Making change isn’t always easy; especially when multiple generations are working together on the family farm. However, with four people from three generations bringing ideas to the table of a progressive operation, like the Winkelpleck Family Farm in east central Iowa, change for the better is always welcome.
“My dad is 81 years old, and it was his idea to research the VitaFerm®. He saw it on RFD TV,” said Jon Winkelpleck, who also farms with his brother, Larry, and his son, Zach.
After years of feeding another mineral with no visible results, the Winkelplecks talked to their local feed dealer Josh Stamp at Stamp Ag LLC, Belle Plaine, Iowa, a BioZyme® Master Dealer. Winkelpleck said that after a year of using products like the Vita Charge® Stress Tubs and VitaFerm® Concept•Aid®, he doubts if anyone could switch him back to another mineral.
“On our replacement heifers this year, we had 100% conception rate, and they all bred in the first 60 days. Our vet even asked us what we did differently! I like what I see. Nobody is going to talk us into going with a different tub,” Winkelpleck said.
They run about 110 commercial Angus cows on their family farm, and this year offered the cows the VitaFerm Concept•Aid Mineral Tub, a 200-pound cooked tub designed for reproductive success. It provides 2.5% phosphorus, the ideal level of phosphorus for use with average to good quality forages, to promote milk production and higher calf weaning weights that contains organic copper, zinc and manganese to ensure maximum bioavailability of nutrients to the animal. It also contains high levels of vitamin E and selenium to promote optimized fertility.
The key ingredient in most BioZyme products is Amaferm®, a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying nutrient supply for maximum performance. It is research-proven to increase the energy available to the animal resulting in more milk production as well as to the ability to initiate and maintain pregnancy and fertility.
“Our cows also utilized poorer quality forages this year. We’re paying more than what we’re used to for a tub, but we’re getting a better value. These tubs have made a big difference.” Winkelpleck said.
In addition to the cow herd, the Winkelpleck family also operates a 700 head feed yard, where they finish cattle. He said they introduced the Vita Charge Stress Tub to the calves they buy and get into their feed lot this past year and have also seen great results.
“The Vita Charge Stress Tub is the first thing they get when they get to the yard. We haven’t treated any calves this year,” Winkelpleck said.
Stress Tubs are designed to support digestive health and promote feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery, and they don’t interfere with antibiotics. In addition to the prebiotic Amaferm, the Stress Tubs also include a heat tolerant probiotic to work synergistically with Amaferm to replenish and stimulate gut bacteria. The tubs also contain MOS to trap and expel pathogens, limiting their ability to do harm.
Change is not that challenging after all. When the patriarch of your family and farm has an idea that makes your operation more efficient and more profitable, that’s a change worth talking about!