Farms: Coulee Crest, Lang Haven, Prairie Cream
An early start to fit in the number of herds and animals.
The Peterson family operate Coulee Crest Guernseys. The farm is owned and operated by Kurt and Scot Peterson, along with their parents Don & Dorothy. The cows are houses in a free stall barn and a compost barn and milked in a 10 a-side swing over dairy, with an RHA of approximately 20,00 lbs milk. Almost all the corn silage is grown on farn, with Scot looking after the cropping on around 400ac whilst Kurt looks after the cows. They focus on DPR, balanced production and functional type. Knapps have recently sold a large number of animals to start up new herds in Canada/eastern US, but the quality is still strong and consistent. We see some nice Logo daughters here, a balance of dairyness and strength with silky udders dripping with milk. There’s a good bone quality evident through them with a strong will to milk.
There are a number of daughers by Latimer, Copper and Novak who are neat and correct.
The young Lava cow who is #50 on the current CPI list is a favourite, along with some hard working American Pie daughters in the compost barn.
A delightful lunch is provided for the group – we get to enjoy Guernsey beef hamburgers
From Coulee Crest we head out to Lang Haven, where the Langrehr family milk approximately 70 cows with the herd being 50/50 Holsteins/Guernseys.
The heifers are generally sent off farm to grow out as the home block is 200ac of which 110ac is tillable, The cows are fed a mix of corn silage and hay with a protein mix, but the weather for the last few seasons has certainly made it challenging. The majority of the Guernsey herd descends from a single foundation calf purchased from the Hoard’s Dairyman herd in the early 1990s when Don & Kirsty were herdsmen there. The family that generated bulls such as Nico, Ninja, Novak, and Navajo – the Nicolette family has had a significant impact on the breed. We see daughters by a variety of sires, including Latimer, Novak, Networth, Laredo, Prada and Alstars. A pick is a Blue Spruce who has had 5 calves.
We are treated to Wisconsin cheese platters and ice cream on behalf of the Wisconsin breeders association – it goes down a treat in the warm weather.
Deb Lakey, the secretary for the WBA takes us to the Lock & Dam No.6 of Mississippi river at Trempealeau which is currently open due to the severe flooding and storms that have occurred over the mid-west of America of the last few months.
We then visit her own farm, Prairie Cream Guernseys, and view the young heifers. The milking cows are split between Coulee Crest and Valley Gem. The stock are extremely well grown for their age due to a high protein and high milk replacer diet fed until the animals are 12-16 weeks old and continued for bone development.
We enjoy a tasting session at the local Elmaro Vineyard and nibbles are enjoyed with a wonderful scenic view. Dinner is with quality service once again in the local region before heading on to Eau Claire.