Robots. They rove the red sands of Mars and threaten to take over the world in science fiction movies. But in Oakville, Washington, robots are doing something much different. Just 90 miles south of Seattle, the robots on the Austin family's dairy farm are making life a whole lot better for cows and for the farmers.
Feeding the world is a big job. Doing it efficiently while conserving natural resources is an even bigger one. All across the country, dairy farmers are taking action to reduce their impact on the environment. Find out how.
What started out as a small family business in 1975 has grown into one of Washington’s most successful dairy operations. Ed and Aileen Brandsma founded their namesake business, Edaleen Dairy, with just a few Holstein milking cows and their nose-to-the-grindstone, Dutch work ethic. Today, the dairy employs more than 80 workers, and the herd has expanded to more than 2,500 Holsteins.
To provide the highest quality product, the Dairy Farmers of Washington work hard to bring fresh milk from the farm to your fridge. It takes just 48 hours for milk to travel from the milking parlor to your local grocery store. Sometimes farm fresh milk is available for sale in stores the very next day. Learn more about milk's journey from farm to fridge...
Cow manure has long been thought of as a waste product. See how the Dairy Farmers of Washington are transforming manure into other valuable products through the composting process.
Russ Davis wants more cow manure. He’s the president of Organix, a Walla Walla based company, with production facilities in Yakima County that specialize in converting cow manure into compost.
“We look for dairies that like to export their manure,” explained Davis, who works with several Yakima Valley dairies. “Dairies have their own manure management plans, whether it’s turning manure into cow bedding or using it to fertilize their crops. So that reduces the availability.”