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Breed:

Holstein 

Number of head: 

500

Number of milking cows: 

225

Average Productions:

40kg, 4.3kg Fat

Acres of land: 

960

Vandenbrink Dairy Farms, located in Saskatoon, SK is jointly owned by Henk and Evelien Vandenbrink and Henk and Martine Vandenbrink. The dairy started in 2005 after Henk and Evelien sold their mixed farming operation in the Netherlands and purchased what is now Vandenbrink Dairy Farms.

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The Foundations: History and Family

When you meet Henk and Evelien two things become very clear, they have a love of farming and they love being together as a family. The Vandenbrinks began their farming careers back in the Netherlands on a mixed farming operation. Early in their lives, they both understood that farming was their calling due to their love of working with the land and their love of working with animals.

Family is also a key piece that helps them appreciate their current profession and farm operation. They take a lot of pride in being largely a family run operation and their son Reese works full time on the farm. Henk and Evelien have five kids and Henk and Martine have four kids. Henk and Martine’s two oldest boys often help out in the barn and they’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about the cows and the milking operations.

Realizing Growth Potential

14 years ago Henk and Evelien arrived in Saskatchewan after purchasing a dairy operation with 120 Holsteins and no land base. After operating the farm for a couple years Henk and Evelien began exploring growth opportunities. Henk and Martine officially became farming partners with Henk and Evelien a few years later. Their operation has grown to 500 head, 225 of which are in milk and 960 acres to grow corn, barley, alfalfa and pasture.

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New Barn and Robot Milkers 

The Vandenbrinks recently finished a new barn and installed robotic milkers. The new milking system allows them to further increase their operational efficiencies, something that is important to the Vandenbrinks. The new barn was also built with growth in mind and they hope that over the next couple of years they can fill the barn to capacity. Currently they are seeing production averages of 38 kg milk, 4.3 fat, 3.4 protein.

Their current Dairy Nutrition Advisor was also one of the reasons they decided to begin feeding Trouw Nutrition products. “When Dan Meinen lived in Alberta he was my brother’s nutritionist, we were looking for a change here, and with robots in our future we decided to switch a couple of years ago,” explains Henk. Dan was able to draw on all of his past experiences working with AMS herds to help the Vandenbrinks make a smooth transition.

Tyson Flaman, Dairy Nutrition Advisor, Trouw Dairy, Canadian dairy, proofs of performance, dairy feed

“It is an honour to be working with this progressive dairy operation.
Working smart and not over complicating things is a big part of the
success at Vandenbrink dairy. With the recent completion of their
new robotic milking barn it’s plain to see a lot of time was spent
getting all the details right. I appreciate my farm visits because
I know there will be challenging questions and discussions;
and always straight to the point. Wishing the Vandenbrink
family all the best with this transition into robotics!”

Dan Meinen, Dairy Nutrition Advisor

 

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