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Precision Management: Merging People, Cows, Crops, and Technology

Dr. Jeff Bewley
University of Kentucky
Jeffrey Bewley is from Rineyville, Kentucky where he grew up working on his grandfather’s (Hilary Skees) dairy farm.  He received a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Kentucky in 1998.  In 2000, he completed his M.S. in Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the direction of Dr. Roger Palmer.  His PhD work under Dr. Mike Schutz at Purdue University focused on the application and economics of Precision Dairy Farming technologies.  Jeffrey’s program focuses on precision dairy technology implementation, mastitis prevention, cow comfort, lameness prevention, and decision economics.

Mr. Tom Wall
Dairy Coach
Tom Wall, The Dairy CoachTM, is passionate about helping people reach their potential.  He’s been working with dairies throughout the country for over 15 years, helping managers create and implement simple systems that work while also training and coaching their employees.

Wall, based out of Green Bay, owns and operates Dairy Coach, LLC, and has been a regular columnist with publications such as Dairy Herd Management and Progressive Dairyman.  He is also the creator of the Details for Dairy training video series, Dairy Interactive Milker Training software, and the latest employee management software DairyCOR.

Mr. Mike Contessa
Champlain Valley Agronomics
Mike began his career in agriculture in the late 90s working for Agway in a variety of positions, including work at a retail location and at blend plant as well as spraying a little corn. In 1999, he joined Champlain Valley Agronomics and became their first employee. In 2004, Mike became a Certified Crop Advisor and a partner in the firm, which has now grown to 8 full time employees. His areas of responsibility include regulatory compliance, client geographic information data management, and precision agricultural systems.

Ms. Savanna Crossman
New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association
Savanna Crossman is the Research Coordinator for the Precision Ag Research Project run by the New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association. Savanna is a native of Northwest Vermont where she has worked extensively with crop and dairy farmers over the past five years. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy and Soils and she has earned her CCA through the American Society of Agronomy.

Mr. Willard De Golyer
Mr. Jeffrey Jordan

Mr. Richard Sanford
Table Rock Farm
Table Rock Farm, owned and operated by Calvin De Golyer, Willard and Maureen De Golyer and their daughter Meghan Hauser is located in Castile, NY.  Meghan is the 4th generation on the farm, which was started by Willard's grandfather in 1915.  Presently the farm milks 1,060 Holstein dairy cows and crops 1,770 acres of land, of which 760 acres is silage corn, 190 acres of peas that will become summer seeding's and the balance is alfalfa/grass mix for haylage.

The crop team, consists of Richard Sanford (manager), Jeffrey Jordan (championed changes in tillage practices and who is a planting perfectionist), Kevin Morley, Steven Weaver and AJ Hutson, along with semi-retired truck drivers who help with hauling and harvest as needed.   The farm also works closely with Josh Harvey of Western New York Crop Management. Table Rock went to minimum tillage several years ago and also reduced the use of commercial fertilizer over the years.  Success in this area was joint effort between the crop team and Cornell who tested tillage and N practices.

Ms. Martha Facer
Wegmans Food Markets
Martha Facer is a store manager in training at Wegmans Food Markets.  She received her B.S from Cornell in Applied Economics and Management and is part of the current LEAD NY class 16.  After spending 5 years in various facets of corporate purchasing, Martha joined store operations where she is finishing her store manager training at the Canandaigua Wegmans.

Mr. Ben Flansburg
BCA Ag Technologies
Ben Flansburg is President and Co-Owner of BCA Ag Technologies in Oakfield, NY.  Ben graduated from Cornell University in 2006 and went on to establish BCA Ag Technologies in 2007.  In his current role as President he oversees the daily sales and service of their precision Ag department.  In 2014 Ben and his team created their “Precision First” data program.  With the importance of collecting good data, Ben finds himself frequently in a cab assuring that monitors are calibrated and working properly.

Ms. Lisa Ford
Cayuga Marketing
Lisa Ford works as a special projects manager for Cayuga Marketing, LLC. She provides support to member farms in the areas of on-farm safety, animal care and well-being and human resource management. She brings a special skill set to her job because of her ability to help train and educate Spanish speaking employees.

Mr. Pete Gelber
Barrington Dairy LLC
Pete Gelber was born and raised in the Bronx and graduated from Cornell in 1982.  He move to Florida in the mid 1980’s and began working for Ron St. John.  Pete started receiving sweat equity in the form of phantom stock in the mid 90’s and moved to Georgia to take over management of two bankrupt dairies in 2007. He became a partner in 2008 and in July 2013, Pete bought the dairy business from his partners.  Pete is also a partner in the land company with a long term lease agreement.  Currently, the business has 10,500 mature cows, 9,000 heifers, and crops 4,000 acres with 130 employees, ranging from hired yesterday to being on the farm since its inception.  The staff is the key to success of the business and is its primary focus everyday.

Dr. Julio Giordano
Cornell University
Dr. Julio Giordano is Assistant Professor of Dairy Cattle Biology and Management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. His expertise is in dairy cattle health, reproduction, and the implications of herd performance on the economics of dairy farms. His basic research focuses on the elucidation of physiological mechanisms controlling reproductive function and changes in physiological parameters during disease in dairy cattle. His applied program incorporates novel technologies to develop new and simplify established reproductive and health management programs for dairy cattle. Through the integration of these basic and applied research components, Dr. Giordano’s laboratory strives to enhance the reproductive performance, health, and productivity of cows thus, the economic viability of dairy farms.

Mr. Curt Gooch
Cornell University, PRO-DAIRY Program
Curt Gooch serves as the Dairy Environmental System Program team leader for PRO-DAIRY.  Gooch has been around production agriculture all his life and worked in the dairy industry in many capacities since 1985.  He is thankful for the opportunity to utilize his practical and formal training coupled with his experience to serve the New York State dairy industry.

Mr. David Greene
Diamond V
David Greene serves as a Dairy Technical Field Specialist with Diamond V.  He primarily provides assistance to dairy producers the Southeastern United States, but also covers all over the United States as well as internationally as needed. David grew up on a dairy farm and after graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1991; he was owner/manager of the family dairy operation. Prior to joining Diamond V in 2011, he was Dairy Specialist with Alpharma Animal Health and also did dairy nutrition consulting. David brings over 20 years of nutrition and on farm management experience. He has done extensive work in feeding operation efficiency, shrink management and feed center design. He also has a substantial amount of experience in innovative milk marketing programs.

Mr. Jon Greenwood
Greenwood Dairy
Jon Greenwood, his wife, Linda, and son, Ted, own and operate the 1340-cow Greenwood Dairy Farm, LLC in Canton, NY, which also encompasses 3400 crop acres.  Greenwood has been on the NEDPA board since 2009 and currently serves as the NEDPA Board Chair.  Jon serves on the Agriculture Workforce Development Council as one of four NEDPA Representatives and has a strong knowledge of NY labor laws as related to agriculture employers.

Mr. Erick Haas
Cazenovia Equipment Company
Erick Haas, Integrated Solutions Specialist, Cazenovia Equipment Company, manages producers’ Ag Management Systems.  Erick also helps customers successfully adopt UAV technologies in farming, forestry, and other applications.

Mr. John Hanchar
Cornell University, Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team
John Hanchar, Cornell University/NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Programs, works in the farm economics and management areas.  His work focuses on developing applied economic analyses for changes in practices and, or technology, and on farm business management extension education programs.

Mr. Mike Hunter
Cornell Cooperative Extension - Northern NY Regional Ag Program
Mike Hunter is Field Crops Specialist with the CCE Northern NY Regional Ag Program.  Mike has over 25 years’ experience in extension and agri-business working with field crops production.   Mike has worked closely with many farms, including North Harbor Dairy, on setting up, implementing and analyzing field scale research trials.

Ms. Kendra Lamb
Lamb Farms
Kendra Lamb is involved with community relations for Lamb Farms in Oakfield, NY.  Lamb Farms is a family dairy operation with 6,000 dairy cows at 3 separate milking facilities; as well as young stock and cropping operations.   In managing public relations for the farm, Kendra is responsible for tours, Facebook and website updates and a neighbor newsletter with the goal of fostering a strong relationship with the local community and communicating with the public on modern farming practices.

Mr. Pete Maslyn
Hemdale Farms
Hemdale Farms is a multifaceted business, with a 1,150-cow dairy, a large crop and vegetable operation, and wholesale greenhouse business. In the fall of 2007, the dairy began to transition to milking with robots. This transition was complete in December of 2009 and the herd is milked exclusively with 19 Lely Robots. Pete oversees day to day operations directly related to the dairy, including management of the cows and  8 employees and developing protocols for managing a large robotic milking herd.

Ms. Judy Moody
Dairy One Cooperative
Judy Moody grew up on a 200 cow dairy in Central NY and attended Cornell University, majoring in Animal Science.  After graduation, Judy worked as a herdsman on two large dairies in the Cayuga County area for 6 years before joining the Agricultural Management Resource Team at Dairy One.  At Dairy One, Judy supports farmers with their Dairy Comp and Scout programs. 

Mr. Brian Reeves
Reeves Farms
Brian Reeves is a fourth generation fruit and vegetable grower in partnership with his brother Mark.   The Reeves Family has been growing vegetables for more than a century in Baldwinsville, NY.  Today, Reeves Farms is dedicated to producing fresh, nutritious berries and vegetables using sustainable farming practices.  Reeves Farm encompasses over 1000 acres of tillable land and employs a seasonal crew of 40-50 people.   Brian is President of the NYS Vegetable Growers Association and represents fruit and vegetable growers on the NY Agriculture Labor Advisory Group.     

Mr. Russ Saville
Cargill Animal Nutrition
Russ is a dairy consultant with Cargill covering Eastern NY and Vermont along with providing technical support across the country.  He assist farms with animal nutrition, overall herd management, human resource management, and business management.  In support of client operations, he participants and facilitates on-farm team meetings.”

Mr. Dan Shirley
North Harbor Dairy and Robbins Family Grain
Dan Shirley is the Crop Manager at North Harbor Dairy, Robbins Family Grain in Sackets Harbor, NY.  Dan is responsible for all aspects of the forage and grain crops operation at the farm.  Dan has conducted several trials on the farm comparing management practices and testing crop inputs utilizing the mapping and yield monitoring capabilities of their equipment. Prior to joining the team at North Harbor Dan was responsible for farm operations at the USDA-ARS research farm in Beltsville, Maryland.

Mr. Rick Zimmerman
Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance
Rick Zimmerman is a professional agricultural advocate and serves as Executive Director of the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance, a 300 member association of agribusiness companies.  As an advocate, Mr. Zimmerman engages in a full spectrum of agricultural public policy sharing the common goal of growing and strengthening the agriculture industry throughout the Northeast.  Agricultural labor issues have been a prominent part of Rick’s portfolio over the past thirty years of professional service.