Helt Dairy

Two dairy farmers in a pen with dairy-beef crossbred calves drinking milk

Devin Helt

Dane, WI, USA
http://Devin%20Helt

Herd Type

Holstein

Herd Size

1050

Since Helt Dairy began in 1960, three generations of Helts have been involved with the farm. Today, the operation milks 1,050 cows, raises all heifers on-site and raises crossbred animals to mature harvest weight.

When Helts used exclusively conventional semen, there was a lot of variability in the number of heifers born monthly. The herd could have anywhere between 20 to 50 heifers born per month. This led Helts to implement a more focused genetic strategy.

“ABS has allowed us to accelerate genetic progress and now that we know we have the capability of getting a heifer calf our of our best cow and getting a beef animal out of our worse cow, we’ve began to implement genomics to further increase the genetic progress. The sky is the limit for how much we want to push in order to make a better cow.”

Devin Helt

Today, Helts are breeding their top cows to Sexcel® sexed genetics and the rest of the herd to Beef InFocus™. Not only has this approach provided a more consistent number of replacement heifers born each month, but it has also accelerated genetic progress. By focusing on creating replacements from the best cows, Helts are getting better cows faster.

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