Sunshine Colony has been in the dairy business since the 1950s, and Paul Walter has been the dairy manager for the past 15 years. His family, including his wife Leah and their five children also help with day to day chores.
Paul’s brother Daniel helps also as the second man at the barn. Paul started his career in dairy farming in his late teens, helping his dad with the dairy farm management; he is the second generation of dairy farmers in his family. A memorable accomplishment was when they were able to breed their first excellent cow and that four generations in their herd all come back to her. Those those animals score VG85.
Eight years ago, they made the decision to switch to robotic milking. They are currently milking the cows with one Lely A4 and one Lely A5 robot. The A5 robot was added in March 2020. A big positive for their business since switching to robots has been the labour savings, production improvements and better herd health, Paul says. A personal positive for Paul and his family is more flexibility.
In addition to feeding robot pellet, the herd is also using Shur-Gain products for their dry cow ration and Rumimax® for their heifers.
“Our Trouw Nutrition rep, Bob Reck, is excellent to work with and open to new ideas,” notes Paul. “He is always sharing how Trouw Nutrition is trying to make the dairy more profitable.” We have always heard positive feedback from other producers about both what Trouw Nutrition has to offer as well as Bob’s work as a nutritionist, he says.
“We receive excellent service and get our feed delivered on time,” says Paul.
Adding a new robot in 2020 was the culmination of a five year plan for this herd. Paul’s next goal is to run a more efficient business, focusing on more production with less cows.