Central Illinois dairy tour July 23 — Mark your calendars!

The Illinois Milk Producers’ Association will be sponsoring their annual "Dairy Tech Showcase," hosted by Dave Fischer. This is the second year for the IMPA Dairy Tech Showcase that will highlight dairy technology and dairy management on two dairy farms in Central Illinois. The tours will be held on Tuesday July 23, 2013 in the Tremont area in Tazewell County. There is no need to register for the event, and you can attend either one or both of the host farm operations. Lunch will be “on your own” between noon and 1:30 p.m.  

The first farm stop is River Valley Dairy, owned and operated by the Gregg and Cindy Sauder Family. The farm is located at 9136 Springfield Rd., Tremont, IL. River Valley Dairy is known nationally and internationally for their developing of a high type-high genetic herd of Jersey dairy cattle. For their dairy operation, they have incorporated four Lely Astronaut robots into their automated milking system with a freestall and box stall housing unit for their 300 plus cow milking herd. They have also installed two Lely automated calf feeding stations for their heifer calves with compost bedded housing for their older heifers. 

The second farm is Aberle Farms, owned and operated by Pete and Rollyn Aberle families. The farm is located at 25104 Augustine Rd., Tremont, IL. Aberle Dairy will showcase their ai24 HR-tag system used for monitoring cow's rumination time and assisting in heat detection. The milking herd is managed and housed in sand bedded freestalls with packmat stalls and cable scrapers for alley scrapping the manure. They also use the extended day lighting protocol for their 150 cow milking herd. Pre and post fresh cows are housed in a bedded pack transition barn and all cows are milked 3 times per day in a 10 stall flat parlor. Calves are placed on an accelerated milk replacer program and weaned at 6-7 weeks. 

Each farm stop will include an organized tour conducted by the dairy owners along with management discussions and Q&A sessions, which will be led by Dave Fischer. Also joining Fischer will be Dr. Mike Hutjens and Dr. Phil Cardoso, University of Illinois Dairy Specialists.

The schedule will be:

  • 10:30 a.m. – noon at River Valley Dairy, 9136 Springfield Rd., Tremont, IL
  • Lunch on your own – Tremont has several places to eat. 
  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Aberle Farms, 25104 Augustine Rd., Tremont, IL

  NOTE:  Drive time between both farms is 15 minutes.