Foster Bros Farm

Foster Brothers Farm

Middlebury, Vermont

Foster Brothers Farm

Middlebury, Vermont

Now in its fifth generation, the Foster’s decided to invest in technology to make their lives as dairy farmers more sustainable for future generations.

"We’re getting old enough that there’s no way we could milk four hundred cows three times a day,” said Robert Foster. That's why they invested in robotic milking machines. The robots are located in a new barn and the cows choose when they would like to be milked—making it possible for the Fosters to continue farming.

Purchasing this new equipment and creating the necessary facility was a big investment and a forward-looking business decision. The cows also love it.

“One of the main reasons this barn was built is for cow comfort,” Robert said. In the new barn, cows sleep on waterbeds atop foam pads and they scratch their backs on mechanically rotating brushes, which they absolutely love.

Keeping up with the Times

Additionally, the robots allow the Fosters to collect more detailed information on each of the livestock, making it possible to address the herd as a collection of individual animals, as opposed to one large group with universal needs.

Here to Stay

Throughout Foster Brothers Farm’s transition to robotic milkers, Farm Credit East was there to help. “When we were looking at putting up this facility, Farm Credit provided instrumental support” Heather recalled.

“We work with Farm Credit because it’s made up of people like ourselves that either come from an ag background or understand it. It’s important that my lender understands what I’m facing,” said Robert.

Looking to the future, Heather is hopeful that the farm will continue on into the 6th generation and beyond. “There are younger ones around, so hopefully they will want to stay in Vermont and will want to be part of this.”