Charles Ahlem Jersey Ranch, Hilmar, California

Charles Ahlem Jersey Ranch

Hilmar, California

Industry Leadership and Innovation

When Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Charles "Chuck" Ahlem as the undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture in 2004, he based his decision on Chuck's leadership experience and forward-thinking view of agriculture. Chuck Ahlem is the owner/operator of Charles Ahlem Ranch in Turlock with 4,000 Jersey milking cows and farming 1,100 acres. In addition, he is a founding partner of Hilmar Cheese Company, which annually produces more cheese from its Hilmar, California site than any other facility in the world.

Cow comfort and consistency add up to improved productivity

With that background in mind, it makes it easier to understand why the Charles Ahlem Ranch was the first facility to utilize the RotaryMATE system. They were one of the first dairy's to install a rotary milking parlor in California. They based their decision on cow comfort and cooperation, and the rotary system's level of efficiency. "We see the RotaryMATE as a logical addition to our rotary milking parlor. We have been looking for the added consistency that the system gives us, along with its ability to allow us to save on teat dip usage. We are using less dip, and its being applied more accurately and consistently. The RotaryMATE has given us that capability!" comments Chuck. Green Source Automation is proud to be a part of Chuck's drive toward innovation and industry leadership!

Read more: Charles Ahlem Jersey Ranch, Hilmar, California

Valsigna Farms, Hilmar, CA

Valsigna Farms

Hilmar, CA

Valsigna Farms in Hilmar, CA has added the RotaryMATE EXPD to its rotary parlor. The 2400-head herd is milked two and a half times per day and has already begun reaping the benefits of the RotaryMATE system. Like many similar-sized dairies, the Valsigna Farms operation, prior to adding the RotaryMATE, used a flex position that was responsible both for monitoring and attending to cows as they were being milked as well as for applying the post-dip chemicals to the cows prior to exiting the rotary parlor. This created a few challenges that the RotaryMATE Post-dip robot was able to address — inconsistent application of the post-dip chemicals, animal stress, worker stress, and wasted product/lower yields. According to Tim Wickstrom, owner of Valsigna Farms, the RotaryMATE successfully addressed these challenges and is adding value to his operation in multiple ways. Since adding the robot, post-dip chemical usage has been reduced by up to 35%, contributing to significant cost savings. The RotaryMATE is more effective at applying the post-dip with the proper coverage on the teats on a 24/7 basis. This has the benefit of eliminating a variable point if the somatic cell counts do rise, effectively allowing the herd manager to focus on other areas and variables that may be the root cause of the somatic cell increase. The dairy workers are able to accomplish their tasks with greater effectiveness and productivity because they are not having to cover the post-dipping position in addition to the other positions. This increases morale, improves attitudes, and creates an overall more positive environment, which in turn benefits the animals. Because the RotaryMATE is handling all the post-dipping, the rover/flex position can be moved closer to the "cups on" position which allows him the opportunity to act more quickly in addressing cows that have kicked off the milk cups or need other attention. This enables milk production to increase and allows “ride-arounds” to decrease. The animals respond very well to the gentle, consistent operation of the RotaryMATE and are therefore much less stressed, which contributes to an improvement in milk yields. "I have been extremely pleased with the RotaryMATE solution and how it has allowed my barn to run more smoothly. My workers are happier and the cows are less stressed and healthier since adding the post-dip robot to our operation," said Tim Wickstrom. "I am looking forward to adding the RotaryMATE EXPS on the pre-milking side of the rotary to reduce additional human variables in the barn and bring more consistency to our cow teat-handling environment."

Read more: Valsigna Farms, Hilmar, CA

Sunrise Dairy Farms, Arizona

Sunrise Dairy Farms


For years, Green Source Automation has been promoting the benefits of high-speed automation to dairymen around the world. The solutions GSA has developed allow dairymen to add automation to their existing rotary parlors – in effect retrofitting them into their rotary parlors. But a new trend is emerging in the dairy industry with farmers planning for automation in advance and constructing Purpose-Built Dairies. At Sunrise Dairy Farms in Arizona, the Gingg brothers saw the Green Source technology in action and determined that it was exactly what they needed to implement in their new rotary parlor. Rather than retrofitting it, the Ginggs started their project with automation in mind and built and designed their 72-stall Delaval rotary parlor specifically to use the Green Source Automation RotaryMATE EXPD.

Click here to see the system in action — just a couple of weeks post-launch.

By preparing for automation in advance, the process was seamless, the technology installed smoothly, and the herd acclimated quickly to the robots. Jim Frias, President of Green Source Automation, said, "The implementation of the RotaryMATE EXPD at Sunrise Dairy is exceptional. By choosing to build their barn for automation from the outset, the Ginggs put themselves in the best position to begin realizing the benefits even more quickly than our traditional retrofit customers. The herd is responding very well to the systems. The cows are calm and relaxed and staying healthy, and the Ginggs are seeing the benefits of the solution on a daily basis. This is an exciting time for GSA because a real trend is developing doing what they have done at Sunrise Dairy, and we are in discussions with dozens more dairymen looking to do the exact same thing." Green Source is currently working with many other farmers to customize their new barns during the planning phase so that the rotary parlors will be optimized for automation. If you are interested in a free consultation for your own Purpose-Built Dairy, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our engineers are highly capable and efficient at working with the engineers, architects, and builders at each stage of the rotary parlor project to ensure your barn is fully-prepared for high-speed automation. Contact us today to take the next step toward the future of dairying.

Read more: Sunrise Dairy Farms, Arizona


Green Source Automation
3506 Moore Road • Ceres, California 95307
Office: 209.531.9163 • FAX: 209.531.9171
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