Mount Calvary herd recognized

Hillside Dairy LLC of Mount Calvary was one of seven dairies recently recognized by CentralStar Cooperative. Taking part in the presentation were (front, from left) Kurt Barnes and Perry Balazs and (back) Mark Steffes, Aaron McMillan and Curtis Steffes.

Seven herds with 12-month pregnancy rates of 38 percent or higher were recently recognized with the CentralStar Cooperative ReproStar Award.

Hillside Dairy, LLC of Mount Calvary was one of the herds earning the award. In addition, CentralStar employee and New Holstein resident Gary Holterman assisted with award winning herds at Jauquet Hillview Dairy in Luxemburg and Wayside Dairy in Greenleaf. Remaining herds honored are at Towns Farms, Inc. in Janesville; Horning Farms, LLC in Manchester, Michigan; Kenealy Dairy Farms in Cadott; and Kieler Farms, Inc. in Platteville.

According to CentralStar Director of Consulting and Profit Strategies Cole Mark, there were consistent themes identified among this year’s winners. “We saw an increase in the number of mature cows in the herd because of producers’ ability to get cows pregnant year after year. They also showed great strength in reproductive efficiency in the heifer populations,” Mark said. “These trends go back to the rising costs of commodities and raising heifer replacements. These are expenses that can be managed on the dairy, and in doing so, farms benefit from lower rearing costs, more mature cows and more pounds of milk shipped per stall.”

Established in 2019, the ReproStar Award recognizes producers for their accomplishments with reproductive efficiency. When selecting winners, a panel of judges evaluates each dairy’s data for multiple factors known to influence pregnancy rates.

“As published by Compeer Financial in 2018, pregnancy rate is one of six key factors that separates the most profitable dairies from their counterparts,” said CentralStar Director of Member Relations and Promotions Kelly Bristle. “Our team works with producers across the Midwest to optimize reproductive efficiency, while right-sizing heifer inventories and creating genetic plans to maximize a herd’s genetic progress and profitability.”

Details regarding the management practices this year’s ReproStar winners use to achieve high-reproductive efficiency can be found at

CentralStar’s goal of enhancing producer profitability through integrated services is fulfilled by incorporating an array of products and services critical to dairy and beef farm prosperity. CentralStar’s product and service offerings include Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations and Select Sires genetics; extensive artificial-insemination (A.I.) technician service; genetic, reproduction and dairy-records consultation; DHI services; diagnostic testing; herd-management products; research and development; and more.

CentralStar’s administration and warehouse facilities are located in Lansing, Michigan and Waupun, with laboratories in Grand Ledge, Michigan and Kaukauna. The cooperative serves dairy and beef producers throughout Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, with additional DHI territory in various surrounding states. For more information visit CentralStar Cooperative Inc. at

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