“I wish we could have 100 people on our farm. An open gate all the time and tell people to come and see how things happen.” - Allan Robison
The Robison family has been farming for five generations, but Allan and his brother, Thad, were the first to raise beef cattle. Their farm started at an early age with their 4-H projects. Allan graduated from The Ohio State University and initially worked at a cow-calf operation in Eastern Ohio, while continuing to build his herd back home.
Today the Robisons own a cow-calf farm near Cable, Ohio that utilizes their cows as surrogates for an embryo transfer program. Embryo transfer (ET) enables farmers to quickly multiply the genetics of the top females in the herd. The Robisons decided to focus on calving and raising ET calves due to their environment and busy lifestyle. Allan and his wife, Kelly, along with Thad and his wife, Amanda, are employed full-time off the farm.
The Robison family initially implanted 15-20 embryos and have grown to nearly 100 embryos being implanted each year. The family works with other cattle breeders who employee embryologists to retrieve the embryos from the donors and implant them in surrogates. Once the calves are weaned, the Robisons sell the calves back to the breeder. Implanting embryos has provided the Robison family a more stable income and safety net for their family.
The family also feeds around 15-20 head of cattle a year for freezer beef and markets it direct to consumers. Allan finds this to be the best way to connect and educate others about the practices that take place on their farm. “I wish we could have 100 people on our farm. An open gate all the time and tell people to come and see how things happen,” Allan said. Since Kelly does not have an extensive agricultural background, she finds it easy to connect with consumers and understands the questions they have.
The Robison children also play a vital role on the farm and are actively involved in 4-H and FFA programs. Allan and Kelly have a son, Noah, and a daughter, Josephine (Josie) who are extremely helpful. Thad and Amanda also have two sons, Zane and Wyatt, who contribute to the success of their farm. It all started with 4-H and the passion continues with Allan and Thad’s children’s involvement in showing cattle at their county fair. The family looks forward to improving efficiency and incorporating Thad’s son Zane who currently attends The Ohio State University into a more active role on the farm following his graduation.