Two farm visits headlined the joint session of the CDCB Board of Directors and Producer Advisory Committee, April 19, 2022, in Saratoga Springs, New York.
CDCB Board member Dan Sheldon welcomed the group to Woody Hill Farm, near Salem, NY, where he dairies with his brother Jim Sheldon, niece Jennifer Cary and her husband, Mark Cary. In 2020, the family constructed a double-40 rapid exit milking parlor for the 2000-cow Holstein herd. This impressive new milking facility and the well-managed calf facility were highlights of the tour.
For several years, Dan has represented the Dairy Records Providers on the CDCB Board and currently serves as Board Treasurer. Dan describes the importance of farmer representation at CDCB in this way: “Being a farmer representative on the Board allows us to explain practical application on the farm – both in how we get data into the system and how we use data and the genetic evaluations on farm.”
Brothers Bill and Neil Peck provided a tour of Welcome Stock Farms near Schuylerville, NY. Welcome Stock is a fully-registered Holstein herd, known internationally as breeders and marketers of bulls, embryos and some females as genetic seed stock. Today, the farm is home to 1000 cows, 1050 young females and 70 young bulls.
Bill is starting his second year on the CDCB Producer Advisory Committee (PAC), a role he considers very important for the future of U.S. genetics. “The PAC is to be a sounding board for the CDCB,” says Bill. “It’s very important for the Board to understand and get a sense from producers – the folks that are out in the barns, milking the cows – on genetic changes or benefits we’re seeing and what direction we need to go.”
Photo Caption: Dan Sheldon of Woody Hill Farms (left) discusses features of the new parlor with Board members Neal Smith and Mark Rodgers. Photo by Randy Blodgett.