In this episode, we meet dairy farmer Matt Brake, the fourth-generation dairyman at Oakleigh Farm in Mercersburg.

After a devastating fire in 2019, Matt and his family decided to rebuild their barn with a focus on robotic technology, including milkers, feeders and manure collectors. These aids increase efficiency and cow comfort at Oakleigh Farm.

This technology also has allowed Brake to pursue another passion, piloting small planes. He became a flight instructor in 2017, giving flying lessons at the Hagerstown Regional Airport, just a short drive away from the farm.

“In flying and in farming, you need a plan. You need to be deliberate with your actions and always continue training and education. So, you are always learning,” Brake says. “We do all of our flight training in this valley, so when I’m flying, I can look down at our fields and our cows. I just love that bird’s eye view,” he says.

Watch the video to hear how Brake’s grandfather, Ed Brake, feels about the robots at Oakleigh Farm.

Catch up on all the seasons of “This American Dairy Farmer.”