Farm History

Shiloh Dairy LLC is a multi-member limited liability corporation owned by Gordon and Cathy Speirs, and their two sons Travis Speirs and Tyler Speirs. The dairy began as a small family operation in southern Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1930’s. In 1948 Gordon’s grandfather, Harvey Speirs, relocated the dairy to Calgary, Alberta. Upon Harvey’s retirement, his sons Arnold and Robert formed a partnership named Speirs Brothers. They initiated some major improvements to the dairy including installing a milking parlour, converting the loafing barn into a freestall barn, implementing artificial insemination, and enrolling in DHI testing. They also registered the herd prefix Calberta with the Canadian Holstein Association. The herd numbers rose from 30 to a high of 75; however, by 1985 their quota was filled with only 32 milking cows.

In 1985, Gordon joined his father Arnold in the family business by purchasing his Uncle Robert’s shares. The dairy was renamed Calberta Holsteins Ltd. In the same year, Gordon married Cathy, and in 1986 the next generation of Speirs dairymen arrived. This year proved to be a year of significant changes as the dairy was relocated to Olds, Alberta, where Gordon assumed responsibility for the dairy and Arnold focused on the grain farm. The addition of some quota allowed the herd to grow to 50 cows. With high milk production in mind, new strategies for cow comfort and management were implemented.

A desire to grow the business led to the decision to sell the Calberta dairy as a going concern to the Bertens family in 1995, and Gordon and Cathy built a new facility in Bowden, AB with the new name of Shiloh Dairy Ltd. The herd expanded to 150 cows with the purchase of additional quota, and production soared to a herd average of 100 lbs per cow, which placed the dairy #2 on the Alberta DHI list. Realizing that further expansion would be hampered by the high price of quota, the dairy was sold as a going concern to the Verhoef family in 2003, and the Speirs family built a new dairy operation in Brillion, WI.

The original plan for the new Shiloh Dairy LLC was to begin with 800 cows, and eventually to grow to 1,400 cows. This goal was achieved much sooner than expected, and the dairy was recently expanded to 2,100 milking cows. All youngstock is raised on-site for a total of 4,200 animals. This requires a skilled and dedicated staff of 30 employees. Travis Speirs joined the business as full-time herdsman in 2010 after completing his degree in Dairy Science at UW River Falls, and Tyler joined the business as operations manager in 2010 after completing his associate degree in Diesel Mechanics at Fox Valley Technical College and working as night foreman for two-years at a Kenworth shop.

View this video of the Shiloh Dairy Mission
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