They say that happy cows come from California, but after we toured the family-owned and run Jones Robotic Dairy in Star City, Indiana, we’ve got to disagree.
Happy cows actually live in Star City at this Pulaski County robotic dairy.
Jones Robotic Dairy in Star City, Indiana
As I said before, this is a family-owned dairy farm. But I’m sure what caught your attention is the whole robotics part of it. The first robotic dairy in Indiana, eight years later it is now one of only three in the state (though that number will soon change to four at the end of the month).
Rather than people having to hook up cows to the milking machine, it’s all done automatically. With a receiver tag placed on the cow’s collar, the robot can tell whether that cow is ready for a milking or not. Some cows, like number 29 (otherwise known as Betty) really enjoy it and try to go through more frequently.
This robot isn’t fooled. The robot knows better and doesn’t kick on so the cow stands there for a minute and then continues on her merry way.
But whether a cow has been milked recently or not isn’t the only thing that the robot can track. Weight gain or loss, how much milk they are producing, and even different parts of the milk, like if it’s for a baby cow or human consumption, can all be tracked.
Star City, Indiana Robotic Dairy Attraction
It’s incredible how much time and energy is saved just with the simple addition of a computer. Much like the iPads, iPods, and cellphones, even this small Indiana town robotics dairy program undergoes upgrades, much like your smartphone receives updates, to let it stay on the cutting edge of technology.
That’s not to say that the people behind this Indiana dairy farm sit around all day and do nothing. Robotics or not, there are still plenty of farm chores like cleaning out the stalls, tracking down cows that have decided not to show up and get milked, and helping birth the babies when needed, to name a few.
How does the robot milk the cows? Good question.
Just like the usual milking process, the cow steps up onto the matted platform. Who doesn’t appreciate a comfy place to stand? The robot gets to work, prepping the udder and spraying it down to clean it off. Just like a human worker–but in less time and without the worry of getting kicked.
The cow listens to the sound of a baby calf in its ear to help it “let down” and enable milk production to begin a bit more quickly. Thanks to this awesome technology, the computer then gets to work, washing off the cow and milking her in six minutes.
Indiana Agricultural Attraction
What an incredible look at Indiana agriculture. From petting baby cows to the robotics section of the dairy, and the many barn cats, this fantastic family owned dairy is definitely worth the trip. You’ll moo with happiness.
It’s truly amazing to watch. The cows get to enjoy a little sunshine and aren’t all pent up in large covered barns. The robots are easier on the cow parts, too. These are happy cows.
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus. I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.
Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.
Jones Robotic Dairy Farm
6814 E 700 S
Star City, Indiana 46985
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Special thanks to Sam and Pam Jones and to their daughter for their kindness and the change of clothes for Kid #2 (someone got very carsick eight minutes from our destination). It’s very appreciated.
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