Running an Efficient Family Business
Moger Farms, Rollingstone, MN
Paul Moger is a third generation dairy farmer near Altura, MN. The Moger Family; Paul and wife Terri along with children Karli and Karson, and part-time help from Adam Franzen, manage a 60 cow dairy operation also growing corn, soybeans, and alfalfa on 400 acres of farmland in the rolling hills of Winona County.
Paul is very in tune with every aspect of his herd and values the support Callie Courtney and Kate Brown. “They bring the peace of mind and help keep me aware of changes occurring in the industry and new products which help me make cost effective decisions for my herd.” Animal Comfort is very important to Paul and he feels it is a key to his success. Every phase of his operation is kept clean and he maintains that cows are much like us, they have good days and bad days. Cows are affected by weather, environment, and life changes no different than most people. This is why Paul is diligent in keeping feed mixtures balanced to suit these changes in seasons and environment. The health of Paul’s herd is impressive and he experiences very little vet expense. He credits the regular visits from Callie Courtney, Dairy Production Specialist with some of this. He appreciates her monthly visit to the farm. During these routine visits Callie performs walk thru’s of the cow groups and takes note of body condition, hoof health, manure health, overall cow condition, and reviews milk components. Paul prides himself on requiring that everyone that helps with chores all perform task in the same manner. He says that “this is why I have a healthy herd with a consistently low somatic cell count component.” Testing every quarter at every milking is important. “Yes, it takes a couple extra minutes, but it is well worth the time to ensure that we are not overlooking something that could possibly turn into an expensive problem quickly.”
Calf facilities are equipped with a milk pasteurizer to help utilize un-salable milk for calves. Paul has been using the milk pasteurizer for 7 years and along with Katie Brown, Calf and Heifer Specialist with All American Co-op, together they have designed a program using his milk pasteurizer along with the Land O Lakes Pasteurizer Milk Balancer to get calves off to a great start. Calves are on pasteurized milk with ¼ pound of Land O’ Lakes Pasteurizer Milk Balancer per feeding with Ampli Calf 22 calf feed starting on day 2 until they reach 2 months of age. Paul says that since he has been on this calf feeding program he has had almost no calf loss and excellent calf growth. At 2 months of age, calves are weaned and put into groups in the attached calf building where they get a custom calf mix using the Intense Whole Shell Corn Mixer Pellet made by All American Co-op. Calves are also introduced to a 50/50 grass/alfalfa hay mix. At 6 months of age calves are moved to a different building where their nutrition is transitioned to a silage/haylage mixture. Bred heifers are transitioned to the Dry Cow group so that they can be monitored for changes, they are also offered the Purina Stress Care Tubs to help reduce transition lag and help ensure they are ready for the milking herd.
Paul feeds a custom pelleted protein mix that he and Callie Courtney formulated and is manufactured at All American Co-op in Stewartville. This pelleted ration also uses the Propel Energy Nugget, helping provide a consistent energy source for the milking herd. Paul feeds his cows 1x/day using a TMR mix that includes high moisture corn, silage, haylage, mineral, and his custom protein pellet mix. The TMR mix is distributed to the cows via an overhead conveyor system set-up down the length of the free stall barn. This system works well for Paul to decrease time spent mixing and feeding the milk herd, allowing cows plenty of time to eat and digest feed throughout the day. Paul participated in a study trial that researched the effects of the Rally feeding program in 2014 led by, then intern, Nate Goeldi, Dairy Production Specialist. The results of this trial were enough to sell Paul on the program and the product. Paul has since incorporated the Rally program into his regular feeding routine for all stages of production throughout the herd. Paul has noticed a decrease in ketosis. The Rally product also helps cows deal with summer heat stress, helping them to keep their appetites.
This type of value is why Paul brought his business with All American Co-op over 3 years ago. Paul appreciates the teamwork put forth by the feed sales staff all the way thru from the Central Feed Order team at Stewartville, to the delivery drivers, to the sales team on the farm. Paul has been pleased with every step of the process. “Doing business with All American Co-op has helped me keep my dairy business be profitable and efficient. I like doing business with a co-op, and with a group of people that care about how I like to do things.”