PDMP Bus Tour Features Transition at Three PA Dairies

Jamie Johansen

pdmplogoThe Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) are hitting the road on June 5th to see how three different farms in Central PA are getting great result 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 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.”

The 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.”

Registration is open to all dairy producers on a first-come-first-served basis. Interested dairies 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.

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.

Ag Group, Dairy