Let’s start with our biggest barn of all…it’s 318,000 sq. ft.! This barn is home to the majority of our cows with an attached milking parlor that houses a 72 stall carousel which can milk a cow from start to end. It may seem a little out of place to say that our cows love our barn, but it’s the truth! Research and 120 years of experience show that cows do better in a controlled environment since cows are creatures of habit and like the same thing every day. They know the routine and enjoy the protection from the unpredictable New England weather. This building was designed and backed by science to truly raise happy cows, which in turn provides us with plenty of great tasting milk. Special curtains can be adjusted to keep heat in during the winter and raised during the summer accompanied by 180 adjustable fans to keep the area cool. Oakridge has modeled the interior of the barn to reflect the layout outside by creating an open-stall barn that allows the cows to roam, huddle, lay, feed or drink where they wish. Over 82 water troughs house an unlimited amount of freshwater and cows constantly have access to fresh feed and bedding. Should we ever lose power our barn is 100% backed up with a generator so everything can continue to run smoothly. In addition to our main barn, Oakridge also has numerous other barns such as our dry cow barn and nursery barns that provide the same level of comfort.
While Oakridge is built upon 120 years of old school values and farming traditions, our facility is anything but old school. We believe in sustainable farming practices that will promote the land, our cows, and the community. Our dry cow barn is covered with 752 solar panels and offsets 25% of the yearly electrical usage! When we set out to build our 8 acre barn we went to great lengths to install maximum efficiency pumps, fans and light, etc. to keep our consumption as low as possible. In addition we have developed a sustainable practice for our manure. While the cows are being milked a manure vacuum drives through to clean the area. The manure is brought into a room and dumped into a pit. Liquid poop (the stuff that makes it smell but is packed with nutrients) is separated from the dry solid fiber (has no smell). From there the liquid is pumped to a big, covered (to decrease smell) lagoon on top of the hill to be used for fertilizing cropland. The solid material is a dry, soft sawdust fiber that is covered and stored for 1 year and is then used for bedding that is changed out daily.
DID YOU KNOW?
THE US DAIRY INDUSTRY REDUCED THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF MILK BY 63% DUE TO IMPROVEMENTS IN ANIMAL BREEDING, ANIMAL HEALTH PROGRAMS, COW COMFORT AND OVERALL FARM MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN RECENT DECADES. THE INDUSTRY HAS SET A VOLUNTARY GOAL TO REDUCE THAT BY AN ADDITIONAL 25% BY 2020. COMPARING 1944 AND 2007, PRODUCING A GALLON OF MILK GENERATES 63% LESS CARBON AND USES 90% LESS LAND AND 75% LESS MANURE. IN AMERICA, THE DAIRY INDUSTRY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ONLY 2% OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS. US MILK PRODUCTION HAS THE LOWEST CARBON FOOTPRINT PER GALLON COMPARED TO ALL OTHER COUNTRIES.