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Biography of Harmony-Ho Holsteins and Ralph and Sharon Bredl
Harmony-Ho Holsteins was established near Stratford Wisconsin, the heart of Marathon County, in 1989 by 3rd generation USA dairy producers Ralph and Sharon Bredl (along with daughters Martine and Rachel) as a 60 cow registered Holstein dairy.

In 1994, reacting to the changes occurring in the registered Holstein and milk production businesses, the Bredl family made the transition to free stall housing - flat parlor and grew the business to 200 cows. The construction of a double-8 milking parlor and additional milking herd housing, in 1997, allowed the herd to grow to 320 cows.

With the addition of another 80 stalls, 1999 brought the opportunity to capitalize on internal growth of cow numbers and to become a cooperator in the Genex Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer program and grow the herd to 400 total cows.

In 2000 Harmony-Ho Holsteins and Badger Holsteins of Unity LLC formed a joint herd sire marketing enterprise that annually sells 80 breeding age bulls to other dairymen. The construction of a Dry Cow barn in 2004 resulted in the current herd size of 450 total cows. The herd growth of the past 10 years was accomplished while maintaining a 29,000 to 31,000# herd average along with annual cull rates of < 25%. Realizing that the foundation of a successful dairy enterprise is built upon high quality cattle, all purchased animals were closely screened for pedigree quality, production potential and biosecurity.

  • Holstein USA “Progressive Breeder Award” – 7 years
  • Top 10 milk production herd in Wisconsin 1993-1998
  • Validus Certified - More than ever before, consumers are concerned about the way animals are raised and handled on the farm. Validus offers consumers third-party verification that producers are adhering to acceptable animal welfare standards.
    Harmony Ho Dairy has successfully completed the Assessment portion of the Validus Animal Welfare review process.

  • Bachelor of Science UW River Falls 1977 (Ralph)
  • Bachelor of Science UW Stevens Point 1979 (Sharon)
  • Former Board member and past president of Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (Ralph)
  • Former board member of Community Bank of Central Wisconsin (Ralph)
  • UW Dairy Science advisory board (Ralph)
  • National Farm Medicine Center Steering committee (Sharon)
  • Marshfield Medical Research Foundation board of Trustees (Sharon)
  • Guest speaker at numerous dairy producer meetings across the Midwest, Northeastern US and Western and Eastern Europe addressing the importance of developing business and personal management and planning skills. (Ralph and Sharon)
  • "Dairy Today"-"Dollars and Sense" columnists 1994-1995. (Ralph and Sharon)
  • 1993 Central Region Dairy Farm Family of the Year
  • Member and Chair of UW Dairy Facilities Advisory Council (Ralph)
  • Member of Dairy Business Association – participated in Washington June ’04 lobbying tour and various State of Wisconsin lobbying tours. (Ralph and Sharon)
  • Marshfield Medical Research Foundation – Personalized Medicine project steering committee member 2003-present. (Sharon)
  • Member of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health - AgFF Sector Council - Ralph 2007

    Herd Status: 450 total cows, 410 in milking string. DHIR RHA 30,000M +1100F +990P (13600kgM, 454kgF, 409kgP). Goals: Market +90#(43L)/cow/day of 3.6%fat, 3.0%protein (equals 1.3 Million lbs/worker including family labor).

    Land Base: 400 (160 HA) tillable acres owned and rented. This acreage devoted to forage production will provide 50% of the herds forage needs. Local grower is utilized for additional forage and grain needs.

    Housing: milking herd - 326 stall, 4-row sand bedded, head to head stalls, drive through feeding, headlocks, skid loader scraped with 1 month of manure storage (liquid). Maternity pen, hospital pen and calf housing - in old dairy barn. 108 stall 3-row Dry cow/Prefresh barn.

    Herd Sire Enterprise: Harmony-How Holsteins and Badger Holsteins of Unity (Larry Meyer and families) have pooled resources to form a herd sire enterprise which will provide a larg selection of high quality herd sires.

    Labor: 9 full time and 5 part time employees. We are slightly overstaffed - but like it that way!

    Milking age female sales: Call or email for availability.

    Miling System: Dbl-8 Germania with Afimilk information system. Two person team comfortably milks 75 cows/hour - harvesting 2000# milk/hour. Parlor will milk 550 cows 3x. BECO pulsation monitoring system installed May '04.

    GENEX cooperator herd: Harmony-Ho Holsteins houses and cares for the females which are part of the GENEX Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer program.

    Heifers: raised to 4 months of age then go to custom grower and then returned 2 months prior to calving.

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    Harmony Ho Holsteins
    Ralph, Jr., and Sharon Bredl
    C1956 Riviera Drive
    Stratford, WI 54484
    Phone Office: 715-687-4236; Fax: 715-687-4011
    EMail: ralph@harmonyspecialty.com