MVP Dairy, LLC of Celina, Ohio, received the 2020 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year award for its innovative, productive and sustainable dairying practices. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and Dairy Herd Management magazine presented the honor to MVP Dairy at a ceremony in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 27, 2020.
MVP Dairy is a partnership between two, fourth-generation farm families, the McCarty Family of Kansas and the VanTilburg Family of Ohio. Both families are deeply committed producing a wholesome product in a sustainable manner. The farm’s milk is Non-GMO Project Verified and sold to Danone North America. With 35 employees, MVP Dairy uses best management practices to uphold the highest standards in animal welfare, environmental stewardship, community building and workplace safety.
“On behalf of DeLaval, I’d like to congratulate to the hardworking and determined team at MVP Dairy. It’s been a pleasure working with the McCarty and VanTilburg families and helping them chart a sustainable course for dairy,” said Brett Olinger, Commercial Director, DeLaval Dairy Service.
As a greenfield site, MVP Dairy started milking its first cows in November 2018. The farm houses 4,400 cows in six freestall barns, each outfitted with DeLaval swinging cow brushes, and milks them on an 80-bail DeLaval PR3100HD rotary. Each stall point features a DeLaval milk meter MM27BC monitoring flow, yield and cow health, and a DeLaval milking point controller MPC680 recording reliable cow data. Two IDD touch screens in the milk room give operators the ability to make decisions about individual cow health in real-time. The cows also wear activity meters to help herd managers detect heats and keep an eye on their health. All of the information from these various cow monitoring systems is aggregated and reported by DelPro™ Farm Manager. MVP Dairy also uses our Cow Health Index (CHi) to help operators quickly identify special needs cows, which they can redirect into separate pens with automatic sort gates.
In an IDFA press release, Michael Dykes, president and CEO of IDFA, said: “We are impressed with MVP Dairy’s focus on data and tech throughout the farming operation, from their use of remote cameras, to collar monitors worn by the dairy cows, their innovative and patented manure management system – they have created a modern progressive dairy operation from top to bottom.”
MVP Dairy has a 95-pound milk average with 3.1% protein and 3.7% butterfat – excellent results attributed to their management practices and technologies in place.
Other efficiencies and sustainable practices utilized on the farming side include: cover crops on 95% of the 4,500 acres being farmed, no-til methods, grid soil sampling, grass filter strips along open ditches, precision irrigation, and variable-rate nutrition application technology.