Nine-year-old Levi Dewitt visited interesting agricultural sites in the Fraser Valley with the 4H club and told the Eagle Valley News all about it. (Photo contributed)

Innovative agriculture on display in Chilliwack

Nine-year-old 4h club reporter Levi Dewitt shares his impressions from a recent trip to Chilliwack

Hello my name is Levi Dewitt. I live in Sicamous. I belong to the Eagle Valley 4H club. Our club has horse and dairy projects. My job as a club reporter is to tell you everything that is happening with our club. I live on a dairy farm.

Last month I got to travel to the coast to attend a dairy expo farm tour and trade show. We went to Hoek Holsteins for our first stop. They put in GEA robotic milkers and a fully automated feed system in their parlour. They also have alley scrapers, temperature controlled side wall curtains and a GEA roll press. The roll press accepts manure through a system of rollers. It squeezes the liquid and the result is fibre that can be reused as bedding in stalls. What awesome recycling. The Hoeks milk 300 cows in their new facility which started March 2017.

On to farm number two. We drove to Chilliwack to tour Corners Pride Dairy. They milk 1000 cows. At this time they have installed 20 robotic milkers and that will increase to 32. Lely robots are manufactured in Holland. They also have automated grain feeding in their milking stations. The cows ate silage through head stalls in their sleeping barns. Most interesting was the worker who pushed their silage in to them, it was a robot that looked like R2D2. I would call this one ICANPUSHTHEFEEDIN4U. It was programmed to not bump into cows or people.

We finished the day on farm number three in Abbotsford.

Related: Fair something to crow about

Eco Dairy is a very unique farm because like my Great Grandma’s dairy, D Dutchmen dairy, Eco dairy also invites the public to walk around and visit the calves cows horses and donkey. This farm has a farm market store where they sell veggies, fruit, bread, yummy beverages and meats; they had free samples.

At Eco Dairy the thing that caught my eye was the fodder system. In a building measuring 40 feet by 30 feet, conveyor belts became seed beds. In six days the belt system produced grass that travelled along the belt to the cutter, then dropped onto a conveyor that led outside. The chute dropped the grass into a waiting feed wagon. This was one ingredient in a mixed ration that was fed to the cows. The seeds that were planted were wheat. They were misted with water frequently and the temperature was controlled at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It was really warm in the building.

Can you believe this? Up to 30 acres of wheat fodder, grown in six days in a 40×100 foot building. Now that’s what I call innovative agriculture.

On Friday we visited the Tradex Centre for my first AG trade show. We saw every brand of tractor, field equipment, logging equipment, feeding equipment, vet supplies, the BC 4h booth, berry growers, chicken growers and my personal favourite, the Canadian military. These guys were so nice to me, they even let me dress in camo and carry some of their pack equipment. I appreciate them training to protect our country.

This year is going to be a busy one. I will tell you more about our club in the future. Thank you for supporting 4H clubs in our communities.


@SalmonArm
sports@saobserver.net

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