quality herd award, in recognition of the lowest somatic cell count.

Dairy salute. The Stark Dairy Board honored one of its own during the banquet.

Former milk producer and board leader Dennis Smith of North Canton received an award for a lifetime of dairy industry involvement.

The Smith farm is one of the last remaining farms in the urban fringe of Plain Township.

Smith, like his father, Cy, before him, was active in the county’s dairy industry, serving 26 years on the Dairy Service Unit board and as its president. He was also a six-year member on the board of the Ohio DHIA and served as vice president.

Cy Smith, a former herd tester himself, started his herd on test in 1966.

Smith was also recognized for his years with the Stark County Dairy Promoters, which also included a stint as president.

He was a local delegate to Dairy Farmers of America; eight-year board member with the Northern Ohio Breeders Association (Noba) and 21 years on its young sire board.

Smith also served 12 years on the Stark County Fair board, serving as its dairy show chairman among other responsibilities.

In accepting the award with his wife, Jennifer, Smith commented on the changing face of agriculture.

“I’ve seen a lot of things change and they’re changing faster now than ever before,” Smith said. “It’s a completely different ballgame now.”

Board election. Board members re-elected to serve another term were Brian Ramsey, Mike Yoder and Jim Stockert.

The testers serving Stark County were also recognized: Jim Cawrse, Hope Fowler and Paul Oberlin.

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