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Alta ADVANTAGE Showcase Tour explores progressive Idaho dairies

The 19th edition of the Alta ADVANTAGE Showcase Tour took place June 5-8, 2018. It was the first time ever this global event was held in Idaho.

Guests toured some of Idaho’s most progressive dairy farms and learned from the forward-thinking owners and managers at the host farms. They also had the chance to share their own experiences with each other during on-farm management stations, bus rides between farms, and during evening socials.

To break it down, here is the Alta ADVANTAGE Showcase overview, by the numbers:

251Guests who experienced the most progressive dairy management tour in the industry
21Countries represented at this year’s tour
5Charter buses used to transport tour guests
5Gracious host dairies, who welcomed the Alta group
- Eagle Ridge Dairy | Kuna, Idaho
- TLK Dairy | Mountain Home, Idaho
- Oak Valley Dairy | Burley, Idaho
- Swager Farms | Buhl, Idaho
- Beranna Dairy | Caldwell, Idaho
1Pre-tour farm that welcomed international guests before the main tour kicked off - thank you to Swan Falls Dairy for the warm welcome!
30On-farm stations set up to help guests discuss the areas of calf care, employee management, genetics, reproduction, parlor management, cow comfort, dairy education, herd inventory planning, manure management, and more
34,275Total cows represented on the Alta ADVANTAGE Showcase host dairies
70-30-0Most popular genetic plan of our host dairies
11Number of sires represented in the Alta ADVANTAGE Performance Pens
34Number of daughters featured between the two Alta ADVANTAGE Performance Pens
3Pails of ice cream used in the global ice cream eating contest – Chile came out victorious over all other country competitors
502Miles traveled in Idaho for one tremendous tour!
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Not all genomic sires are created equal

Genomic proofs give us the confidence to use exciting sires sooner! Be assured that these bulls will deliver on their genetic promises, since genomic testing provides an immediate reliability of nearly 70% for production, health and conformation traits.

You might be wondering, what are the different genomic sire options? Let’s break them down…

Alta Advantage logo for Facebook

Alta ADVANTAGE

Our 23 newest bulls are available only to our Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds. These Alta ADVANTAGE only sires offer diverse trait specialties and elite rankings on many customized genetic plans.

New, young bulls simply don’t produce enough semen to be readily available to all farms around the globe. So while we work to build semen inventory, we give our loyal Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds priority access to these elite, new sires that best fit their customized genetic plans.

G-STAR lgo for Facebook

G-STARS

Once a bull has made enough semen he is added to the G-STAR sire list. With 30 new G-STAR bulls this proof round, these sires are readily available to everyone. This groups includes a wide array of outliers for various production, health and type traits. From this elite list, you can find a great selection of bulls to fit your genetic plan.

Alta FUTURE STAR logo for Facebook

FUTURE STARS

About a year after a bull is first released, we know results for both sire fertility and calving ease. We gather this data, analyze the results, and award the FUTURE STAR designation to only the bulls that prove themselves above average for sire fertility and less than 8% for sire calving ease and sire stillbirth.

This proof round, 13 bulls earned their FUTURE STAR status. This means they gained enough pregnancy check observations to prove their high fertility CONCEPT PLUS status. Plus, they have enough offspring born to prove their easy calvings.

FUTURE STARS are the way to go if you want the benefits of elite genomics, but prefer the added reliability of proven sire fertility and calving ease. You may give up some production and health as compared to the available G-STAR or ADVANTAGE only sires, but you gain peace of mind knowing that you’re upping your chances for a pregnancy and a live calf resulting from an easier calving.

Because of the known calving ability, FUTURE STARS are ideal options to use on heifers.

Now that you know the difference between each genomic sire option, and the progression a bull could make as he matures, compare the average genetic level of each group in the table below. You’ll see that the newest, Alta ADVANTAGE bulls have the highest genetic averages, followed by the G-STAR sires, and then by the more highly reliable FUTURE STARS.

TPIMilkFatProPTATUDCFLCSCEPLDPRSCS
Alta ADVANTAGE Only2743156777582.062.121.307.18.13.02.80
G-STAR2633161172581.761.721.096.96.82.32.86
FUTURE STAR2547136265501.481.591.006.46.82.12.78

It’s also important to note that every single bull atop our current daughter-proven list was once a part of the genomic-proven lists. The track record is significant for our current genomic favorites. Each proof round, we see these genomic bulls deliver on their initial predictions, and eventually graduate to daughter-proven success.

With that in mind, have confidence to use a team of sires from the Alta ADVANTAGE, G-STAR
or FUTURE STAR lists. You’ll optimize future profitability by selecting a group of bulls that meet your customized goals for production, health and conformation.

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Alta Advantage Showcase Tour 2017 – by the numbers

Guests from around the world joined together to share management strategies and insight during the 18th Alta Advantage Showcase Tour held in Michigan June 21-23, 2017.

On-farm stations were set up to provide insight on all areas of dairy herd management. Some of the topics covered included:

  • Reproduction
  • milk quality and parlor management
  • transition cow management
  • feed and nutrition
  • colostrum management and calf raising
  • heifer raising
  • labor organization
  • genetic planning
  • dairy technology
  • Performance Pens featuring some of the newest Alta sires to have milking daughters
  • and more!
Here’s a look at the 2017 Alta Advantage Showcase Tour, by the numbers:
360guests
26countries represented
18Alta Advantage Showcase Tours now complete
35on-farm stations that guests experienced throughout the tour
6charter buses required to transport guests
19,000cows milked among all pre-tour and Showcase host farms
9outstanding host dairies that graciously opened their farm for our guests to visit
Pre-tour host: Rich-Ro South Dairy | St. Johns, MI
Pre-tour host: Berlyn Acres | Fowler, MI
Walnutdale Farms | Wayland, MI
Prairie View Dairy | Delton, MI
Schaendorf Farms | Allegan, MI
Tubergen Dairy | Ionia, MI
Simon Farms | Westphalia, MI
Steenblik Dairy | Pewamo, MI
Double Eagle Dairy | Middleton, MI

These numbers sum up to ONE tremendous tour!

Guests enjoyed the friendly camaraderie and the ability to learn from both our host farm owners and others on the tour. These experiences left everyone with a lasting impression of Alta’s progressive approach to create value, build trust and deliver results to clients around the world.

 

Click HERE to view the collection of photos and videos from the tour!

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Go for the gold with Alta’s genomic line-up

Find a group of sires to take your genetics to the top with Alta’s genomic-proven lineup of G-Stars, FutureStars and Alta Advantage bulls

All bulls we bring to Alta are genomic and health tested before joining any line-up. We only bring in the best, and we’re confident these bulls will deliver on their genetic promises, since genomic testing provides an immediate reliability of nearly 70% for production, health and conformation traits.

This proof round, we add 24 brand new sires reserved exclusively for Alta Advantage partner herds. Our G-Star list expands in number and genetic level with 40 new additions, and 15 new sires have received the stamp of approval to be promoted to FutureStar status. Within each of these three genomic-proven groups, you’ll find a variety of bulls to fit any and all unique genetic plans.

The table below illustrates the difference in production, health and conformation values of our three different groups of genomic-proven sires.

2016-08 New Genomic Table

Progressing through the ranks       

Alta Advantage: Once a bull starts making semen, he typically starts his career on the Alta Advantage only list. The newest, youngest bulls simply don’t produce enough semen to be readily available to all farms around the globe. So while we work to build semen inventory on those new bulls, we give our loyal Alta Advantage partner herds priority access to the newest sires that fit their customized genetic plans.

G-Star status: Once a bull has made enough semen he is added to the G-Star sire list. The sires found among the G-Star ranks are readily available to everyone, and provide a wide array of outliers for various production, health and type traits. From this elite list, you can find a great selection of bulls to fit your genetic plan.

FutureStar favorites: About a year after a bull is first released, and after both sire fertility and calving ease information have been gathered, the chosen few that prove themselves to be above average for fertility and less than 8% for sire calving ease and sire stillbirth are added to the FutureStar list.

FutureStars are the way to go if you want the benefits of elite genomics, but prefer the added reliability of proven sire fertility and real daughter observations for calving ease. You may give up some production and health as compared to the available G-Star or Advantage only sires, but you gain peace of mind knowing that you’re upping your chances for a pregnancy and a live calf resulting from an easier calving. Because of the known calving ability, FutureStars serve as ideal options for use on heifers.

Full speed ahead

If you still don’t feel comfortable going all in with genomic-proven sires, check out the comparison between our top daughter-proven versus top genomic sires. Selection from atop the daughter-proven lineup provides you with a highly reliable 2408 average TPI.

Yet, if you’re going for maximum progress, the tables below prove that your fastest path to the top comes from the genomic group of sires, which averages more than 200 TPI points higher than their daughter-proven counterparts.

2016-08 Dtr vs Genomic Tables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To further build your confidence in the genomic-proven groups, it’s important to note that every single one of the current top daughter-proven sires were previously used globally as FutureStars or G-Stars. The track record is significant for these former genomic favorites to deliver on their initial predictions.

With that in mind, go for the gold in maximum genetic progress by using a team of sires from the Advantage, G-Star or FutureStar lists that meet your goals for production, health and conformation.

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