As it is National Small Business week, let’s talk about our small business, Global Genetics Resources (GGR). the Blaser family has been a part of the GGR business since August of 2008. At that time, GGR had a line up of about 10 bulls; today, we market from a pool of about 50-80 bulls. Upon joining GGR, I felt it was important to keep cow families first for the future of Holstein Genetics.
Over the past eight years, we have seen a dramatic change in the Holstein world. The breed has gone away from cow families and found itself drawn more to genomic numbers.
This is not the trend at GGR; though we see the benefits of genomics as a management tool, we still find great value in staying true to cow families.
Every small business must find a way to set themselves apart from larger competitors or face the inevitable failure. We have found our niche; we feel cow families, aAa numbers, and offering crossbreeding options has helped us fulfill the needs of that niche and keep us in business, not an easy task with the dairy industry as a whole suffering as it is.
I believe we, as an industry, have to learn how to keep cows in our herds, raise fat and protein contents, and better manage and market our animals when they do leave the herd. The best way to achieve these goals is to breed hearty, healthy cows that add to the income, both while in the herd and when they leave the herd.
Frail cows do not produce well and do not market well as cull cows. Where a 1500# cow will bring $1,000.00 at cull price, a 1000# cow will only bring $300-400.00. With a $600-700 difference for one cow, that difference grows fast. Bull calves born with a stronger frame can bring $50-100 more at market, adding $10-15,000 to the bottom line of a 60 cow herd easily.
These points are some of the things we feel need to be promoted to stay in business. It used to be that the production of the most milk wins, but not anymore. As producers, no matter what size, we need to utilize every potential income enterprise available to our herd. Following those principals will garner success.
It is our estimation that it is critical that we do not lose any more family farms being forced out because their farm income has been severely damaged. Every farm, big or small, is important to the support and sustainability of the community they are a part of. No longer can we blame others for the problems in our industry. We must take our fate into our own hands and change our operations to have all potential assets count.
Wayne Blaser, Owner