June Dairy Month farm stops continue with a visit to the Fietzer Dairy Farm in the Town of Larabee in Waupaca County.
Kyle Feitzer has been farming his whole life, growing up on the farm he currently runs. While the Fietzer Farm has certainly grown throughout Kyle’s experience, the farm is a draw for people not only across the country, but also the globe because of their robotic assistance.
“We’ve had a bunch of people come from other countries,” Kyle said of the farm’s draw. “Since we put the robots in, we have a lot more interest. The number one question is, does it work? [The farm] is somewhat of a pioneer; there’s a few out there. As the technology has gotten better and labor has gotten less, we have to look at how to create less labor.”
Kyle explains their cows are equipped with something similar to a Fit Bit, which is a collar on the cow that performs a number of vital and useful functions.
“It tells us when the cows come in to get milked, how much they eat, how much they walk, so much information it’s actually too much. As we’ve been in a year things are going a lot smoother than they did the first three or four months.”
That information is all available on their smart phones. That’s not the only robotic labor the Fietzer’s use on their farm as they also benefit from robotic sweepers.
“It automatically pushes up feed, so you don’t have to worry about it,” Kyle explained. “It works on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s all about how to be more efficient with the time that you have. We have one feed pusher, six back scratchers, six milking robots and we are currently milking about 310 to 320 [cows.]”
Those who may be interested in touring the Fietzer Farm can do so and they are happy to oblige.
“If you’re ever interested, we do have a Facebook page. You can find Fietzer Dairy Farms on Facebook. If you want a tour that’s how to contact us to come on out and the more the merrier.”