Cows Milk Themselves on the Demeree Farm in Litte Falls
The Demeree Farm in Little Falls has come a long way since George Demeree began in 1957. It's now fully automated and the cows even milk themselves. We experienced several firsts on our recent visit to the farm. In addition to the automated operation, the Demeree's are an organic farm and for the first time in 4 years of doing Farm Hands, we got to meet the milkman.
The automated milking system, cleans, milks and dips two cows at a time. Tim Demeree, who has taken over the farm from his father, says there is a learning curve for him and the cows. The cows learn they get grain by entering the machines and judging by the line of cows waiting to enter, they learn quickly. Computers track each cow's output and health sending alerts if anything is amiss via a mobile phone app. Every time Tim's phone rings, he says it's his 'girlfriend' calling. And she calls several times a day.
The feeding system is automated too. It mixes and even delivers feed to the cows. Noting which cows are milking and which are heifers to provide the proper mixture. Tim inputs the amount of grain to hay ratio into the computer, it then weighs and mixes in about 38 minutes and begins delivery using measurements of the barn.
Being an organic farm, means no supplements to increase cow production and no pesticides or insecticides on any of the crops. The result is about a 30% reduction in milk produced, but it does sell at a higher price.
The DeMeere Farm also produces an amazing Organic Maple Syrup in three flavors. Using a tubing system sap is delivered to a separate building on the farm, cooked and bottled under the name, "Uncle Tims." You can get a bottle or two at the Demeree Farm on Gardinier Road in Little Falls or by calling 'Uncle Tim' at 315-717-5915.
Farm Hands is presented by White's Farm Supply and Kubota.