Built on a solid history and team
Joe was born and raised on the farm across the road from Colmont Holsteins. After completing school, he trained as a welder and worked in the city, where he met his eventual wife, Rita. In 1971 they were able to purchase the first of two 100 acre pieces that make up the present day operation.
Joe and Rita raised their four children – Jamie, David, Teresa and Joanne – on the farm. Jamie wanted to be a farmer from a young age and showed a keen interest in the cows. Today, Joe and Jamie work together full time, with Jamie spending a lot of his time each day in the barn with the cows. “I make my money in the barn,” he says.
Good investments and the right priorities
With the purchase the farm next door 20 years ago, the farm is now 200 acres. To make the most of the land available to them, Joe and Jamie have invested in tile draining their entire property, and grow corn, alfalfa and barley. They sell the barley or trade it for corn, but also grow the crop for straw. Investments have been made in purchasing additional quota and monitoring how much they spend on equipment. “The barn and the cows come first,” Jamie says. They have also invested in a feed pusher, which Jamie notes has made a difference in their cows’ performance.
Production and having a good milking herd has always been a priority for Joe and Jamie. They were the top producers in Dufferin County in 2017 and they have received several Gold Seal Certificates from Dairy Farmers of Ontario for their somatic cell count.
Tragedy and rebirth
June 5, 2009 is a day that the family will never forget. After Joe and Rita had welcomed a new grandchild three days prior, their barn caught on fire and they lost their entire milking herd. They did have some heifers located at a different farm and once they had made the decision to rebuild their barn they also purchased a neighbour’s milking herd.
Joe and Jamie have been able to find some positive outcomes as a result of the fire and subsequently building a new barn. Joe mentions that prior to the fire, he felt the herd had reached a plateau in production. Now that they have come through the fire and re-established their herd, Joe does not see there being a ceiling with how much production can continue to improve.
Success with the right nutritonal solutions
“A tweak of a ration can make a big difference,” says Jaimie. And that's why they get precision feeding with Newton® to balance the farm’s rations. The Oosterhofs are using Shur-Gain/Trouw Nutrition solutions in their rations – RM104®, Selko® Vivalto®, and Optivia® 22% Calf Starter.