Russell County dairy producers were tops in the province again last year, with an average composite of 224. They celebrated that announcement April 11 at the annual Russell County Dairy Herd Improvement banquet at the Knights of Columbus hall in Embrun.
The Nooyen family of Brabantdale Farms in Navan once again took home the trophy for "Herd with the best composite average (BCA) milked three times a day" and dominated the BCA awards for individual cows.
The award for second best BCA herd milked three times a day went to the Versteeg family of Rusland Farms in Russell, while the winner for the best BCA herd milked twice a day was Ferme Prospère, owned by Luc and Sylvie Dutrisac. The runnner-up in that category was Bertam Farm, Fred and Théo Vanmunsteren.
The Versteeg family also received a Lifetime Production Certificate for 100,000+ kgs, as did Berwen Holsteins, owned by Bert and Wendy Molenaar.
The Hank Staal Seeds Trophy for Best Calving Interval went to Walter Von Ah of Heiwa Farm, at 12.5 months.
The Navan Veterinary Clinic Award for lowest herd somatic cell count (SCC) average went to Ferme Rico of Embrun, owned by Michel and Rachelle Lafrance. The SCC was 68,000.
The Cordial Farm Services award for second lowest herd SCC average went to André and Julie Brisson of Ferme Brissfrance in Embrun, with an SCC of 95,000.
The Bristers Group Inc. trophy for Most Improved Herd went to Dutcan Farms, owned by Joel Verdurmen, with 22 points.
For the first time ever, there was a four-way tie for second most-improved herd. With 19 points each were Ferme Hupéholm, owned by Gilles and Sylvie Hupé; Smygwaty Holsteins, Ray and Terry Smygwaty; Ferme des Rossignols, owned by Jean-Pierre Renaud, and; Larchway Farm, Scott Rathwell.
The herd management award went to Thomas and Paula Meyerhans of Harliland Holsteins. Runner-up was Joseph Mueller of Clearview Farms. Also in the top ten were Walter VonAh, André and Judith Hildbrand (Rosenhill), Jeff Hamilton (Thornyhedge Holsteins), André and Julie Brisson, Michel and Rachelle Lafrance, Gilles & Sylvie Hupé, Bert and Wendy Molenaar, Louis Raymond (Ferme Re-Mont).
Points for herd management were awarded based on milk value, udder health, herd efficiency, longevity, age at first calving, and calving interval.
The awards for individual cows were dominated by Brabantdale Farms, which won four out of five categories with Daisycrest Laugan Carmen (one-year-old), Brabantdale Cavalier Rebecca (two-year-old), Brabantdale Lee Beatrix (three-year-old) and Brabantdale Astre Tiffy (five and over).
Ferme Gillette's Gillette Leader Ruby was the winner in the four-year-old category.