GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) -- After nearly two years of hard work, the Mattingly family in Barren County has gone almost completely robotic on their dairy farm, Malvern Hills.
"This is really revolutionary with the robotic milking," says Stephanie Mattingly, the daughter of farm owners Richard and Sharon Mattingly. "All over the world right now, people are realizing that it's very difficult to find people that are willing to do the work that it takes to maintain a dairy farm."
Even with many farmers coming to that realization, Malvern Hills is ahead of the curve. Sharon Mattingly says no other farm in the Southeast has put in a DeLaval system like theirs, complete with a tunnel-ventilated barn for climate control, automatic feed pusher and automatic manure pusher, just to name a few of the add-ons.
"To have all the different elements that go with it, I think you kind of have to go to New York or Wisconsin," she explained.
In addition to helping her parents make the transition from being a traditional dairy farm to a robotic one, Stephanie Mattingly also works for DeLaval, the company that designed the state-of-the-art technology her parents are now using. Seeing it from two different angles, she couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.
"Creating quality milk for our customers is our number one goal, and there's a lot that goes into that. You've got to be clean, you've got to do everything just right, and that's what the robots do. They do that just right, every time."
The entire system and the data it gathers is accessible by computer and by a smartphone app, something Richard Mattingly says is liberating.
"There's three DeLaval robots that do the day-to-day work, and so I'm focused on looking at the cows that need attention."
Today, less than two percent of our population is made up of farmers, with the majority of people being several generations removed from the agriculture way of life.
"We have to care, or we wouldn't devote this many hours to slim profit margins," says Sharon Mattingly. "We do care, and we want other people to care, too."
From farm to table, it's always been a labor of love at Malvern Hills Farm, and the Mattingly family intends to keep it that way.