Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 30, 2014

Real Milk

A little while ago I met a man named Greg who owns a robotic dairy. I found this fascinating and as soon as I could I headed off to find out more.

Greg Dennis’ grandparents bought the Scenic Rim Dairy Farm at Tamrookum near Beaudesert in south east Queensland in the 1930s, when cows were milked by hand and milk was delivered by horse and cart.

Scenic Rim Dairy

Much has changed in the dairy industry but Greg and his family have always been passionate about producing the best milk they can from happy, healthy cows.

In 2010 they were the first in Queensland to install the LELY Robotic Dairy system. They believe it is less stressful for the cows and it increases productivity.

Here is the robotic milking system…with cow.

Scenic Rim Dairy

The cows love it . They come in to the shed to be milked when it suits them ( a tasty snack keeps them busy while they are being milked) There is no specified milking time and they don’t have to be herded in. They really do stroll in and line up to be milked. Some are bit eager and push their friends out of the way to get in first.

Scenic Rim Dairy

The milking machine is programmed to recognise each cow. Sterilised brushes first wash the teats and the soft action of the brushes stimulates the cows to ‘let down’ their milk.

Scenic Rim Dairy

Next the robot attaches the suction cups to the teats and each section of the udder is milked separately. The udder is scanned by a laser to record any changes to the udder to enable a good connection each time.

Scenic Rim Dairy

Scenic Rim Dairy

Scenic Rim Dairy

Scenic Rim Dairy

Then the teats are washed and moisturied and the cow heads of to the pasture. On the way out she gets a nice back scratch.

Scenic Rim Dairy

On hot days there is a sprinkler system in the shed so the girls can cool off when they feel like it. They stand on soft rubber matting which is kind to their feet.

Scenic Rim Dairy

The Dennis family now produce, process, bottle and distribute their own Scenic Rim 4 Real Milk. The milk is pasteurised and bottled on the farm and delivered to outlets within a 2 hour drive from the dairy. It tastes better and is better for you, as there has been minimal processing. It is the next best thing to buying directly from the farm.

Scenic Rim Dairy

The family run tours of the dairy and I can report that it is interesting and fun. The cows are placid and calm and seem to have a lovely cow life.

I lived on a dairy farm for a few years when my son was little and I love the taste of milk straight from the cow…much better than over processed milk.

Scenic Rim Dairy

We live within their delivery zone so will be looking out for it. They also produce delicious cheese and will soon add butter to their list of  products.

Scenic Rim Dairy

Take a look at their website for much more information…

Scenic Rim Dairy


Responses

  1. They should join the latest trend in Europe: fresh milk dispensing machines http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/americans-envy-europes-raw-milk-vending-machines/

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    • It is not allowed to sell unpasteurised milk in Australia. I often use the mechanical cow at Borgo a Mozzano, it’s great.

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  2. The nearest I’ve got to a robotic dairy around here is the milk dispenser outside Penny Market!

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    • That’s a great idea. I buy my milk there when I am in Italy.

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  3. I worked at a small family dairy while I was in college – I was the robot! I would love to see a dairy like this in person.

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    • It is really interesting. If you live nearby you should visit.

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  4. Oh hasn’t it all come a long way from when I was a little girl growing up in Nambour where the cows always looked happy but they sure didn’t have soft floors and a programme to suit them selves or a cool spray of water on a hot summers day. Interesting and feel good story.

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    • The dairy is great. I wish them every success.

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  5. In an world where factory farming is increasingly the norm it is good to read the story of this diary farm.

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    • Our farmers need to be supported. They work long hours and provide our food. It is good to see a success story.

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  6. That’s so much better for the cows and the farmer. I love the idea of the cows being able to wander in to be milked when they feel it’s time.

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    • It is amazing to watch them wander up and walk into the miling machine. Cows are creatures of habit and they mostly come to the same machine each time.

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  7. This farm was the subject of a Landline TV program last August. It is very impressive. I ended up watching it twice. What surprised me was the cows come in for milking 3 times a day. And I loved the back scratcher and so did the cows judging by their movements.

    I buy their milk and Camembert

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    • It is very impressive. The family has done a great job. The cows sometimes come in 3 times a day, depending on their milk production of course. They will be on The Project next week. The crew was there filming while we were there,

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  8. What a great enterprise…milk as fresh as can be, cheese and soon butter. Great blog Debra.

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    • It was very brave of the family to handle their own production and it seems to be working for them.

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  9. Deb and this is the way Pyengana dairy here operate, backscratchers and all

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    • It’s a great idea, don’t you think?

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  10. Truly bucolic! I must put that on my day-trip list.

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    • It is really worthwhile. We later went for lunch at a nearby winery…there will be a post soon.

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  11. Love kind farmers who want the best for their consumers as well.

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  12. What a great story – your interests are truly divers and wonderful! I love it!

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    • That of course should be diverse….

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      • Don’t you love spellcheck?

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  13. WOW, I always wondered how it worked, i love the showers and back rubs too! How many times a day do the cows go in to be milked? Maybe I will pop over the site.. great post ! c

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    • The cows usually wander up twice a day, sometimes 3 times, at any time. There are 4 milking machines and 250 cows.

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  14. Wow

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  15. That’s a long way from a two hands, a stool, and a bucket.

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  16. That is such a fascinating dairy – when we have to produce food for densely populated cities, it seems to me this is the way to go. It gives the best outcome for the cow as well as the consumer of the milk – I don’t like buying the deconstructed and reconstructed product the supermarkets sell. Having tasted/scoffed your Milk 4 Real triple cream brie I know it’s absolutely delicious. The milk from that dairy is sold at Fresh Sensations in the Carindale shopping centre.

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    • We have to be prepared to pay more for these products, but I think it is worth it.

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  17. Where can we buy it Deb?

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    • Farmer Greg said that Sourced Grocer has it. IGA also carry it.

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  18. I’ve visited such a farm in Nederland. I think the manufacturers Lely may originally be Dutch too. Yes, I was particularly impressed with the way the machine recognised each cow, and wouldn’t admit them if they tried to come back too soon after their last milking. ‘Go out and eat some more grass, girl!’

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    • The machines are Dutch, and very clever indeed.

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  19. That’s fantastic that the cows just stroll in when they want to be milked. It is so different from how I have seen it done!

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  20. Thats fantastic, I have not seen such a relaxed and lovely cow farm. I especially love the mini cow pamper setup. 🙂 I am sure they appreciate the special attention.

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