Working dairies will share their stories of switching to robotic milking systems and other automated equipment.
A panel featuring three farms will be held twice during the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, March 28.
One of the featured farms is Qual Dairy of Lisbon, North Dakota, where they milk 1,400 cows in a GEA DairyProQ 60-stall robotic rotary parlor – one of the first in the United States.
Qual Dairy is operated by Alan and his wife, Julie, and their adult sons Mark and Jon, plus Alan’s brother, Rodney, and his wife, Angie, and their adult sons Nathan and Tyler. The six families also run a grain farm together. They employ about a dozen non-family members in the dairy.
Van Veldhuizen Dairy of Rock Rapids, Iowa, will be part of the panel as well. Milking approximately 240 cows with four Lely Astronaut robotic milking machines, they retrofitted an existing freestall barn.
Van Veldhuizen Dairy is operated by Corwin, Stephanie, Tyler, Shelby and Trevor Van Veldhuizen.
Minglewood Dairy of Deer Park, Wisconsin, is the third farm featured. Minglewood milks 800 cows. In December 2018 Minglewood started up eight DeLaval VMS Classic Robots and rapidly transitioned more than 400 cows to the new facility.
Minglewood Dairy is operated by Kevin and Roxann Solum, along with their daughter Kristin, her fiancé Jacob, and son Ryan.
Panels, moderated by Farm Credit Services, will be held 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, March 27 and 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, both in Convention Center Meeting Rooms 1-2.