If you were a cow, you could do far worse than find yourself at the Joe Loewith & Sons dairy farm in Lynden, Ontario. The 100-acre property is as close to a bovine spa as you can get. The 850 herd of Summitholm Holsteins are fed a careful diet of high nutrient feed, their exercise is measured via pedometer, they can relax in a bed of sand and get lots of sunlight and fresh air wafting through their high, open barns.
The Loewith’s use the latest husbanding technology to monitor the herd’s health. When the cows are milked, three times a day, they also give up their unique ID (via RFID chip) and health data to the milking machines. The milkers can sense changes in the milk’s conductivity – that may be a sign the cow is in heat, or has an infection.
And, the family run farm believes in cow comfort, making sure cows are relaxed, eating well and active makes good business sense as well as ethical sense, says Carl Loewith, who gave us the tours you’ll see below. “The two go hand in hand,” he explained. “If the cows are going to have a long productive life then you can’t have facilities that are going to injure them or limit their production.”
The farm has had a long productive life itself. It was founded in 1947, less than a decade after Joe and Minna Loewith, Carl’s parents, came to Canada as refugees from Czechoslovakia.
We hope you enjoy the video tours and photos of what we call Cow Comfort Farm.
Carl Loewith explains how tech and comfort equal productive cows on his 800 head dairy farm.
Loewith gives us a whirlwind tour of the Joe Loewith & Sons dairy farm’s milking station.