Altona Lea Farms

Herd Stats

Breed & Herd Size: 140 Holsteins
Number Milked: 50
Housing Style: tie-stall and milking parlour (seasonably)
Herd Classification Score: 15 Ex, 35 VG, 12 GP
Rolling Herd Production Average in 305 days: 10,058 kg milk, 3.9%F, 3.3%P
Herd Health Status: CHAH leukosis free; five years of Johne’s free tests
Acres farmed: 725
Current Service Sires: Fever, Windbrook, Sid, Dempsey, Goldwyn, Stanleycup, Shadow, Gillespie, Iota & Sanchez
High Genomic Service Sires: Destined, Sympatico, Meridian, Dude, Lavaman, Epic

Where Families Have A Meaning

Altona Lea is a family-focused dairy operation anchored by their three-time Master Breeder Herd of Holsteins – they were the twelfth herd in Canada to ever achieve this prestigious award for the third time. Altona Lea has been home to champion producers, has earned high county herd production and milk quality awards, and has seen several cows earn 100,000 kg Lifetime Production awards.

Active at the shows for many years, 2011 was a particularly good year in the ring for Altona Lea. That year they fielded a Nominated All-Canadian Breeder’s Herd and earned the Reserve All-Ontario Breeder’s Herd title after exhibiting the first Breeder’s Herd at Ontario Summer Show and fifth Breeder’s Herd at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. During 2011 they also earned an All-Ontario nomination with Altona Lea Sanchez Java. In 2012 Altona Lea’s show string won the Premier Breeder banner and were tied for Premier Exhibitor at Durham County Holstein Show. In total they have been Premier Breeder 22 times at Durham County Show!

Keeping the Altona Lea motto “Where families have a meaning”, in mind, their goal is to breed generations of Excellent, trouble-free, profitable cows. “Our ideal cow is a trouble-free 2-year-old that scores Very Good, produces 10,000 kg, and breeds back with ease to mature to be an Excellent cow as a third calver.” At Altona Lea, they continue to develop their “Generations of Excellents” families. They have bred two cows that have completed seven generations of homebred Canadian Excellent – Altona Lea Inquirer Aloe and Altona Lea Dundee Jodi. Altona Lea-bred bulls have also entered A.I. sampling programs in recent years.

These breeders have exported cattle to the United Kingdom, Scotland and Ireland. Embryos have also been exported to Germany, South Africa and Australia. The family is also proud of the fact that they have bred the Grand Champion in 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2005 at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland from live cattle exported to that country.

The Barkeys and Puterboughs joined the Livestock Export Alliance to encourage farmers in other countries to “shop” in their area. “Our region has a high concentration of exceptional breeders with deep pedigreed cattle and show ring performance.” Altona Lea has hosted groups from the following countries in the past – United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Germany, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, the United States, and other Semex-organized groups, and were proud to be chosen as tour participants for the World Holstein Conference Tour.

The goal at Altona Lea is to provide cattle to meet the needs and dreams of Holstein breeders throughout the world. “Our herd is uniquely suited to provide young stock that have the potential to be foundation animals for herds around the world.”