One excited family
The owners of Critesdale Farms, Pamela, Calvin and Adam were happy to see such a great turnout to their open barn on Thurs., Oct. 24, at their home farm near Ingleside. Norwell Dairy Systems hosted the event which seen over 400 visitors. Moore photo

DeLaval produces pleasure
One of the features at the Crites’ new modernized barn is the DeLaval swinging cow brush. It is a favourite to this cow as she spend about five minutes gets rubbed clean. There were three of these brushes installed in the barn.
Moore photo

INGLESIDE—Norwell Dairy Systems hosted an open barn at Critesdale Farms on Manning Rd. just east of Ingleside on Thurs., Oct. 24. The owners of Critesdale Farms constructed a brand new 260 x 130 ft., 180 free stall modernized barn with eh bulk of the equipment installed by Norwell from Brinston.

Norwell installed two VMS robotic milkers, a her navigator, buffer tank and three swinging cow brushes. The barn was built by Coleman Construction from Avonmore, the concrete was poured by Grandview Concrete Grooving Inc., the ground work was done by David Brown Construction from Ingleside, the pasture mats were supplied by Promat, Mueller supplied the 300 gal. bulk tank, the 72 in. VHV fans were installed by Secco along with the Isocell curtains, the forestall headlocks were done by Artex Barn Solutions and the feed pusher was installed by JOZ.

Other local companies who helped out were G&J Yelle Inc. from Crysler, Cornwall Door Service, Finch Feed and Seed from Finch, Jamieson Campbell Ltd. from Monkland, Lawrence’s Dairy Supply from Moose Creek, Countryman Electric from Chesterville and Lemay & Choinière from Quebec did the engineering.

Robotic milking system
The Critesdale barn’s main features were the two DeLaval VMS Supra+ robots. The robotic milkers can milk up to 55 cattle three times a day and keeps track of how the cattle are producing.
Moore photo

The owners, Calvin, Pamela and Adam Crites welcomed round 400 people to their new barn according to Adam, “we had around 400 people come through our doors, farmers, retired farmers and neighbours and town folk. From as far west as Peterborough and as far east as Huntingdon, Quebec (two families who are looking at building barns next year).”

The Crites Family are seventh generation farmers, “Our family has farmed since we arrived in Canada (seven generations) which was sometime after the American Revolution. Previously located in Osnabruck Centre where the German immigrants all settled at the time. My great-grandfather Alvin Crites moved to our current location circa 1915. My grandfather Morley was second, my dad is third and I am fourth generation at this farm,” says Adam

Calvin was the first in the family to further his education after high school and graduated  KCAT in ‘79 and Adam graduated in 2014.

The Crites moved out of their tie-stall barn to the new barn nine months ago and began the process of transitioning the cattle into their new routines. Adams says the older cattle were the hardest to train to use the new milking system because they were just too used of being milked twice a day for years but now they could potentiallybe milked three times per day. Adam says the herd average is at 2.2 times per day, a number which he would like to see increase.

The Crites are always in the process of buying more quota to match the growing herd, “We’ve been in the barn over 9 months now and milking 94 cows with production around 36kgs per cow (on par with what it was in our tie stall) with hopes to hit 40kgs. The barn has 2 robots with a spot for the third when the time comes, and the capacity to house 150 milking cows.” says Adam.

The new barn allows the Crites family to be more flexible in hours says Adam, “The new barn is a lot less labour intensive than our tie stall we moved out of, and has allowed for a more flexible work schedule but certainly not less hours.”

Along with the barn, the Crites also farm 630 acres of their own and also rent extra for growing grow corn, wheat, soys and alfalfa hay mixtures. “We’ve come quite a way since 1915 when we had 20 cattle (milked by hand) and 75 acres. I’ve attached a cut out from an old Cornwall cheese and butter board book that had a short profile on our farm,” Adam adds.