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FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

Whether using a tie stall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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When you wake up in the morning, you have two jobs that must be done regardless of everything else – you need to get your cows milked, and you must get them fed. Everything else can be put on hold to ensure these two activities are completed.

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While it is satisfying to see a clean and shiny piece of equipment, I must say, as I get older and acquire more machinery to wash, the motivation to clean up is far less than it once was.

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When buying equipment for a freestall barn, all owners want equipment that will stand the test of time, bringing them the most value for the money spent. Shy of purchasing stainless-steel headlocks and loops, how can you be sure your hard-earned dollars are going into a product that will last?

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When the time came for brothers Chad and Brent Koopman, Epworth, Iowa, to take the reins of the second-generation dairy farm from their dad and uncle, they recognized changes were imminent. They wanted to keep investment costs within a budget they felt comfortable with while still utilizing their existing freestalls and milkhouse.

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We’re finding more dairy farmers are looking for experts in specific areas of barn design rather than accepting a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The best builders coordinate these experts, ensuring the new building will not just look good in the photo taken on day one but will continue to provide a return on investment 30 years later.

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Whether planning to build new or working on a master plan, it can be overwhelming. Each farm sits in a different situation whether it be financial, age, land base, future goals or geographic regions.

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