Our initial goal was to increase Milk Production; we have done that and so much more!
Kitzmann Dairy is a wonderful oasis near Potsdam just outside of Elgin. This 4th generation dairy farm has seen its share of changes over the years. The technology that the coop and staff have brought to the mix at Kitzmann Dairy has helped Jeff & Cody Kitzmann reach a new level of success for their family dairy business. Milking 160 cows and managing a little over 300 acres of crop land takes more than experience, it takes trust and know-how to bring the business to a new level. Jeff and his son Cody attest to the value in partnering with All American Co-op and Robb Wock, Purina Animal Nutrition Dairy Production Specialist. In 2013 Kitzmann Dairy began working with Robb Wock and the trust that was established thru proof and experience was what helped them reach a goal of a 90#/day RHA. “We have exceeded that benchmark and now we are shooting for 100# RHA; and I think we will get it!” Jeff is happy to share that all of their milk components have improved and remain consistent, he goes on to say “I feel these improvements are a result of the effort that Robb has put into our farm with regular farm visits, routine forage inventories and sampling. Most importantly; the thread that brings it all together, the communication that takes place between Robb and Cody and I to be sure that we are doing all that we can to manage our herd the best we possibly can.” The overall herd health is excellent at Kitzmann Dairy, “Our cows are healthy and content. We have very few health issues, our cows settle and remain in a consistent herd rotation within the milking herd. Our replacement heifers come into breeding age with good size and frame and are ready to breed and enter the milking herd as we need them to do. We have a service consultant from Genex that walks the herd daily to help catch heat cycles and get cows bred at the right time to get them to settle.”
Robb Wock is a certified Calibrate consultant with Purina Animal Nutrition and Jeff is sold on the technology that this service has brought to the farm. Robb explains; “The Calibrate program allows us to analyze ruminally available starch and fiber with more accuracy, allowing me to have more confidence in what I’m recommending in the cows diet. When it’s all said and done, we gain better understanding of how to feed individual forages and energy sources so that we can maximize animal performance and health.” Robb will test forages to better manage rations and create efficiencies that ensure a well-balanced meal to each cow in the herd. Jeff and Robb agree that when the Calibrate program was added to the services All American Co-op offers the herd they saw a 3-4# increase in milk production. Feeds and forages get tested monthly as new feed crops are harvested to create a baseline for the current year’s forages that are harvested and stored. Once harvests are complete and baselines are established then a monthly test is done to ensure that qualities are remaining consistent. Jeff and Cody harvest all of their own hay and corn that goes directly back into feed for the herd. “I REALLY like having quarterly forage Inventories taken. I have the peace of mind that these inventories are very accurate and the reports I get from Robb are greatly appreciated by my finance managers to help ensure that we are on track with our inputs and expenses. This is something that I would not want to lose now that I have it.”
Obviously the increased milk in the tank is a very good reason for Jeff & Cody continue to do business with All American Co-op. Jeff is quick to add that there is more to it than that; “All American Co-op has the complete package! Exceptional Service, Quality Products, and Competitive Costs.” The Kitzmann’s take advantage of the Route Bagged Feed delivery truck as needed, bringing in Ampli Calf Starter feed and Cows Match Milk Replacer. The bulk delivery truck brings protein rations for the milk herd and Intense Calf TCR B60 pellets that are made right at the Stewartville plant. Jeff feels that they get a better quality pellet for the transition mix for their replacement calves and heifers because it is manufactured locally at All American Co-op. Jeff sums it up by saying that “All of these added services and farm visits are the peace of mind for Cody and I to know that we can do what we enjoy doing, working with our herd. We know that we can put our boots on every day and not have to be concerned with inventories, feed quality, or herd health, because our relationship with the staff at All American Co-op and Robb Wock are the insurance policy we have to go about our business to get the day-to-day work done.”