Robot-milked cows are show ring divas too!

Last month we shared the story of Dalton Freeman, a young man who likes living on his family dairy, but loves to show his Brown Swiss cow Jonlee Secret Langwathby. Why? Because hiNov24dalton_2s preparation at home and a lot of luck have earned him bragging rights at his two most recent show competitions. Dalton competed at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, KY where Langwathby and Dalton earned 1st place production winner of the 4-year-olds and went on to win Grand Champion of the junior show. But wait, they weren’t done gathering awards, the list keeps going!  Nov24Dalton

While taking top honors in the junior show at the NAILE was pretty cool, Dalton’s family entered Langwathby into the NAILE’s Southeastern National Brown Swiss open show.
Based on this pairs’ recent successes, you won’t be surprised they accomplished more during the open show.  Langwathby was the 1st place 4-year-old, Reserve Senior Champion, as well as the Reserve Grand Champion cow.  Langwathby also won the Nasco International type production award for the show.

Dalton’s little brDillon_Freeman_2014other Dillon has been “chomping at the bit” so-to-speak, and yearning for his chance to lead a cow into a major show ring.  Finally, Dillon showed an Ayrshire cow, Canoe Ridge Dreamer Babie, in the Southeastern National Ayrshire junior and open shows.  In both shows, she was the 1st place yearling-in-milk winner.

The Freeman brothers milk their show divas in one of the family’s three Lely Astronaut milking robots at Nor-Bert Farms near Bremen, Indiana.  They credit the robots to give them more milk production with less cows, a lower somatic cell count and better cow health reducing visits from their veterinarian.  Now that the cows are on their own schedule, the Freeman’s can more easily attend shows further away from the farm.

The boys’ mother, Jennifer Freeman exclaimed, “We’re on cloud nine and had an unforgettable time at NAILE! We have never won anything like this. God truly blessed us, not only at this show, but all year!  We have had an amazing show season. I am sure this is the first robotically-milked cow to win at these shows. Go Lely!”

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Pure Holsteins using a robotic milking system to milk its cows

Diane Crocker with The Telegram features Pure Holsteins Ltd of Little Rapids Newfoundland who installed Lely robots in their dairy. Read this excerpt or the entire article here.

David and Sara Simmons have been around dairy farms for much of their lives, so they know the work that goes into them.

To make the job of milking more efficient and less time consuming the couple recently introduced a robotic milking system, a first for the province, at their Pure Holsteins Ltd., operation in Little Rapids.

“Cows are all about schedule,” said David as he stood in the barn surrounded the herd on Thursday afternoon.

He said they always milk the same time every morning and evening and expect to be fed the exact same time every morning.

But with the two milking robots the cows have had to adjust their schedule.

“The only thing that we still do the same is feed them at the exact same time every day. They’ve taken milk into their own schedule,” said David.

That means the cows do what works for and is comfortable for them.

Read more.

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Canadian 4-H’ers sport Lely gear at the TD 4-H Dairy Classic during the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair

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Congratulations to these winners at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Check out their cool Lely tuques.

Earlier this month, 356 4-H dairy members from across Canada arrived in Toronto, ON to take part in the annual TD 4-H Dairy Classic to show their 4-H heifer project at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. This is the crowning show of the 4-Her’s year-long project as it’s a distinct honor to be able to show at the Royal and privilege earned.

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David Ross, Lely team member, hands off Lely gifts to a 4-H supporter.

Lely’s own David Ross, a previous Royal 4-H showman, represented Lely at what others have called “the Olympics” of all Canadian 4-H dairy shows.  David shared Lely tuques to all TD 4-H Dairy Classic participants and encouraged kids to participate in a social media competition between the counties. Members were asked to capture photos wearing their tuques, post to Facebook or Twitter with #lelylife and the image with the most votes would win more free swag. During opening ceremonies in both the dairy and beef heifer shows, Lely was one of the proud event sponsors and could be seen on new county/province signs for the parade of clubs. Lely also sponsored the meal for 4-H dairy members and chaperones.DSC_0239

David shared the following about his Royal experience, “it was a great honor to be able to take part in an event I once competed at, but the gratitude expressed from the chaperones and members during the whole event was fantastic. Nearly every county was so grateful for the meal sponsorship that when they found out about the tuques they were blown away by Lely’s involvement. Many members had their hats on right away in the barn.  One organizer said the black and white tuques really branded the 4-H kids.” DSC_0245

David also shared, “one 4-H mom even obtained my email from organizers to contact me and thank Lely for taking part in the event, and to say her son loved his hat so much that he had it on the whole time at the show and even wore it to school once he got home.” Congratulations to the 4-H’ers and their families that participated at the Royal and work each day to feed the world.  Lely appreciates your contribution to the global food supply and wishes you the best with your 4-H dairy projects. DSC_0273

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#WordlessWednesday – 50 Special Limited Edition Lely A4 Astronauts Available for Canada

50 Special Limited Edition Lely A4 Astronauts Available for Canada  Read more details.

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Why we chose robots: Cottonwood Ridge Dairy

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The Nussbaum family of South Dakota own the state’s first robotic dairy featuring Lely products. Photo courtesy of Progressive Dairyman and the Nussbaum family.

We’ve featured the Nussbaum family of South Dakota before but Progressive Dairyman Editor Peggy Coffeen has a great feature in a recent article. Read this excerpt below or check out the entire article here.

Earlier this year, South Dakota’s first robotic dairy opened its doors for business, and the Nussbaum family couldn’t be happier with their new milking facility.

Brad and Monica Nussbaum have farmed for over three decades near Garretson, South Dakota, just shy of the Minnesota line. As daughters Brittany and Stephanie, both South Dakota State University graduates, showed intentions of returning to the dairy, the familydecided to take the next step toward the future.

Prior to constructing a brand-new barn with two Lely robots, the Nussbaums milked 65 Holstein cows in a swing-four herringbone parlor. Now the herd size has nearly doubled, with 120 cows making it through the automated system each day.

Robots are also used for pushing feed and scraping manure in the tunnel-ventilated, slatted-floor barn. The building was designed to be free-flowing, allowing cows to eat, lie down and enter the milking unit as they please.

The cows are not the only ones enjoying the comforts of a new facility. For a family that enjoys spending the majority of their day close to the cows, an office, meeting area and kitchenette make this new barn their second home.

Since converting to robots, what has changed about the way you manage your dairy? What has not changed?
We are better able to focus on individual cow care, better time efficiency and health management. What hasn’t changed is our continual focus on cow comfort and producing a quality product.

What factors went into your decisions on how to design your barn?
We considered cow comfort, labor efficiency, climate control, waste management and overall efficiency of fans, electrical and water needs. We also sought advice from other robot dairy families that we toured, as well as from our nutritionist and veterinarian.

What is your favorite feature of the new facility?
Monica loves the robots: the Juno that pushes feed, the Discovery that cleans the floors and the milkers. Brad loves the whole facility. Brittany loves that the new facility allows for more family free time, and Stephanie loves the transition pen, which allows her to provide even better individual care for fresh cows.

Read more here.

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Lely products at work at Iowa’s Dairy Center

This week, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation and Northeast Iowa Community College collaborated to offer the annual Midwest Dairy School for dairy producers, students, lenders and industry persons. This year the Midwest Dairy School provided more in-depth information on robotic milking systems specifically with research and nutrition.

Marcia Endres, University of Minnesota Associate Professor and Extension Dairy Scientist, shared her findings from her research study on 52 dairy farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin that use robotic milking systems. Participants were then able to visit an active robotic milking system at Iowa’s Robotic Dairy Center.

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Students learn how the Lely Discovery works at Iowa’s Dairy Center this past summer.

Lely has been proud to support the efforts of Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) and Iowa’s Dairy Center. Lely and Fitzgerald, Inc., the local Lely Center in Elkader, IA have worked closely with officials at NICC to give students, facility and staff access to the latest technology for the dairy industry. The robotic milking facility located south of the NICC campus in Calmar, IA is equipped with two Lely Astronaut A4 robotic milking machines, five Lely Luna cow brushes, a Lely Juno automatic feed pusher and a Lely Discovery mobile barn cleaner. It serves students enrolled in dairy science, large animal veterinary technician, pre-veterinary medicine and other agricultural programs.

Watch this video on the middle of this web page to see all the Lely products in action at Iowa’s Dairy Center.

 

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#Wordless Wednesday

A Lely lady chilling on the “Jersey Shore” at Iowa’s Dairy Center in Calmar, IA.

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High-tech Feeders Free Dairy Farmers

Star Tribune writer Tom Meersman takes a look at dairies using automated feeders to improve calf health and reduce labor.

Read this excerpt below.

The calves at Rohe Dairy in Stearns County don’t bawl when they’re hungry.

They live together in small groups in a tall, well-ventilated barn, and they eat whenever they please from an automated calf feeding machine.

The calf feeders, outfitted with scanners and sophisticated engineering, are the latest high-tech addition to Minnesota dairies, which have also begun to invest in robotic milkers for their cows.

“Our conclusion is that automated calf feeders are here to stay, and they seem to be drawing more and more interest,” said Tom Earleywine, director of nutritional services for Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products, which has done research on the technology.

The Lely Calm automatic calf feeder guarantees the optimal growth and development of these young animals.

The Lely Calm automatic calf feeder guarantees the optimal growth and development of these young animals.

Increasingly sophisticated equipment is bringing dramatic change to the lives of dairy farmers in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest. Researchers at Iowa State University have calculated that the feeders can reduce labor costs by more than 40 percent, make farmers’ schedules more flexible and allow more time for producers to monitor and manage calf health.

At Rohe’s barn near Freeport, about 30 miles northwest of St. Cloud, 31 calves are separated into three roomy pens, according to their age. On a morning last week, some lay contentedly in the deep straw and others cavorted in playful running and jumping. As Michele Rohe opened a gate, a handful of them pushed forward as she began to stroke their heads and necks.

Read the entire article here.

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PDPW Technology Tour: Leedle Farms-Black Cat Dairy

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Photo by Macy Sarbacker, Agri-View

Agri-View Dairy Editor Macy Sarbacker attended the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) Dairy Technology Tours. Here is one more article from those tours featuring Tom and Jennifer Leedle of Lake Geneva.

Read this excerpt:

Tom and Jennifer Leedle, along with their daughter Kristin and son Jason and his wife Lindsay own and operate Leedle Farms-Black Cat Dairy in Lake Geneva.

The Leedle family milks 470 cows and farms 900 acres. When Tom and Jennifer’s son Jason decided to join the family business, the parlor and barn were in need of renovations. The family decided that the best answer was to build a new barn and invest in robotic milkers.

In 2012, the Leedle family installed eight A4 Lely robotic milkers that track box time, visits per cow per day, refusals, failures, attachment times, conductivity, fat, protein, let down time per robot, free time per robot and rumination minutes.

The average milk production for Leedle Farms-Black Cat Dairy is 78 pounds per cow per day, which averages out to 3.1 milkings per day for the herd.

The new barn at Leedle Farms-Black Cat Dairy is 232 feet by 234 feet and includes calving-hospital pens, an office and a 12-foot deep manure pit under the entire new building.

Read the entire article here.

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#WordlessWednesday – Glinda Led the Way

“First day in the new barn! Glinda led the way. Everyone else was scared,” Laura Sizen said earlier this week. Daren and Laura Sizen (Sizen Dairy Farm) of Georgia, Vermont recently added Lely robotic automatic milking systems.

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