This Dairy Regional Recap includes information on an award-winning California Holstein, a historic Texas dairy barn, the northeast’s FarmStart program for beginning farmers and more. This and other U.S. region-by-region dairy news can be found here.

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

To find news in your region, click on its link below.







California cow honored as 2015 Holstein Association USA Star of the Breed

A California cow has been named the 2015 “Star of the Breed” by Holstein Association USA. The award combines factors for milk production, classification score and show ring placings during the year.

Air-Osa Redbull 12417 EX-95 2E is bred and owned by the Airoso family of Air-Osa Dairy in Pixley, California. She is a daughter of KHW Redbull, out of Cache-Valley Lea Septst2-ET VG-85.

Air-Osa Redbull had a great year in the show ring in 2015, being named grand champion of the California State Holstein Show; placing first in the aged cow class and named reserve grand champion at the Western Spring National Holstein Show; and going on to be the fourth-place “150,000-Pound Cow” at the 2015 World Dairy Expo International Holstein Show.


Her milk production has been equally as impressive. In her last lactation, calving in at six years and three months of age, Air-Osa Redbull produced 61,020 pounds of milk, with 2,491 pounds of fat and 1,975 pounds of protein (3X). Her lifetime milk production totals 166,190 pounds of milk, 6,086 pounds of fat and 5,284 pounds of protein in four lactations.

The Airoso family has been farming outside of Tulare, Calif., since 1912. Today the family partnership includes Joe and Diane Airoso, their son Joey and his wife Laurie, Joey and Laurie’s son, Joseph and wife Kelci, with their two children, Ruby and Phillip. They milk 2,900 registered and identified Holstein cattle with a rolling herd average over 28,000 pounds of energy-corrected milk and farm 1,500 acres of alfalfa, wheat, oats and corn.

Read more about the Star of the Breed award.

Historic Texas Tech dairy barn commemorated

The Lubbock County Historical Commission and Texas Tech University’s student government have dedicated a state historical marker commemorating the college’s legendary dairy barn.

According to the Texas Tech website, construction of the barn started in 1925. It was completed in 1927, at a cost of $29,461 with room for 40 cows. It served not only as an educational facility, but in the early years also housed dairy cattle owned by students. Students could house up to three cows and sell milk and dairy products to cover college costs.

The dairy barn is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Case studies highlight dairy farm ‘transformation’

Case studies showcasing dairy business transformations are now available online through the Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE). The studies document the decision-making processes of eight farm families using team concepts.

Transformation areas include herd expansion, robotic milking systems, renewable energy, business planning, succession planning, direct marketing and employee management.

See videos from the families and look at the case studies.

FarmStart raises investment level

FarmStart increased the size of investments in beginning farmers’ businesses to $75,000. The increased investment is available to new applicants only.

FarmStart, initiated by Farm Credit East and CoBank, invests working capital to help new farming ventures get their business started. Yankee Farm Credit joined the program in 2011.

In celebration of the program’s tenth year, Farm Credit East released Investing in the Success of Beginning Farmers: Ten Years of FarmStart profiling 11 FarmStart participants.

University of Maine cow sets state butterfat record 

Holstein Association USA verified the recent production record of UM Eden Padme as a new Maine state record for butterfat production in her age group.

At 2 years and 8 months of age, Padme produced 34,280 pounds of milk, with 1,649 pounds of butterfat and 973 pounds of protein in a 350-day lactation.

Padme is a member of the dairy herd at the University of Maine’s J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center in Orono, Maine. The herd is cared for by the University of Maine Applied Dairy Cooperative of Organized Working Students (UMADCOWS).


Gopher Dairy Camp is June 12-14

The 2016 University of Minnesota Gopher Dairy Camp will be held June 12-14 on the St. Paul farm campus. The camp is organized by Gopher Dairy Club and the Minnesota 4-H Dairy Project Committee.

Open to youth who have completed grades sixth through ninth (but have not yet started 10th grade), the camp provides dairy youth the opportunity to strengthen their dairy knowledge and skills. Registration fee is $90 and is limited to the first 100 students.

Visit the website or call Nicole Krumrie at (320) 296-8603 for more information.


Western snowpack melting at record speed

The western snowpack dropped at record speed in April, according to data in the latest forecast from USDA Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation.

Low precipitation and high temperatures led to a dramatic reduction in the Pacific Northwest, said NRCS Hydrologist Cara McCarthy.

In western states where snowmelt accounts for the majority of seasonal water supply, information about snowpack serves as an indicator of future water availability. 

NRCS has installed and maintains more than 800 high-elevation weather stations, known as SNOTEL sites, which transmit hourly updates on snowpack conditions. NRCS will continue monitoring conditions throughout the year.

Read the full western forecast or view information by state.  PD

Dave Natzke