Virtual Farm Tours

World Dairy Expo Virtual Farm Tours have brought operations from across North America to Madison for more than 15 years. Dairies featured each year excel in a variety of farm aspects including genetics, technology, community engagement, environmental stewardship, cow comfort and multi-generations, while also representing a wide variety of sizes, locations and breeds. Virtual Farm Tours are presented daily during World Dairy Expo in Mendota Room 1 of the Exhibition Hall, and are led by the farm’s owner or manager with time for questions and an open discussion to follow.

Below is information about the 2021 Virtual Farm Tours and recordings of the presentations.

Tuesday, September 28
12:00 p.m.

Newalta Dairy LLC

Pipestone, Minnesota

Sponsor: Milk Specialties Global Animal Nutrition

Wednesday, September 29
10:00 a.m.

Royal Dairy

Royal City, Washington

Sponsor: Advanced Comfort Technology & BioFiltro, Inc.

Thursday, September 30

10:00 a.m.

Steinhurst Dairy, LLC

Creston, Ohio

Sponsor: Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC

12:00 p.m.

Donley Farms

Shoshone, Idaho

Sponsor: GENEX

Friday, October 1
10:00 a.m.

Hildebrand Farms Dairy

Junction City, Kansas

Sponsor: Kansas Department of Agriculture

12:00 p.m.

Hendrickson Dairy

Menahga, Minnesota

Sponsor: Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc.

Saturday, October 2
10:00 a.m.

Prairieland Dairy

Belleville, Wisconsin

Sponsor: CowManager

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – 12:00 p.m.
Newalta Dairy LLC, Pipestone, Minn.
Sponsored by: Milk Specialties Global Animal Nutrition

After moving from Canada to Pipestone, Minnesota in 2006, Newalta Dairy LLC has been investing in animals and facilities to improve safety, animal welfare, and overall efficiencies on their dairy. Owned and operated by John and Berlinda Vander Wal, along with their son, Ian, and daughter, Alisha Ekkel, and her husband, Trevor, management decisions on capital spending are made based on long-term goals and future returns to better ensure the success of the operation.

Milking 3,300 Holstein cows in a double-40 parallel parlor and a double-12 parallel parlor, three times a day, Newalta Dairy LLC has a rolling herd average of 27,000 pounds of milk with 3.9% fat and 3.2% protein. Their cows are housed in a series of free-stall barns that rely on tunnel and natural ventilation. Calves are sent to a heifer raiser in Kansas and are brought back to Minnesota two months before calving. Newalta Dairy LLC focuses their breeding program on balancing type and production throughout their herd. 

Newalta Dairy LLC also farms 1,200 acres of corn, alfalfa, rye, sorghum and grass, and uses cover crops to help with soil erosion. They are also involved in their community through 4-H, the American Dairy Association, and DHIA, and have previously been awarded Pipestone County Farm Family of the year. Newalta Dairy LLC is a prime example of a dairy that will continue to be successful in the coming generations.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 – 10:00 a.m.
Royal Dairy, Royal City, Wash.
Sponsored by: BioFiltro & Advanced Comfort Technology, Inc.

With 6,000 cows in their milking herd, Royal Dairy LLC has taken their environmental efforts to new heights. Royal Dairy LLC, operated by Austin Allred and his family, values keeping their cows happy and healthy, families wholesome and strong, employees motivated and fulfilled, and the environment clean and sustainable. Allred’s work, along with key strategic partnerships, is leading the change for dairy farmers and their relationship with the environment.

Royal Dairy LLC utilizes BioFiltro’s worm digestive systems to remove 99% of water contaminants in their wastewater that is later used as clean water suitable for reuse on their farm. The herd, consisting of Jerseys, Holsteins and Angus crosses, averages 4.95% fat and 3.50% protein. Royal Dairy LLC’s herd is milked twice a day and uses sexed semen when doing embryo/IVF work. Much of the herd is housed in eight freestall barns with Advanced Comfort Technology’s DCC Waterbeds. These long lasting and low maintenance products provide cow comfort and allow for a cleaner, simpler manure waste stream.

The Allred family is heavily involved in the community and is extremely active on social media. Winner of the 2018 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, Royal Dairy LLC and the Allred family continuously strive to implement sustainable dairy management practices in a way that defines the future of dairy farming.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 – 10:00 a.m.
Steinhurst Dairy LLC, Creston, Ohio

Sponsored by: Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC

Throughout seven generations, Kurt Steiner, his uncle, John, and brother, Eric, have seen their share of change, always welcoming innovations to bring more modern approaches to their dairy. One of the family's aspirations is to not only run a profitable business, but to also maintain and improve an operation of which the next generation will be proud of. Christian, Kurt and Robin’s oldest son, is now working full time on the farm. 

The Steiner family recently tore down old dairy facilities and built a new barn to modernize their milking operation. Kurt's philosophy is to “always grow from within and with what we have,” and this has stayed true as a long list of farm improvements have been made over the past 20 years. 

At Steinhurst Dairy, decision making with the support of their nutritionist and veterinarian have been standard practice for many years. However, Kurt has taken this to the next level to react to the markets and make critical decisions more quickly. Steiner and his family have expanded their team of experts to include a financial consultant to better manage the budget and goals and has also taken a new approach of creating income and expense benchmarks on a hundredweight basis rather than a feed cost basis. This allows Steiner to make faster adjustments to the operation and better risk management decisions for the future. 

The Steiner’s 650-cow herd is milked three times a day and has a rolling herd average of 30,595 pounds of milk with 3.9% fat and 3.0% protein. Steinhurst Dairy also raises all their own forages on 700 acres - corn, alfalfa, wheat, and some rye as a cover crop. Additionally, they rent land and purchase forages with relationships they have built with fellow farmers over the years. Steinhurst Dairy has a rich family history and a deep appreciation for employees.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 – 12:00 p.m.
Donley Farms, Shoshone, Idaho
Sponsored by: GENEX

After selling their dairy in Pennsylvania in 1975, the Tabers relocated across the country to Shoshone, Idaho, where they started dairying once again in 1990 with 250 cows. Nine years later, the Tabers of Donley Farms began expanding the herd to 900 Holstein cows. Milking twice a day in a double-14 parallel parlor, Donley Farms maintains a rolling herd average of 28,974 pounds of milk with 4.0% fat and 3.27% protein. Donley Farms relies on the GENEX HerdMonitor® Cow Monitoring System for heat detection, health monitoring, integration, and cloud-based management. 

Running a large herd and 3,000 acres of crops in the dry climate of Idaho comes with challenges. The Tabers focus on the efficient utilization of water through pivot packages, along with recycling animal waste for bedding and fertilizer, the use of cover crops to combat soil erosion, and other strategies to improve their environmental efforts.

The Tabers also dedicate their time to community involvement. Members of the Taber family volunteer at fairs, have served on the Valley Wide Co-op board for 27 years, have served as a board member for GENEX for several years, currently hold a delegate position for GENEX, and have held leadership positions on the Farm Bureau board, Executive Council for Land O’ Lakes, and Idaho Dairy Association. Through their successful management practices and involvement in the dairy industry, it is no surprise that Donley Farms has been awarded numerous production awards for their Holstein herd in Idaho and Farmer of the Year Award for their county.

Friday, October 1, 2021 – 10:00 a.m.
Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City, Kan.
Sponsored by: Kansas Department of Agriculture

In 1930, Arnold and Rose Hildebrand wanted to earn more for their growing family. With the purchase of four Holstein cows, they started a path for the Hildebrand family that great grandchildren are still following today. The farm is now owned by Arnold and Rose’s great grandchildren, David and Alan Hildebrand, alongside their wives, Kathy and Mary, respectively. 

In 2008, taking a leap of faith, the brothers built an on-site glass bottling facility giving their children an opportunity to work on the farm. Through the last 10 years, they have grown the processing plant to service more than 120 stores throughout Kansas and offer a wide variety of dairy products. Today, the milking herd consists of 150 Holsteins that use a double-six herringbone parlor twice a day to maintain a rolling herd average of 22,950 pounds of milk with 4.04% fat and 3.19% protein. 

The Hildebrands offer an open door and a smile to thousands of visitors from all over the world through tours and hosting on-farm events such as Moo-vie Night, an annual Harvest Festival, and even cooking classes with a professional chef dubbed “Cows, Cooks and Conversation.” While the Hildebrand Dairy may be one of the smaller dairies in Kansas, they give back to their entire community and are proud to show how they have been able to stay sustainable in this ever-changing dairy industry.

Friday, October 1, 2021 – 12:00 p.m.
Hendrickson Dairy, Menahga, Minn.
Sponsored by: Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc.

In 2017, Joel and Amanda Hendrickson conducted DNA testing and discovered that 60% of their herd had the A2A2 protein. The Hendricksons made the decision to start culling out the A1 cows and began purchasing A2A2 cows. Today, the 135-cow herd consists of 100% A2A2 Holsteins and maintains a rolling herd average of 24,700 pounds of milk with 4.3% fat and 3.4% protein. 

In 2019, the Hendricksons started building their own creamery to process milk from their dairy. Ten Finns Creamery found a niche market in the dairy industry and now manufactures and markets non-homogenized A2A2 whole milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk and even butter throughout the Upper Midwest. The family aims to return the ability for consumers with milk sensitivities to enjoy “real” milk without discomfort. Hendrickson Dairy currently markets 10% of their milk through the creamery but are aiming to market 100% in just three years. 

The Hendricksons are a true representation of a “family” farm. Not only is the farm a business, but it is also a way of life for the Hendricksons with the entire family helping with feeding, milking and bedding the cows. In a day where so many small dairies are leaving the industry, the Hendricksons’ story shows the way a small farm has been able to thrive and think outside of the box to continue to dairy without having to add more cows.

Saturday, October 2, 2021 – 10:00 a.m.
Prairieland Dairy, Belleville, Wis.
Sponsored by: CowManager

From milking 200 cows in 1989 and undergoing expansion three times to now milking a herd of 1,500 cows, Jim, Mark and Chuck Fahey focus on quality at Prairieland Dairy. This fourth-generation dairy farm milks three times a day in a double-24 parallel parlor and maintains a rolling herd average of 31,000 pounds of milk with 4.2% fat and 3.1% protein. Prairieland Dairy has achieved the Quality Award for DFA Fat and Protein for eight years running and has also received the Top 5 National Corn Growers Award.

Prairieland Dairy’s reproductive management system includes utilizing Double Ovsynch on the first service and taking advantage of their CowManager program to identify and breed repeats after that service. The Fahey’s also use CowManager for health, nutrition and location information to help manage their herd more effectively and efficiently. Prairieland Dairy’s heifers are custom raised close by so the family is able to stay involved and ensure the success of their future herd.

The Fahey family farms 3,300 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans and wheat. They work hard to focus on their environmental efforts such as minimum tillage, automatic row shutoffs, conservation plans through the county, and a nutrient management plan for manure.