In January of this year, DeLaval hosted current and prospective customers of DeLaval VMS (Voluntary Milking System) at events in Madison, Wisconsin. The VMS PRO (Professional Robot Operators) User Group Seminar and the DeLaval VMS Freedom to Choose Tour united for a day of exchanging information and sharing experiences.

This was the first time both programs of the VMS tour and PRO seminar overlapped, and the turnout resulted in record attendance for both groups totaling 130 customers from the U.S. and Canada. The joint meeting consisted of presentations about barn planning and multiple user panels on cow traffic, bedding management, holding areas, feed bunk management and ventilation.

DeLaval VMS customers were eager to share their robotic milking experience so those considering the technology might benefit from their feedback.

VMS PRO User Group Seminar
Forty-five North American users of DeLaval VMS met in Wisconsin for two days of continued learning and information sharing. The first day focused on VMS best practices and system updates, including DelPro 3.5 software training. The second day saw more than 10 VMS producers give presentations about their dairies while fellow users and prospective customers had the opportunity to ask questions.

The VMS PRO User Group, established in 2011, was created to open up a dialog between system users and DeLaval. This year, groups in the U.S. and Canada will meet regularly to discuss issues specific to their region. Canada will host the next North American VMS User Group Seminar this September in conjunction with the third annual VMS tour in Ontario.


VMS Freedom to Choose Tour
This marked the first-ever VMS tour in Wisconsin and the company’s largest Freedom to Choose Tour with 85 prospective VMS customers attending – a testament to producers’ growing need to employ reliable labor and desire to use their time more efficiently. Participants spent their first day learning the key performance indicators of VMS operations and hearing from current VMS users about their choices in barn design and cow comfort.

Equipped with the knowledge to identify what will work best with their own management strategy, the touring producers spent the next two days visiting a total of six VMS farms.

“We visited a good mix of new barns and retrofitted barns, proving to producers that an automated operation does not require investing in a new facility,” comments Sybil Birmingham, marketing communications coordinator for DeLaval Inc. “The tour participants also saw examples of feed first, milk first and free flow operations. Any one of these options will work. It’s really up to the producers to choose what will work best for them and their management style.”

Additional DeLaval Profound Productivity Tours
The DeLaval World Ag Expo Tour was held last week. The group spent one day at the agricultural trade show in Tulare, California, and visited four dairy farms milking from 3,500 to 10,000 cows using a wide variety of DeLaval milking and herd management solutions.

Other tours scheduled in 2012 include an automated calf feeding tour, April 4-5, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and the VMS Freedom to Choose Tour, Sept. 11-15, in Ontario, Canada.

To learn more about upcoming tours, click here or contact Sybil Birmingham at (816) 891-1688. PD

—From DeLaval news release