Not Grandpa's farm anymore, as robotics do the job

Micki and Doug Kastenschmidt stand next to their farm’s robotic milking machine, which was installed in 2012 to ease the process of milking cows.

“What would grandpa think?”

Doug Kastenschmidt asks himself that question all the time.

The fourth-generation farmer, along with his wife, Micki, and two children, have entered into a new age of farming — in which robots replaced humans in milking cows.

“I think he would be tickled to see how we’re doing things now compared to how he did things back then,” Doug said of his Grandpa Ed, who passed away in a farming accident when Doug was 10 years old.

“He would be very proud of Doug and what he’s done with the place from him on,” Micki added.

Doug and his family will show the public their state-of-the-art robotic milking system and their farm Sunday, June 21, when they host the 28th-annual Ripon FFA Alumni Country Breakfast.

The all-you-can-eat meal will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature scrambled omelets, sausage, cheese, fruit, juice, milk, coffee and ice cream.

It will take place at Kastenschmidt Farms, which is located south of Ripon on Center Road.

Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 the day of the breakfast.

“What I am looking forward to is just showing people you can do very well without having to be enormous in size,” Doug said. “You can be small and do very well at what you do and be successful. It just seems like that trend is now these bigger mega-farms and, I think, I could be just efficient as what they can.”

He added he just wants people to come, have a good time, enjoy food, see what they have and, hopefully, the weather cooperates.

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