Annually, members and customers are recognized for outstanding herd genetics & reproduction, and there’s a lot you can learn from these award-winning herds.
As Anne Davison, GENEX Director of Dairy Sales Support, shares, “Each year the performance level of the nominated and award-winning dairies gets better and better, and the competition gets tougher and tougher. This is truly a testament to the commitment dairy teams have for continual improvement.”
She goes on to explain, “When the nomination period opens each year, the nominations start flying in from GENEX representatives. They nominate dairies from across the USA and also around the globe. Many times, in addition to the nomination form, those representatives share a short note about why they feel the dairy deserves the award or what makes the dairy special. These notes make it clear how excited they are to nominate a customer. Of course, the award placings are based strictly on the dairies’ numbers, but the commentary still provides a great sneak peek into the dairy operation.”
Congratulations to this year’s platinum, gold, silver and honorable mention winners. They are listed below. Then, throughout June, follow along on GENEX social media and the GENEX Journal to get your sneak peek into the platinum award-winning dairies.
< 500 Cows
Platinum: Truttmann Dairy LLC, Blanchardville, Wisconsin
Gold: Dorrich Dairy, Glenwood, Minnesota
Silver: Weisenbeck Farms LLC, Durand, Wisconsin
Stoney Springs Farm, Appleton, Wisconsin
Honorable Mention: Reilly Family Farm, Darlington, Wisconsin
Platinum: Maple Ridge Dairy, Stratford, Wisconsin
Gold: Strassburg Creek Dairy, Wittenberg, Wisconsin
Silver: Schilling Farms, Darlington, Wisconsin
Honorable Mention: Jauquet’s Hillview Dairy, Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Hinsch Farm Inc, Goodhue, Minnesota
Platinum: Omro Dairy, Omro, Wisconsin
Gold: Spring Breeze Dairy LLC, Bryant, Wisconsin
Silver: Hudson Dairy, Hudson, Michigan
Medina Dairy, Hudson, Michigan
Honorable Mention: Darlington Ridge Farms, Darlington, Wisconsin
Dykstra Dairy, Maurice, Iowa
Platinum: Plymouth Dairy Farms, Inc, LeMars, Iowa
Gold: Lakeview Farms, Bakersfield, California
Silver: Jauquet’s Hillview Dairy, Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Honorable Mention: Dykstra Dairy, Maurice, Iowa
Good, Great and Excellent
Benchmarking is the process of comparing an individual’s performance metrics to the industry’s best. Reproduction benchmark numbers from the herds recognized as Excellence in Genetics & Reproduction Award winners have been compiled so you can gauge how your herd is doing and identify where improvement may be needed.
Here is a comparison of the 2019 award winners benchmarked against other herds across the USA (both GENEX and non-GENEX herds with more than 425 herds in the reference population). The data is graphed in quartiles. The benchmarks are shown by herd size. As expected, the Excellence in Genetics & Reproduction award‑winning herds surpassed other herds in almost every category regardless of herd size.
How Do They Do It?
When looking through the data, the real question becomes why are the award winners so successful, and what can you learn from them? What is it they do that sets them apart? GENEX representatives who work with some of the award-winning herds answered these questions. They narrowed it down to three key behaviors that each Excellence in Reproduction & Genetics Award winner possesses:
1 Attention to Detail
“What sets this dairy apart from others is their attention to detail and overall management. The dairy has a monthly meeting with all key stakeholders and staff. This keeps everyone on the same page, focused on the dairy’s goals and provides time to discuss key areas of the dairy and issues or obstacles that need to be addressed as a group.”
- Derek Kolpack, Account Manager, GENEX
“The biggest reason I see for their success is the attention to detail: from the timing of the shots in the Ovsynch program, to selecting a group of bulls and ensuring those bulls fit their goals, down to working with GENEX to sort animals and using the Sort-GateSM program to make culling and breeding decisions. They let everyone on their repro and genetics team know how important their role is to the success of the program.”
- Jeff Lutz, Dairy Consultant and Account Manager, GENEX
“It’s their consistent commitment to looking at all areas of the operation with a careful eye to improve their efficiency and bottom line, such as improving cooling systems or altering the breeding or milking order to decrease lockup times. They have been a longtime GENEX partner and an early adopter of Daughter Pregnancy Rate and fertility as a tool to improve reproductive efficiency. Fast forward to today, with use of genomics and an aggressive strategic breeding program, they take genetic improvement to the next level while capitalizing on a second stream of income with beef x dairy calves. They keep an open mind during farm meetings and are interested in learning about trends and breeding strategies but take a careful approach to whether it makes sense for their operation and long-term goals.”
- Gwen Powers, Director of Strategic Accounts, GENEX
“The breeding team certainly takes pride in their work. Every six to eight weeks, GENEX staff use the A.I.
AccuCHECKSM program to ensure there is no protocol drift in heat detection, semen handling or insemination technique. Proper functioning and cleanliness of equipment is also inspected. All team members help provide encouragement and training for the ultimate success of the program.”
- Dr. Kim Egan, Director of Strategic Accounts, GENEX
“The dairy is successful because of teamwork and employee retention. They treat employees as part of the team and motivate them to succeed. The manager works alongside the team every day. He goes above and beyond for employees, and they respect him for that. The GENEX team also works closely with the dairy, monitors conception rates and communicates with managers regularly.”
- Casey Petter, Dairy Consultant and Account Manager, GENEX
“The reproduction program is a team effort between the dairy, the veterinarian and GENEX. There is an open line of communication, and we are all on the same page to keep the dairy moving forward to meet their goals.”
- Derek Kolpack, Account Manager, GENEX
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