Lirr Farm, which is owned and operated by the Nigh family, is the site for the Vernon County Holstein Twilight Meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m.
The event includes a free meal, tours of the farm’s new barn that includes two Lely robotic milkers, guest speaker Kevin Jorsensen and door prizes. Following the 8 p.m. program, there will be a round table discussion about robotics, genetics, nutrition and facilities.
Lirr Farm is owned and operated by the Nigh family. The Registered Holstein herd consists of 124 milk cows with the associated heifers and calves. The current herd average is 28,862 3.9 percent 1,117 pounds fat and 3.2 percent 927 pounds protein. The cows are milked with two Lely robotic milkers. The herd has received the Holstein Association Progressive Genetics Award for all 28 years it has been awarded. The Nighs became involved with polled genetics early and have placed several polled and polled carrier bulls into AI. They have had 33 bulls that entered AI. The most widely known bull is the type specialist “Dempsey.” His daughters continue to win show champion honors worldwide and he was the Canadian number one LPI ( Lifetime Performance Index) bull for two years and number one type conformation bull for four years.
The registered herd was started in 1955 by Lewis (Randy and Robert’s father). The prefix LIRR is the combination of the first letters of Lewis, Irene (mom), Randy and Robert. The herd has been all registered since 1975. Lewis and Irene started with 80 acres purchase from Irene’s dad in the late ‘40s. The farm has grown a lot from that 80 acres with a 14-stall barn, tobacco and chickens.
The new dairy was built in 2016. The cows came home Dec. 13, 2016, just six months after Cory and Michelle Tryggestad family welcomed the Nighs and their cows to their farm after the Nighs lost their barn.
Randy, Robert and Betty took over from Randy and Robert’s parents, and look forward to what the next generation will accomplish. Brandon and Megan live in West Allis, where Brandon is an engineer for Briggs & Stratton. They make many trips home to help on the farm. Brandon is just a text or call away for expert engineering advice. Ryan and Kelsey (their wedding is Aug. 18) live at the dairy and every day are working with the dairy, beef, crops and repairs. Brady, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, helps during the summer and during breaks. He works with the beef, dairy heifers, crops and fencing. Brady also raises Herefords and meat goats. Rachel, a sophomore at UW-River Falls, helps during the summer and during breaks. Rachel works with the cows and calves, registrations and bull sales. Rachel shares the Herefords with Brady.
The farm is located at E4550 State Hwy. 82, Viroqua. It’s the first farm west of West Prairie on Hwy. 82.