ATI dairy herds are top producers

Holstein cow licking its mouth

Ohio State ATI’s outstanding dairy herds are winning praise. On March 22, its Holstein Herd was recognized at the Ashland Wayne Annual Dairy Banquet as the top two-time (two milkings per day) producing Holstein Herd for Wayne County.

The herd averages 26,046 pounds of milk, with 1096 pounds of butterfat and 822 pounds of protein.

The herd was also recognized for having two cows on the top 10,000 list nationally. This list is determined by their total performance index.

Ashland and Wayne counties track herd samples on a monthly basis. They determine the awards based on Dairy Herd Improvement Association records.

“The Holstein Herd is a very high genetic herd,” said Brandon Lawwill, assistant herd manager.  In addition to genetics, “A lot of it is about how the cows are managed and fed. We have recently made improvements to the parlor by getting new equipment for the cows. This provides an environment for the cows to milk more.”

Lawwill said that this nurturing environment also contributes to the Jersey herd’s success. It was a mere five pounds shy of being the top jersey herd, with 19,179 pounds of milk, 945 pounds of butterfat and 697 pounds of protein.

Lawwill also credits the students and how well they care for the cows.

“The effort of the students in the program who do things properly on a daily basis to help make the cows comfortable has been the success here that’s allowed us to win an award,” said Lawwill.

The herds are run nearly entirely by students at ATI. In addition to the hands-on work, students also provide ideas for management that are often implemented into the routines on the farm. – By Miranda Lipton