Stoney Run Farms Inc. in McGaheysville, VA (Rockingham county) will host this year’s dairy expo on Friday, July 14. The Smith family has a farm goal of producing high quality milk.
Family members include Fred and Shirley Smith, Jeff and Noma Smith along with their children, Nathan, Matthew, Rachel, Esther (Smith) Brown and her husband, Jamie. The family started milking 50 cows in 1959 and now the 5th generation manages the primarily closed herd dairy (since 1970). Fred, Nathan and Matthew prefer to maintain the crops and equipment. Nathan is the farm mechanic and received training at the Nashville Auto Diesel college. Noma is the calf manager and Jeff and Rachel are the herd managers. Rachel is a proud Virginia Tech alumnus and Matthew currently attends Virginia Tech.
Stoney Run is the home to 5600 head of livestock: 2200 milking cows, 2700 total cows, 3100 heifers. All milking, dry and breeding age heifers are housed in free stalls bedded with sand. Four stage lagoons help separate the liquid from solids for manure management.
All heifers from weaning to breeding, along with pregnant ones are housed on pasture. The current herd average is very impressive for a large herd-305 ME is 29,000 lbs, 3.7 Fat, 3.0 Protein! The SCC (somatic cell count) is less than 110,000 and the PI and SPC are less than 10,000! Dairy Comp 305 is used for recordkeeping and DHIA tests milk every other month.
Visitors to the farm will admire the latest upgrade: a 72 stall DeLaval rotary parlor installed in February 2015. In addition, Delpro software and sort gates were purchased.
For their breeding program, Select Sire Power mates their herd to help reduce inbreeding. Bull selection criteria are chosen for milk production, correct udders and feet and legs
The Smith’s have 1650 acres double cropped with corn for silage, barley, rye and triticale to feed the herd along with 130 acres of alfalfa hay.
They do enjoy participating in the county fair each summer with Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss and a handful of ayrshires and hosted the Shenandoah Valley Holstein club’s annual summer picnic last year.