Dairy Design Workshops to show producers some options

Robotic milking, ventilation and manure management all on the agenda

One of the most critical aspects of a productive dairy farm is the design and setup of the buildings. A good design saves energy, increases cow productivity, and provides comfort and ease of access for the farmer and the herd.

To help dairy farmers evaluate their design, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering two Dairy Design Workshops in August, with a focus on robotic milking setups, ventilation and manure handling facilities.

Both workshops are the same, but are held at different farms in northeast Iowa. The first will be held August 27, at Iowa’s Dairy Center, Room 115, located at 1527 State Highway 150, Calmar. The second will be held August 28, at Pattison Dairy, located at 22127 Highway 52, Garnavillo.

Both workshops are from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Brian Dougherty, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said the workshops will give producers the chance to see designs and concepts in action, and how the setup might work on their own operation.

Dougherty will be leading the talk on “design considerations for robotic milking barns,” and also “ventilation options for freestall barns.”

Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss manure management options. Larry Tranel and Jenn Bentley, extension dairy specialists, will give tours of both farms, including the automated calf feeders at Pattison Dairy.

Dougherty said the workshop will appeal to producers who are considering a renovation of existing barns, or new construction. This is the first year for the event, but if interest is strong, he said additional workshops can be planned, with topics geared toward producer interest.

The cost of the workshop is $10 payable at the door. For the Iowa’s Dairy Center workshop, RSVP by August 23 to info@iowadairycenter.com or call 563-534-9957. For the Pattison Dairy workshop, RSVP by August 23 to the ISU Extension and Outreach Clayton County Office at hloan@iastate.edu or call 563-245-1451. Early registration is important for meal count.

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