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Professional Dairy Managers of PA Annual Members Meeting. Kurtland Farms “Our Top 10 Milestones”. Tim Kurtz Kurtland Farms. 2006 – Profit Team Start. CDE Initiative 125 Cows Prompted by Frustration Need for Outside Resources and Guidance Quality of Life Important!.

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Professional dairy managers of pa annual members meeting

Professional Dairy Managers of PA Annual Members Meeting

Kurtland farms our top 10 milestones

Kurtland Farms“Our Top 10 Milestones”

Tim KurtzKurtland Farms

2006 profit team start

2006 – Profit Team Start

  • CDE Initiative

  • 125 Cows

  • Prompted by Frustration

  • Need for Outside Resources and Guidance

  • Quality of Life Important!

2007 developed 3 year strategy

2007 – Developed 3-Year Strategy

  • Dairy Alliance Initiative

  • Five-week Hands-on Workshop

  • SWOT Analysis

  • Need for Business Plan

  • Benchmarking

  • Cost of Production

Needed answers

Needed Answers

  • What is the long-termviability of dairying in this community?

  • What is the long-term profitability of current facilities?

  • What are the bottlenecks & limiting factors?

  • Is there enough land?

  • What are other options for the farm?

Immediate action steps

Immediate Action Steps

  • Short Term:

    • Ventilation, Sexed Semen, 3X milking, Written SOPs, Amino Acid ration balancing, Shot program

  • Long Term:

    • Becoming involved in dairy industry organizations

    • Vital to gain additional perspective

2009 began expansion exploration

2009 – Began Expansion Exploration

  • Involved Lending Institution,Engineering Consultant, & Construction Company

  • Environmental grant availability???

    • Building site was obvious

    • Extremely tight budget

    • Grants seemed only hope

    • Had to be permitted but not guaranteed

2010 denied waiver

2010 – Denied Waiver

  • Required Land Development Plan

  • Added Considerable Cost

  • Lesson learned: Need highestlevel of experience on team

  • Jeff Ainslie consulted

  • Started 2-year process of designing economically viable facility

  • Numerous trade shows, workshops, phone calls, emails and consultations

2011 transformation team start

2011 – Transformation Team Start

  • Focused on challenges

  • Assisted with engineering & permitting costs

  • Penn State Extension Feasibility &Cash Flow Analysis

  • Brought clarity and credibility

  • Brought new level of energy

2011 operation of satellite

2011 – Operation of Satellite

  • Adjoining Dairy

  • Opportunity for additional cows and feed availability

  • Employees stayed with operation

  • Allowed for more specialized employee responsibilities

    Allowed Us to Keep Replacements & Streamline Labor Force

    Within 3 Months of 3X Milking, Added 15 # Per Cow Per Day

2011 began relationship with different construction company

2011: Began Relationship With Different Construction Company

May 2012 manure storage processing grant approved

May 2012: Manure Storage & Processing Grant Approved!

June 2012 began relationship with new bank

June 2012 – Began RelationshipWith New Bank

  • Financing MostChallenging Part of Project

  • Always Kept Open Lines of Communication

  • Explored All Options

September 2012 began construction

September 2012: Began Construction

Best possible environment

Best possible environment

Is it worth the investment

Is It Worth the Investment?

Professional dairy managers of pa annual members meeting

220 Cow Robotic Free Stall Barn, Manure Storage & Processing -- Start Up: 3/18/13 Goal: 7.8 million lbs. of milk per yr

Does Not Include Cattle Or Start-Up Costs

Robotic milking a n atural f it

Robotic Milking: A Natural Fit

  • Voluntary milking gives cow more flexibility and lowers stress

  • Labor skills even more important

  • Enhances positive consumer attitudes

Composted manure solids

Composted Manure Solids

  • Manure recycled via press separator and compost drum

  • Clean, comfortable stalls are deep bedded

  • Environmentally responsible

  • Additional revenue stream

Precision advantages

Precision Advantages

  • Accuracy of information

  • Detection of abnormalities

  • Analyzable data

  • Production Efficiencies

Too much information

Too Much Information?

  • Need to decide what information is needed, when it is needed and where to find it

  • Monitor on a broader level

  • Investigate attentions in more detail

Cows have averaged 85 pounds per day for past six months in robotic barn.

Healthy cows profit teamwork success

Healthy Cows=ProfitTeamwork=Success

  • Many skill sets needed.

  • Appeals to next generation

  • Mission statement values: Profitability, Quality of life, Stewardship, Having Fun, Honor God



  • 100% robotic

  • Transition to next generation of ownership

Patience perserverence persistence


Jeff ainslie transformation team member site planning permitting engineering

Jeff AinslieTransformation Team MemberSite Planning / Permitting / Engineering

Kurtland farms take homes

Kurtland Farms - Take Homes

  • Lenders talk about the 3 (or now more) C’s of credit

  • In the quest to construct a new dairy facility, we should be talking about the Four P’s:

    • Planning

    • Patience

    • Perseverance

    • Permitting



No offense to the builders -- but the details of the barn can wait until a landowner knows what he or she can do where on their property.



  • 7/15/10 Timeline Discussed @ Kurtland



  • PENNVEST: 4th try was a charm!

  • Caernarvon Sewer Authority / Lancaster CD / others….

  • Berks Conservations District came through



  • It is involved…and likely to get more so…

  • It is complicated…and likely to get more so…

  • It is different for every project at every location...

  • It is costly in more ways than one….

Kurtland farms take homes1

Kurtland Farms - Take Homes


    • Headlock dimensions can wait – confirm what you can do on your property, and what regulations will apply to you


    • “My excavator is ready….we’re starting in a month” – unfortunately, you are probably not…


    • Stick with it and work with people that will help you get there


    • It’s a reality – but take the time early on to learn what rules and regulations actually impact you and your project

Fulton bank perspective from lamar king

Fulton Bank PerspectiveFrom Lamar King

Agricultural lending in 2013

Agricultural Lending in 2013

  • Communicate with Your Lender

  • Prepare/Budget/Understand Your Financials

  • 5 Cs of Credit

    • Capacity (Cash Flow)

    • Capital

    • Character

    • Conditions

    • Collateral

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