Rainy weather didn’t dampen the mood during the 14th Alta Advantage Showcase Tour held June 18-20 in central Michigan.
The invitation-only Showcase event brought together 275 progressive dairy producers from 22 different countries. Guests spent three days gaining insight from seven Showcase Tour host herds and sharing management strategies with one another.
The host farms ranged in size from 850-3450 cows and included Simon Dairy in Westphalia, Maple Row Dairy in Saranac, Dutch Meadows Dairy and Rich-Ro South Dairy in St. Johns, Steenblik Dairy in Pewamo, Ber-Lyn Acres in Fowler and Double Eagle Dairy in Middleton.
At each stop, guests explored the entire dairy as they rotated through five different stations ranging in topics from reproductive strategies, to feed and bunker management, nutrition, milk quality, manure and nutrient management, genomics and genetics.
Partnerships make the difference
Each farm’s committed partnership with Alta was a common theme throughout the tour. The Alta team offers expertise in reproduction, genetic planning, efficient heifer rearing, and herd health. The local technician teams also help manage the reproductive program to maximize pregnancy rates and conception rates on several of the host dairies. Michigan Elite Account Manager, Tim Benda is the driving force behind these partnerships and a dynamic part of each on-farm management team.
These loyal partner herds have also reaped the benefits from their Alta Advantage program partnership. They work with their Alta team to customize their own on-farm genetic and reproductive plan using the Alta Genetic Plan and Strategy program. They use the genomic-proven sires to best fit their customized genetic plans in order to maximize genetic progress and drive profit on their dairies.
A feature at each stop of the tour was a Performance Pen of 25 Alta-sired daughters resulting from the Alta Advantage program. These daughters highlighted the consistency delivered from using genomic-proven sires to fit their own custom-tailored genetic plans.
Nearly 175 daughters were showcased in the seven Performance Pens throughout the tour. Featured sires included Alta’s top new daughter-proven sires like AltaGREATEST, AltaCEASAR, AltaVITTEK, AltaFAIRWAY, AltaROGERS andAltaSAMOA. Guests also had the opportunity to see both first and second lactation daughters by the famousAltaMETEOR, and his full brother, AltaJUPITER. AltaMARS, AltaTREASURE, AltaPORTER, AltaMAGNETO,AltaAVALON, AltaMADISON, AltaROLLIN.
A tour to remember
For most tour guests, the Showcase experience spread beyond just the farm tours. Evenings were filled with activities to build new relationships, including a Lansing riverboat cruise the first night, followed by a Showcase banquet the next. The camaraderie among guests not only brought out friendly banter among countries over World Cup soccer games, but shared thoughts and insight as to different dairy management strategies around the world.
After three days of touring some of the most progressive dairies in the US, guests returned home to countries all over the globe with countless memories of the excellent dairy performance and loyal partnerships showcased throughout the week.