Dairy farming is part of everyday life for many Wisconsinites, according to the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin; there are over 7,000 licensed herds in the state.
Local company, VES, has developed state of the art technology to help those farmers monitor their cows.
“We have developed a concept over the years called animal centered environment and from that we had to develop products and systems that will support the animal centered environments,” said VES Co-founder, John McBride.
What these animal centered environments are can be compared to having central air conditioning for your house, making conditions inside the barn comfortable for the cows, as well as workers.
The new research facility recognizes someone closely tied with VES.
“We brought on Dr Michael Wolf, who we named this facility after to help us understand how to speak and understand cow,” said VES Co-founder Peter Fahrngruber.
The new 20,000 square foot research facility will be built right here in the Chippewa valley and will create several new economic opportunities.
“In the last six to eight months, we’ve already doubled,” McBride said. “We’re looking to bringing another 40 positions over the next couple of years, but with the rebounding of milk prices around the world, that may be of course become greater.”
“We’ve been very fortunate to bring a lot of those people in locally,” said Co-founder Jennifer McBride. “We’ve also brought people in from out of state in to our company therefore helping the Chippewa Valley.”
Even though the new company is based in Chippewa Falls, they have a major impact globally.
“The global dairy industry looks to America as the leader in dairy, and of course Wisconsin is the dairy state,” said John McBride. “The world has really embraced the VES system, we are putting our systems in over 40 countries.”
Along with the new research facility, the project also includes new corporate offices, an animal welfare demonstration center and a global conference center.