picSeneca Dairy Systems was established in 1978 as Green Valley Welding. According to their website, Green Valley Welding was a small business that began manufacturing freestalls and other farm and dairy equipment for local farmers. Seneca Iron Works purchased Green Valley Welding in 1999 and began investing in technology.

Victoria Diegnan is the Marketing Coordinator for Seneca Dairy Systems/Seneca Iron Works.

FARMING:
What is the importance of having the right dairy equipment on the farm?

Diegnan:
The short answer is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Having the proper barn equipment can make all the difference in how animals use facilities and if they will thrive in a barn. Equipment such as stalls, lockups/feedrail/feed panels, and waterers will affect the animals’ day to day activities of resting, eating and drinking; all of which will affect the cow’s health and milk production. A poorly designed facility or one that contains improper sized, inadequate, or broken equipment will have lower producing, potentially less healthy animals.

FARMING:
In terms of technology and materials, dairy equipment come a long way in the past few decades. How does Seneca Dairy Systems keep up with those advancements?

Diegnan:
We are constantly evaluating our products and how they function as the needs of the dairy evolve. For example, as the average size of dairy cows has increased over the years, we have made necessary changes in our stalls, lockups and gates to properly accommodate these larger animals. We hot‐dip galvanize our products to offer the strength and durability the modern farmer needs. All of our products are cow comfort, efficiency and safety focused. Just within this past year we have redesigned our lockups, fold‐up, swing & crowd gates, tip tank waterers, as well as developed new technology for our barn climate control system.   

FARMING:
What is the process that the company goes through to install equipment?

Diegnan:
Installation is another thing that sets us apart. We work directly with farmers and contractors to schedule any installation that the customer needs. We offer installation on all our products and it is done by professionals in a timely, organized manner. We back all of the products and installs with an Installation and Tech Support division solely dedicated to making sure we are meeting or exceeding the expectations of our customers.

FARMING:
How does Seneca Dairy Systems help customers decide what piece of equipment is right for them?

Diegnan:
Seneca has a full staff of sales people, engineers and designers with decades of experience in the dairy industry. There isn’t much our team hasn’t seen! We do on farm consultations that include walk throughs and evaluation of current facilities, and discussions with farmers to understand their goals and how we can help to achieve them. The animals, management practices and budget are all considered in order to ensure the farm has a facility that will be profitable for many years. We work with farmers, builders, contractors, veterinarians, consultants and even creditors to be sure the needs of the dairy are met.     

FARMING:
What trends in dairy equipment are you seeing for 2017?

Diegnan:
With heightened attention on cow comfort and labor issues in the dairy industry, we are seeing more automation on farms. This trend can be seen in more robot milking facilities and the interest in automatic ventilation controls, calf feeding options, and other equipment that improves operational efficiencies. There is a greater demand for technology on dairies and Seneca is constantly innovating products to keep up with that demand.   

Five Questions is a FarmingMagazine.com monthly series that discusses industry-related topics with the people who influence the industry.