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KBS dairy goes green

Dairy cows

The pasture-based dairy facility at MSU’s W. K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)—featuring robotic milking and an energy-efficient design—leads the herd in terms of economic and environmental sustainability.  

This 21st-century dairy facility, which opened in 2009, is recognized as a pioneer for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, silver certification. It is the only agricultural operation in the United States to earn such certification.

“This new facility allows us to demonstrate to all dairy farmers how to incorporate features in a new barn that save energy—features that are both good for the environment and save them money,” says KBS Director Katherine Gross.

In addition to state-of-the-art milking robotics, the facility provides a number of green features, including an automatic sidewall curtain system that raises or lowers to regulate temperature and a building design that maximizes sunlight to reduce the need for electric lighting.

Located in Hickory Corners, northeast of Kalamazoo, the KBS dairy also includes two pastures for 120 lactating Holstein cows, plus “dry” cows, and heifers.

Watch a video about the pasture-based dairy.

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