Young dairyman considers automation to keep farm running
A southern Illinois dairyman is considering a switch to robotic milking and diversifying practices to secure the future of his family’s farm.
Travis Mondt is a 6th generation farmer who recently returned to the farm after completing his bachelor’s degree in agribusiness economics. He tells Brownfield he and others in his position are coming home to a lot of challenges.
“Between the low prices of milk and the increasing cost of feed it has definitely created new challenges as to how to get yourself to be a better manager, working on how to cut costs without cutting quality or production.”
He says finding committed workers is also an issue.
“As time progresses, we are definitely going to be looking to try and either automate the milking side of things or feeding. I have been looking into different ways to try and keep the labor force but, at the same time, be able to reduce the amount of labor we are dependent on.”
He says leaving the farm for college was hard, but his education is helping him make the best decisions in these challenging times.
“I know more about how a balance sheet works and how lenders are gong to want financing. There are a lot of different aspects that go into it that you may have to pay somebody outside of the farm to do, otherwise.”
Mondt lives in Clinton County where they milk 180 cows and farm 360 acres. He also works off the farm as an applicator.