Over $1.5 Million Invested in Dairy Farm Improvement & Modernization 

By Katie Spring, Outreach & Content Specialist 

The Northeast Dairy Business & Innovation Center is excited to announce the selected recipients of the Dairy Farm Improvement & Modernization Grant

This grant funds a wide range of projects that prioritize long-term farm viability, climate and economic resilience for dairy farms. In this inaugural funding round, 25 farms were selected for awards across seven states, with total program funding of $1,583,331. 

The projects selected for funding include incorporating technologies like robotic manure scrapers to improve herd health and comfort, modernizing milking parlors for increased labor and energy efficiencies, and improving forage with sorghum as a climate-smart alternative to corn silage. The range of projects are connected in their goals to promote healthier livestock and environmental conditions while improving the daily work of farmers and their employees.   

This grant will open again in November 2024. 

Congratulations to the selected grant recipients: 

Current and former farmer participants from NE-DBIC funded Technical Assistance cohorts received priority for a portion of funds from this grant. Those cohort members are noted below with an *asterisk. 

Graywall Farm of Connecticut – will install automatic sort gates and implement Select Sires Cow Manager system for tracking fertility, nutrition and health. This project focuses on improving animal health and enhancing labor efficiencies through use of wearable and mobile technology that tracks movement to monitor, research, and find solutions for health problems in a herd and utilization of individual animal ID and data to reduce stress on our herd and mitigate labor costs. 

Mayday Farm of Maine* – will plant, harvest, and ensile male sterile BMR sorghum to explore a climate-smart alternative forage energy source for dairy cows. Their goal is to alleviate the need to buy in outsourced corn silage and establish long-term economic and environmental viability. 

Sweetland Farm of Maine* – will work with a local contractor to install a perimeter fence around their pasture areas and reclaim, renovate, and reseed pastures that became overgrown or depleted due to neglect prior to their stewardship. Their goals are to expand our pasture acreage, improve pasture production and herd nutrition, and enhance overall farm efficiency. 

Belder Farm of Massachusetts – will upgrade their milk room and milk cleaning, cooling, and storage systems, as well as the gutter cleaner, forage, and transportation equipment to support their farm management practices. Their goal is to increase sales, improve herd health and productivity, forage yield and quality, food safety, and worker comfort, while reducing expenses and decreasing environmental impact. 

MacGlaflin Farm of New Hampshire* – will install two Lely Discovery 120 Manure Collector Robots in their high cow pen, replacing the use of a diesel skid loader. The robots will increase the frequency of cleaning while decreasing carbon emissions, leading to a cleaner environment and improved herd health. Their goal is to continue improving management and embrace technology that improves efficiency and animal health. 

Honorone Farm of New York – will install fans in the holding area, plus a heater and automatic take offs with monitors in the parlor. Their goal is to increase herd health and farmer well-being. 

Keem’s Dairy Farm of New York – will install a robotic feed pusher, manure collector, and additional mattresses for cow comfort. They will also engage in a farm financials training with Farm Credit East through the Dairy Profit Analyzer program to continue education for the fourth generation of the farm. 

Nichols Farm of New York – will improve cow comfort and manure management by installing robotic manure scrapers.  This upgrade will bring various benefits to their system, including labor savings, improved animal health and welfare, and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from barn manure fermentation and diesel usage for manual scraping, improving the sustainability of our farm.  

North Country Creamery of New York* – will revolutionize the way they currently handle manure through an improved nutrient utilization manure handling system. This includes the installation of a flush system into their winter dairy barn that will direct manure through a separator to remove the solids which will be reused as bedding, and divert the liquids to a modern style lagoon equipped with an agitator. Waste water from the milking parlor, milkhouse, and creamery will be utilized in this system. 

Pastureland Dairy of New York* – will install a hydraulic push vertical beater manure spreader to efficiently dispose of their hard pen pack manure. This project will also benefit a neighbor farm, who will have access to the equipment. 

Pepacton Farms of New York* –  will adopt a new manure handling approach, evolving from piled manure on gravel to a managed compost system. They will purchase a side slinger manure spreader and a new gutter cleaner to reduce runoff, allow for manure to be composted, and compost to be applied to fields and pasture and result in labor and energy efficiencies, improved nutrient management and soil quality, increased forage quality and increased cow productivity. 

Spring Weather Farm of New York – will improve manure management through the development of a manure composting program. They will purchase a specialized spreader capable of applying farm-generated compost to pasture with precision and efficiency.  

A Joy Swiss of Pennsylvania – will install new mats in the tie stall, special needs pen, and barn walkway to improve herd health and comfort. 

Diamond Farms of Pennsylvania – will replace their barn cleaner with an energy efficient cleaner that saves time and decreases the need for repairs. With a cleaner environment, their goal is to improve herd health and higher production. 

Raspberry Ridge Creamery of Pennsylvania – will install sunshade structures and a ventilation fan to reduce heat stress for their dairy sheep flock. Reduced heat stress will lead to an increase in milk production by 15% over three years. 

Ackermann Dairy of Vermont – will install a robotic manure collector and feed pusher in their modernized free stall facility and add tracking collars on every cow. This supports a larger project of transitioning a tie stall barn into a free stall facility, with an updated herringbone milking parlor. 

Bouchard Family Dairy of Vermont – will install two Lely Discovery robotic manure collectors which will reduce the daily labor demands involved in barn cleaning, while also improving cow comfort and well-being. 

Covered Bridge Farm of Vermont* – will install robotic feed pushers and alley scrapers. The feed pushers will ensure cows have constant access to feed, improving DMI, components, and milk production while reducing labor. The alley scrapers will reduce labor and fuel use and minimize cow disruption. These will streamline their management, improving our farm efficiency and viability. 

Fort Waite Farm of Vermont – will install a robotic milking system into their new free stall barn, replacing their tie-stall milking facility. This new system will improve herd health, decrease reliance on external labor, improve milk quality, and reduce the cost of production. 

Harrison’s Homegrown of Vermont – will upgrade their existing milking parlor from a 4 herringbone to a double 7 parabone system and add automatic takeoff units, enabling them to decrease milking time from 9 hours to 5 hours per day.  

Kingdom Creamery of Vermont – will install an animal monitoring system to monitor the health of their dairy herd 24/7. This will track rumination, heat detection, and animal movements, resulting in greater awareness and improved herd health. 

Riverview Farm of Vermont* – will install cow brushes and a misting system, which will maximize cow comfort, health, and productivity. 

The Farm at Wheeler Mountain of Vermont – will modernize parts of their barn to improve cow comfort, health and well-being by replacing outdated stalls with larger comfort stalls. This project will improve management of dry cows and breeding age heifers. 

Tups Crossing Farm of Vermont – will upgrade their milking parlor from a single-16 to a double-16 for their herd of 435 goats. This project will reduce energy and labor costs and increase animal welfare, milk production, farm maintenance and add economic stability/long term viability to their farm. 

Williams Farm of Vermont* – will install a robotic manure scraper for their barn. This project will increase efficiency, save labor, and increase overall comfort and milk quality. 

*Current and former farmer participants from NE-DBIC funded Technical Assistance cohorts. 

Scroll to Top