Hello from the Buckeye State

January 7, 2013 09:02 PM

Lambert VanderMade

Lambert VanderMade


Sherwood, Ohio

VanderMade Dairy LLC is a family-owned and -operated dairy milking 1,400 cows in northern Ohio.





**Extended comments highlighted in blue.

My parents and I started our dairy in northern Ohio in 1999 when we moved from the Netherlands. After looking at many countries in Europe as well as Canada, we decided to move to the U.S. We purchased 300 acres of land and constructed a 600-cow dairy—a big change from the 60-cow and 200-sow farm that we were used to. Since then, we’ve been able to expand three different times to our current size. Each one of these expansions required a renewed permit through the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Thanks to great neighbors and help from others, we were able to complete these permit applications ourselves without any opposition.

VanderMade Dairy LLC is a family-owned and -operated dairy. We milk about 1,400 head of Holstein cows 3X a day through a double-23 herringbone parlor. Fresh cows are milked twice a day through a single-6 herringbone parlor located right in the fresh pen.

All cows are housed in six-row freestall barns with sand-bedded stalls. We have not yet recycled sand, as new sand is reasonably priced and hard to beat from a quality point of view. We do separate some solids, but only to use as nutrients on farms farther away from the dairy.

Along with the dairy, we feed 400 head of steers and farm 1,500 acres of mainly corn and alfalfa, some beans or wheat occasionally. All young stock is being raised on five different farms within the Buckeye State.

We currently employ a team of 19 full-time and part-time people. We’re very grateful for and proud of them. Great herd health and milk quality are a direct result of a great team.

Looking ahead to 2013, there seem to be a lot of challenges within the dairy industry, from our country’s economy to dairy markets, feed prices and tax laws. Many of these factors we have no control over as dairy producers, so we tend to put our focus on what we can control. We have found the most successful way for us is to create accurate budgets each year and try to stick to them. This allows us to track all important income and expenses on a monthly and quarterly basis.

A lot has changed over the past 13 years. I am proud to be a U.S. citizen, have a great wife and kids, and enjoy being in the dairy business. I am grateful for my parents’ hard work and building the foundation to a successful business. I look forward to a bright future being a dairy producer.


VanderMade's Most Recent Prices  
Milk (3.7% bf, 3.0% prt) $21.50/cwt.
Cull cows $1.38/lb. ($78 to $79 live weight)
Springing heifers $1,800/head
Alfalfa hay (milk cow) $260/ton
Cottonseed $290/ton
Ground corn $300/ton



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