Farm: Springhill Farm
In the morning we head off to experience the Amish cultural centre – a great insight into the Amish & Mennonite way of life. We learn a great deal about the formation of the religion and how the Amish came to the to America. We have free time in the morning and explore the area, with Amish craftsmanship, antiques and food – Heini’s cheese chalet is a local cheese plant making a range of different dairy products. The Amish cheesemakers are utilising technology based from 1935 – with steel moulds, conveyor belts and plenty of physical labour. Coblentz chocolate company handmake chocolates in the facility – with delicious treats everywhere.
In the afternoon, we travel across to Berlin and check out the antique malls before driving across to visit Springhill. Chris Lang and family have committed to the dairy industry and quality cows by working to build the ultimate in cow comfort. New barns on a new site with a focus on quality rather than quantity are designed to be easy on both the cow and the handler. The Lang family are celebrating 200 years of farming this year and keeping the farm as a family. The herd is currently 90-100 cows with the majority being Guernseys. Holsteins are in the milking herd and being used as recipients, except for a select few to link in with the Lang’s well-established Holstein herd.
The cows are fed a mix of haylage and grain – the intention is to also set up for the cows to graze over the summer. The rain is threatening and so we move to the calf barn in case of thunderstorms. As we look through the young heifers, an alert comes out for a tornado alert. We continue until the town alert blares loud and the alerts are for the direct region! We head to the old barn (good thing there’s a couple of Guernseys to look at while we’re in there) before the storm dissipates. We’re able to then recommence looking at outstanding heifers by multiple sires from many descendants of Joke and Jazzy.
We enjoy a fantastic home cooked dinner before enjoying the milking cows in the lovely new open, airy and light sheds – where the top show cows are in their own pens, the free stall cows are in a bed pack with Holsteins, proving the competitive nature of the Guernsey cow. There are many well recognized faces – Jasmin, Jazz, Topeka and more. Such contented cows, with beautiful frames, youthful udders and strong feet & legs make for a wonderful evening – complete with the entertainment!