THE DAIRY AT GAR-LIN
In 1971, when Gary and Linda Allen took over the farm, they had 40 cows. Today GAR-LIN Dairy has over 1,850 milking cows. Gar-Lin Dairy is owned by Gary and Linda along with their children Dean Allen- Outside Operations Manager and also help with maintenance, and agronomy, and Dana Allen-Tully - Dairy and Nutrition Manager, helping farm the over 4,470 acres consisting of corn, alfalfa, sweet peas and sweet corn, soybeans, and winter rye.
Dana's position on the farm is as an owner with specific responsibility to manage the dairy herd and
its employees. The dairy operations responsibilities include nutrient management, free-stall barns, reproduction, replacements, transition cows, maternity area including nursery, calves, milking parlor, agronomy, all dairy personnel, and the milk from the dairy.
Dana's studies included animal science with a Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition, and her husband Jim Tully serves as Gar-Lin Dairy's nutritionist. Coupling these responsibilities gives Dana a birds eye view of what occurs day-to-day on the dairy and the impact of small changes in DM (dry matter), feed delivery, feed push-ups, transitioning forages, and intentional diet changes. Starch and sugar components in the diet become the largest challenge when forage quality and feeding consistency is not achieved.
The key to the Gar-Lin team's success is consistency for all aspects of milk harvest: milking protocols, cow handling, feeding, treatment protocols, reproduction
protocols, tracking follow-up treatments, calf and
heifer feeding. At our level of production, even
the slightest change takes days to recover milk