Minnesota Milk Producer of the Year
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association Producer of the Year places an emphasis on cow comfort.
Blake Otte of Randolph is a fourth generation farmer milking 450 cows along with his wife and children.
He says a comfortable cow produces more milk.
“When we built the barns, we started out with sand. Sand just like (on) a beach. Cows lay down on it very comfortably (and) it’s cool. The thought with the sand was (the cows) get milked, come back, eat, drink water then lay down and produce more milk.”
The farm also features large stalls and a multi-purpose lagoon system installed four years ago.
“We had to go to manure solids, and that’s got more cushion to it; like a mattress. You stand on it and it feels spongy. Cows are just as comfortable, and we’re using the resource off our farm to bed with.”
Minnesota Milk selects its Producer of the Year based on dairy industry involvement, commitment to the future and participation in the community.