Jerseys and hard work make the dream work
Knepper Red Hill Jerseys, LLC.
Location: Hustontown, PA
Dairy Focus Consultant: Noah Hughes
- A new, balanced ration, increased milk production and helped resolve dry cow health issues in under a month
- 370-Jersey cow herd in southern Pennsylvania, dreaming of reaching 600 cows
- Dream of making the DHIA’s Top 10 list of colored breeds in the year 2018
“I was a born a farmer,” says Dennis Knepper, a third generation dairy farmer and partner of Knepper Red Hill Jerseys, LLC. Dennis’s grandfather, Frederick Knepper, started the dairy in Hustontown, PA, in 1953 after returning home from Korea. Three expansions later, with an additional one on the horizon, the farm has continued to grow and prosper over the last sixty years. “We’ve pretty much always been here and had to keep growing.” says Dennis. “I wanted to get bigger anyhow, I wanted to milk more cows.” Dennis, alongside his brother and partner, Allan, have plans to continue growing. They’re dreaming to one day have a 600-cow Jersey herd.
Along with the support of their parents and hired help, Dennis and Allan now run the family business, milking 370 Jersey cows three-times-a-day.
The farm team started working with Cargill Dairy Focus Consultant (DFC) Noah Hughes in March 2017 after experiencing problems with milk fever, ketosis and twisted stomachs in their fresh cows. “Our vet told us about Noah. We are quite pleased with him. We had a lot of dry cow issues before we switched over.” says Allan. Less than a month after Noah adjusted the ration, the Kneppers’ noticed improvements in their herd health. “He turned our dry cows around pretty quick,” Allan continued, “quicker than I thought it was going to be.”
Noah visits the farm every two weeks and provides a full farm consultation each time, taking feed samples and walking through the cows. Since working with Noah, they have increased their milk production from 55 to 68 pounds, and are now striving for 70 pounds. “We’re pretty pleased with how things are going,” Dennis says.
The brothers both agree that hard work and having a Jersey herd have been important keys to their success, primarily due to the Jersey’s milk components and efficiency. While the Kneppers’ are proud of how far they’ve come in the past several years, they haven’t reached their dreams just yet. They’re now striving to make the DHIA’s Top 10 list of colored breeds in the year 2018, become a member of Cargill’s 6 Pound Club, and to upgrade their facilities to support the future growth of their herd.