Jeff Thorpe, Dairy Production Consultant
Good Cow Health Boosts Performance
Jeff’s had a passion for dairy all his life. He works with many herds in the top 100 for production and believes that high performance comes from concentrating on overall cow health.
“To make feeding programs work best for each producer’s individual situation I work with them as if it were my own dairy,” Jeff says. “How would I apply the ration? What impact would it have on my labor? Would it be practical on a day-to-day basis?”
Aiming at good cow health and high tank averages, he works out a cost-efficient ration to balance each producer’s home-grown forages and grains.
“On paper, rations mean almost nothing,” Jeff says. “We have to focus on how ingredients integrate to maintain herd health, breed-back efficiency and profitable milk production. In the real world of dairying we have to synchronize carbohydrate and metabolizable protein nutrition. We focus on true energy and usable protein. That goes beyond simple amino acid balance.”
Jeff guides producers through the tough choices they face when costs squeeze their profitability. In times like these, he helps customers avoid pitfalls of cheap ingredients and “magic” feeds. “If it’s not the most nutritionally sound program for your herd, you’re just chasing your tail,” he warns. “Remember that if the feeding decisions you made before were the correct ones, now is not the time to change. You might lose production because of the change.”
Learn more about Jeff
Jeff grew up on an 80-acre cow tie stall dairy near Willmar. He graduated from South Dakota State University at the top of his class in Dairy Science Production. After graduation, he farmed with his dad for one year. In 1986, Jeff joined Land O’Lakes and Munson Lakes Nutrition, as a livestock production specialist. He soon became a premier dairy nutrition consultant certified in Nutrition, Mastitis Control, and Financial Analysis. With his wife and three sons, Jeff resides near Richmond where he raises Holstein steers. The Thorpes stay active with church and school activities. They enjoy boating and camping in the summer and snowmobiling and skiing in the winter.
You may contact Jeff at 320-293-6700 or by e-mail at JGThorpe@landolakes.com.
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