Farm: Trotacre Farm

In the morning we depart Ohio for Pennsylvania. Soon after crossing the state border we are at Trotacre farm, where multiple generations of the Trotter family are farming. Jimmy & Marylou bought the farm in 1942, and Guernseys have been a part of the farm since then.

The farm has 500ac of crop land – only 177ac beans and 120ac corn has been planted so far with the wet weather. They are in the middle of cutting more haylage, and cows are sent out to graze in better weather in addition to their PMR. The family has a small ice cream shop that supports the local community, but the main focus is now moving to launch a coop with Golden Guernsey milk selling a naturally golden product. The partnership is being developed with 5 other Guernsey breeders to ship Guernsey milk to a specialty processor and generate a better return for the members for their superior product.

Trotacre is also a partner with a number of other breeders – Melinda Rushing being one of them. Paokie was established as a PA/OK partnership, and Lil Ernie being named after Melinda’s father.  Steve Lynkarski is also a partner from the TX area joining the Guernsey breed.

We enjoy a family lunch in front of a group of heifers, with Ernie featuring prominently as sire, along with Ladysman and Copper. We then move across to the calf pens, and look through the dry cows – Cara’s favourite Maelyn is a strong powerful cow, currently dry but with 3 calves, she will be quite the 6 year old with her next calf. In the milking herd there is a nice range of cows sired by different sires – VIP, Jonathon, Grumpy and other bulls. As the animals walk out the barn and past the feedpad, the cows demonstrate their great feet & legs, silky udders with great width and medium stature. The cows walk out to join the rest of the Holstein herd grazing on the pasture.

We then load up with Robin and head off to Rivendale farm. The owner is a passionate supporter of the dairy industry and has set up a brand new barn with automatic Lely robots to milk the purebred Jersey herd. The original setup caters to nearly 240 head, but the site is only 10ac with 15ac for cropping. They buy all their inputs, and the site has issues with manure (storage and spreading). The cows are fed a TMR with corn silage and hay – with approximately ¾ of the grain requirements fed through the robot. This is spread throughout the visits, as the cows average 4.1 visits/day.

The cows are housed in a compost pack that is ripped 2x per day by a rotor tiller with spikes – the bedding is actually a longer bark that originally arrived by accident but has now proven to be more a more economical choice and better for the cows. In the show barn the cows are in individual box stalls/ large tie-stalls which are then connected to pasture which the cows enjoy in the evenings.

With the robots they could milk 180 but are now looking to review the numbers down to 70 cows in order to reduce the number of FT workers on farm.  The cows are all A2A2, and the milk is sent to be processed into both liquid milk and ice cream. The dairy is currently buying cream to keep up with demand and keeping up to the soft serve. The milk is standardised to a 3.5% fat test and supplied into 7 stores (after buying the business with 5 currently). They have a repertoire of 36 flavours, with 10 currently in production. Riverdale are nice enough to bring us containers of ‘Pirates Treasure’  - a specialty flavour made for the Penn Pirates, along with a delicious chocolate milk, and plain milk for us to take with us to our hotel to be able to enjoy decent milk whilst in the hotels with ‘non-dairy creamer’.

From Riverdale we then head across to Washington PA.


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!


Farms: ST Genetics, Pine Grove

We’re up and out of the hotel early in order to make it to the ST Genetics Ohio Heifer centre. It’s the largest permitted farm in the county, with a 9.800 animal capacity, and currently travelling at 6,500 animals on site. The sheds are wide and expansive and each hold animals at different life stages. The site was originally acquired to foster an export business particularly to Russia and Turkey, but then adapted to now run a milking barn and embryo recipients from both the high genetic merit animals on site, and the Wisconsin facility.

In order to feed the animals, they have over 2,000ac of corn (1/2 is currently planted) along with triticale as a grain ration. It takes 12 hours to feed all the sheds and there are 26 different customised rations, which 5 FT staff attend to, and whilst in the bus we see multiple feed trucks go past. The resulting manure from the sheds is used by a spinoff mulch company who process it for Lowes/Home Depot as composted cow manure.

The barns are single sided monoslopes with entirely bedded packs – working as close to a ‘natural living’ environment as possible. The base level of material is permanent, with the top 3-4 inches worked over between 1 and 3 times per week. 4 skid loaders and 1 extra large loader with 4 FT workers keep the barns in good condition and provide a good base for the cattle. The heifer barns are equipped with the Growsafe feed stalls, recording data points through over 200 feed nodes to get at least 70 days growth of valid data. The Ohio centre has 98% of accountability for their feed disappearance, allowing for greater control over feed rations and budgets.

ST have acquired Guernsey genetics recently and are looking to create their own unique breeding line similar to the Holsteins. There are 300 bulls onsite currently undergoing genomic reviews to determine who will continue into AI. The company aims to buy high quality females to breed males suitable for the industry and make profits off semen sales.

The maternity pens have cameras installed, and within 12 hours of birth the calf has had it’s first serving of colostrum – taken from the colostrum bank to ensure the quality is optimal, 3 DNA samples taken, it’s 2 ear tags put in and given a vitamin bolus along with a BVD sample. At 72 hours bloods are pulled to check the colostrum has successfully being taken and the calf’s immune system is responding. Calves are kept at the maternity pen until a first round genomic test is completed, and then moved to either a barn where automatic feeders are used, or a separate, high genetic merit barn where they are fed by personnel. The groups are allowed unlimited intake, and so are drinking an average of 7L of fresh milk per day, with some reaching 11L/day until they are weaned at 75 days. They are then moved as they reach the targeted weights to enter the heifer barns with the Ecofeed trials.

In the dairy they are milking 1,000 head of cattle, with 330 animals calved in May alone. They were previously selling these on the open market but have installed new 16 Lely A5 robotic milkers. With start up in January, the group are averaging 3.1 visits per day, with one cow even trying 28 times in 24 hours! The barn is incredibly pleasant, with tunnel ventilation, fans throughout to keep the pack dry, and bedding changes 2x per week. Each set of 4 robots sort to 1 pen, where someone is present 20 hours/day to deal with any treatment issues. With the robots and the technology in the milk room, the only thing they have to touch is the milk filters. The data that they are collecting as trial heifers become trial cows is they are now planning to research if high efficiency heifers become high efficiency cows.

The majority of cows and heifers are embryo recipients, with an average of 25 ETs per week, and 70-100 transfers per week. The attention to detail, data accuracy and process results in high pregnancy rates 50%+ in the milking cows, and 70% in the heifers. There are multiple Guernsey pregnancies due soon from the first acquisitions, so we look forward to seeing trials involving Guernseys and the golden girls competing with the Holsteins to prove their efficiency and superior milk quality.

From ST we head onwards to Pine Grove farm. Run by Reuben Miller and his family in the middle of Amish country in Walnut creek. The Millers milk 30 cows that are mostly Guernseys, having started in 1946 when Reuben’s father married a Guernsey girl. The Jerseys have been in the herd since 1993. The cows graze until milking, and enjoy a mix of corn silage and grain mix during their time in the tie-stall waiting to be milked.

When selecting sires, Clayton selects based on depth of pedigree. They have a wide variety of sires used, including Conqueror and his son Logo, Grumpy, Copper, Gary and Bruce.

The barn is immaculate and the cows are in great condition, with quality mammaries throughout the whole lineup. The Millers have been selecting in recent times to improve rear leg rear view, and this is evident as the cows stand square with high, wide rear udders.

Reuben & Esther join us for dinner at Der Dutchman, and enjoy authentic Amish fare next our wonderful inn. We’re also lucky enough to enjoy a buggy ride with Reuben’s horse & cart!


Another early start - from Goshen we head onwards to the Land of Living farm, where the John & Bonnie Ayars are hosting their World Conference sales & dispersal. We see a great herd of quality heifers and cows from some deep pedigreed families, Aaron, Latimer, Fame American Pie and more. We enjoy the hospitality with a great lunch and of course Land of Living ice cream. From LOL we then head onto Hilliard, OH.


Farm: Villa Crest

Sunday we travel onwards from Fort Akinson to Goshen, IN.

Villa Crest is a stunningly beautiful white barn filled with Golden Guernsey cows, operated by Verl & Gretchen Weaver. There are approximately 35 pristine milking cows, supported by 160ac of tillable land, who a fed a basic grain ration with alfalfa hay, bailage and corn silage. The Weavers focus on individual high cow production and high classicfication scores – Verl’s aim is Excellent 100,000lb cows – currently the herd is averaging 86 points with a RHA of over 20,000;bs milk, 1000 Fat 700 Protein.

The barn is spotless, the cows are washed and just about show ring ready in the bright and airy space – incredible given the barn was built around the mid-late 1800s, and yet the ceiling height is comfortably high. There is a combination of tie-stall and free pens in the first barn, and an added free stall allow for optimal cattle movement. The lineup of animals in the tie-stall is stunning. The animals are long, lean and dripping dairyness. There are only stunning udders with tremendous width and ligament strength.

In the dry pen we see the matriarch Mar Ral Royal Martha EX94, still moving cleanly. The calves are well grown and with great rib as youngsters, with the older heifers out grazing pasture. A tremendous farm.

We enjoy dinner with the Weaver family courtesy of the Indiana Breeders Association.  


Farms: Gurn-Z Meadow, Hoard’s Dairyman.

The showers were closing in on the tour  group again but that didn’t stop us on the most exciting day of the tour so far. We travelled across the Wisconsin countryside, where the season has been better, but still suffered a 30% alfalfa kill rate

Ed & Julie Bacon, along with Jennifer, and father Bill, milk 120 cows with 2 Lely A4 robots

Jen spent 15 years in the biotech industry before returning to the farm, and is now working her way through apprenticeships in cheese and butter making, with the intention to market their own artisanal produce from Golden Guernsey milk..

The herd is approximately 70% Holstein, with the other 30% Guernseys. There are no favorites here – all animals must earn their stall in the barn. The barn has a focus on cow comfort, with sand bedding used in addition to a packed straw pen for hospital/sick cows. When selecting sires, Julie looks for high DPR/health traits and production. The cows are expected to get back in calf within 150 days into lactation and produce on a level equivalent or better than the Holsteins on a solids basis.

The new facility was built in 2012, and the cows are milked on average 2.8x per day for an RHA if 23,766lbs M 4.5% 1,011F and 3.4% 767P. Julie commented that the Guernseys were faster to train up than the Holsteins into the robot milkers, and fed a mixture of corn silage, cottonseed in a TMR.

In the barns we see some solid cows thriving in the freestalls. There are Cordell, Judgement, Sputnik and Copper daughters as well as some Latimer and Top Notch daughters. With the focus on health traits and the need for the udders to be correct for the robots, the udders are all above the hock, with ideal teat placement. The majority of the cows we view are 1st or 2nd lactation and classified between 80-85 points. They are balanced young cows which makes it exciting to think of how they will develop over further lactations into cows with strength.

The lunch the Orchard family provides is a bountiful harvest of local produce – complete with homemade cheese curds and butters of all different kinds. There is also a selection of Wisconsin cheeses to enjoy. There is also ice cream from the local creamery that Gurn-Z Meadow supplies.

As thunderstorms loom we roll out of the farm onwards to Fort Akinson, WI.

We head to Hoard’s Dairyman – immediately apparent is the brand new freestall barn, with 4 brand new DeLaval robots milking the 200 Guernsey cows. Jason Yurs, the herd manager is tired as the robots only started up on Wednesday, and each of the cows’ udder pattern has had to be programmed into the computer. However, the majority of the cows have already learnt the behaviour of coming into the robots to be milked, but we stay on the outside of the freestall in order to keep further disturbance to a minimum.

Hoard’s Dairyman is the oldest continually tested and registered herd of purebred Guernseys in America, since WD Hoard set up the dairy in 1885. The farm was designed to showcase best practices in animal health, cropping and production and communicate this through the Hoards Dairyman magazine.

When Jason took over the herd around 2002, the herd was in a challenging state. With the challenge to grow the herd into a commercial enterprise, Jerseys were purchased as the Guernsey herd was running at a 70% bull rate and poor heifer retention, and the herd needed to grow. A free stall barn was added in 2012, with the latest shed only being completed in 2019. As the selection pressure has focused on DPR and health traits, the Guernseys have out competed their Jersey herd mates on an efficiency per kg/milk solids basis and are now the dominant breed on the farm.

As we walk through the new robotic milking barn, the cows we see are strong, wide and open-ribbed with well attached udders. They carry slightly more condition, but bone quality is evident, texture is soft and silky on the udders and the animals all move on functional feet and legs, with locomotion being a self-selecting trait in the free stall operation. We see a wide mix of sires being used, and multiple daughters standing out – Copper & Cordell frequently being in the mix. The cows have multiple lactations behind them, and the average calving interval is 12.8 months. The cows are eating a superfine TMR, and the wide muzzles are ensuring there’s plenty of dry matter going in to produce quality golden Guernsey milk. The animals are relatively settled given they have been in the facility for less than a week.

Hoard’s have started to make their own cheese, and are looking at processing their own milk – however they have a good relationship with their current creamery, and receive a premium for the Guernsey milk based on cheese yield, allowing them to test the market with the cheese, and continue to focus on the farm operation.

The heifers are kept offsite at a different facility that isn’t as close to town as the home farm – we see some higher pedigreed heifers that are currently in the hutches – well grown, vigorous young calves by Prince Charming are standouts.

We enjoy dinner courtesy of Hoard’s Dairyman, which is greatly appreciated.


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.


Farm: Knapp’s Guernseys

Todays’ herd was a visit to the well-known Knapp family – a barn full of Tambourine and Tamera family members. With many All-American winners and nominees, there is a nice selection of both young and mature animals. We see some neat young Copper daughters, early Top Gun milking 2 year olds (quite full of milk when we see them) as well as some older cows from Pilot

Randy uses a variety of bulls – from young sires to proven bulls. The current concern is that the young bulls are not as good on type as the older bulls, but the younger bulls are making great progress on fertility/ DPR. They use a blend to maintain the balance, as a growing portion of their income is derived from cattle sales rather than milk income.

We enjoy a lovely lunch, catching up with a number of other breeders – Chuches & Dindermans drop in for the day. Big thanks to Randy, Wanda, Austin & Landen in getting the animals ready and presenting a fine group of animals.

From Knapps we then travel onwards to Prairie du Chein, WI


Farms: Dix Lee Guernseys

From Branson we drove to Dix Lee farm – Keith, Katie, Brett & Whitney are all so welcoming and the herd is ready for our arrival. The 60 milking Guernseys are intensively grazed, kept on pasture year-round and fed free choice hay, with grain in the dairy. There are many lovely young cows walking through the herd, but a large number are older cows, showing longevity, functional type and making the profits to enable the Dixons to continue their passion. A standout is a nearly 19 year old cow – Dix Lee Gargoyle Dela with 15 lactations behind her and still milking. She continues to move freely, if a little slower than some of her younger compatriots. Daughters of the Dixon’s own bull – Freedom are open, silky dairy cows with high, wide, snug udders as 2 year olds. We only see a few Dudes, but the heifers have good strength and width from front to back. There are a number of different bulls represented in the overall herd, but the Dixons have pulled out a few standout numbers into the catering tent along with Brett’s cows from Still Dreamin dairy. Tinkerbell (Aaron) and Fawn EX-93 (Kojack) make lunch a very pleasant affair. Missouri hospitality is in full swing and we are treated to a full cookout to enjoy.

From Dix Lee we then commence the long drive to Keokuk, IA, taking in the many sights of the mid-West, and seeing firsthand tornado destruction.


From Tulsa we stopped in to visit the Bass Pro Ship and Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. This was certainly a surprise as the store itself was full of taxidermy from across the ages, and the museum was focused on history and conservation. The aquarium held more than fish and had a huge array in their collection which seemed to continue on forever. From there it was across to Branson, MO where we were entertained by the delightful team over dinner at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampeder. Brilliant horsemanship, skills, dancing and entertainment enjoyed by all.


After an interesting night where the hotel was on tornado alert, we headed off to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. An amazing insight into how the West was developed, the life of a cowboy and what it was like out in the ‘Wild West’. Outside the Chuck Wagon festival was in full swing, with sample settler fare being prepared over campfire. A real-life Annie Oakley demonstrated some remarkable sharp shooting. A thoroughly enjoyable mix of art, history and culture. From there it was the drive to Tulsa, OK.


Fort Worth > OK

Farms: Lavon Farms (Lucky Layla)

With clear blue skies we depart relatively early from our hotel towards Lavon Farms. We make good time and are able to divert for a bit of fun at Walmart where the bus picks up snacks not available in other countries as well as items forgotten but needed.

We visit the 2nd farm of Lavon – Owned and operated by the Moore family:  Jonathan, Todd, Deanna, Madison & Maxton are milking approximately 400 milking cows with a 50/50 split of Jerseys & Guernseys. They have been gracious enough to sort out the 2 breeds so that our view is uninterrupted with Golden Guernseys. With the farm being approximately 1200 acres, the operation is grazing only with a small amount of baylage. Cows are supplemented with cornmeal and a mineral additive in the ration.


Cows are milked in a 20-a-side herringbone dairy that is approximately 10 years old. The milk from the Springville site goes into the Lucky Layla farm branded products – drinking yoghurt being a delicious example. The herd average is around 4.3% Fat and 3.4% Protein, with milk around 35 pounds per day on 2x a day milking frequency.

The Moores are fans of keeping things simple, and with the pressure of hot Texan summers approaching choose to use teams of bulls to get their cows in calf as quickly as possible before the heat sets in and the temperatures climb to over 110f – whilst the Guernseys do cope with the heat better than the Jerseys, no cow likes to be hot, so cooling ponds are provided to allow the girls to cool off when the thermostat soars.

Whilst walking around the feed bunk you can’t help but enjoy the cool breeze of the shade and the high span of the roof keeping the sun off the cows. The girls are relaxed chewing their cuds waiting to be milked. We walk through the groups, with some standouts being a  

  • 4 year old Novak daughter

  • A 5 year old Les Jaonnets Cara’s Conqueror daughter

  • Daughters by Lavon Farms bulls sired by Royal Oak Royalty

  • 9 year old sired by Sniders Option Aaron

  • 2nd lactation Crunch daughter

  • Multiple neat uddered Behold daughters

Throughout all the groups observed (including the small hospital group of mastitic cows) there are no incidences of lameness – the cows all track extremely well with smooth locomotion. With the herds being grazed and having to walk substantial distances, this strong selection pressure is evident.

We’re treated to some Lucky Layla drinking yoghurt for refreshment; the Pina Colada flavour is delicious! An exchange of gifts as thank you presents to the hosts who also surprise us with goodie bags of their own. We head over to the local church and enjoy a feast of BBQ meats, home-cooked treats and Lucky Layla butter – with that distinctive golden guernsey colour and beautiful taste.

We’re then on the road again heading to Oklahoma.


AT&T Stadium; Fort Worth Stockyards & Rodeo

The morning is spent on a tour of the AT&T Stadium – home of the Dallas Cowboys. A USD$1.2 billion build, a mix of function, form and modern art, it certainly is not your ordinary sports stadium. Architecturally designed, the flow of patrons in and out is effortless and the stadium can cater to a wide variety of events. 6500 employees help to run the stadium on event days – over 80,000 people can be seated at the venue, with another 20,000 standing room. We’re able to get on the hallowed turf, and make our own touchdowns.


We spend the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the Fort Worth stockyards and surrounds. The longhorns walk though town with their incredible horns lengthy but keeping them trouble free.

The evening’s entertainment is a preferred box seat at the Cowtown Coliseum Rodeo. We’re effectively ringside, close in on the action as bull riders, bucking broncos and ropers all have a go in order to qualify for the Memorial day events. The lasso work by the cowboys and cowgirls is incredible.


Today is our visit to ST Genetics at their facility on the way to Fort Worth.

We are greeted enthusiastically by Dan Carroll, our guide, who has spent 10 years with ST and is in the genetic development and selection team. We tour the ET and collection facilities, where they are currently working on a number of beef clients. The donors can be as young as 6 months, and after a series of ET flushes (both conventional and sexed), put in calf at 15 months, and then oocyte collection continues whilst the elite heifer is in calf until the technician can no longer reach the ovaries. It is fascinating to hear that through the process of amniosentisis, they can determine the genomic potential and sex of the animal at day 70 of the pregnancy and decide if they will continue the pregnancy – not without risk, but a recipient could be put back in calf to a higher genetic merit embryo faster and more economically then waiting for them to calve.

We head over to the GrowSafe trial pens, where we are presented with the information behind ST’s Ecofeed product – utilising the Growsafe trial bunkers where residual feed intake can be measured and tracked along with the animals’ weight to determine the most efficient animals within a trial group. The resulting data once adjusted for environment can then be converted into an index able to be used by the industry – in a format equivalent to the ‘Feed Saved’ value of the Australian BPI - launched early 2018 - The development of a dairy efficiency selection index - Feb 2018 World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (See Dr Jennie Pryce paper ‘The impact of genetic selection on greenhouse gas emissions in Australian dairy cattle – Animal Production Science 57(7) · March 2017 )

Once back at the main facility we are treated to some wonderful presentations by the ST team:

Greg BeVier – overview of ST – Sexing Technologies, ST Genetics and the business with in the company

Dr Joseph Deen– a great presentation on how genomics is so much more than statistics, and how best to utilise the available technologies to accelerate genetic gain

Take home message – for advancement of the breed through genetic selection you need the following  3 things:

1.       Reference population

2.       Phenotypes (production & class data as a minimum)

3.       Genetic information on animals

Dr Mike Evans – the history of sex-sorting technology – reducing the cost, making the process more efficient and getting the technology to the point of conventional straws with the release of 4M.

We enjoy a delightful range of toppings to make our own fajitas – the Texans certainly do know how to cook their meat. From ST we are on our way to Fort Worth. We drop off our luggage into the rooms before heading to Billy Bob’s Honkytonk – the largest honkytonk around. We attempt some line dancing lessons from the seasoned professionals end enjoy a good deal of boot scooting around the dance floor before dinner.


Hi all!

As part of the world conference pre-tour I will be sharing updates so that those unable to attend the conference are able to see some of the tremendous Guernsey cows and delicious products that many of our breeders value add with.

With the tour kicking off in Houston, Texas, we started off with a cow-free day – or so we thought! With our leisurely start with a visit to the Space Center, there were non other than a group of Texas Longhorns in the fields next door to provide some entertainment.

The Space Center was truly amazing – the history of mans’ journey to the moon and the challenges and innovation that had to happen to achieve success were incredible. It was fascinating to see the  work that goes on behind the scenes for the astronauts to fly. From spacesuits to Mars rovers, visiting the mission control center, the 747 that was modified to carry the shuttles and one of the Saturn V rockets, so many incredible technological advancements that have then also benefited society. Seeing the way missions are planned and packed, how science experiments are carried out on the International Space station, and even the details on what astronauts eat – certainly a potential to send Guernsey milk into space to help with preventing osteoporosis on the ISS!