Lely Red Barn Discount Promotion has been Extended!!

Happy Halloween! We have a spooky good deal for you…our Lely Red Barn discount promotion has been extended through the end of 2014! Contact your local Lely Center to learn how you can save big on Lely barn products.

How to Qualify for Discounts worth Hundreds, Thousands, Even Tens of Thousands!

Lely Red Barn discounts save you money two ways.

  • First, with discounts on nine products in three categories.
  • Second, by multiplying the savings two or three times when you buy products in two or three categories!

Here’s how it works.

Select as many products as you like and receive the corresponding discount per product:

Red Barn Promotion

Purchase products from one category and get the indicated discount for each item.

For example two Cosmix feeders from Category b you receive a $500 discount on each, for a total savings of $1000. (2x $500 = $1000)

Purchase products from two Categories and get the indicated discount for each item, TIMES TWO.

Example: Purchase two Luna brushes and one Discovery S barn cleaner. Get a $250 discount for each Luna and a $750 for the Grazeway. Plus, because you’ve purchased from two categories (A & C), you multiply your discount by two. Here’s the math:

2x $250 (Luna brushes from Category A)
+  1x $750 (Discovery barn cleaner from Category C)
$1250 in discount
      x2 because you purchased in two categories
$2500 total discount

Purchase in three categories and multiply your total discount by THREE.

1x $250 (Luna brushes from Category A)
+ 1x $500 (Grazeway selection boxes from Category B)
+ 1x $750 (Juno 100 feed pusher from Category C)
$1,500 in discount
      x3 because you purchased in three categories
$4,500 total discount

There’s no limit to the amount of discounts you can get under this promotion, so contact your Lely sales rep today.

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From Farm Barbie: “The Robots are Here!”

One thing that excites us, here at Lely, is the excitement of a family who has just received their Lely robots from our factory in Pella, IA. On Tuesday, we saw “Farm Barbie’s” Facebook post that “The robots are here!”

Back in April, we met Barbara (also known as “Farm Barbie” because of her popular farm blog) and her husband Darrin, as they joined us on a three-day farm and factory tour. They were still in the decision-making process at that point, so we were very excited Tuesday to see they were officially joining our Lely family.

Darrin and Barbara by new robot

In April, Barbara used her Farm Barbie blog to describe her Lely tour experience. She discussed the equipment, producers, factory, people and culture of Lely. Her detailed explanation and photos to back it up, make for a great read. We encourage you to check out this blog post (and the other she posted yesterday about the robots arriving), and to also check out the Farm Barbie blog in its entirety. This is a great blog for anyone who wants to know more about agriculture, milking robots or is a wife active in the family farm.

In Farm Barbie’s words…

“Since the robots were delivered today, I thought I would share a blog I wrote a few months ago, explaining exactly what these robots are:



“The Robots Are Here!


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#Wordless Wednesday – Lely Dairy Express On-Boarding Employee Event

Lely’s first On-Boarding Employee Event was held in Pella, IA, on Tuesday, October 28.  Twelve employees participated. The Lely Dairy Express On-Boarding tour consisted of Lely history, product information and some fun!

Oct29Lely Onboarding Event (10-28-14) 010


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Turning a Crazy Idea into Reality

Read an article by Krista Kuzma with Dairy Star on a family operation that converted to using Lely robotic automatic milking systems.

Read this excerpt below.

LEWISTON, Minn. – The Pangrac and Olson families use a simple motto on their farm: Never turn down a crazy opportunity without looking at it first. 

They’re glad they follow this mantra because one of their crazy opportunities recently turned into a reality. Dale and Carmene Pangrac, their daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Andy Olson, along with the Olsons’ children – Mallory (7), Gavin (4) and Amelia (3) – have been using two robots for nearly two years to milk their organic herd of 150 cows on their farm near Lewiston, Minn. 

“It gets better each year,” Kim said about using the robots to milk the cows on their farm.

The two robots are set up check-out style, with the milkers sharing their maintenance room and each robot on opposite sides. The robots share a holding pen with cows entering the stall from the rear and exiting the front, then using the same lane to exit the barn into the pasture. 

While visiting the robots, the cows are fed cracked dry corn and a liquid soybean oil on top. In the summer, this is the only supplemented feed the cows are given. The rest comes from pasture.

“It’s definitely a different way of managing them,” he said. “As long as you don’t use them as an excuse not to be with the cows, they work.”

One of the biggest learning curves was figuring out what all the reports mean.

“We know more about our cows than we ever did before,” Andy said. “It’s like having a doctor’s visit each time they are milked.”

The family also likes how the robots work with their herd, which they certified organic in 2005.

Read the entire article here.

Lely Cow

This photo shows a cow exiting a Lely robotic automatic milking system.

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Family Shares Robotic Milking Experiences

Gloria Hafemeister wrote an article in Wisconsin State Farmer  on Lepples’ Ridge View Farm. The Lepples shared their experiences on using a Lely automatic robotic milking system when they appeared for the World Dairy Expo Virtual Tour presentation.

Read an excerpt of the article below.


Lepple’s Ridge View Farm, a fourth-generation dairy in Beaver Dam, transitioned to robotic milking nearly four years ago when Joel and Jean Lepple were looking to incorporate their sons, Craig and Brent, into the family business.

Joel admits he wasn’t real big on technology, but “the younger generation learns about robotics very quickly.”  

Lely Virtual Farm Tour - Lepples' Ridge-View Farm, Inc. of Beaver Dam, Wis.

Lely Virtual Farm Tour – Lepples’ Ridge-View Farm, Inc. of Beaver Dam, Wis.

His 4-year-old grandson took some toy farm equipment to school for show and tell. He described the activities on his family’s farm, but the teacher didn’t believe him. She talked to the family about his presentation, and his parents assured the teacher he was indeed describing the farm correctly.

Eventually, she brought the class to the farm to see for herself.

While each family member contributes to the farm’s success, Craig has become the “keeper of the robots.”

He told the audience at World Dairy Expo’s virtual dairy tour that he had used very little computer technology before getting into robotic milking.

“I hardly every used the Internet, and now I’m on the T4C (Time for Cows) herd program all the time. It’s pretty cut and dry, and I’ve adapted quite well.”

Read more.


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PDPW Technology Farm Tours – Part 2

Yesterday we featured an article from Macy Sarbacker, Agri-View Dairy Editor, who attended the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) Dairy Technology Tours last week. Today, we feature a second article. This one is on York Dairy.

Read this excerpt:

From hand-milking to robotics, the York family has seen it all.

In 1951, Walter and Mary York were married and started milking cows in Lake Geneva.

Today, Walter and Mary’s son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Carty own and operate York Dairy. York Dairy milks 240 Jersey cows with four Lely A4 robotic milkers. Tom and Carty built their new facility on family land where an old dairy barn once stood.

The York family farms 190 acres, raising their own forage and purchasing their own grain. Tom’s parents are still involved with the operation, owning the 133 acres on which the dairy is located and visiting the dairy daily to feed and care for calves. 

The average cow at York dairy visits the robot 3.1 times per day. Average milk production per cow is 57 pounds.

Cows are housed in a six-row freestall building that is 157 feet by 216 feet. This facility is tunnel ventilated with 36 fans moving air through the barn.

The barn is insulated and never dropped below 40 degrees even during last year’s harsh winter.

Some other technologies that the York family uses are a robotic feed pusher and cable alley scrapers. 

Read the entire article here.


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PDPW Technology Farm Tours

Oct.14Seminarspic20556The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) Dairy Technology Tours were held last week in different regions of the state. The farms featured up to eight robot units, including Lely and competitive models. Tour stops also focused on other technologies, such as robotic feed pushers, auto calf feeders, heat technology and the latest technologies affecting the dairy industry.

Macy Sarbacker, Agri-View Dairy Editor, wrote about tour stops including this article on the Dan Rieder and his son Nick who have installed Lely A4 robotic milking systems.

Read this excerpt:

“The whole project took 4 weeks, from start to finish,” said Nick Rieder.

The project was the installation of two A4 Lely robotic milkers.

Dan Rieder and his son Nick were looking for relief from milking three-times-a-day.

In June 2013, the family replaced their 10-year-old double-eight herringbone parlor with robotic milkers. Dan, his wife Angie and their family milk 120 Brown Swiss and Holstein cows and farm 600 acres.

The family raises corn for silage, high-moisture shell corn, alfalfa for haylage, dry baled hay and soybeans for roasting and feeding as protein for the milking herd.

The A4 Lely robotic milkers that the Rieders installed record fat and percentage of protein, pounds of milk, conductivity, rumination and activity. These were features desired by Dan and Nick in order to allow Dan more time to devote to his embryo transfer business and Nick more time to focus on farming.

In addition to the robotic milkers, the Rieland Farm also has a robot feed pusher that pushed feed up to the dairy’s three-row free stall, sand-bedded barn.

The robot feed pusher pushes up feed every hour, on the hour.

“Pushing feed is the first thing that is given up when a farmer runs out of time, when it really should be the last thing given up,” said Justin Segner, Lely representative of southern Wisconsin.

The decision to put in robotic milkers came down to fixing and refurbishing the parlor, or installing robots, said Nick.

Read the entire article.



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Wordless Wednesday — Sunny Glade Farms Thanksgiving Video

For this Wordless Wednesday, we have a video diary of photos from Sunny Glade Farms.

On May 4th, 2013, a fire claimed the barn and about 100 cows at Sunny Glade Farms near Blumenort, Manitoba. The Plett family has since rebuilt and upgraded their dairy operation. Their new facility has incorporated four Lely A4 Astronaut robotic milking systems and a Vector automatic feeding system. Watch this video the fire, the aftermath and their tremendous new facility.



Image from www.steinbachonline.com that was part of the article “Sunny Glade Farms Up-and-Running.”


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Ben Vanderbilt: A lean, robot herd-managing machine

This article recently appeared in Progressive Dairyman

Most people consider searching Craigslist for a bike, couch or even a roommate. Not many can claim that an advertisement on this website is how they began a career as a manager for a 500-cow robot-milking herd.

Similarly, it’s not typical for a dairy owner to hire a new herd manager who has very little cow experience. For SwissLane Dairy Farms in Alto, Michigan, this is exactly what happened. And it was a perfect fit.

In 2011, SwissLane Dairy Farms, a 2,000-cow operation, had plans to shift about 500 cows to a new freestall barn with eight automatic milking units. In looking for a herd manager for this new facility, the owners placed an ad on Craigslist and came across candidate Ben Vanderbilt.

Ben’s cow experience was limited, but his manufacturing experience as a production supervisor for an aerospace facility was promising. The owners of SwissLane Dairy Farms were not only looking to become more labour-efficient through utilizing their new robots, they were also looking for someone who could think “lean.” Ben Vanderbilt was the man for the job.

From the start of Ben’s career at the dairy farm nearly three years ago, he has acquired “cow sense” through the owners’ mentoring and has brought a wealth of knowledge from his five-year manufacturing career and put it to work at SwissLane Dairy Farms.

“The way I put it, I was manufacturing electronic circuit cards before, and here we’re manufacturing milk. The way you manage and utilize robots is similar; hitting production numbers is all quite the same,” Ben says.

The manager says his on-farm management style has been heavily influenced by his past. “The company I came from was very lean-driven, so much that we had our own lean department with about seven people overseeing it.

This article was written  by Lely Marketing Coordinator, Torie Noellsch. Read more.

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Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!


Dalton’s family: Sister Breeanne, brother Dillon, mother Jennifer and uncle Jeremy Dankert

You could see the pride and passion in young stockman Dalton Freeman at this month’s World Dairy Expo, held in Madison, Wisconsin. After all, he took home a first place ribbon and his cow Jonlee Secret Langwathby earned him the Champion 4-year old highest production award in both the junior and open show divisions.

Traveling to the World Dairy Expo is a family tradition. Dalton falls in the footsteps of his 90-year old grandfather. “My mom says grandpa has been coming to Expo forever,” said Dalton. Unfortunately he was unable to make the trip this year, so Dalton was awfully excited to take home his prizes and bragging rights. Taking care of the show cattle and the dairy herd is a family affair. Dalton’s uncle Jeremy assisted the family at Madison, while Monty, Dalton’s dad stayed home to keep an eye on the dairy operation.

The Freeman’s were featured during the 2011 World Dairy Expo as a part of the Virtual Farm Tour series. The family milks their herd with three Lely Astronaut automatic milking systems. “The robots are awesome, that’s how Jonlee is milked at home and how we keep track of her production,” said Dalton.

Congrats to Dalton. Look him up at the 2015 World Dairy Expo to see what he and his siblings bring to the “Dairy in our DNA” event. Dalton’s little brother is chomping at the bit to get his chance to lead a Champion through the ring. Rest assured the future of dairy operations are in great hands and the young competitors will keep coming back to the show ring to carry on the family traditions.

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