Staying a Step Ahead

Kim Gregory joined the Dairy One team in 2007 as a DHI technician. Today, Kim is a Dairy Records Service Manager and oversees our DHI field staff in the Mountain Region. Her territory includes the entire state of Vermont; western New Hampshire; and Essex, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties in New York. In addition to managing a team of DHI field staff, Kim also continues to provide DHI testing services for her own group of customers. She also fills in on occasion when someone on her team is injured or unwell. Kim believes in the value of test day information and the innovative resources she and her team are able to bring to the farms they work with.

For Kim, a typical day is centered around information and people. She values the relationships with the farms her team reaches. She works to ensure Dairy One delivers farms with a service that they find valuable to the management of their dairy. Her team focuses on gathering an array of information beyond the standard milk samples and milk weights. Fresh cow data, breeding data, pregnancy checks, inventories, and dry offs can all be collected and evaluated for management decisions. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Working with a Local Team

One way Kim believes Dairy One stands out from other agribusinesses is by being managed locally and existing solely to provide service to its members. “Even though Dairy One offers a lot of services over a large geographical area, our farms are working with someone who is local to their community,” Kim explains. Having such a close relationship with farms allows Kim and her team to tailor test day packages to their specific needs. “I’ve even updated records without taking samples so farms can have current work lists, or worked with group sampling to pinpoint Johne’s or BVD in a specific group,” Kim says. “It’s all about meeting our customers where they are.”

Getting you timely results

Having access to timely results is also extremely important, even more so lately given recent delays with the postal system. Kim and her team aim to ensure farms are getting their data as soon as possible. “Web reports are a great way for processing herds to get their test day results faster,” Kim says. But for those that don’t have access to web reports, she and her team try to help them out when they can. If this requires sending a picture of SCC results via text message to the farm, or running reports back to farms that don’t use email, they try to make it happen.

Milk pregnancy for all sizes

Milk pregnancy analysis has proven to be extremely beneficial for farms large and small. For larger farms, using milk pregnancy closer to dry off can prevent drying off an open cow and the lost cost associated with doing so. Research shows that losses for one cow open 20 days longer than expected could be as high as $861. For smaller farms that might use bull breeding, testing every 60 days for milk pregnancy can pinpoint due dates more accurately and give the farms a better idea of what to expect.

In addition to DHI testing questions, if a customer wants to know more about our forage or soil testing services, or is interested in cameras or networks, Kim does her best to get them the information they need. She and her team are knowledgeable about the different products and services Dairy One has to offer, and if they can’t answer a question, they can certainly find someone who can.

The future is technology

For Kim, the future of agriculture is technology. She sees it as a way for farmers to capitalize on advancements that save them both time and money while being able to take even better care of their animals and land. “When I started it was fat, protein, and SCC,” says Kim about milk samples. “Today we can look at MUN, pregnancy status, Johne’s, and more, all from the same sample.”

“Farming isn’t necessarily the sun up to sundown, all hands on deck job that it used
to be,” Kim says. “It’s certainly still a 24/7, 365 day a year commitment, but with things like GPS navigation in tractors and robotic systems that can feed and milk cows, farms are really able to maximize their efforts and inputs.” The technology used on farms has increased dramatically in the almost 15 years Kim has been with Dairy One, and it will continue to do so in the next 15 years and beyond.

“I believe in farming because I think farmers are really the backbone of our global society. Almost everything we eat or use comes from a plant or animal grown on a farm,” she says. “Farmers are the original environmentalists. Farming is one big nutrient cycle that starts with spreading manure to produce vegetation and ends with products on the shelves in our stores. No farms, no food. ” Farmers are in it for the long haul, looking onward to setting the next generation up for success while keeping their land, animals, and community a top priority. Kim is grateful and honored to be able to help farmers along their way to produce a high quality product for consumers.

For more information on DHI testing, records services, or milk pregnancy testing call 607-252-7575 or email [email protected]. A full list of our DHI service area and management team can be found on our website.

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