Robotic feeder in operation at BlackRapids Farm. The feeding robot is programmed to work independently: filling the feed in its container, mixing, auto-charging, and distributing the feed to the livestock. Al-Rajab photo

Peter Ruiter (right), owner of BlackRapids Farm, explains to members and guests of OIA the operation of the new robotic milking control room.
Al-Rajab photo

Nepean – The monthly meeting of Ottawa Valley-St Lawrence and Quinte Branches (OVSL) of  the Ontario Institute of Agrologists (OIA) was held at the dairy farm BlackRapids in Nepean on Thursday, October 24 h . A tour at the modern dairy farm was guided by the owner Peter Ruiter and his wife Rosmary. Members and guests of OIA were amazed with the high-technology used at the modern dairy farm BlackRapids including new robotic milking and feeding systems.

Following the tour, social time and pizza on site were compliments of the OVSL Branch.

The Ruiter family suffered a major barn fire in 2017 and have rebuilt a modern dairy barn last year that one man can handle by technology. The fire destroyed three barns – one of them more than a century old  and killing 80 cattle. The community rallied and helped raise money to rebuild and restock. Ruiter purchased 42 cattle, to join the 10 that survived. Dairy farming runs in Peter Ruiter’s family. His father ran the farm when Peter was young and now his son Mark helps out. BlackRapids Farm receives regular groups of visitors including students, farmers, and families. The farm also sells pumpkins, Halloween supplies, and organizes children birthday parties.