Roedale Farm, near Richfield Springs, NY, is a 3rd generation dairy, where brothers Jason and Luke Pullis, along with parents Allan and Pat, continue a top producing line of registered Holsteins through embryo transplants.
Jason and Luke were awarded by the NY Holstein Association with the 2014 Outstanding Young Breeder award, attesting to their diligence with their breeding program.
“We have a very active embryo transfer program,” reported Jason. “Fifty percent of the herd go back to two cows.”
Those two cows are Roedale Stardom Asia (5E 94) and Tri-Day Encore Fanny (EX 92).
“Roedale Stardom Asia made 323,990 pounds of milk in her lifetime,” Jason remarked. “Over one-third of the herd traces to her.”
Pullis said Roedale Stardom Asia lived to be 16-years old. “She was still milking when she turned 15.” Pullis explained that cows have to be 15 to achieve a 5E status.
“Her top record was that she made over 55,000 pounds of milk, with a 365 day record of 2,579 pounds of fat. A huge production!”
Pullis says the second cow, Tri-Day Encore Fanny, was a producer of high producing heifers.
“Her greatest contribution to the herd is through her daughters. Her best daughter is Roedale S Fantasia (4E 95). She is oldest cow in the herd at 13 years of age and has made over 220,000 pounds of milk lifetime.”
Roedale S Fantasia is now retired and on a permanent ET program.
“We don’t market our embryos,” Pullis explains. “We implant all of our embryos here to build the next generation. Our goal is to breed a better herd of cows, so we’re focusing on those two families; the Asia family and the Fantasia family. We’re flushing the best members of those families to make daughters.”
The farm is home to nearly 300 head, with 120 milking and the balance in dry cows and heifers.
Efficiency in the feeding program at Roedale allows the brothers to feed less grain and more forage.
“Our current milking cow ration is 75 percent forage,” said Jason. “We’re feeding 16 pounds of grain per milking cow, per day, and we’re still making 80 pounds per cow.”
Pullis said not many herds in New York are feeding a 75 percent forage diet to their milking herd.
“We like forage. We grow a lot of forage and we make good forage, so it enables us to not feed a lot of grain. We don’t make as much milk — we don’t make 90 or 100 pounds for the whole herd, but we are at 80 pounds.”
Milk is marketed through Worcester Corp Creamery, with current levels of fat at 3.6 and protein at 2.9.
Roedale farms about 900 acres of land.
“We own about 750 acres,” reports Luke, “and we rent about another 150.”
Crops are diversified and cover crops play a big part in the program.
“There are 500 acres of hay ground,” said Luke. “We grow alfalfa, timothy and different variations of grasses. Two-hundred-fifty acres are corn, and pretty close to 100 acres of beans — and we do a lot of fall cover cropping.”
Luke says winter rye is the crop mainly used for cover cropping.
“We’ll do a variation of that in the spring. We’ll plow some down, we’ll mow some and bleach it out for straw, and then we’ll combine some, too. Our goal is to do at least 100 to 125 acres of rye in the fall.”
The brothers say they work with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to achieve desired environmental control and ideal production yields through nutrient management, land treatment, manure and wastewater handling and storage, and record keeping.
“We work with NRCS,” confirms Luke.
“We have a Certified Nutrient Plan,” remarked Jason.
“We work with different programs with them,” Luke explained. “For instance, for cover cropping, different barnyard projects and other environmental impacting programs.”
“We don’t pasture, and that is one of the big pushes with that,” Jason remarked. “We are looking into manure storage.”
Pullis says the farm presently stockpiles manure in summer months, spreading in the spring and fall.
Sand and straw are used for bedding throughout the facilities.
A new free stall structure was built last fall to accommodate an additional 50 cows.
“We have 70 cows here in the tie-stall, and then there’s 50 cows outside in the free stall.”
Milk prices are an obstacle that the family is dealing with by diversifying through other means of income.
“We’re selling straw and rye seed, and we do sell quite a bit of hay… all subsidizing the dairy portion of the farm,” said Jason. “We sell all large square bales. We sell from Maine to Georgia- and all of the way to Illinois.”
Pullis says they are constantly looking for new customers. “We’re happy to sell it wherever the market is.”
Raising turkeys is s new venture started by Jason’s wife Holly. The birds are processed and sold for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
“We had 160 last year,” reports Jason. “This year our goal is 200.”
Pullis says this year they intend to process all by-products of the birds.
Roedale Farm was originally established in New Jersey by Luke and Jason’s grandparents.
“It was started in 1950 by our grandparents Russel and Betty in Branchville, NJ,” commented Pullis. “They farmed in New Jersey until 1972, and then moved here to Springfield. We’ve been here in Springfield for 45 years.”
Four generations are currently living on the farm, including 89-year old grandmother Betty, Jason and Luke’s parents Allan and Pat, Jason and wife Holly with their sons 10-year old Maxwell and 8-year old Owen, and Luke with wife Theresa and their 3 children; 5-year old Adam, 3-year old Lucy, and 18-month old Noah.
For more information on hay or turkeys, contact Jason at 315-794-6737.