As a sixth-generation dairy farmer, Joe Kelsay is a classic example of someone who’s got one foot planted in the traditions of the past, and the other firmly in the technology-driven present. For this Indiana dairyman, some things remain unchanged: his love of the land and his cattle runs deep. And like his father and his grandfather, his work day starts before sunrise. But the similarities stop there. Unlike dairy farmers of yesteryear, today’s dairyman uses technology to run his farm more efficiently. Sophisticated systems keep track of the herd and monitor their health 24/7. Beginning at birth, every calf gets an ear tag that monitors food intake; and as they get older, each adult cow gets her own pedometer. Unlike human pedometers, this device collects data on every cow’s milk production in addition to the number of steps she takes every day. That’s important, because when a cow is not as active as usual, it may be a sign that she’s not feeling well. And imagine the “udder” ease of milking for today’s high-tech dairy farmer. Sophisticated robotic milking machines don’t require any human intervention at all: when a cow wants to be milked, she simply walks into the stall, gets into position, and the milking machine automatically attaches to the udders and takes care of the rest.
To learn more about how Joe Kelsay and the other 42-thousand U.S. dairy farm families produce the dairy products we consume every day, visit https://dairygood.org/undeniably-dairy
Joe Kelsay Bio
Joe’s family milks 500 cows at a dairy outside Indianapolis with his wife, Amy. The farm has been in Joe’s family since the 1800s.
Joe thinks on his feet, is very engaging and funny and has a bit of a twang. He loves to talk about technology and understands how it helps him do his traditional job better and more efficiently.
At this year’s Indy 500, he was the official “milk man”—the dairy farmer who delivers milk to the winner and his team (link below).
Joe graduated from Purdue with a BS in Agriculture Economics Farm Management and works in marketing at Dow AgroSciences & Partner, in addition to being a full-time farmer.
A Dairy Good post on him: https://dairygood.org/content/2015/learn-more-about-how-the-kelsay-family-cares-for-their-cows