Transitioning ownership of a farm was the topic of some educational seminars from QLF at World Dairy Expo. One of the presenters was Larry Simon of Westphalia, Michigan. He and his brother have a 670-cow dairy operation and are in the process of adding another 120 to 140 cows as well as bringing Larry’s son, Brett into the operation. He can’t emphasize enough the importance of having good communications among all involved in the operation as well as input from as many experts as you can get.
Two other presenters were brothers Justin and Jordan Risser who are in on a 750-cow dairy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The rolling herd average was over 30,000 at one point but has backed-off to around 28,000 due to some lower quality forage. They continue to use upright silos. Justin is in the process of buying into the family operation that is currently owned by his father and two uncles. Farmland in the area is at a premium and sells for $10,000 to $11,000 per acre plus the farm is located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed which adds some extra challenges to any transition. Justin says the environmental regulations have made them change the way they farm the land. Jordan works on the farm and plans to farm but is not sure if he will go in on this operation.
Paul Duik is making a transition in his life, after serving as U.W. Extension Agent in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin for several years, he has joined QLF. A native of Ontario, Canada, Duik has worked for feed companies in the past and milked his own cows. He decided he wanted to get back into the private feed business and found QLF to be the type of company he wanted to get involved with.