2019 Southwest Dairy Days Robotics, automation and precision technologies

Jennifer A. Spencer, Ph.D. and Juan Piñeiro, DVM, Ph.D. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Southwest Dairy Days will take place on November 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at T&K Dairy located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 East and Country Road 1673 East of Snyder, TX. This event will be hosted by the Collier family owners and operators of T&K Dairy (Figure 1) and is organized by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Every year around 500 people participate in SWDD including University faculties, Extension personnel, allied industry, dairy families and local communities with interest in dairy production. This year will be special since we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary.



The goal of this event is to show dairy producers technologies they could adopt and use at their farms and is also a family day where the local community gets the opportunity to learn more about the dairy farming. We are grateful for the support we received from the host family, Texas Association of Dairymen, allied industry folks and Extension personnel. The Collier family is a 3rd generation family of dairy producers. In fact, T&K dairy stands for Tim and Keith, father and grandfather of Will Collier that started the farm in 1982. Will and Lauren Collier work hard at their family owned operation, are passionate about their job and enjoy their way of life as much as their kids do. We are proud and honored to work with the Collier family and look forward to a successful 2019 SWDD.

This past August, the Collier family started milking cows in a new barn with the first stationary milking robots in the state of Texas. Therefore, Automatic Milking Systems will be the main highlight of SWDD this year. In the morning toursto the new barn will start at 9 a.m. and depart every 20 minutes until noon and will resume in the afternoon.

These tours will consist in three stations: 1) Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) of cattle (Dan Meihak from Lely company); 2) Rumination collars, cow brushes, robotic feed pushers and water beds (Dr. Barbara Jones, Tarleton University) and 3) Ventilation and manure management (Drs. Ken Casey and Zong Liu, Texas A&M University System).

At noon, lunch will be provided (sponsored by Hi-Pro Feeds) and Dr. Jason Smith, AgriLife Extension Beef Specialist at Amarillo, will present about the use of beef semen in the dairy industry.

Tours will then resume in the afternoon. During the event people from the allied industry will be displaying their products in over 60 booths inside the tent and bigger equipment outside the tent. We would like to thank all the sponsors that have supported this event and that are providing milk and ice cream and displaying their products. Booth registration and sponsorships for vendors is open through October 31st and the rates and information can be found at https://agriliferesgister.tamu.edu/Dairy.

The entrance to the event is free and no registration is needed for participants. For more information please visit our website https://texasdairymatters.tamu.edu/ or feel free to contact us at juan.pineiro@ag.tamu.edu or jennifer.spencer@ag.tamu.edu. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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