Thirty-five dairymen and industry people traveled to dairies in South Dakota and Iowa on November 13 to hear producers share how they used technology to improve profitability and incorporate the next generation into the family farm.
The first stop was Cottonwood Ridge Dairy near Garretson, South Dakota where Brad and Monica Nussbaum have added robots to keep two daughter involved in the farm after a devastating storm ravaged the milk barn. They shared the skills needed to manage robots and data effectively.
The next stop was Multi-Rose Jersey farm west of Rock Rapids, Iowa. Multi-Rose Jerseys, Inc., is owned and operated by Marv Metzger and his five sons, Dana, Reed, Brett, Evan and Drew and their families. The farm is home to 1,800 registered Jersey cows. The cows are milked three times a day in a 40-stall external rotary parlor. The herd produces an average of 60 pounds of milk per cow each day.
Dana and Evan Metzger shared how they use TN visas to bring qualified immigrant employees from Mexico and incorporate they into the farms management team.
The final stop was Stensland Family Dairy in Larchwood, Iowa, where three generations of Stenslands adapted the 180 milking cows to robots. Plus added on-farm processing of ice cream, cheese and butter to a value-added market that has grown from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Orange City, Iowa.