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Dairy Producers Named As Saskatchewan's Outstanding Young Farmers

Michael and Jessica Lovich of Balgonie own and operate Lovholm Holsteins, a 70 cow dairy.

The couple moved to Saskatchewan from Alberta about 5 1/2 years ago, relocating their entire herd and family.

Michael says it was a bit of a challenge, but they got it done in a short period of time, and it's been a fantastic move.

He says the main goals of Lovholm Holsteins is to continue to increase genetic potential in every cow.

"We focus a lot on confirmation in our breeding decisions. That has led us to be in one of the top 20 classified herds in 2019 in Canada for our herd size. As well, in 2020, we reached the Top 10 for Master Breeder status through Holstein Canada. So those are a couple highlights. Since moving to Saskatchewan, we have also been able to focus on improving milk production, which has resulted in numerous cow awards on the production side, not just confirmation."

He notes probably the biggest highlight for their operation came in 2015 when one of their cows was named Supreme Champion at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

"We had bred her and sold her as a young cow, and she matured well for her new owners. So we are very thankful for that."

Jessica says they see education as being very important and host three to six farm tours a year for school groups and industry groups.

"We focus all of those tours on importantly sharing the food production cycles, namely the dairy cycle. However, we always like to focus on Ag in general, because we all have a story to tell, and we're all kind of in this game together. So we try to do our part in telling that story and to be transparent to our consumers."

She notes they also like to help people further their education and have partnered with the University of Lavalle taking in an internship with their agronomy class. They have a girl from Quebec working at the farm now, and in August are expecting a student from Denmark.

Jessica says family is a big part of their operation, noting that their three daughters (10, 11 and 6) are a key part of the farm.

"They are really a fantastic help. They help with milking cows, feeding calves, driving tractors, and even cooking for us through the busy season. So we really couldn't do what we do and take on as much as we do without having really fantastic kids. And we just want to give them some appreciation as well. We try to balance our farm life as much as possible with being very involved in our community. So the girls are all in 4H. They all figure skate, they all play softball, and they're involved in swimming and the youth groups in the community as well. So they don't always love farm life, and the challenges that it brings and the commitment that it takes to make the farm work. But we still believe that this is very much the best way that we get to raise our kids and we're so thankful for that opportunity. And we like to think that any opportunity to show our kids firsthand the value of hard work, passion, cooperation, and even how to disagree is an advantage to their development."

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