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Calverts Recognized as National Dairy Shrine Progressive Producers

July 2013 - Saluting the accomplishments that talented young dairy operators have already made, as well as nurturing their future efforts, is the goal of the National Dairy Shrine Progressive Producer Recognition. These Dairy Producers must have already demonstrated leadership in the dairy industry and their communities. These grants are open to active dairy producers age 21 to 50 in two herd size categories – less than 300 cows milking, and over 300 cows. Each winner receives a $2,000 educational travel stipend to introduce them to new technologies, methods and people that may help them continue to advance their leadership, management and farm performance.

The two extremely successful and progressive producers being recognized in 2013 are Bill and Kelle Calvert of Cuba City, Wisconsin, in the small herd category, and Dana and Cary Metzger of Rock Rapids, Iowa, in the large herd category.

Bill and Kelle Calvert, Moorclose Holsteins
Small cow numbers, but enormous passion for genetics, animal performance, and the dairy industry are trademarks of registered Holstein breeders Bill and Kelle Calvert. Although their Moorclose Holsteins dairy of 82 cows was started just 15 years ago, their goals of being a top family oriented dairy operation are well on their way.

Passionate, focused, dedicated and progressive are just a few words that describe these extremely hands-on entrepreneurs. The corn, hay and soybeans are custom-farmed, but Bill and Kelle do nearly everything else themselves. They are the fifth generation of Calverts to farm where they are today, having bought the cows in 2000 and the 450 acres of land in 2009. Things have been nonstop ever since. The herd’s quality and productivity have soared. Milk production average has increased over 7,000 pounds per cow in the last five years. It is currently over 27,000 pounds of milk, 900 pounds of butterfat and 850 pounds of protein on three-times-a-day milking.

The Calverts’ passion for genetics, combined with an unrelenting dedication to cow comfort and health care, have produced animals that are high in type, deep in productivity, and long-lived. They have already had three cows with lifetime milk records over 200,000 pounds and they have four cows in the barn over 10 years of age.

“We spend our days focusing on cow comfort to provide longevity for each animal,” they say. “We solemnly believe that by taking away all of a cow’s worries she will eat more and, in turn, produce more milk. So with this in mind we have devoted much time and resources to giving our girls an easy life.”

The Calverts have the same long-term business goal that many family farms do: Get the farm in good financial shape so it can be passed on to the next generation. They have twin daughters Madison and McKenzie, age 10, and son Payton, age 7.

The Calverts are very passionate about agriculture and the dairy industry. “We believe it is of utmost importance for the survival of our family farms to take an active role in promoting what we do,” they say. Bill and Kelle have long been enthusiastic leaders in youth cattle showing, 4-H dairy projects, school tours of their farm, and their local dairy promotion committee. This summer, Bill was also a member of their milk cooperative’s leaders program that went to Washington D.C. to meet with government officials and discuss challenges facing the dairy industry. Kelle is a member of the review committee for the area technical college dairy program. Both are very involved in youth mentoring.

Higher production, focused marketing, better genetics and improved management are all parts of the Calverts’ vision for their business future. But more cows are not. “We do not believe that expansion is the key to our future,” they explain. “We believe we will be more successful by being open-minded and willing to implement change when benefits can be reached.”

The annual National Dairy Shrine Awards Banquet will be held on September 11th in Harrisburg, PA.  For more information about the individuals being recognized by National Dairy Shrine or tickets for the Awards Banquet, contact Executive Director Dr. David Selner at info@dairyshrine.org. National Dairy Shrine membership information also is available online at www.dairyshrine.org. Dairy enthusiasts are encouraged to become a part of the only organization working to preserve & honor our dairy heritage, inspire present & future leaders, and promote the dairy industry.