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  • On Saturday morning, June 24, a hot and healthy breakfast was ready at Boom Holsteins, east of Olds, Alberta.

  • Breezy Holsteins’ new freestall barn allowed Roger and Karen Haag to bring two herds together under one roof and use the vacated tiestall barn for newborns and weaned calves. They also constructed a small barn with automatic feeders for pre-weaned calves.

  • Marcel and Annika Steen, owners of Celmar Dairy Ltd., have relied on automation ever since they started farming near Norwich, Ontario, in 2006 with two milking robots.

  • Earlier this year, brothers Teun and Ben De Beer welcomed their herd of 480 milking cows into a new facility on the farm near Mount Elgin, Ontario. The new six-row, sand-bedded freestall barn with perimeter feeding was built for the milking cows. It was built to reduce crowding in the farm’s existing four-row barn with mattresses and a slatted floor.

  • In 2014, Joe and Barb Terpstra replaced a 17-year-old milking parlour with six automatic milking systems because help was getting scarce and the next generation showed interest. In doing so, they were able to use the area that once held their parlour and holding area for a calf facility.

  • Jack and Jane Danen were running out of space in their old dairy barn. The Danens view robots as the wave of the future, so they decided to include them in their new barn design.

  • In 2015, the Hammond family built a four-robot barn with 240 freestalls and sawdust bedding. The previous freestall barn is now used for heifers and dry cows, while the old parlour and holding area were renovated for calves in group pens with automated feeders. The family is looking to expand their new barn this spring with two more milking robots and a maternity area.

  • After combining his herd with half of his father’s herd, Tyler Hendriks outgrew the tiestall facility and built a new freestall barn.

  • Lintfield Farms was started by Ben and Annemieke Brinke when they moved to Canada in 1990. They purchased a 40-cow tiestall herd in Granton, Ontario, and began construction of a double-5 parlour and three-row freestall barn.

  • With no room to expand at his home farm, Roelof Meilink built a new freestall barn near Red Deer, Alberta. It originally housed heifers, but the plan was to one day add on a parlour and move in the milking herd.

  • On Oct. 17-19, the Progressive Dairy Operators set out on a second trip to farms and businesses in Michigan and Indiana. The group took buses on a similar tour in August and the popularity of the trip led to plans for a second visit for the members that ended up on the waiting list.

  • Arie and Dineke Philipsen immigrated to Canada in 1998. As they have welcomed their two children into their farming operation near Lacombe, Alberta, they are undertaking some expansion.

  • In July 2015, Poly-C Farms put the first group of calves in their new calf barn. Since then, their calves have been less stressed, healthier and have grown better than they did in the hutches.

  • From Aug. 20-23, members of Progressive Dairy Operators (PDO) toured dairy farms and other agricultural businesses in eastern Ontario and western Quebec to gather new ideas to bring back to their dairy operations.

  • In late August, more than 100 members of Progressive Dairy Operators (PDO) filled two coach buses and departed across the Great Lakes to tour farms in Michigan and Indiana. Stops included:

  • View this slideshow to see the highlights from annual general meetings hosted this past spring for Holstein Canada, Jersey Canada, Canadian Brown Swiss & Braunvieh Association, the Société des éleveurs de bovins canadiens and Ayrshire Breeders Association of Canada.  end mark

  • Every November, when the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is held in Toronto, Ontario, it’s like Christmas comes early for dairy enthusiasts. It is a great opportunity to see some of North America’s best dairy cows and celebrate the agriculture industry with the public. The 10-day event welcomes more than 30,000 people, which includes visitors from all over the world.

  • By focusing on excellent calf care for both heifers and bull calves, Sterkholm Farms is capitalizing on the farm’s potential both in future milk production and diversification in veal.

  • Instead of renovating their 51-cow tiestall barn, Amanda Lukassen and her husband, Kevin Sundborg, chose to build a new 80- to 90-cow robot barn. Using robots gives them more flexibility in their schedules and enables them to run the dairy in Ormstown, Quebec, without hiring outside help. View the slideshow below.

  • Steve and Carol Veldman have been focused on energy conservation for over 30 years at Velrob Farms in Embro, Ontario.