Walt Moore and CCEDC's Agriculture Program Manager Jodi Gauker

Background

From the age of six, Walt Moore, President of Walmoore Holsteins, Inc. knew he wanted to be a dairy farmer. His father, as well as his grandfather and great grandfather before him were dairy farmers. In 2009, the Moore family celebrated 100 years in the dairy industry. After graduating from Penn State, Walt took on the task of growing his family’s dairy farm into one of Pennsylvania’s most successful.

Today, Walmoore Holsteins, Inc., located in West Grove, Chester County, manages a herd of 800+ that averages 29,000 pounds of milk per cow annually and is the second largest of the county’s 339 dairy farms.

Owning, managing and growing a dairy farm business takes hard work and up-to-date knowledge as well as inspired planning, appropriate resources, and strong partners. CCEDC, a staunch and constant proponent of the dairy industry, has partnered with Walt Moore and the Moore family for over 40 years to help them acquire necessary resources including requisite growth capital.

Business Challenges

In the late 1990s, Walt Moore concluded that, if he were to grow his dairy business, he needed to expand the farm’s buildings and operations substantially, and adopt innovative business practices.  This meant doubling the herd size; adding barns to allow for grouping cows with similar production; and finding more economic ways to grow silage, birthing more healthy calves and raise heifers faster; milking high production cows three times per day; and transporting milk to the market more economically.  Walt and his dad, Bill, turned to CCEDC for some of the financing to address these needs.

Using CCEDC Services

First, CCEDC staff helped the Moores obtain a low-interest loan through Pennsylvania’s Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund (MELF) for equipment that saves over $30,000 annually in cleaning and processing costs. Then, CCEDC assisted in two additional loans: one to replace the heifer barn, the other to build a new milking parlor. The new 8,800 square foot heifer barn allowed the Moores to increase herd size, yielding a 28% revenue increase and greater efficiency based on the innovative design of the barn. The new milking parlor enabled them to increase milking capacity by 175% with a revenue increase of 14%. By expanding and modernizing the dairy farm, Walmoore Holsteins, Inc. has increased its herd size 36%; increased milk production 46%; and, in turn, improved the health of the herd and the quality of the milk.

For good measure, the Moores also have partnered with a neighboring dairy farm to haul their milk to market via their own trucks, appropriately named the “Moocho Milk Transportation”. Then, with CCEDC support, Walt Moore received a training scholarship through the PA Department of Labor and Industry and the Chester County Workforce Investment Board so that he could attend sessions of the Managers’ Academy offered by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. He used his new-found knowledge to increase forage on the farm; improve cow comfort; and raise his heifers more efficiently.

Results

Today, Walmoore Holsteins, Inc. has annual milk sales of $2.4 million and is home to 850 happy, healthy cows. It is regarded by experts as a model of innovation worthy of replication elsewhere. Recently, Walt Moore was named a Master Farmer by the Extension Service and American Agriculture Magazine for his farming skills, business success and community involvement. The honor is considered to be the veritable “Oscar” of the agriculture industry!

Run by a crew of 12 farmers, Walmoore Holsteins, Inc. now is focusing on succession planning that will ensure the longevity and outstanding success of the farm. And, the CCEDC, true to form, is right there to provide Walt Moore and his clan with professional guidance, expert consultation, and requisite resources that will help take the Moores and even future generations of farmers like Walt to the next level of business excellence.

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