It marks the first time WFS will hold the event. Long known as a leader in chicken feed, the company felt it was time to show its expertise in the dairy feed market as well.
“It is a learning opportunity for our customers but also for people who don’t have any experience with Wallenstein Feeds,” said Wendell Schumm, ruminant division manager with WFS. “This is sort of our coming-out party a little bit. We have a fair market share of dairy business in Ontario, but we haven’t really promoted ourselves in the local market.
“We have been waiting until we are ready, and now we are ready. So this is us saying ‘here we are, this is what we are all about.’”
Toward the end of 2016, Wallenstein Feed and Supply constructed a new mill with the capacity to tackle the dairy feed market. Since then the company has expanded its name to reach further into Ontario. Now, they hope to show local producers the quality products they offer.
“Our philosophy is that if we are going to do something, we are going to take the time to be the best at it and make sure that we are a leader in the market. That’s what we have done with dairy. We have built the best facilities. We have hired the best staff – you know, we have the program, we are confident that it is going to represent what Wallenstein feels is the best choice for customers, with their profitability in mind,” said Schumm. “And that’s what this meeting is supposed to do, introduce some people who may not know much about the Wallenstein dairy feed sales and nutrition team to the local market.”The lineup includes three experts who will be addressing topics relevant to all producers’ day-to-day work, including nutrition, reproduction and genetics.
Jonathan Lamb, a past chairman of Holstein USA’s Genetic Advancement Committee and partner in Lamb Farms, Inc./Oakfield Corners Dairy, an 8,000-head dairy operation in New York State and Ohio with an extensive embryo transfer program, will be discussing ‘Genomics as a Management Tool.’
“Jonathan is a guy who has a lot of success not only in the production side of dairy farming but in the genetics side, so people in the audience will be interested in both,” explained Schumm.
“We like to get people from outside of this area to give us a little bit of a different perspective on what they do; obviously his business is different than some people’s here, but there are a lot of things that are similar as well.”
Schumm adds that Lamb is not a speaker who visits the area often and for many, this will be the first time that people have got the chance to hear him in Ontario.
Scheduled to speak both before and after lunch, Dr. Stephen LeBlanc, a veterinarian and professor from the University of Guelph, has delivered talks in more than 20 countries. Drawing on his extensive research into improving dairy cattle reproduction he will tackle the topics of ‘Managing and Monitoring Transition Cow Health’ and ‘Managing Reproduction for Success at First Service.’“Dr. LeBlanc is somebody from Guelph. It is a recognized name – he has done a lot of research that has been utilized on farms, so he has made a contribution to the local dairy industry,” explained Schumm, noting that his name may also sound familiar because of his work as a practicing veterinarian locally. “He can take the high-end research that he has done, but also knows exactly how it is going to be applied in a practical setting.”
And finally, there’s Milos Haas, a veterinarian and former large herd owner in Slovakia. Hass is currently a nutrition, management and reproduction consultant and a ruminant nutritionist at Wallenstein Feed & Supply, and will offer advice on ‘Feeding Management.’
“Milos does day-to-day nutrition and also works different places around the world, so he sees a lot of different things,” he said. “A lot of people in the audience will be customers of his, and so he knows how he can relate the technical aspect of it to the practical.
“He is going to talk about some feeding management strategies on farms, things that take the nutrition that we do, which is excellent, and make it work on farms.”
In addition to the experts, there will be a panel of local dairy producers who will be discussing early calf care. The group includes Jordan Dietrich, Citilimits Farms Inc., St. Agatha; Henk Grootendorst, Grootendorst Farm, Breslau; and Lori Weber, Scenic Holsteins Ltd., St. Marys. They’ll be joined by Lamb on this panel moderated by Schumm himself.
“We want to give the people that come to the meeting the opportunity to hear sort of real on-farm experience from producers. What works for them, what doesn’t work for them, so that it is not a speaker standing up sort of talking to them but that its people talking about what they do on their farms,” he explained.
No obligation comes with attending, but Schumm does stress information from the experts and panel will only be relevant to active dairy farmers.
“This is really an open opportunity for people to come learn a little bit about us and hear from some excellent speakers.”
There is no cost to attend the event, however, an RSVP is required by January 24. Contacting any member of the dairy team at WFS works in that regard, as does calling the office at 519-669-5143 or 1-800-265-8858.