The Coshocton County Beacon June 10, 2020 - Page 6

4 • The Beacon The Daugherty family farm’s new barn features four robotic milkers By Josie Sellers When Martin Daugherty was a child, he had to milk two cows by hand before going to school. Today the family farm has four robots that automatically do all the work. “ What we were milking in was 50 years old. We had four parlors that my dad had from 1970. We were very limited with what we could do. ” Bill Daugherty Bill and Caroline Daugherty knew if they wanted their family farm to have a solid future for the sixth generation, they needed to make some changes. “What we were milking in was 50 years old,” Bill Daugherty said. “We had four parlors that my dad had from 1970. We were very limited with what we could do.” When their two youngest children, Kyle and Andi, were still in college, the family took a trip to visit four dairy farms to see how they ran their operations and how robotic milking machines worked for them. The largest of the farms had 1,100 cows and the smallest had 120. They also looked at farms while traveling to other states to watch Andi play basketball with her team at Ashland University. “When Kyle graduated and we knew this is what he wanted to do, we sent him to a conference in Wisconsin,” Bill Daugherty said. The two-day conference helped attendees with robotic milking barn designs that would help make their operation more efficient. Once the barn was built and the four machines installed, they had to get the cows used to the new routine. “We had 20-30 volunteers a shift helping,” Caroline Daugherty said. “They caught on very quickly though, and we had minimal trouble with them.” The cows are fed grain while the This is one of four ro robots milk them. “It’s like cand Daugherty said. “T back. The robots wil not been a long enou come back.” In addition to be process and allowin sleep in a little more environment for the sand bedding, and t lation in here with 4 got really hot in the The new barn als Josie Sellers The new barn has a flush system that takes care of cleaning the walkways of manure six times a day.