Monday, November 28, 2011

History In The Making- Swisslane2/Robot Dairy

A new era has arrived to Swisslane Dairy Farms!  In just a few hours, 300 cows will begin to be trailered over to Swisslane 2- or as we like to call it The Robot Dairy. 
It is just a hop, skip, and a jump to the north of our original farm.
We will start at 10am ushering the cows into the robots to be milked.
Over the past couple of years our family has done a lot of soul-searching, brainstorming, business planning, and most importantly praying. 
Now the current owners of the farm (my dad and my two uncles) are nearing retirement age and a solid group of generation nexters (my husband and I, two of my cousins, and my brother in-law) are ready to pursue enterance into the family business.
We needed a plan that would ensure the farm's sustainsbilty for years to come.
When we first met last winter to formulate this plan, all ideas were up for consideration.  Some ideas thrown out: cheese/milk processing, raw milk/cow-shares, buying a farm in Ohio, expanding the original farm, rotary or parallel parlors.  Everything was on the table.  One by one each idea was held up to our circumstances and our Core Values.  And in March of 2011 we made our proposal to the bank for a loan to build a farm for 500 cows with 8 Robotic Milkers and in 2-5 years we plan to begin Phase 2 and milk another 500 then.  
We broke ground in May and here we are- 6 months later- ready for opening day!
The three selling points, if you will, where robotic milking lined up with our Core Values were:

1. Light Years Ahead (This is cutting edge stuff!)
2.  Focused On The Cows (The cows will love consistency of the robotsand the cows get to decide when they get milked!)
3.  Turning A Nickel Into A Dime (Making a capital investment to reduce cost in the long run.)

Stay tuned for more updates and thank you for your prayers and support!