The last dairy farm I visited was when I was near Roo’s age. So state of the art was not around then. I think that electricity had been invented, but in my advanced age, I may be wrong about that. I digress…
The operation is up and running but still in the process of being finished. We were told that there were approximately 1200 cows on the site with the goal to have 6000 by the end of summer. I. Cannot. Imagine. 6000. Cows. And they all are accounted for. They are tagged with an ear tag that has a chip with information about the cow. When she steps on the milking carousel her information is read and milk production is recorded.
The cows were amazing. They come into a large holding pen and then in a very orderly fashion proceed to step up into the carousel and are cleaned in several steps and have the milking apparatus attached to their udders. The milkers drop off when milking is complete.
Occasionally a cow will kick one off and a worker will quickly hook the cow back up. A cow completes on round on the milking merry-go-round and in an unbelievably calm fashion backs off and goes off to her barn via a chute. The cows are milked every eight hours and the farm runs 24 hours a day, with three shifts.
We saw where the milk traveled after it left the cow, how it was rapidly cooled and immediately sent to a waiting tanker truck. The technology and thought that went into planning this impressive facility is mind boggling. There are some really smart people working on this.
The whole operation was udderly fascinating, employees were welcoming and informative. I am always enchanted by cows. Their moooo-ning big eyes and mild manners are always favorites of mine at fairs. I am not totally naïve regarding large livestock and realize that they can cause major damage to person and property when provoked or otherwise in stressful situations. I am completely aware that the care for them is a full time job. Which makes the facility we visited all the more interesting.
A wonderful fieldtrip that we city dwellers don’t often get to have.