By Janet Kehres
Amy and Gary Nuhfer in a cooperative with Huron County Farm Bureau recently had an open house at the Nuhfer Dairy Farm. Several Firelands’ businesses helped support the event.
The Huron County Farm Bureau prepared and served a delicious brunch for those in attendance. Ice Cream gave various flavors of ice cream to the crowd and there was a new skid loader on display for the visitors to experience.
The Richmond Mother's Helpers 4-H Club had a large bake sale in the brunch tent taking donations for their baked goods. Mrs. Carol Shade, advisor with this Willard 4-H group for the last 47 years was in charge, and her 4-H members, Regan and Zoey Hartz, and Lorelei Hughes helped. The girls had a great time greeting the visitors and helping them pick out goodies for home.
Amy and Gary and their family, Jason (their son who runs the dairy on a daily basis and his wife, Brandy ( who is a veterinarian at a veterinary hospital) with son, Gage, and Brock (also their son, who is an agronomist) and his wife, Tiffany (who is the vocational agriculture teacher at Willard High School) all helped give the guided tour during the open house. Mark McConnel, an employee at Bar Lee also assisted.
After a delicious brunch of omelettes, sweet rolls, fruit and milk, the visitors were able to see the different barns of cows starting with the smaller calves to the milking cows, which included a demonstration of the "robotic sweeper" that sweeps and cleans the barn floor, to the milk tank that holds 1500 gallons of milk each day. After the milk tank room, the crowd was able to watch the robotic milker in action.
Enthusiasm was shown from little ones up to the much older visitors. Once the tour guides could get the group to move on, the crowd visited the baby calves barn. The baby calves were very entertaining.
After the conclusion of the tour, some sat back on the porch and enjoyed the scenery while others were treated to very tasty ice cream.
An estimated 400 people visited the Bar Lee Jersey Farm on open house day. Close to 300 omelettes were served.
John and Mary Bauer came from Sandusky to see the "robotic" action on the farm. Mary said, "We are former dairy farmers and enjoyed seeing all the new ideas." They are currently grain farmers.
Ken Bauer from Tiffin, is a retired farmer and he too, enjoyed seeing how modern technology has assisted the dairy world. He enjoyed sitting in a rocking chair after the tour and watching all of the visitors having fun.
Phil Keener from West Salem, is an agricultural teacher who has dairy cows and was very impressed with the Nuhfer demonstrations.
Middlefield Company picks up 1500 gallons or 7,000 pounds of milk each day. It processes the milk into cheese and yogurt. Jersey cows have a higher quality of fat and nutrients that can be made into milk by-products.
Ohio is home to 270,000 dairy cows. The average herd size is 96 cows, but herds can range from a handful to several thousand cows. Each robotic system can handle approximately 70 cows per day.
Lely Robotics is the system that the Nuhfer's use to milk their cows. They did research before going robotic and felt the Lely system was the most effective.The average U.S. cow is milked two or three times and produces 6.2 gallons of milk each day. That's more than 2,275 gallons a year. Ohio's dairy cows produce 623 million gallons of milk each year. The average farm produces enough milk to provide dairy products to more than 2,500 people each year. June is national dairy month.