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You can see why on the PDMP tour, June 5th
Top dairymen see cows’ transition as a management priorty

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Cow transition matters. In fact, according to a study conducted by Ghost Hollow Consulting in Oklahoma, it is one of the six priorities the top 1% of profitable dairies focus on to drive their income.

With that in mind, the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) are hitting the road on June 5th to see how three different farms in central Pennsylvania are getting great results from the changes they’ve made to their transition management.

The PDMP ‘Transition Tour’ will begin at the Penn State Dairy where, with a herd size of about 200 cows, they have retrofitted very old facilities to create a transition barn that is as effective as any new facility.

“In planning this tour, it was important to us that we see diverse dairies getting great results in this particular area of the operations,” said Justin Risser of Meadow Vista Dairies. “This way, regardless of how large your herd or how old your facilities, you can see and hear something that will help you back at your own dairy.”

The second stop on the Transition Tour is Willow Behrer Farm in Huntingdon County, where several years ago, Mike and Allen Behrer were confronted with lost production as a result of overcrowding as they reached 800 cows. With the construction of a new barn to meet their space needs, they were able to create an ideal environment for cows transitioning from calving to milking and are seeing better lactation and reproduction as a result.

“The Behrers are really forward thinking dairy producers,” says Tony Brubaker, of Brubaker Farms in Lancaster County and PDMP president. “Their partnership with a non-family member neighbor is a pretty progressive idea that I think will interest a lot of people who are starting to find themselves landlocked from a traditional expansion.”

A barbeque lunch will be hosted by Agri-King, Inc. at Willow Behrer Farm before the tour moves on to its third and final stop of the day at Mowrer Farms. Mike Mowrer shares a somewhat different way of getting to his new transition barn for his 400 cows. “We identified cow transition as a way to improve our production and profitability when we started a profit team in 1999,” Mowrer said. “Since we built this new barn in 2001, our average has increased from 24,000lbs to 28,000lbs because our cows are just getting off to such a better start.”

Since space is limited on the ‘Transition Tour,’ registration is open to all dairy producers on a first-come-first-served basis. Interested dairy farmers are encouraged to go to the Upcoming Events page at www.pdmp.org or contact registration@pdmp.org or by phone at 877- 326-5993 to secure their seats.

Registration for PDMP member dairies is $25 and $75 for non-PDMP dairies. The bus will depart from Harrisburg and Burnham so that attendees can park and ride from the location most convenient to them.

The June 5th ‘Transition Tour’ is part of the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania’s ongoing commitment to offer top-quality educational development programs to help improve the productivity and profitability of the state’s dairy industry. Attending tours and workshops such as these help producers keep abreast of the latest technologies and management techniques, and provide important networking opportunities.

As with all PDMP programs, the ‘Transition Tour’ is sponsored in part by PDMP Premier Partners: Acuity Advisors and CPAs, LLP; AgChoice and Mid-Atlantic Farm Credits, Merck Animal Health, King's AgriSeeds, Inc., Lancaster DHIA, Land O'Lakes, Inc., Elanco Animal Health and Stewart-Peterson.