“We think robots are the future. It’s just a better work environment. If you have happy cows, you have happy people and then happy consumers.”
With a transition to the fifth and sixth generation and addition of new technology, Highland Dairy has their eyes on the future. The 18-year old equipment wasn’t cutting it for this 320-cow Wisconsin dairy, so rather than re-investing in the old facilities, they made some big changes.
One new freestall barn and six new DeLaval voluntary milking system VMS™ units later, Corey Enright, manager and herdsperson of Highland Dairy is ready to add another 40 cows to the laid-back, calm environment that the robots have created.
“Those are some big benefits that I like a lot,” says Enright. “The cows are much more relaxed and content, you don’t have people chasing them around as much. They can do their own thing freely most of the day. We have totally gone from parlor to robots and I don’t think we’re going back.”
Enright chose DeLaval VMS for its quarter milking function, industry-leading teat prep process and variety of customizable solutions available. “Better teat health with the VMS quarter milking is a big advantage,” he adds.
Highland Dairy worked with their local vet to develop an animal welfare program – something they take very seriously. All employees are trained to handle cattle, and DeLaval swinging cow brushes keep the cows clean and comfortable.
Enright says the family is content with the 6 VMS units and their plan for 360 cows. With confidence in the changes that the robots can continue bringing to the farm, he says, “Things will keep getting better and easier for us.”