Partnering with the right people at the right time has been paramount to success at McCarty Family Farms. The century-old dairy farming operation has grown and adapted through the years, recently finding great returns by improving their genetic base with U.S. Registered Holsteins. For McCarty Family Farms, a true pioneering spirit drives everything they do. Dairy farming for more than a century, the business today includes five operations in three different states: Kansas, Nebraska and Ohio. And U.S. Registered Holsteins are at the heart of it all.
“Years and years ago, our grandfather, our great grandfather and my father even believed in good genetics and good cattle. And when we got to the point of growth in Kansas, that was one of our goals to say, we got to get back to breeding good cows, identifying good cows,” said Clay McCarty, one of the four brothers active in managing day-to-day operation. “We wanted that to be something that was part of our brand, in a sense.”
Both McCarty Family Farms in the West and their partnership operation, MVP Dairy in Ohio, are moving toward 100 percent Registered Holsteins. Ken McCarty explains.
“We believe that working with the Holstein association is ultimately an investment in our future. Milk production really is a key indicator of health and wellbeing of any dairy farm out there, and we know that for us to achieve the goals that we have for our cow herds, that we have to invest in the genetics and the genetic future of our cow herd.”
The McCarty’s work with Holstein Association USA to rank individual animals for quality and performance, allowing them to maximize high-genetic performers and chart a different course for the lower end of the herd. The results are impressive. Cows at MVP Dairy can produce more than 100 pounds of milk per day. That’s up from the average 70 pounds about a decade ago.
“So, to see a 30-pound increase in your animals over less than a ten-year span, eight-year span, I know we’re doing something right,” Clay added. “Genetically speaking, our cattle have just gotten better, and we see it not just in the production side. You see it in health events. You see it in every aspect of cow care. So, it’s almost surreal at times.”
To continue to thrive into the next generation and beyond, the McCartys will remain focused on the horizon
“We wouldn’t be where we’re at today in terms of milk production or genetic profile without the help of the Holstein Association. We know that for us to continually improve, we have to continually improve her, and registration helps us achieve that. Registration helps us achieve a more traceable cow herd, a more traceable food supply chain, and those are all things that we think are going to be really valuable for us from a cow herd point of view but also from purely a milk marketing point of view in the future.”
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