International farmers visited ProCROSS Pioneers herds in California
ProCROSS Pioneers in Oakdale, California, opened their farms to show international dairymen how they have achieved success in their herds.
Picture: Around 50 people among farmers, veterinarians and journalists from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, and Mexico came to Oakdale to the ProCROSS Pioneers Tour 12th - 16th February. Picture was taken in W& J Dairy.
Every year in February, for the last 14 years, the first dairymen that have used the ProCROSS system, open their farms in Oakdale, California to share their long experience with the only scientifically proven crossbreeding system in the world - ProCROSS.
ProCROSS was first used in 1998 in Central California and is still being used by the founding cooperating herds. Four families together with Mike Osmundson, a visionary dairyman that started to make his own trials with many different breeds. Today they hosts visits from all around the world.
Picture: Crossview Dairy. Partnership consists of Bill, Jack and Kurt Hoekstra. 1,300 milking cows, 200 dry cows and 1,700 replacements
Picture: The international guests listening to Kurt Hoekstra at Crossview Dairy.
Picture: ProCROSS heifers out grazing.
“We didn't know we would be standing here having people from all around the world”, Mike Osmundson, founder of Creative Genetics, the official distributor of ProCROSS in the United States, says. All started with a thought on how to improve fertility, longevity and to breed for a cow that could calve easily and get rid of lameness and improve the overall health performance of their Holsteins cows. “If you think it, it became a thought, and then the thought became an action, and that is what happened with ProCROSS”, he says.
Picture: The international delegation listening to Rigoberto, manager of Bylsma Dairy in Merced, CA.
Picture: Cows at Bylsma Dairy
This time, a total of 50 people among farmers, veterinarians and journalists from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, and Mexico came to Oakdale to see by firsthand how this group of pioneers has accomplished an outstanding performance by using ProCROSS as their main breeding strategy.
“By carefully and continuously listening to our customers, we recognized that there are emerging problems with the US Holstein, including calving difficulties, SCC (Somatic cell count), fertility, general health, and longevity. Many of these problems are a direct result of inbreeding and poor breeding (breeding programmes focused on high production only.) These problems have reduced the net profit but more importantly: they have given the dairymen many extra headaches”, Mike explains to the group of international farmers.
Picture: Mike Osmundson, Owner of Creative Genetics and a staff member working.
“We decided to study 21 different breeds, and we ended up in the three breeds: Swedish Red (VikingRed), Montbeliarde and Holstein”. Osmundson explains that later on, the University of Minnesota started a 10-year research comparing the performance of the pure Holstein cows with the ProCROSS cows. Osmundson encouraged the dairyman to use only the best bulls from each breed.
Picture: Becky and Kurt Hoekstra with daughter Kenzie, they are co-owners of Crossview Dairy.
The delegation stayed in California for five days, where they could see how the ProCROSS program works and see cows in both grazing systems and intensive systems, ProCROSS cows that are milked in parlors or by robots, as well as different ways to feeding systems. Here you can see more pictures of the attending people and from the main activities from the trip, that included a visit to the World Ag Expo in Tulare, where Creative Genetics together with ProCROSS team had a stand in the Dairy facilities.
Picture: Kevin and Lori Prins with daughters at Prins Dairy. They own the dairy together with Kevin's parents, John and Marge Prins.
Picture: Willie Bylsma owner of W&J Dairy
Picture: Visit at Creative Genetics booth in World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA.
Picture: ProCROSS staff, (from left) Nicolas Zuurbier, Stephane Fitamant and Sven Johnsson.