April 26, 2024
Discover several outstanding dairy operations in south west Ontario – and for those seeking an alternative experience, stay tuned for more details. After the tours, enjoy a delightful dinner at your leisure in downtown Hamilton, where a plethora of restaurants will offer special pricing for Holstein delegates.
What is a visit to Hamilton without visiting the famous waterfalls? The local tour will also feature an apple orchard, a cider house, an English tea house and a visit to Brantford’s famous Oxbow.
416698 41st Line Embro, ON N0J 1J0
Owners: Paul and Ellen Macleod, Kyle and Rebecca MacLeod
Herd: 270 head, 110 Milking cows
Production: 12,459 kg 4.06% F 3.15%P
Classification: 28 EX 72 VG 34 GP
3 X Master Breeder: 1988-2000-2019
Influential Cows in the Herd: Darcroft Shottle Joy EX-92-5E-CAN 3*
Darcroft Lou Geneva EX-92-4E-CAN 5*
Stelbro Lheros Joan EX-93-4E-CAN 10*
Darcroft Goldwyn Jewel EX-94-4E-CAN
Darcroft Leduc Zenith VG-87-3YR-CAN 10*
Darcroft is a 3rd generation farm that originally started in 1954 in Niagara Falls, In 1983 the farm moved to Oxford County (Woodstock) where 60 cows were milked in a tie-stall. As quota holdings grew and the city grew closer, it was time to invest in a new facility. In 2016 the herd moved locations and the herd moved into a new sand bedded freestall barn where 110 cows are now milked in a double 12 parallel parlour. Production has increased to 12,459 kg 4.06% F 3.15%P avg annually on 2X milking. Mostly ( 80%) proven bulls are used, as they prefer the consistency and reliability of those bulls. 51% of the herd is 3rd lactation or older.
Darcroft is a 3x Master breeder herd and has won the award at 3 different registration groups.
Valiant Dairy Inc milks around 75 cows in a double 8 herringbone parlour.
Cows are milked 2x with high priority for cow comfort. They recently purchased this farm and have a high emphasis on cow families, making bulls for AI and exporting embryos from brand name families. Diversity is a term they like to use when it comes to their genetic portfolio... They strive to be home in every market to best suit their customer’s needs and to produce bulls for the future AI industry and its different markets. Polled, Red, High Type, crossover GTPI with PTAT animals, NM as well as cow family focused show type, are all focus areas. They are proud to have either bred or sold 10 bulls to AI in the last 3 years with embryos exported to 12 countries to date, with the majority of embryo exports being done privately.
They are heavily involved in a few partnerships to spread risk, increase recipient base and capitalize on strengths amongst the partners to maximize profitability.
657030 Line 15 RR1 Tavistock ON N0B2R0
Owned by Adam and Bethany Zehr and their children Blake, Easton and Reegan
190 head total with apprx 75 milking
Production: 13078 kg 4.05F 3.21P (297-322-311)
Classification: 17EX 36VG 19GP (these numbers will change significantly as we are due to classify shortly)
Master Breeder 2000 & 2014
Adam came home to farm full time with his parents Burnell and Darlene in 2001 after finishing school. Now owning the farm with his wife Beth, it is encouraging to see the kids starting to take interest in the herd and overall farm as they are the 5th generation to be involved here.
The herd was milked in a tiestall setup until 2020 when they moved into a new sand bedded freestall with 2 Lely A5 robots. Type has always been a main breeding goal for them and still is. In the late 90's and early 2000's they were quite heavily involved in shows and are proud to have owned part of 2 Royal Intermediate Champions (1 homebred).
Genomics have been heavily embraced and though they use different tools and methods in their breeding than in the past, type and deep pedigrees are still the pillars of their breeding program. In recent years Misty Springs Lavanguard Sue VG89 and her daughter Walnutlawn Mccutchen Summer EX95 have been very influential and currently Walnutlawn Alligator Briar VG86 is taking a lead role in their herd. They are very proud of their 3 bulls - Solomon, Blake and Sidekick who have all been number 1 proven type bulls in either the Canadian or American systems.
Doanlea: Donald, John and Fraser Doan
Herd Size: 350 head, 170 milking
Operation Type: 2 tie stall facilities, each site milking 85 head, 1400 acres farmed
Herd Classification: 30 EX- 106 VG- 45 GP
Production: 11,561, 252,255,250, 4.0%, 3.25 protein BCA
Doanlea is a fourth-generation family farm, operated by Fraser and John Doan. Their family's involvement with Holsteins started in 1950. In 1974, Alex (grandfather) and Donald (father) build the first barn addition on the home dairy farm. In 1977, their parents, Donald and Catherine Doan, purchased and took over the farm, continuing to expand the herd and increase land base over the years.
By 2001 John and Fraser had both come home following post-secondary education to farm full time and added a second addition to the main dairy barn. Since the passing of Catherine Doan in 2013, John and Fraser continue to farm together, taking on all responsibilities and management of the herd. In 2014, John and Fraser purchased a second dairy facility and land from their neighbour, as another opportunity to expand and proceed in succession planning. The quota was split between the two farms, with daily operations and farming of land done together. Currently, John and Fraser operate two 80 cow tie-stall barns with all the young stock housed at the home farm. They farm 1400 acres of land consisting of hay and corn to feed livestock, and soybeans, wheat and food grade peas are for cash crop.
At Doanlea, they breed for trouble-free, well-balanced cows that excel in both type and production. They strive for good udders and width throughout and adequate rib structure, so the cows can eat lots of feed and produce large volumes of quality milk. Currently, bulls used include: Sidekick, Unix, Randall, Actionman, Pathway, Lamagic, and Master, and they are flushing to Lambda. They flush on average, 6 cows per year.
The Doan families enjoy showing Holstein cattle with their children actively involved in 4-H, and showing at their local Holstein shows.
75% of the Doanlea herd goes back to Doanlea Senator Karen, with the well-known granddaughter, Doanlea Franchise Sabina who was Reserve All Canadian Mature Cow (1998) and nominated All American Mature Cow (2000). Other cows bringing more recent success are: Doanlea Gilbert Cheyenne EX Best Bred and Owned 4-Year-Old, RAWF 2006 and Doanlea Amazing Flana EX 95, 2E: Reserve All Ontario Longtime Production Cow, Nominated All Canadian Longtime Production Cow, 2017.
They are also proud to have received their first Master Breeder Shield in 2017.
At Doanlea, they take pride in their herd and their operation and are passionate about producing quality milk and raising and quality Holstein cattle.
KARNVIEW FARMS INC.
564737 Karn Rd., Woodstock, ON N4S 7V6
Owners: Dean & Karen, Joshua & Alison, Callum & Taylor Karn
Herd: 270 head - 85 milking
Production: 11,250 kg; 4.18% F, 3.28 P
Classification: 5 ME, 12 EX, 66 VG, 14 GP
Influential Cows in the Herd:
- JM Chief Acapella EX 93
- 3rd lactation, 68,500 lifetime (386-392-365)
- Karnview Lambda Aria
- Bullseye son heading to Semex
- BCA 387-450-428
- TY-D Archival Azuli EX 91
- Dam of Darcroft and J-Star Calaway Unstop Alabama (sold in Blondin Sale for $140,000)
- Multiple nominated daughters
- JM Valley Junecrush VG 88
- Granddaughter of Goldwyn June EX 97
- Dam of Karnview Haniko Juliet (All-Canadian and All-American Winter Calf 2022)
Karnview Farms began in 2019, when Dean separated from D.W. Karn Farms and built a new barn, just a kilometre west, on Karn Rd. The free stall, sand barn consists of 92 free stalls, a double 10 parlour, and a pack area for 10-12 show/flush cows. An original barn on the property houses their show heifers. Dean and Karen along with their sons, Joshua and Callum, renewed the Karnview prefix, which was used by Dean’s father Don Karn in the 1970s. They have recently added two daughter-in-laws to the farm, Taylor (2021) and Alison (2022), who both work in the dairy industry.
The Karns have always enjoyed breeding for cows that are both productive in the milking herd and have high conformation scores. They focus on type, with pluses for milk and fat, as well as dairy strength and good rumps. Showing, genetics and marketing are aspects of the industry that both challenge and excite the Karn’s. Through a few key purchases from prominent cow families and breeding to higher type bulls, they have generated several All-Ontario, All-Canadian, and All-American nominations.
Doug, Helen, Derek (Tori Wilson) and Dani Karn
Karnvilla Holsteins (Master Breeder) and Karnation Holsteins (Derek)
Jerseys – Karnation Jerseys (Derek) and Karnelle Jerseys (Dani)
Milking 65 in Tiestall - 55 Holsteins + 10 Jerseys
Rebuilt the entire herd in 2019 after a farm split.
Selected from name cow families; Summer, Adeen, Elegance, Camomile, Geography, Frantisco, Alana, Roxe, Roxy, Paradise, & Lamadonna
Herd Butterfat 4.3 Protein 3.3 SCC – 70
Multiple milk quality awards for low SCC and low Bactoscan
17 EX – 42 VG – 9 GP
Crop 350 acres
1 group TMR
The main ET and IVF program center around Avant-Garde DM Songbird VG-89 (HM. All Can. 2019) and her daughters by King Doc & Delta Lambda. Also being flushed are Karnation Sidekick Elizabeth, Co-Vista Integral Deb-Red and Miss OCD Octane Georgia.
Currently milking a very nice group of first lactation daughters by King Doc, Sidekick and Delta Lambda. Sire usage approximately 50 % proven and 50% high genomic type sires.
Breeding program focuses on "cow families” with strong conformation traits, good production with high components. Some usage of A2A2 & Polled bulls. Currently they have one of the highest combined Polled, Conformation (+14) and Methane Efficiency (113) heifers in the world.
They love balanced cows with great udders whether tall or small. They must be balanced, having correct width throughout, depth of rib and udder height to match the stature of the cow. Genetic traits emphasized: Fat kgs and fat %, all major udder traits, bone quality, foot angle, rump angle, chest width, body depth, loin strength, dairy capacity, mastitis resistance and temperament.
Bosdale Farms was started by Bastiaan and Sijma Bos and is now run by their four sons and their families along with one full-time employee.
Milking Holstein cows has been part of their farm since 1958 and they began under the Bosdale prefix in 1972. They currently milk 195 cows in a tie stall and free stall facility. The tie-stall facility, built in 2005, consists of 65 tie stalls, 16 pack pens for transition and extra care cows as well as a one group dry cow pack. The barn is naturally ventilated with temperature-controlled window panels and overhead fans pulling air from chimneys in a center skylight. The cows are fed baleage and dry hay throughout the day along with TMR twice a day at milking times. The free stall facility encompasses 172 free stalls with access to 3 V310 robots, as well as 14 free stalls and transition care packs.
They currently have 80 Excellent, 110 Very Good and 30 Good Plus cows scored. Average production per cow is 11,800 kgs of milk with 4.1% butterfat and 3.3% protein in a 305-day record. Exhibiting their cows at local and national shows and fairs has been an enjoyable way for them to market their cows. During their years of showing cows, they have earned Premier Exhibitor, Breeder and Breeders Herd banners at the Perth-Waterloo and Autumn Opportunity Holstein Shows. A Highlight of their show career was placing 2nd Breeder's Herd at the RAWF and going on to receive Reserve All-Canadian Breeder's Herd for 2016 and also having bred the HM Grand champion at the Royal, Bosdale Gold Luster.
Their breeding program focuses on elite type, strong production and a cow that will last many lactations. They have received three Master Breeder shields from Holstein Canada in 1993, 2001, and 2015. The Portrait family is a prime example of the type of cows they are breeding towards. Bosdale Outside Portrait has proven to be an exceptional brood cow and is the 4th dam of the popular young bull Bosdale Pathway. 12 of Portraits daughters in their herd are Excellent, 3 at 94 points and 2 at 93 points. Her daughters average 13,709 kg milk, 4.3% fat, 3.0% protein. Some of the other prominent cow families in the herd include Lustre, Barbie, Jasmine, Atlee, Shane and Tootsie.
RF and Peggy Brown started Browndale in1948 milking 20 registered Holsteins. Doug grew up farming alongside his parents and is now continuing on the legacy with his daughter Ashley and son-in-law Steve Brown.
Their new state-of-the-art robotic milking barn also features an on-farm market where they carry a variety of locally-sourced products while focusing on selling beef raised on the farm.
The market will be open on tour day for anyone interested in seeing how the Brown family has diversified or wanting to sample some of their products.
Green Elms Eco Christina was purchased in 1971 and was Grand Champion at the Royal Winter Fair in 1972. She was All-Canadian Aged Cow in 1972 and 1973. More than 50% of the present herd traces back to Christina.
Browndale Fury Echo Christie was Supreme Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo in 1978. In that same year Browndale was awarded Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor at that show.
Christie was a daughter of Christina and full sister of Browndale Sir Christopher.
According to Doug Blair’s recent study, Christie and Christina are the only dam-daughter combination that have each won Grand Champion accolades at North American national shows.
Hulsdale B Science Malaki P was purchased in 2018. Both her and many of her offspring have been listed at the top of the genetic polled lists in Canada.
Browndale is currently focusing on developing a horn-free herd. Malaki and her sons and daughters are at the centre of this breeding strategy.
Genetics from her offspring have been extensively marketed both domestically and internationally.
The farm was purchased by Joe and Minna Loewith in 1947. It was later managed by 2 of their sons, Carl and David Loewith. The farm strives for high milk production through excellent cow comfort, feed quality, and living up to their mission statement; "We will meet the needs of every cow, every day. Animal welfare will be of paramount importance."
Today, Carl's son Ben manages the dairy, and his wife Jennifer manages the recent expansion into on farm dairy processing. The new venture creates glass bottled milk, cheese curds,and has a farm store and delivers milk directly to family homes in the Hamilton area.
Currently milking 460 cows 3X per day on a double 16 parallel parlour. Average daily production 45 kg with 4.4% Fat, 3.15% Protein. Cropping 850 acres, corn silage, haylage, triticale.
There are 6 full time employees and 30 part time employees.info.