North Country dairy farmers working to keep cows cool during summer

ABC50 NOW

ADAMS, N.Y. (WWTI) — Cows, just like humans, must find ways to stay cool in the summer months. Especially with a summer like this one, local farmers have gotten creative.

Porterdale Farms, located just 15 minutes outside of Watertown, New York, is a fully functioning dairy farm. Herdsperson Casey Porter, who is responsible for the health and wellness of each animal, said the farm’s way of keeping the cows comfortable during hotter weather starts with the design of the barn. 

“We actually built our barns with ventilation and keeping cows comfortable and cool in mind,” Porter said. “We built the barns lengthwise, from north to south, in order to catch the wide western-originating breeze. Our barns all have chimneys up top in order to release the warmer air that rises to the top.”

Porter shared that each barn has over 100 fans directed on the cows, as well as foldable sides. This allows them to move the sides of the barn up and down depending on the temperature and any precipitation. 

Porter also added how the farm’s 2,000 dairy cows are kept cool while they are being milked. 

“While our cows are waiting to be milked, we actually have sprinklers over top of them,” Porter said.” And then fans to cool them off just like you might have at a sports event, standing in front of a big mister.”

The technology is for all cows, as they are milked on a ten-hour, rotating schedule. Porterdale Farms has two milking parlors on its main property and three other properties all within a five-mile radius. In total, the farm has over 4,000 animals. 

The farms sell its products to the American Dairy Association and major companies such as Cabot Cheese.

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