9/7/2013 7:00 AM
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant New York Correspondent
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Midas Touch Genetics in Madrid, N.Y., lived up to the breeding operation’s name during the New York State Fair’s cattle shows.
David King’s farm had an impressive finish, including grand champion in the Red and White show, first place for spring calf, fourth place for December calf, first place junior 3-year-old and first place senior 3-year-old Red and White.
King sounded proud of these accomplishments since the farm’s five cattle present at the show faced “pretty stiff competition this year,” he said. “But things worked out really good for us.”
King’s daughter, Jennifer, 15, showed the farm’s animals. A junior this fall at Madrid-Waddington Central School, Jennifer has been showing all her life.
The Kings raise 40 to 50 heifers at Midas Touch Genetics, where they breed and sell cattle. David King’s wife, LouAnne, rents 250 acres from the farm to operate Mapleview Dairy LLC with her brother, David Fisher. The farm has been in the family on LouAnne’s side since 1820. Business partners John Kingston and Jordan Fisher also help operate the farm, along with other family members and employees. The milk is used to make Cabot and McCadam cheese. The farm has 1,800 milking cows and 1,700 calves.
David and LouAnne King’s grown children are Sarah, a Cornell graduate student; Kristen, a junior at Cornell; and Lori, a graduate student at Ontario Hockey Academy in Cornwall, Ontario.
David and Jennifer King’s good result from the fair came from “a lot of hard work and good planning,” David King said. “We found and bred the right cattle.”
The family also shows at the St. Lawrence County Fair, All-American Dairy Show in Pennsylvania and the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.
“We want to allow people to see the kind of cattle we have and breed and hopefully, people will find what we have intriguing,” David King said.
David King grew up on a farm and has been involved in agriculture all his life. He works as a full-time independent dairy nutritionist and considers the breeding operation an enjoyable hobby, along with showing his animals and involving his daughter in the events.
David King credits nutrition as part of his secret for success.
“It’s a big part of raising good cows,” he said. “For me, showing well is so simple. I have a goal and plan in mind. I work the plan and don’t get caught up in other stuff. From a cow care standpoint, start with great foundation cows and go on from there. Work with what you think is right. Breeding cattle takes patience and perseverance.”