A unique - almost futuristic - way to milk cows - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Kerry Klatt

A unique - almost futuristic - way to milk cows

KASSON, MN (FOX 47) -- For generations, dairy farmers have operated under a grueling schedule, waking up at five in the morning to milk the cows.

But not anymore! One Kasson family is hitting the snooze button and letting robots do the work!

While much of our world has changed due to advancements in technology, much of the dairy industry has remained the same.

Dairy farmer Tina Suhr explains an average day: "So we'd go out at about 5:00 a.m., and later at about 4:00 p.m., and do chores and it would take about five hours from start to finish."

But now Tina Suhr and her family operate under a different schedule, one involving robots.

Last September, the Suhrs obtained a robotic milking machine, only the fourth of its kind in Minnesota.

"The nice thing about the robots, it's very flexible we make it work around our schedule, and if we sleep in it's that big of a deal," says Tina.

This weekend, the Suhrs invited the public to check-out this revolutionary gadget.

"I didn't think it could be done, but they have it," says one longtime dairy farmer.

Even older generations seem keen to the idea.

The owners say the cows walk right up to the machine, and eat their food while they get milked.

It took a while for the cows to get used to the machine, and now Tina's husband, Doug Suhr, says it's no problem at all.

"The pellet in there is just like your candy bar you eat after dinner. They know where they get their energy, and they will go find it again," says Doug.

Since installing the machine, production has gone up!

"Before we were only milking twice a day morning and night, and now our highest producing cow, and about three weeks ago she was walking through the robot 12 times all by herself, and getting milked seven of those times, and she was milking 173 lbs," says Tina.

Installing a machine like this is a big investment, but the Suhrs say it beats the traditional way.

Powered by Frankly