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MANAGEMENT By Ron Goble MEDEIROS BUILDS SUCCESS WITH CONSERVATIVE, PROGRESSIVE APPROACH A conservative fiscal approach, combined with technology geared toward efficiency, have served Medeiros and Son Dairy well. Rui Medeiros has loved cows since his childhood in the Azores, where his neighbor had four cows. Anytime he’d get a chance to help with the cows, Rui jumped at the opportunity. That love of dairy cows came with him when he immigrated to the United States from his native Portugal in 1987. Initially settling in Southern California, Rui milked cows for Chino dairy producer Dimas Costa. After seven years, Rui and his wife, Alvarina, purchased 64 cows of their own, renting a dairy facility in the San Joaquin Valley. He and his young son, Brian, started milk- ing for themselves in 1994. Today, father-son team are milking 2,500 Holsteins 3X on their Medeiros & Son Dairy, Hanford, Calif. Brian, 25, grew up working on his father’s dairies, but has now taken a major manage- ment role after graduating in 2010 from Cali- fornia Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a double major in dairy science and agribusiness management. “We talk through most every decision on the dairy,” said Brian. “Whether it’s a major addition or a relatively small investment, Dad and I talk about everything, and sometimes the discussions can be somewhat heated. But we work together well, with much the same goals and values.” Their milking string averages 82 lbs. of milk/cow/day with a rolling herd average of 26,417 lbs., good enough to receive second- high herd honors for production from Kings County DHIA last year. All their milk goes to California Dairies, Inc. Medeiros & Son Dairy has undergone several upgrades since its purchase in 2003. Originally, it was an open lot dairy for about 1,200 cows. But Rui’s vision was to build a freestall facility with twice that capacity. The open lots were replaced with five large freestall barns, each housing 500 cows, divided into two, 250-cow pens. They also 8 September 2013 DAIRYBUSINESSWEST Since graduating from Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo with a double major in dairy science and agribusiness management, Brian Medeiros, 25, has taken a larger management role at Medeiros & Son Dairy, Hanford, Calif. built a large maternity barn, which has served them and their animals well. The Medeiros don’t waste anything. They separate and compost all their manure solids, using what they need for freestall bedding. Any extra is spread on their 1,600 acres, where they grow about 60% of their forages – corn silage and alfalfa hay – and their entire supply of heifer and dry cow feeds. They’ve upgraded all their farm tractors with GPS units, significantly cutting tractor hours and wasted trips through the fields. In the milk barn Medeiros went from an old double-15 to updated double-35 Westfalia parallel stalls in 2003. More recently, they replaced the manual milking system with BECO FlowNexus automatic detachers and the Please turn to page 10
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