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Robotic Milking Workshop at KBS PDF Print E-mail

The KBS Farm and Dairy will host a robotic milking workshop on Tuesday, March 13, 1-4 p.m. in the Academic building Terrace Room.  Dr. Diana Stuart, KBS/MSU Dept. of Sociology, and Dr. Rebecca Schewe, former KBS postdoc and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University, will start the workshop with a lecture on the benefits and obstacles of the transition to robotic milking.

For more information, please see the Kalamazoo Gazette article at: http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2012/01/robots_milking_cows_thats_the.html

Robotic Milking Research at KBS PDF Print E-mail

thumb_KBS_Dairy_5Dr. Janice Siegford, an Assistant Professor in MSU’s Department of Animal Science, and Jacquelyn Jacobs, an Animal Science graduate student, conducted research on the milking herd at the KBS Pasture Dairy Research and Education Center.

Dr. Siegford’s research looked at the cows’ responses and adjustment to the new robotic milking system.  According to her observations, the cows adjusted fairly quickly to the system.  To read more about her research, please see her article in the October 2010 issue of Michigan Dairy Review: https://www.msu.edu/user/mdr/vol15no4/vol15no4.pdf

KBS Dairy Goes Green! PDF Print E-mail
The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station dairy herd set itself apart last summer when it moved to a new pasture-based facility featuring robotic milking and an energy-efficient design. cert_mark_silv_blk

The facility is again being recognized as a pioneer facility, this time for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification. It is the only agricultural operation to earn such certification in the United States.

“This new facility allows us to demonstrate to all dairy farmers how to incorporate features in a new barn that save energy, features that are both good for the environment and save them money,” said KBS director Katherine Gross. “Having the LEED certification for the KBS dairy facility demonstrates another aspect of our ‘commitment to sustainability.’ Many features of this barn that earned the LEED certification can be adopted by dairy farmers with different management and herd sizes.”

The U.S. Green Building Certification, which administers the LEED program, requires any LEED-certified newly constructed facility to be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than current building codes dictate. The KBS dairy facility is 38 percent more energy efficient.

Among other energy efficiency and resource conservation features, it uses an automatic sidewall curtain system that raises or lowers to regulate temperature, and the design maximizes sunlight to reduce the need for electric lighting.

The pasture-based facility opened in July 2009. Pasture-based is defined as deriving all or a majority of an animal’s diet from pasture – forages, grass, legumes, depending on the area of the world in which the animal is being raised.

This article originated at the MSU News Service.

Dairy Workshops at KBS PDF Print E-mail


On December 15th the MSU Kellogg Biological Station hosted a Value Added Dairy Marketing Workshop for dairy producers wanting to learn how to increase farm income using on-farm processing and direct sales or other alternative marketing strategies.

Over 40 dairy farmers participated in the day long workshop, which included presentations on Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Dairy, Rules and Regulations of On-Farm Processing, and marketing products using organic and pasture based labeling.

Speakers included Tom Kalchik (MSU Product Center), Beth Swank (Michigan Department of Agriculture), Torry Thuli (Darlington Dairy Supply Co.), Dan Mosgaller (Organic Valley), Chad Pawlak (Grass Point Farms), and John Partridge (Michigan State University.  Workshop participants also had an opportunity to tour the new pasture-based/ robotic milking dairy facility at the Kellogg Biological Station dairy.

This workshop was part of a series of workshops to be held at the Kellogg Biological Station and funded, in part, through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support the development of research and outreach initiatives that promote the sustainability of small and mid-sized dairy farms in Michigan.

Future workshops include 'Nutrient Management for Small and Mid-Sized Dairy Farms' (February 2, 2010) and 'Transitioning to a Pasture Based Dairy System' (March 24th, 2010).

For information on these workshops and other educational programs at the Kellogg Biological Station Pasture Dairy Research and Education Center visit our web site or contact Mat Haan at 269-671-2360 or haanm@msu.edu.