Robotic Milker Discussion Group and Facility Tour to Take Place on August 19

Robotic Milker Owners and Individuals Considering Installing the Technology Are Invited

The Center for Dairy Excellence is partnering with regional AMS technology dealers to host a Robotic Milker Discussion Group meeting on Thursday, August 19 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Oakleigh Farm in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. The free event includes lunch, a roundtable discussion, and a facility tour of the 115-cow dairy owned by Glenn and Karen Brake. The Brake family recently installed a Lely robotic milker system and have the first fully automated Lely Red Barn in Pennsylvania. They have two A5 Milking robots, a Vector feeding robot with silos, and two Discovery Collector Barn Cleaners.

“With Oakleigh Farm having the first fully automated Lely Red Barn in Pennsylvania, we thought this would be an ideal meeting spot for our first discussion group,” said Dr. Charlie Gardner who will facilitate the discussion group on behalf of the Center. “Attendees will be able to see the technology in action, share ideas, and have a conversation about our goals for the discussion group and brainstorm ideas for what future meetings should look like.”

Robotic milker owners and individuals who are considering installing a robotic milking system on their dairy operation are invited to attend. The goal of the discussion group is to provide dairy producers with a network for exchanging ideas, discussing challenges, and sharing opportunities around robotic milking technology.

The event is free for dairy producers who are using or contemplating robotic milking facilities to attend, but individuals must pre-register. The discussion group meeting will be facilitated by Dr. Charlie Gardner, a consultant with the Center, and includes the following schedule for the day:

  • 10 – 10:30 a.m.: Registration and Welcome
  • 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.: Farm and Facility Tour
  • 11:30 – 12:30 p.m.: Lunch
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Roundtable Discussion with Group Members, facilitated by Dr. Gardner
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Managing Milk Quality & Mastitis in an Automated Milking System, presented by Dr. Marcia Endres, University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Endres to the discussion on August 19. Dr. Endres has done numerous research studies on free-flow automatic systems and its impact on milk production and milk quality,” Gardner added. “Since the group identified milk quality as a key topic area for the discussion group, Dr. Endres’ perspective on managing mastitis in a robotic barn should be a relevant topic to kick off the discussion.”

There is no cost to join the robotic milker discussion group meeting, but individuals must pre-register. Visit to sign up for the event or call 717-346-0849. Partners in organizing this meeting include local dealers for the AMS Galaxy, Delaval, and Lely AMS technology brands.

To learn more about the first discussion group meeting or for questions about how to join the group, email Jayne Sebright at or call 717-817-1376.