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Dairy Enthusiast Enjoy Ohio Fall Holstein Tour

By Melissa Hart, Freelance Writer

Wooster, OH—It was a crisp Fall day when dairy enthusiasts met at Lingle Holsteins in Wooster, Ohio on November 11, 2017, for the annual Ohio Holstein Fall Tour hosted by the Ohio Holstein Association.  A 160 head Registered Holstein dairy, the Rick Lingle family opened the farmgate and welcomed enthusiasts to tour the facilities, walk through the cows, enjoy lunch and listen to dairy nutritionist Lyle Ruprecht.

Having worked with Gerber Feed Service for 18 years, Ruprecht offered his expertise and advice on everything from bedding and facilities to feed rations as attendees enjoyed lunch. “I’m a nutritionist by trade but there are so many other things beyond nutrition that you can do to affect cows and your bottom line,” commented Ruprecht.

Ruprecht said it starts with bedding, “I’m a big sand bedding proponent. When you have a deep pack of sand it’s easier for the cows, especially the older cows to get up as opposed to mattresses in the stalls.” He continued to explain that cows that don’t have that nice bedding pack won’t lay down and rest as much as they need to because it hurts to get up. “Cow comfort is essential for herd health,” Ruprecht stressed.

Transition cow problems is the Achilles heel of the industry according to Ruprecht.  For those cows transitioning from their dry period back into milking form, they require a sound dry cow ration that is neutral in energy. “We don’t want them to gain a bunch of weight or lose a bunch of weight,” commented Ruprecht.  This will help in calving and getting the cows up and milking right after freshening.

Ruprecht also hit on the importance of good ventilation in calf facilities. He said, “Nutrition is a big part of it but ventilation is crucial to keeping calves healthy.” 

Sherry Smith of the Ohio State University youth dairy program was also on hand to teach the younger generation about the new standards on dairy showmanship. 

Lingle Holsteins was established in 1950 with Robert Lingle, Rick’s father, and a small herd of Holsteins. In 1977, when Rick graduated from high school, his parents purchased his first Registered Holstein and that was the beginning of the purebred herd. When Rick’s son, Ryan graduated from high school, Rick  and his wife Amy, gave him a graduation gift named Miss Flurries Frostee-ET and that was the beginning of Ryan’s purebred herd that produced the Intermediate Champion at 2016 World Dairy Expo, Lingle Gold Freaky Girl. 

Today, Lingle Holsteins is run by Rick and Amy and their son Ryan and Chelsi Lingle.