2018 Barn Meetings
Our 2018 Barn Meetings will focus on technology and technological advancements to improve your Registered Holstein farm. Explore robotic milking to automatic calf feeders and learn how each dairy operation uses the technologies to improve milk production, cow comfort and overall cow wellbeing.
Each meeting runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and lunch is included at each event.
Village View Farm, Argyle - Thursday, March 22
Kevin & RaeAnn Makos family
1295 County Rd. C, Argyle, Wis.
Directions: Take Highway 81 east of Argyle to County C, left on County C to the first farm on the right.
Village View Farm in Argyle is owned and operated by Kevin and RaeAnn Makos and their sons, Cole and Kory. The Makos family milks their 75-cow Registered Holstein herd with a Lely Astronaut robotic milker. The family had the robot installed in 2014 and their current rolling herd average is 27,936 3.9 1078 3.1 971. In addition to their Registered Holstein herd, they crop 275 acres and feed out all of their bull calves as steers.
In 2014, the family made the decision to build a new freestall barn and milk their herd with robots. They chose the Lely Astornaut system. The process of researching systems began in 2010 where they took tours of dairies using robotic milking systems. Knowing that their sons were getting older and more involved in activities and after seeing the robotic milking systems in action, they choose this route for their dairy.
Kevin is in charge of breeding decisions for the herd with the goal of breeding a complete cow. He breeds for cows that offer both type and production, seldom using bulls with lower than +2.00 on type. Good looking cows also need to produce milk so Kevin will use bulls that are at least +500 on milk with positive components. Current bulls in his breeding program include Kingboy, Yoder, Pety and Kingpin. He’s started using a few genomic young sires as well, Doppler, King Royal and Diamondback.
The Makos family encourages everyone to join them for the barn meeting on March 22 to see how a robotic milking system can work for a small farm.
Alfalawn Farm, Menomonie - Tuesday, March 27
Randy, David & Dale Styer families
E2850 St. Rd. 72, Menomonie, Wis.
Phone: 715-505-8161 Dave’s cell
Directions: From Menomonie take Highway 25 south to Downsville then go west 4.5 miles on State Highway 72. The dairy is on the south side and the heifer set-up is on the north side.
Alfalawn Farms in Menomonie is owned and operated by the Styer families, brothers Randy, David and Dale Styer. Members from all three families help with the day-to-day management of the dairy.
Alfalawn Farm has had Registered Holsteins for more than 40 years and is currently milking around 2,000 cows that are averaging 83 pounds of milk on 3x/day milking. The rolling herd average just more than 26,500 pounds of milk with 1,058 pounds of fat and 847 pounds protein. Cows are milked in a 60-stall DeLaval rotary parlor and the herd maintains a cell count of around 80,000-90,000. All heifers are raised on site where the dairy using automatic calf feeders for the first two months age. After weaning, they are in group pens through five months of age and then moved to a freestall set-up until about 4-6 weeks pre-calving. The family raises some steers and has a variety of other livestock as well.
Technological improvements that have been implemented were done with the goal of becoming more efficient. They use GPS cropping systems as well as the rotary parlor with automated pre- and post-dipper and automatic calf feeders. A sand separation system was added which recycles 98 percent of the sand from the dairy.
Alfalawn strives to breed for cows that are going to have longevity while milking well with high components. They look for cows with moderate stature, front end strength, balanced udders with correct teat placement, and extremely good feet and legs. Their true type cow is a cow that is going to stay in the herd for a long period of time while doing what she does best - milking, breeding back easily, and remaining trouble free.
Bulls are selected for the traits that are most important to meet their breeding goals. First by selecting from strong cow families, while also looking at milk, fat, protein, somatic cell count, type and Net Merit dollars, all the while maintaining an emphasis on Daughter Pregnancy Rate.
The Styers enjoy hosting tours and having other educational events on their farm and strongly believe in the importance of promoting the industry to close the gap of consumer misunderstanding.