Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 19, 2000, Image 54

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    814-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, February 19, 2000
Millmont Farmer Keeps Busy Schedule To Maintain Successful Dairy
Lancaster Fanning Staff
MILLMONT (Union Co.) In the evening, he typically
Every morning Joseph Snyder doesn’t finish with the chores
of Millmont gets up at 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. During May and
to help his wife Annette and son June, he might work as late as
Joe, Jr., with the morning milk- 11 P m - some evenings,
ing. Then he gets in his mini-van He does this seven days a
Annette and Joseph show off an article published by
Dairy Farmers of America on their nationally-recoanized
low somatic cell herd.
Pre- and post-dipping cows is a big part of keeping
somatic cell counts low on the Snyder farm. Annette fills
the dip cups up to make sure they’re ready for each
The Snyders scrap their tie stalls out several times a
day to keep the cows as clean and dry as possible, keep
ing bacteria away from the cows’ udders.
and begins his full-time job as an
ABS technician.
week, working more than 100
hours a week. And he does it
with a smile on his face and a
tremendous sense of humor.
Why does he work so hard?
Because, like most dairymen,
farming is in his blood.
“I was born into farming,”
said Snyder. “Even though it’s a
lot of hard work, a farm is a
good place to raise a family.
There isn’t much free time. But
then that keeps us out of trou
The Snyders milk 63 Holstein
cows and raise about 60 heifers
on their 273-acre farm, where
Joseph has lived ever since he
was born. In 1978, Joseph and
Annette purchased the farm
from his parents.
With Joseph working away
from the farm, Annette and Joe
Jr. handle most of the milking.
Joe Jr. also takes care of feeding
the cows.
The Snyder’s oldest daughter
Chris Kauffman also helps out
on the farm, feeding calves and
heifers, keeping the feed troughs
clean, and helping with the
morning milking. She and her
husband Donny have two chil
dren, Kayleene and Colton, who
both enjoy visiting the farm.
Joseph started relief breeding
for ABS in 1995, mainly to help
fund his youngest daughter Jen
nifer’s college education. Jen
nifer now works for a
pharmaceutical company in
Philadelphia. In 1997, Joseph
became a full-time A.I. techni
The Snyders have won nu
merous awards for the way they
manage their herd, which in
cludes maintaining a rolling
somatic cell count of about
In 1999, they traveled to Mad
ison, Wi., for the World Dairy
Expo, where they received the
National Dairy Quality Award.
This prestigious award is only
given to one farm in the entire
nation each year.
“That was the first time we
ever went to the World Dairy
Expo,” said Snyder. “And the
best thing about the trip was
that it was paid for, so it didn’t
take anything out of our pock
Their herd averages 23,181
pounds on DHIA, with ,869
pounds fat and 774 pounds pro
tein. They attribute their low
somatic cell count to carefully
monitoring their herd.
“When we get the DHIA
records each month, the Erst
thing we check is what our
somatic cell count was for the
month,” said Snyder. “Then we
flip the report over to the back,
and if we don’t have any high
SCC cows, we know we did a
good job.”
If the Snyders see a cow’s
linear score approaching four,
they take action. In December,
they treated two high SCC cows
after they saw their DHIA
“When I looked at the fact
that the one cow milked 111
pounds in November and only
78 pounds in December, I could
tell that high somatic cell count
was robbing me of some milk,”
said Snyder. “But then, after
treating her, that cow’s somatic
cell count dropped to .4 and her
milk production jumped back to
111 pounds in January.”
The other cow dropped to a
linear score of 0 in January after
Joseph closely monitors his herd’s production and
somatic cell count because they both have a tremen
dous impact on the bottom line.
“When you find a high
somatic cell cow, you can either
ignore the problem or fix it,”
said Snyder. “If you ignore it, it
can cost you the bonus from
your cooperative. It can also cost
you milk production.”
According to Snyder, if his
somatic cell count was to go over
100,000, his premium from his
milk cooperative, Dairy Farm
ers of America, would fall from
55 cents to 35 cents.
“When you figure 100,000
pounds of milk produced in a
month at a rate of 20 cents less,
that is $2OO dollars in lost profit
for that month.” And that
doesn’t count the lost profits due
to the drop in milk production
caused by high somatic cell
In the barn, the Snyders
closely monitor their cows for
any abnormalities in the udder
or in the milk when they strip
them out before milking. Each
cow gets stripped four to six
times before milking. They also
use individual towels to prevent
from spreading infection. All
milking help must wear latex
gloves when they milk, and the
cows are pre- and post-dipped
with a solution from ABS.
“If we see a cow with a swol
len udder or anything in the
milk that looks suspicious, we
Joseph Jr. strips the cows out several times before
milking to make sure no abnormalities show up in the
milk. On the Snyder farm, latex gloves are a must when
use the CMT paddle to check
them out,” said Snyder. “If she
has subclinical mastitis, we take
a sample, identify it, and freeze
The Snyders will hold the in
fected cow’s milk from the milk
tank and start some type of
treatment immediately. If the
treatment doesn’t work to clear
up the infection, then they can
take the frozen sample to the
“Within 24 hours, the vet can
identify what bug is causing the
problem,” said Snyder. “Then
his diagnosis will determine the
appropriate treatment.”
From experience, the Snyders
have found that treating cows
six days works best.
“I’ve found in the past that, if
you treat a cow three or four
days, by the time their milk is
good the mastitis usually flares
up again,” said Snyder. “'That’s
where the CMT paddle really
comes into play. You should
monitor that infection closely.”
Snyder encourages other
farmers to maintain low somatic
cell counts through the follow
ing suggestions:
1) Cows should be kept as
clean and as dry as possible.
2) Farmers should work
closely with their veterinarians
(Turn to Page B 16)