Brian George, owner of Co-Vista Holsteins is pictured on the right, with his sons, and Alta District Sales Manager, Duncan Bailey.
Number of milking cows: 400
Parlor: Double-12 parallel
Milk production: 31,000 lb
Pregnancy rate: 24%
Crops: corn, soy beans, alfalfa, peas
Genetic Plan: 45 Production | 35 Health | 20 Conformation
Co-Vista Holsteins of Arcade, NY, takes great pride in breeding elite animals that perform in both the parlor and the showring. Buying, selling and marketing their own cattle helps them stand out amongst many of the operations we typically see today. With a focus on production but an interest in type, the George family has worked hard to develop a custom genetic plan to develop animals that meet their high standards.
When Brian George took over the farm from his parents, he remembered well the days of milking in a 60-cow tie-stall barn. The farm, which was first purchased in 1992, was quickly expanding, and the family soon grew tired of switching cattle in and out of stalls. With progressive dairying on Brian’s mind, the decision was made to build a new freestall and parlor facility.
The blueprints to build a double-12 parallel parlor, along with several freestall barns, were drawn and the family soon got to work. The expansion was complete in 2003, and the herd grew to just over 400 milking cows. With no plans of expansion in the near future, the George family hopes to continue building on the genetics within their herd.
Efficiency was the top priority at Co-Vista as they made the decision to switch to Alta nearly two years ago. Tired of seeing inconsistent results with their previous semen company, the George Family chose to invest in a plan which would better suit the needs of their farm.
Because of the customized approach, they decided to join the the Alta Advantage program, with a customized genetic plan set with 45% on production, 35 on health and 20 on conformation. Since joining the Advantage program, the family has been pleased with the added value created while using Alta semen.
Milk production is just one of the areas where the George’s have seen improvements. With the goal of someday having the highest herd average in the state of New York, Co-Vista Holsteins puts a large emphasis on milk production. Focusing not only on health and type traits, but production traits as well, has helped the animals at Co-Vista excel in the milk parlor.
Reproduction protocols are taken seriously at Co-Vista. They strictly follow the recommended 14-11 day pre-synch/ov-synch program along with additional tail chalking. Each service is treated as an investment in an animal’s genetic potential. After their 60-day voluntary wait period, animals are bred to the best bulls based on their genetics, creating new generations of high quality cattle.
Knowing good management is key on any operation, the family has used DairyComp to put the spotlight on their standard operating procedures, working to fine tune and progress their operation even further. Whether it be from working to advance the care of their youngstock to improving conception rates, details matter at Co-Vista Holsteins.
“I want to be more than just a manager,” Brian George noted as he looked at his two young sons playing off in the distance. “I want to be a motivator. Dairying is one of the few businesses where you can measure your progress daily, and I want to ensure we are continuing to improve with each passing day.”