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Andy Thomson grew up with a love of farming, but he did not take the traditional route to owning his own farm. The farm he grew up on was a dairy farm until 2005, when his parents sold their cows and quota. At that time, Andy was working as a paramedic, saving money to invest in the home dairy. Andy always enjoyed farming, and in December of 2015, with his wife, Stasia, he was finally able to make that dream a reality. The farm has a herd of 46 Holsteins, 33 that are currently milking, and they average about 37 kilos (slightly over 9 gallons) of milk daily. Stasia works off the farm as a Nurse Practitioner, but is very involved with the milking, breeding, genetics, and testing of the animals. Andy even named the herd after her; they are registered as “Stasia Holsteins”. He said, “I did that as a romantic thing. [It was] a big gamble, but she liked it.”
Jon Plaskett works with Andy and is also a licensed farm equipment mechanics that runs a maintenance and repair company. Andy hopes to have him be a future partner or shareholder in the dairy. Jon has seen many pieces of farm equipment over his 10-year career. He has always had a positive experience with Patz and was please when Andy considered adding this equipment to the lineup.
While searching for a vertical mixer to add to his farm, Andy looked at several options. He decided to buy a Patz 800 Series 350 cu. ft. Vertical Mixer from his dealer Embro Farm Systems, Inc. Embro was able to offer him great products, solutions, and service in 24 hours of his request – something that competitors hadn’t been able to do for him in 90 days.
“I would want this purchase to go down the same way all over again,” Andy states, “John Van Ginkel’s professional service assured me this was the unit for us.” He said that the price was the best offered, and the trade value was excellent as well. He was impressed with their service, saying, “John delivered what he said and more…I do also believe if there is a problem in the future [John] will do everything possible to help [my team] get through the day.”
Andy has already seen some amazing benefits from his Patz vertical mixer. The Patz mixer saves both time and labor. Milk yield of the herd has improved, as well as the cows’ body condition and overall health. The butterfat content of the herd’s milk has gotten to 4%; Andy believes this is due to the cows improved feed including increased chopped dry matter intake. Using the Patz mixer for a dual purpose was an added bonus; he mixes feed, but also uses it to chop bedding. Using the mixer in this way eliminated the need to purchase another chopper. The simple design offers low HP requirements, which was appealing to Andy. He also expects a fast payback period on his mixer.
“Got this mixer and it has been the best day I have had in weeks,” he stated. To see the power of the machine, one of the first things he did with the Patz mixer was to put in a 1200Kg (about 2640lbs.) bale in. “It just destroyed that bale,” he said. After that impressive display, he added the rest of the ingredients for his TMR, and made enough mix for 2 days of feeding.
The cattle are eating better with the Patz mixer. The first time Andy tried the Patz mixer he had fed his cows an hour earlier, in case there were any issues with the new machine. The mixer worked perfectly. Even after eating, the cows still went back and ate more of the new ration. Andy believes this is due to a more thorough mix and perhaps the addition of more hay than he was previously able to accommodate. The cows’ dry matter intake has improved significantly. Andy is so impressed with his mixer; he would recommend this product to others, saying, “People are welcome to see it.”
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