Award-Winning Dairy

Blue Star Dairy, LLC, of DeForest, was among seven herds receiving recognition for reproductive efficiency. Pictured here are: Back row: Craig Meinholz, Brian Meinholz, Dean Meinholz; Front row: Javier L. Hidrogo, Susie Martin, Jeremy Konen and Jose Hidrogo.

DeForest’s Blue Star Dairy was among seven herds with 12-month pregnancy rates of 34 percent or higher that were recently recognized with the CentralStar Cooperative ReproStar Award.

Others included: Deluur Future, Marlette, Michigan; Rademacher-Meier Dairy, Sun Prairie,; Reid Dairy Farm, Jeddo, Mich.; Latham Dairy, LLC, Boscobel; Lew-Max LLC, Belding, Michigan; and Luckwaldt Agriculture, Inc., Woodville.

“This year’s winners not only have impressive pregnancy rates, but they excel in several other key metrics putting them far beyond industry averages,” said Julie Ainsworth, Coordinator of Dairy Records Consulting at CentralStar. “In particular, they do an outstanding job getting older cows pregnant. Mature cows typically present the greatest conception challenges, and yet this year’s winners achieved conception rates for third and greater lactation cows of over 44 percent, while the average for this lactation group in all Midwest herds as reported by DRMS (Dairy Records Management Systems) is 33 percent.”

While the award winners have different approaches to achieving reproductive efficiency, a shared strategy includes genetic selection for health and fertility traits. Focusing on these indexes can improve cow health, while minimizing the adverse influences of common dairy cattle ailments. Healthier cows lead to improved reproductive success, ultimately improving a dairy’s overall reproductive efficiency.

Established in 2019, the ReproStar Award recognizes producers for their accomplishments with reproductive efficiency. A panel of judges evaluates each dairy’s data for multiple factors known to influence pregnancy rates when selecting the winners.

“We know the most profitable dairies have commonalities; one of which is a high pregnancy rate,” said Kelly Bristle, Director Member Relations and Promotions. “While genetics and reproduction are at the heart of what we do, CentralStar is invested in the long-term success and profitability of our customers so creating a recognition program around this key profitability factor was a natural fit.”

More details regarding the management practices this year’s ReproStar winners use to achieve high reproductive efficiency can be found online.

CentralStar Cooperative Inc. was established May 1, 2019 as a result of the merger between NorthStar Cooperative Inc. and East Central/Select Sires. The cooperative’s goal of enhancing producer profitability through integrated services is fulfilled by incorporating an array of products and services critical to dairy and beef farm prosperity. CentralStar’s product and service offerings include Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations and Select Sires genetics; artificial insemination (A.I.) service; genetic, reproduction, and dairy records consultation; DHI services; diagnostic testing; herd-management products; research and development; and more. CentralStar’s administration and warehouse facilities are in Lansing, Mich., and Waupun, Wis., with laboratories in Grand Ledge, Mich., and Kaukauna, Wis. For more information, visit CentralStar Cooperative Inc. at

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