Volume 40 Newsletter
Charlie & Carrie Sachs, Towerview Dairy
75 cows, 2 years with Priority IAC products
Eric Vander Kooy, Harmony Dairy
1250 cows, 9 years with Priority IAC products
Jay and Jake Hein, Nor-J Farms
120 cows, 10 years with Priority IAC products
Doug Harre, Wilra Farms, Inc.
350 cows, 12 years with Priority IAC products
Eric Breunig, KJRT Dairy
300 cows, 19 years with Priority IAC products
Charlie & Denise Bean, Rolling Spring Farm
100 cows, 5 years with Priority IAC products
Nevin L’Amoreaux, Paradise Valley Farms
400 cows, 7 years with Priority IAC products
There are those who disseminate fear as a way to hold on and control others in the presence of change. However, there is a new way that gives power back to producers with nutrition done through microbiology. This is unique; this is different, but really brings things full circle to looking at the rumen as a fermentation unit.
Priority has taken an objective view of nutrition by stepping back and viewing the advancements in forages that have changed rumen fermentation, pushing milk production forward while sacrificing nearly all health parameters. Ironically, this has not been recognized. The industry continues to use old nutrition concepts like overfeeding protein, adding excessive fat, and adding other unnecessary ingredients as a shot in the dark way to find results at the expense of the producer.
Microbiology, and its advancements, is becoming the new norm replacing the resistance to antibiotics, getting the gut healthy, and improving the fermentation and wellbeing of all animals and humans alike.
How is it that we know and believe that a single pathogenic, microscopic “Bad Guy” could make us sick or lead to death, driving us to the point of germaphobia; yet the impact of the “Good Guys” and the power they provide to advance nutrition is dismissed and disregarded? How is it that acidosis is a microbiological disorder, yet microbiology has been over looked as the best solution? Instead excessive buffers,
particle length, and even feeding straw (components that aren’t digestible) are used – Seems a bit crazy!
Priority has defied this approach by pairing microbiology and nutrition. Now celebrating 20 years, Priority IAC is standing the test of time, helping one herd at a time.
Priority IAC products bring Smart bacteria – bacteria fighting bacteria. Smart bacteria – bacteria stabilizing and maintaining rumen pH. Smart bacteria – bacteria shifting the profile of the microbiome, bringing the rumen bugs and environment similar cow to cow so to eat and respond similarly to the same TMR.
Here are a few insights on herd health and reproduction from producers using Priority IAC Products and what they see on their farm. These are the direct comments/quotes from the producers.
Charlie Sachs: A month or two in and I can see a definite change in the cows – Just the way they looked, the way they eat. They had a shine to them.
Carrie Sachs: The manure is a big change, everybody looks about the same now. We don’t get real watery cows – It’s all consistently the same...You can see the cows are doing better, they’re looking better, they’re feeling better – We see a lot less feet issues
Eric Vander Kooy: We grow a lot of grass, we may have two different grasses in our bunkers and when we switch, the cows don’t even notice the changes in feed. The rumen is so stable it doesn’t upset the digestion, they just keep eating…If people ever give me a hard time for spending the money for P-One™, I ask them what their vet costs are, let’s compare costs. I know what it costs me to make milk. For as many cows as we have, it’s a low vet bill. Look at our cows, they look really good. I am proud of the way they look.
Jake Hein: Foot health is another thing we’ve noticed. Our hoof trimmer has made a lot of comments to us as we trim the entire herd twice a year. Last trimming in November we did 150 cows and put on one block. Putting blocks on, cows limping used to be a pretty regular thing before the P-One Program™. Now because our MUNs are low, we don’t have that excess coming out through the feet because we aren’t feeding that excess protein.
Doug Harre: What attracted me to the Priority products was the advertising about cow health. And then the more I learned about it, the more it made sense…It’s been so long since we started P-One™ that I’ve almost forgotten what it was like to feed without it. I know that when we made the switch and added the product in, the number of DAs went down and the hoof abscesses were a lot less. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but I remember that it was obvious. It was enough to stay on the product. We’ve always had the production, but now we’ve reduced the health issues.
Charlie Bean: Cow health is really good…The production is high and it’s our butterfat that has been a pleasant surprise.
Nevin L’Amoreaux: What we were really after when we went on the P-One Program™ was foot health. We’ve always pushed the cows pretty hard for production, we’ve always been right on that edge…We’re no different than any other farm; you have to prove it to us. We saw the benefit from the foot health and cow health.
Charlie Sachs: We started using the P-One™ in the dairy ration and experimented with DCP™ on the dry cows. We found out that it does what it’s supposed to do, cows freshen in and seem to want to eat better.
Eric Vander Kooy: We have them on the P-One™ diet, starting them a couple of weeks before they freshen, and it has almost eliminated any off-feed issues in our fresh cows. We rarely have a DA. I really believe keeping them eating with the P-One Program™ helps prevent ketosis and those kind of issues in fresh cows. Treating is labor intense. You don’t make any money treating cows, it’s just damage control.
Jake Hein: Ketosis dropped dramatically and we hardly have any metabolic issues – They are next to none.
Jay Hein: I was so accustomed to having DAs, ketosis, and milk fever issues. I thought everyone has it and has to go through it. That it was the normal – Well I can tell you it doesn’t have to be the normal once you understand there is a better way…When you get them to calve in and go through the transition without any issues, they simply take off.
Doug Harre: The biggest thing was the cows eating and the cows just took off. When they’d calve the DCP™ helps them, it’s like they don’t miss a beat. It’s not going to prevent everything, but I know from when we started the herd health is a clear difference.
Eric Breunig: When we started with the P-One Program™ (P-One™, DCP™, and TracePac Gold™ Smart Release Crystals™) the fresh cows started calving in a lot better. We didn’t have as many RPs…I’ve given StartUp™ Gel to cows that seem off, I just give them a tube and wait to see what happens. More times than not, that’s the only thing they need. They’re back to eating…In the case of a uterus infection or a hard calving, I keep giving them two Gold Spike® Capsules until they take off.
Charlie Sachs: Reproduction has got to be every dairyman’s biggest concern. Without getting cows bred back, without fresh cows, you have no milk in the bulk tank... Since having Priority do our rations my feed bill went down and the cows responded very well to the diet change – We’re actually getting cows to show heats.
Jake Hein: We are consistently in the 150-180 day range because we improved reproduction. It was really hard to do previously, it always seemed like we had cows that were heavy milkers getting out there in days and we couldn’t get them bred or get them to show heats.
Jay Hein: Cows showing heats is huge. We now have cows cycling and showing strong heats. I’ve heard it from nutritionists and veterinarians, they say we have bred it out of them, but that’s not correct. We have not bred it out of our cows, it’s all in the ration…With having such a good conception rate and everything working well, we are selling about 20% of the herd each spring to other dairies. It helps our cash flow dramatically. We can move the younger cows.
Eric Breunig: Our breeding improved with Priority’s trace mineral pack (TracePac Gold™ Smart Release Crystals™), pretty fast! I want to be in the 50-70% pregnant range. I aim for getting 10-12% of the herd pregnant every month, so to have cows consistently calving to reach and maintain high levels of production. If you get long days in milk, you get more ups and downs in production.
Nevin L’Amoreaux: We saw better heats and improved uterine tone.
Charlie Sachs: We enjoy working with all the people at Priority. They have our best interests at heart – It’s nice to find a company that is that way.
Carrie Sachs: If you look at the Priority products as a proactive way to do things versus a reaction to things – You are preventing a lot of issues.
Jake Hein: You have to have an open mind with how you do things today. Working with Priority has definitely helped us progress in the right direction today. With Richard’s resume and what he accomplished at Clover-Mist, that’s huge…It all goes back to my meeting with Richard, when he explained the straw diet being nothing but a roadblock. After we changed the dry cow diet, it’s like the gates opened. We’ve been taught the wrong way forever, there is a better way! This is the better way and we’re going to do it.”
Jay Hein: It’s really frustrating to see the money we lost and the cows we’ve lost when we were doing what we thought was our only option. It’s so frustrating that the nutrition world of today will tell you that everyone has DAs and sick cows – No they don’t, or at least they don’t have to...Priority is very knowledge about cows and nutrition. They know what is going on and are focused on educating, and that’s huge.
Eric Breunig: Whenever I have questions they’ve available to answer them and more importantly to teach me. They’re not just trying to sell me stuff…Once you get a good working team around you and are consistent, milk tends to follow.
Charlie Bean: The thing that interested me the most through the literature and the meetings is that Richard is a dairyman. He knows how to handle high producing cattle and knows what they need – He knows it firsthand…He knows exactly what our issues are, he’s been there. It’s what makes me believe what he is telling us is real. And then we see it when we do it. There is a lot more to this than what you learn from a university or a college. I think there is more to it than what we are led to believe…The whole product line fits our needs on the farm. It’s worked for us. I feel comfortable, I feel confident, and I feel like we’re in good hands working with Priority.
By Richard V. Breunig, President and Founder
A paradigm shift that started more than 20 years ago - A lot of changes and a lot has happened as nothing stays the same. It is with reflection on Priority’s 20th Anniversary in 2018 that I wish to share how our family home grew to be our family business with a mission to serve farmers.
It all began at the farm, a well renowned breeding farm. The learning here has been profound – the people – the business - the cows. The cows, your cows, are the best teachers of all. They have provided, and continue to provide, our learning. The cows and their response to different forages and rations are the start to ration formulation.
The cow D-R-A August, was and still is a great teacher. We affectionately refer to her as the Patron of Priority, a cow known for her greatness 30 years ago and she still exudes greatness today dominating the showring, red and black Holstein breeds through females and males, and all areas of genomics - Known around the world through her offspring.
It is unbelievable how all of life unfolds. When things at Clover Mist were at their worst, when we were misled and discarded, we persevered through a conscious choice to pursue a different way. In walks a microbiologist stating I have something that can help you and you have something I need. This, at the time, was something I didn’t think of; however, microbiology is the basis of rumen function.
Many changes have occurred in the past 20-30 years, none far greater than the word “Fiber”. We tend to give fiber a general title and look at the whole as something cows and humans need with good value. Fiber has two parts: the wood part and the part that can be used (fermentable). Many of the production challenges in all species have to do with a dramatic shift in that portion that is fermentable. The fermentable fiber portion has not been recognized as a carbohydrate source; as well as, the concept that water enhances energy – This, the major contributor to acidosis today.
Priority has honed our ration work through microbiology. We have ventured where no one has gone. This of course comes with criticism, until it becomes the norm. The course is set; it has been perfected, proven, and time-tested. Smart bacteria have always done the work. Today there is a selection process to find the individual workers (bacteria strains) that are the best at what they do in (rumen) fermentation and are grown to feed back to animals. Priority has found the best nutrition to support bacteria growth in the rumen, or gut of the cow – This is novel work. There are early adopters, there are watchers, and there are also the nay-sayers; but, for those who believe no proof is necessary and for those who do not, no proof is possible.
Priority’s International Forum recently concluded, with more novel approaches to microbiology/nutrition. An investment in our field staff, a way to further connect for the advancement for those producers we serve.
To preserve the integrity and stability of Priority products, all products are now manufactured under the precision and guidance of Priority IAC at the home office in Manitowoc, Wisconsin USA.
We remain a farm-developed and family-owned company. True to our roots, Priority IAC is a different way. Priority IAC has revealed Smart bacteria with specific roles in the body that benefit digestion and streamline nutrition.
the P-One Program™, truly remarkable products