A look inside Georgia’s 1st robotic dairy farm – here in the CSRA

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT
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DEARING, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Milking the cows is going high-tech.

Hillcrest Farms in McDuffie County is using robots on its dairy farm. Here’s how it’s working and why they decided to go the robot way.

Mark Rodgers runs Georgia’s first robotic dairy farm.

“We looked at going to robotics because of labor issues like every other small business in the state of Georgia, we were struggling to find the right people for the right job,” he said.

So now, robots milk his cows. Rodgers says they can step up to the machine whenever they feel like it.

“They get a little treat while they’re in there, but the other thing is they actually feel the pressure and weight of all that milk, so it actually feels good when you milk them, so they enjoy the experience,” said Rodgers.

Every time a cow gets milked, the robot keeps a record.

“The robot expects 35 pounds. It knows how much milk this cow produces per minute of her day,” he said.

He says this technology gives them a lot of information about each cow.

“We monitor the color of the milk. We monitor the conductivity of the milk. We monitor the amount of production per quarter on that cow,” he said.

It’s a different way of doing things for this 81-year-old farm that’s embracing new technology.

“This really takes it to a whole nother level,” he said.

If you’re interested in seeing it, he says they offer tours. Rodgers also hopes to welcome more students for field trips as we come out of the pandemic.