Dairy Barn Conference 2017


The first Dairy Barn Conference was organised in 2015 by the Centre for Dairy Excellence based in Geraldine. Their team likes to challenge thinking and provide efficient, innovative products and services to improve performance and profitability for their clients.

There was enough interest from farmers and industry leaders at that first Dairy Barn Conference in 2015 to organise another one this year and gauge if that interest was still present. With seventy attendees, the organisers, are confident that this conference will continue to be a rewarding source of information for dairy barn farmers.

They discovered that conferences generate not only great discussion around different barn systems and management practices but plenty of collaborative opportunities for our teams of people. It is always a rewarding and interesting experience.


This 2nd Dairy Barn Conference was held at the Landing Services building in Timaru on the 14th-15th November 2017. It featured a number of interesting speakers on a wide range of dairy barn related topics which stimulated some lively discussion and debate amongst the audience. The speakers included:

Craig Trotter, Centre for Dairy Excellence: Nutrition and diet in NZ barn farms

Keith Woodford, Calder Stewart Agri-consultant: Matching barn design to farming system

dairy barns conference 2

Keith Woodford

Tony Baxter, Zeecol Effluent management: From Poo to Power

Marloes Levelink, Independent dairy trainer and advisor, Cows 101: Cow Signals, looking at
housed cows

dairy barns conference 3

Marloes Levelink

Meg Simpson, Every Cow: The value of using animal monitoring technology

Ian Walsh, BNZ Partners: Compliance and banking

Ivan Holloway, Vetlife/Agilis: Animal health and vaccine use in barns

Nicole Phillips, Irricon: Environmental considerations and benefits of barn farming

Peter Van Elzakker, CRV: Barn cows or grazing cow; what’s the difference?

There were also visits to barn farms which gave us the opportunity to see how farmers with dairy barns can successfully integrate them into their farming operations.

peter collins dairy barn

Taking a look through Peter Collins dairy barn

gert vant klooster dairy barn

Gert Vant Klooster's dairy barn

The dairy barn at James Geddes’s farm incorporated Lely robotic milking machines. 

james geddes robotic dairy barn

James Geddes robotic dairy barn

There will be another Dairy Barn Conference in 2018 – likely to be held in the final week of November.

It will be advertised in the rural farming publications to give all dairy barn farmers, and those farmers considering a barn, the opportunity to attend and it will most likely be held in Central South Island. It can be thoroughly recommended as an excellent opportunity to learn about dairy barns and to network with like-minded people.

PDF documents of the presentations made at this year’s Dairy Barn Conference are available. Please email Graham or contact us if you would like to request these. The below is a list of the presentations available:

  • Craig Trotter - Nutritional considerations for the housed cow

  • Keith Woodford - Integrating barns within farming systems

  • Tony Baxter - Zeecol Benefits Presentation

  • Marloes Levelink - CowSignals Barn Conference

  • Meg Simpson Barn conference powerpoint

  • Ian Walsh - BNZ to Dairy Barn Conference November

  • Ivan Holloway - Animal health and vaccine usage in Barns

  • Nicole Phillips - Irricon Barn Conference Presentation

  • Peter van Elzakker - CRV Barn Conference