Friday, October 26, 2018

W. B. Young Building, Room 100
1376 Storrs Road

University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269

Management of the UConn dairy herd has been transformed by the implementation of a robotic milking system. Voluntary milking systems are gaining traction in the United States and have the potential to revolutionize the US dairy industry. Robotic milking affects the time-budget for both dairy producers and their dairy cows and provides a plethora of data to support daily management decisions on a farm. Moving to a robotic milking system requires a significant financial input, and the return on investments must be considered in this transition. Impacts on nutrition and animal health and welfare show that there are many opportunities to gain efficiencies while promoting animal health and welfare. There continue to be many questions to answer, such as how do we optimize genetic selection of cows for robotic milking? This conference brings together experts in the field of voluntary milking to explore the opportunities and challenges, make recommendations for optimizing robotic milking, and define a path to continue evaluating this growing technology.


Online registration (credit card payment) Mail-in registration form (check payment)
Individual registration for meeting: $40
Farm group registration: $40 for first person, $20 each for up to 3 additional people from the same farm
Student registration (valid student ID required at check-in): $20
Optional reception (cash bar) and dinner: $25


9:00 a.m. Dr. Steven Zinn, Department Head and Professor, Department of Animal Science, UConn. Welcome

9:05 a.m. Dr. Sheila Andrew, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Science, UConn. Introduction

9:10 a.m. Introduction, Ben Freund, Dairy Producer, Freund's Farm, Inc., North Canaan, CT. The potential impact of adopting robotic milking and other technologies on the viability of the dairy industry in Connecticut

9:30–10:15 a.m. Jack Rodenburg, DairyLogix, Ontario, Canada. Feeding the robotic milking herd

10:15–10:30 a.m. Break

10:30–11:15 a.m. Matt Haan, Dairy Extension Educator, Pennsylvania State University. Maintaining milk quality in the robotic milking herd

11:15–Noon Nancy Charlton, DeLaval and Mary Margaret Cole, Executive Program Director, UConn. Why free flow, why guided: understanding the systems and choosing what is right for you

Noon–12:20 p.m. John Bovay, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, UConn, and Joe Bonelli, Associate Extension Educator, UConn. Update on risk management programs for dairy farmers

12:20–1:15 p.m. Lunch and tours

1:15–2:00 p.m. Larry Tranel, Iowa State University. Economics of automatic milking systems

2:00–2:45 p.m. Sam Comstock, Holstein Association USA. Genetic selection and breeding goals for robotic milking herds

2:45–3:30 p.m. Jack Rodenburg, DairyLogix, Ontario, Canada. Management tips and barn design for cow comfort and convenient handling in robotic milking herds

3:30 p.m. Wrap up discussions

4:00–5:00 p.m. Tours

5:15 p.m. Reception and dinner
The University of Connecticut is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Program Provider.


UConn Departments of Animal Science and Extension