Spring dairy tours set for April 3, 4St. Croix and Pierce County UW-Extension will host three dairy modernization tours Tuesday-Wednesday, April 3 and 4.
St. Croix and Pierce County UW-Extension will host three dairy modernization tours Tuesday-Wednesday, April 3 and 4.
The first tour will be at 1 p.m. April 3 at the Wayne and Beverly Alverman farm near Deer Park.
On April 4, tours will take place at the Mike and Amanda Rohl dairy at 10:30 a.m., and the Steve and Mary Brand dairy at 1 p.m. Both the Rohl and Brand dairies are located near Ellsworth.
The Alverman farm milks in a swing-five low-cost parlor constructed in 2009. To keep costs down, the Alvermans utilized as many components as possible from the pipeline and milk house used in the tie stall barn.
Wayne Alverman says the parlor is a work in progress, with some modifications completed since the original construction and a few more planned for the future. He utilized design components from other low-cost parlors he toured, along with assistance from former St. Croix County Agriculture Agent Lee Milligan.
A new freestall barn was constructed in 2011 to replace the former shed used for loose housing. The new barn has 50 sand bedded free-stalls in a four-row design. A 40' H bunk and mechanical feed delivery are used for feeding, allowing the Alvermans to utilize upright silos and a stationary TMR already in place.
The old tie stall barn is in the process of being converted to office space and calving pens. Since having hip surgery, Alverman has placed an emphasis on updating facilities so they physically allow him to keep milking cows.
David Kammel, UW-Extension agriculture engineer, will attend along with the Alverman family to answer questions.
The Mike and Amanda Rohl dairy, located three miles southeast of Ellsworth, suffered a catastrophic dairy barn fire on the evening of last Sept. 15. How could the Mike and Amanda Rohl family, their father Don Rohl and brother Ed Rohl ever imagine that tragedy could be turned into opportunity? Well, it did turn to opportunity and their dairy has leaped forward to a modernization investment for a 100-cow dairy size.
The Rohls’ dairy has completed a new and low-cost milking parlor with the aid of Mike’s brother Ed, who operates Ed Rohl Construction.
“It’s amazing to me that the Rohls were capable of relocating their milking herd to a neighboring dairy and were back in their new facility within three months,” says Greg Andrews, Pierce County Agriculture Agent.
The Rohl’s dairy currently has construction underway for their new holding facility, maternity area and head-gates where the Rohls can attend to their herd’s needs. The new parlor was designed as a low-cost swing-over-eight parlor.
The Rohl dairy will be stop one on the Pierce County UW-Extension Dairy Modernization Tour on April 4 starting at 10:30 a.m. The tour stop will provide other small and medium-sized dairy farmers the opportunity to learn from their rebuild experiences.
In addition, David Kammel, UW-Extension agriculture engineer, contributed to the facility design, and he will attend with Ed Rohl and the Rohl family to answer questions. The Rohl dairy is located 2 ½ miles southeast of Ellsworth along CTH DD, just north of Hwy. 10.
@t:For different reasons than the Rohls’ dairy, the Steve and Mary Brand dairy located nearby has been evaluating different dairy modernization needs.
In their case, they were in need of improved dairy replacement facilities. Quality dairy heifers are the engine feeding their 900-cow operation. In fact, the Brands were the second dairy to invest in automated calf feeding equipment (Randy and Lori Larson Custom Heifer Raising was the first in Pierce County).
In October of 2011, the Brands moved into their 250-head capacity multi-age heifer facility. The 100' x 250' facility includes Jen-Aire thermostatically-controlled curtain sidewalls to provide natural ventilation for their heifers. The facility design included recommendations from David Kammel, UW-Extension agriculture engineer, and the facility was constructed by Design Built Structures.
Stop 2 of the Pierce County UW-Extension spring dairy tour will visit the Brands’ facility at 1 p.m., also on April 4. The Brands’ dairy is located two miles east of Ellsworth on Hwy. 63-72.
For more information, contact Greg Andrews at the Pierce County UW-Extension office at 715-273-6781 or Ryan Sterry at the St. Croix County UW-Extension office at 715-531-1930. The tour sponsors request anyone taking the tours should arrive at the tour stops only at the scheduled times. Signs will be posted along roads near the farms.