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Local dairy farms earn national honor for reproduction success

Posted at 8:26 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 09:43:02-05

CLEVELAND (NBC26) — Maple Leaf Dairy farmers milk cows on a giant, spinning platform called a rotary. 80 cows can file in, and the whole milking cycle takes just six minutes.

Kristin Leiteritz, herd manager of the farm, said her dad built the parlor almost ten years ago.

"He would go on tours of other farms and see what they're doing, what the new technology is, what is most efficient," she said. "When he saw a rotary he knew that that was what it was going to be."

Maple Leaf Dairy, earning gold standing for the first time ever, is one of several Northeast Wisconsin farms getting national recognition for reproduction success. The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council selected the winners of its 2020 awards for their reproductive efficiency, fertility and well-implemented management procedures.

"We're just so honored and we're just blessed that we even got nominated, and then to actually win it is great," said Leiteritz. "I have no words. It was great."

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged farmers everywhere, but the rotary has helped, said Leiteritz.

"The people kind of stay in place," she said. "Here the cows come to them."

It was an adjustment getting used to the new system, said Rieynaldo Rios, but this way keeps cows safe and happy.

"Well the rotary, it's kinda hard," he said. "We needed weeks to learn how to do it. Everything starts here. If we got healthy cows here, we're going to have less mastitis, less sick cows."

Newborn calf

As a sixth-generation farmer, Leiteritz appreciates her workers showing up, despite the uncertain times.

"To take care of the cows, 365, 7 days a week," she said. "They give up their holidays and they give up their weekends to come here and do their job and do it 100 percent."

Leiteritz is also grateful for consumers who continue to buy locally-sourced dairy products.

"I think it's very important to keep supporting dairy so that we can keep on having the products available that we do," she said.

Other Wortheast Wisconsin farms also made the list: Riverside Dairy in Reedsville earned platinum, gold rankings also went to Lake Breeze Dairy in Malone, and Jauquet Hillview Dairy in Luxemburg and Spring Breeze Dairy Group in Bryant took silver.