Customer Spotlight: Dorrich Dairy

Jun 25, 2021

     Established in 1994, Dorrich Dairy is owned and operated by the Vold Family; Brad Vold, his wife, Suzanne, and brother, Greg, in Glenwood, MN. The name “Dorrich” came from Brad and Greg’s parents first names put together, Richard and Dorothy. Today, Dorrich Dairy is a 450-cow dairy that currently operates with 7 Lely A4 milking robots.
     Focusing on sustainable agriculture practices, they have retrofitted their existing barn for robots, reuse their composted manure for bedding, tillage practices, use biologicals (wasps) for fly control, and cover crops.
     They started construction in April of 2019 and retrofitted their existing barn to transition from a parlor milking system to a robot milking system.  “We discussed this upgrade for quite a few years, but just didn’t know when the right time was to make the transition,” said Greg. In October of 2019, the Vold’s began milking with their new 7-robot milking system.
     Dorrich made the decision to go with robots with the main reason of cutting back on labor and improving efficiency. “We struggled with keeping help as many dairy farmers do these days, and needed to make a change soon with our parlor reaching 20 years old,” mentioned Brad. With having 7-Lely A4 milking robots, Dorrich Dairy also has one-Lely Juno, an automatic feed pusher, and four-Lely Discovery Collectors, a revolutionary manure robot vacuum.
     The second way they have been regenerative is with their manure management system, which includes a continuous flow manure composter. This system runs 24/7, as the manure is separated out between liquids and solids. The liquids go into a lagoon and the solids are then on a continuous flow into the composter. The composter slowly turns the solids for about 24 hours and the manure naturally heats up the to about 140 degrees, killing the bacteria. The end product is composted manure which is then used on the farm as bedding for the dairy cows. “The cows stay clean, dry and comfortable,” stated Greg. They hope to market this product soon to the local community for folks to use in their gardens.
     Third thing, Dorrich Dairy is implementing on their farm is, reduced or no till practices with cover crops. “We are experimenting and it has been a trial-and-error process,” said Greg. This spring, we decided on interseeding a multi-species cover crop into 12 inch standing corn. “The main reason we do this is to help with erosion and biological prevention,” said Greg.
     As Dorrich Dairy continues to learn and integrate new ways to be regenerative when and where they can on their farm, we as Belgrade Cooperative are proud to continue to work with such a great advocate of the dairy and agriculture industry.
     Dorrich Dairy is hosting the 3rd Annual Pope County Farm Bureau Breakfast on the Farm. The event will be held on Labor Day morning, September 6th from 8-11a.m. They will be having a free steak and eggs breakfast, hay rides, and lots of family activities. Everyone is welcome!
Morgan Lewis
Belgrade Cooperative

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