Growth & Change
CY Farms is a multi-generation, family-owned operation located in western NY between Buffalo and Rochester. What started as a 25 cow dairy in 1951, has grown into a 6,000 acre and 4,000 head dairy replacement operation.
Started by Carl Yunker as a small dairy farm, CY Farms was formed when his oldest son, Craig returned home to the farm from college. Carl and Craig built a milking parlor, a free-stall barn, and the 1st bunker silo in New York State and grew the milking herd to 350 cows by 1985.
After getting out of the dairy business for a few years, CY Heifer Farm, LLC was formed in 2004 with the purchase of a 4,000 head dairy replacement facility from the former Agway Cooperative. Agway originally built the facility in 1998 on CY real estate with a forage and nutrient management contract. This operation provides custom dairy heifer raising services for 10 area dairy farms and has a staff of 12 people. The addition of nutrients from manure, as well as adding alfalfa into our rotation is a great benefit to the soils of our intensive vegetable rotation operation.
Christian Yunker, General Manager
Christian is both General Manager and Managing Partner of CY Heifer Farm. After completing his undergraduate work at Cornell University, he began a job with Farm Credit East in NJ handling farm loans. In 2008, he returned to CY Farms/CY Heifer Farms to partner with his father.
Ryleigh Rowcliffe, Operations Manager
Ryleigh graduated Alfred State college with an associate’s degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies with a minor in dairy production. She grew up on a 150 cow dairy where she learned many aspects of the diary business. Throughout high school she worked on several large dairy and crop farms to expand her knowledge and skills. After college graduation, she moved to Montana where she did an internship on one of the largest beef ranches in the west and came back with a great appreciation for agriculture around the country. She then managed the calf program at a large dairy, and decided she would like to take on a much bigger challenge. Ryleigh started at CY Heifer Farm in September of 2015 as the Operations Manager and worked alongside our Farm Manager of 18 years until she respectfully stepped down to take on her own dairy successful business. Ryleigh handles client relations, day to day operations, employees, vendors, and data entry.
Dr. Keith Carlson, Attica Veterinary Associates
After completing his undergraduate work at The Ohio State University, Dr. Keith completed his DVM degree at The Ohio State University in 2000. In addition to his regular veterinary practice Dr. Keith gives leadership to the clinic’s work with reproduction and embryo transfer. Dr. Carlson performs weekly ultrasound pregnancy diagnoses, consults on health protocols and procedures, and checks on any animals needing special attention.
Corwin Holtz, Holtz-Nelson Dairy Consultants
Corwin Holtz received his B.S. degree in Dairy Science from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA in 1978. He spent two years in the dairy cattle artificial insemination business as a young sire specialist followed by 3 years as a farm manager for a 300 cow commercial dairy in Northern California. In 1983 he entered Cornell University where he received his M.S. degree in dairy cattle nutrition and reproductive management. The next 6.5 years were spent in academia as a Dairy Science faculty member at Cal Poly (1.5 years) and Cornell University (5 years). His primary roles were in undergraduate education, Cooperative Extension work and applied field research primarily in the areas of heifer growth and reproductive management. In February of 2004 he formed ComSen Dairy Consultation, LLC with focus on herd nutrition and management. Primary expertise areas are in ration formulation with emphasis on utilization of home grown forage, feeding management and nutrition economics, cow facility design/layout and cow comfort, reproductive management and milk quality. ComSen Dairy Consultation is also a 50% partner in Holtz-Nelson Dairy Consultants, LLC with Holtz serving as company president. This consulting firm delivers ration formulation and management support to commercial dairy producers in the Northeast, United States. The focus of their nutritional support is delivery of rumen healthy, cost effective diets that deliver both milk output and desirable milk components.
Rod Heale- AI Specialist
Jerry Bertoldo, Cornell Cooperative Extension
As a Senior Extension Associate with Cornell University's NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team Jerry is responsible for leading the dairy focus of the group as well as supervising the Bilingual Dairy Specialist. His background as a dairy veterinarian places him in contact with the Cornell Veterinary School and the NYS Department of Animal Industries as well as provide a framework for understanding the workings of the dairy farm. Prominent aspects of his work include planning, facilitating and delivering dairy skills training programs in the region, working with campus based specialists on statewide programming such as Winter Dairy Management, Empire Farm Days "Dairy Profit Seminars" and the Calf Group Housing Symposia, providing technical assistance on questions from the private and public sector through phone calls, monthly team newsletter, web site updates, farm visits, discussion groups and local and regional meetings, and participating in forage quality applied research in the field.