Dairy technology field day to be held Aug. 18 in eastern Iowa

Iowa State University Extension
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team is hosting a field day focused on dairy technology on the farm.

AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team is hosting a field day focused on dairy technology on the farm.

The Aug. 18 field day will feature two farm visits where attendees can see a Trans Iowa low-cost parlor system, utilization of solar panels and robotic milking, feeding and manure handling technology. Following the two farm visits, attendees will have the opportunity to visit a local dairy processing store.

The first farm visit will be from 10-11:30 a.m. at Schanbacher Acres, located at 6975 32nd Ave., Atkins, Iowa. The dairy recently updated their parlor to a swing-20 using the Trans Iowa low cost parlor design. The 400-cow dairy is also using solar technology on the farm.

Owners Jay and Barb Schanbacher will be on hand to answer questions about the parlor and implementation of solar technology.

The second farm visit will be from 1-2 p.m. at Taakes Family Farm, located at 4167 Seven Sisters Road, Ely, Iowa. The Taakes family milk 120 cows with 2 A5 Lely automatic milking systems. They also use a Vector feeding system and robotic manure collectors in the barn.

Family members Josie, Dustin and Tyler will be available to answer questions about the facility. The Taakes family also own and operate Dan and Debbie’s Creamery.

Following the farm tours, participants can check out the creamery located at 1600 Main St., Ely, where milk is processed into a variety of products including ice cream, cheese curds, butter and milk. Josie will greet people as they arrive and take questions about the creamery.

“This field day is a great opportunity for producers to see new technologies and facilities in person and have their questions answered,” said Brian Dougherty, field agricultural engineer with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “New technology is allowing dairy producers to improve labor efficiency and flexibility, boost production and enhance overall health and management of cows and calves.”

Lunch will be on your own between the two farm visits. There is no fee for the field day, but RSVPs are appreciated.

If you have questions or would like to RSVP, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach Dubuque County office at 563-583-6496.