Manure Manager

PDPW nutrient innovation, technology tours

September 2, 2008  by Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin


PDPW nutrient innovation, technology tours
The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) are hosting a
three day Nutrient Innovation and Technology Tour October 14 to 16,

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) are hosting a three day Nutrient Innovation and Technology Tour October 14 to 16, 2008.

dairycow01Nine different dairies will be visited. Participants will hear from each of the operation’s owners and managers and see the latest innovations and technologies in manure management.


Registration is limited to first 100 registrants.

Buses will load at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites at the American Center in Madison, Wisconsin, on the morning of October 14 and will return the evening of October 16.

Stops include:

October 14 – Central Wisconsin:

So-Fine Bovines, LLC
Hear from: Business partners Jim Kruger and Jeff Buchholz
Feature: Step-by-step growth and new manure handling system built last year
This tour stop will feature this 660-cow dairy where two families have combined their cows, efforts, and talents.
You’ll see their shuttle manure handling system and hear about their pump that transports sand-laden manure 850 feet to a 6.1 million gallon concrete lined lagoon. You’ll also see their new four-row, naturally ventilated free-stall barn, in addition to their six-row free-stall.

Central Sands Dairy, LLC
Hear from: Managing partner Dr. Gordie Jones
Feature: 72-cow rotary parlor and McLanahan Sand-Manure Separation System with anaerobic digester
Built last summer, Central Sands Dairy is a must-see dairy that is fondly referred to as “simple elegance.”
Milking 3,200 Jersey and Jersey/Holstein F1’s three-times-a- day, this operation will showcase their recently constructed digester that began producing methane this summer and a system-focused production strategy.

Van Der Geest Dairy Cattle, Inc.
Hear from: Lee Van Der Geest, Peggy Griffin, Ila Glaze and Norman “Grandpa Jake” Jaecks
Feature: Rotary drum dryer that dries solids at 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit and uses solids for bedding
Learn about the business of this 3,000-cow family-run dairy that is pioneering in nearly every way. See their manure separation system with a screw press, rotary drum dryer and two-stage lagoon, and get a birds-eye view of the entire dairy via their one-of-a-kind catwalk.

October 15 – Northwest Wisconsin:

Five Star Dairy
Hear from: Owners and husband/wife management team Lee Jensen and Dr. Jean Amundson, DVM
Built in 2000, Five Star Dairy includes a 900-cow dairy operation and Stargest Power LLC, the first running digester of its kind in 2004. You’ll also see their new special needs barn, the only barn of its kind ever built, just before its completion. The ventilation system is a unique cross flow barn with a hybrid interior circulation system that has atomizers for added cooling affect.

Emerald Dairy, Inc.
Hear from: Owner John Vrieze and son Josh Vrieze from Integrated Separation Solutions (ISS)
Feature: ISS water purification and digester with cover
Currently milking 1,100 cows, Emerald Dairy demonstrates exceptional cow comfort and energy efficiency. This tour highlights a state-of-the-art water purification system in its final stage of development, an anaerobic digester, a new calf-raising facility finished the end of 2007 and a unique transition cow facility that provides ultimate cow handling and advanced educational opportunities.

Jon-De Farm, Inc.
Hear from: Owners Dean Doornink and son Todd Doornink, Herdsperson Sarah Kreft
Feature: McLanahan Sand-Manure Separation and ISS water purification 
Featuring their sand separation system, Jon-De Farm opens the doors to their 1,550-cow, two-parlor operation. Learn how they developed their environmental management system and options they are considering for the future.
You’ll also get to see their ISS water purification system, which will begin operation just in time for our tour stop.

October 16 – South Central Wisconsin:

Crave Brothers Farm LLC & Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, LLC
Hear from: Charlie, Tom and Mark Crave at the dairy, George & Debbie Crave and Beth Crave at the cheese factory
Feature: On-farm cheese processing facility, digester and multiple recent buildings
Four brothers and many other family members are in business together, utilizing the latest innovations on both their dairy and in their cheese factory. This 1,100-cow dairy will showcase their anaerobic digestion system and complete facility with many recent construction projects. You’ll also experience their farmstead cheese facility, built in 2002, where they produce their award-winning cheeses.

Larson Acres Inc.
Hear from: Owners Mike Larson and Sandy Trustem
Feature: McLanahan Sand-Manure Separation and ISS water system
Larson Acres is a 1,200-cow dairy, which involves seven Larson families spanning four-generations. 
You’ll learn how this dairy business manages their sand with a mechanical auger and two-stage lagoon with 10-month storage. Hear about their ISS water purification system, which is nearing the final stages. This tour stop will also feature new crop innovations.

Blue Star Dairy Farms
Hear from: Meinholz family members, owners and managers
Feature: Afimilk meters and gravity-flow manure system
This tour stop will feature a one-of-a-kind family dairy where three brothers and three nephews milk 1,700 cows on two dairies. You’ll see their specialty calf and heifer facilities, hear about their tailored cow care program, which uses Afimilk meters, and learn about their gravity manure system that doesn’t require a pump on either farm.

The evenings of October 14 and 15 will feature one-of-a-kind panels, providing attendees even more first-hand information and educational value.

Important details:

  • Buses will load at 7:30 a.m. at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites at the American Center in Madison on October 14.
  • Travel, meals and conference materials are included in the registration costs.
  • Hotel accommodations are not included with registration. Please arrange your personal accommodations.

For more information, visit


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