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Building A Family Legacy

Planning and Preparing Now for a Future Efficient Operation

It’s not often that you meet truly inspirational people, but on one scorching, 98-degree afternoon in June, it happened to this writer. My assignment was to travel about 50 miles from my home to Gladys, Virginia, to interview Myron Yoder, who had just purchased and was having a refurbished Harvestore silo from Greenwood Silo installed on his family’s dairy farm.

Myron had recently sold his two successful sawmill businesses to purchase the dairy farm that he had grown up on. The most surprising aspect of this story is that Myron Yoder has been totally blind since birth due to a congenital condition.

Donning a cowboy hat and work clothes, Myron is a young man with a commanding physical presence. After meeting his three rambunctious boys who range in age from 8 to 11 years old, I was struck by how patient and gentle he was with them. I began the interview by asking questions about what led him to choose Greenwood Silo.

During the course of our conversation, Myron reflected on his time growing up milking cows on his family’s farm and how he wanted that same lifestyle for his own family.

He also spoke about owning his sawmills and how he was ready for a change for his children. Two of Myron’s boys also suffer from issues with limited sight. 

“I spoke with a friend who is an agricultural nutritionist, and he mentioned that I might consider a Harvestore Silo for our farm operation. After much research and getting connected with Marvin Reiff – he is a true Harvestore specialist – he convinced me that a sealed, bottom-unloading storage system would work best for our needs.” 

Myron Yoder

Farm Owner

After experiencing automation with his sawmill businesses, Myron understood its value and priority. He acknowledged that he had neither the physical ability nor the inclination to use the outdated and inefficient bunker and plastic covering method.

He was unable to operate machinery needed to transport stored haylage to the feeding area and did not want an inefficient system fraught with spoilage, poor feed quality, and toxic runoff problems.

After conducting his own research, Myron spoke to an agricultural nutritionist friend. That conversation led him to Greenwood Silo and company owner Marvin Reiff. They discussed putting up a refurbished Harvestore silo.

“The bag and bunker systems are just a big mess,” Myron said. “I don’t want messes to deal with. I want something that is neat and clean.”

Myron, who has 60 Jersey dairy cows coming in the spring, knew he needed to modernize and automate his operation to meet his physical needs. The restored and refurbished Harvestore silo is a new, top-loading, air-sealed silo that’s equipped with the technology Myron needs to feed his cows at the push of a button.

    “Myron has been an inspiration to me. I was amazed that he doesn’t let his blindness keep him from seeing. He is a great visionary and has the ability to see things in his mind. I am sure Myron will be successful in his new endeavor.”

    Marvin Reiff

    Founder of Greenwood Silo

    The small details of vertical storage add up

    A properly sealed and maintained bottom-unloading silo is a management tool that can benefit your professional farm grazing operation. This vertical storage system renders numerous positive results for your operation and helps achieve a year-round feed supply.

    Grazing is good for grass-fed animals. It’s both physically and mentally beneficial for your animals to be outside, get exercise, and eat fresh grass-forages; however, year-round grazing is not a sustainable model due to seasonal weather and growing-season issues.

    Here’s why:

      • During dry spells, the grass stops growing. This usually leads to animals eating it too close to the ground, stunting regrowth of grasslands.
      • When the weather is too wet, animals can easily trample and damage grasslands.
      • During the winter, fresh grass isn’t available due to freezing and snow cover.
      • In the summer heat, animals can be supplemented with forages from the silo and be fed in the shade and near fans. They then can graze during the cool of night.
      • A grazing cow has a difficult time getting enough nutritional dry matter due to the fact that unwilted grass-forages can contain more than 80% water in a fresh forage. A finely chopped, wilted forage at a moisture level of 30% to 45% will enable a cow to receive more nutritional dry matter into their system.
      • In perfect conditions, grazing animals do not require supplementary feed, but ideal grazing conditions are not permanent.
      • With a properly sealed and maintained bottom-unloading vertical storage silo system from Greenwood Silo, it is possible for you to graze your animals and harvest your crop at its optimum maturity.
      • There is no daily required amount of feed that needs to be removed from the silo to keep it from spoiling. This allows you to keep the silo closed for weeks to months on end or remove as little as a few buckets of feed to a few tons per day.
      • A properly sealed and maintained bottom unloading silo system eliminates the feast-and-famine effect on the seasonal food supply chain.