On September 20, 2011, the family installed two Lely Astronaut robotic milking systems on their 120-cow dairy near Decorah, Iowa.
Included below is an excerpt from the online article:
That first day they ran the cows through their two new Lely robotic units (affectionately referred to as “Hans” and “Martha” in honor of Lely’s origins in the Netherlands) from about noon to 10 p.m.
After those first 10 hours there were two to three people (family members and company representatives) in the barn 24 hours a day for four days. On day five, the family started running things alone, and for about the next 10 days the family of four split up shifts to have someone in the barn 24 hours a day. After that, the robotics started handling the milking mostly by themselves.
The article goes on to say:
Ruth said they had seen robotics at World Dairy Expo, but they weren’t yet sold on the idea. Then they went to an open house on a farm using robotics near Kasson, Minn. “That is the day I knew we weren’t going to put in a parlor,” Ruth said. “I didn’t know how well they work until I saw them in action that day.”
Scott said his mom was the one who first came up with the idea of considering robotics, and that he was leery at first. “But once I learned more about them I was all for it,” he said.
For the full article, including more information on milk production and the Hageman’s completed barn, we encourage you to visit Dairy Star’s website.