Young Breeder Panel on the Future of the Dairy Industry

Jamie JohansenAg Group, Dairy, Holstein Association

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 2.54.33 PMOne of the highlights planned for the upcoming National Holstein Convention, June 24-28, 2014 in Dubuque, Iowa is a panel discussion with Holstein breeders, “The Future of the Dairy Industry from Young Holstein Breeders’ Perspectives.”

This forum could serve as a catalyst for young people, and perhaps others of all ages, to get involved in the dairy industry. The panelists represent a wide array of dairy operations from around the country, in terms of management systems and number of cows.

The panelists will discuss why they chose to make a career of dairying and share their perspective on the future of the dairy industry. Additionally, they will address how they got started, what makes their dairies unique, and their management philosophies.

The innovative dairy producer panelists are:
Ashley Abbott, Fort Edward, N.Y., received her associate’s degree in agricultural business from SUNY Cobleskill and bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University. In addition to her work at AllenWaite Farm, Easton, N.Y., a 1,800 cow herd, Ashley and her husband own JoyRide Farm in White Creek, N.Y., where they have 65 head.

Dan Bolin, Clarksville, Iowa, graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in dairy science. After graduation he worked as a herdsman for a small farm with a processing center, and later began work as a carpenter for a short time. Dan then moved to Turkey for two years before returning to his home farm. He now works alongside his parents milking 65 cows. Dan is working to build a new farmstead with two robotic milking units.

Jeff Brantmeier, Sherwood, Wis., received his bachelor’s degree in dairy science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Jeff is now part-owner of Hilrose Dairy, LLC, Sherwood, Wis., where they are currently milking 90 cows with a rolling herd average over 31,000 pounds of milk. The farm has been named Premier Breeder and Exhibitor of the District 10 Holstein show and honored as a Holstein Association USA Herd of Excellence five times.

Diesel Hitt, Adams Center, N.Y., attended SUNY Cobleskill, then transferred to Cornell University. After graduation, he worked for Scipio Springs Dairy in Union Springs, N.Y., then went on to purchase Windsong Dairy, LLC with the partners of Scipio Springs, Bill Morgan and Jon Gilbert. Diesel is currently the operating manager of their 600-cow dairy.

Brent Schuler, Fleetwood, Pa., earned a degree in animal science from Pennsylvania State University, along with a minor in agricultural business management. After graduation, he worked for a short time as a professional fitter. He is now a full-time partner on Schuler Farms LLC, milking 100 head. Under their S-Pine-Lawn prefix, Brent has bred numerous All-Pennsylvania and Junior-All-American nominated cattle.

The Holstein Association USA Annual Meeting is open to all of those interested in the dairy industry. This special young breeder panel should be of interest to all who are currently dairying or those considering a future as a dairy producer.