Mountains to Move

An interview with John Mohr, Bonnie's huband and owner of Glenmark Genetics, in celebration of June Dairy Month

National Dairy Month was established in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. It has now developed into a yearly tradition that celebrates the dairy industry. For this month, we wanted to share insights into the dairy industry. Below, John Mohr shares his story of how Glenmark Genetics grew into an operation of dozens of cows and hundreds of acres. He also shares his insights on the future of dairy farming, milk prices, and more! Glenmark genetics  was established in 1998 and is located in Glencoe, Minnesota. With over 15 years of experience in the cattle industry, John has seen dramatic changes take place within the industry. Read below to learn more!

Q) Tell us about yourself, John. Who are you? Why did you get into dairy farming?

I am John Mohr, founder of Glenmark Genetics. I grew up on a dairy farm located near New Ulm, Minnesota. I got into dairy farming for a few different reasons. I enjoy the outdoors, I enjoy working for myself and being my own boss. I love having the the ability to work outside and improve both the land and the cattle. When I was 10 I had the dream of owning my own dairy farm.

Q) How did you develop the name Glenmark Genetics?

We needed a name to provide a prefix and be able to name our cattle with the Holstein Association. We wanted to make our mark in breeding quality genetics, so that was part of the inspiration. It was a combination of being located in Glencoe and wanting to make our mark on breeding quality genetics that lead to the name Glenmark.  

Q) Tell us more about Glenmark. How did you start and where are you at now?

We started in 1998 with Patrice, a jersey that will be 14 years old. She was born on June 8th, 2002. Before that we only had a show cow. Currently, we are at 80 cows and 300 acres of land. We have mostly Holsteins but a few Jerseys.

Q) How has the industry changed since you began?

The industry has changed in a few ways. First, economies of scale. The size of the herds has grown. Some things do remain the same. Initially our goal was to breed high quality cattle, and that still is our goal. Right now, milk prices are very low. Even though worldwide demand is high the supply is even higher. This leads to excess and that lowers the prices.

Q) What advice would you have if your son asked you about getting into dairy farming?

I would be honest with him. I would tell him that he will need to have over 100 cows to support his family. I would absolutely support him however I could. With that being said, I would inform him that it is a big commitment. He may want to learn more about the industry before committing to dairy farming as a career.

Q) What do you feel will be the future of dairy farming?

I think that there will always be a need for producing milk. Technology is going to continue changing. I believe that things will be on a larger scale. Family farms will still be viable but they will have to adapt with the changes in technology to keep up in the future.

John was excited to share his thoughts about the industry, especially during June Dairy Month. Although John had fantastic insights about the dairy farming field, he also had a fitting closing statement. Once the discussion was complete he stated: ?The day is busy, we have mountains to move!?. This statement exemplifies Glenmark Generics and their commitment to  breed quality genetics. 

Thank you dairy farmers, thank you for reading, and we wish you a happy National Dairy Month!