California Dairy Activities

Joel Hastings

Giacomazzi Dairy Complete Dispersal

Dino Giacomazzi and his mom, Jackie, are shown before their herd dispersal on Oct. 25.

One of the oldest continuous dairy farms west of the Rockies closed out its milking operations on Oct. 25 with a complete dispersal at the dairy in Hanford, Calif.  Four generations of the Giacomazzi family have been milking for 126 years since 1893. Dino Giacomazzi and his mother, Jackie, dispersed their high quality 1000-cow commercial Holstein herd very successful.   With generations of AI breeding and 89 years on DHI test, the dairy was averaging over 30,000 lbs. of milk 851 lbs. of protein and a 4% butterfat test.  The herd was averaging 185,000 SCC and 12.5 months average calving interval.



Managed by A & M Livestock in Hanford, the sale averaged $1635 on the milking cows and $1438 on the dry cows.  The heifers from bottle calves to bred heifers averaged $1100.  Most were sold in lots but a few of the individuals sold brought up to $2400.  Richard Martella of A & M says there were 63 buyers at the sale and another 41 online.  David Rama of The Cattle Exchange in Delhi, N.Y. was auctioneer.

Dino Giacomazzi expressed his appreciation for the support but said a week after the sale there were no cows on the dairy for the first time in his life… a real change.  The family will continue farming putting in more almond trees.


Fresno State Dairy Club Red Wave Sale

In the box from left are Gil Teixeira who read pedigrees with students Logan Real, Lexie Nunes and Michael Neves.

The dairy club and revitalized dairy science program at Fresno State hosted it’s second promotional consignment sale – Red Wave II – on Oct. 26 on campus in Fresno, Calif.  The 40+ Holsteins include some top show calf prospects, bred heifers and a few fresh cows averaged $2450. High seller at $6000 was a Red fall yearling from the Apple family consigned by Michael Deaver and Clark Woodmansee of Edgerton, Wis.  Deaver, a California native, was one of the official judges for the junior dairy cattle judging competition earlier in the day.

About 20 Jerseys averaged $2320 and a few select Brown Swiss were also offered.  Ken Melvold, longtime sale manager and Fresno State supporter, made selections, produced the catalog and oversaw the work of the students.  Dr. Kyle Thompson oversees the Fresno State dairy program and university herd.  Logan Real, Lexie Nunes and Michael Neves were student co-chairs.




U.S. Farm Systems Celebrates 40 Years

Shown from left are Alain and Jean Houle with their father, Rejean, and next with Mrs. and Mr. Yvon Vallieres and their sons Eric and David.

It was 40 years ago that Rejean Houle began his career manufacturing manure handling  equipment in Wisconsin.  He had left the family equipment business in Quebec. He says he realized that cows will produce manure regardless of the location, the weather or the milk price.

Moving his company to California’s Central Valley in 1983, he expanded with continuing improvements in design to meet the needs of livestock producers.  Systems have been designed and built not only for dairy farms but also  hog facilities, fish hatcheries, food waste processing, irrigation, and digesters. With systems in the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, Middle East, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Europe, US Farm Systems has become an international presence in wastewater and manure handling equipment.

A year ago, Rejean sold his firm to Valmetal Group in Quebec, finding with its founder and owner, Yvon Vallieres, a kindred spirit who built a family owned farm equipment manufacturing company adding to its product lines with strategic purchases.  Both businesses were founded the same year and both Houle and Vallieres have sons now active in the businesses.

On Oct. 25, the owners, family members, dealers and staff gathered at U.S. Farm Systems in Tulare for a 40th anniversary celebration with a barbecue lunch, plant tours and farm visits.


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