Mormann Dairy

Mormann Dairy, LLC, a 600 head dairy sitting right outside of the small town of Petersburg, Iowa, and is owned and operated by Dan and Sandy Mormann, as well as their son Glen and his wife Mikha Mormann.

Originally, Mormann Dairy was started as San-Dan Holsteins in 1983, Dan and Sandy milked 40 cows and later saw an opportunity to expand. In 2000, they increased their herd to 370 milking cows. In 2014, as Glen and Mikha became more involved on the dairy, they expanded for the second time and formed Mormann Dairy, LLC., where all four partners could work together.

Today they currently milk three times a day in a double 14 parallel parlor. Their herd on average produces 98 lbs per day and has a 4.1% Butter Fat and a 3.2% Protein. When talking about the genetic traits they find important to breed into their herd, Glen states, “We focus on Net Merit quite a bit but I also make components and milk production weight into our breeding decisions.”

Currently, Glen believes their herd genetically averages around +500 NM$, as they continue to bring in new genetics, utilizing sexed semen and working their heifer population this number continues to increase. To continue influencing their genetic gains they put their top 5-10% of their heifer population into an embryo program in order to capitalize on those bloodlines and make genetic leaps at a faster pace.

To determine this 5 – 10% of their heifer population, they genomic test all heifers at birth, as well as a select group of males born. All their TSU tubes with their heifers DNA snips are sent into Genetic Visions-ST® and relayed back to them through their STgenetics® representative and online as well. Then the question posted was, what does it take to be in that top 5 – 10 % at Mormann Dairy? Glen answered with, “Any animal that´s over +970 NM$ (prior to April Proofs) would be in the top tier of our herd. We use that number a lot. I mean if we can make $1,000 over breed average, I don't know why we won´t pick a bull going by that.”

Another focus of their breeding program is to bring in new sires that bring a genetic punch to the table. Some of the bulls they have used in the past that have proven this true are Delta, Rubicon, Dunson, and Sabre. All bulls that produce strong, well uddered and problem-free cows. As we traveled to their heifer facility only a few miles North to Colesburg, IA where Dan and Sandy live we started to discuss their young stock and some of the new sires they have been using. Mikha noted right away that their Charl daughters are well put together and correct young heifers that they are all excited to calve in. Other sires we noticed at their heifer facility were some Nashville, Delta-Worth, and Dynamo daughters.

The discussion shifted to the milking herd and how they utilize all their cows. It was stated that when all their cows freshen they get enrolled into a double ovsynch program. Once they go through the first service, the team at Mormann Dairy can go through and select cows that are going to be bred with sexed semen, beef semen, or determine if they're going to get an embryo. The genetic information they get in their genomic results will sway cows into each of these categories as well as other on-farm factors.

As we continued to talk about these three categories of their herd, we wanted to focus in on their beef on dairy. Some of the questions we asked were, when did you get started with beef on dairy? Has this been profitable? What’s the reception you are receiving from your area on this? Glen explained it all with, “We have a good relationship with STgenetics®, day-to-day on the farm, you come across and get caught up in a few things here or there, but they will bring up things that we should be using, bulls we should be using, different things we should be changing. For instance,

And now that the neighborhood knows that we use Beef on Dairy, it seems like the bull calves are that are Angus, they disappear a lot faster, and they're worth something.” And Mikha adds, “So do the heifers, the beef cross brings profitability to calves that were not going to enter the milking herd.”

While our tour and discussion continued, we wanted to learn a bit about why they chose STgenetics® to work with. Dan stated, “We believe STgenetics® is providing some of the best bulls in the industry, with our partnership we are able to use these early and get new genetics into our herd and overall they are good people to work with” Sandy added, “With STgenetics® we’re able to market our genetics quicker and to a global market.”

As we wrapped up our interview, we simply asked what was next for Mormann Dairy. Glen said their focus will continue to be cow comfort and welfare, “We strive to find the right people who will take the welfare of our cattle seriously, I tell them {employees}, cows don’t have thumbs so we got to help them out a little bit” Dan added to this with, “I don’t think we really want to get bigger, we just want to get better. With Glenn and Mikha’s three little kids, that´s a legacy in its own, and hopefully, we’ll have them take the farm over someday.”

Sandy had the same thoughts as Dan, we ended our interview with her stating confidently, “We started this business in 1983, and now that we have Glen and Mikha, and their three boys, it's just great, every day just to have a smile on your face, and work with family members, and building this great herd of cows that we have. Just farm life, it’s awesome!”