Dorchester farmer is Dairy First winner
Dairy farmer Jake Peissig of Dorchester, Wisconsin has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of Boehringer Ingelheim's Dairy First Award. The honor celebrates a deserving dairy producer who has demonstrated a commitment to milk quality practices and the well-being of animals.
Peissig who is the third generation to operate JTP Farms was among several dairy producers across the U.S. that were nominated for the award.
Reba Gotham, territory manager, Boehringer Ingelheim says JTP Farms was selected for its best-in-class animal welfare and milk quality practices, including the implementation of selective dry cow therapy, mastitis-culturing and treatment protocols, vaccination, and rumination and activity collars that help identify sickness in the herd.
“JTP Farms places a premium on cow comfort and animal welfare,” said Gotham, who works with Peissig and his team. “They were an early adopter of selective dry cow therapy, and they keep their operation immaculately clean. It’s a joy to visit this farm and witness truly happy cows.”
Peissig took over his family-owned dairy farm more than 11 years ago, which was run by his father and grandfather before that.
In 2012, JTP Farms switched from milking in a step-up parlor to a cross-ventilated robotic barn with sand bedding and automatic manure scrapers. In 2021, the farm went on to install a fully robotic feeding system, complete with a feeding center and two automatic feeders that deliver fresh feed two times per day around the barn.
These automatic systems have helped Peissig reduce mastitis case numbers and prioritize milk quality, with cows producing over 100 pounds of milk and a somatic cell count under 100,000.
“The cows are what pay the bills,” said Peissig. “They take care of us, so whatever we can do to take care of them is our top priority. We put a lot of pride into what we do, and sometimes the work becomes second nature. The biggest honor is being recognized for things that you don't even realize you're doing, but apparently are a big deal.”
JTP’s automatic feeders provide the herd with a consistent, stress-free feeding schedule, lowering refusal and waste levels and even the farm’s carbon footprint, by improving their milk-to-feed ratio.
Peissig values a strong work ethic and attention to animal well-being in his employees, which he believes comes from time with the herd, but also utilization of the technology that tracks their health.
For more information on Boehringer Ingelheim’s “Cattle First” initiatives, please visit www.BICattleFirst.com.