LyleStanley Trace. . .the name
We were both raised by strong father figures who not only introduced us to the dairy cow, but instilled a deep love of working with cows and the persistent desire to breed better. The name LyleStanley Trace is a combination of their names.

Building LyleStanley Trace
Where to dairy? In late 2009, David had a grassfed beef operation in southwest Virginia (still does) and Maggie was employed by the largest milk cooperative in the southeast. Add that to one of the country’s best milk prices, and we started the search in the southeast, spending a lot of time looking in Georgia and north Florida.  We settled on an undeveloped piece of land about 20 miles south of the Georgia line in Lee, FL.

After closing on 550 acres on March 1, 2010, we went to work clearing land, digging out stumps, disking multiple times, sprigging grasses, digging wells, installing irrigation/cooling pivots, building milking facilities and buying cows. We shipped our first milk seven months later on October 12. Another 170 acres were purchased for corn and hay in 2014.

The Cows
Most grazing dairies in Florida and south Georgia milk Jerseys and crossbreds, and most of the crosses are Jersey x Holstein.  Knowing that, the decision for a herd of Registered Jerseys was an easy one.

The harder part was financing in 2010, following the fall of so many financial institutions and some serious blunders by some who survived.  With all the other start-up expenses and a less-than-ideal financial climate, we started with a few crosses, which were mostly Jersey x Holstein. Many crosses are being used as recipients to increase our Registered Jersey numbers.

Neither of us is known for our patience. David is a "retired" veterinarian with over a decade of working exclusively in embryo transfer work as well as multiple years of doing it in conjunction with his standard large animal practice. With his embryo transfer expertise, we are accelerating the pace to an all-Jersey herd. We feel very fortunate to be able to work with some fine cows and respected bloodlines from Huffard Dairy Farms, Gaby Jersey Farm, Treasure Chest Jerseys and Oomsdale Farm.  Not only do these genetics give us a jump start to the kind of herd we hope to have; the willingness of these individuals to work with us, to educate us and to advise us has been an immeasurable bonus, not to mention humbling.

Farm Management

LyleStanley Trace is a 550-acre, rotational-grazing dairy. Currently two pivots cover half the acreage, serving to irrigate at night and cool cows under misters during the daytime. Grass varieties under the pivots are ones that have proven themselves in the subtropical Florida climate. Rations are balanced with a grain mix fed in the parlor and TMR fed in bunks.

Like many of the newer grazing dairies in the southeast, cows are milked in a New Zealand style, 40-swing parlor where 40 cows are milked on one side while cows load on the opposite side. Then the units “swing” over to milk cows on that side.

Calves are raised in individual hutches. Milk is supplemented with grain, hay and minerals. After weaning, calves move through groups of increasing size on grass that is supplemented with grain, hay and minerals. Corn silage is added later.

In developing the design and layout of the farm, we preserved as many of the farm’s beautiful old live oak trees as possible. You can see some of these interesting trees in the scenic photos of cows and calves on this webpage.

Florida’s subtropical climate requires tough cows with strength and width, combined with flat bone and  open rib. Good udders are a given, but cows here don’t need to break records for stature. We are interested in genetics that translate into profit on a commercial dairy, but we still intend to have some fun – watching the young ones develop, assessing the breeding program, and taking a few to shows.

Milk quality is also a priority at “The Trace” as we sometimes refer to this new venture. Our goal is to produce milk we would want to drink ourselves from profitable, trouble-free cows in an environment conducive to maximizing individual cow potential with minimal stress.

When your travels bring you south (knowing this will probably mean winter months), we welcome your visit.

    LyleStanley Trace LLC
David Roffey, DVM, and Maggie Murphy Roffey
330 SE Kayak Street, Lee FL 32059
David Cell: 276/768-7886   .   Maggie Cell: 315/247-6070
Email: dr133@bellsouth.net   .   Website: http://lylestanleytrace.usjersey.com

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