The Illinois Milk Producers’ Association will be sponsoring their 7th annual “Dairy Tech Showcase” farm tour. These tours are for dairy producers and industry personal to see and hear the latest in dairy technology and management. Two farms, located in Richland County, will host the tour on Thursday July 26, 2018. 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 available between noon and 12:45 p.m.
The first farm stop will be Clover Farms Dairy, owned and operated by Jerry, Jim, Tony, Walter, and Ryan Graves. The farm is located at 6235 N. Silver Rd., Dundas, IL 62425. The Graves family farm is home to 1,450 Jersey cows housed in free stall facilities with an annual milk production average of 20,000 lbs. per cow. The lactating herd is housed in two 4-row free stall barns that incorporates a flush manure handling system with recycled sand for the bedding source. The cows are milked in an 18 on-a-side parabone stall parlor. New born calves are raised in hutches on a milk diet. Replacement heifers and far-off dry cows are raised off the farm at several locations. Their dairy management program concentrates on maximizing cow comfort, consistent and quality feedstuffs, and herd health. The tour will run from 10:30 a.m. till noon with lunch following at the Graves farm.
Our second farm stop will be the Weiler Enterprises, Inc. Dairy, managed and operated by Travis and Erin Michels. The farm is located at 6670 E. Seven Hills Rd., Claremont, IL 62421. The afternoon tour will run from 1:00 p.m. til 2:30 p.m. The dairy farm consists of a 120 cow Holstein herd housed in sand bedded free stalls. The free stall alleys are manure flushed hourly into a sand recovery system. Cows are milked in an automated milking system using two Lely robotic milkers with an average of 3 milkings per cow per day. The milking herd is currently producing an average of 92 lbs. of milk per cow per day. The modern free stall and Lely robotic milking facility was built in 2014 to maximize technology, milking management, cow comfort, and labor management. The farm raises all their replacement heifers. They also feed all milk diet to calves prior to weaning,
Each farm stop will include an organized tour conducted by the dairy owners/managers along with management discussions and Q&A sessions, which will be led by Dave Fischer, former University of Illinois Dairy Educator. Also, joining Fischer will be Dr. Mike Hutjens and Dr. Phil Cardoso, University of Illinois Dairy Specialists and Tasha Bunting, IMPA Manager.
Tour Schedule will be:
10:30 a.m. – noon at Clover Farms, Graves Family Jerseys, 6235 N. Silver Rd., Dundas, IL
Noon – 12:45 p.m. lunch at Graves farm
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. at Weiler Enterprises, Inc. Dairy (operated by Travis/Erin Michels), 6670 E. Seven Hills Rd., Claremont, IL