Kansas Conservation Series: Ohlde Family Farms Innovative Dairy Technology

Linn, KS – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. is continuing his conservation series highlighting Kansans’ voluntary efforts to take better care of the environment. Stories will be released throughout the 2023 Farm Bill legislative process.

“While we hold hearings for the 2023 Farm Bill, I want to highlight how hard Kansans work every day to protect our environment and conserve precious resources that our Ag economy needs to thrive. Kansas farmers, ranchers, growers, and producers are finding unique and practical ways to preserve our land and protect our water and air. Their efforts are worthy of everyone’s praise,” said Senator Marshall.

This week, I’m highlighting Ohlde Family Farms located in North Central Kansas. This farm is leaning into conservation through technology. They’re addressing workforce shortages by adopting an all robot parlor. Yes, you read that right- ALL ROBOT PARLOR

This is truly precision agriculture in the livestock space, as each cow has a unique electronic identification number that the robot detects when the cow comes to be milked. If it’s her time to milk, the robot will provide some feed as a “treat” and begin milking her. If the cow is not ready to be milked, the robot does not provide the “treat” and she exits the parlor. The cows even do this treatment themselves when they want to be milked. This cuts out the manpower necessary not only to milk the cows, but also bring cows from the pen to the parlor. 

The technology used keeps track of all the data and can predict how much milk each quarter of the udder will produce along with recording a plethora of other data points. This data can be used by the farmer to improve nutrition, health, comfort, and productivity of the herd at large. Cows live in free stall barns that are climate controlled to ensure maximum comfort. As Ohlde would say, “Cows are free to roam about, eat, drink, chat with their other cow friends and sleep as they please.”