Holsum Dairies, LLC: 2012 Elanco Award for Outstanding Dairy
Sustainability practices woven into farm’s foundation
More than a motto, sustainability is a cornerstone for Holsum Dairies in Hilbert, Wis. Long-term sustainability, according to Holsum, must benefit the dairies, employees and the community financially and socially; have a positive impact on the environment; maintain the welfare of animals; and produce safe, high-quality milk. These were significant considerations when Holsum selected a location for their two dairies in 2001 and 2006.
Over the past 25 years, Calumet County lost animal operations but significantly increased crop production. Spotting this imbalance, Holsum worked with 40 local crop farmers and five custom harvesters to provide all of the dairies' forage needs fostering trust and delivering benefits for all parties. During their annual meetings, the farmers share information and best practices — resulting in a stronger knowledge base and higher efficiency as well as higher profit and higher quality feed for the animals.
In this win-win relationship, the environment also reaps the benefits by having 11,000 acres under a single nutrient management plan, lower cost and emissions associated with manufacturing and transport of fertilizer, more efficient crop production and more precise fertilizer application. Thoughtful and collaborative planning has yielded benefits for the community, the environment and the dairies.
A Visit to Holsum Dairies
During a recent visit to Holsum Dairies, manager, Bob Nagel, shared how sustainability practices are woven into the farm’s foundation.