Rickeen Farms has focused on slow and steady growth for their century farm. Owned by Rick & Doreen, and Brett & Jocelyn, and with Rick’s dad, Oliver, still helping with chores, this fifth generation dairy is a great example of how multiple generations can work together to achieve their goals.
In 2010, they completed a new free stall robotic milking barn, installing two of the first Delaval robots in Ontario. Since then they have grown their herd, adding heifer and calf barns in 2017 and 2019 respectively, and are currently milking 120 purebred Holstein cows. The family received their first Holstein Canada Master Breeder Shield in 2017.
The Shantz family has seen great results working with their Shur-Gain dealer, Yantzi Feed & Seed and Trouw Nutrition.
“Since putting in Shur-Gain’s 19% pROBOTic pellet, we are feeding 2kg less of the pellet but haven’t seen any significant drops in production,” says Brett. He continues, “In fact, we are averaging 2L more milk since making the switch.”
Rick also notes, “The cows are lining up at the robot to get milked. We are making milk at the bunk instead of at the robot.”
The Shantzes utilized Trouw Nutrition’s valued added services, having a whole-farm audit completed. They have made some changes as a result of the audit, including putting in new water troughs, and they have noticed improvements.
“We like that our feed company shows an interest in the entire operation, not just the nutrition,” says Brett. “We appreciate the proactive approach and the willingness from our rep, Dylan Yantzi, to sit down and chat and even coming out during herd health.”