King Country farmer Shane Ardern has never been afraid to be a bit different.
Cow Pleasant Dairy, owned by Tom and Katrien De Vos, Isabella County, Michigan, was named Large Business of the Year by Consumers Energy, the electricity and natural gas utility in Michigan.
Originally from Belgium, the De Vos family set out to innovate in developing their 3450 cow dairy; notably they chose to install the WMS rotary.
Tom De Vos said “we liked the concept of a composite platform which is extraordinarily strong yet light, easy to keep clean and energy efficient”.
The set-up has the maker’s SmartECR, SmartPuls, SmartLink and SmartWash systems, and electronic milk meters, auto sorting and herd management technology.
The dairy also has a direct-load milk cooling system which cools milk from 95oC to 36oC before it goes to a trailer parked outside the parlor; this removes the need for a bulk milk tank. When full, the trailer is taken to the processor and an empty trailer takes its place.v
De Vos says the system is efficient system, has minimal risk of bacteria, preserves the quality of the milk and cuts water use.
These and other features including fans which cool the cows and LED lighting led to the company being named the Large Business of the Year with energy rebates worth more than $US117,000.