Kelly and Joan Sweet, dairy farmers from Sweet Farm in Fletcher, Vermont, have a lot of work managing their dairy cows. With 220 cows to milk and total livestock of 500 animals to look after, as well as their own crops, the Sweet family takes advantage of every tool possible to simplify their cow management. In fact, cow management is the thing they appreciate the most about robotic milking.
‘The overall health, breeding and milk production of our herd has vastly improved since we made the transition to robotic milking. The data at your disposal regarding the health of your herd and your individual cows is by far one of the best aspects of automation.’
With the insight that Kelly and Joan have gained from installing the robot regarding how best to manage their cows, it comes as no surprise that they are delighted with Lely’s Farm Management Support (FMS) team.
‘Our first experience with FMS was in the first few weeks after start-up. They assessed the T4C data so that we could immediately use and understand the system. Dairy farmers who do not use these tools are really missing out on the benefits of managing their business with robots.’
Farm Management Support
As time went by with their robot installation, the Sweet family came to the realisation that Lely FMS was far more than just a ‘how to’ guide for the T4C software. They realised just how important the continual support that the team provided was, even after the milking robots had been installed and their herd had got used to them.
‘We had no expectations as to Lely’s FMS service when we made the transition to robotic milking. However, since we started working with the FMS team we have been very pleased. They are extremely helpful when we have queries and need a professional view on how to solve the problem. The FMS system has worked every time we have needed help. Our Lely FMS representative for North America, Sara McBurney, has done an excellent job. Every time we have needed her, she has been extremely helpful. We consider FMS to be a highly valuable tool for dairy farmers to use. It is a very user-friendly system and the Lely FMS team has helped us considerably.’
Kelly and Joan take advantage of the FMS service locally, but they also value the fact that Lely FMS is part of a network that reaches far wider than just their local area. Although they knew that Lely North America formed part of a much larger company, they had not expected to benefit quite so much from Lely’s worldwide network. That was until they asked for feedback and support from Lely’s FMS team. The Sweets even put ‘worldwide resources’ at the top of their list when they were weighing up the many advantages of FMS.
‘Having a worldwide support network is so useful. They solve problems wherever they occur. This gives the dairy farmer an opportunity to learn and to benefit from local support based on a world of knowledge. They are fantastic problem solvers.’
The commitment that FMS has shown has also increased the Sweets’ trust in Lely to offer a good service. Although they admit to already having chosen Lely right from the start, the outstanding on- and off-site support offered through FMS has confirmed, yet again, that choosing Lely was the best option for their needs for milking robots and other barn products.
‘We are very happy with the Lely products. We have the Lely Astronaut A4 milking robots, the Juno feed pusher, L4C lighting, the Luna brushes, the Grazeway and now the Calm automatic calf feeder. When we were evaluating milking robot brands, Lely came out as the best of the bunch, and we wanted the best system available on the market. We still believe that Lely’s product is better than other robot systems, and FMS is a fantastic way to get the best out of it.’
Every farmer in the world has to make decisions daily for their farm. Choices both for themselves and their business. But they do not need to do this on their own. They have the help of advisors to find the right solutions and steer their business in the right direction.
More and more of you are choosing Lely as a long-term partner. That is because every day our products and services allow you to take another step towards your desired results. We are by your side with the right people, who are skilled and highly trained.