“It’s amazing how much more efficient we can get all the time,” says dairy farmer Eric Ooms. His family farm, A. Ooms & Sons Dairy Farm in Valatie, New York, with 500 milking cows, was among the first in upstate New York’s Capital Region to install state-of-the-art robotic milking machines. This technology allows dairy cows to be milked at their leisure.
“Our milking parlor was 25-years-old and at the point that we’d have to invest in something,” says Ooms. In 2015, they switched over to robotic milkers. “For us, robotic milkers were a no-brainer and offered advances in efficiencies in cow comfort.”
Robotic milkers reduce the energy cows spend walking to the parlor. The robotics also allow dairy farmers to focus on other aspects of running a farm. “At the time, I was turning 40, and it changed my whole life,” says Ooms. “I used to milk about 36 intense hours a week. Now I’m spending that time with cows that need attention. The best thing we can do is to take excellent care of the cows we have.”