AJCA Director Corey Lutz (third from left) will take the lead, joined by wife Bridgette and their family, for the Piedmont Jerseys Virtual Farm Tour, October 5 at World Dairy Expo. Photo: Heather Beard Photography
Jerseys Take The Stage
in Virtual Farm Tours at World Dairy Expo
Reynoldsburg, Ohio, September 7, 2017—Jerseys will take center stage at the 2017 World Dairy Expo when Piedmont Jerseys LLC, Lincolnton, N.C., and the Registered Jerseys™ at Meier Dairy of Palmer, Inc., Palmer, Kans., present Virtual Farm Tours on Thursday, October 5.
The programs—Piedmont Jerseys at 12:00 noon, followed by Meier Dairy at 2:00 p.m.—will be held in the Mendota 1 meeting room in the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis. They will also be shown live on a new ExpoTV channel.
Corey Lutz, a director of the American Jersey Cattle Association, will take the lead in talking about Piedmont Jerseys, a multi-generation family farm home to a profitable herd developed over many years that has been prominent at shows and sought-after at sales.
Corey’s great-great grandfather, John Lutz, had some of the first registered Jerseys in North Carolina dating back to 1882. Corey’s father, Charles Lutz, had registered Jerseys as well in Catawba County. Being the fourth generation on that farm, Corey milked cows at his parents’ home farm until he and wife Bridgette and their family moved to Lincoln County in 1997. Corey set up an intensive rotational grazing operation to cut feed cost and milk the number of cows he wanted, improve cow longevity and continue his long-standing passion for showing cows.
Today, the herd of 250 cows is housed on grass 365 days of the year; 60% of daily feed intake is from grass and the balance from a TMR fed in the milking barn. Average production is 21,995 lbs. milk per cow on an energy-corrected basis. The herd includes 49 cows scored Excellent and 167 Very Good. And, the fifth generation is active on the farm with their own Registered Jerseys™ and planning to show at the North Carolina State Fair as family members have since 1936.
The program will also delve into the transition plan created to secure farming opportunities for the fifth and later generations of the family. In addition to entering into a conservation easement and creating LLCs for the farm, land and equipment, the decision has been made to open an on-farm processing plant for value-added products such as bottled milk and ice cream. Finally, building on ongoing resource management and conservation efforts at the farm, the program will look at its sustainability metrics from the FARM Environmental Stewardship program.
Changing with the times to remain in business will also be a theme running through the Meier Dairy virtual farm tour, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Duane and Ronda Meier Family installed the first robotic milking system in that state in 2015 to milk 650 cows, 75 of which are Registered Jerseys™ owned by their son Tony.
This operation also traces its roots to a homestead established in the late 1800s by Tony’s great-great-grandfather. In 1978, when Tony’s parents purchased the family farm, it had 80 cows, expanding to its current size 10 years later. Even with four of their five children working for the operation, maintaining a labor force was a challenge, promoting installation of the robotic system. The herd averages 2.7 milkings per day with a rolling herd average over 25,000 lbs. milk.
The foundation of Tony’s Jersey herd comes from purchases from neighboring Jersey breeders, plus different herd promotional and national sales starting about five years ago. The 2016 AJCA lactation average was 18,383 lbs. milk, 853 lbs. fat and 705 lbs. protein. The group is currently ranked forty-first in the U.S. for herd average Jersey Performance Index™ and includes eight cows scored Excellent and 53 Very Good.
The other Virtual Farm Tours on this year’s Expo program feature dairies located in New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. All presentations will be recorded and available for viewing on World Dairy Expo’s website after the show.
World Dairy Expo opens Tuesday, October 3 with the International Jersey Show starting with heifers at 3:00 p.m. in the Coliseum. The cows enter the ring at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and the show concludes with selection of the Grand Champion by judge Chris Lahmers, Marysville, Ohio.
The Top of the World Jersey Sale follows the show on Wednesday, October 4 starting at 4:00 p.m. in the Estrumate Sale Pavilion. Jersey Marketing Service, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, is the sale manager.
Staff of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc. will be available throughout Expo in the USJersey exhibit located in the Coliseum at Arena Level 101 and 102.
The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance records for dairy herd owners and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics. For more information on USJersey services designed to enhance commercial profitability, contact the American Jersey Cattle Association by writing 6486 E. Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-2362, visit USJersey.com, or connect at Facebook.com/USJersey.
“A Farm Divided” describes the two-breed make-up of the herd operated by Duane and Ronda Meier, with the assistance of four of their five children, Amanda, Dustin, Micah and Tony, who owns the Jerseys. Photo: Rick McNary for Kansas Living magazine