The Future Today: Robotic Dairy Tour in Wisconsin

US - Minnesota Milk Producers Association and University of Minnesota Extension along with industry partners are teaming up to host a dairy tour to the Turtle Lake Wisconsin area on June 17 and 18. This will provide an excellent opportunity for participants to network with other dairy producers, learn about some new innovative technologies to save labor and have some fun.
calendar icon 4 June 2008
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The tour will feature two farms that have recently installed robotic milkers. Kevin Herrman retrofitted his 250-cow freestall barn to currently milk with 4 robots.

He moved in his barn in early winter. Greg Barfknecht is moving from a 50-cow tie stall barn to 2 robots in a new sand bedded free stall barn. Another highlight of the tour will be NorSwiss Farm. They are currently building a new 2,000-stall cross-ventilated sand bedded freestall barn.

Their manure system is being designed to separate out the sand and generate electricity with their existing manure digester. The digested solids will be used to bed their existing mattress free stall barn. They also have a soybean press. The oil from the beans are used in boilers to heat all the water for the dairy and to heat the shop and house.

They feed the soybean solids to the cows. Other stops include Duane and Nancy Kodesh who recently expanded from a tie stall barn into a free stall barn and will share their experience with hiring and managing labor for the first time. The final stop is Valley Vu Dairy. In addition to the dairy enterprise, Valley Vu has a custom chopping enterprise, a trucking enterprise and a tractor repair business. They farm with their son and daughter.

There will be a panel of the farms in the evening to get all your questions answered and time to network with other producers. Busses will be running from the Sauk Centre area and Rochester area. There will also be a van from Southwest Minnesota.

The cost of the tour is only $125 for double hotel occupancy with a $30.00 rebate for members of Minnesota Milk Producers Association

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