The Seedorf Family
Arps Dairy is proud to highlight the producers that help our company remain a quality local business. One of these families is the Seedorf family. Just as Arps understands the core value of working together for a strong business, the Seedorf family reflects this same value. Since 1895 the Dairy Farm has been in operated by a family dedicated to provide the best in their farm. Mark Seedorf’s family has been blessed to share the hard work and passion for the dairy industry to build a solid farm in the Deshler area. Currently, the farm goes by the name Sunnyville Farms LLC. Here the fourth and fifth generation is working hard to continue their tradition in the dairy industry.
Sunnyville Farms milk 110 register Holstein cows with a robotic milking machine. This technology is relatively new to the farm. In 2014, the farm began to use the robot. Over the last few years they have learned a great deal about this technology. They believe, “Technology has changed our farm and we are always learning more about it.” As part of this equipment, the cows are milked up to six times a day. This helps keep the cows comfortable and increases good udder health. In addition, the robot tracks cow health daily, detecting when the cow is not feeling well. By utilizing this information, the Seedorf family also knows when a cow is in heat so they can accurately breed her. They share, “We now have the latest milking data and heat detection information at our finger tips. The robot allows us to make some easier management decisions.”
To further provide cow care, the farm uses various fans to keep barns cool in the summer months as well as, increased bedding and secure barns in the winter for warmth. Another piece of equipment the cows enjoy is a rotating brush which gives them comfort and keeps them clean. Each day the cows relax in the free stalls on water beds and sawdust. The cows are fed twice a day according to a nutritionist’s recommendation. The feed ration is based on individual cow milk production and the point of where they are in gestation to ensure each cow is fed the best ration for overall health.
Mark claims “I like watching things grow and mature – from the crops in our fields to the calves born on our farm, everyday offers a different adventure”. The family shares values that have been passed down through the generations such as keeping family and faith at the core of their lives. As Mark recalls from his parents, “it’s not about the “things” in life that are the most important”. This ideal continues as the kids and grandchildren help on the farm where their grandma still resides.
Community involvement is seen the family members in 4-H show Holsteins at the county fair and attend the local school where they participate in the FFA. The Seedorf family gives tours to local groups, showing off the robotic equipment. They also host the district FFA dairy judging contest. The family members can be seen as advisors, committee members, leaders, and members of the Henry County Dairy Producers and the District 10 Holstein Club. In addition, the farm was recognized as a Centennial Farm in 1995. They earned a stewardship award from the Soil and Water Conservation as well.
Sunnyville Farms continues to strive to be the best operation they can make it. “We invest countless hours each and every day to provide high quality milk products to the consumers in the most sustainable way we can.” They are proud to supply milk to Arps Dairy. Although the partnership between the two is fairly new, they look forward to many years of working alongside Arps Dairy. One aspect of that is appreciated by Sunnyville farm is they like to produce high quality milk which is sold to our local community in many great products. “It is nice to see our local products on the shelf in the grocery stores”.
Arps Dairy is pleased to have producers like the Seedorf family in our community and in our business.