Meadowbrook Adds Robotic Milking Facility
A new robotic milker at Eastern Kentucky University’s Meadowbrook Farm will give students hands-on access to the latest technology and significantly increase milk production.
The milker, purchased through a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, is a “fully automated system that is consistent in every sense of the word,” said EKU Farms Director Justin McKinney. “The milker does not require the dairy farmer to be present during each milking; therefore, the milking clusters are not manually connected as they are in a conventional parlor.”
The technology allows a lactating cow to voluntarily milk herself as needed, McKinney added, and the computer software program can collect valuable information on each individual animal.
EKU students will still learn how to run a dairy, McKinney noted, but “will be well versed on robotic milking procedures and can focus more on herd health and nutrition. Even though it is a fully-automated, self-contained system, students will learn how to identify individual cows based on data collected by the robot to treat sick animals, improve nutrition and better manage reproduction.”
It all translates to EKU students gaining “a competitive edge for employment,” McKinney said.
Published on October 17, 2018