By Brian Dougherty–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
One of the most critical aspects of a productive dairy farm is the design and setup of the buildings. A good design saves energy, increases cow productivity, and provides comfort and ease of access for the farmer and the herd.
To help dairy farmers evaluate their design, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering two Dairy Design Workshops in August, with a focus on robotic milking setups, ventilation, and manure handling facilities.
Both workshops are the same, but are held at different farms in northeast Iowa. The first will be held August 27th, at Iowa’s Dairy Center, Room 115, located at 1527 State Highway 150, Calmar. The second will be held August 28th, at Pattison Dairy, located at 22127 Highway 52, Garnavillo. Both workshops are from 10 am to 2:30 pm.
Brian Dougherty, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said the workshops will give producers the chance to see designs and concepts in action, and how the setup might work on their own operation.
Dougherty will be leading the talk on “design considerations for robotic milking barns,” and also “ventilation options for freestall barns.”
Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss manure management options. Larry Tranel and Jenn Bentley, extension dairy specialists, will give tours of both farms, including the automated calf feeders at Pattison Dairy.
Dougherty said the workshop will appeal to producers who are considering a renovation of existing barns, or new construction. This is the first year for the event, but if interest is strong, he said additional workshops can be planned, with topics geared toward producer interest.
The cost of the workshop is $10 payable at the door. For Iowa’s Dairy Center workshop, RSVP by August 23rd to [email protected] or call (563)-534-9957. For the Pattison Dairy workshop, RSVP by August 23rd to the ISU Extension and Outreach Clayton County Office at [email protected] or call (563)-245-1451. Early registration is important for meal count.