By Linda Enerson, CommonWealth
January 10, 2017
Sixth-generation family farmers Dave and Steve Barstow have stretched the limits of what dairy farmers can do to stay afloat. They opened a store and bakery on their dairy farm at the foot of Mt. Holyoke in Hadley. They generate electricity from composted cow manure and food scraps. They even market a line of farm equipment. But low milk prices have kept their bottom line in the red. So, a couple of years ago, they sold the development rights to their land to the state and invested the proceeds in robots that milk the cows.
“We knew we either had to go out of business or put in the robots,” says Dave Barstow. “The next generation wanted to keep farming, so we put in the robots.” ….