Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 11

cows in the remaining 36-stall stanchion barn
and the logistics were getting complicated.
"For the first year," Brett says, "he was running a group of cows in, milking them, and
bringing them back to get another. He did that
for a year and said, 'No, this is just stupid.' So
he built the parlor and things started to grow
from there."
Construction of the 6x6 parlor was completed in 1981. It was a transformative milestone
for James Danyow, and as he noted in a 2006
interview for Middlebury's Village Voice,
one that took a little time to get used to.
"The cows were moving into the parlor and
out faster than I could keep up with them,"
he said. "Eventually, we learned and things
began to run smoothly."
With learning came a burst of growth. The
dairy herd of 150 cows and youngstock today
stands at 2,100. Additional land added in the
year 2000 brings the current total number of
acres under management to nearly 2,000. All
of this internal growth naturally required an
expansion in manmade infrastructure as well.

Up went a new heifer barn; a dry cow barn;
a doubling of the milking parlor to a 12x12;
additions to existing buildings and then additions to those additions; and for the calves, a
greenhouse barn-the one with all those unexpected nuances that took James a year and
a half to figure out.
"It seemed to be harder to manage, and it
seemed to be more for people comfort than
cow comfort," Brett says.
With hutches lying at the opposite end of the
spectrum-easier to manage but definitely
not made with people comfort in mind-he
opted for something different, which led to
his first major initiative as the freshly minted
owner of the Danyow Farm. It also eventually led to that morning of frustrated hair-pulling in his brand new calf barn, but once identified, the problem was a straightforward one
and solved with some high-tech adjustments.
"It was just the robotic feeders for the
calves," Brett says. "There are so many settings on them and it was a major challenge,
but we figured it out."
Although satisfied it was the right move for
the business, Brett sounds like a man in an
uneasy alliance with technology: "You can
manage a lot of calves fairly quickly in a barn
like that, but you need to be well aware of
what you're looking for."
He's grateful that the person overseeing
the technical operations in the barn is also
someone who also places a high value on the
personal and interactive aspects of calf management, especially when it comes to their
health.
Missy Ashley, Brett's partner in both life
and work, has become adept at managing
the computer systems linked with the robotic
feeding process, but relies on her own eyes

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Perspectives - Fall 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Fall 2018

Contents
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover1
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover2
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Contents
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 4
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 5
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 6
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 7
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 8
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 9
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 10
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 11
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 12
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 13
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Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 17
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 18
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Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 38
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 39
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover4
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