August 6, 2020, Reston, Virginia – Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative honored Nealand Farms as the Producer of the Year at its 100th Annual Meeting during the Virtual Honors Ceremony held August 6, 2020.
“This top honor is awarded to a member who not only achieves high quality milk, but who goes above and beyond and demonstrate outstanding overall farm management, environmental sustainability and top-notch animal care,” said First Vice President Kevin Satterwhite.
Nealand Farms, LLC is operated by the Nealy Family in Newville, Pennsylvania. Brothers Steve and Tom Nealy, along with their sons, operate Nealand Farms. Steve’s son, Matt, and Tom’s son, Tommy are the third generation on the farm. Tommy’s son, Landon is the fourth generation to work on the farm.
“Our family moved on the farm in 1968 with 18 cows. Today we have 410 mature cows,” said Steve.
“It’s working together as a family and increasing the operation is what we enjoy most,” he added.
In 2008 the Nealys started Nealand Farms LLC, when Matthew and Tommy joined the business and started taking on more management responsibilities. Matthew oversees the milking herd, and Tommy manages the calves. Tom handles all the feeding for the animals and Steve helps with the day to day management.
Nealand Farms has three full-time and three part-time employees. They house their cows in a freestall barn, and heifers are raised at three different locations, divided by size. They grow close to 1,100 acres of crops which all goes to feeding the cows.
The Nealys use advances in technology, enabling them to work efficiently and stay connected to their herd. Eight years ago, they installed automated calf feeders that lets them better care for their calves.
“Each cow wears a pedometer so we can breed off activity. You can catch cows that are not feeling well. It’s another tool to make management easier,” said Matthew. The Nealys concentrate on giving the cows the best care. They have rubber matting in the parlor and in the front third of the holding pen.
“Another thing we do for cow comfort is the cow brushes. The cows seem to enjoy them,” added Matthew.
One of the biggest contributors to their well-run farm is “being hands on as an owner,” said Matthew. “One of us is always present during the milking, so we’re helping in areas that need it,” he added.
“The Nealy family has demonstrated a dedication to operating a first-rate dairy farm and we are pleased to recognize them for their efforts,” said Kevin during the honors ceremony.
In addition to Nealand Farm, Maryland & Virginia recognized four farms for 100-year and 50-year membership milestones, plus announced ten scholarship winners. Go to Maryland & Virginia’s website at www.mdvamilk.com to view more about these award-winning farms and students.
(L-R) Maryland & Virginia’s President Matt Hoff with Steve, Tom, Tommy, Landon and Matthew Nealy of Nealand Farms in Newville, Pennsylvania. The Nealy family received Maryland & Virginia’s top distinction of Producer of the Year presented at Maryland & Virginia’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.
Daniela Roland, firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-386-8000