Prominent Academic to Spend Sabbatical Researching and Developing New Management Practices for Large Robotic Dairies
Dr. Michael Brouk, a professor at Kansas State University, has chosen to work with DeLaval during his one- year working sabbatical as an advisor to the company's Dairy Management Advisory Team in North America, addressing automated milking concerns for large herds. He will consult on matters such as facility design with regards to heat abatement, cow comfort and cow flow. He will also explore additional ways to utilize data captured by the Voluntary Milking System (VMS) to improve dairy cow management. His sabbatical with DeLaval will last until June 1, 2017.
"DeLaval's commitment to robotic milking in the form of a Dairy Advisory team demonstrates their passion to our great industry," says Brouk. "I have been impressed with the desire of many in the organization to take automated milking to a higher level of milk production. For me this is not simply a process that ends next year, but rather the beginning of a new focus in my career."
Dr. Brouk hopes to develop new teaching methods and extension modules to assist students, dairy producers and the general public to gain a better understanding of automated milking systems. He also believes there is the possibility to develop new areas for future research. "I view automated milking systems as having a greater impact on our industry than the bulk tank. It is not just about automatic milking, it is about all the information that is available to manage cows and improve the herd's health, milk quality and productivity."
Francisco Rodriguez, Marketing Manager of Automated Milking Systems and Feeding for DeLaval says Dr. Brouk's experience with dairy management and facility design perfectly complements DeLaval's in-house knowledge of robotics. "His expertise with good management practices, combined with the full breadth of DeLaval's integrated solutions, will help robotic dairy producers present and future achieve their performance goals."
Dr. Bouk has an extensive background in dairy science. He holds a Doctorate degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in Dairy Cattle Nutrition from South Dakota State University. Dr. Brouk has been a faculty member at Kansas State University for 19 years. His time is split 70/30 between extension services and teaching. Dr. Brouk has managed the development of state-wide extension programs in the areas of dairy cattle nutrition, management and heifer development. His areas of research include heat abatement, dairy cattle and heifer nutrition, dairy facilities and forages.