Monday, November 03, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs- Field Trips


This week I’d like to invite you to share your favourite field-trip that you’ve been able to go on since you’ve started homeschool. I’d encourage you to include photos, but you don’t have to.

I know we have been on a lot of field trips but I am going to talk about our most recent.
Living in Wisconsin we have a lot of dairy farms but we went on a "future farms tour" The first farm we went to was the NorSwiss Farms just about 15 minutes from our house. They are milking about 1400 cows right now but are moving up to 4000 cows!

Each cow has a computer chip strapped to their legs that monitors everything about them, especially their activity level so they know if the cow is getting sick or it is time to breed it again. They milk the cows on a raised surface right now which eliminates all the bending down for washing and milking so many cows. (If you look closely at the cow being milked you will see the ankle bracelet that holds the computer chip)

They are building a carousel to milk the cows on. On the carousel they will be able to milk 400 cows an hour with 78 cows able to be on it at the same time. The day we were there they were ready to install the carousel, but they were still waiting for it.

They also are a very "green" farm, recycling many different things. They turn the manure (30 lbs per cow per day!) into electricity, fertilizer, and even bedding for the cows! They use the heat that is generated by cooling the milk to heat water to clean out the milk pipes. They are also using sand bedding and have a sand sorter so they can reuse some or all of that.

At the second farm we were able to see robotic milkers in action. So cool!

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