Husband and wife duo Duane and Tina took over the family farm from Duane’s parents to continue the farming legacy of Hinchley Dairy. Located in Cambridge, Wisconsin, the operation started with a small herd and has now transitioned into Lely robots for the next generation. Anna Hinchley, their daughter, will be carrying on the heritage of the family farm with the Lely robots that allow the cows to be in control of their daily activities.

“The cows are free to do whatever they want, when they want. They can get their feed or a drink, they have the Luna brushes if they want a scratch and they can get milked,” said Anna.

In the move to dairy automation, the Hinchley family kept cow comfort top of mind, allowing more freedom for the cows and themselves.

Maximizing Milking and Feeding Efficiency with Lely Machinery

When most think about dairy farms, cows and milking come to mind. But other day-to-day tasks take up a lot of valuable time, too.

“There’s a lot more that goes on with dairy farming than just milking the cows,” said Anna.

Anna wanted to use her recent college education to improve the family operation and emphasize areas other than milking.

“I wanted to focus on the cow comfort and cow health aspect of it.”

Anna has been able to manage her family’s operation from the palm of her hand.

“The technology from Lely robots can be accessed through my phone. I look at the udder health report to see if there are any mastitis issues or abnormal milk,” said Anna.

Saving time on milking and monitoring cows allows the Hinchley family to put more time into their farm tours.

Feeding and Educating the Next Generation with Milking Robots

Visitors to the Hinchley Dairy Farm have been touring the operation for over twenty years.

“It’s a great way to get socially sustainable with the community and advocate for agriculture,” said Anna.

For some visitors, this may be the only experience of a farm they will have.

“When they come out, it’s an eye-opening experience to see how passionate we are about our land, our water and our air,” said Tina.

Hinchley Dairy Farm hosts farm tours nearly daily, spring through the fall. However, with inconsistent farm labor to help milk the cows, Tina would be waking to milk at 3:30, to be done milking to be able lead the tours. While cows are the priority, being able to share and educate about their farm is important to the Hinchley family, too.

“It’s something that a lot of farms don’t have time for, but tours are something we need to start pushing as people start getting so many generations removed from agriculture,” said Anna. 

Adding Lely milking robots has helped small operations like Hinchley Dairy Farm tackle labor issues. In this particular case, Lely robots have given the Hinchleys the ability to supplement their labor and continue giving tours to educate the leaders of tomorrow.

Lely Robots Prioritize Cow and Human Health

Operating a farm takes a toll on the body. While Lely robots allow farmers to do more with less, they also help decrease stress and strain on the body.

“Robots are the tools that are saving my life. Pushing in feed is a lot of hard work on your shoulders, and your hips and your knees. Having those Junos running on a regular basis has boosted our milk production. Scraping floors that had to be done before milking, the Discoveries buzz around and take care of manure,” said Tina.

Adding Lely robots to a dairy operation is an investment. An investment in future labor, in future happiness and future health – for cows and farmers.

Robotic Milking Provides Reliability of Labor

Adding robots saved on the stress that can come with maintaining consistent labor. As it turned out, going with Lely was an easy choice.

“As we started looking at robots, we wanted to see what company had been in the robotic milking industry the longest time. Who had the most experience. It was Lely that really stuck out to me. I was impressed how it was designed by farmers,” said Tina.

Lely robots help family operations like Hinchley Dairy Farm continue to maintain high milk output, low cell count, and also enhance their lives by enabling more free time for their family.

“You have to keep improving if you want to stay in the industry. Technology is out there for you to take advantage of it to make your life easier and to be as productive as possible,” said Anna.

Before they switched to automatic milking, the Hinchley family would often spend up to nine hours per day milking and chores. With milking robots, they have the time to be better dairy herd managers and focus their attention on the whole operation as well as their farm tours.

Farm Details

In December 2018, the Hinchley’s transitioned their dairy herd into their all-new Lely robotic (automated) milking facility to milk 240 registered Holsteins. While farming 2,300 acres, the farm has also provided educational farm tours for over 20 years to school groups, families, and international visitors.

Why Lely?

Farmers all over the world make choices about how they set up and run their farms. Every day, we help them make the best choices for themselves and their farms. We do this by providing advice and innovative solutions that contribute to efficient farm management. For sustainable milk and meat production. Present and future.