Yonkman Dairy Farm welcomed guests from across the country to their farm in McBain, MI, for the US National Holstein Convention host day tour. Started in 1944 by William Yonkman, today the herd is managed by Molly Pluger, the third generation to run the farm.
Sam Yonkman, William’s son and Molly’s father grew the herd over the years, expanding the parlor to a double-10, focusing on genetics and growing the herd internally. Their first registered cow was purchased in 1986. From 2009 to 2010, two 300-cow milk barns will built and filled quickly. The Yonkman family’s goal was to max out the old parlor with 2x milking and build cow numbers, then build a new, more efficient parlor to save on labor cost and maximize cow comfort.
In 2016, construction was completed on a 40-stall DeLaval rotary parlor with a TSR post-dipping robot. The herd was also switched to 3x milking. Today, the herd averages 28,000 lbs. milk on 750 Registered Holsteins. “Cow comfort is king” is the farm’s motto, and the production and health of the cows reflects this every day.
The Yonkman’s breeding philosophy includes breeding balanced cows for production and type with an emphasis on GTPI, components and quality udders. They have also begun using a select group of high Type bulls. Some of the bulls in their lineup include Garza, Montross, Modesto, Magictouch, Jade, Pety, Bayonet, Reflector, Jedi and Undenied.
Visit their Facebook page HERE to learn more!