WENDELL, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Box Canyon Dairy located in Wendell is using robots to help their milk production.
In their latest facility that was built two years ago, owner Jerimy Craig said they produce a little more than 300,000 to 310,000 gallons of milk per day from that facility. The dairy has three facilities that it produces milk out of.
The dairy originally had eight facilities that produced milk, but the newest one that is two years old replaced four old facilities.
"The first robot we put in was a post-dipping robot," he said.
The robot cleans the cattle after they finish milking.
"All it is is a sanitizer, a disinfectant. Keeps cows from getting mastitis and other health problems," said Chip Craig, the general manager of the dairy.
Jerimy said they bought the second robot about a year and a half after buying the first one. That machinery is pre-dipping, cleaning before cattle milk.
"It has a little more job to do. So it'll go in, spray the animal and try to scrub her clean as well. It spends a little more time under there," he said.
He said one of the main reasons they bought the machinery was to reduce labor force.
"That robot reduced three positions, a man on every shift," he said. "That robot does the same job every single time, even if it's wrong, it still does it the same way. That's something that cows like is consistency."
Jerimy said the labor force is getting "tougher and tougher," saying that it's hard finding people that want to do that job and wanting to do it correctly as well.
"If you're retraining people constantly, it's no good for us or the cows, so we chose to use robots. I'm not retraining them everyday," Chip said.
While Jerimy said it was expensive, it paid off on the labor side.
"You can't really put a price on what it does. If you spray the animal correctly every single day, our somatic cell in this facility, our cow health in this facility is great," he said. "I'm not saying it completely has to do with the robot, but it has a large part of it."
Jerimy said that more and more dairies will get those cleaning robots.
"I wasn't the first one in Idaho. There was another facility that put them in first and I just kind of looked over his shoulder and made sure they were going to work," he said.
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