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York and Seward County Leaders Tour Dairy Farms

York and Seward County Leaders Tour Dairy Farms

Lincoln-Community leaders from York and Seward counties in Nebraska were treated to dairy tours on January 25. The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN) and the Nebraska State Dairy Association (NSDA) hosted the tour of Beavers Dairy in Carleton and Butler County Dairy in Rising City. The two dairies provided a good look at two different types of dairy production.

The community leaders learned about robotics while touring Beavers Dairy. Brett Beavers talked with them about the challenges that livestock producers face and provided a tour of his dairy, complete with demonstrations of robotic milkers and feed pushers. They discussed the water cycle that dairies implement (from the barn flushes all the way to the pivot), and the leaders learned how dairy expansion can support the economies of their local communities.

The group also toured Butler County Dairy in Rising City, where conversations rolled around how a large dairy can integrate into a community, provide steady jobs and provide a tax base to the county. The group visited the maternity barn and learned about the role genetics plays in milk production and healthy cows. They also visited the calf ranch at the dairy to learn how farmers care for the calves during the drastic weather fluctuations.

This tour provided these county officials the opportunity to connect with actual dairy farmers and employees to see how dairies both large and small provide a quality product while also benefiting their
entire communities.

“Both dairies we toured shared their desire to grow their herds,” said York County’s Lisa Hurley, “but feel they can’t until they have a place for their milk to go. ‘Find me a processor’ was a common statement. This struck home with me because York is continually focused on our seed corn industry, but we have natural resources surrounding our county that could be utilized to our advantage by adding a
dairy processor.”

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