May 2015 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Holt Creek Jerseys. What started in 1990 with a single heifer as a 10-year-old boy’s 4-H project has now become a functioning herd of forage-adapted cattle capable of producing high-quality milk on minimal inputs.
In the past 25 years there have been many mistakes made, lots of lessons learned, and a few accomplishments along the way.
One of those accomplishments was having the highest production Jersey herd in the state of Nebraska in 1997 with a rolling herd average of 17,051 lbs. Milk and 626 lbs. Protein.
But perhaps the greatest accomplishment was in making the decision to switch from a high-input, low-profit management system interested only in chasing the elusive, ever-increasing, short-term goal of increased production and choosing instead to build truly profitable cows that were no-nonsense, easy-keeping grazers that required minimal inputs to produce high-quality milk that could be marketed as a value-added food.
15 years ago we started as using our own bulls from our best cows, and today we are able to offer semen from some of those same bloodlines. Today our genetics are from multiple generations of Jerseys that have been raised and selected for performance on grass only, whether for the commercial grass-based dairy, or for the backyard family milk cow.
It has been a great joy to see the influence of Holt Creek Jerseys cattle and bulls spread beyond the boundaries of our pastures and reach across the country. We love nothing more than to hear stories and see photos from satisfied customers who are able to achieve their goals of having functionally efficient grazing dairy cattle by using Holt Creek genetics. Please keep in touch.
Here’s to the next 25 years!
–Ben & Tammy Gotschall