Loyalyn Holsteins, located 10 minutes west of Owen Sound, ON, is owned and operated by Rob and Alice Bumstead, and their daughter Cynthia (18). They are very honoured to be receiving their first Master Breeder Shield.
Give a brief History of your operation. How did you get started in purebred cattle? How have the facilities changed over the years?
Rob’s parents, Lloyd and Rosalyn, purchased the farm in 1967. At that time Lloyd had to promise his wife that there would be an indoor bathroom by the fall as there was only an outhouse behind the house when the farm was purchased! Lloyd began registering cattle in 1971 under the Loyalyn prefix and the family had their first VG cow in 1985. Rob returned home to the farm fulltime in 1982, after attending Centralia College, and in 1991 he married Alice, who’d grown up on a dairy farm near Picton, ON. In 2000, Rob’s dad retired and Rob and Alice took over the operation, while welcoming their daughter, Cynthia. In 2002, Rob and Alice built an addition onto the existing bank barn and remodelled it to give the cows more room. A new hay shed was added in 2003.
Who is currently involved in the operation? What are their roles?
Currently Rob and Alice maintain a 50/50 partnership in Loyalyn. Rob does most of the feeding and harvesting, while Alice takes care of the bulk of the milking and helps out with field work as needed. Cynthia helps with chores, when not busy with school, and participates with the breeding decisions where her dad appreciates her input and research. The family is also thankful for the relief milker’s that they employ when they are away for various events for vacations.
How many cows do you milk? What is your current herd classification and herd production average?
We milk 42 cows, all of which are purebred Holstein with the exception of one Jersey crossbred. Their current herd classification breakdown is 8 ME, 5 EX, 24 VG and 7 GP, with no cows scored less then 83 points and they maintain an average herd BCA of 239-260-235.
What bulls are you currently using? Do you do any embryo transfer or IVF?
We use 100% Semex bulls, 80% of which come from the Immunity+ program. Right now we are using: Impression, Unix, Doorman, Envious, Sidekick and Cinderdoor.
We’ve flushed 3 cows to date: Loyalyn Goldwyn Maple EX-92-3E, who is a sister to Goldwyn June EX-97-4E, Windbrook Junebug VG-86-3y (June’s daughter) and a granddaughter of our first excellent cow.
How many acres do you manage? Do you grow all the crops you need or do you buy and sell feed as well?
The farm consists of 320 acres (220 workable). We grow grow corn for corn silage, mixed grain for rations and straw, hay for balage and dry hay, as well as fields for pasturing during the summer months. We buy shelled corn to balance out the rations. We don’t feed TMR, but the cows receive silage, rolled mixed grain, balage and dry hay, and are pastured during the summer. Dry cows receive silage, mixed rolled grain, rolled corn and lots of hay, while the heifers also receive mixed grain, along with a custom supplement and lots of dry hay as well. Baby calves are fed calf starter and then Rumimax with straw until they are 4 months old and switch to the heifer ration.
What cow families have most impacted your herd and contributed points to this shield?
Loyalyn Aeroline Frisky EX-90-4E 4*, made over 112,000 kg of milk in her lifetime and left eight natural daughters in the herd, five of which contributed several points.
Loyalyn Illusion Elly VG-87-11yr, lived to be 18 years old and made over 126,000 kg of milk in 13 lactations. Though average in production, her progeny exhibited strong health traits in the herd.
Loyalyn Lindy Wilhemina VG-86-3yr produced daughters with high production and extreme type. Most well-known is her great-granddaughter, Loyalyn Goldwyn June EX-97-4E 1*. Owned by Pierre Boulet, QC, June was HM Grand at the Royal in 2015 after winning the Lifetime Production class, a class which she also won in 2014 and 2016, and earned All-Canadian Lifetime Production Cow in 2015. Another member of the Wilhemina family is Loyalyn Duplex Vanessa EX-94, who was Reserve All-Canadian Jr 3 Year Old in 2016 and All-Ontario 4 Year old in 2017. Vanessa will be selling in this year’s National Convention sale.
Describe your thoughts on winning this award! Is this something you’ve always had as a main goal for your breeding program?
We never really set out to win a Master Breeder Award, we just wanted to improve our farm by breeding better cows both at the top and bottom of the herd. We strive to treat people with dignity and respect and are thankful to be dairy farming in Canada with great farmer-fun organizations like Holstein Canada, Holstein Ontario, DHI, DFO and Eastgen. We would especially like to thank the Holstein Canada classifiers for their continued help and support and our parents who have passed on a great work ethic. We truly enjoy being around the cows and hope to continue improving our herd in the future.