Harmony-Ho Dairy, Stratford, Wis., will be hosting the next meeting on Wednesday, March 30. Harmony-Ho Dairy has been home to Ralph and Sharon Bredl since the purchase of the 60-cow dairy in 1989. They constructed their first free stall barn and milking parlor in 1994, and by 1999, a new parlor and free stall addition were built to accommodate the herd’s current size of 415 milking animals.
Harmony-Ho has become a very diverse operation, and in 2000, the Bredls formed a joint herd sire marketing enterprise with Badger Holsteins of Unity, Wis. They sell 80 breeding age bulls annually. In 2004, their daughter Martine joined the farm after graduating from UW-River Falls. In 2007, Harmony Specialty Dairy Foods was established with the purchase of a local cheese plant, and the Bredls began producing cheese from the Harmony-Ho milk supply. Harmony Specialty Dairy Foods now produces several varieties of cheese, all of which will be available for sampling during their barn meeting.
The Bredl family will be showcasing Genex Genesis cows. Genesis refers to a nucleus of herds utilizing breeding strategies and genetic or reproductive technologies to produce elite, highly profitable males and females resulting from embryo purchases, designated by the CRI suffix, combined with Genex owned females identified with the co-op prefix. In 1999, Harmony-Ho began housing the elite females to provide an unbiased environment.
The Bredl’s 415 milk cows have a rolling herd average at 29,369M with 3.89 1144F and 3.05 894P lbs. Their herd pregnancy rate is 22%, with a voluntary waiting period of 75 days. The Bredls breeding program focuses on TPI, in addition to udder and feet and leg composite. Ralph and Sharon own and operate over 450 tillable acres, and purchase any additional feed needed.
Harmony-Ho is excited to host a 2011 barn meeting, and along with sampling the many cheeses produced by Harmony Specialty Dairy Foods, visitors will hear featured speaker Dr. Matthew Dorshorst, DVM. The farm is located at B3571 River Rd., Stratford. Directions to the farm from from Marshfield: North on Hwy. 97 (9 miles), east on County Hwy. C (1 mile), north on River Road (1.5 miles), and the farm is on the west side of road. From the north/Hwy. 29 go south on Hwy. 97 (10 miles), east on County Hwy. C (1 mile), north on River Road (1.5 miles), and farm is on the west side of road.
The fourth and final barn meeting will be held on Friday, April 1 at Welsh-Edge Holsteins, the Ralph and Sheila Petersheim Family of Viroqua, Wis. Welsh-Edge Holsteins has been a family run operation since Ralph and Sheila married in 1985. Their family includes six children and a son-in-law, Heather and Mike Metzler, Derek, Daniel, Heidi, David, and Hope. All children are involved part-time in the operation.