Heat stress abatement case study

Fetzer Farms animals in Elmwood, WI face unpredictable summer humidity and heat, followed by below-zero winter temperatures and short daylight hours.

Fetzer operate a double-20 parallel DeLaval milking parlor as well as its own calf and heifer facilities.



Fetzer has worked with VES since 2008 to retrofit existing facilities into their barn to optimize the health and well-being of their animals and employees. Benefits have included increased milk production, rate of gain, and conception rates, and decreased somatic cell counts and pneumonia rates. Their ongoing relationship with our team puts the best technology to work to optimize their operations, performance, and profits.

Through a dairy ventilation system designed with adequate intake, recirculation, and exhaust fans Fetzer’s heifers receive optimal fresh airflow at their level. 

Thanks in part to less ammonia and higher air quality, the heifers suffered fewer infections and respiratory issues. Fetzer was able to improve health with fewer antibiotics. Healthy heifers lead to a great rate of gain and high conception rates. Fetzer’s raise these heifers and their calves to sustain the future of their farm. Most recently, Fetzer Farms installed the VES Dairy Barn Operating System, into their cow barn. The system is designed to optimize their herd health and productivity all year long, through automated ventilation, cooling, lighting, and continuous environmental feedback. It gives Fetzer the connectivity and controls they need to efficiently and precisely manage their calves’ environment each season.



In this smart-barn environment, calves will grow and thrive in an environment optimized for their health and wellbeing from birth, assuring steady growth and a promising future of milk production in the years to come.