On a 140-acre farm in northern Montgomery County, tradition has teamed up with technology to create a 21st-century operation that has already made history locally and nationally.
This is why local officials, including County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmembers George Leventhal and Craig Rice, recently joined Woodbourne Creamery owners Mary and John Fendrick and agricultural enthusiasts from around the County to celebrate the grand opening of the creamery and see firsthand the unique operation. See coverage on County Report This Week/Episode #188/16:07 minute mark.
Woodbourne Creamery, part of Rock Hill Orchard, a pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm off Ridge Road in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve, is the County’s first new dairy in 60 years and the only local farm processing its own milk in an on-farm bottling facility. It is also the first all-pasture robotic dairy in North America which means that the Woodbourne cows -- Guernseys -- are a happy, free-range, grass-fed herd that milk on their own schedules.
How’s that possible? Last year, the Fendricks installed a Delaval VMS (voluntary milking system) robotic milking machine that allows the cows to milk on their own preferred schedules. The cows are provided with water in the field all day, and they enjoy coming and going at their leisure. And, because the VMS is completely automatic, the Fendricks can spend more time running other facets of the farm.