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2010 Minister's Award Winner
Duizer Farms - Brant County
From left to right: Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, Lisa and Arie Duizer, Carol Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Milk is flowing more smoothly at Duizer Farms thanks to their innovative robotic dairy barn design. By bringing together different innovations from various barn designs, Arie Duizer and his wife Lisa, have come up with a single design that eliminates barriers found in traditional robotic barns. Their innovation makes it possible for a single producer to manage a milking herd of up to 120 cows. And for the smaller dairy producer, it means less time in the barn - and more time to spend with family.
The Duizers' barn features a central handling facility and specialized gating that allows for quick, easy sorting of cows and application of routine treatments. Their investment has paid dividends in labour savings and improved herd health and productivity. The barn's design has both of the robots facing the same direction, so cows don't need to be retrained if they're moved to another group. And perimeter feeding provides for cow stalls that are shaded and out of the rain, which improves cow comfort. The Duizers have shown that - if you build it, they will come. And it's not just the cows that are coming home…More than 1,000 dairy producers from around the world have come to visit their barn.