On October 3, 2019, the Fred and Joel Albright families hosted a virtual farm tour in Madison, Wis., at World Dairy Expo. Third-generation owner, Joel, guided an audience of over 115-people through the farm, their protocols and management methods. In addition, the audience had a chance to ask questions and interact more personally with Joel in a question and answer session following the presentation.
The tour primarily focused on the evolution of the farm since their nine Lely A4 robots were installed in 2018. Throughout the presentation, viewers heard from the farm’s nutritionist, veterinarian and ag lender for a deeper insight into how they work together with the Albright family to be successful. Joel also provided insight and advice to other dairymen on things to consider when thinking about building or retrofitting for a robotic facility.
The Albrights – Joel and his parents, Fred and Becky – operate the 650-cow Registered Jersey dairy. They transitioned milking facilities on the farm, founded by Fred’s father, Allen, in 1947 from a stanchion barn to a double-four parlor to nine Lely A4 robots, installed in 2018. In the past six years, they have expanded herd size from 340 to 650 cows, all from internal growth.
The Albrights focus on production and health traits in herd matings, breeding the top half of the herd to high-end genomic young sires and the bottom end to beef bulls. Albright Jerseys has a herd average of 20,443 lbs. milk, with tests of 4.6% fat and 3.7% protein. In addition, the herd has multiple top-ranking Jersey Performance Index cows and earned numerous milk production awards in Ohio and the U.S. Joel received the American Jersey Cattle Association’s Young Jersey Breeder in 2016.
Prior to the 2018 robot installation, Joel worked full-time at the dairy and full-time as a vocational agriculture teacher for 17 years. During that time, he was extremely dedicated to his Crestview FFA chapter along with the Ohio FFA Association. Once the robots were installed, he made the decision to focus on the profitability of the dairy, utilizing technology to improve the quality of life for all involved with the operation.