Reyncrest Farm, located in Corfu, NY, is home to the Reynolds family and their exceptional dairy herd. Current farm owners, John and Shelley Reynolds and their children all play key roles in the farm business’s daily operations and success.
The farm was started at its current location, just a mile down the road for the Darien Lake Theme Park, in the 1950’s by Edward Reynolds who was John’s late father. The Reynolds “kids,” Tyler, Andy, and Mackenzie, are now the third generation on the family farm that milks 1,300 cows and works 2,400 acres. Tyler, Mackenzie, and Andy all returned home to the farm full time after graduating from Cornell University.
On a farm of this scale each family member has responsibilities to help the operation run smoothly. John Reynolds, owner, is the overall farm manager, who takes more of an active role on the cropping and land management side of the operation. Shelley, farm owner and designated bookkeeper, also assists with youngstock and calf chores. Tyler, the oldest of the upcoming generation, serves mainly as the farm’s employee manager, but also assists with the dairy operations and with show cows. Mackenzie is the farm herd manager. She takes care of herd health, reproduction, and calvings that happen every day at Reyncrest Farm. Andy is the calf manager on the dairy and also has a large role on the crop side of the farm and assists with show cows.
Tyler’s wife Kelly, and Andy’s girlfriend Whitney Kugler, help with the show cows and wherever needed during the busy harvest times. Kelly also runs the social media pages for the farm.
The Reynolds family knows the value of their non-family farm employees as well. “We are fortunate to have several long-term employees that help in the shop, and doing farm maintenance and a dedicated team in the parlor,” says Kelly Reynolds.
Showing dairy cattle is a hobby of some of our NY farmers. However, for the Reynolds Family, showing dairy cattle is much more than a hobby, it is a pursued passion. Showing cattle is a way for farmers, breeders, and enthusiast to showcase their cattle and celebrate each other’s successes!
The Reynolds family of Corfu, NY are respected dairy cattle breeders and take pride in the high quality genetics that they have built in their herd generation after generation. John, Shelley, their children, their children’s significant others, and now their new granddaughter, all find gratification is taking their animals to shows. “We all enjoy it and doing it as a family… It is a way to showcase our genetics at the farm,” explains Kelly Reynolds. Tyler, Andy, Mackenzie, and Kelly all enjoy judging cattle and showmanship as well. Showmanship is a special class in a show, where individuals lead their animals around the showring in front of a professional judge. The objective of the showman or leads-person is to show off the best attributes of the animal they are showing and they are ranked based on how well they do so.
The challenge of improving the desirable traits in a herd is continuous and takes time and dedication. Kelly explains a few ways they do just that; “we utilize In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer to work with certain cow families. We try to market a few head of cattle or embryos every year to supplement farm income.” These modern uses of technology have helped to improve the genetics and longevity of the dariy cattle breeds, not only on Reyncrest Farms, but on countless dairies both across the nation and internationally.
Reyncrest Farm has seen much success in the showring throughout the years. When asked what they were proud of, in reference to showing, the family said, “our greatest achievement in the showring was being named the Premier Breeder and Exhibitor of the Heifer Show at World Dairy Expo in 2019.”
Additionally, the entire family take active roles in their community and believe that educating the public about dairy farming and animal agriculture will help them to gain consumers trust. The farm has held and helped sponsor numerous community events to promote and advocate for dairy farmers and their livlihood.
“Our farm was happy to host Genesee County Farm Bureau’s Kinderfarming event for the past three years and in the past as well. This event brings 1st graders and their parents to the farm for one day to see a working dairy and learn about other agriculture in the county. Last year there were over 600 attendees.”
Additionally, Kelly did a project at the local high school serving chocolate milk after basketball games last winter, trying to teach the benefits of refueling with chocolate milk. At two games she served over 300 pints of milk. It is efforts like this that make a difference and aid in making connections with their neighbors.