Southwest Dairy Day to highlight cross-ventilated barn

Open house at Wildcat Dairy Oct. 18 near Gustine

GUSTINE – The annual Southwest Dairy Day Oct. 18 will feature a cross-ventilated barn designed to mitigate heat stress for milking cows and a robotic pre-dipper in the parlor.

The event is free and open to the public.

The two innovations are used at Wildcat Dairy, 600 County Road 252 near Gustine.

Southwest Dairy Day is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and rotates between dairy areas around Stephenville and in the Texas Panhandle, said Dr. Ellen Jordan, AgriLife Extension dairy specialist in Dallas.

An open house at the dairy will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m., with a noon program bookended by motorized tours from 10-10:45 a.m. and 3-3:45 p.m. Less technical tours of the facility are at 10:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. An in-depth tour of the cross-ventilated barn begins at 2 p.m.

Two Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Dairy Outreach Program Area continuing education credits will be offered.

Frank and Annette Volleman and their four sons have grown Wildcat Dairy from a small parlor with outside dry lots to the rotary parlor with free stalls, Jordan said. Last year they went through a major expansion and installed the cross-ventilated barns. They have also added a robotic pre-dipper, which sanitizes each teat prior to milking, to their rotary parlor that automatically ushers cows in and out of the milking stalls.

Jordan said she selected the Volleman dairy to highlight heat stress management through alternative housing. She and Dr. Barbara Jones, director of the Southwest Regional Dairy Center in Stephenville, have been evaluating the effectiveness of the technology in abating heat stress. They will have preliminary results on core body temperature changes in both the cross-ventilated and traditional freestall barns during the field day.

A noon luncheon, courtesy of Hi-Pro Feeds, will include Dr. Doug Steele, AgriLife Extension director, College Station, and the Volleman family providing an overview of Wildcat Dairy.

For more information, contact Jordan at 972-952-9212 or


via source AgriLife TODAY  |  Southwest Dairy Day to highlight cross-ventilated barn

For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Maggie Tucker at or (979) 845-1542.


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