THE HOLT CREEK JERSEYS DIFFERENCE
Prospective customers often ask us: “What’s the difference?” What sets Holt Creek Jerseys apart? While we like to think that there are many things we do differently, there really are only a few things, and they are very simple.
We milk cows for a living. We are not hobby breeders. We are not semen salesmen. We understand the needs of the grass-fed dairy industry from the ground up, because we wake up every morning and milk our cows, just like you do. Milk pays the bills around here, and we know what kind of cow it takes to make a profit.
We are in the food business. We sell milk, cheese, and meat to people who care about what they eat and how it was produced. Our customers value high quality and consistency. Jersey cows are our business partners. The genetics we offer are the genetics that we have developed to help our cattle keep us in that business. We put our own name on our own products and we stand behind those products, because we believe in what we do.
Our cattle are ranch-raised. Our calves are born on pasture and are raised on their own mothers or on a surrogate mother, in a herd setting. After weaning, calves are kept in the Gotschall family beef cattle herd in the Nebraska Sandhills until they are ready for breeding and production. They must have the ability to adapt to challenging weather, harvest their own forage, maintain body condition, conceive and maintain a pregnancy on grass only, with minimal inputs. They must first pass this real-world, no-nonsense forage-only test under the same conditions as the Angus cattle and bison on the ranch before they are able to pass their genetics on to the next generation.
Our cattle are pasture-proven. Our cattle live outdoors and have a 100% forage and roughage diet. During the growing season, they are intensively grazed on subdivided paddocks and moved at least once daily. In the winter, cows receive stockpiled pasture, native grass hay, native baylage, and alfalfa. We use a very simple free-choice mineral program that includes salt, sodium bicarbonate, Vitamins A,D, and E, and an organic herbal mixture. We are certified organic, so in rare times of stress and sickness, cattle must respond to natural remedies and nutrition-based preventative maintenance. Cattle that must have antibiotics are removed from the program. Over time, this has developed a herd of cattle with healthy immune systems that can take care of themselves, so you don’t have to waste valuable time and money to maintain herd health and productivity.
We only offer semen from bulls we have used in our own herd. We develop almost all of our own bulls. We sometimes, very rarely, bring in genetics from other herds. These are bulls and cattle that we have physically inspected, in person, from herds with programs similar to our own, raised by trustworthy people who share similar goals and philosophies. What we offer to you, our customer, are the same genetics we use to achieve our goals of using Jersey cattle to convert sunlight into high-quality foods that can sustain soils, water, our family, and our community.