“He would never be here on the farm if we still had the old Herringbone shed.”
Denise and Cameron Suna run a small family farm in Wilmott, Tasmania. Their voluntary milking system has eased the physical burden of farming, and has encouraged their son home to work in the dairy.
“My hands were getting really bad, arms and shoulders aching at night, I could see a day where I just couldn’t milk them,” Denise says.
The couple has been robotic farming for four years and in 2019 installed a fifth DeLaval VMS™ milking robot as part of a long-term plan to grow the herd to 350 cross-bred cows.
“Four years in and the robots are doing what they should be doing,” says Cameron. The automated milking has given the couple much greater flexibility to leave the farm to attend family and community events. The robots have also attracted the couple’s son Dane home to work in the dairy.
“He would never be here if we still had the old shed because he didn’t want to milk cows the way he had seen me milking cows,” explains Denise.
The family also says the change in the cows’ behaviour has been significant, particularly noting how much calmer and happier the animals are in the shed and the significantly lower rates of disease.
“Plus I can sleep at night again because my hands aren’t aching, my shoulders aren’t aching,“ adds Denise.