Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, March 18, 1995, Image 28

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    Fanning, Saturday, March 18.1995
Lancaster Holstein Enthusiasts Tour Chester County
Lancaster Fanning Staff
Co.) A review of the history of
successful Pennsylvanian Holstein
breeding operations and a presen
tation about strategies for the
future were among the many high
lights of last week’s Lancaster
County Holstein Club tour into
Chester County.
About 75 Holstein enthusiasts
participated in a planned bus tour
of five registered Holstein herds in
Chester County, and the Universi
ty of Pennsylvania School of Vet
erinary Medicine’s New Bolton
Center. They also had dinner at the
West Fallowfield Christian Day
School, in Atglen, on the return
A major purpose for conducting
the tours is to allow Holstein
enthusiasts to see daughters of cer
tain sires in various stages of
maturity, but especially in milk.
Melvin Stoltzfus discusses some of his management
strategies which have enabled the Melwood farm to have
the Chester County herd with the highest rolling herd aver*
age and perhaps one of the lowest overheads.
, a {|roup of about 75 people wt>. ing around them
in the simple, but effective tie-stall with a smooth, tiled manger with hay and TMR.
. group
••tups. UnMenr In. ths front of tho stall la a aeries of wooden head gates.
Another important reason for
the tours is to allow participants to
see different operations, different
equipment uses, setups, feeds, and
to hear successful people explain
ing some of their decisions, strate
gies, and outlook.
Tours also provide an increas
ingly rare opportunity for dairy
people to talk to each other.
The farms visited inlcuded Dun
wood Farms, Melwood Farm,
Caernarvon Farm, Glen Valley
Farm, and Wallmoore Farm.
While all farms exhibited well
functioning operations and inter
esting aspects, of special note were
the tours of the Dunwood and Mel
wood farms.
Those familiar with the Dun
wood prefix would also recognize
that the family farm, started in
1953 by Jacob Stoltzfus, deve
loped the Golden cow family, and
had a widely known herd dispersal
in 1979 that featured the sale of
Dunwood Chief Carmel and 60
animals from the Golden family.
The farm is now under the oper
ation of Jacob’s son Alvin, while
Jacob’s other son Melvin Stoltzfus
operates nearby Melwood Farm,
with a herd that currently leads
Chester County in average
In fact although the two opera
tions are separate, Alvin and Mel
vin work together on certain
At Dunwood Farm, Alvin intro
duced his family wife Lily,
daughter Rose, and their four boys.
Marling, Steve, Nathan and
Dwayne and then introduced
the farm’s mission statement
Alvin said that be and his wife
came up with the mission state
ment and they have it posted on
the wall of the bam office.
The statement is three-part: “to
properly manage and maintain all
that God has entrusted in our care;
to provide a comfortable standard
of living, job opportunities and
character training for the family;
and to produce a product (milk and
breeding stock) that will benefit
Jacob talked about starting with
16 cows and a farmstead that had a
bit of timber on it. The wood was
used and sold and when Jacob was
done with cutting wood, they
decided to call the farm “Dun
wood” as in “done with the wood.”
He said he went to Canada to
look for a brood cow that had at
least three generations of produc
tion of 4 percent butterfat and that
had classified as Good Plus, or
Good for three generations.
loltzfus talks about how he and his wife started
the Dunwood Holstein farm and how he developed the fam
ous Golden cow family line.
Jacob said that he breeds for
conformation and type and that
getting milk production is a matter
for management.
He said that, at the time he paid
$7OO for the cow which he said
would translate in today’s prices to
spending about $2,500 to $3,000.
The first calf from that brood
cow was Dunwood Daisy, which
became the farm’s first Gold Med
al dam. He then added Golden to
the herd. Since then he had nine
generations of Gold Medal cows in
that line.
He said his bull selection
strategy was to use bulls which
balanced out the existing cow con
formation. For example, he said
that a short length cow would be
crossed with a bull that would cor
rect for longer length.
According to Jacob, when he
was breeding, artificial insemina
tion was just getting started and he
wanted Ragapple sons, but settled
for grandsons and greatgrandsons.
He said that he would keep cross
ing back on those bulls with the
succeeding generations.
When the bam was expanded
from 27 cows to the current
60-stall bam, he got Dunwood
Chief Carmel, daughter of his Cola
gu. ngs>. nice legs and
feet, and lots of dslry character, make up the Dunwood
cow, an Apollo daughter. Carmel
then gave Jacob his Coco cow, all
of which became fairly well
Carmel was especially recog
nized, as she became the first cow
of the breed to have recoriiedfive
consecutive lactation productions
of more than 1,100 pounds of but
terfat She was sold for $53,000
during the 1982 All-American to
Dr. Alan McCauley, owner of Em
’Tran, and embryo-trdilsfer busi
ness in Elizabethtown. A photo
graph of Carmel is in the Dunwood
barn office.
According to Alvin, he got mar
ried in 1974 and was working for
his father who gave him the option
of cash or calfin payment
By the time of the 1979 herd dis
persal, Alvin had 20 animals in the
herd that he was able to sell and
recoup his earnings. Alvin said
Melvin got started by using surplus
heifers from the Dunwood farm
and those became his foundation
cows, up until Melvin had his own
dispersal seven years ago.
Melvin then did church-related
work for three years, before get
ting back into dairying four years
(Turn to Pag* A 29)