For the second time, cows at the Caine Dairy Teaching and Research Center were ranked the number one college dairy herd in the nation by the Holstein Association USA.
The association’s classification scoring system is known as the official herd Breed Age Average (BAA) and shows dairymen how their herd measures up against other registered Holstein herds in the industry. The magazine uses the scores to rank dairies by size and has a special category for college dairies.Though the score does not specifically take management practices into account, outstanding genetics, health and production don’t just happen. Dirk Vanderwall, department head of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, said this award belongs to the Caine Dairy Manager John Wallentine and our excellent veterinarians and dairy scientists for the helping the cows reach their full potential.
“This notable recognition speaks not only to the expertise of our faculty, staff and students, but also their dedication to the daily operation of the Caine Dairy,” Vanderwall said. “Their collective efforts ensure that we are able to fulfill our teaching, research and Extension activities that support the dairy industry throughout Utah and well beyond.”
The Caine farm is a valuable tool for helping students gain hands-on experience by handling animals and learning basic animal health management practices. Additionally, many students and faculty conduct ground-breaking research at the dairy, including studying many aspects of production and herd health since the opening of the dairy’s fully robotic milking system earlier this year.
Registering the herd to participate in the classification program is an added expense for the dairy, but one that is well worth it. When the dairy occasionally sells animals they are now more profitable because of their improved genetics and productivity.