ST. CHARLES, Ill. — The Illinois Milk Producers Association and University of Illinois Extension will host the eighth annual Dairy Technology Showcase on June 28.

The tour will highlight dairy technology and dairy management at Lenkaitis Holsteins Dairy Farm in Kane County near St. Charles.

“These tours provide an excellent opportunity for Illinois dairy farmers and industry representatives to get a look at the latest and greatest dairy technology and management,” said Tasha Bunting, Illinois Milk Producers Association manager. “The best part is participants can really talk with dairy farmers who have implemented these systems and learn from one another.”

The farm tour will be held at Lenkaitis Holsteins Dairy Farm, owned and operated by Andy and Sarah Lenkaitis along with Albert and Mary Etta Lenkaitis, located at 6N509 Corron Road, St. Charles.

The Lenkaitis family farm is home to 90 Holstein cows — mostly red and white — housed in a free-stall facility. The free-stall barn incorporates a modern manure handling system which includes a manure separator. The separated manure solids are then used as bedding with any extra sold to create an additional revenue stream.

Lenkaitis feed their calves a milk replacer diet which includes starter and hay, prior to weaning, in a recently retrofitted tie-stall barn with an automated ventilation system. The family raises their own replacement heifers.

Cows are milked in an automated milking system using two GEAMonobox robotic milkers with an average of more than three milkings per cow each day. The milking herd is currently producing an average of 80 pounds of milk per cow, per day.

The modern free-stall and GEA robotic milking facility was built in 2017 to maximize technology, milking management, cow comfort and labor management.

The farm stop will include an organized tour conducted by the Lenkaitis family along with management discussions and a research update session led by U of I dairy specialist Phil Cardoso.

The tentative tour agenda is:

  • 10 to 11 a.m. — Guided farm tour.
  • 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Data management in automated systems presentation by Andy Lenkaitis.
  • 12:15 to 1 p.m. — Lunch at the farm.
  • 1 to 1:45 p.m. — Dairy research update by Cardoso and Dairy Focus Team.
  • 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. — Self-guided farm visit.

Contact Tasha Bunting at 309-557-3703 or tbunting@ilfb.org for more information on the tour.

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