Ahlem Farms Partnership is a 6,000-cow Registered Jersey dairy situated in the heart of cheese
country -- Hilmar, CA. The business is a family farm owned by Bill and Carolyn Ahlem and Sabino Ahlem-Herrera, DVM, and operated on three farms in the central part of the state.


Ahlem Farms Partnership is a fully-registered herd and enrolled on the American Jersey Cattle Association's (AJCA) REAP program.

The largest of the herds ranks #31 in the country for genetic merit, with an average JPI of +52 (8/15). Fifty-four percent of the cows have been genotyped. The other two herds also rank among the top 25% in the nation with herd averages of +46 (46% genotyped) and
+33 (33% genotyped).

Ahlem Farms Partnership is a founding member of Jerseyland Sires and uses JerseyMate in the herd mating program. Calves are raised at Vlot Brothers Ranch in Chowchilla until they are four months old.

Registered Jerseys bred by Ahlem Farms Partnership have been purchased by breeders across the country, privately and through leading Jersey sales such as the National Heifer Sale, The All American Jersey Sale, the Pot O'Gold Sale and the Pride of the West Sale. The dairy has also hosted three production sales in recent years. The most recent sale held in April 2012 auctioned 333 lots from the heart of the herd for an average of $1,888.74 and gross receipts of $628,950.

Ahlem Farms has bred two winners of the Pot O'Gold Production Contest. Ahlem Jace Charm 15069-ET, owned by Kaila Wussow, Cecil, WI, topped the contest in 2008. Ahlem MBSB Lilac 7107-ET, owned by Andrew M. Bok, Defiance, OH, won the competition in 2001.

Ahlem Farms Partnership, represented by Jonathan Merriam, second left, consigned the second high-selling female of the 2014 All American Jersey Sale, Volcano Buttons 42731. She was purchased by River Valley Farm. She became the high selling bred heifer in breed history when she was struck off for $30,000. Ahlem Farms Partnership also syndicated Ahlem Plus Cherokee for $76,000 at the same sale.   Ahlem Isaac Charm 45339-ET was the second high selling heifer of the 2015 National Heifer Sale at $8,500. She was consigned by William Ahlem Jr., represented by Jonathan Merriam and his son, Nathan, far right. “Charm” was purchased by Multi-Rose Jerseys.
Ahlem Jace Charm 15069-ET was the high seller of the Pot O'Gold Sale in 2005, purchased by Kaila Wussow, center, for $5,750. "Charm" won the ensuing production contest in 2008 and the National Youth Production Contest in 2007.   Ahlem Action Tiffany 16516 topped the Pot O'Gold Sale in 2006, purchased by Tyler French, right, for $4,250.

The Ahlems have influenced the breed through Ahlem-bred Registered Jersey sires as well. Included in this group is Ahlem Lemvig Abe-ET, who has sired 8,048 daughters to date.

In 2009, Ahlem Farms Partnership and Ed Fisher were recognized for their contributions to the breed with one of the AJCA's most prestigious recognitions, the Master Breeder Award. In 2015, the dairy received National Dairy Shrine's Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder award.

Bill Ahlem's dairy career began in 1966 after he graduated from Oregon State University. He joined his father, William Sr., on one of the family's two dairies, where he milked 100 cows. Within a year, he was running the second dairy of 100 cows. In 1972, he and his brother, Chuck, established a farm and dairy partnership. Six years later, their brother, Jim, joined the partnership to form Ahlem Enterprises.

The partnership was later split into three independent businesses that are still in operation today.

In the late 1970s, Bill and Carolyn hired Ed Fisher, a recently-retired vocational agriculture teacher at Hilmar High School, to improve herd genetics. He brought thoughtful sire selection, matings and an exceptional record-keeping system to the dairy.

As well, the mostly-unregistered herd was enrolled in the AJCA Genetic Recovery Program and is now 100% registered. At 90 years young, Mr. Fisher still is active at the dairy and lends a hand with sire selection.

Ahlem Farms Partnership hosted the first million dollar sale in breed history in 2007. Pictured with Jersey Marketing Services staff are Mr. Fisher, left, and Sabino Ahlem Herrera and Bill Ahlem, back.

Sabino Ahlem-Herrera joined the partnership in 2002 after he graduated from the University of California-Davis. As a veterinarian, his expertise in daily management of herd health and nutrition has enabled the herd to make consistent gains in production. Over the past decade, actual milk production of the herd has
improved more than 3,000 lbs.

Hilmar Cheese Company
Nutrient-dense milk from the herd is shipped to the Hilmar Cheese Company, where it is made into natural American cheese and other dairy products. Bill and Carolyn Ahlem are founding members of the company, which is now the largest single-site cheese plant in the world. The company recently expanded its business by opening another cheese-making plant in Dalhart, TX.

Service to community
The Ahlems are active off the farm as well. Bill was appointed to the National Dairy Board in 1999 and has also sat on the boards of Dairy Management Inc., Western United Dairymen, the California and American Farm Bureau Federations, Hilmar United School District and Benevolent Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Jersey Journal Ads 2015

Click here to view more ads in archives.

Farm Facts
AJCA Lactation Averages (2014)
Ahlem Farms Partnership
20,891M, 1,005F, 767P
2903 cows
Ahlem Farms Jerseys
20,692M, 941F, 772P
1487 cows
Ahlem Farms Vista
20,205M, 933F, 739P
1075 cows

Herd Appraisal (4/15)
Ahlem Farms Partnership
246 Excellents, 1796 Very Goods 82.7% average on 2566 cows
Ahlem Farms Jerseys
113 Excellents, 883 Very Goods
82.4% average on 1282 cows
Ahlem Farms Vista
35 Excellents, 1630 Very Goods
81% on 2417 cows

Genetic Averages (8/15)
Ahlem Farms Partnership
+52 JPI on 3155 cows
54% genotyped
Ahlem Farms Jerseys
+33 JPI on 1636 cows
33% genotyped
Ahlem Farms Vista
+46 JPI on 2645 cows
46% genotyped

Click here to view a video of some of the hard-working Jerseys at Ahlem Farms in the milking parlor. Click here to view photos of the cows in the parlor at Ahlem Farms.

Ahlem Farms Partnership

William and Carolyn Ahlem and Sabino Ahlem Herrera, DVM
24093 American Avenue, Hilmar, CA 95324
Phone: 209/632-5822      Fax: 209/632-0242
Email: ahlemfarms@aol.com
  Home Sale History Cows Bulls Genetic Leaders Contact Us