5555 County Road A Merrill, WI 54452
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Over 30 years ago, Gary Mary Kay Van Der Geest purchased this farm which consisted of 120 acres and a 17-cow, wood stall barn. Today, through expansion steps, the farm is a family operation that has evolved into 4,000 acres of cropland and 3,000 Holstein dairy cattle. The facility has the capacity to milk 3,000 cows, three times a day. That means approximately 9,000 cows pass through the parlor every day. With only five sets of hands, they can milk 500 cows per hour. At Van Der Geest Dairy, the cows are equipped with collars that have a small, computerized box. The “mini” computer records milk production, milking time and allows automatic sorting of a cow out of the herd. These are just a few of the technological advancements in the dairy industry. In an effort to increase public awareness, the milking operation can be viewed from a “catwalk” which allows visitors to observe the entire operation without disruption to the dairy activities. Guided tours by appointment only. They ask that requests be made at least 72 hours in advance.

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