Southwest Dairy Day: Cross-ventilated barn to be highlighted

Southwest Dairy Day: Cross-ventilated barn to be highlighted

By Texas AgriLife Extension

Texas dairy farmers are invited to attend Southwest Dairy Day on Oct. 18, which will feature a cross-ventilated barn to mitigate heat stress for the milking cows as well as a robotic pre-dipper in the parlor. These are two innovations being utilized by the Frank Volleman family on their Wildcat Dairy near Gustine, Texas.

Southwest Dairy Day is hosted annually by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, rotating between the dairy areas around Stephenville and in the Texas Panhandle, said Dr. Ellen Jordan, AgriLife Extension dairy specialist in Dallas.

The Oct. 18 open house at the dairy will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tour times (updated and as of Oct. 2):

  • Community tours: 10:45 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • General/DOPA credit tours: 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
  • In–depth tour of the cross-ventilated barn: 2 p.m.

Frank and Annette Volleman and their four sons have grown their dairy from a small parlor with outside dry lots to the rotary parlor with free stalls. Last year they went through a major expansion and installed the cross-ventilated barns. They also have added a robotic pre-dipper to their rotary parlor.

Jordan said she selected this dairy to highlight heat stress management through alternative housing.

She and Dr. Barb Jones, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Tarleton State University, have been evaluating how effective this technology is in abating heat stress. They will have the preliminary results on core body temperature changes in both the cross-ventilated and traditional freestall barns during the field day.

A noon luncheon, courtesy of Hi-Pro Feeds, will include Dr. Doug Steele, AgriLife Extension Director, College Station, and the Volleman Family providing an overview of Wildcat Dairy.

For more information, contact Jordan at 972-952-9212 or ▪




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