David and Mina Covert of Prattsburg, New York began dairy farming in the spring of 1977 with just 30 cows. Over the years they've grown their operation to 1,036 milking cows and 2500 acres of crops.
Today, Damin Farms LLC includes David and Mina, as well as their three children, spouses and grandchildren. Daughter Keri and her husband Marc Clemons are in charge of the cows and heifers, making all management, genetic and nutritional decisions.
Marc began working on the farm when he was just 13, and with 24 years of experience he's become a driving force on the dairy. The 1000+ cows are now milked 3x/day and are boasting an impressive herd average of 24,470 3.5% 865 3.0 723 lbs and a 30% conception rate.
A partner in Semex's young sire program, Premier™, since April 2004 Marc is proud of the results in his herd.
"I think Semex does an excellent job selecting the bulls that they sample," Marc says. "I am impressed with the number of bulls I have used that Semex has returned to their active line-up."
Bulls used at Damin through the Semex's young sire programs include 0200HO01818 Blue- Haven-Ltd Brick, 0200HO05217 Vieuxsaule Malicieux and 0200HO03315 Braedale Pagewire. Marc's Malicieux daughters have been widely publicized with Damin-Acres Malicieux 1214 VG-86-(EX-MS)-3YR-USA and Keri-Co Malicieux 1212 GP-84-3YR-USA being featured in Malicieux advertising around the world.
Important to Marc is his herd's longevity and the durability built in by using Semex Premier™ Young Sires.
"We're happy with the sound, functional daughters we've bred with Semex," comments Marc. "Most of these daughters have outstanding longevity, lasting for several lactations. This is important because we know that Semex is helping us grow the herd internally. We don't have to go looking for replacements"
"For cows to last for us they have to have good udders, and exceptional feet & legs to take them back and forth to the parlor."
"We have more Semex sired daughters than any other in their third and fourth lactations," Marc comments. "They last."
A comment heard more and more from Semex's partner herds, Semex young sires are selected to provide dairies with long-lasting profitable daughters... The real kind of cows that work on real dairies.
"Our number one goal is to provide our clients in the USA and worldwide with the sires they need to increase their profitability," says Pierre Laliberte, Semex Senior Vice-President, Global Genetics & Research. "We offer a wide variety of bloodlines that emphasize health, production and functional traits, making Semex's young sire program very attractive to any dairyman. Our USA program is key to our global program and it continues to grow and provide the world with the highly reliable and profitable sires Semex and the USA are both known for."
A Premier™ partner for five years, Marc says that his Semex sired daughters are very functional, long-lasting cows and credits the program for providing him excellent incentives to purchase proven semen.
Utilizing these semen credits has opened the door for Marc to use Semex's proven sire lineup, an important benefit in today's tough economic and dairy climates. Proven sire 0200HO01584 Diamond- Oak Frosty is making his mark, with 18 milking daughters at Damin Farms LLC.
"When I went to buy him I had three reasons for buying him," says Marc. "First, I liked his pedigree. Second, my neighbor had one that had been pictured and I really liked the looks of her. Third, he was on special at the time and he's a
fertile, Repromax™ sire!"
Recently Marc reaffirmed his commitment to Semex and its proving program by joining the Semex Premier™ Club as a Silver Level Member.